Establishing a Perimeter: Setting Boundaries

Ever since the Command and Control series began, I have talked a lot about control. Inevitably, we must maintain control of ourselves. Which is to say, we must protect ourselves from the enemy.

Establishing a perimeter means you are in control of yourself and your environment. It means, No one can impose their will upon you. You are free. Or at least, as long as your perimeter is secure.

We all have our own values – things we believe are important. And unfortunately there are those who will try and impose their warped values on us. We can prevent this intrusion by setting boundaries with others.

Balancing Tenderness and Aggression

Admittedly, the idea of a perimeter or boundary is a very aggressive notion. It is a show of dominance, or control. And some are uncomfortable with such aggression.

For years now, we’ve listened to political rhetoric involving the construction of a “border wall” in America. As we can see, Aggression often leads to a dogmatic approach – on both sides of the aisle, I might add.

Meanwhile, avoiding an aggressive stance may actually open you to attack.

Herein lies the mindset of the tyrant and nice guy-fraternizer respectively.

The tyrant is clearly born from aggression.

There is no doubt that he can get a lot of things done. No one can tell him what to do or step on his toes. He stands proudly at the perimeter to let everyone know his values, albeit a distorted Cause.

All the while, the tyrant maintains strict rule of law over those within his perimeter. No one is beyond reproach. His iron fist mentality reminds those under his control that they have none of their own.

Meanwhile, the nice guy-fraternizer is far removed from beating the war drum. It should be noted, He is not naive – he knows what his values are. However, he would rather not “nag” others. Personally, he is very disciplined and wishes others were likewise. But he holds his tongue, thus becoming the controlled rather than the controller.

He feels this arrangement is for the best. After all, he doesn’t want to be the Bad Guy.

Listen to this segment from Jocko Willink’s podcast, about two polar opposite Vietnam War colonels (video starts at 21:22, watch until 24:42):

Two extremes. They each embody the tyrant and nice guy-fraternizer – hyper-aggression and debilitating tenderness.

There was a war to win, and yet the tyrant doesn’t know what he’s winning and the nice guy doesn’t know how to win.

There are underlying, rigid doctrines associated with both of these mentalities – “dogmatic approaches.”

Beware a dogmatic approach in all things. Do not buy into the idea of a predestined outcome.

– The Warpath

When you are following a dogmatic method, involving a specific program, specific supplements, and adherence to a personal creed, you are not free. You have traded one tyrant for another.

– Idolatry in Fitness

Why have I warned you to avoid dogmatism?

Where do you think the tyrant developed his style? He listened to, and bought into, tall tales and white lies.

He became an evangelist of his favorite advertiser.

The nice guy-fraternizer has been socially programmed to not make waves. To be liked. He has made mistakes and believes those experiences have taught him the “true” path of harmony.

But really his harmonious methodology is born of fear.

Please understand, You cannot live in fear. Neither can you use fear to control others.

If you believe that you have not set boundaries in your life, or perhaps you have allowed yourself to be imprisoned by the tyrant inside of you, then proceed along the path to freedom. Or, the path to becoming a Freedom Fighter.