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Beyond Bitchy: Mastering the Art of Boundaries

Apr 25, 2018

If you’re worried about making mistakes when setting boundaries, this episode is for you! I’ll share the six most common mistakes people make when they’re getting started with boundary work. You’ll also learn helpful, easy-to-learn strategies for avoiding these mistakes so that you can take your boundary work to the next level.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #7:

  • There are six common mistakes in setting boundaries: not understanding power by either underestimating or overestimating how much you have, confusing boundaries with demands, making unclear agreements which often set you up for disappointment or broken agreements, not being committed to the response you chose for broken agreements or boundary violations, not knowing what to do when a boundary doesn’t work, and using ultimatums instead of boundaries.
  • Setting good boundaries isn’t the same as telling other people what to do. Boundaries build connections in the long term, but telling other people what to do isn’t relational, or a long-term, healthy strategy.
  • When you aren’t committed to the response you state for a boundary, it can cause huge problems for you. You lose credibility both with others, and more importantly, with yourself.
  • The difference between a non-negotiable boundary and an ultimatum is that ultimatums involve a power-over strategy that comes across as threatening or intimidating. Ultimatums can sound like non-negotiable boundaries, but there's a distinct difference

Highlights from Episode #7:

  • The first mistake people often make when learning boundary work is not realizing the power that they have, or thinking they have more power than they do. [01:40]
  • The second common mistake is confusing demands with boundaries. [04:51]
  • Making an unclear agreement with another person is the third common mistake people make when setting boundaries. [08:51]
  • The fourth mistake that people make when they’re starting to do boundary work is telling someone what you’re going to do or how you’re going to respond to a situation, but not being committed to your response. [14:32]
  • Vicki explains why not being committed to your response to a boundary violation is a barrier to intimacy with others. [17:30]
  • The fifth common mistake is not knowing what to do when boundaries "don’t work." [21:05]
  • For a more detailed look at what to do when boundaries don't work, take a look at the 5-Step Boundary Solution Clarifier to identify, establish, and maintain healthy boundaries. [22:57]
  • The sixth and final mistake people make when learning boundary work is relying on ultimatums instead of setting a boundary. This is similar to confusing demands and boundaries, but takes using a "power over" strategy to the next level.  [23:54]
  • Vicki highlights some of the problems with using ultimatums v. good boundary work. [28:15]

Links and Resources:

Vicki Tidwell Palmer

Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicki Tidwell Palmer

5-Step Boundary Solution Clarifier