16 February 2009

So That's Why...!

A very quick note before moving on to soft boundaries.

In replying to a commenter on the last post, I pointed out that hard boundaries create emotional distance... that in fact this is one of their purposes.

This is true. The point of setting a hard boundary is to protect oneself, and quite often the protection is emotional in nature.

I want to quickly add, here, that this is the source of the "Beattie Effect" - I call it that because, in my readings anyway, Melody Beattie first articulated it.

To wit: "It is impossible to set a boundary while simultaneously taking care of the other person's feelings."

That is true, and this is why. If the purpose of a hard boundary is to create emotional distance, then of course one cannot simultaneously reduce emotional distance [caretake the other's feelings] while doing so.

This probably seems boringly obvious to everyone reading - but to me, at the moment, it feels like quantum physics.


Blogger CZBZ said...

"This probably seems boringly obvious to everyone reading - but to me, at the moment, it feels like quantum physics."

Your comment made me smile, ha!

There is nothing boringly obvious about this to me, either. By the time I had to enforce the strictest boundary in my life (divorce), I wasn't sure where I ended and my spouse began.

Learning about healthy boundaries was such a relief after always feeling guilty for saying "NO".

Besides, I think most people struggle with knowing where and when to draw the line. We don't want to hurt another person's feelings...but once they see that we are willing to RESPECT their boundaries without taking offense, the relationship can progress to an even deeper friendship.

This is what I'm learning at my old age...and it's not boring at all. In fact, it's amazing. A whole new world awakens when we respect ourselves and OUR right to define boundary lines. It's a fair way to tell people 'who' we are and then they are free to determine whether or not they want a relationship.



24 February, 2009 13:51  

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