Welcome to all of my Moms who have kiddos with diabetes:
Today’s question is: Have you ever needed to set a “boundary” on your relationship with someone regarding diabetes?
I’d like to begin by saying that most people use boundaries improperly. Most people think that saying no is a boundary, but there’s more to a boundary than that.
Actually a boundary is saying no and then following it up with a clear action as to what you will do if the boundary is crossed again. Saying no and threatening someone or telling them how they should behave is NOT a boundary.
When it comes to being a mom who has a child with diabetes there were many times that I felt the need for a boundary, but I often used the word “boundary” improperly. Every time I felt offended or was upset with someone about their comment in regards to diabetes I would want to set a boundary…limit them.
However, I realized that a boundary is only required when there is a boundary violation. The way I like to think about it is that there is someone coming into your personal property space, literally coming into your house without permission – coming into your emotional space without permission.
I used to set boundaries without making the other person aware of what the violation was and exactly what I expected of them. A boundary is set when you state what you will do if the person continues the behavior. It is NOT telling that person how to behave. Saying no by itself is not setting a boundary. I have found saying no about a particular violation then getting defensive and exasperated just hurts myself.
I found that coming from a place of love, I honestly tell the person what it is they’ve done (the violation) and request that they no long do it…then I tell them what my response will be if they continue to do that action. Then I follow through.
It is very effective and leaves all the drama out. When a friend used to always make comments about high blood sugar numbers when we were together, I asked them to please stop commenting and judging my management of my child’s diabetes. Then I followed through with what would happen if it continued. I would choose not to be in their company and decline any of their invitations to be with them.
When setting a boundary you always have to follow through if the violation continues. So before you speak about a boundary violation be sure to be willing to risk the relationship, be willing to follow through.
There have been instances that I have tolerated diabetes comments and judgement because I wasn’t willing to risk the relationship. I would just mention that I didn’t like their behavior but didn’t set a boundary because I knew I wouldn’t follow through. Idle threats just become drama if the consequences are not followed through.
Every time I’ve set a boundary my relationship with that person has gotten stronger. There was a level of respect that grew.
Just remember that nine times out of ten times, there is no boundary violation. It’s just that you aren’t telling the person the truth from the beginning and trying to control their behavior. Setting a boundary is not about telling someone else how to behave. It’s about telling someone else what you are going to do if the behavior continues.
A boundary is never about trying to control someone else’s behavior. It’s about you managing yourself and your actions.
Do you want need help setting boundaries and honoring them? Do you want to build a future designed by you? Join me in a FREE 30 minute Exploration Coaching Session! It’s personal and confidential one-on-one coaching. Click here to schedule a free session.