This is the game of boundaries. If you do NOT delineate your boundaries with others, they are certain to be crossed and it will NOT be the other person’s fault.
Everyone needs to set clear boundaries for themselves in order to be happy and to have their needs met. But if you are not setting those boundaries for yourself and for the other person, how do they know where they are?
Boundaries designate the rules of the game and without them, there is relative chaos where no one knows how to optimally play the game and no one knows if they’ve crossed a line and sabotaged the game.
Do you know who you are? And do you know what you need in a relationship? Whether it be a work situation, friendship or romantic relationship, you always have to draw that line. What exactly is the line? It is your position in the relationship – it clearly defines your expectations – it is what you NEED to be fulfilled and happy and it is also what you will NOT tolerate.
When you enter a relationship – any relationship – tell that person, “Here’s my line. If you want to dance with me, you have to meet me at the line. I will not over-cooperate and cross that line for your compliance and I will not under-cooperate and run away from the line. Because I realize that a relationship only works when both partners designate the line and know how to meet each other at it.”
If you don’t know how to designate a line, it will always be crossed and worse, if you do not know how to speak up once the line has been crossed, it will be crossed over and over again and that behavior once encouraged, is very difficult to alter.
Everyone deserves to have their needs met. Draw that line and tell others to meet you at it. If they cannot meet you at that line, they cannot play with you. They need to step off your playing field so you can find the partner who can.
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