Let’s Talk

About Relationships, Boundaries, and Listening

Q. Could you please share some more about healthy relationships and boundaries?

A. Let’s Talk! Healthy friends learn to listen well with their hearts, don’t give unasked-for advice, and have wise boundaries. They are not controlling or needy. . . let’s stop there for a bit.

One of the sentences I heard long ago that I have chewed on over the years is, “Codependent friends don’t have relationships – they take hostages!”

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the expectations of a friend? Does a friend often take over your schedule — either not mindful of your time or disregarding your needs while focused on his or her needs only? Do your friends invite dialogue or do they want you to think like they do? Do your friends share you, or do they want you all to themselves? The list goes on, but you get the drift.

Another name for codependency is relationship addict. Where there has been emotional neglect or lack of emotional nurturing, that is the natural setup for looking for comfort in relationships/people. But! It’s a trap, isn’t it?

What’s the alternative? I believe the real cure is looking to God for what mankind just can’t give. People were never meant to fill up that hole in our hearts. Relationship dependency is a counterfeit of the real deal. We’ll talk more about healthy relationships in the next post.

For Deeper Reflection

2 Peter 2:19b, “For by what a man [or woman] is overcome, by this he [or she] is enslaved.

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com