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How Much Should You Tolerate?


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Boundaries are lines of distinction. A place where something starts and another ends. The importance of personal boundaries cannot be overstated. Boundaries are one of the keys to a healthy and clear way of seeing the world and relating to people. There is often a misunderstanding about the nature and use of them.

There are two types of boundaries, internal and external.

  • Internal boundaries are those that prevent or manage whatever is inside from being outside.
  • External are those that prevent or manage whatever is outside from getting inside.

Both types are used to manage behavioral, physical, and emotional parts of who you are and how you relate to people. Boundaries that are flexible and adjust for the circumstances are the most effective. Boundaries that are rigid or, on the other extreme, nonexistent create all kinds of problems.

The question of how much one should tolerate is directly related to how that person manages their boundaries. The more rigid and inflexible the boundary, the more likely it is that they will tolerate nothing, hold a grudge or have little use for those that act undesirably. If boundaries are too loose it is likely that a person will tolerate too much, feel taken advantage of and be exhausted.

While most would argue that their boundaries are perfectly flexible and appropriate the truth is nobody’s boundaries are perfect. Everybody could use better focus on boundaries. So what about you? Which boundaries need the work?  Internal?  Are you too closed or too open about how you share what you think, feel and want?  External?  Are you closed off or too open about what you absorb or allow to impact you?  I encourage you to explore these questions as you start this month. Stay flexible and wisely open.


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