Having healthy boundaries is a vital part of emotional intelligence. We all have the need to know where we leave off and another person begins. If we don’t create boundaries we are susceptible to the manipulation of others. We are more prone to allow others to use or abuse us.
• It is our responsibility to create boundaries and then to enforce them. Our boundary might be physical:
• You cannot touch me.
• Do not go through my things.
• What is on my cell phone is my business.
• You boundary may be emotional.
• I have a right to keep certain thoughts or feelings to myself.
• You cannot dump your negativity on me.
• I will say no if I need to.
It is when we create a personal boundary and then allow others to cross it that we become angry – usually angry at ourselves. Why do we do this? Many reasons. We want to appear “nice” or we might be afraid of the other person. Maybe we have low self-esteem and don’t feel worthy of having boundaries. Perhaps we have never been taught that we have a right to our thoughts and feelings and behaviors regardless of what others want or need.
Those with no boundaries tend to “people please”. They do what others want and betray their own needs. They lose self-respect and become angry at themselves (but usually are not aware of this).
The people in our lives are simply behaving in a manner in which they can get their needs met. Our response is our choice and only becomes a problem when we put the needs of others first. It is responsible and healthy to honor our own needs. There are those who will try to manipulate us by calling us “selfish” or using the ubiquitous phrases “But I thought you loved me” or “If you were a good friend, you would…..”.
We must stay strong and act in our best interest in spite of the needs of others. It isn’t easy being honest sometimes, but is always healthy to enforce our boundaries and not allow others to weaken our resolve. Healthy boundaries are a hallmark of emotional intelligence. Anger Management Classes help clients learn how to set healthy boundaries and how to sustain them.
Daybreak Counseling Service