Dysfunctional families use rigid or chaotic boundaries. Rigid limitations punish, intimidate, and control, imposing strict rules and regulations on family members and often crushing their souls. Members of those families usually end up emotionally cut off from their hearts, unyielding, and angry at life.
Chaotic families, on the other hand, exercise no boundaries, invading one another’s emotional, physical, and mental spaces. There is no room for individuality.
Both rigid and chaotic lines of power violate individuals’ wants, needs, and rights by forcibly opposing or utterly ignoring them. Family members rarely feel safe or cared for, so they don’t develop a solid sense of their own identity.
Healthy boundaries are adaptable and flexible physical, emotional, and psychological constructs. Limits create and maintain one another’s identity to feel safe in the world. While they may be flexible, boundaries help us set perimeters so we can be in functional relationships that enrich, support, and inspire us. When we respect ourselves and set good mental and physical limits with others, we give ourselves a protected space that lets our unique abilities and characteristics bloom into our full potential. This form of self-care, in turn, invites us to love an equally unique other in safe and functional ways.
Setting limitations in your relationships shows self care and respect. Where do you need to improve on creating balance safety in your life? Is it your boss, family member or friend? How can you constructively say to set those boundaries? What is the best way to say it? When is the best time to say it?
Are you tolerating something in your relationship that you resent because you don’t want to upset your partner? If so, tell your truth and what would help to make you feel safe. Speaking with an open heart helps you and your partner feel safe.
Be willing to listen to your partner’s need for boundaries and to be flexible when necessary. Good boundaries make good friends, lovers, family members, and demonstrate love for your self.