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Post Info TOPIC: 7/19/22 C2C Boundaries…Why?


~*Service Worker*~

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7/19/22 C2C Boundaries…Why?


Today's contributor shares the lessons learned in Alanon about boundaries: their flexibility allows customized settings of accepted behavior from ourselves and others, based upon situation and desired exposure level. This encourages a preset perspective that allows us to say 'no' with love rather than panic and hostility.

Lessons learned came from observing the guidance in Alanon's 12 Traditions and applying in personal relationships. Using boundaries allows for setting healthy limits without surrounding self with walls that will block out the good along with the undesirable. 

Reminder - Are my defenses keeping me safe or isolated? Today I can consider healthier ways to protect myself.

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges". - Joseph F Newton
----------------------------
I owe so much to Alanon for what I've learned about my relationships with others, including how to address (more importantly, often not addressing) others when I disagree with what they say or do. I learned this from attending meetings and study of Alanon.

Before Alanon I set boundaries by determining what I would not accept from others, then demanding they change their behavior to observe the boundaries I had set.

Alanon helped me see that healthy boundaries are set by determining what steps I will take to maintain the environment I have chosen. I can express my preference, if it is not recognized I can take the steps necessary to bring me to my desired state, circumstance, or environment. My options are endless, even if my circumstances are not. 

I continue to work on Live and Let Live, allowing others to express different views without feeling I have to address, attack, and change them. At times it is necessary for me to physically leave the situation to avoid breaching that concept, and that's much better than the alternative.

Grateful for the continued progress and reminders of the program

 



__________________

Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you Paul for your service, today's reading and ESH.

I too am grateful for Al-Anon and am always learning how setting boundaries without the thought that they

are to change another is so important. Learning that they are for me and to approach them with the right

perspective and at the right time is also what I have been working on as well. I need to realize that expressing

where my boundaries are without anger is so important. "Live and Let Live" is a perfect thought to keep in

mind especially during those trying times!!!! Thank you Paul and thank you Al-Anon!!

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks Paul for your service and for all above ESH. Of course early in program, the boundaries I set were how my A would get help. LOL no way that worked, and it just left me depressed and frustrated. Learning to set the boundaries for myself, that bring me peace of mind and contentment, has been a whole lot of work. But it is all worth it. Spending my time trying to get others to change is a big waste of time. Looking to see what I need to change--now that's progress!

__________________

Lyne



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Thanks for your service Paul and to all for the shares. Boundaries can be complicated. I didn't have very healthy emotional boundaries when I got here. That was mostly due to fear of confrontation and rejection. Time and time again I threw myself under the bus to keep others close. With a little Al-anon, I then felt it was my job to exert my personal boundaries even for the slightest thing. I led with fear of other people's power over me. My fear was so great that I thought laying a defensive  foundation asserted to others that they could not take advantage of me. Not understanding healthy confrontation, how to say what I mean, mean what I say and not say it mean, I responded what I deemed inappropriate words or actions toward me with either harsh words or no words at all. Passive aggressive behavior included choosing to retreat to detach with an axe which often left the other person wondering what they had done. Granted some people are very unhealthy and abusive and staying away from them is best but most confrontation from others I've found don't call for such a response. I did it because it was easy in the moment. The uncomfortable feelings went away for the time being and I had a skewed belief that I'd taken care of myself. I had that black and white thinking. As far as I was concerned, there was right and wrong and no gray areas. Extreme sensitivity, "you made me feel," yada, yada, yada! I learned nothing, didn't grow and felt more a victim than victor until I worked the steps and faced myself honestly. It became easier to recognize when setting a boundary felt appropriate and when it would be nothing more than an reaction rooted in my own dis-ease.  I was able to move from blaming others for how I felt to taking responsibility for my own feelings and becoming a healthier person with the help of my hp, the program and sponsor. From there, I could learn to appreciate others right to their own boundaries and respect their boundaries. This included the active alcoholics in my life. I'm sorry to say that until that point in my recovery, I'd not believed they deserved the same respect as the non alcoholics in my life. Since there had been many instances while drinking when they had not exhibited healthy boundaries, I found it difficult to honor boundaries that called for simple human decency. More program work on recognizing that there is a person under the disease of alcoholism helped.

Today, I set boundaries by situation and person but many of my own personal boundaries are pretty consistent. Those boundaries are around my own behaviors and what feels healthy for me where I am currently in my Al-anon recovery. I gain insights concerning my own boundaries and am sometimes surprised by boundaries set by other other people. Today I have no trouble confronting others. Positive confrontation is to respectfully open dialogue and ask questions related to their boundary. I also have no problem explaining the reasons for my own boundaries if asked. For my part this is very different from J.A.D.E justifying, arguing, defending and explaining. In no way to I feel pressured to have a conversation that includes clarity. I believe in having such conversations as part of "Say what you mean, mean what you say and don't say it mean." I'm merely stating my case in a clear way rather than expecting the other person to be a mind reader as to the meaning behind the boundary I have. The other person may not like my boundary, I may not like another person's boundary but at least we are both clear about expectations. For me personally, it's made things a bit less complicated. Especially when it comes to a boundary set by another person, I like to repeat back to them the boundary I believe they are setting. This tends to open things up. The other person might then say, "No that's not what I want, this is what I want." The willingness to accept the boundaries of others if they don't harm me personally and to show an openness to understanding the wants and needs of others has resulted in reducing tension, discomfort between myself and others when boundaries are going to discussed. Basically, it's been about letting the other person lay their cards on the table and about doing the same. For me, progress in Al-anon has been about keeping it honest and continuing to be true to yourself. Being true to myself, honestly knowing myself; I can be flexible in my boundaries when I choose. I no longer fear I'm going to be acted upon. I pretty much know where I stand today and I know a loving higher power has my back.  So respecting the boundaries of others and setting personal boundaries for myself and with others is really about H.O.W. honesty openness willingness for me today.

 

 

 



__________________

Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.



Senior Member

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Thanks Paul.
Disengaging has been the one new al-anon skill I feel I have become an expert at, haha. As you say, where I used to try to demand change from others, now, if I don't like it, I walk away. Often a little too soon, leaving people asking me- wth, why didn't you talk to me about this if you were unhappy? lol. I might have learned it a little too well and need to dial it down. I may tend to skip the "express my preference" part and just leg it when I feel threatened. That doesn't allow others a chance to share their views.
Work in progress!


__________________


~*Service Worker*~

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Oh I can relate to this one and thank you for the much needed ESH. Sending you love and support on your journey always!



__________________

Sending you love and support on your journey always! BreakingFree

Al-Anon/Alateen Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 800-344-2666

" Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

"Serenity is when your body and mind are in the same place."

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