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Author Topic: Five Warning Signs Of Unhealthy Boundaries - Steve Safigan  (Read 3540 times)
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« on: March 19, 2010, 10:14:29 AM »

Boundary Issues: 5 Warning Signs Of Unhealthy Boundaries

Steve Safigan





About the Author: Steve Safigan is a motivational speaker for "Foundations".  Foundations sells personal-development workshops. In a two-day workshop the company claims they will teach you to take a look at yourself to find powerful and effective ways to improve your life; honest assessments of how well you’re doing and where you’re holding yourself back; clear understandings of what controls your emotional world and how to better control every area of your life.  Cost: $795 (includes hotel and meals)
www.articlesnatch.com/

"Boundaries are one of the most critical components for establishing healthy relationships. Boundaries are the tools we use to establish who we are and how we want to be treated. Establishing boundaries is a sign of self-respect and ultimately teaches others to treat us with respect.

Yet boundaries are also a common source of conflict and tension. When you aren't clear about your boundaries, it's impossible for other people to recognize and respect your boundaries, which results in them inadvertently taking advantage of you. When your boundaries are violated, you feel a whole host of negative emotions, such as anxiety, irritation, guilt and anger. You may believe that you're being taken advantage of or treated poorly; you may even begin to feel that you are worth less than other people.

The long-term effects of porous boundaries can be severe. You feel increasingly stressed, as you continually choose other people over yourself. You feel guilty for disrespecting yourself and letting other people impose on you. You become increasingly angry, irritable and resentful and find yourself unmotivated to participate in life, even falling into a deep depression. You may become so exhausted and consumed by others' lives that you feel as if you have no life of your own.

The impact on you is merely the beginning. If you dismiss or bury your feelings -- a common reaction among people who struggle to set boundaries -- you'll begin to resent the person who violated your boundaries, and your relationship will grow increasingly tense. A person with healthy boundaries learns to say "yes" without resentment and "no" without guilt.

However, boundaries may cause problems with some people in your life even when you are good at setting and protecting them. "Boundary crashers" are individuals who refuse to respect or even acknowledge a rule that another has set up. These people believe that their needs are more important than the rights of others to say what happens to their bodies, minds, emotions or lives. They will manipulate to get what they want, employing tactics like guilt, anger or force to ensure that their needs are met.

Are Your Boundaries Healthy?

If you've been living with unhealthy or nonexistent boundaries for most of your life, you may struggle to recognize whether your boundaries are healthy. Here are 5 warning signs for which to watch:

1. You feel like you are covering something up or keeping a secret. Not only is this a sign that your boundaries are unhealthy, but it's also likely that you are enabling another person to engage in unhealthy or unproductive behavior. A classic, dramatic example is a woman who hides the physical abuse she suffers at her spouse's hands by making up stories about how she bruised herself by falling down or running into a doorway. Yet secrets can much more mundane. For example, you might tell your neighbor that you're cleaning your teenage son's room because he's been so busy with school and athletics, when in fact, he refuses to clean and you've decided it's less stressful to do the work yourself.

2. You have to do something a certain way or modify your behavior so that someone else can continue an unproductive or unsafe behavior. For example, you must regularly work late and miss family obligations because a co-worker keeps missing her deadlines. Or you can't turn on the television to watch your favorite morning news program because your husband is hung over after yet another late night carousing with friends at the local bar.

By modifying your behavior, you become an enabler -- you make it possible for someone else to continue a negative behavior. Instead, you should establish and maintain your boundary. Doing so will cause the other person discomfort, perhaps enough that he or she would be motivated to examine and change the unproductive behavior.

3. You ignore your own discomfort, anger, anxiety or fear so that someone else can be happy and comfortable. For example, when your partner yells at you, do you request her to not yell at you and offer to talk when emotions aren't as heated, or do you bite your tongue, figuring that it's easier to swallow your anger at being treated disrespectfully vs. possibly angering her even more? Anger, anxiety, fear and other uncomfortable emotions are hard-wired into human beings to help us recognize when our boundaries are being violated. Ignoring your own uncomfortable emotions sends a signal -- to yourself and to others -- that you don't respect yourself. It may work as a short-term strategy for avoiding conflict. But ultimately, it will lead to bigger problems.

4. You sacrifice your own goals, projects and self-care to help others. The root cause of boundary issues is fear. When you have a hard time saying "no," it's typically because you fear losing something, such as approval, status, friendship, future opportunities and the like. If you've reached the point of being resentful when people ask you to do things for them -- even if they are things that should bring you joy -- your boundaries are unhealthy and need to be toughened up.

5. You manipulate to get what you want. This warning sign will resonate with you if you regularly push or violate other people's boundaries -- that is, if you can be honest enough to admit it to yourself.

Manipulation comes in many forms. For instance, you might try getting others to feel guilty for not meeting your demands, such as the mother who tries to make her daughter feel bad for not coming home for the holidays. In some instances, you might find yourself flat-out telling others that they are responsible for you, your results and/or your feelings, such as the emotionally abusive spouse who says he wouldn't have to yell if his wife wouldn't make him so angry. You might also find yourself pouting or having a tantrum because you don't get what you want or repeatedly bugging someone to give you want you want, even after they say no. You may even ridicule or shame others who attempt setting a boundary; after all, if they don't like your behavior, it's their problem.

If you regularly crash boundaries, it's likely that you don't have many meaningful relationships. The people in your life have a hard time trusting you, because you choose to manipulate rather than treating them with love and respect. It's also likely that you've been told more than once -- and perhaps even can admit to yourself -- that you tend to be loud, obnoxious, pushy, rude or, on the flip side, quiet but passively aggressive.

Admitting that you are a boundary violator is difficult. It's difficult to admit to things we don't like to see. It's difficult to admit that we're afraid that we won't get what we want. And it's difficult to believe that you're valuable enough that other people will love and care for you on their own, without you demanding the attention.

The realization that you are a boundary violator often brings up shame and guilt. You know that you haven't treated people with respect, trust and kindness -- the same way you'd like to be treated.

But being a boundary violator is not something to feel ashamed of, nor is having weak boundaries something about which you should be embarrassed. It's simply the way that you learned to do life. You can change -- if you want to. The first, and often hardest, step is admitting that you have boundary issues. Admitting the problem opens space to learn healthier ways to respond to the fears in your life."
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Scarlet Phoenix
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 04:10:12 AM »

An important life-skill is defining and keeping personal boundaries. A lot of us here are unsure how to go about it. We might not know how to define them, nor how to implement them.

One aspect of the process of  creating our boundaries is being aware of the difference between healthy and unhealthy ones. This article points out how to know that our boundaries are unhealthy.

Another aspect is defining our boundaries by our values. Say you have the value that you don't think it's right to cuss or scream at people. A boundary based on this value could be "When someone cusses or screams at me, I will leave the room". Boundaries without values tend to become ultimatums about what other people should do, rather than what we accept and how we will react if our boundary is crossed.

Here are some points that we can talk about to create more awareness on our part:



  • What are some boundaries you have now or that you have had in the past that are actually unhealthy?


  • How did you come to make this a boundary?


  • How can you change that into a healthy one?


  • Which value is it based on?


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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 12:55:09 PM »

GAH! I resemble the "porous boundaries" mentioned in the article!

I used to have the boundary that I would not talk about my husband's behaviors to others that might give someone else a negative view of him.

I thought I was "protecting" him and the way people saw our family and relationship, even though I was really uncomfortable with the drama that would go on in our family.

The way I've changed it is to realize that i'm not responsible for the choices he makes to be loud or belittling etc., and share with close friends who are my support system, and with my grown children, since I really need to be heard and have my needs seen as well. Just because i'm the quieter of the two of us doesn't mean my feelings don't matter!

Hmm... .what value is this built on? I think honesty. I've been a righteous enabler for years, and the truth was, my kids all knew what things were like and so what was I hiding from them anyway? And I deserve to have the support of my friends. And I need to let my husband be responsible for his own behavior.

I've come a long way, but i'm still learning how to define my values and boundaries--I've spent soo many years of my life being the enabler type, first with my uBPD/NPD mother, and then with my uBPDh... .it's too bad I need to change, enabling was one of my best "skills."
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 07:10:36 AM »

Oh geez!  I was all about #4!  I think it stemmed from the belief that doing was more important than being.  I can still hear my mother's words ringing in my ears although she's been gone over a decade... ."do this like a good girl."  I associated what I did for others with being "good" and carried that with me into adulthood. 

The result was several very dysfunctional relationships where I was doing more and more and becoming resentful because I felt it was expected of me.  I never felt that I could do enough. 

Oddly enough, it was my BPDh who pointed out that I was saying yes to things I wanted to say no to and then complaining about it!  I still do too much, but now I choose the things on my "to do list" and if it isn't what others want me to do, so be it... .let them cry and call me a b*#ch.  At least now I can cross things off my list even if they aren't completed because it's my list! 

I'm not sure I answered the question, but hey... .it's my choice!
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 08:37:22 AM »

rockylove-- now that you brought up the numbered points above I had to go back and look. I was all about numbers 1 through 4   The only one I didn't identify with was number 5, since either I'm too honest to manipulate or just not clever enough! Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

It's painful to look back at those points and realize how sucked into those negative patterns I was, but at least it makes me feel a bit better about what I've changed in me.

Scarlet Phoenix,

This from the opening of the article explains so much of my previous victim mentality--I've always struggled with self-worth issues, and have only in the past couple of years begun to accept myself and find that I actually do love myself, and that's been the result of seeing things realistically and firming up my boundaries:

Excerpt
When your boundaries are violated, you feel a whole host of negative emotions, such as anxiety, irritation, guilt and anger. You may believe that you're being taken advantage of or treated poorly; you may even begin to feel that you are worth less than other people.

I would think this would be a common result for most of us to having unhealthy boundaries, not being able to see our own worth?
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 07:06:29 AM »

... .it's too bad I need to change, enabling was one of my best "skills."

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I used to have the boundary that I would not talk about my husband's behaviors to others that might give someone else a negative view of him.

I thought I was "protecting" him and the way people saw our family and relationship, even though I was really uncomfortable with the drama that would go on in our family.

I was exactly the same! Then, like you, I came to realise that I am not helping him by hiding his behaviours. I don't go around telling everyone I know, but I'm not afraid to talk about it with our friends and his family who live close by. It has happened for example that he's been raging and calling me names before going to family functions. Before I would go and pretend nothing was wrong. Now I say that I don't wish to go with someone who talks to me that way and I call and give my excuses saying that dBPDbf has gone off on me and that I'm not going to come. None of them seem to hold this against me. They understand.


I'm not sure I answered the question, but hey... .it's my choice!

He, he, good on you listening to your inner needs and wants!

I've always struggled with self-worth issues, and have only in the past couple of years begun to accept myself and find that I actually do love myself, and that's been the result of seeing things realistically and firming up my boundaries:

Excerpt
When your boundaries are violated, you feel a whole host of negative emotions, such as anxiety, irritation, guilt and anger. You may believe that you're being taken advantage of or treated poorly; you may even begin to feel that you are worth less than other people.

I would think this would be a common result for most of us to having unhealthy boundaries, not being able to see our own worth?

I like that you've been able to firm up your boundaries and taking good care of yourself. The quote rings so true. I struggled with this, too.

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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 02:53:36 PM »

Wow... .I am break all 5 in some way.     Feeling sad... .


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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 03:13:17 PM »

Wow... .I am break all 5 in some way.     Feeling sad... .

Hey Mike76, didn't mean to make you sad. I feel for you. It's shocking to see black on white how what we have learned is the right way to behave is not so healthy and "right" after all. It's a rude awakening, for sure. But also one that we need to find a better way, a healthier way to be in our lives.
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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 05:20:26 PM »

Hey Mike76, didn't mean to make you sad. I feel for you. It's shocking to see black on white how what we have learned is the right way to behave is not so healthy and "right" after all. It's a rude awakening, for sure. But also one that we need to find a better way, a healthier way to be in our lives.

Trust me, you did not make me feel sad, it is more about my situation.   My biggest problem is the following... .If I do anything different I normally do,  set boundaries or stick to my boundaries.  My my wife goes crazy, she calls it surprises, these surprises for her are one of my biggest hurdles. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2013, 10:39:44 AM »

Trust me, you did not make me feel sad, it is more about my situation.   My biggest problem is the following... .If I do anything different I normally do,  set boundaries or stick to my boundaries.  My my wife goes crazy, she calls it surprises, these surprises for her are one of my biggest hurdles. 

I can understand that. I'm sure her reactions to your boundaries are pretty unpleasant to be around. Can you see that she is reacting strongly because when you try to stick to your boundary you're different than before, and less under her control?

I mean that in the nicest way, "under her control". It's just that for her it's scary, or just plain annoying maybe, so she reacts strongly to get you to quit it. But it really doesn't to you any good, either of you. She is probably not able to see that. You are.

Which boundaries have you tried to set and stick to?
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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2013, 05:16:25 PM »

Trust me, you did not make me feel sad, it is more about my situation.   My biggest problem is the following... .If I do anything different I normally do,  set boundaries or stick to my boundaries.  My my wife goes crazy, she calls it surprises, these surprises for her are one of my biggest hurdles. 

"I'd like to be treated with respect--SURPRISE!"

(no offense meant... .but I identify!)
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 09:45:18 AM »

Trust me, you did not make me feel sad, it is more about my situation.   My biggest problem is the following... .If I do anything different I normally do,  set boundaries or stick to my boundaries.  My my wife goes crazy, she calls it surprises, these surprises for her are one of my biggest hurdles. 

"I'd like to be treated with respect--SURPRISE!"

(no offense meant... .but I identify!)

This quote made my day. Thanks Dreamflyer :D
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 11:24:39 AM »

This quote made my day. Thanks Dreamflyer :D

LOL! i'm glad.  We have to keep our sense of humor, right?
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 01:34:12 PM »

Boundaries #3 and #4 are where I tend to get stuck. Not surprisingly, both have elements of putting someone else's needs before my own. There's that caretaker" personality rearing its head again... .
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"Being deceived in effect takes away your right to make accurate life choices based on truth." -- waverider

"Don't try the impossible, as you're sure to become well and truly stuck and require recovery." -- Vintage Land Rover 4X4 driving instructional video
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 01:46:21 PM »

Eyvindr, I think that is or has been a big problem for many of us. Have you been able to change some of this around to better boundaries?
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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »

great article... .I'll be coming back to re read it later this evening... .I should be working. 
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2014, 11:05:35 AM »

I've learned in the time since I last commented on this that I have "overshared" with my adult children. My T says that's not uncommon when you're in a r/s with someone who doesn't hear you and who you can't discuss these sorts of things with... . still my adult children are the wrong choice, since it sets them up to want to "fix" or choose sides, and that's not helpful at all.

At the time I was trying to ascertain whether what my H was doing was as off as I was starting to feel it was, but then when I have had to take a big time out from the marriage (i'm staying with one of our daughters and have been for nearly 3 months after my uBPDh escalated his behavior to a point I didn't feel safe) I saw where my previous sharing caused some confusing dynamics for my kids.

AND WE KEEP LEARNING! Yay for education, therapy, and growth!  At sixty! Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2014, 10:06:53 PM »

Thank you DreamFlyer99 for pointing me to this page. I've learned a lot from what Steve Safigan said about Boundary Issues.

First, thank you for not giving up on me, and for helping me find my way back.

26 years of violation of my heart and soul, not to mention the horrific memories of those initial many years of physical abuse, finally came to a head in my heart on the 31st of March 2014. I almost gave up on life and living... . DreamFlyer99 held on to me and Waverider gave me words of wisdom; they have shown me that i can go on.

But building boundaries is the absolute first. And it isn't easy. Safigan says, 'The root cause of boundary issues is fear.' That dreadful day finally, once and for all, fear just left me - i felt totally destroyed and got very, very sad and upset that i had been reduced to this ultimate point. The whole day went by in tears and suffering, and finally i was sure about one thing - if i had to die, this was not the way i was going to die. And suddenly fear left me. I was a hundred percent sure in my mind and totally determined that this person, my H, was not going to be the cause of my death... . enough hurt had already happened inside.

But, the next step, believe me is not easy at all. Having suddenly become free of fear opened the road to re-establishing myself. And that meant creating a boundary which i would NOT let him cross. That i was very clear about. I can see that he is wondering what happened, and is trying to bait me but i am just not letting go. I just walk away or tell him i do not want to talk and force-force-force my mouth to stay shut to prevent the words from spilling out.

Again, i'm so grateful Safigan has clarified this: 'Anger, anxiety, fear and other uncomfortable emotions are hard-wired into human beings to help us recognize when our boundaries are being violated. Ignoring your own uncomfortable emotions sends a signal -- to yourself and to others -- that you don't respect yourself. It may work as a short-term strategy for avoiding conflict. But ultimately, it will lead to bigger problems.' Bigger problems, of  totally losing all sense of self-esteem, self-respect, and worse, the confidence to do things on our own... . or even to think a simple thought on our own... . that is the worst.

The thing is that this approval, status, future opportunities, and even friendships that we are so afraid of losing - i've realized that if i'm so afraid of losing these, better not to have them at all. Because, really, how many people really CARE? Care enough to a) not give up on you and b) force you to get back on the road. One person who knows what you are going through, empathises with you and holds your hand as you go through the tortuous process of looking inside of yourself and creating a new you is enough. Real friends boost your confidence in yourself.

It is the fear issue - besides the fears from the outside, there is also the fear of facing yourself on the inside, because you have to honestly do that, and chances are that you may find something that is not so wonderful and which needs removing/changing/reforming/reworking... .

It's not easy - i am struggling with this - but believe me, i can actually breathe freely now and best is i am not afraid... .
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2014, 01:53:47 PM »

Lilibeth, you said this:

Excerpt
Having suddenly become free of fear opened the road to re-establishing myself. And that meant creating a boundary which i would NOT let him cross. That i was very clear about. I can see that he is wondering what happened, and is trying to bait me but i am just not letting go. I just walk away or tell him i do not want to talk and force-force-force my mouth to stay shut to prevent the words from spilling out.

and I want to happy dance! This is a HUGE step forward! So well done.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This way lies freedom of spirit.

Your fellow traveler,

dreamflyer99
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2014, 08:49:04 PM »

Oh DreamFlyer99, those words mean a great deal to me... . balm for my heart and strengthening my resolve... .

Thank you so much. It's so good to have a fellow traveller like you - this journey is long and hard and painful to go it alone.

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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2014, 06:21:03 PM »

Excerpt
The long-term effects of porous boundaries can be severe. You feel increasingly stressed, as you continually choose other people over yourself. You feel guilty for disrespecting yourself and letting other people impose on you. You become increasingly angry, irritable and resentful and find yourself unmotivated to participate in life, even falling into a deep depression. You may become so exhausted and consumed by others' lives that you feel as if you have no life of your own.

This is a key issue for many of us living with a loved one who suffers with BPD.

And here is the boundary you are working to strengthen, right Lilibeth?

Excerpt
3. You ignore your own discomfort, anger, anxiety or fear so that someone else can be happy and comfortable. For example, when your partner yells at you, do you request her to not yell at you and offer to talk when emotions aren't as heated, or do you bite your tongue, figuring that it's easier to swallow your anger at being treated disrespectfully vs. possibly angering her even more? Anger, anxiety, fear and other uncomfortable emotions are hard-wired into human beings to help us recognize when our boundaries are being violated. Ignoring your own uncomfortable emotions sends a signal -- to yourself and to others -- that you don't respect yourself. It may work as a short-term strategy for avoiding conflict. But ultimately, it will lead to bigger problems.


this is the area where i'm working to strengthen my boundaries as well. Only where you are working to keep yourself from striking back with your words, I have always been more of a "hider," the one who has internalized them to the detriment of my own health, both mental and physical.

So to answer the question of "how i'm changing an unhealthy boundary to a healthy one" rather than taking what I think is a short term answer and swallowing my own needs and feelings, I am striving to become a more Truthful person. I can still say the Truth in kindness and love, for instance when my uBPDh is belittling me, "I'm going for a walk right now, and if we can discuss this respectfully i'm more than happy to revisit your concerns." Calmly. I need to say it calmly. If I expect him to be respectful, I need to show I can be respectful as well.
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2014, 08:22:33 AM »

Excerpt
Are Your Boundaries Healthy?

If you've been living with unhealthy or nonexistent boundaries for most of your life, you may struggle to recognize whether your boundaries are healthy. Here are 5 warning signs for which to watch:

1. You feel like you are covering something up or keeping a secret. Not only is this a sign that your boundaries are unhealthy, but it's also likely that you are enabling another person to engage in unhealthy or unproductive behavior. A classic, dramatic example is a woman who hides the physical abuse she suffers at her spouse's hands by making up stories about how she bruised herself by falling down or running into a doorway. Yet secrets can much more mundane. For example, you might tell your neighbor that you're cleaning your teenage son's room because he's been so busy with school and athletics, when in fact, he refuses to clean and you've decided it's less stressful to do the work yourself.

I should have won an academy award.

No one knew. I always covered for him, cleaned up all his messes, and made excuses.

I was boundary-less

Excerpt
2. You have to do something a certain way or modify your behavior so that someone else can continue an unproductive or unsafe behavior. For example, you must regularly work late and miss family obligations because a co-worker keeps missing her deadlines. Or you can't turn on the television to watch your favorite morning news program because your husband is hung over after yet another late night carousing with friends at the local bar.

Walk on egg shells when he was having a tantrum or watching his favorite sports team, God forbid they lose.

Ask questions the right way, shut up and not cause waves, etc.

Over 25 years, he squashed the "me" out of me... .

AND *I* was foolish enough to listen to bad advice and allow it.

Excerpt
By modifying your behavior, you become an enabler -- you make it possible for someone else to continue a negative behavior. Instead, you should establish and maintain your boundary. Doing so will cause the other person discomfort, perhaps enough that he or she would be motivated to examine and change the unproductive behavior.

SO VERY TRUE!

I told exh "your dad is the way he is because he has been allowed to act the way he acts for so many years. God help the person that puts him in his place... .he will lose his mind".

I see the mistakes I made in my past... .and that line in the sand will now be accompanied with a MOTE full of ALLIGATORS ! If someone tries to cross my boundary line?

I will turn the page immediately.

Excerpt
3. You ignore your own discomfort, anger, anxiety or fear so that someone else can be happy and comfortable. For example, when your partner yells at you, do you request her to not yell at you and offer to talk when emotions aren't as heated, or do you bite your tongue, figuring that it's easier to swallow your anger at being treated disrespectfully vs. possibly angering her even more? Anger, anxiety, fear and other uncomfortable emotions are hard-wired into human beings to help us recognize when our boundaries are being violated. Ignoring your own uncomfortable emotions sends a signal -- to yourself and to others -- that you don't respect yourself. It may work as a short-term strategy for avoiding conflict. But ultimately, it will lead to bigger problems.

I did. I knew if I left him in 96, he'd pick some trash queen to hook up with and I did NOT want my kids subjected to that.

So I ate it. And I'd do it all over again, because my 3 are truly amazing people today (all young adults).

BUT I will NEVER EVER EVER do this again... .this is the 'chip by chip, bit by bit whittling away of one's soul and self, to be completely under another's abusive control. Never again.

Excerpt
4. You sacrifice your own goals, projects and self-care to help others. The root cause of boundary issues is fear. When you have a hard time saying "no," it's typically because you fear losing something, such as approval, status, friendship, future opportunities and the like. If you've reached the point of being resentful when people ask you to do things for them -- even if they are things that should bring you joy -- your boundaries are unhealthy and need to be toughened up.

Yes, I put my life on a shelf to raise my kids, and I do NOT regret that one second.

YES fear IS a driving factor. I never wanted to be like my parents (especially my mom) so I had a lot of fear... .

NOW that the kids are raised, and they are all on the right track (train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it) AND now that I am on my own I WILL NEVER EVER tolerate this kind of abuse again.

My boundaries will be firm, direct, and verbalized.

Excerpt
5. You manipulate to get what you want. This warning sign will resonate with you if you regularly push or violate other people's boundaries -- that is, if you can be honest enough to admit it to yourself.

Manipulation comes in many forms. For instance, you might try getting others to feel guilty for not meeting your demands, such as the mother who tries to make her daughter feel bad for not coming home for the holidays. In some instances, you might find yourself flat-out telling others that they are responsible for you, your results and/or your feelings, such as the emotionally abusive spouse who says he wouldn't have to yell if his wife wouldn't make him so angry. You might also find yourself pouting or having a tantrum because you don't get what you want or repeatedly bugging someone to give you want you want, even after they say no. You may even ridicule or shame others who attempt setting a boundary; after all, if they don't like your behavior, it's their problem.

I was manipulated with gaslighting, his behavior (pouting, whining, temper tantrums, silent treatment, eye rolling, disgusting face scrunching ETC... .)... .it was my lack of boundaries that allowed him to manipulate me for so long.

Moving forward, this will not happen again.

I have learned so much. God has protected me, SO much!

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downwhim
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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2014, 09:38:46 AM »

I am all about number 5. I put everybody's needs ahead of my own. Ms. Enabler. This coming year is all about what I can do for myself. I just wrote in my journal and spelled out these goals for the coming year. Basically after raising 3 kids, 22 years of marriage and then 8 with my exBPD it is my turn to be cared for.

I set boundaries with my exBPD and boy did they backfire. I told him every time I he yelled or went into a rage I would leave. I did. He was shocked. About the 4th time I took off I got the break up email a day and a half later. I stirred up his abandonment issues when I left each time but I had to get out of there. No one respects you when they are screaming at you. Nothing gets accomplished. He told me to "man up and handle it." Well, that was his way of denying his illness.

I need to work more on boundaries.
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« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2014, 09:47:01 AM »

Oh yes, I walked on eggshells too. If football was on it was his time. Sprawled out on the sectional couch, tv loud, yelling and I agree if his team lost, look out! Temper tantrums, moody, swearing, pouting, anger. All over a stupid game! You would think he was on the team playing and guess what I think he is so delusional that he thinks he is right there! It has made me hate football!

I too hid his abuse from my friends and family. They sensed it though because the recognized that he was so intense. They were afraid for me and asked many times if he was physical. No, but his words hurt more than any blow. He could destroy my self esteem quickly.
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2014, 11:51:54 AM »

This is very interesting... .one thing that I have noticed is that when I am not clear about my boundaries and then they are (knowingly or unknowingly) violated over a period of time, I reach a point when I do try and say "hey, this is a boundary!" It ends up "HEY THIS IS A BOUNDARY!" Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Finding that I do that particularly often with my uBPDsister. I'm working with a therapist to try to utilize the anxiety, anger and fear that comes with loving a BPD to establish healthy boundaries.
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2014, 12:04:08 PM »

I think I am a little guilty of 1-4,  but how do you set a boundary for cheating other than ending the relationship?
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2014, 07:58:21 PM »

I set boundaries with my exBPD and boy did they backfire. I told him every time I he yelled or went into a rage I would leave. I did. He was shocked. About the 4th time I took off I got the break up email a day and a half later. I stirred up his abandonment issues when I left each time but I had to get out of there. No one respects you when they are screaming at you. Nothing gets accomplished. He told me to "man up and handle it." Well, that was his way of denying his illness.

I think that's the make it or break it moment, seeing how the other person responds to our boundaries. It increased the acting out of my uBPDh too, and made my decision to leave very clear to me!
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2014, 09:25:16 AM »

... .The older daughter is another story.  She has been very passive aggressive, not very welcoming, and I find her level of energy and loudness rather overwhelming. She also pushes some of my personal buttons.  We are polite to each other but it is very awkward and I fear she and I may never make a connection.  Neither of us trusts the other so there is no foundation for a true friendship at this point... .

I wrote the above description of my relationship with my SO's older daughter and later was reading about boundaries.

Excerpt
If you regularly crash boundaries, it's likely that you don't have many meaningful relationships. The people in your life have a hard time trusting you, because you choose to manipulate rather than treating them with love and respect. It's also likely that you've been told more than once -- and perhaps even can admit to yourself -- that you tend to be loud, obnoxious, pushy, rude or, on the flip side, quiet but passively aggressive.

Wow... .just wow... .weird stuff happens around here sometimes.  So it sounds like I'm gonna have to have strong boundaries around this daughter.  This will be challenging for me.  I have good boundaries in general but they do get softer the closer the relationship is to me.  I will admit that I fear conflict with this daughter will cause problems with her dad and me (my own insecurity... .not necessarily reality)

I appreciate all the information on this site  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
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« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2015, 01:07:04 AM »

I set boundaries with my exBPD and boy did they backfire. I told him every time I he yelled or went into a rage I would leave. I did. He was shocked. About the 4th time I took off I got the break up email a day and a half later. I stirred up his abandonment issues when I left each time but I had to get out of there. No one respects you when they are screaming at you. Nothing gets accomplished. He told me to "man up and handle it." Well, that was his way of denying his illness.

I think that's the make it or break it moment, seeing how the other person responds to our boundaries. It increased the acting out of my uBPDh too, and made my decision to leave very clear to me!

Mine too.  I wonder, now that I've been reading through this website for the past many months and see how pwBPD flee r/ss, would he have eventually left me bc he couldn't handle me standing up to him?  He would have either left me or beat me/killed me, one way or another, it was going to end bad.  When it became crystal clear that he was never going to allow me to have boundaries or live by my own values I knew it was time to leave.
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Married2monster

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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2015, 09:32:47 PM »

WOW.  

The long-term effects of porous boundaries can be severe. You feel increasingly stressed, as you continually choose other people over yourself. You feel guilty for disrespecting yourself and letting other people impose on you. You become increasingly angry, irritable and resentful and find yourself unmotivated to participate in life, even falling into a deep depression. You may become so exhausted and consumed by others' lives that you feel as if you have no life of your own.

BINGO!

I need to print that entire post and put it on my bathroom mirror.  Actually I should have a copy in every room!  And the car... .my purse... .Idea
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