The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Danny Silk - Respectful Communication

podcast Mar 19, 2020

One of the most trying parts of a relationship is when respect breaks down. When that happens, contempt is not far away, and contempt will end relationships.

In this episode of the Boundaries.Me Podcast, Danny Silk, a pastor and author, tells us about how he progressed in his relationships by setting a firm boundary around respectful communication. Between his two parents, and his wife’s two parents and step father, there have been 15 marriages. Both he and his wife come from backgrounds that did not teach about healthy relationships. Through love, and time, they discovered the peace that comes from keeping calm and showing respect in all communication. When communication breaks down and the conversation turns to anger, they’ve learned to stop and reset. 

It’s not an easy thing to do, and it takes practice, but learning to stop yourself from speaking or listening when anger and frustration are steering the conversation is one of the most important lessons to...

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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Jo Saxton - Guarding Yourself From Your Flaws

podcast Mar 17, 2020

Boundaries can free us to lead our lives by unburdening us from our flaws and past mistakes. It’s like a quarantine. It may seem as though boundaries prevent freedom, but in most cases, it’s the exact opposite. 

In this episode of Dr. Henry Cloud’s Boundaries.Me Podcast, Jo Saxton, an author, public speaker, and host of the Lead Stories Podcast, tells us about how setting a boundary around her brokenness was a turning point in her life. Pain will do all kinds of things to the mind, and our first reactions to mental pain when we’re young often exacerbate things. That’s part of Jo’s story. She found solace in denial, and in drinking too much. It happens all the time. Through some good luck and hard work, she found a way to move forward and to forgive her flaws by releasing them to a boundary. She knew there were consequences to going to certain places in her mind, and setting the boundary freed her to start leading her life. 

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Someone Else's Feelings Aren't Yours to Own

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2020

Our feelings, whether good or bad, are our property. They fall within our boundaries. Our feelings are our responsibility; others’ feelings are their responsibility. If other people feel sad, it is their sadness. This does not mean that they do not need someone else to be with them in their sadness and to empathize with them. It does mean the person who is feeling sad must take responsibility for that feeling.

Sandy was confused about her boundaries because she felt responsible for her mother’s feelings. She felt like she had to change her mother’s anger to happiness by changing her own behavior. This puts Sandy’s mother’s anger in control of Sandy’s life.

If we feel responsible for other people’s feelings, we can no longer make decisions based on what is right; we will make decisions based on how others feel about our choices. If we are always trying to keep everyone happy, then we cannot make the choices required to live correctly and...

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Your Anger is Valid. Don't Deny It.

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2020

Many people conceal their negative feelings of anger, sadness, and fear. These people are unable to cope with good and bad because they have never processed these negative feelings, and they suffer from many problems, such as fear of relationships, depressions, and anxiety as a result. Negative feelings are valid, and they must be dealt with so they won't cause problems. 
 
Anger, our most basic negative emotion, tell us that something is wrong. We tend to protect the good we don't want to lose. Anger is a signal that we are in danger of losing something that matters to us. When people are taught to suppress their anger, they are taught to be out of touch with what matters to them. It is good to feel angry because anger warns us of danger and shows us what needs protecting. But, we are not to be mean or abusive in our attempt to solve a problem. This would mean to resolve it in some unloving way and would ultimately hurt us as well as each other. 
 
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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Pat Lencioni - Boundaries Around What Matters Most

podcast Mar 12, 2020

What matters most to you? This is often the first place to start when we begin creating boundaries in our lives.

In this episode of Dr. Henry Cloud’s Boundaries.Me podcast, Pat Lencioni shares with us his story of creating a boundary around prioritizing his family. He’s discovered that boundaries start with his family, and that if work or other relationships begin to take precedent, he suffers. Ironically, he’s found that by keeping his time with his family sacred, he’s more efficient at work, sees increased productivity, and has healthier relationships overall. Pat says the boundary isn’t necessarily about time, but the emphasis is around prioritizing his family’s needs and the role he plays in their life to serve them. Having this boundary, he says, gives him peace.

So, consider this: Boundaries do us no good if they’re not maintained. If you make a boundary with the emotional consequences in mind, you’ll  feel when it’s...

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How to Confront an Addict About Their Problem

Uncategorized Mar 11, 2020

Being emotionally present and connected while we are confronting another person is the first essential of any good conversation. It truly requires a work of grace in us. And if you're taking the first steps to address a problem with an addict, emotional tone means everything. 

Being present refers to being in touch and in tune with our own feelings as well as those of the other person. This is an important skill, because when we are “there” – that is, emotionally present – we are available to the other person. He is not shut off from us while we are telling him a difficult reality about himself and the relationship. It is hard for anyone to absorb a confrontation. Presence and connection help to make that tolerable.

A boundary conversation is very difficult, especially if you're talking to someone who struggles with addiction, because it feels unnatural – and it is unnatural, in that the natural person within us does not think this way. On our own,...

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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Christine Caine - Stop Taking Everything Personally

podcast Mar 10, 2020

Have you ever received criticism that stuck with you? Most of us can think back to something someone said that offended us, and we’re still carrying that doubt or shame.

In this episode of Dr. Henry Cloud’s Boundaries.Me Podcast, Christine Caine -- an activist, author, and public speaker -- shares with us the story of how she came to realize she was taking personal offense far too often. It was undermining her working relationships and taking a toll on the rest of her life. She took some growth steps to understand that if she started to take criticism personally, she was really being triggered by something else.

We have to learn to observe what’s happening to us in order to change it, and that’s the boundary she set: when the offense-alarm went off, rather than getting defensive, she goes to a place of observation. This practice has led her to peace and healthier relationships. 


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How to Set Boundaries with Addicts and Get Them the Help They Need

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2020
 

 

When I was trained in addictions treatment, I was taught that a codependent person plays a role in the addiction of the person they're connected to; and when I began to interact with clients, I was amazed at how true that was. Change the codependent, and the addict often changes as well. I was pretty impressed with the wisdom of the addiction specialists when I was a grad student.

But then, I was even more impressed when I learned that these specialists were not the first to speak of this principle. God was. Listen to this passage from Leviticus:

"Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt."

The Bible tells us that when someone needs to be confronted, we are to confront them and set limits with them, or we will "share in their guilt." In other words, we are part of the problem if we are enabling it. 

When we understand our part in a negative situation and do what we need to do, we can change the...

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The Boundaries That Make Marriage Work

Uncategorized Mar 08, 2020

When two people marry, two lives blur together to make a new one, two become one. The blurring of expectations and feelings can become an issue. Many times a spouse will automatically expect that the love in the marriage means that her spouse will always see things her way. She may feel unloved when her otherwise-loving mate says, “No, I’d rather not take a walk. I’m sleepy.” Sometimes this happens during the “honeymoon period,” when both parties tend to see eye-to-eye on everything. But when the reality of two different wills, needs, and perspectives comes in, the honeymoon is over. This is when the Law of Respect must be applied.

For example, a couple with whom my wife and I are close, Nick and Colleen, mentioned the same problem at dinner one night. Nick said, “Sometimes Colleen withdraws from me for no reason at all.”

“There is a reason,” Colleen replied. “When I try to say no to you and you try to control me, I...

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No Matter How Bad It Gets, You Have Options

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2020

A woman complained to me about a coworker who would always interrupt her while she was trying to get her job done. She acted as if her tendency to be behind in her work was her coworker’s fault.

“Why do you talk to her?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

“When she comes in and interrupts, why do you get into a conversation with her?”

“Well, I have to. She is standing there talking.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that you have work to do, or close your door and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign?”

The woman looked at me with a blank stare. To have choices and to have control of her own behavior was a concept that hadn’t occurred to her. She felt that if something happened “to her,” then that was the way it had to be.

There was nothing she could do to change it.

When I suggested that she had many choices, she quizzed me about them. I gave her five or six suggestions, from talking...

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