Resentment and guilt were feelings I was starting to experience every day. At the time, I was SURE these negative emotions were results of other people’s actions.
- In one relationship, I desired more than this person wanted to give. This caused me to feel bitter, resentful and judgemental.
- Ironically enough, in another relationship, it was the opposite. This person desired more from me than I wanted to give- resulting in ME feeling pressure and guilt.
But after Matthew’s mom (tactfully) encouraged me to read “Boundaries” (for the third time) AND my good friend dropped it off on my porch (after telling me countless times that I needed boundaries in my life), I FINALLY read the book and recognized the problem- MYSELF.
After reading “Boundaries,” I realized how much healthier and happier I would be if I simply accepted a person for who he/she was (disregarding my own expectations and desires of that person) AND set clear boundaries on how much time and energy I am lovingly able to contribute (before feeling resentful).
- Although this is “Christian-based,” my sister (who is studying Biblical counseling) gave me a
REALITY-CHECK“different outlook.” She urged me to be cautious with self-help because it tends to put a focus on MY feelings, MY desires, MY expectations, MY needs and so on. She offered many Biblical examples of Jesus HUMBLY laying down His wants, His feelings, His desires and, ultimately, His LIFE for US.
- I tried to quote key points that spoke to me, but for full-context, refer to the book.
- Consider your motivation for what you do. If you’re saying yes to a tasks, job, favor or relationship because of fear of loneliness, fear of other’s anger, guilt, payback or approval, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. This will result in resentment, not joy. (2 Cor. 9:7)
- “People with poor boundaries struggle with saying no to the control, pressure, demands and sometimes the real needs of others. They feel that if they say no to someone, they will endanger their relationship with that person, so they passively comply but inwardly resent.” (Speaks more about 2 Corinthians 9:7; p. 36)
- “We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside.” (Speaks more about Matthew 7:6; p. 33)
- “Workers who continually take on duties that aren’t theirs will eventually burn out. It takes wisdom to know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t. We can’t do everything.”
- “Your envy should always be a sign to you that you are lacking something. At that moment, you should ask God to help you understand what you resent, why you do not have whatever you are envying, and whether you truly desire it. Ask Him to show you what you need to do to get there, or to give up the desire.” (p. 101)
- “Boundaries are a ‘litmus test’ for the quality of our relationships. Those people in our lives who can respect our boundaries will love our wills, our opinions, our separateness. Those who can’t respect our boundaries are telling us that they don’t love our no. They only love our yes, our compliance.” (p. 112)
- “Taking time off from a person, or a project, can be a way of regaining ownership over some out-of-control aspect of your life where boundaries need to be set.” (p. 38)
- “If you feel angry, you have a problem that needs to be addressed. But the point is, feelings are your responsibility and you must own them and see them as your problem so you can begin to find an answer to whatever issue they are pointing to.” (Speaks more about Philemon 1:14; p. 42)
- “When we take responsibility for out-of-control behavior caused by loving the wrong things, or valuing things that have no lasting value, when we confess that we have a heart that values things that will not satisfy, we can receive help from God and his people to “create a new heart” within us. Boundaries help us not to deny but to own our old hurtful values so God can change them.” (p. 45)
- Be cautious of not allowing FEAR or WORRY (of hurting other’s feelings, being judged, anger, separateness, etc.) to say YES to the BAD (ie: duties, tasks, jobs, etc.).
- In addition to letting too much negative in, boundaries-issues can also result from a person not allowing GOOD things IN. “Avoidance” is saying no to the good, not being able to ask for help, not recognizing one’s own needs to let others in. “Avoidants withdraw when they are in need; they do not ask for the support of others.” “Compliant avoidants suffer from what is called ‘reversed-boundaries.’ They have no boundaries where they need them, and they have boundaries where they shouldn’t have them.”
- “If you are being saddled with another person’s responsibilities and feel resentful, you need to take responsibility for your feelings, and realize that your unhappiness is not your coworker’s fault, but your own. In this as in any other boundary conflict, you first must take responsibility for yourself.”
- When someone ask me to do something: state my feelings; emphasize with their need; say no; keep distance; be finished talking about it.
- “You only have the power to change yourself. You can’t change another person. You must see yourself as the problem, not the other person.” “Allow these critical people to be who they are, but keep yourself separate from them and do not internalize their opinion of you.”
- Galatians 6:5: “For each man shall bear his own burden.” (pg. 32-33)
- “Deciding to set boundaries is difficult because it requires decision making and confrontation, which, in turn, may cause pain to someone you love.” (p. 96) Be HONEST- even if you fear the truth could hurt the other person.”Here are some of the things our ‘negative’ emotions tell us.
- FEAR tells us to move away from danger, to be careful.
- SADNESS tells us that we’ve lot something- a relationship, an opportunity, or an idea.
- ANGER is also a signal. Like fear, anger signals danger. However, rather than urging us to withdraw, anger is a sign that we need to move forward to confront the treat. Jesus’ rage at the defilement of the temple is an example of how this feeling functions. Anger tells us that our boundaries have been violated.” (p. 116)”Accepting someone as she is, respecting her choice to be that way, and then giving her appropriate consequences is the better path. When we do this, we execute the power we do have, and we stop trying to wield the power no one has.” (p. 164)”Children need to have a sense of control and choice in their lives. They need to see themselves not as the dependent, helpless pawns of parents, but as choosing, willing, initiative-taking agents of their own lives.” (p. 188)
I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts!