On Keeping Boundaries

Boundaries are definitions – definitions of you, what you want and what you can do. But when someone is trying to define you according to what they think, what do you do?

In a previous post, we talked about drawing boundaries and what you need to know and do to draw them. In this one, we would be talking about how you can keep those boundaries. It is one thing to draw boundaries and a different thing to keep those boundaries intact.

Though necessary, drawing boundaries is not enough.

As long as you are human, there will be trespasses, irritations, invasion of privacy, whether deliberate or incidental.

How then do you deal with trespasses? You can’t possibly prevent them permanently. You’re human. But you can keep them at bay. This is what keeping your boundaries is all about.

Keeping your boundaries helps you secure that personal space and earn you the medal of privacy and respect.

How to Keep Your Boundaries

1. Respect others

Do not invade other people’s boundaries if you do not want the same. Stay in your lane. Respect the opinions of others as much as you respect yours. They say respect is reciprocal and it is true. When you plant seeds of maize, you are bound to harvest maize and not beans. Weeds may grow but you will surely harvest maize. So plant the seeds of what you want. It will be easier that way to keep your farm clean of intrusions.

Remember everyone has his or her own definitions. It is not your duty to help them live their lives the way you think. If you have to comment on how someone does things, do it with respect.

By default, everyone you meet deserves as much respect as you demand for yourself. Give it if you want it.

2. Stand for what you believe

When the weeds grow in your maize farm, you have no option than to pull it out so your maize can grow well. This is what standing for your beliefs and ideals mean.

You won’t weed out your core principles in exchange for another cheap talk. If you do this, it means you don’t have a boundary you to keep. You are simply a no-man’s land and a dumping yard.

When people try to feed you with information, or maybe try to coerce you do something, make sure you weigh it carefully on the scales of your beliefs. If it doesn’t count, please do well to refuse involvement in such things or discard such contrasting information.

Compromise on fundamentals is not for a man of principle. Be known for something and stay true to it.

3. Give weight to your words

Your words matter as much as your actions. Say ‘Yes’ and mean it. Say ‘No’ and be firm. Let your speech be backed by corresponding action. Don’t throw words around like sand.

Your words are price tags. It is an indication of how much value you possess. A corresponding action affirms this. You lose credibility if your words and actions do not match.

At this point, you need to know this: keeping boundaries is not an excuse for stunted growth or redundancy. As mentioned in the previous post, you must constantly challenge yourself to get better and if that means moving some boundaries, you should do it.

My concluding thoughts on these two-part boundaries series goes thus:

Boundaries are meant to protect and guide you and not to limit you. Therefore, as you draw boundaries, keep them, know when to expand them, and expand them.

Till next time,
Keep Livin’ Right!

How do you draw and keep boundaries? At what point do you draw the line?


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