There are great relational advantages in signalling to others our values, intentions and identity. Not least, it helps us to enlist support and make space for ourselves.
Boundaries can be useful. But they can also be badly misused, even by therapists.
Emotional blackmail attempts to control a person by leveraging their caring reputation. Standing up to it requires firmness.
Being authentic requires skill. We are like carpenters. Our inner values and feelings are our raw materials, but we need to use the tools of wisdom to produce the useful furniture of our behaviour.
We all get taken advantage of from time to time. Those doing it rely either on power differentials, or a degree of hiddenness in their actions. Fortunately, there are things we can do to correct the balance.
From birth, our lives are a question of negotiation. Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we don’t. How we handle the balance of this is critical to our happiness.