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boundaries vs respect & sharing
September 4, 2005
1:17 am
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Neshema
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I am concerned about this fad about boundaries. Whatever happened to what we used to call old fashioned respect. When people treat people with respect and dignity, we don't need all our armor up. Further, I am concerned that boundaries are getting so strong that people are unwilling and afraid to share. We protect ourselves by retreating into a shell. This leads to intimacy problems...okay, just a thought for discussion. I just think we are getting carried away with the boundary thing.

September 4, 2005
1:17 am
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Neshema
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unless I am missing something here and someone can enlighten me.

September 4, 2005
1:25 am
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lost and found
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being codependent means you have lousy boundries, hidden resentment, walls, ... having boundries makes it more real, it lets someone know who you really are

September 4, 2005
8:54 am
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Anonymous
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or is it that, in being codependant, we don't have enough respect for ourselves to insist on boundaries? i'm asking, not telling, i'm feeling my way in the dark, too.

September 4, 2005
11:11 am
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I think boundaries is a confusing term to use, kind of like "detaching". I get confused on both.

I think that what it essentially means is "demand respect" - for our feelings, our wants, our needs.

when someone does something that hurts us, we should be demanding respect and recognition that they did us wrong - or if we want something or need something, that we deserve the respect and that our needs and wants are met.

if we are uncomfortable with a situation - setting boundaries is equal to saying - I am uncomfortable with that, could you please stop out of respect for my feelings - and then having it happen - and having consequences if it doesn't.

don't cheat on me - or I will leave you - is a boundary, but is also a respect issue - set the boundary, or rule - even if it's obvious, then ENFORCE it - and make the consequences stick if not.

I think that we lose respect for ourselves and let people walk all over us - we set rules, but then bend them - then cry that people take advantage of us - and it's our own fault.

dunno if that helps.

still struggling with detachment - if you can help me with that one, I would appreciate thoughts.

September 4, 2005
12:45 pm
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Neshema
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the boundary-detachment-forgiveness stuff gets confusing, because, if you MUST DEMAND respect from someone who constinually does you harm or even someone who has done something once that is unthinkable, how do you forgive? You can pretend to forgive and move on, and if you cared about that person, you can try to detach and forgive and set boundaries, but come on? Is this realistic? It seems to me, sometimes either there is respect or not, and if someone violates it so badly, you have to walk...end of story.

September 4, 2005
2:45 pm
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bonni
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I think part of the problem is that when we are unclear at some point in the relationship about what's ok and what's not, it gets harder and harder to clarify things. I guess its kind of like having sex and not telling your partner what feels good and what doesn't. Or maybe more like having friends who don't call before they come visit. If you tell them, the first time or two that you need them to call first, they should get it. if you wait a year, its going to be a big problem, because all this time it bothered you and didn't say anything because you didn't clarify that boundary. for some reason, we are afraid to tell people the truth about the way we want to be treated or maybe we don't feel like we have the right. As children, we weren't able to do this and maybe some of us haven't learned how. I think that's part of it for me.

September 4, 2005
4:10 pm
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My frustration in setting boundaries is the reaction I get from people. I get called a nag, a b**ch, multi-personality psycho. or I must be PMSing. And it's all because normally I am TOO nice, TOO thoughtful, TOO selfless, TOO giving. And then when the selfish bastard's in my life see something different, they freak. All of a sudden, everything isn't all about THEM anymore! And they can't stand it. I'm tired of being the one who always ends up with the crumbs. I'm standing up for myself for once in my life, and if someone doesn't like it, they are free to go! In fact, I think I would prefer that they do just that, and not let the door hit them in the ass on the way out:)

September 4, 2005
4:34 pm
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Neshema
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bonni and plz-

Thanks for the posts. Lots to think about. Yeah, this week at work, I had to tell a co-worker to stop treating my students & me (I am a prof) disrepectfully privately and in public, and from now on what I expected. He didn't get it, and it escalated, and I had to get harsh. Well, it ended up with him apologizing to me and now he is acting withing my "boundaries," but I surely expect sooner or later he will need to be reminded not to cross the verbal abuse line. I guess that is a boundary issue. And, plz, yes I am sure he thinks I am a major 100 lb b*tch. Oh, well...I am not happy with the situation, having trouble forgiving, but I see it as more his issue than mine (although it becomes mine when I don't set boundaries).

Well, that is all fine and good with non-romantic relationships. It becomes a much more difficult issue with romantic relationships or even non-romantic relationships where the person just refuses to accept your boundaries and you must work with or be with (e.g., a family member) the person on a continuous basis. When that person continues to violate your trust, treats you poorly, and you cannot get out of the situation, or you don't want to (as many of us hang on for other reasons), it becomes a tricky business.

Finally, when dealing with another CODA and that person has such major boundaries, because he has been so severely damaged in the past, that it causes intimacy problems, how do you explain to him that it is really has lack of forgiveness of other persons whom have hurt him that he is making me pay for? Okay, I think that was a run-on sentence...sorry, but I am not at school today! 🙂 Thanks for helping me sort out these concepts.

Nesh

September 4, 2005
5:27 pm
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Anonymous
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Nesh,

I think at some level, everyone needs to be reminded of what respect is. I think that in today's society, it has gotten so "me me me" that people don't realize they are overstepping someone else's boundaries with their own stupidity.

yeah, you did good by telling that other person to stop abusing you and your students - GOOD JOB! but yeah, it's not easy cuz when we go from a doormat to "do not tread on me" - they are confused and think they can talk us down off our demands or they don't even realize they are offending anyone, so when we point it out, they get their backs up, their defenses kick in.

and most people WILL need reminders, but typically, they will only need gentle reminders, as opposed to having to reexplain it all over again.

You can't change that a person is rude and mean - but you can change how you react and if you allow yourself to be abused - if a gentle reminder doesn't stop it, then you have complete control over walking away and ending the conversation.

yeah, I know about what you mean about being WITH the person you are codependent with and setting boundaries - cuz that was my problem I asked about earlier - how do you go to bed at night, sleep next to them and still love them even though you are fighting to "detach", even though you are angry for the wrongs they have committed against you, and how do you set boundaries that they are unwilling to respect - and the fallout that ensues.

I think that the bottom line is that once we are AWARE that these people are violating our boundaries that they do not not respect us, tho we completely make them aware of it, and demand respect - that we either accept them, warts and all, and get over it, or we move on and let them go, realizing that's why we let them go, cuz we deserve respect and are not getting it.

You can't make another CODA person trust you - or become intimate with you - you need to build the intimacy and trust - and that could take time - they shouldn't make you pay for the wrongs others have committed, but then again, you can't make them change their views on this - only point out that they are doing it and that it hurts you that you have to pay for it - and see if they can at least focus on "the here and now" and "you and you alone" - but in the end, if they don't, you can't fix it.

hope this helps.

when I learn more, I will share - if I figure out any other way to say it, I will share too - cuz I struggle.

it seems that eveyrthing points to us ending these unhealthy relationships - either that or continue to be a doormat and stop crying about it - if we choose it and we communicate and it doesn't get better, then we can't fix it, so "detach" and "let it go" and then continue to deal with it. Otherwise, get rid of them.

September 4, 2005
6:17 pm
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Neshema
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Ali-

Awesome response! I am going to read this over and over.

Nesh

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