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Healthy boundaries: fostering trust, communicating consequences

This video is meant to expand your general knowledge about living a healthy life and is NOT a substitute for seeking medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before making changes in your health practices, diet and self-care.

In this third and final video in a three-part series, licensed marriage and family therapist Emma McAdam, host of the Therapy in a Nutshell YouTube channel, offers strategies for most effective setting and preserving of healthy boundaries.

As she did in the previous video, she reminds us that we can only impact what is known as our ‘realm of control’ – in other words, the area of our personal choices and actions.

So, in situations where another person whom we care about or frequently interact with, or both, is unaware of our boundaries, or does not seem to respect them, there are three things to keep in mind:

Real influence comes from relationships and creating a positive environment. So, 95 per cent of our efforts should be directed towards changing ourselves and creating an environment of safety, love and trust.

Explanations should be offered as to how another’s behaviour is affecting us. Here, making a: “when you… I feel… because…” statement can be appropriate. The focus should be on communicating the consequences of the behaviour in question, offered in a non-blaming way.

Invitations should be used as much as possible. Here, if we have a good relationship with the person, we can make a request for them to alter the behaviour that’s not taking our boundaries into account. If they say ‘no’, then we have two options – either work to deepen the relationship and build greater trust, or, in some situations, appropriately end the relationship.

What we can’t do is use our boundaries to change everyone to our liking, she says.

Finally, at times or in situations where requests or invitations are not appropriate, we should draw on natural and logical consequences to assert control, and re-establish appropriate boundaries. Here, “if… then…” statements, within our realm of control, can be useful.

View the previous video in this series here.

View the original video here.

Good Living is the Cyprus Mail’s portal of curated content from across the internet, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire a sustainable life.

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