Brenda Lunnie-Jobe MA, LPC

Jobe Counseling


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Boundaries: Part 2

Brenda Lunnie-Jobe MA, LPC    December 10, 2016

In Boundaries: Part 1 we discussed the meaning of boundaries. In part two of this three-part series on boundaries, we will discuss how to know when your boundaries are being crossed or ignored. 

​​​​​​​​​Topics: Stress and Anxiety 

              Relationship counseling 

              Marriage maintenance

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When you find yourself in a situation where you are asked to (or it is assumed that you will) behave in a way that is inconsistent with your personal values, emotional or physical wellbeing, or in a way that is uneven with the standards you have set for yourself, your boundaries are being ignored and/or crossed.  The following are a few examples of boundaries being ignored or crossed:

  • A friend or loved one requires you to feel the same as they do in response to an experience they have had.  You are guilted or shamed into feeling as they do about others involved in the situation.  You are not allowed to own your feelings about the situation, but expected to adopt their feelings or suffer consequences if you do not.      

  • You set a standard for yourself, based on your values, that you will not live with your significant other until you are married, and you communicated this to them.  You arrive home from work one day, only to find that they have moved in, against your wishes. 

  • You try to be all things to all people.  You attend every event your children have, “No” is not a part of your vocabulary, and it is your duty to hold everyone’s life together. 

Many times, there are physical and emotional reactions that occur, when someone crosses or attempts to cross your boundaries.  These may include—but are not limited to—churning in the pit of your stomach, cheeks becoming warm, confusion, irritability, anxiety, disbelief, and sometimes anger.  Depending on the severity of the situation, you may experience the “fight or flight” response. 

When we don’t set boundaries in our relationships, we leave ourselves vulnerable to trouble.  As a child, my mother told me, “You teach others how to treat you”.  Although stated in a very simple way, I knew she meant, that, what I did or did not accept from others, is how they would learn to interact with me, and that it was my responsibility to show them what is acceptable. She was teaching me how to set boundaries.  A lack of boundaries can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, abuse, shame, guilt, loss of relationships, and toxic relationships. 

Remember, boundaries define and protect these parts of our ‘self’: Love, Emotions, Values, Behaviors, and Attitudes.  These things make you, you.  In Boundaries Part 3, we will discuss how to set boundaries, and some of the things that happen when you do. 

                                                                                                      To be continued…


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