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Setting Healthy Boundaries with Silvy Khoucasian


Boundaries in relationship

Silvy Khoucasian is a couple's therapist and relationship coach with a passion for helping individuals and couples have healthier relationships with themselves and others. She also creates a ton of beautiful content on Instagram, a lot of it centering on boundaries and attachment styles.

Today, we deep dive on boundaries - what they are, how to set them, and what to do when they're being violated. 

What you'll learn about boundaries in relationships (or why you should care):

• What the heck boundaries are and the four types of boundary violations

• The difference in how men and women process and talk about emotional reactions

• The importance of repairing after a boundary violation has taken place, and how to do

• How to bring safety and respect to a conversation about boundaries

Where to find Silvy Khoucasian

Mentioned on the podcast:

Silvy's Boundaries Program

Harriet Lerner's book - Why Won't You Apologize?

Brene Brown's book - Rising Strong

Rokelle Lerner's book - Living in The Comfort Zone: The Gift of Boundaries in Relationship

This show is produced by Shaun Galanos with the help from Gilford Street Studios. 

Read about Boundaries in Relationships:

Setting Healthy Boundaries with Silvy Khoucasian

“A boundary is just an agreement that creates the best possible energetic, dynamic space for a relationship to really thrive for both partners.”

Silvy Khoucasian: Hi, my name is Silvy Khoucasian. I'm an associate psychotherapist and a relationship coach.

There are so many different things I could say, but what I primarily really focus on is help singles and couples with their relationships, helping them to create boundaries, but also how to express themselves, show up for both themselves and their partner in relationships.

I am a Middle Eastern gal. I moved to the United States at four years old from Syria. I also have a lot of unique cultural components in my own personal life that I like to bring into my work.

Shaun Galanos: We could start by explaining what is a boundary and why are they so important in relationships?

Silvy Khoucasian: That's a beautiful place to start and so important. A lot of us would be,

"What the hell is a boundary, I don't even know where to start with holding a boundary. How do I know where my boundary is?"

Shaun Galanos: What is a boundary?

Silvy Khoucasian: A boundary is something that we create to protect our emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, energetic space and this can be languaged very differently but the essential component of it is— we're protecting ourselves.

A common distinction I like to make is that there's a huge difference between a boundary and a wall.

A boundary is actually created so you can then feel safe to be more intimate and loving with the person, whereas a wall is actually, "I'm just putting up boundaries, I'm never going to let you get in so I could protect myself".

There's a healthy version of protecting our energetic space and then there's a version that's actually very destructive and unhealthy for relationships.

Figuring out which is which again is a part of that journey.

Shaun Galanos: It sounds like boundaries are what we can put in place in order for others to know what is a safe way of them interacting with us.

And a wall sounds like something that we put up as a defense mechanism to not allow people to get closer to us.

Silvy Khoucasian: Exactly. You nailed it.

Shaun Galanos: If one of them invites connection and conversation and exploration around that boundary and why it's there and what it does, and the other is just like, "No, this is a no-zone, do not enter".

Silvy Khoucasian: Let's think about it just really logically.

If I've been physically abused or if I was put in a situation as a child where I constantly had to be physically affectionate with family, even family members as a young kid, but I was a really sensitive child, my body would close down because I didn't feel comfortable.

If my parents weren't tuned into that, my physical boundaries were constantly being violated.

As an adult, I might be really sensitive to how people touch me.

If I go to my partner and say,

"Honey, I just want to share with you that for some reason I've always felt uncomfortable with people touching me without asking for permission or without just kind of being sensitive to my state. With you, I'd really love if you can approach me gently if you notice I tense up if you can just be really present with me. It's not about you. This is something that I'm working on, that I've had to work through for a long time."

Rather than,

"Don't touch me, make sure to ask me for permission before you touch me."

There's such a different way, but we can only do that when we own our boundaries, when we make peace that we have them and we're not trying to override them or pretend like we don't have a certain sensitivity to things, then we're getting ourselves in deeper trouble.

Do you have anything that comes up for you when I say that, Shaun?

Read the Boundaries in Relationships transcript here

If you liked this episode, you'll love this one:

Loving Bravely with Dr. Alexandra Solomon
Dr. Alexandra Solomon discusses the importance of relational self awareness in building a lasting intimate relationship with your loved one.
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Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He's a love coach, podcast host, and his mission is to put love into words. He lives in Montreal with his dog, Roger.