Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. Boundaries are not rules for someone else to follow.
You’ll see the word “boundaries” quite frequently here at Out of the FOG. Sometimes they’ll be described in terms of “your stuff<—//—>my stuff.” But what does that mean? It means the ability to recognize what is our responsibility (and what is truly within our power to control) and what isn’t. Boundaries are an essential ingredient to creating a healthy self . They define the relationship between you and everyone else around you.
Healthy boundaries help us to create our own destiny. They ensure that we are taking responsibility for our own lives; that we knowingly accept the consequences and/or reap the benefits of our choices. And, just as importantly, they ensure that we let others do the same for themselves.
Boundaries are not an attempt to make someone do something. They are not about getting the other person to understand and comply. Boundaries are about us getting clear inside of ourselves as to what is appropriate and necessary for our mental health, and then taking action accordingly.
A key to boundaries is knowing your inner self: your beliefs, desires, needs, and intuitions. When you know your inner self, it will become nearly impossible for someone else to manipulate you. None of us who were controlled by someone with a personality disorder had healthy boundaries in place.