Boundaries are not just in cricket
Two types of Boundaries
“She’s too sensitive, I only have to say one thing and she takes it the wrong way, she blows it all out of proportion.”
“Mate, I need some help,” the voice on the other end of the phone said.
John and Susan
A young couple (John & Susan) I recently worked with was having major problems in their relationship. He said she was too thin-skinned, she said he’s too controlling and always puts her down. Not an unusual situation.
John had issues relating to his past, not being recognised for his worth or value as a child. John felt the need to put Susan down to make himself feel superior and in control. That part of the story is for another day.
The point of this post is to talk about boundaries or lack thereof.
When I met Susan, a tall athletically built young lady, who looked really healthy, well dressed and obviously took a great deal of time on her appearance, I asked her what the issues are? “He says I’m too fat”
I will ‘fess up at this point, I did smile inside. How is it, that someone who epitomises health and well-being can honestly believe she is too fat or over weight. Susan actually considered joining weight watchers, and she was serious.
Different types of boundaries
There are a number of issues at play, but the main one I’d like to talk about is a lack of psychological boundaries. Susan was too vulnerable.
There are two types of boundaries we need to enforce: Psychological boundaries and Physical boundaries.
Physical boundaries (also incorporating sexual boundaries) are your right to insist on your own personal space and also respecting the same for others. They don’t touch you or intrude into your personal space without your consent and vice versa. That can also include intrusive behaviour regarding checking the phone, emails or spying.
The easiest way to describe your Psychological boundary is it’s from the skin back inside. Your skin keeps the hurtful stuff out and your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in. It should be up to you what you allow out or allow in. It’s where you end and the world begins.
Susan’s problem was that almost anything that was said to her went straight through and registered, then she embodied it. Susan’s sense of worth and value (self-esteem) played a big part in this. When we started giving her the tools to strengthen her sense of worth, her containment lines also became stronger. She was better able to set appropriate boundaries and protect them.
If you’re interested in learning more about self-esteem or setting appropriate boundaries call me now.