Why Boundaries Don't Work

It defies common sense to attempt to get someone in addiction to change and it defies common sense to keep setting them up for failure and you up for disappointment.  I am often asked ‘how do I get my loved one to respect the boundaries I have placed on them’.

You guessed it you don’t because you can’t – your loved one in addiction has a brain ruled by the drug and that brain has no interest in changing the status-quo.  The drug is in charge as we have previously discussed.

When you look around you – how many people leave you feeling let down, disappointed and frustrated?  The reason you feel this way is because you are relying on others to change so that you can feel okay.  This keeps going around in circles with you suffering, they don’t suffer because it is not what the addicts brain, or even a normal brain may buy into and want to do.

FLIP THE FOCUS – if something is not okay for you – then common sense says it is your responsibility to change it.  Creating a change regarding setting boundaries is about – not boundaries for others – rather creating and honouring boundaries you set for self.  What’s okay / not okay for you to allow to impact on you. 

If it is not okay for you to allow others to abuse you – then take ownership of that and decide what it is you are going to do (re self) to ensure that experience of abuse does not have an opportunity to impact you.  What action are you going to take to ensure you are no longer exposing yourself to abuse.

It sounds easy, and in reality once you get a handle on doing this it does become easier.  What gets in the way the most is that you generally do not have a firm commitment to yourself to take the action you need to take to get your needs met.  You are the only one that can honour your boundaries, no one else is going to commit long term to make it right for you.

Limiting feelings like helplessness, fear or guilt are what keeps you trapped in trying to get others to change, these limitations need to be addressed and personal work done in order for you to stop putting everyone else before you. 

That’s what we here at Help for You – Rosemary Brown are specialists in, changing things for you, so you experience better outcomes in your life, regardless of what your loved one or others are choosing to do.

Once others learn what you will or will not tolerate, not by what your are saying, rather by the actions you take, the message will get through and your commitment to you will have an impact on their behaviours.  When you keep allowing the abuse others believe it’s okay, and you telling them otherwise is ineffective, usually because they have no space for what is right for you, they usually have no space to honour themselves.  

Boundaries for others without actions that you are prepared to act on are just threats, and the same old stuff keeps repeating because you don’t take action to honour what’s okay / not okay for you. Thats why you need to make these boundaries for yourself, you are in charge of taking action!!!


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