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You and I. Personal Borders
The border is what separates us from those around us. There are physical boundaries and psychological ones.
In continuation of the topic of addiction, I would like to touch on the topic of personal boundaries. The border is what separates us from those around us. There are physical boundaries and psychological ones.Physical, or external, boundaries belong to material objects - the skin separates our body from the environment and other people, the walls of the house separate our personal space from the public, the right of ownership allows us to separate our things from others.
Psychological, or internal, boundaries allow you to separate your inner world (feelings, thoughts, desires, needs, beliefs, goals) from the inner world of other people..A person feels comfortable if his internal borders are flexible - let in what is useful to him and protect him from what is harmful.
If we imagine the psychological border in the image of a certain circle around a person, then the healthy border is clearly marked and at the same time has a certain door - a kind of filter that recognizes andpasses inside useful for humans, and blocks unnecessary and toxic.
The process of formation of boundaries does not stop throughout life.It is the basis for creative adaptation - finding a balance between satisfying one’s needs and preserving harmonious relations with others.
Psychological boundaries can be in several states:
- Tough- a person perceives any approach to his border as an invasion, and automatically says “no”. It’s incredibly difficult to answer “yes” to another’s offer.. He does not even analyze and does not consider ideas, proposals, options that differ from his ideas.He does not realize that other people have their own, different from him, feelings, desires, needs, goals.Or he realizes, but still he is sure that his position is the most correct.The only way to interact with another is to “break through” the alien frontier, and to impose one’s opinion, decision.
- Blurred- a person is almost not aware of their borders, as if they do not. At the suggestion, the request of another person, he automatically says “yes”, not having time to feel, to analyze whether it is necessary and useful to him what others offer.Often later regrets his agreement, but to say no to him is an almost impossible task..Not aware of their feelings, desires, needs, goals.The only way to interact is to merge with another.
- Flexible- A person is clearly aware of his beliefs, feelings, desires, needs, goals, and at the same time he understands that the other person has his own inner world.He contacts with others at the border, trusting his feelings, and making clear what is suitable for him and what is not. Yes, if he likes the offer, and no, if it causes any discomfort.He respects the borders of another person, therefore, he calmly perceives both consent and refusal..The way to interact with other people is agreement, compromise and freedom of choice.
In adulthood, many people experience discomfort due to the lack of healthy boundaries, they can live for a long time in chronic stress, which often leads to psychosomatic diseases.
The first step to building them can be the realization of the state of the borders at the moment and the fears and prejudices that prevent them from building healthy relationships with others.
Often it can be:
- fear of rejection, loss of relationship,
- fear of being alone
- shame, search for approval, the desire to be good
- fear of judgment, anger from others
- fear of absorption, dissolving yourself in another
- guilt, desire to repay
- fear of destroying a relationship
- inability to be in conflict.
In working with these emotions it is very important to discover their roots. The process of formation of boundaries begins in early childhood, and continues throughout life.
The reason for the violation of the formation of healthy boundaries often becomes their violation by adults, or the lack thereof in their parents.
- when a baby is embraced and kissed, even if he protests;
- when they demand to give their toys to another child, so as not to be greedy;
- when without knocking enter the room;
- when they take a child’s personal belongings without asking for it (read diary, personal messages, check pockets);
- when at first they prohibit, and then, yielding to persuasion, they are allowed;
- when the child is not denied anything, all his desires are satisfied to the detriment of others;
- when a child is taken the right to experience a certain range of emotions (stop crying, stop being angry);
- when the feelings of a child are devalued (this is a trifle, and you should not get upset because of this, it can be worse, you will think, nonsense);
- when they do not give the child the right to choose, they are forced to do what is best for him from the point of view of his parents - there is something he does not like, wear what he does not want, be friends with those who he does not like;
- when using shame, guilt, ignoring, rejecting as a means to manipulate a child in order to achieve the desired behavior.
If the parents had relatively healthy personal boundaries, then the child is likely to have the skill to form equally flexible boundaries.But if the parents themselves did not have this skill, then, accordingly, they could not teach this child. Then a person can form these boundaries at a mature age.
A very important point is the division of responsibility.- each person is responsible for his thoughts, emotions, satisfaction of needs, finally, for his life.You must take responsibility for your life and give it away for someone else.(if someone is depressed or drinks and says that because of you, then it is important to realize that this is his problem, not yours.If you do not have enough money, are not satisfied with the relationship, then it is your responsibility to change the situation, or to tolerate what is).
To contact another person on the border,you can just start giving yourself time to thinkbefore immediately responding automatically to an offer - agree or refuse.And in this pause, try to listen and analyze your feelings.- An indicator can be comfort or discomfort.
It is important not to forget to notice the other, his border, giving him the right to respond with both consent and rejection of the proposal.Developing sensitivity to yourself and others is a basic skill for building healthy boundaries and relationships.
It is also important to recognize that no one should meet other people's expectations and read minds.
Another person is a different world, with a different system of values, beliefs, desires.
These worlds need to know each other and agree -how will we have so that everyone feels comfortable.
But for this it is necessary to say what is permissible and what is categorically unacceptable, what is pleasant, and what is not, what I will do, and what I will not.
That is to voice it, and not to wait for someone to guess.
It is important to be able not only to detect, speak, but also to protect the borders.- be able to be in conflict, if necessary, apply sanctions, up to the end of a relationship, if a person does not hear you and continues to do something that is totally unacceptable for you.
The process of building boundaries is not simple -it happens that the detection and protection of boundaries leads to the fact that relationships break up. But if they are preserved and transformed, then they move to a qualitatively new level, where there is the freedom to be oneself in a relationship, while not suppressing the other.