Not every situation where you need to set boundaries is as harmless as the above two. One of the ways to think about boundaries is from the design of ancient castles.
They have outer barriers and gates to keep out really dangerous situations. Then there are inner sturdy doors that can be locked or guarded against unwanted, but not necessarily dangerous intrusions.
How to guard your emotional castle
You will need a few different types of boundaries:
The deep moat and a drawbridge:
This type of boundary is meant to keep out invaders who mean to harm you. It is a very strong barrier. In real life, this signifies making an appropriate boundary that prevents a mate from physically harming you. The modern equivalent of a moat and drawbridge could be a locked door and an order of protection.
The inner iron gate:
This could be a firm “No” or “Stop that!” when your mate devalues you or tries to bully you.
The beautiful wooden door:
This is your gentle and diplomatic, No, thank you. I would rather not. Let’s do……instead. This is handy for all those times when the boundary is not about protecting yourself from harm but deals with your preferences.
Everyone needs boundaries, even with their loved ones. The basic rules are:
- 1. Realize that you are entitled to have boundaries.
- 2. Make the boundary appropriate to the situation. There are different sorts of boundaries. They range from a definitive—Keep out and never come back—to stating a gentle, but firm preference—Please don’t wake me for morning sex.
- 3. Put up the boundary as nicely as possible.
- 4. Do it whenever you realize you need it.
- 5. Make it about what you need and want, not about how bad your mate is.
- 6. Remind the other person of your boundary, if they forget.
Are you ready and confident to set boundaries with people you love?
Written by: Elinor Greenberg
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today