Boundaries feel like something I'm being tested on lately. There's been so much newness and passion in my life this year, a lot of the newness is reminding me of what is truly for me and what's not. Not necessarily as black and white as that sounds, but as I near 30 and have experienced what I have personally and professionally the more knowledge I have on myself. In a way, this is saying, I know what's a "yes" vs. "no" for me. I know and understand what I need and want in all forms of relationships. There's also a difference in someone or something crossing a boundary once and crossing it multiple times.
I have put a lot of time and effort into doing that work, so I value that awareness. I also have a lot of work left to do.
I confidently listen to my intuition and trust myself in bad and good situations when something doesn't feel good for me. It doesn't mean I'm not willing to get curious with the other person involved so we can better get to know each other. I would describe it as red flags in a way. There are certain characteristics in people, jobs, situations, and environments that I learn to watch out for especially when it becomes a pattern of behavior. People are capable and entitled to never stay the same, but they also are who they are. Personality traits are specific to us and typically stay the same, and we may adapt and learn based on our environment and the people around us. Some are open-minded and committed to a growth-mindset and others lean more towards a fixed mindset.
I would also describe this as "triggers". I am triggered by certain behavior, we all are for our own reasons. Of course, others don't know what our triggers are and why without us sharing with them. So, we must also determine, is this relationship and person worth the discussion of why the event triggered me? Do I feel safe with them? Has this also now become a pattern and now I'm having to experience the trigger often? The first question is also saying, do I trust this person enough to be vulnerable with?
A way to determine who lives within what boundaries, is to draw a diagram for yourself. This weekend I took the time to do this activity. You draw 3 circles inside of a larger 4th circle. The smallest circle represented intimacy - who am I the most vulnerable with? The next circle is friendship, then participation (e.g. colleagues), and lastly exchange (e.g. going to the bank or grocery store). You can find an example of this by googling "boundary circles". There are several different versions, but you'll get the idea. This exercise was invaluable to me. Everyone remembers and learns differently, so this is a great way to get out of your head and visualize what boundaries are for you and who is included in each category. For me, I think this will be a great to visualize in each conversation, what feels safe and right for me with that person.
I prioritize trust in relationships. I don't trust easily. When my trust and respect for someone is sacrificed because of someone else's selfishness, I don't understand how they can expect or think our relationship would remain the same. I suppose that sounds straightforward, but I do think people can be so caught up in their own pride and ego, they don't realize how they are hurting others in the path to getting their ego stroked or accomplishing a goal. I am incredibly driven and motivated to reach my goals, but never at the sacrifice of my connected, trusted relationships, or people in general.
I think this comes down to self-awareness and empathy. Some may be willing to step on others to get what they want. I believe and know that I can get what I want without sacrificing any of my core values: relationships/friendships (family is included here), security, happiness, education, and honesty. As a 6th value that I would include with relationships is legacy - I value having an impact on others in a meaningful and long-lasting way.
What does everyone think about this topic? How do you set boundaries with the people and circumstances in your life? Do you have specific examples?
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