Unless you’re an immature child snared in the anatomy of a burly adult male or petite female, you should understand the necessity and concept of boundaries. You’ll know you have boundary issues if your co-workers leave the room the next time you spout an ill-timed joke or when your girlfriend begins crying because you advised instead of sympathized or because your nuclear family has such a grip on you it makes you want to explode.
Boundaries will preserve one’s sanity and broaden one’s experiences. If I was a dictionary, my loose definition of boundary would be: a dividing line set after emotionally ascertaining one’s place in order to practically balance life. As one of my previous posts details, setting practical boundaries is as simple as knowing when to say “no” or “yes” to family (especially), friends and others. Figure out your priorities and then work life within them while maintaining a certain down-to-earthness, so you don’t become a stickler with your time. Emotionally, this will prevent one from trekking into a forbidden area of responsibility while guarding his or her own areas of responsibility.
As author Henry Cloud puts it, “When we look further at crossed boundaries, we see that we often do not own our own attitudes; instead, we take responsibility for the attitudes of others. People often complain how this person or that person is “putting expectations” on them, as if an expectation were something you could Velcro to someone’s brain…. Whenever we feel “victimized” by another’s expectations, we need to find the attitude that’s allowing us to feel pressured by that expectation.”
So the next time you choose to whine over a perceived expectation you feel someone else is putting on you, self-reflect and check yourself, for it just might be you needing to rethink your emotional or practical boundary lines, you big baby.