Personal Boundaries, Relationship Boundaries and Emotional Boundaries

Years ago I was asked to give a talk on boundaries for a group divorcees who were reentering the dating world. As I was doing some research, I came across, “A Checklist on Boundaries in a Relationship,” in The California Therapist.

Times change but boundaries will always be a cornerstone of health and well-being. And like the title suggests – Personal Boundaries, Relationship Boundaries and Emotional Boundaries – boundaries are involved in every area of out lives.

Holly and I decided to focus on boundaries in our video this week and we’d love to hear your comments and feedback.

And just for your interest, I’ve included a copy of the boundaries checklist list below.

A Checklist on Boundaries in a Relationship

When you give up your boundaries in a relationship you:

  • Are unclear about your preferences.
  • Do not notice unhappiness since enduring is your concern.
  • Alter your behavior, plans, or opinions to fit the current moods or circumstances of another (live reactively.)
  • Do more and more for less and less.
  • Take as truth the most recent opinion you’ve heard.
  • Live hopefully, while wishing and waiting.
  • Are satisfied if you are coping and surviving.
  • Let the other’s minimal improvement maintain your stalemate.
  • Have few hobbies because you have no attentions pan for self-directed activity.
  • Make exceptions for a person for thing you would not tolerate in anyone else; accept alibis.
  • Are manipulated by flattery so that you lose objectivity.
  • Try to create intimacy with a narcissist.
  • Are so strongly affected by another that obsession results
  • Will forsake every personal limit to get sex or the promise of it.
  • See your partner as causing your excitement.
  • Feel hurt and victimized, but not angry.
  • Act out of compliance and compromise.
  • Do favors that you inwardly resist (cannot say no)
  • -Disregard intuition in favor of wishes.
  • Allow our partner to abuse your children or friends.
  • Mostly feel afraid and confused.
  • Are enmeshed in a drama that is beyond your control.
  • Are living a life that is not yours and that seems unalterable.
  • Commit yourself for as long as the other needs you to be committed (no bottom line)
  • Believe you have no right to secrets.

When your boundaries are intact in a relationship you:

  • Have clear preferences and act upon them.
  • Recognize when you are happy/ unhappy.
  • Acknowledge moods and circumstances around you while remaining centered (live actively)
  • Do more when that gets results.
  • Trust your own intuition while being open to other’s opinions.
  • Live optimistically while co-working on change.
  • Are only satisfied if you are thriving.
  • Are encouraged by sincere, ongoing change for the better.
  • Have excited interest in self enhancing hobbies and projects.
  • Have a personal standard, albeit flexible, that applies to everyone and asks for accountability.
  • Appreciate feedback and can distinguish it from attempts to manipulate.
  • Relate only to partners with whom mutual love is possible.
  • Are strongly affected by your partner’s behavior and take it as information.
  • Integrate sex so that you can enjoy it but never at the cost of your integrity.
  • See your partner as stimulating your excitement.
  • Let yourself feel anger, say “ouch” and embark on a program of change.
  • Act out of agreement and negotiation.
  • Only do favors that you choose to do (you can say no)
  • Honor intuitions and distinguish them from wishes.
  • Insist others’ boundaries be as safe as your own.
  • Mostly feel secure and clear.
  • Are always aware of choices.
  • Are living a life that mostly approximates what you’ve always wanted for yourself.
  • Decide how, to what extend, and how long you will be committed.
  • Protect your private matters without having to lie or be surreptitious.

Now your job is to implement these boundaries. They may not be easy at first, but they will empower you to  be your true self.

You may want to invest in Marry YourSelf First as a guide to assist you.

Read more from Ken Donaldson.