We here at the Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center have one premise in place: That premise is that Healthy Boundaries equal Healthy Relationships. How does one know if one holds true to Healthy Boundaries? Examine what Healthy Boundaries are: They are guidelines, rules and limits that are reasonable, safe and permissible. You, as an autonomous individual, identify and develop the guidelines, rules and limits that determine how you will respond to others and how they will interact with you. This development requires work and constant attention to the way that you interact with family, lovers, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The reward is well worth the effort because when one’s personal boundaries are healthy boundaries, one’s sense of self and unique identity is enhanced. A sense of self and identity contributes to “who you are” and reduces the gap between your ideal self and your real self.
Where do these “boundaries” lie? My clinical experience reveals that they lie in four domains: Physical Boundaries, followed by Psychological Boundaries, followed by Mental Boundaries and finally Spiritual Boundaries. They operate in two directions: outgoing interactions between yourself and others and incoming interactions between others and you. The day to day attention to all of the four domains and how one is interacting should be the in constant focus. The goal is not to keep everyone at a distance. No, that is a rigid boundary. Nor is the goal to become too involved with everyone. No, that is a porous boundary. So how does one craft a health boundary? How does one strike that balance and not fall prey to a rigid or porous boundary?
How to have Healthy Boundaries
- Value your own opinion. Yes, your unique perspective based on sound logic.
- Do not compromise your values for others. Remember use assertive communication.
- Balance well when sharing personal information. Determine what is the nature of the relationship with the person with which you are sharing.
- Determine what your personal needs are and communicate them.
- Accept when another cannot or will not meet your needs. That is, perhaps, their boundary.
In my next blog I will describe the hallmarks of both Rigid Boundaries and Porous Boundaries.
Edward L. Oriole L.C.P.C. C.A.D.C. N.C.C.
Staff at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center
3205 N. Wilke Rd suite 112 tel. 847 253 9769
Arlington Heights Il 60004