I thought a little more explanation on boundaries would be helpful.
Boundaries define people and relationships. Did you know there is a difference between a friendship, a professional relationship, a client relationship, a dating relationship, a marriage? What defines the differences in these relationships? Boundaries!
Positive relationships meet certain mutual needs for the people involved. What needs are met by a great friendship? A strong marriage? A positive client relationship?
The needs that are met and the the joys that come from positive relationships cease when the boundaries that define relationship are breeched. You can’t believe that a certain relationship will ever be the same once the boundaries are changed or broken. A friendship-turned-dating-turned-marriage relationship is a natural progression. But there is no denying that the boundaries change, in many ways irreversibly so. That’s great for a couple that has counted the costs, decided that such a transition will meet the needs and wants of each, and dedicated themselves to making it work. However, in this kind of transition or other kinds of personal relationships, manipulation and coercion will ruin the relationship irreparably.
How are healthy boundaries in relationships formed? When individuals involved have a strong sense of their values, needs and wants; advocate for themselves to meet those standards; are willing to give to the relationship; are willing to have the relationship be an end in itself; and make decisions about the relationship together.
The self-advocating part of positive boundaries shows integrity; the self-sacrificing part shows generosity; and the mutuality part shows respect. All of these are essential in positive relationships.
Where are you? Do you need higher integrity? Generosity? Respect? What would make your relationships or those you observe stronger and more mutually beneficial?
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