Dr- Henry Cloud

Healthy Boundaries and Separateness 2

Teri did a great job yesterday introducing boundaries and describing their importance. It's amazing how many different boundaries there are....that's why we're discussing all the different types this week. Yesterday it was mentioned how boundaries keep us "separate" from others. The purpose of this is so that we don't "lose" ourselves and end up feeling powerless in our lives. As you read below, this will become more clear. Healthy Attitude Boundaries

Our attitude is opinions about things in life. We are responsible for our own attitudes because they reside within our own heart and mind, not someone else's. Our attitude also forms our personality. As we experience life events, we are exposed to different attitudes of other people. Sometimes we agree with them, and sometimes we don't. When we agree with someones opinion, we take that opinion as well, making it our own. If we don't agree with an opinion, we generally reject it.

How can boundaries start to be crossed with attitudes? Sometimes we don't own our own attitudes, and blame others for why we act a certain way. We may complain about expectations someone is putting on us, or feel pressured by others to do things. Realistically, we need to get in touch for why we are feeling pressured and baited into saying yes, and not put the blame on someone else for pressuring us. We have to take responsibility for our own attitudes and opinions.

Healthy Feelings Boundaries

Our feelings let us know how we're doing emotionally, if we need to change anything, start over, or keep down the path that we're going. To ignore or stuff our feelings can be very dangerous to ourselves and to others. When we recognize how we are feeling & accept it, this is taking responsibility for our own emotional state.

If we feel we can control other people's feelings, then our decisions become out of whack. We'll start deciding what to do about OUR life based on how OTHERS feel about our choices. This makes us feel controlled by others, rather than being in control by ourselves or our higher power. It's nice to be sensitive to someones feelings, but not to feel responsible for how they feel.

Healthy Behavior Boundaries

People who have healthy behavior boundaries understand that they take responsibility for what they do, and what they don't do. Dr. Cloud describes this as the basic law of cause and effect or sowing and reaping. If you need help, then you ask for it, if you cross the line, then you apologize. You put in the work that needs to be done, and you see the benefits from it.

People who don't follow this belief of cause and effect feel completely powerless. They don't get it that they have to do the behaviors in order to get things in their life. They feel dependent on other people to get their needs met, and constantly feel disappointed, unloved, depressed and letdown. Their life feels like it is chaotic. They are in relationships with people who encourage irresponsibility or enable them (remember last week's blog?!) to remain in this constant state.

I hope you're able to see that by having healthy versions of these boundaries you make yourself a separate, but available person. By being unhealthy, you are either too attached and dependent, or make yourself unavailable and completely cutoff. Please keep reading as Natalie will go over healthy Thoughts, Abilities, & Desires. Have a great day!

*Source Changes That Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.