Boundaries

I used to think boundary setting was hard — almost impossible — when I first realised what an unboundaried existence I had. This was when I mistakenly conflated avoidance and distance with boundaries. I’ve now learned that boundaries have nothing to do with avoidance, or distance even. Also, like with everything, a little consistency and practice has helped me get better at what I once thought was impossible. I have experienced what healthy boundaries can do in the closest relationships in my life. And like everything else, getting to one level of progress invariably opens up the road ahead, and gives me a view on how much more there is to be done. Allied aspects of setting boundaries have revealed themselves, my understanding of it has deepened. For example, I have realised how much I still would like to control outcomes. How badly I sometimes want “good” endings. How much I wish and try to mould them. How high my need to be seen as “good” is. All this, even as I am firm about boundaries.

The hard part has been realising that setting healthy boundaries comes with the added practice in learning to let go of the outcomes. And that includes being okay with imperfect, abrupt endings. Being okay with people not liking the boundary. Being okay with me not being liked for setting it. I’ve seen this to be especially true during phases when I’ve experienced rapid, constant, visible change. There have invariably been people who have been jarred by it, some people who suddenly no longer fit, some people with whom I feel the need for new boundaries, some with whom I have want to change up the boundaries. All of this is not going to uniformly go down well across the board, with everyone alike.

I’m learning that part of being better with healthy boundaries is to also get better at letting go of the need to please, and to that extent control the way the other feels about my boundaries. To be accountable only for my actions and emotions, and leave the outcome, the responsibility of the reactions and responses to the other. And I’m trying to be unhurried about learning this.

One year ago: The week ends, the week begins
Two years ago: Changing seasons
Three years ago: Skies that lie

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5 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. Pingback: My own person – haathi time

  2. Pingback: On boundaries: how they’ve changed my experience of friendship – haathi time

  3. Suchi

    I absolutely LOVED this post of yours on healthy boundaries! And for most part of your article, I felt as if I was talking to myself, but a tad bit wiser.

    I must confess, I have also been just as guilty of having this overwhelming need to be seen as ‘good’ by friends and acquaintances. However, I never quite did see how that was also me trying to control outcomes and trying to control people’s perceptions of me. Primarily because I thought wanting to be seen as ‘good’ is a very natural thing, which is probably true for everybody.

    That generic assumption has definitely changed today, and yes, setting new boundaries with close friends truly can be a tricky domain to navigate internally because there’s also an internal shift of energy and vibes involved!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi R, I wanted to check a quick thing with you. I love love love your things about vc I never want to forget series. I have been trying to think of a way to do similar posts in a different way, but so far I like your way the best compared to all I could think of. Would it be okay if I write those kind of posts on my own blog ? (with proper credits, of course)

    Like

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