Dr. Alice Benton continues her overview of Boundaries Face to Face by Cloud & Townsend teaching us to
Love better by speaking truth!
Dr. Benton continues to reveal the tips we need for having a successful boundary conversation or confrontation with someone we care about.
#1 Be Present Emotionally – You must be willing to express your own emotions and also be sensitive to the emotions of the other person. The softer and more loving we can be the more likely they are to hear us out. Do not attack or point your finger. This doesn’t always seem fair if you have been on the receiving end of bad behavior but this soft loving way works.
#2 Begin and End Your Conversation with Love – You are trying to repair something that is blocking the intimacy of your relationship. Remind yourself and the other person you are doing this because you love them and you want a transparent and open loving relationship with them.
#3 Validate the Other’s Feelings – Acknowledge that you understand this is a hard conversation for both of you.
#4 Be Cautions Using “YOU” Statements Versus “I” Statements – Do not be accusatory. Use “I” statements…. “I feel upset”…. “I feel betrayed.
#5 Pick 1 Problem To Address – Do not get into a whole list of all the other ways you have been harmed over many years. Choose 1 issue and stick to that issue. Pick only 1 or 2 specific examples of the problem.
#6 Clarify Our Desire for Change with Specific Examples – What do I want? And what specifically can this other person do for me to get what I want? Be specific about what we are asking for. A particular behavior to stop or a new behavior to start. You must get specific on what actually change looks like to you. You can’t be general and say I want to feel more connected to you. For example, “I need access to your computer and passwords” or “I want us to attend therapy together”. These specific things will help my ability to trust you and show me you value the relationship also. The more specific the request the more likely we are to get the result we want
#7 Be Prepared for Defensiveness – Be prepared for defensiveness and push back. Especially if this is a pattern in their behavior.
Defensiveness can look like:
Lie about the problem.
Blindness to their responsibility
Deny the problem exists.
Minimize the effect that this behavior has on me
Put the blame on the speaker.
Listen to the defensiveness to a certain point but keep the conversation on track.
#8 Be Prepared for the Worst Case Scenario – Play out your conversation ahead of time and be prepared for if the whole thing falls apart. You need to prepare yourself how you are going to react if this conversation isn’t healing.
Don’t Forget – Do not start these conversations without a good self-evaluation. What have you contributed to this problem? Is anything in your past affecting how you are dealing with your present? Remember we are NOT responsible for someone else’s behavior but we are ALL IMPERFECT so it is important to do an honest self-evaluation and make sure we acknowledge what our own faults are.