Dysfunction is NOT about the others in our lives who behave badly. Its about what we do in our relationships that contribute to the dysfunction - and learning to do it differently. Today I'd like to explore a topic that was SUCH a big deal for me in my own journey and in the understanding of it - became a truth that set me free.
Advice that we did not ask for is not advice - it's butting in.
Setting "boundaries" on this issue is NOT about "making" others stop doing this but about knowing when to make space and keep our distance with those who don't get it.
In healthy relationships we can say "I really just need/want to be heard and validated when I "share" my struggle with you"; it is not so helpful when you tell me what to do or offer advice I did not ask for".
In this scene our friend/family will most likely acknowledge that their advice was not helpful; maybe even apologize for being assumptive that we needed "help" we did not ask for. In the future - they will make an effort to respect that "boundary" or "limit" that you have set for yourself.
In an unhealthy relationship this request will most often turn into another drama situation.
The individual will likely become either aggressive and "turn it back on you" or they will become passive and avoid you - their feelings will be hurt, they may even imply that what you said is responsible for their hurt feelings.
They may try to shame you for setting this limit and making this request.
They may become sarcastic and in other circumstances make cutting remarks about "not offending you".
They will not make any attempt to really respect your request and in time will simply resume assuming they know whats best for you and test to see if you will say anything again.
They will assume you will not withdraw and if you do they may attack you and try to somehow bully you to return to allowing them to be "in your business".
If you try to limit what you "share" very often this person will be offended and try to "draw" information from you while not sharing about their own life.
This information about the difference between functional/dysfunctional relationships empowered me in 2 ways.
1. To choose the relationships that were healthy and stop investing time in relationships that were not.
2. To start recognizing this behavior in myself and "owning up" and making "amends" with those I had pushed my own views on and offered "help" that was not asked for on.
It allowed me to start seeing where I was doing this to others so that I could change this in myself.
Dysfunction is NOT about the others in our lives that behave badly. Its about what we do in our relationships - and learning to do it differently.
Its easy to focus on what others are doing or not doing that we'd like them to change.
The challenge is to learn to see what we are doing and what we can change that makes the difference.
I'm feelin' your pain and watching you gain your own power to change your own life.
From the inside out.
This - is the Hard Work.
For more on creating the kind of change that can change our lives....visit this page where you can find more on what that "Hard Work" is about....
You can do this. :)
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