Sofia happily accepted a Facebook friend request from her mom-in-law. After a few days, she was included in a family Whatsapp group with already 25 members, without any consent. A few weeks later, she received another request from her mom-in-law on LinkedIn. She could not understand being followed, on a professional medium. She sensed a cringe, stomach-churning feeling of someone keeping an eye on her everywhere – “My privacy is violating.“
After a few months, her mom-in-law followed her on the Instagram business page. Finding this whole situation extremely frustrating, Sofia silently removed her from the followers’ list. She knew discussion with her husband is worthless as he would not see it as an invasion of privacy. Sofia knew what exactly he would say – “It is a social media so, I must be ready to be followed by anyone and if I am okay in connecting with strangers then why not a family member?”
To avoid argument or confrontation, she removed her mom-in-law from the followers’ list. After a few days later again Sofia found her mom-in-law following her on Insta. Frustrated with the whole development, she blocked her mom-in-law from social media. “Family groups were sufficient enough to stay connected. Can’t I keep my professional and personal life separate?” asked Sofia to her friend.
How many of us know how to set boundaries and how many of us respect others boundaries? There is a massive struggle between creating boundaries. Most of us are either unaware of our own or are willing to shift the pole for others to fit in our priorities and needs without realising that we barge into unmindfully.
Nice or kind
The two words nice and kind often are used interchangeably, but they have a huge difference. We could be nice to others, yet be unkind. And we could be both to others but equally unkind to ourselves. In being likeable to others, most of us forget to guard our boundaries. Using no is complex for many. No is a complete sentence in itself with nothing to be explained or added. Using the word – no – with awareness is an act of kindness for you and others. It is a step towards establishing boundaries.
First time is the hardest
I am not the first person to say it and, this isn’t the first time you are listening that it’s all about the first time.
Since childhood, to be nice to everyone is an expectation by everyone and, that’s half of the picture. If ever you were taught to be kind to others and yourself too in quite an early stage of life, you would have learnt the art of creating boundaries faster.
Since that didn’t happen, it doesn’t mean you can’t start now.
The first time is a bit harder for everything and everyone. With courage and practice, you would learn to set and reset your boundaries.
Both sides are equally challenging.
When you choose to establish boundaries, you realise how difficult it is. But the struggle has been a lot harder by not having anything in place. People have taken the liberty to cross the limits that impact you more than anyone else. In some cases, the family bears the brunt because you did not have your belief systems and values set in place. You did not take out the time to internalise what is okay or not okay for you. Both ways it is laborious but, by setting limits – you take charge of your situation instead of the situation running all over you.
Boundaries lets you take your due credit
I spoke to a senior economist of a reputed bank who in less than few minutes gave the credit of her success to the people around her, circumstances, her luck and hard work with the self-doubting question, “I do not know how I reached here.”
To set boundaries, a process of self-awareness begins for you to see your strengths and weakness. It lets you acknowledge the things you went right and take due credit for it. You challenge your values and beliefs to continue with the same set or replace them with new. You recognise your worth which supports you in holding onto your peripheral.
Who am I?
An author, Holistic Wellness Coach and Book Coach.
My first book, I Love Myself : Discover A life through Self-Love, allows to move into positive and progressive mindset.
My second book, Write.: Find your Own Mind as a Writer, encourages you to pick up pen and start writing to tell your story. I can help you in writing non-fiction book.
As a Holistic Wellness Coach I help you to find balance, health and joy in life. These 15 years as a Coach I have supported 1000s of women through CBT, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness.
Every step turns you into A New You.
Setting boundaries is very very important these days especially since communication and social media is blurring the lines of being visible.
On a personal and professional front we come across so many people who just assume it’s okay to cross boundaries.
Yes! Many of us don’t set a limit of what’s okay and what’s not. We stay under the influence of ego to prove that I am right while you are wrong.
Much needed in today’s times.
Good write up Vandana. Do write more on this
Thanks Arti! Glad it helped you.
Boundaries really do matter a lot! The better we understand our boundaries and why we set them, life gets simpler and much more enjoyable:)
That was a great article:)
Absolutely true! Happy that it resonated with you.