One thing I have learned, is that boundaries and guidelines are needed. I formerly was of the opinion that we didn`t need them.
I was walked on, because of it. People said one thing, and did another, changed their mind like their underwear, and flip-flopped like beached fish.
Not because they were evil, but because we all make mistakes as we deal with the learning curve.
We all have this idea it would be great if they (boundaries) didn`t exsist. The truth is, it would be great if we didn`t have a NEED for them to exsist.
The truth of learning new behaviours, ways of living, and of thinking, is that we need training wheels as we go. We DO need our protective gear. As we learn more and more, the training wheels can come off.
Where things can go wrong, is when we start calling them 'rules' or 'laws' or any type of thinking, that makes things seem eternally forbidden. If you put people in a position where crossing a line EVER equals 'failure', you will create the very failures you are scared of.
The outlook going into any boundaries should have the parties involved asking themselves these questions :
- What is our reason for needing this boundary ?
- Who isn`t comfortable with this boundary ? With that noted, what type of changes would that person like to see as time goes on ?
- How often will we re-evaulate our need for this boundary ?
Not having boundaries does not make you some God or Goddess Of Acceptance, anymore then Learning to swim by tying rocks to yourself, makes you a hero.
So the 'alternative' as I see it, is the state of mind the boundaries are made in. Plenty of people sit down and make a list of 'rules' yet each of them have different expectations of what those rules mean.
Changing your phrasing can help more parties be on board.
To many people :
'Breaking rules' results in punishment.
'Crossing boundaries' results in consequences.
In one instance people will complain of being treated like children, or prisoners, ( and may act accordingly) in the other instance people may accept responsibility.
The outcome of any situation, usually comes from the initial design.