I was today-years-old when I learned about the term ‘boundaries’. I kid you not. The universe had realised there was a glitch in my upbringing and somewhere along the line, I failed to be acquainted with the concept of boundaries. Thus, I realised, I have no boundaries.
It started a few days ago when I was having a conversation with my sister and she made a statement about boundaries. I’ve never really considered that word before so I brushed it off and went on with my day.
A couple of days later, I heard someone mention it on the radio. I wasn’t paying attention to the story but the word caught my attention and I tried to remember what my sister said about it. My brain switched over to something else and I went on with my day.
Another day went by and low and behold in my inbox, among other recommended articles from publications I follow, I received an article about boundaries. The universe was definitely trying to teach me something.
What I learned about boundaries.
Apparently, me going through my whole life thinking I’m a really nice person, who always entertains other peoples’ ideas and give them the benefit of the doubt and trying out their point of view, boils down to the fact that I have no boundaries.
The article argued that it’s not as much being nice, as being unable to draw lines between what you accept as being right or being wrong and not knowing what you stand for.
Okay, I thought. This is one way of looking at it. So far it doesn’t seem like a negative thing. I pride myself with having these (what I see as) nice qualities. Let’s go on.
The article further read that the reasons some people are unable to set boundaries are because they prioritise other peoples’ perception of them over anything else and they have a lack of self-esteem which causes the need for everyone to approve of them.
Okay, I thought again. Those are pretty general characteristics common among many people. We all want to be perceived in a good way craving approval is quite normal. Right?
Where it got interesting.
According to this article people with no boundaries are really hard to date. While you as a boundary-less person think you’re coming across as being really nice, engaging and supportive, you fail to place a limit on the behaviours of both you and you’re loved one. You never state what is okay and what is not, what you prefer and what you dislike. Essentially you fail to communicate what you tolerate because you go out of your way to justify everything the other person does or says.
Okay, you’ve got my attention now. I still don’t think it’s a bad thing, I call it being understanding or simply just being a chill person. Go on.
Because people without boundaries live up to other peoples’ perception and approval, they aren’t entirely true to themselves and this results in their needs not being fulfilled. They don’t necessarily realise this as they just focus on acting in a way that keeps the other person happy. Everything seems fine until the person all of sudden reaches a breaking point seemingly out of nowhere, oftentimes not even knowing where it came from themselves. This can result in anything from seemingly disconnecting out of nowhere, being passive-aggressive, sudden ghosting, uncontrollable panicking, yelling or even completely cutting someone off. It’s survival instincts kicking in because something is just not right.
Okay, hold the phone. There you have me. I am that person in a relationship. Always. Spot on.
I haven’t had time to process all of this yet, but it’s definitely something to contemplate. I’m not about to stop being nice and giving other people the benefit of the doubt nor will I ever be that confident to not care what other people think of me, but maybe I should consider drawing some lines somewhere. Not only for me but for the future person I date as well.
I’m really sorry to all the previous people in my life who got confused by my sudden breaking points. I guess I should have been more honest from the beginning and not have pretended to be okay with everything all the time until it was too late. I honestly just wanted to keep the peace.
Well, I guess the universe has spoken. I can not unlearn what I just learned. I need to start setting some boundaries. Thank you, I guess?
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