#104 - How to Use Boundaries to Control (Don't Do It!)

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By Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW, Vicki Tidwell Palmer, and LCSW. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

If you’ve started using boundaries to try to control other people, congratulations! Your boundary skills are likely improving, and you have some knowledge of boundaries. That’s the good news. Now, the bad news: using boundaries to control isn’t a relational strategy, and leads to a loss of intimacy and connection. Plus, when we use boundaries to control, we miss a great learning opportunity to figure out what’s inside (and what’s outside) of our own circle of control.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #104:

  • For most people, the idea of boundaries as controlling doesn’t come as a surprise. There are absolutely times and ways that boundaries can be used as control.
  • If you’re not being honest with yourself, it’s easy to say that you’re setting boundaries for your own protection when you’re actually using them to control. Making a request can be a subtle way to get another person to act differently around something that is not vital to the health or safety of the relationship, or a way to tell another person what to do.
  • When you’re wondering whether you’re using boundaries to control, ask yourself whether you want to change is in your circle of control, or the other person’s circle of control. Next, ask yourself whether this is really a matter of safety.

Highlights from Episode #104:

  • Welcome to the episode! Vicki starts off with quick announcements about next week’s episode and an upcoming event. [00:39]
  • Vicki digs into the topic of boundaries and control, and explains the three functions of boundaries. [03:42]
  • What does it look like when boundaries are used to control? [08:47]
  • Vicki shares an example of something she has done in the past around her husband’s driving, including how she used a request to control. [13:31]
  • We hear another example of using boundaries for control. [18:38]
  • Have you seen yourself anywhere in this land of using boundaries to control? Vicki offers some advice on what to do when you’re about to use a boundary to try to control. [23:49]
  • Vicki provides more examples, and talks about how you can protect yourself instead of trying to control. [30:01]
  • Vicki recaps the good news and the bad news about using boundaries to control. [32:35]

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