Imagine that you and all human beings have a hula hoop around them, just floating in space. In this hula hoop resides your rights as a person, your feelings, your needs, your preferences, your desires as well as your dislikes. In essence, the hula hoop is the physical boundary of your personal space.
Every one is happiest and healthiest when their hula hoops are close to one another, but not touching, just like this:
Unfortunately, in many families and romantic relationships, personal boundaries look more like this:
- What do I want/need right now that I am not acting on because of concerns of how my choices will affect other people?
- Have I communicated my boundary to the other person in a clear, direct way? (eg. I feel angry when you tell me I can't spend time with my friends because I have a right to have friendships outside of this marriage.)
- Have I set my boundary and stuck to it? Or have I been bullied/guilted back into doing what other people want me to do instead of what I need to do?
- Do I need to set a stronger boundary in order to protect myself?