Respecting your boundaries

A sign saying "Boundary Line"

Boundary line

If there is one thing I’m bringing with me into 2022, it’s boundaries.

Boundaries – they’re the fences people put up to keep strangers out of their lawns, the do not cross tapes that policemen put to prevent people from interfering a crime scene and the circle SpongeBob drew to keep the sea bear away from him. But do you have a boundary set for yourself?

I’ve always known that there are certain things that I like and dislike. Certain things I'm adamant not to partake in and ones that I’m willing to give a try. Certain behaviours I can tolerate and some that just really get on my nerves. However, it’s not until this past month that I’ve started to truly respect my boundaries and communicate them with people.

Sometimes it’s easy for you to draw the line but to actually tell people that they’re making you feel uncomfortable or that you don’t feel like doing that thing they want to do can be a bit tricky especially if you’re a non-confrontational person. Perhaps it’s because you’re afraid of embarrassing someone when you tell them off, or that you’ve let them down because you don’t feel like working an extra shift today. 

But why should you? You shouldn’t do things just because you fear being perceived negatively for not doing it. Sometimes it’s necessary to say NO, especially when it comes to your personal space and mental health!

I’ve been trying my best to let people know that they’ve invaded my personal space. Yes, this includes going through my phone without my permission. That’s a huge no-no to me because phones contain personal things too. Also, I’ve been trying to be more honest in telling my friends that I don’t feel like hanging out simply because I’m not in the mood to. Sometimes you just need your Me Time, ya know?

While it’s important to set boundaries for your physical being, it’s equally as important to set a boundary when it comes to sharing personal issues too. Some people might not feel comfortable when you drop your trauma on them unannounced. Sometimes, you might be dealing with your own set of personal issues and need to focus on yourself first. So, it’s good to let your friends know that you’re not in the right head space to listen to them rant at the moment and direct them to another friend who might be down to help instead, and vice versa. 

Still, I’ll admit that it’s not easy to uphold and make your boundaries clear to others. It takes time and practice to have the courage to call people out for crossing the line but it’s already a good start if you’re starting to create those lines. Remember this quote: You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, boundaries