Estabishing Boundries

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
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Just This Guy
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Estabishing Boundries

Post by Just This Guy » Fri May 20, 2022 11:00 am

Does anyone have recommendations for materials to help someone establish boundaries? It does not need to be Mormon based.
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alas
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Re: Estabishing Boundries

Post by alas » Tue May 24, 2022 7:38 pm

Tips on establishing boundaries I used to give my clients

#1 the hardest part for most people who do have problems with boundaries is them deciding they deserve to even have a “self” let alone protect it from others. You are the only one who can decide how you let others treat you. My battered women clients always objected to the idea that they “let” their husband beat the crap out of them. Funny, but my battered husband clients always understood exactly what I meant. But it is a boundary problem. So, all I had to do when someone complained that they do not let their spouse mistreat them is to point out that, hey if the spouse is still doing it and you are still there, you are letting them. You have to figure out how not tolerate the behavior. First you have to decide that you deserve better. You have to decide that what you want is just as important as what they want. You have to decide you have rights. Many of us were raised with our boundaries trampled by parents, teachers, the church, and we have to decide that we deserve better.

#2 is figuring out what is not acceptable or what it is you want or what your rights are. Where is your boundary. Where do they stop and you begin. This can be hard if you were raised with poor boundaries. And here it is important to note that not only are there boundaries between people, but there are boundaries between organizations and people. Now the church and some people do not like you to have boundaries. Think about what the church teaches. Never say no to a calling. Tithing comes before any of your needs. You have the right to personal revelation, but if your revelation contradicts that which comes from church leaders, yours is wrong. There is a name for this kind of lack of boundaries, it is enmeshment. Meaning that the church can’t see where you start and it stops. You are not allowed to put up boundaries between you and the church. Your needs don’t matter, only what the church wants. Pay tithing before feeding your children = your needs do not matter, only the needs of the church. Never turn down a calling = you do not have needs and have no right to not meet the needs of the church. It is REALLY twisted and you do not even exist, only the church. So, decide you have needs, rights, and deserve to have your needs be just as important as other’s needs.

#3 is learning to recognize boundary violations. There are people who like to violate your boundaries and they can be real sneaky about it. There are others who get “offended” if you have boundaries, they take it as lack of love because to them, “love” means controlling you. You have to keep asserting your boundary. Sort of like Ukraine is doing with Russia.

#4 Then figuring out how to maintain your own boundaries. figure out your options for when your boundaries are violated. Is it negotiable? Is it a deal breaker? Can it be discussed? How can you communicate with them that you will no longer accept X. This is where assertiveness training and “Don’t say yes when you want to say no” comes in. The “assertiveness training” books I used to recommend are old ones, so something should be available at your library. Really assertiveness is all about boundaries.

Usually this was a learning process, over weeks or months. I would listen to the client and could hear what kinds of mistakes they were making and we could discuss the situation and options. So, this whole thing takes time and is a learning process.

Cnsl1
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Re: Estabishing Boundries

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed May 25, 2022 12:29 am

Just This Guy wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 11:00 am
Does anyone have recommendations for materials to help someone establish boundaries? It does not need to be Mormon based.
Cinder blocks and cement?

Good fences make good neighbors.

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Linked
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Re: Estabishing Boundries

Post by Linked » Wed May 25, 2022 1:34 pm

alas wrote:
Tue May 24, 2022 7:38 pm
(Great advice)
Sometimes I struggle with interactions with others who don't seem to have their own boundaries figured out or do not voice them. I worry that I am trampling their boundaries, but I don't know because they don't tell me. I feel like I have to guess at their boundaries, and if I'm wrong they feel bad or think I'm an idiot for worrying about something that is not an issue for them.

Do you have any tips for interacting with others who don't have or don't tell you their boundaries?
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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alas
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Re: Estabishing Boundries

Post by alas » Thu May 26, 2022 12:24 pm

Some of us get raised with our boundaries not being respected, and may not learn that they deserve to be treated with respect. Most of the time this lack of boundaries comes from abuse, because all abuse is a lack of respect for boundaries. So, when you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t protect their boundaries, you can easily take advantage, or even accidentally take advantage, so yes sometimes it is hard. This is why abuse gets passed from generation to generation, because those who are used to abuse put up with it because they have been taught it is all they deserve.

The best thing for this is the good old fashioned golden rule. Most boundary issues are just a matter of common respect for the other person as a person. If you don’t like someone telling you how you feel, then don’t do it to them. Even if they have difficulty with it.

And ask, if you ask, then at least they know you care and are trying and that establishes a safe environment for them to learn they can express needs, desires, limits and not have those needs, desires and limits disrespected. It hurts more to tell someone, “please don’t do that,” and then they go ahead and do it anyway, so they may have learned not to say things to avoid the extra hurt of having it ignored.

One issue like this is my father had a way of hurting people by damaging or killing something they liked. So, to stay safe from this kind of abuser, you just never tell them what you like. Favorite rose bush? Don’t let him know or next time he is angry he will dig it up to put in the tree he just bought. He made it look like he needed to do it, so you couldn’t get angry with him for doing it on purpose, but it was on purpose. So, of course, I learned never to say what I liked. Then I married someone who was not abusive. It was a problem, because my husband honestly wanted to know if I had a favorite of something. He had to first of all prove to me that he was safe. Just plain took time of him being safe.

It also helps to understand the how and why of how they learned poor boundaries. My husband learning this thing with my father destroying what we liked helped him teach me how allow myself to even have things I liked, because I had also learned not to get attached to things or pets. At first, I didn’t even know how different aspects of abuse had taught me to protect myself.

See, boundaries can be too soft, like the person who seems to not have boundaries, or too strict or impenetrable. Like boundaries between places can be like between the states in the US, or like the wall between East and West Berlin was. People who have experienced abuse seem to have different reactions. Some put up hard walls to protect themselves, while others just seem to stay in victim mode and never learn to protect themselves. Either way is a problem. Even staying “in victim mode” is what they do as their best survival strategy, so it isn’t weakness, so much as their situation demands it. Or, boundaries can be a mix of too hard and too soft, depending on the situation. For instance, the sexual abuse victim grows up to have sex with anybody (lack of good boundaries) but won’t let anyone emotionally near her, (too strong of boundary)

So, Linked, what it sounds like you may be dealing with, with someone who seems to lack boundaries, but won’t tell you what they are, that sounds like mixed. The not telling you, but making you guess can be that emotional holding back to protect themselves but in other areas, they seem to lack good boundaries.

So, be trustworthy, show respect, apply golden rule unless told otherwise, and be patient. Model good boundaries where you can and understand that sometimes healing from past boundary violation needs to heal. You can point out where you see poor boundaries, if you can do so in a non threatening way. Maintains good boundaries is a learning process. So, help them learn in a loving way.

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Linked
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Re: Estabishing Boundries

Post by Linked » Thu May 26, 2022 1:33 pm

Thanks Alas, this is really helpful.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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