Boundaries have been coming up for many of my clients lately. There are so many considerations around what to do and how to respond. There’s the desire to be polite, be nice, make everyone happy. Then there’s the desire to honor what you want and don’t want to do.
When there are two entities in existence at the same time, there are boundaries. Countries that have clearly marked boundaries are at peace with each other. This land belongs to you, that land belongs to me. When boundaries are unclear, that’s when arguments, skirmishes, and eventually war breaks out.
Clear boundaries are the key to maintaining ongoing relationships. As one person stated in one of my workshops, “I’ll only have a conversation about boundaries with someone I’m interested in maintaining an ongoing relationship with.” That’s so true!
If I don’t have any interest in staying in contact with someone, then boundaries don’t matter as much. But with someone I’m in contact with every week or every day, boundaries are super important.
When someone says, “I had a conversation with him around boundaries”, what do you imagine that conversation was like? Many people think of a very serious conversation, the other person did something wrong and now it’s time to punish them. But what if a conversation around boundaries didn’t have to be that way? What if it could be an opportunity for discovery, and understanding that the other person is seeking a solid foundation for something that lasts?
This week, I ask that you be curious about your boundaries: where they are present, and where they are not present. Please tell me what you see!
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