Welcome to the last episode on the foundations and fundamentals of boundaries! If you haven’t already listened to the previous episodes, I recommend going back to Episode #1 to make sure you’ve got the basics. In this episode, you’ll learn about the kind of responses or reactions you’re likely to encounter as you start setting or improving your boundaries. We’ll also talk about non-negotiable boundaries—what they are and how you go about establishing them.
Biggest Takeaways From Episode #6:
- When you start setting boundaries, or changing existing ones, you should expect that you’re going to get a range of negative responses or reactions. Responses can range from simple resistance or pushback all the way to hostility or even threats.
- Guilt and shame are distinct emotions. Guilt is what you feel when you do something outside of your value system (such as stealing). Shame is more intense and involves embarrassment.
- Your response to other people’s reactions about your boundaries depends on their reaction. If someone freezes you out, do nothing and allow them to come back to you eventually. If someone pushes back, stick to your talking points, mirror back what they said, or say nothing. If someone is aggressive or violent, take a relational time-out. If you’re getting repeated pushback or hostility, you may need to decide whether or not you want to stay in the relationship.
- There are two types of non-negotiable boundaries: personal or relationship. Non-negotiable personal boundaries include physical or sexual boundaries. Non-negotiable relationship boundaries are things you must have or things you cannot tolerate in a relationship—also known as relationship deal-breakers.
Highlights from Episode #6:
- When you start to set or improve boundaries, you can expect some very specific responses from those around you. Vicki lists some examples of these reactions. [01:56]
- Vicki takes a moment to discuss the emotions of guilt and shame, and distinguishes between the two before returning to potential reactions to boundaries. [05:18]
- You can’t impose a boundary on another person, but you can create agreements and make requests. [07:20]
- When you get pushback from another person, you can practice what are called an internal or listening boundary. (These are also described in episode 2.) [11:50]
- Vicki details the strategies she used in the example conversation she has just outlined, then continues with the example. [17:01]
- We learn some strategies for how to deal with pushback, guilt trips, hostility, or threats. [19:48]
- Your internal experience when mirroring back to someone shouldn’t be to punish them, and can in fact come from a place of compassion. [25:53]
- In some cases, you may need to take a relational time-out, which involves letting the other person know what you’re going to do and when you’ll come back. [28:05]
- The second theme of this episode is non-negotiable boundaries, which can be either personal (such as physical touch or sexual contact) or relationship boundaries (such as abuse or infidelity). [31:35]
- Vicki recaps what we’ve covered in today’s episode. [37:13]
Links and Resources:
- Vicki Tidwell Palmer
- How to Take a Relational Time-Out in 6 Steps (PDF download)
- Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicki Tidwell Palmer