The Key To Managing Relationships Is In Managing Boundaries


Relationships are good but they can also cause a lot of pain and heartache. Over time many decide to break up because of the pain caused. This is not a physical pain but a mental pain. Mental pain cannot be seen but is as real as physical pain. It is the internal distress felt through broken relationships. We all need to relate to others but many get confused when communication is not clear. Many are the expectations of others and needs unfulfilled result in pain and distress. When a relationship is based on unmet needs it becomes a battle of control. A person becomes controlling of another to meet their needs. These needs are based on a hunger for love and significance. 

Basic Needs

Basic needs are met in childhood through parental love and guidance.  Many of these are not met and so as adults we tend to look for these in others. A deprived child will look for others who are deprived. They attract each other. We unconsciously attract others who have similar needs. This then sets up a cycle of events when both are expecting and demanding more from each other. This never works for a need can never be satisfied by another. We need to look to God to meet our needs and not another. When God is absent in our lives we will continue to manipulate others to meet our needs.


Boundaries become blurred and we read into things which are not there. When boundaries are blurred they lead to confused communication. Distorted and unclear communication leads to confusion and frustration. Clear boundaries keep a person objective and able to see things as they are. I don’t say things and do things to manipulate the other person. I look to God to meet my needs. I operate in the overflow and am able to communicate clearly and this enables others to be relaxed. Anxious persons make others anxious. We influence our environment by how we feel. When we feel anxious and disturbed we disturb others. 


Clear and open communication is the way to establish clear boundaries. Boundaries are unconscious written rules that govern relationships. When I intrude into another’s space I am wilfully breaking a boundary. This could be disastrous for sexual and emotional intimacy. This is how relationships get abused and result in domestic violence. Our unhindered emotions get the better of us. The solution is to be clear and open in our communication with each other. In this way we can slowly grow in our relationships and be loved and accepted.

Photo by Ron Lach on

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