Boundaries are very crucial and important for a healthy relationship but ultimatums are the worst. It can destroy a relationship and can never help you in a positive way.
The difference between ultimatums and boundaries in a relationship is that - establishing healthy boundaries allows both the partners to feel positive and have equal power in the relationship but ultimatums are a final demand of terms which in rejection leads to a negative impact in the relationship, it gives a supreme power to one of the partners and there is no equality left in the relationship.
Whenever you make a demand in a relationship saying that if that demand isn't fulfilled you will break the relationship and move forward, you are creating an ultimatum. The main reason to give an ultimatum is to claim the power of the relationship. While many think that in a relationship one holds more power than another, its not like that. Both the partners should have an equal amount of power.
Did you know?
"When you are negotiating for a car or a house, you are taught to offer a price with which you are comfortable and then walk away without looking back. This is how you bring the power back to yourself, rather than taking it away from the opposing party.
While this might work for negotiations with tangible objects, I have found that it never works for dealing with intangible relationships.
What does ultimatums do to your relationships?", said Psychologist & Founder of EduPsych, Ms. Ruchi Bakhai
"The main reason to give an ultimatum is to claim the power of the relationship. While many think that one person in the relationship holds more power than another, I like to believe that an equal balance of power is possible. Just difficult to attain.
Anyway, in order to take power in a relationship, sometimes people give ultimatums. These people like to believe that an ultimatum will ignite fear in the other party, suggesting that the relationship could potentially fail.
Of course, in order to make a relationship last, you must stay away from ultimatums.", Ruchi Bakhai said.
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1)Ultimatums create and foster resentment.
If someone agrees to something under the pressure of an ultimatum, the person will eventually realize the associated trickery and pressure, which might lead a person to feel less interested in the relationship.
Pressuring someone to be in a relationship or making a person do something he or she doesn't want to do is never a good strategy.
2)Ultimatums create negativity in relationships.
All of us aspire to be in relationships that are full of positive energy, as no one wants to be constantly surrounded with negativity. Eventually, if you create too much negativity, your loved one will not want to be around you quite so much and will find excuses to stay away.
3)Ultimatums create situations in which both parties are fighting for power.
Try as much as you can to create a relationship in which there is an equal balance of power, if one person has far more power than another, there is an imbalance, which will always result in a fallout. People do not like being put in positions of diminished power for too long.
Quoting an example of a romantic relationship:
My friend Rina had been in a relationship since a very long time but as soon as she started creating ultimatums and acquiring more power than her partner, it started getting worse and they were facing a lot of problems - never ending arguments, fights, late or no replies to messages, no phone calls for days and worse - being avoided and mostly being stood up at dates.
She did not want her partner to hangout with his girlfriends or go out with his friend group that had girls in it. She had become over-possessive and too controlling for him and used to say that if he goes out with some other girl she would break the relationship. The ultimatum that she had made automatically led to the death of the relationship.
Ultimatums aren't just a death wish to romantic relationships. One should steer clear from ultimatums in any and all kinds of relationships. You must never create ultimatums. There's more fun in having an equal amount of power!
About the author:
A Content Writing Intern at EduPsych, also a mental advocate!