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Setting New Boundaries in Old Relationships

The holiday season is often a re-entering into your oldest relational wounds.

In another week or so, you’ll go sit across the table with those who you have a history of hurt with, and maybe some level of tension.

If you want to continue on in a relationship with them, but you want to do it in a wiser way than before, this is where the “boundary” conversation comes in.

A boundary is this:

What do you need to put in place to have a relationship with them? What boundaries will keep you safe and keep you intact as you engage with them?

If you are around parents, older siblings, or even older relatives this holiday season—here’s something to consider:

At one time, you may have been a child in your relationship with them. They may have made your decisions for you. But you’re not a child anymore. Owning your “grown-upness” is critical if you are to have any semblance of a mature relationship with them.

Here’s what grown-ups get to decide:

– Whether you stay at their house
– Whether they stay at yours
– Whether you spend time with them at all
– How long you spend time with them
– What you do or do not talk about with them

If you used to give them a long explanation for the decisions you made. . .

You don’t owe them that anymore. Children explain themselves. Grown-ups say what they mean. Will they misunderstand you when you set your boundaries with them Maybe. Are you responsible for their feelings about your boundaries?

No.

Why? Because they’re a grown-up.

Here’s to connecting with old relationships in a new way this holiday season. You are worth the effort.

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