Hopeful wish = weak suggestion

By Dave Henning / April 25, 2023

“A boundary presented as a hopeful wish is nothing but a weak suggestion.  And a boundary presented as a threat will only do more damage.”- Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst concludes Chapter 5 of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, with the final three factors to help you set good boundaries.

3.  Boundaries help you fight for the relationship.  When we fail to set a boundary, we set the stage for simmering resentments.  Above all, this is much more damaging than a boundaries conversation.  It’s a much bigger risk to delay or refuse to have conversations than to risk setting a boundary.

4.  A boundary without a real consequence will never be taken seriously.  Therefore, consider the consequences for crossed boundaries with wisdom and logic.  Also, Lysa counsels, think through consequences ahead of time.  Process them with a counselor or wise friends.

So, Lysa offers several ways she structures her consequences:

  • establish your boundary in support of the relationship, not against it; you want to readjust their access, not accuse them
  • phrase your consequence as a statement, not as a question; to implement the boundary or the consequences that go with it doesn’t require their permission
  • discuss — not justify or explain — the consequences

5.  Play out how this boundary will benefit you.  Sometimes when we feel the pain of setting a boundary that causes us to forget the good reasons we’re setting boundaries.  In doing so, we take responsibility to keep our own sanity, safety, and serenity in check.

As a result, it’s crucial that you think through the positives of setting boundaries beforehand from a place of strength.  Because if things get tough and emotional, you’ll stand your ground.  And even though getting to a better place doesn’t always feel good in the moment, it’s still good.

In conclusion, Lysa exhorts:

“We need to make it a goal to not get pulled into overcommunicating or justifying or explaining ourselves ad nauseam, and risk giving up on pursuing healthful relationship dynamics.”

Today’s question: Do you equate a boundary presented as a hopeful wish with a weak suggestion?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Dysfunction – cooperating with?”

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Dave Henning

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