Boundaries and respect

Judy, my sister, debunked one of the memes on her blog….

A lack of boundaries often invites a lack of respect.

No. Just no. Bad choice of verb.

A lack of boundaries does NOT INVITE a lack of respect. A lack of boundaries usually means that boundaries were NOT RESPECTED in the first place.

My version would be a lack of respect makes boundaries necessary.  I learned from my counselor that my lack of boundaries did not mean he would disrespect me.  He showed me respect from the beginning and every encounter.  He also maintained his own boundaries, I learned by example.  I read 2 books on boundaries:

These are the books on Boundaries that my counselors suggested:
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
This book is based on the Bible with many scripture references.  I prefer this approach. It also started with the very basics such as the first boundary being our skin.

Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self by Charles Whitfield 
My counselor recommended this book and I found it gave me a broader understanding of boundaries.


ntexas99 left an awesome comment about using boundaries as a barometer in her progress….healthy boundaries shows progress:

Don’t know if it worked this way for you, but I can recall that when I was in therapy, and really began to understand the concept of creating boundaries, (and how to use them as a barometer when choosing to either cease communications or continue communications with various people in my life), that it was one of the first times I began to feel somewhat empowered. I had previously spent so much of my life living in the shadow of being victimized, that now, while stretching my “creating and enforcing boundaries” muscles, I slowly and surely began to feel like I was getting stronger and stronger every day. There was a palpable shifting of power.

In fact, there was a specific moment when it became clear to me that by using “the willingness to respect my boundaries” as a touchstone for various relationships, that creating boundaries became one of the most reliable tools in my healing toolbox. Boundaries not only help us define what is most important to our psychological and emotional health, but it also allows each of us to have a tangible way to measure whether we are progressing in our healing journey. The ability to create and protect specific boundaries can be a very powerful step in our evolution towards becoming confident with our ability to help ourselves heal. That “line in the sand” becomes even more important when we witness how dramatically it impacts negative (and positive) patterns of communication with various people in our lives.

For me, creating boundaries, (and being willing and brave enough to hold true to those boundaries), began an ascent into my evolution as a self-assured person who slowly began accepting my own worth. I love how you described it as ” twisting two ribbons together. One encouraged the other”. ~ntexas99

I like ntexas99 idea of using healthy boundaries as an indicator for how healthy I am.  I like my counselors perspective that respecting others is about me and not how healthy their boundaries are or are not.  I appreciate Judy debunking memes…Thanks Judy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.