Healthy Boundaries

It has often been said that “Good fences make for good neighbors.” I believe that this is very true and applicable to human relationships and emotions. It is when the boundaries are blurred that we start thinking that people are either our possessions or extensions of ourselves that every starts to go a bit awry.  To have good friendships and relationships, it is imperative that we know when we stop and where the other begins.

When we over-reach beyond our boundary and start to exercise dominion over others and their lives and wishes, we are paying them a huge disrespect by proverbially kicking them off the driver’s seat of their own life and self-righteously taking the steering wheel.  Shouldn’t we already have our hands full with maneuvering our own life without needing to add more to our already heaping plate of concerns and issues.

The moment that we forget that “the other person” is an individual who has a right to exercise their own sound or faulty judgement over their own life, it is a slippery slope which eventually becomes a mad dance of attempting to exert our own power and control over the other and bending them to submit to our will–and then we wonder why they are evading us, silent, or keeping secrets from us. Once we forgot this basic decency and respect of the other as their own person, it is a step further from our own humanity since disrespecting another’s distinct humanity is not exactly commendable.

For people who are on the other side of the fence and find themselves on the receiving end of such control, passive-aggressive manipulations, and unsolicited advice, it would be time to learn to exercise your own judgement and reinforce your own boundaries by erecting a healthy fence between oneself and the would-be dominator. This does not mean becoming rebellious or aggressive, but merely not letting the person get their way and their judgements in without putting one’s own judgement and well-being into primary consideration.

In saying all this, it would be easy to mistakenly conclude that I am promoting a indifference towards the plight of others and I must say at this point that this is the last thing which I am encouraging in anyone. I believe that we can offer our help and suggestions when asked, but we must learn to step back and respect the person’s choices and not get frustrated or punish them for not doing as we have told them to or not acting as we would like them to act.

If another has said their piece and thrust their unsolicited opinions towards your direction… Step back, regroup, and exercise your own sound judgement without being bullied into a certain course of action.

If you’ve said your piece, and shared your solicited point of view… Step back, let go, and let be.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

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