Have You Ever Asked, "Why Don't Others Ever Appreciate What I Do For Them?"
"Why donâ€™t others ever appreciate what I do for them? Why do I always find myself being taken advantage of?â€ť
Date: 1/19/2011 10:09:53 AM ( 28 mon ) ... viewed 638 times
Many of us do not understand the importance of having emotional “boundaries” in our interpersonal relationships. Many of us do not even understand what the term “boundaries” means in that context. And many of us do not even know whether the emotional boundaries in our life are healthy or not.
This concept was foreign to me for the first forty years of my life. When a therapist explained to me that the problems I was experiencing stemmed from undefined emotional boundaries, I thought she was way off the mark. It turns out that she was right on it.
Healthy boundaries are taught to us starting from day one by our parents. Besides love, this is the most important emotional responsibility that parents have to their children. It is up to parents to teach their children how to be secure and independent adults. Parents should encourage their children as they go through each stage of autonomy. Whether or not we are raised with clear and healthy emotional boundaries largely determines how happy and successful we will be in our adult lives.
So what are emotional boundaries?
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I so giving to others yet I’m always getting stepped on and/or rejected? Why don’t others ever appreciate what I do for them? Why do I always find myself being taken advantage of?” These are boundary issues.
Having emotional boundaries is the same thing as having self worth. They are the limits we set in all our relationships that keep us from being needy, overly empathetic, controlling, or overly pleasing. They protect us from being manipulated or enmeshed with others. If we are healthy in this area, we know where we let off and others begin in terms of our relationships.
When we have clearly defined boundaries we know when to leave an abusive relationship or better yet, recognize the signs of an abuser before we enter that relationship. We can have healthy friendships without being a user or always being used, or a bully or someone that is always being bullied. We can set limits with our parents and family members to keep them from pushing our emotional buttons or crossing the line. We can define how we choose to be respected in the workplace and in all other dealings of our life.
Since boundary issues are at the root of so many problems, I urge everyone to examine his or herself to see if this is a deficiency that is impacting their lives in any way.
The good news is that it is never too late to learn to define our boundaries. The first step is recognizing that we lack them and that they are impeding our ability to be happy and/or successful. The next step is to find a way to address the problem and correct it. The results will be a profound change in your life.
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