As I’m sitting here thinking about how to write a post about boundary setting, I am pausing a little because I know about three quarters of my current and past clients will think I’m writing about them. Why? Because boundary setting is a skill very few people have mastered. A lot of people struggle with it. The problems is, you teach people how to treat you and when you are boundary-less or have weak boundaries, you will end up training people to treat you poorly. You get what you’re willing to settle for.
I don’t have to go to stories about clients to have harrowing tales of poor boundary setting. Heaven knows, I have enough of my own that I could be the inspiration for a Lifetime Network series. That series would be about the good hearted, compassionate and yet troubled and complicated damsel in distress who found herself the victim of man after man who took advantage of her, lied to her, and stole her heart and anything else that wasn’t nailed down. The problem is, what it looks like, isn’t really true. I wasn’t the victim. I was responsible. I either didn’t have or failed to enforce boundaries. I’m pretty sure my lack of backbone or will could have turned a good man bad. I was training people to treat me like crap with great skill and predictability.
It wasn’t that I didn’t understand what boundaries where. I just couldn’t make them work. A lot of people, both men and women find themselves in that conundrum. So, Why is it so hard? Why is boundary setting such a difficult thing to do? Why does it fail?
Because it’s based on a flawed premise from the very beginning. Traditional boundary setting is all about focusing on what you don’t want and stopping it. The problem is focusing on what you don’t want only produces more of what you don’t want. It really doesn’t matter why you’re focusing on it. It just does. Energy flows where attention goes. So, in most cases boundary setting is doomed, doomed, doomed, before it ever gets implemented or tested.
So if not setting boundaries leads to being treated like sh*t and boundary setting doesn’t work, what gives???
Enlightened boundary setting.
Enlightened boundary setting is about figuring out what you DO want instead of what you DON’T want. Decide very specifically what experiences you want to share with someone and set the bar there. You get to choose. How good to you want it to be?? If things start drifting off script, unplug and try again later, or not. However, when you’re dialed down on what you do want with your clear intention set, you are already about one hundred times more likely to enjoy the ride.
So, if boundary setting is challenging you, here’s a sample script you might want to try.
“I’ve been thinking about our relationship and what I really want here. There is so much good stuff between us, and I want more of that. In fact, I that’s what I expect. I want to experience a fun, light, and genuinely loving connection with you. I’m committed to that. I’m so committed to only experiencing the best of what we can be together, that I’m going not going to do it any other way.
So, if I have to walk away from what’s happening to keep that commitment to myself, I will. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I doesn’t have to mean anything at all really. It simply means, I’ve decided how I want to feel with you and about you, and I won’t settle for anything less.”
The Love Whisperer
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