To view the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7kalTwusTVc
On the podcast this week, Tim and Kimberly begin their new series on boundaries. Kimberly jumps right into the conversation by explaining the difference between margin and boundaries. Margin is the space you create in your life and in your calendar that allows you to refuel yourself in your relationships, your self, and your spirit. A boundary is a line of defense that you build to create the protection of that margin. Kimberly suggests building your margin first and then setting your boundaries to protect your margin. The only people who push back on your boundaries are the people who benefited from you not having boundaries before. Do not feel bad when you protect your margin with boundaries because healthy people do not get upset when you have to set boundaries.
As Tim was researching high conflict people, he came across the quote, "...If this person is a high conflict person you should be very careful because high conflict people expect to be treated differently than others. They will attempt to make a greater demand on you, and if you begin to make an exception for them, they will ask for more. By maintaining arm distance compassion, you will be able to be most helpful for the high conflict person.” This quote emphasizes the need for creating healthy boundaries in your life, especially with high conflict people. High conflict people will demand your attention, and if you do not create a clear boundary, he or she might walk all over you.
Tim and Kimberly go through six ways we can set healthy boundaries in our lives.
1. Be specific about the behavior or the demand. Don't just come right out and say that a person is wasting your time because that is unkind and uncompassionate, but there are kind ways to say no. Kimberly gives the examples of simply saying, "I am not available right now" or “I’ll text you some dates that work for me.”
2. Use “I” messages, not “you” messages. If someone says "You are wasting my time" it feels like a personal attack. Kimberly explains that we can flip the script, and instead of attacking a person, we can start with the word I. We can say “I feel ___ when you do ___.” This approach is less harsh and puts the blame on our own emotions instead of that person’s actions. Tim states, “If you are in a relationship with somebody and they feel attacked, the intimacy in that relationship will diminish.”
3. Try to take away his or her fear when setting boundaries. Explain the relationship is not a fit for you at this point in your life. If you focus on his or her shortcomings, you will end up in a debate and the conversation will most likely not go well. If this is a high conflict person, you might find yourself engaging in a debate. Simply explain that this is not a judgment of him or her, but of your need at this point in your life. Your responsibility is to be clear and not try to force them to understand. You may want to say if a debate takes place "I don't want to get into an argument about this" or "I'm not rejecting you, I am looking at my need in this moment."
4. Give reasonable choices with consequences. This tactic gives the person options instead of just shutting them out completely. Tim gives the example of a mother he knew who taught her young child boundaries. When the mother was in a conversation with adults and the child wanted her attention, the child would simply put his hand on the mother’s arm. The mother would acknowledge him by putting her hand on top of his, and that let him know that she knows he is there and needs her attention. When she was done with her conversation, she would turn to her child and have the opportunity to give him the attention he needed. Without having that boundary set though, the child might have stood next to her begging for her attention or throwing a fit in order to get her to look at him. The boundary she set with her child created more peaceful and controlled moments for both the mother and the child.
5. We have to be prepared to enforce our boundaries. Setting boundaries is useless if they are not enforced. Kimberly states, "Setting boundaries is just an exercise in futility if you are not willing to enforce them.”
6. Don't use boundary setting as an excuse for selfish living. Some people use boundaries as a means to get themselves off the hook. For example, some people may say "I am not giving due to fear." Some people set boundaries because they are afraid of the responsibility that comes with saying yes. Some people also set boundaries out of laziness. Lastly, some people set boundaries because of a lack of love. Tim says, "Setting boundaries is no excuse for not going the extra mile for someone you love."
Kimberly wraps up the podcast by reading Galatians 6:9-10 which says, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Kimberly explains that in order to not grow weary or fatigued, we have to set boundaries in our lives. By setting boundaries, we are able to recharge and be the best version of ourselves for others. Tim explains that the bottom line is this: Be clear, be kind, and be reasonable.
Join us next week as we discuss the red flags of a toxic person. We love you guys!
“If you are in a relationship with somebody and they feel attacked, the intimacy in that relationship will diminish.” -Tim
"Setting boundaries is just an exercise in futility if you are not willing to enforce them.” -Kimberly
“Setting boundaries is no excuse for not going the extra mile for someone you love." -Tim
“In order to not grow weary or fatigued, we have to set boundaries in our lives.” -Kimberly
Galatians 6:9-10 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”