The power of quietness is so underrated.
In my moments when I allow my soul to listen to my spirit, I hear a lot that may easily be lost in every day noise. The thing of boundaries has been on my mind for a while and I have been praying for a revelation on how to do this, so here goes.
The company I work for now has presented me with an opportunity to engage very different people and what works best for me, is that I am in my element. It is easier to deal with everything else when you are at peace. A few weeks into the job, I noticed that one of my producers was not taking to me. You can always pick up that energy. While the default reaction for me would be to overcompensate, I let that cloud hold for a while.
One thing that was glaring was the lack of boundaries for many of my colleagues. Not in bad taste but in oblivion. They have never been there so why bother try to implement them. The thing with no boundaries is that no one is made to live without any. It is for that reason that people with no boundaries will have a seething anger that they may not even know exists. This may be expressed as bad energy and a stank attitude.
Boundaries, simply put, are your yes’ and no’s fences that govern your life. It is the extent to which you will allow people to be part of your physical, emotional and mental space. We downplay the amount of influence people have when we allow them to be around us. Healthy boundaries give you control and wobbly allow people to impose on you.
If you were at a meeting and the boss happens to have forgotten their writing material, whose are they likely to borrow? Or do people just bugle into your office or desk for ‘quick meetings’ that lapse into a brainstorm. Do people tamper with your things without your permission or a heads up in your absence? Love, you boundaries are quite shaky.
I do not mean that you should be the wicked witch of the office neither should your boundaries excuse your jerky behavior. They are just a set of rules that you abide by and anyone who wants to be part of your life should as well. Acceptable behavior will set the stage for mental and overall wellness.
The other extreme is a rigid person who impenetrable. At my previous place of work people would make fun of the fact that my eyes served as traffic lights .With one look I would deviate a trip to my desk. While this may sound like something I am proud of, in hindsight I am remorseful to having put people through uncalled for torture. They were really good people but the depression I suffered then was like a plague that would not stop at the tenth try. My rigid boundaries were like a high tower to protect me from danger that my then paranoia made me believe was around me. There were other factors that led to that but how I felt about myself was a major contributor.
Striking a balance between wobbly boundaries and rigid high towers is gold. That begins at self-awareness and your identity. Let us do this practically
- Who are you?
- What do you stand for?
- Have you communicated your values?
- If someone was to meddle with your values, what would the consequence?
I am Medrine Nyambura a woman who is passionate about what my purpose is and look to lead a meaningful life. Justice, honesty and systems that work make my heart tick and while we are all faulty I believe in self-driven continuous improvement. As my relationships evolve from initial interaction to intentional investment, I reveal what works and areas that we can both do better factoring in the other person’s reality and truth. I have a hard time dealing with people who mess with my boundaries and will offer numerous chances to amend things and if that does not work, I will amicably walk away for the sake of my wellness. This is because I understand that how I am doing on the inside affects what I put out and would love to avoid any distractions.
That is my answer off the top of my head to the above questions. With that it is clear where to draw the line. Communicating your boundaries, if you did not have any before, will feel like David facing Goliath but you have to think long term. If you let them get away with it the first time, they will not understand any consequence you try to impose after that.
A young man once invited a lady to coffee at one of the Java branches. They had been in each other spaces for work and leisure. This time they wanted to test the waters and see what could come of it. On the day the lady got there in time, ordered a latte and whipped out her book. Buried in her book, half an hour flew by. She called him to find out where how long it would be. Another forty five minutes as there was traffic.
Not offended by any of it she went back to her book. By the time she contacted him again it was a two hours since she sat there and her latte was cold. Her phone buzzed, he was five minutes away. When finally showed up he was not frazzled by how long she has been waiting. They had a good one hour conversation and he walked her to the bus stop. She never heard from him again.
Using their friendship as base, she reached out for closure (Ladies why do we do this to ourselves?). He explained that he expected her to be furious at him for being late but instead she requested the server to warm her latte and ordered a cookie with it. That alone changed how he looked at her. She came off as a push over and he believed she would never hold him accountable. That put him off. They did not end up together but they are still good friends. She had new clarity that she needed boundaries.
Boundaries stem from standards. You will slip off but the idea is to get back on track quickly. Boundaries are a lifeline, get some.