DARiNG TO SET BOUNDARIES is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. - brene brown
As a helping professional, boundaries with ourselves and with clients can sometimes be blurred. This Friday, learn more about boundaries and ethics at Everyday Ethics presented by John Thomas.
Emotional Boundaries in the Workplace
To have an emotional boundary is like looking at someone through the other side of a screen door. You can hear them. You can see them. You can put your hand up to the screen and feel their hand, but there still is a layer of separation. This is a technique I often teach my clients and can be used for professionals as well. This separation helps our brain say, "I hear you. I feel you, but at the end of the day, your stuff is not my stuff to take home."
Boundaries are sets of rules put into place to protect one another. Boundaries show that you value that relationship and that you value yourself enough to put in measures that will help keep the relationship healthy and professional.
Setting Boundaries with Yourself
Below is a quick formula to use when setting boundaries with your loved ones or clients. An example is provided as you read along.
If you are struggling with setting or maintaining boundaries, having a coach or therapist may help. View our list of therapists and coaches on the About page. Resolve is hosting a 3-hour Continuing Education credit for professionals this Friday with networking prior. If interested, learn more here.
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
"depression isn't being sad when everything in your life is going wrong -- it's being sad when everything is going right." - andrea mcdonald
Depression has a stigma attached to it, and let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s not the greatest one. Mental illness in general in our society is not taken lightly, and because of this, we are often times ashamed to admit that we are struggling with things. It’s the whispers that you’re weak, it’s the comments that you’re crazy, it’s the idea that you can’t help others if you can’t help yourself, it’s the stigma… and so you hold it in and you hide it.
Depression does not discriminate, so you can imagine the vulnerability it took for me to finally admit that I suffer from depression. As a counselor, even with all of my education and training, I am not invisible to depression. Depression does not discriminate.
One of the most common misconceptions about depression is that depression is just being sad when something in your life goes wrong; When you break up with your boyfriend, when you lose your job, when you lose a loved one who has been ill, but that’s just sadness. Sadness is a natural thing; that’s a natural human emotion. Depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.
Recently, I had been looking forward to a very long and overdue vacation with my family. I looked forward to time away from the hustle and bustle of work, school, and expectations, but most importantly, it was time that I got to spend with the people that meant the most to me; what could go wrong?
The first day, everything went great! I was so happy to see my family. I was so happy to be in one of my favorite cities; vacation was off to the great start that I knew it would be. The next couple of days? I first woke up in what I initially thought was just a funk. I thought that I was tired, or grumpy, but I quickly realized that it was so much more than just waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I eventually came to terms with the fact that I was suffering through a depressive episode… a depressive episode at what was supposed to be one of my happiest weeks. How could this happen? What was there to be depressed about? Everything was great!
I was frustrated that all I wanted to do was lay in bed. I was frustrated that I didn’t want to be around anyone. I was frustrated that if I allowed myself to stare off into space for too long that I would soon have unexplained tears running down my cheeks. I was frustrated that I was feeling this again. Depression isn’t the chicken pox- it isn’t something that you beat once and it’s gone forever. Depression is something that you live with. Depression is something that I live with.
Because I am a counselor, because I help people overcome their own depressive episodes, because I have spent years helping children in a hospital overcome their darkest days, I was ashamed to come forward with these feelings. I was afraid to share what was really going on inside of me. Now, reflecting upon the experience? I am even more ashamed to admit that I became a part of the stigma, that I did not fight against the asinine ideologies and that I did not demand that my family understand my illness, and that I did not demand that they learn more about depression. If we do not educate our loved ones, our friends, our bosses, our coaches, our teachers, how can we expect them to be efficient support systems for us?
I laid in bed claiming that I was tired. Sometimes I slept. Most times I didn’t. But the whole time I laid there alone and frustrated with my depression, instead of inviting people in to see what I was feeling, and to feel this darkness with me, instead of outside of me.
I don’t share this to draw attention to myself, I don’t share this to gather sympathy from people around me, I share my story to educate. I share my story to empower others. Depression does not discriminate, BUT depression can segregate if we continue to let it, so will you let it? Or will you take a stand and speak up for yourself?
"Communication isn’t just in the words that you speak but also in the way that you present it."- Allison kidd
Being a parent of a teen isn’t easy. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how to be most effective. People often say “I’m not going to parent my child like my parents did”. With that, doing the opposite might not be the best tactic either. You have to find what works best for you. Some of the techniques that your parents used might not always have been applied in the BEST way, but they must have had some positive effect as you turned out the way you did!
Whichever way you chose to guide and discipline your child, keep a few of these tips in mind.
Keep your COOL:
It’s easy to react when your teen has done something to lose your trust or jeopardize their own safety. Anger is referred to as a “secondary emotion”, meaning that it’s often what’s shown versus the underlying emotions of fear, disappointment, or confusion. However, when you lose your cool and react, your child is also going to react.
Dysregulation carries over. Be aware of your emotions and make efforts to express them appropriately.
As a parent, you don’t always know what you are doing, or if you are doing it right, or what will work with each individual child. When you’re not sure of your direction, you might talk in circles trying to hit every point you think you have. This creates more confusion for your teen. Because you are unsure of the expectations or consequences, they are now also confused. As discussed previously, your thoughts can be irrational when you are upset.
Take the time to clearly think about how you want to address the issue and be concise in the way that you communicate.
It’s important to have ongoing communication with your teen in order to have more balance. Simple acknowledgment for their efforts, asking their opinion about something, letting them be a part in decision making, and praise for trying all go a long way in opening a child up to sharing their life with you.
Kids want to be heard. They know when you are listening to respond and might censor what they say in order to please this.
How many times have you heard your teen say, “I’m grounded for no reason”? They either don’t know what exactly they did (or haven’t acknowledged it) or have a consequence that isn’t reasonable in their minds.
If the only time that you are communicating with your child is to negatively make note of what they didn’t do or punishing them for what they did wrong, you’re setting them up to not communicate with you. They won’t trust to open up and share a mistake or ask for help because they already know they’re going to get in trouble for it.
For some parents, it can be difficult to give their child praise for little things they’re doing when they are slacking on the major things. Simple acknowledgement for the efforts that they are putting forth goes a long way. They need you to see that they are at least trying as this often motivates them to continue. Because you demonstrate being proud of them, they too will feel a sense of pride for themselves.
As humans, we become accustomed to expect something and are more comfortable when there is consistency in our lives. Although these tips are focused on a parent’s role, the techniques can be reciprocated if done consistently. Children will start to acknowledge you being calm or your communication style and model this in their own interactions. They will allow them to be vulnerable if you too demonstrate this in a positive way.
I encourage you to evaluate your parenting style, reflect on what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and start to be mindful of applying these skills in the future.
Allison Kidd, LMSW, LMAC