Couple, Depression/Anxiety, Trauma

New Year, New Boundary (Part I)

boundaryIn a few days, the “New Year Resolution” articles will be flying all over the internet.

What’s your new year resolution? More productivity? Healthier? Better financial management? Romance?

I looked back to the year of 2017 and thought about all the clients I have worked with, individuals and couples. All of these new year resolutions, relationship, money, happiness, etc., seem to be the symptoms of one crucial issue: boundary.

That is, everything that we strive to change is behaviors and the symptoms, but not the real problem. The real issue, from what I can see, is the boundary.

Most of my clients’ suffering is not because they are bad people who did bad things 24-7. Most of the people are good people and doing what they believe is right on a daily basis. However, this is often their source of unhappiness.

I thought that we were supposed to do the right thing. I don’t understand why I am being punished for doing the right thing?

You can fill in the blanks of what the “right thing” that makes you suffer in the year of 2017. These “right thing” can be “responsibility,” “considerate,” “thoughtful,” “kind,” etc. Here are two examples are commonly seen from my individual and couple clients.
(P.S. These two examples are the combination of many people’s cases and do not represent any specific clients.”)

Example 1: Individual
I thought that I was responsible, but I ended up being the one who did all the work. Then, by doing all the job, everyone has the right to criticize me.

Example 2: Couple
Spouse 1: I did everything in the house to make your life easier, and you did nothing for me!
Spouse 2: I won’t be mad or upset if you didn’t do those things for me. If you don’t want to do it, just let me know.
Spouse 1: That’s not the point, what have you done for me?
Spouse 2: All you have to do is just ask!

I often said to my clients: “there is nothing wrong to be responsible, to be considerate, to be loving.” The issue here is not about your virtue. Please continue to be responsible, loving, considerate. You shouldn’t have to give up your positive qualities.

However, ask yourself this: when you are considerate, responsible, loving, etc., do you also give up your boundary?

(To Be Continued)

P.S. New Year Resolution: I am not against making new year resolution. I suggest you do the “resentment inventory” first as resentment is a sign of unfilled needs and unbalanced emotions. I actually make my New Year Resolution every year. The way I make my new year resolution is similar to this article here. I evaluate my personal and professional life first and continued to build on it.

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