In days gone by people might have hauled up the drawbridge o keep the enemy at bay and to maintain their safety.

There are many ways we haul up our own personal drawbridge and, for some it may be withdrawing from the group or family members. While this copying mechanism might work for a while, it is not always a good strategy in the long term – eventually you are going to have to come out and re-stock your larder.

So why do we sometimes feel the need to haul up the drawbridge? What has happened?

Very often this can be as a result of our having allowed someone to cross our boundaries uninvited. There are times when we just need to e alone or do something for ourselves in our own way and then, all of a sudden, someone comes along and wants to take over, they feel the need to tell us what to do, to run our ship.

Family members seem to do this more often than most. We’ve all heard those mother-in-law jokes.

Let me ask you – how do you feel when someone has taken over your world, started organising your life and generally telling you what to do – all without your permission.

Personally, I feel resentful. The next thing I find when this happens is the victim in all of this (the person who lives in the castle) gets upset and sometimes that upset develops into an all-out war.

Now none of this upset and anxiety would be necessary if the victim stood hr ground and explained to the other person that it (whatever the transgression was) was just not on and she would feel better if the transgressor respected her boundaries and her world.

Sometimes such a transgression may only be the lack of asking permission and if the castle owner says “No” (ie she has clearly made her boundaries known) then the potential transgressor has a responsibility to honour that request and respect those boundaries.

We all have our personal boundaries and we all have our needs. Respecting the other person’s world is an important way of honouring that person. Respecting your own boundaries is paramount in honouring the self.

If you’d like to talk more on this subject

Marg Hobby

Life Coach Adelaide