Most people think that Boundary Setting only has something to do with a “personal bubble” and “personal space”. Effective people know better.
1. Boundary Setting is fundamental to civilization. All effective individuals, groups, organizations, and societies use Boundary Setting to control and limit behaviors. Chaos and mayhem are the result of a lack of effective boundary setting.
2. Boundary Setting is made up of three inter-related elements of Communication of the Rules of Behavior, Enforcement of the Rules of Behavior, and Respect for the Rules of Behavior. It is not enough to have only one or two of these elements present for effective Boundary Setting. All three must work together in order to create respect and maintain order and security.
3. Boundary Setting requires the Rules of Behavior be clearly communicated. Clear communication eliminates violations that stem from misunderstanding the Rules. Communication can come in many forms such as written, body language, direct and assertive verbal phrases, and physical actions. It can be conveyed via cultural norms and social pressure.
4. Boundary Setting requires that the Rules of Behavior be enforced. Enforcement must be Just-Right (appropriate) in order to create respect for the Rules. Enforcement that is too little (Under-Enforcement) creates contempt for the Rules. Enforcement that is too much (Over-Enforcement) creates a backlash against the Rules.
5. Boundary Setting requires that the Rules of Behavior be respected. When the Rules are understood, violations are the result of a lack of respect for the Rules. Effective individuals and societies are able to command respect for the rules. Ineffective people and societies are plagued by feelings of and an actual a lack of respect.
6. Effective Boundary Setting is a learned and practiced skill. It requires constant practice and implementation to improve. Boundary Setting does not come naturally to many people. Many times ineffective Boundary Setting behaviors result from submissive upbringing and passive social conditioning.
7. Boundary Setting is used by effective people to live as fully as possible. Effective Boundary Setters are able to take advantage of opportunities, and control the circumstances of their lives. They use their Boundary Setting skills to lower fear, risk, and maintain self-respect and dignity in all their interpersonal relationships.
Understanding these seven things will put you on the road to becoming an effective Boundary Setter.