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Boundaries. What they are. How to work on that.


tourdelove

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So often in the past, even though I knew exactly what my feelings were, especially when I felt hurt or angry, I did not allow myself to express them to others because I felt that they were too strong or unjustified. This has been a real problem: how do I know if I am not going overboard? And what do I do with these feelings?

Some say the very difference between using our boundaries as our guidelines for how others should treat us and manipulation, is that with boundaries we let go of the outcome.

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There's no such thing as an overboard feeling.

It's possible to go overboard expressing them, like beating someone up just because you're angry.

But I agree, let go of the outcome. If you tell someone you're angry, you can't expect that they'll acknowledge you. But you'll feel better than if you didn't say anything, and more importantly, you've learned something about how that person feels about you. Maybe it's something you didn't want to hear, and it might feel like an insult. But, in fact, if they don't acknowledge your feelings, it says more about the relationship than about your value as a person.

In fact, I believe that what it says about the relationship is, Run! :-)

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Sometimes, when I am angry or frustrated, asking what I am trying to accomplish - the outcome so to speak - helps. If I can catch myself with that question while in mid-vent, trying make an answer lets me take in the situation a little better. This is not to say that you should censor yourself, but ideas should always be communicated in a straightforward, reasonable tone – even if the idea is abrasive. There are a lot of times when I recall the past and my father that I easily start ranting privately in my mind. But, it's totally open ended without a goal in mind.

I often talk about Getting Things Done, by David Allen, but the discipline of processing the world by clearly defining the outcomes I want and the next actions necessary to do to achieve said outcomes is not quite as knee jerk as I would like sometimes. Even worse, working myself up when there is no next action I wish to take sucks. An argument with a cruel, Type A personality who has fewer boundaries than I is one I would rather avoid. But, I would love to just tell that man he is without doubt, one ruinous, ascerbic asshole.

Argh, so much for straightforward and reasonable. ;)

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