Tag Archives: personal boundaries

Olympian Factor Of Relationship Skills


Fasce Olympians

Fasce Olympians (Photo credit: Marco Crupi Visual Artist)

Ever notice how Olympic athletes bring on the “edge of your seat” level of anticipation when performing a feat which would most likely kill the rest of us?  About twenty years ago, I started paying attention to the kinds of events which starred a single athlete either skating to a song or making a death-defying move off the bars.  And I have also read about what goes into accomplishment of such moments.

An Olympian eats, breathes and dreams the moves over and over on a daily basis.  The practice and honing of moves are a lifestyle and habit.  The observer into a period of this athlete’s life would shake his head in amazement and think “Wow.  Get a life.”

Why?  Because the life of an Olympian is not the life of an average person.  Average means influence of emotion and desires.  Average has no focused  path to follow through on.  Reaching sub-goals on the way to achieving an goal is not everyday and mediocre practice.  Devoting hours and days to a ritual that gradually trains the body to respond automatically to a certain stimulus, is not for the average life of just getting through the days until the weekend.

Quite a few people who come to my counseling office are familiar with the observer’s stance on the practice of implementing relationship skills.  For example, most friends and family members in any given person’s life are casting doubts and surprise when personal boundaries are announced.  The new behavior of setting a time-limit on phone calls with negative people is labeled as “selfish.”  And the therapy assignment to saying “No” to the usual requests at home or in the company of friends is sometimes met with astonishment, silly questions and the expression of anger.  This person is changing the game.  He or she (client) is not only working on a healthy relationship goal, but is also refusing to act like the same old piece of furniture in other people’s comfort zone.

In this case, average is not the rule of thumb.  The client’s determination to reach a healthier level of response to bullying or co-dependent behavior, will not permit the act of submission.  The remark “Well now you’re just being crazy” or some other kind of guilt trip will not influence the training.

 

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Your Mind In 3-D


English: Kitten hiding behind some stuff in ou...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever done the “pocket of rocks” exercise?  It entails filling your pockets with rocks and only taking one out to drop it on the ground when you let go of a usual behavior.  We’re talking about self-defeating behaviors such as avoiding the person who you have a problem with.  In order to get rid of a rock, talk to the person and bring up the issue.  There’s no guarantee of you and the person straightening things out right away, but the avoidance is over.  The pain-in-the-ass action of hiding your feelings and thoughts is past, at least in this respect.  To talk is a way to add dimension to the issue and offer yourself and other people with a choice of what to do on the matter.

Many of us assume that because our thoughts and feelings exist, the other people in our lives will automatically know how we stand on everything.  Because of this, we expect these people to behave a certain way.  But we end up being surprised and hurt on a daily basis.  And it turns out that none of us have acquired the ability to read minds.  People young and old, whether you think it’s right or not, are going to go about their business towards needs and wants of the moment.  No amount of protest is going to make any lasting difference.  An occasional demonstration of anger is much like hearing a car backfire while walking down the street.  Some people might feel startled and look in that direction, but are soon continuing to walk on.  So a noise was made.  Big deal.

Most of us do pay attention to established rules.  Rules are based on the costs and benefits of certain behaviors.  The cost of my son yelling and screaming while I’m on the phone, is that I’m only hearing part of what the other person says.  I’m missing out on information and have to ask the caller to repeat himself.  Now I have to spend a longer time on the phone.  More time on the phone, means less time doing something else which is important to me and my son.  This means we lose all around.  New household rule: Quiet when someone is on the phone.  The consequence to disobeying this rule is…

The rule is made aware by discussing the costs and benefits with all household occupants and then posting it in a central place.  Now it’s out of your head and on paper or poster board.  Everyone can see it and you don’t have to rely on the fantasy of mind-reading.