“This is how far I am willing to go with you. This is what I will or will not do for you. This is what I won’t tolerate from you.”
The lack of boundaries often involves:
- Making excuses for a person’s inappropriate behavior towards us;
- Increased tolerance for verbal abuse and disrespectful treatment;
- Sensing something is wrong and feeling crazy because we can’t identify the problem.
A healthy person will set boundaries that indicate:
- Our limits on what we will do to and for others;
- What we will allow others to do to and for us;
It is the things that we can’t stand, that we’re sick of, that may be clues as to boundaries that need to be set. They may also be clues to changes that we need to make within ourselves.
Important things to remember:
- Don’t feel guilty and don’t back down!
- Be consistent!
- You will be tested by others [spouse, children, sisters, mothers, etc]. Be firm!
- As you grow and change your boundaries may change as well. The goal isn’t to be inflexible, but to begin to take care of oneself.
Beattie, Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency, 1987.