I love to fall back on dictionaries for clarification of meanings, especially when it comes to relationships.
A boundary is defined as a demarcation of the "farthest limit," or something that limits, confines, restricts, or restrains. So, basically, you look at how much you can tolerate or live with and set that as a boundary. But it can change because you set it.
To restrain can mean to hold back, keep in check or under control, or repress. It can have positive and negative connotations. Such as in restraining one's temper or restraining one's freedoms. It can mean to deprive someone of freedoms or to hamper or limit any general or specific activity, growth, or effect.
As far as compromising: I think the word compromise is interesting. On one hand it means "a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands," as well as the result of such a settlement. But it also can mean the endangerment of something, or to make a dishonorable or shameful concession, as in "compromising one's intergrity" or compromising your location to an enemy, that sort of thing.
So it would seem to me that compromising is pretty much a balancing act. You can compromise on where a boundary is, and how much restraint is needed, but you have to be careful that the compromise does no harm.
I think it's also helpful to consider the difference between the two words "surrender" and "sacrifice" in compromising and making boundaries. To surrender is to voluntarily yield, submit, or give oneself over to someone or something else. To sacrifice can include surrender but involves giving something up, and possibly even permit injury or disadvantage to oneself do so. I see surrender as a way to let go of old wants and adopting your partner's wants as your own, in a way to feed and nourish the relationship. Surrendering, to me, is something that encourages solidarity. It's like saying, "I want what you want." But sacrifice in negotiating a compromise leaves a sense of loss or missing something, and possibly encourages a little bit of martyrdom. It's a very subtle distinction, but important nonetheless.
Okay, that wasn't really quick and dirty but I've never been known to be brief.
Last edited by nycindie; 02-25-2011 at 09:38 PM.