“Good fences make good neighbors.” So it is with other relationships: good boundaries create good relationships. Boundaries are not the same as making complaints. Quite the opposite. Boundaries imply consequences if they are broken. We teach people how to treat us and must make it clear that if they act a certain way that we find offensive, we will respond in a way so as to send a strong message. For example, one of my boundaries is “If you speak to me disrespectfully, I will discontinue the conversation and may expect an apology before resuming any contact with you.” Far from pushing others away, this kind of clear, respectful boundary causes others to take me seriously and respectfully. 

Dr. David Hawkins is the director of the Marriage Recover Center where he counsels couples in distress. He is the author of over 30 books, including Dealing With the CrazyMakers in Your Life90 Days to a Fantastic Marriage, and When Pleasing Others is Hurting You. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives with his wife on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities. You can also find Dr. Hawkins on Facebook and TwitterDr. Hawkins offers a free, 20 minute consultation, with requests sent to his email address at drdavid@marriagerecoverycenter.com. Also, remember his guarantee at The Marriage Recovery Center: 3 Days To A New Marriage, Guaranteed! He is also excited to continue offering his special eBook, A Love Life of Your Dreams free for you to download.