I was working on some content yesterday on the topic of parenting with boundaries. I realized within my writing, that adults doing this work tend to be conditioned to believe that brute force or controlling a child is what to avoid. We have learned that compliance by way of yelling, spanking or punishment has harmful, long term affects— and while the “job” gets done and a child behaves, we miss out on the ever importance of CONNECTING.
However it occurred to me that there is another “dark side” of relationships that isn’t as talked about… a just as damaging flip side of perhaps the same coin as control or brute force… it’s called PASSIVITY.
I have parents message me who are working so hard at healing and breaking cycles, so much so that they have frozen, lost confidence and are uncertain of themselves and their skill set. Perhaps they have gone from controlling every move and forcing compliance to complete passivity out of FEAR. For others, passivity has always been their style; avoiding saying “no” to their child because they can’t handle the backlash, the crying, the potential loss of acceptance… it’s embarrassing and exhausting and overwhelming.
But maybe you’re not a parent, yet you struggle setting limits because you fear losing love. You’re playing it safe in the passive zone, but you never really feel seen, heard, accepted. And this you know deep inside, which causes distrust and anxiety. You are stuck in a cycle of performing or pretending, then withdrawing, then the guilt and shame spirals… You feel at any moment the rug could be pulled out from beneath you. And it sucks.
I GET IT. I am here to tell you, there is a BEAUTIFUL space in between. One that is not so controlling, rigid, tyrannic, and one that is also not passive, fearful, frozen.
You can learn to live in relationship, with your child, your partner, your in laws, with clarity, kindness and healthy communication. You can learn how to express what you need, without blowing up, or without shrinking back.
You no longer have to CONTROL or be PASSIVE. You can heal, become more aware, practice and show up as your authentic self. You deserve this, and so do your relationships.