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Boundaries

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Grabbed this from Jairus's sister Eternia's tumblr:

"Expressing your boundaries passively, such as withdrawal, triangulation, pouting & passive aggressive behavior, are extremely destructive to a relationship. Passive ways of showing people that they do not have control over you never lead to intimacy. They never educate the other on who you are, they only estrange.

Don’t use passive resistance. Don’t pout or withdraw. Say things like, "I do not feel comfortable with that. I do not want to. I won’t.
"

excerpt from Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

I'm not sure if I'd like this book, because it's Christian and peppered with references to god and the bible, but I do like this part for sure. I think it is really important to remember this!

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
feisty_jenn
Nov. 2nd, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
i'm finding myself struggling with that excerpt...it has been my experience that sometimes i just want to withdraw....but that it has nothing to do with my partner. I've been able to say "i want" or "i need" in those situations, but it never seemed to make a difference -- s/he takes it as passive aggressive anyway. Am i just not connected enough w/ what's really going on with me? or are there times when hiding is just caretaking, not boundary setting?
wlotus
Nov. 2nd, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
If you want/need to withdraw in order to process things and respond thoughtfully, rather than reacting out of temper, that is responsible caretaking and boundary setting. And that isn't actually what the author's mean by "withdrawal". The way I understand it, "withdrawal" is the stereotypical silent pouting men and women do when they want to hurt their partner for displeasing them. "What's wrong?" "Nothing." Or giving someone the cold shoulder rather than coming out and saying, "When you said/did XYZ, I felt hurt/angry/disrespected." Saying, "I need to be quiet for a while so I can gather my thoughts," is not that kind of withdrawal at all.
misschris
Nov. 2nd, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
I was recently given advice to "ignore" my boyfriend for a day when I was upset by something he did. I ignored the advice, called him and explained why I felt upset. It worked much better.. mind you communication needs to be open on both ends.
wlotus
Nov. 2nd, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
I would have ignored that advice, too. It strikes me as manipulation, not communication.
misschris
Nov. 3rd, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
It is manipulation, but too many girls/women think its a good tactic! I am only fresh to open communication so I can definitely admit I did stupid stuff like that for far too long.
wlotus
Nov. 3rd, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Goodness knows I did, too! I am very happy I learned mature, non-manipulative ways to communicate when I chose to go to therapy in my 30s.
morgaine_x
Nov. 2nd, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
Good quote. Thanks.
shasplim
Nov. 2nd, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
I have never understood how so many relationships survive with passive aggression replacing open communication. I realize that many, many people have never learned (or been taught) how to express their feelings or needs. But I can't stomach the alternative if it involves lobbing resentment back and forth like bile-filled tennis balls.

In light of recent events, I've had to learn how to come right out and say to my partner, "I DO resent you...but that's MY problem, not yours."
misschris
Nov. 2nd, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
I grew up in a fight-y aggressive household. I had NO idea how to communicate. Anybody who has read my journal over the years must have shaken their head every time another relationship ended. They ended all the time. And it was never, ever me doing the ending. I am thankful I have finally recognized it and at the age of 30 am learning how to communicate. Having an amazing manfriend certainly is helping.
wlotus
Nov. 2nd, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
That book changed. my. life. I came from a family that specializes in emotional manipulation. That book set me free.
kira_lynn
Nov. 3rd, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
triangulation?
i am so lost.
eilenna
Nov. 4th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Ooh, this is good, thanks for sharing it.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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