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Strictly held, firm ego boundaries allow freedom to the individual and ease of interaction in relationships. Think about it: once everyone knows what the rules are, where the limitations lie, what each person needs to survive and thrive, then all parties involved can relax and stop testing, pushing, re-establishing, feeling invaded, so forth and so on.

Boundaries, once established, can be as flexible as desired; the more they are respected by everyone concerned, the easier it is to trust the situation and go with the flow, without fearing "takeover" agendas, manipulative and invasive maneuvers.

When I was a teacher, I found it to be true. I was a very strict teacher. There were rules of behavior and courtesy, and all 40 students knew clearly what those expectations were and that they were required to follow them. As a result, I had a very relaxed classroom. No one feared being attacked or vilified (this was in what was called the "ghetto" at that time, so attacks with weapons and vicious trash language were the norm on the outside). And I could relax and teach; they could trust that nothing bad was going to happen and they could attend to learning.

Other teachers screamed and punished, sent students to the office. I never raised my voice (and because it looked so easy, every year I was given the 'bad boys'). A transgression had a pre-set consequence (no surprises) and, once completed, was totally forgiven (though not forgotten--I had eyes in the back of my head, so I was told).

The students, parents and administration loved me. It was a rewarding experience for us all. I was a good teacher and my students thrived.

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