Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Political

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Mary Clarkee
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Joined: January 24th, 2024, 2:13 pm

Re: Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Polit

Post by Mary Clarkee »

Setting boundaries is important in any relationship. It helps both people understand each other's needs and limits. When we set boundaries, we're saying what's okay and what's not okay for us. And it's just as important to respect the boundaries of others, so everyone feels safe and comfortable.
Gladis Ratish Kumar
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Joined: January 24th, 2024, 7:42 pm

Re: Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Polit

Post by Gladis Ratish Kumar »

Setting boundaries is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship. Your article truly opened my eyes. I often find myself making sacrifices in various aspects of my relationships. However, there are times when I feel unappreciated. Now, I realize the importance of establishing boundaries to prevent such feelings of inferiority and to foster healthier relationships.
Stephen Christopher 1
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Joined: May 22nd, 2023, 8:57 am

Re: Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Polit

Post by Stephen Christopher 1 »

Wow, there's a lot to unpack in this post, but a few things resonated with me that I wanted to comment on:

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) wrote:

Ultimatums can be an example of honest assertive communication. Sometimes the most honest assertive and kind thing to do, for example, is admit upfront to the employee explicitly that if they do that certain thing they will be fired. It's more honest and kind than springing the firing onto them with no advance warning.

However, ultimatums aren't always an example of honest assertive communication. Sometimes they are the exact opposite.
For years I've always considered ultimatums as a negative, and if I'm given one, I walk away. But this is a concept I hadn't considered before. I wonder if having a view that the ultimatum benefits both parties, then it's a positive. if the ultimatum only serves to benefit the person giving the ultimatum, then it's toxic. Is that fair?

If someone says, "I'm fine," you honestly and simply think, "Great, they're fine." :)

That is part of the hand-in-hand nature of free-spirited inner peace and practicing honest assertive communication both in how you speak/write and how you listen/read.

Even if they secretly are a toxically unassertive liar, you've just used the power of assertive communication to not jump in their sinking boat, to not handcuff yourself to someone who's deadset on drowning. Their self-created hell is a circus of their own control and creation; you can't save them from it, but you can choose to not play with their dishonest demon monkeys.
So if the person says to me, 'I'm fine,' but it's said through gritted teeth and with a combatative tone, I ignore that and take the comment on its face value? By their tone and delivery, they're displaying their own toxicity, right? So, if I was to go ahead and read into that delivery, I'm enabling their toxicity?
Alida Spies
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Re: Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Polit

Post by Alida Spies »

I'm not sure that ultimatums have much value. Take the example of a wife with an alcoholic husband. She may set an ultimatum that he must stop drinking or she will leave him and take the kids with her. She can't change him; he has to change himself. He may revert to drinking on the sly, or he may become aggressive (or more aggressive if it was part of his alcohol abuse repertoire already) or he may decide there is nothing to live for as he can't stop drinking and he can't live without his wife. He commits suicide (or kills his entire family and then commits suicide). Of course, he may actually stop drinking, but how likely is he to stick to it if he didn't honestly believe the change was necessary? An ultimatum is usually a last resort and if loving, honest conversations don't help, an ultimatum is unlikely to succeed.

I'm a big believer in honesty and I would never advocate that lying is acceptable. However, it's not always that straightforward. Keeping quiet instead of telling the truth is a form of lying. So if you know your friend's wife is cheating on him (i.e. she told you or you have other factual evidence), do you tell him? If you see your colleague spending hours every day playing games during working hours, do you tell your manager? If your mother contracts cancer and tells you, but requests that you don't tell your brother or your father, what do you do?

Despite my comments above, the advice is valuable and something I will refer to again, thank you for publishing it!
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