Reasonable boundaries with Enforced Consequences Cures Resentment
I felt growing resentment about my son Steve’s collection of junk cars in our back yard. I was about to learn that reasonable boundaries with enforced consequences cures resentment.
THE SOURCE OF RESENTMENT:
Steve had a love affair with Camaros. We lived on a half-acre lot at the time with a visible barrier between the front and back halves. Even though I didn’t see them daily, I resented our yard’s resemblance to a business for finding cheap car parts.
Steve bought used Camaros to cannibalize for patching together one semi-working vehicle. The skeletons remained, growing weeds, week after week, month after month.
MY FIRST ATTEMPTS AT A SOLUTION:
I nagged. I pleaded. He promised. He forgot. Finally, I asked, “When is the soonest you can have the carcasses taken out of our yard?”
He happily answered, “By this coming Sunday at 3 p.m.”
A SOLUTION WITH TEETH REMOVES THE RESENTMENT:
I nodded. “OK, at 3 p.m. this Sunday if they aren’t gone, I’m calling a wrecker to come and take them away for scrap metal.” He calmly agreed. I quit nagging.
Sunday morning. “Mom, I’m sorry I won’t be able to take care of the cars today. I’ll get to it this week.”
I calmly answered, “That wasn’t our deal. If they aren’t gone by 3 p.m. I’m calling the wrecker.”
Steve sputtered. Tried to wheedle out of the deal. I calmly remained firm. He found a friend with a trailer and had them hauled out before 3 p.m.
EXCHANGE WHAT DOESN’T WORK FOR WHAT WORKS:
Nagging, pleading, begging, yelling…none of those work! They only create and grow resentment like the weeds coming up through the floorboards in these cars!
Reasonable boundaries combined with calmly enforced consequences gets results!
- I let Steve choose the deadline. Since it was a reasonable length of time, I agreed.
- I chose the consequence if the deadline wasn’t met.
- I was fully prepared to enforce the deadline and he knew it.
- BOUNDARIES WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES ARE WORTHLESS.
- CONSEQUENCES WITHOUT ENFORCEMENT MAKE THE BOUNDARY A LIE.
HOW THIS MAY APPLY TO YOU:
Are you plagued by feelings of resentment for someone you love? And exhausted by trying to make that person treat you with more respect? Learn more about choosing appropriate boundaries and healthy consequences with one or both of these options:
- Schedule a complimentary appointment with me to discuss your options for learning how to set and enforce boundaries. Meet with Nancy
- Order my book, Pungent Boundaries, to hear my own struggle learning to set and enforce reasonable boundaries. Available in paperback or Audible.
You have my love and support,