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Good boundaries create healthy relationships.

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

The word boundary in the American Heritage Dictionary is defined as “an indicated border or limit." One way of looking at that is that a boundary is where one person ends and the other begins. If we were to draw two circles in healthy proximity, the two circles would touch on one side. Those two circles would indicate that each is separate, has a separate identity and is not dependent upon another to nurture its personal and spiritual growth. As two beings, the two circles would be close enough to be connected and to have an impact on each other’s life. When relationships are healthy, boundaries are somewhat flexible. They can be lowered to promote intimacy or strengthened to promote safety.To sow peace, we have to have healthy, well-conceived boundaries, and, the evolved communication skills to maintain the boundaries without damaging relationships.

Have you ever let something slide when someone offended you because "they probably didin't mean it?" That can be a wise choice when just learning about someone. However, when it happens again, it is important to bring it to conscious attention in the conversation. No one can know the strength of your boundary until you tell them. They are not mind-readers.

I think it is safe to assume that, in general company, any comments of a derogatory, snide, racist, ageist or critical nature will not be welcomed. Making and behaving from that assumption will help you sow peace...externally. If you are still holding those views internally, you may find you'll have some work to do to find peace to sow!

Healthy boundaries allow you to make your preferences known. You can say 'yes' or 'no' with equal assurance, and hear it as well when your boundaries are healthy. This simply demonstrates your respect for yourself and your knowledge of self. Voicing these boundaries with quiet confidence simply gives those around you more insight into you. Watching their response will tell you more about them.

Good boundaries allow you to know that you are responsible for yourself, for nurturing your own potential, and for your own happiness. Good boundaries will enhance your self-esteem and self-confidence.

The poet, Robert Frost, wrote that good fences make good neighbors. Good boundaries also make good neighbors.

Sow Peace™

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
Catalyst for Communication & Collaboration
Solutions for Getting to the Heart of Communication, Conflict & Collaboration.
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1 comment

  1. Pingback: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self | Getting Back With Your Ex

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