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Boundaries in Communication

Healthy communication is key to resolving differences in all of our relationships albeit our co-workers, family members, or friends.  Often a lack of personal boundaries causes misunderstandings, unhealthy conflict, and hurt feelings.  Use the following ideas to help you improve your communication;

Talking

(example)  I feel __________________________ when __________.


Talking Boundaries

  • Avoid yelling, screaming, name calling, ridiculing, belittling
  • Manage emotions by breathing
  • Avoid trying to “win”
  • Avoid lying or breaking a commitment
  • Avoid shaming, patronizing or sarcasm
  • Focus on learning the other person’s perspective while accepting you can think and feel differently
  • Avoid telling another person how they should feel or behave
  • Share time.  Encourage the other person to talk (i.e., “tell me your side”)
  • Respect physical boundaries and space.


Listening

Paraphrase:                       It sounds like  ______.   If I understand you right _____________.

Ask Questions:                  When you say ____________ do you mean _______?

Express Empathy:             I see you might be feeling __________________.


Listening Boundaries

  • Stay in listening mode instead of building your defense
  • Manage your emotions by breathing
  • Focus on learning the other person’s perspective while accepting you can think and feel differently
  • Use an internal talking boundary to block things that don’t feel true for you
  • Use engaged body language
  • Avoid judgment, giving advice and trying to “win”
  • Share time
     

Adapted from the article” Setting Functional Boundaries” by Pia Mellody