In a relationship you bring your own baggage. You may feel more easily triggered, or scared, or angry, in certain situations that are beyond the control of your loved one(s).
When it comes to your emotions, there are no rights or wrongs. You feel how you feel, but it is how you act on it, and how you communicate those emotions, that counts. This is where boundary-setting comes in. Boundaries help you to establish the space within which you can –
One approach to all of this is to use DEAR skills to set boundaries with love. DEAR skills were developed by Marsha Linehan, who created Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Here is a quick three-minute run-down on using DEAR skills to set boundaries with love -
If DEAR skills are new to you, start slowly. Try one or two parts of it the next time you need to set your boundaries with love.
If you would like more tools to tackle relationship conflict, get Beyond the Blue, available from most good book retailers.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, author of Beyond the Blue, and LGBTQ+ advocate