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Emotional Boundaries are:
A set, clear line between what is me and what is not me.
Your own invisible force field that you are in charge of protect
Our way of determining our own thoughts, feelings, and needs
What we will accept from others and what we will not
Who I am, what I am responsible for and what I am not responsible for.
I am responsible for my happiness, my behavior, my choices, my feelings. I am not responsible for others happiness, other’s behaviors, other’s choices, and other’s feelings.
Types of Emotional Boundaries:
Loose - nothing to contribute, yes person, looks to others to know how to feel and act
Rigid - wants control, black/white, scared to make mistakes, superior
Flexible - shares contribution and control, seeks and accepts guidance, takes risks but knows when to say no
Boundaries will differ depending on the relationship: romantic partnerships, parent-child, employer-employee, friendships but boundary patterns can be consistent across relationships
The Rescuer/Victim dynamic:
People with poor boundaries typically come in two flavors:
Those who take too much responsibility for the emotions/actions of others (rescuer)
Those who expect others to take too much responsibility for their own emotions/actions. (victim)
People who blame others for their own emotions and actions (victim) do so because they believe that if they put the responsibility on those around them, they’ll receive the love they’ve always wanted and needed. If they constantly paint themselves as a victim, eventually someone will come to save them.
People who take the blame for other people’s emotions and actions are always looking to save someone. They believe that if they can “fix” their partner, then they will receive the love and appreciation they’ve always wanted.
How to Set Healthy Emotional Boundaries:
Communicate your thoughts with one another - say no – to tasks you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do and say yes when you need help
Say thank you with no apology, regret or shame.
Protect your time – don’t overcommit.
Ask for space – we all need our own time.
Speak up if you feel uncomfortable with how someone is treating you or your needs are being infringed upon.
Honor what is important to you by choosing to put yourself first.
Drop the guilt and responsibility for others.
Share personal information gradually and in a mutual way (give and take).
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Blue Sage Counseling and Wellness, and the information provided by Ashley Francis, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Ashley Francis is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.