On a recent flight to Ft. Lauderdale a woman with a two-year-old could not get the tantruming child to stay in a seat belt. The woman was given five minutes from the crew to remedy the situation before the plane would have to return to the gate to let them off. She told the screaming and kicking child things like, "Mommy would like you to sit in your seat belt." "Oh look out the window is that a birdie? He would like you to sit in your seat belt." "Look how good Mommy is sitting in her seat belt." (This is a true story - no lie.) Forty-five minutes later the crew finally took her back to the gate whereby she was saying to the child, "Mommy is going to take us off the plane now. Good job letting Mommy help you put on your sweater." Moral of this story? One lesson could be: Make sure your kid doesn't date that kid in 15 years.
Another lesson could be this: Boundaries help us maneuver through life with a code of honor that serves as a roadmap to peace. If you find that others have little respect for boundaries around you the best thing you can do is first analyze how you respect the boundaries of others.
If you have no boundaries with others (break into conversations, don't respect others' opinions, put your expectations above those of others, are overtly disruptive to get what you want), chances are you will have a difficult time when others do this to you and the cycle will continue. If you have been surrounded by people with poor boundaries you may not have had the opportunity to develop healthy boundaries for yourself.
Defining Better Boundaries
1. Know what healthy boundaries are. The barometer? If you feel good around that person, you have healthy boundaries around you and they respect them. If you don't, you have to make the change. Not them. And MAYBE they will change. But more likely you will find healthier people to spend time with.
2. Understand where you fit in the Drama Triangle and what you will change. Are you a Victim, a Persecutor or a Rescuer.
3. Know when and how to say, "No." In personal and professional situations people often have a difficult time saying, "No." If what you are being asked to do is something that will be important for you to know or be able to do in three years, then it may be a good thing. If not, then find a way to walk away without appearing negative. "That sounds like an important component of the project but I am focused right now on this aspect that needs to be completed." Or "I can tell that this is important to you but I am not in a position to assist. (X person) has a stake in the success of that. Have you asked them to help?"
4. Know when and how to ask for what you want. This is simple - if you need or want something and someone else is in a position to help you, ask yourself how helping you can benefit both of you. Friends help friends because they have a strong mutual friendship which cuts both ways. The same is true for romantic relationships. Are you a good friend? Is the ratio of what you ask for and what you give equal?
In the Drama Triangle I mostly fit what role: Victim, a Persecutor or a Rescuer?
This has cost me: _____________________________________________
What will you change to step outside of that role? ______________________
What can you remember that will give you strength? ____________________