Depression Help

personal boundaries | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet | depression help

Personal boundaries are there for a reason. Sometimes being a caring person backfires because the personal boundary is broken. Some people don’t want your help. Others don’t need it. Some people may misconstrue your help as you being nosey, poking around in affairs that are none of your concern.

I’m a person who has a big heart. I care about family members who are having a bad day, or going through a rough patch. Even with my estranged father I’ve tried to make peace. It’s not the type of peace where we have Sunday dinners every weekend, or go out for father and daughter outings. It’s the type of peace where inner me gets to say, “I’m done with your drama and all the pain you’ve caused. I see you as the human being you are – flaws and all. And I see myself as the human being I am – strengths and all.”

Healing happens with boundaries.

What happened between my father and me was about healing. I needed closure on several issues. I had to express my repressed anger and frustration. When that is done in a constructive manner, it is healing for all parties. My father and I talk nowadays. Nothing confidential or something that could cause pain. We know our limits and boundaries. We respect them.

But sometimes when you’re a caring person you cross boundaries that you might not be aware exist. Your sister might not really want to discuss with you her problems with her husband. Sibling rivalry doesn’t always end when we grow up. Crossing that boundary, or pushing for more information, may seem like a personal attack. It might bring back old memories of some bad event similar to what she’s experiencing now. Or, her boundary might be her discomfort sharing intimate problems.

Know the boundary.

Know the boundary of the person you want to help. Engage with that person in a loving, kind way. Don’t be judgemental! If you’re really there to help the other person, the last thing either party wants is finger pointing.

A boundary is where your responsibility ends and another person’s begins. It stops you from doing things for that person that the person should be able to do. Personal boundaries also help a person grow spiritually and emotionally.

If you cross the personal boundary, back up right away. Don’t start preaching about why that boundary shouldn’t exist. It does. For a reason that’s very real for that person. Remember the boundary so that next time you can avoid a pitfall. Boundaries are fluid, ever changing. Next time your sister might have her boundary pushed back, and be more than willing to share her problems about her husband. The key is patience.

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