Once you begin the work of setting boundaries, you may notice how much of your thinking is wrapped up in codependency. It is one thing to change the behavior around this belief system. It is another to hold your thoughts captive, and shift your cognitive perspective to support your healing.
Codependent thinking is often rooted in shame and focused on the other person’s needs, behaviors, or opinions. It may sound like “I see they are mad, I wonder what I did wrong?” Here you will find that it is common to take on the blame or burdens of a relationship as your responsibility to manage.
On the other hand, Boundary Led thinking looks at the relationship from a holistic, wider view. It gets curious, and instead of claiming ownership over the problem, thinks “I see they are mad, I will ask them for some clarification.” Because in reality, it may have nothing to do with you.
Do you see the difference? Another example of Codependent Thinking sounds like “maybe if I keep trying, they will learn to love themselves and try to get better.” Here you see that this codependent thinking is tied up in control. But, with Boundary Led thinking you can learn to pause, resist the urge to cling to control, and say to yourself “I am going to sit in this discomfort of not being responsible for their health and healing.”
Don’t misunderstand, Boundary Led thinking is not selfish. It puts what is best for both people front and center. It minimizes resentments, distrust, and manipulation. It assigns responsibility to the appropriate party. It is how we love and connect authentically.
If you want more support on Boundary work, check out my Boundaries course inside DYW.