Boundaries & Assertiveness

Tony Gaskins says it well with his quote, “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.”  Often times we feel powerless to change our interactions with others whether in intimate relationships or professional ones. We deal with unnecessary anxiety, worry and frustration from lack of communication about our feelings, needs and desires.

More often than not, this struggle is due to not feeling worthy enough or worrying too much about what others think of us. Either tendency needs a healthy realignment in understanding our needs are just as important as the needs of others. We need to heed the advice of the author of best selling Boundaries books Dr. Cloud, “We have our own thoughts, and if we want others to know them, we must tell them.” We cannot assume others can read our minds or “should” know how we feel based on our perception of the world. This is a false conjecture that can be remedied by standing up for self and assertively stating desires, boundaries and expectations.

Think about your latest conflict with your partner or feeling of inferiority.  Were you able to effectively communicate your needs? Did you share what you like or dislike? Do others respect your limits? What do you need to do in order to take care of yourself and regain control of how others treat you?