Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Why are healthy boundaries an essential part of anger management?

By Devora Donohoo

Healthy boundaries allow a person limitations and guidelines to live their life by. The idea that love is unconditional, throughout whatever hardship or trial, is a fairy-tale fantasy and is unfortunately an unhealthy way to approach relationships. Self-preservation within a relationship, basically providing a balance between separateness and togetherness, is what relationship experts agree is the key to a long-lasting relationship. In simple words, this means that a person withholds their own identity within the relationship, including their values, standards, and expectations. A person with healthy boundaries will have values that they will not compromise regardless of the situation.

Again, how does this relate to anger management? For example, if a person sets a boundary that aggression, name-calling, degrading remarks, and other forms of abuse is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, they will hold that standard in a relationship. By openly expressing a person’s boundaries early in the relationship, their partner is able to clearly know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Communication will help prevent feelings of resentment and possible underlying anger.

The bottom line is abuse, whether it be physical, verbal or emotional, is unacceptable in any form and should not have a part in a relationship. If you commit to that boundary of never allowing aggression or degrading remarks in your relationship, you will help preserve yourself and your relationship.

Devora Donohoo M.A. is a certified anger management instructor and teaches anger management classes at Daybreak Counseling service.

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