As a young child, even leading up through high school, I sort of believed it was my responsibility to make the family run in a "healthy" way. I jumped into the middle of my parents fights to help smooth things out (or shut the fight down), and I tried to take responsibility for things my siblings did to divert attention from them to me. I figured, if I could take the punishment or pain, that would help everyone else feel better, and let the family run smoothly. Not only did this frustrate my parents, but it lead to me getting into a lot of arguments, & I felt angry & frustrated a lot of the time. The answer to my problems? BOUNDARIES.
What's a boundary?
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership” (Cloud & Townsend, p. 29).
Boundaries are like invisible property lines (or invisible fences) that help us to distinguish what is our property (and what we’re responsible for), and what others are responsible for.
So, that makes sense, right? Ok, let's take it one step further:
*We are responsible for our own feelings, attitudes & beliefs, & behaviors! We cannot take responsibility for others in these areas, and we cannot push these off on to other people. We are responsible for our own, and no one else’s.
*We also run into problems when we try to disown the choices we’ve made in life. No matter how we feel, we must understand that we control our choices. We may not get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose our reactions.
So I would like you all to process that-how do you try to get others to take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, or behaviors? How do you try to take control of others' responsibilities?