Relationships are often built upon others consistently respecting other’s boundaries. We all have boundaries, and making boundary requests can be a difficult thing to do. At times, it can be hard to set personal boundaries, as one can have the fear of alienating or offending those that they are close with. It is ok to say no to people when we fear that they are encroaching our personal boundaries. During my time here at Sunrise, I have seen a fair number of parents and children alike who are afraid to set boundaries in their relationships for fear of hurting the relationships they have. They view it as easier to say “yes” than to say “no”. It is ok to say that we are uncomfortable with things. After all, saying “no” can be just as empowering as saying “yes”. After all, no one ever died from being disappointed. It is ok to accept that we have limitations, and that there are things that we are not comfortable with. Here are some healthy boundary building beliefs that can help each of us understand the rights that we have, and when we should set boundaries:
-I have the right to ask for what I want.
-I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
-I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
-I have the right to be happy.
-I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
-I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
-I have the right not to be responsible for my loved one’s behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
-I have the right to expect honesty from others.
-I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
-I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
-I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
-I have the right to feel safe in my own home.
Chris Taggart, Therapist
Adapted from Dr. James J Messina’s “Healthy Boundaries” at www.coping.us