Last year, I picked up a book that gave me a clearer picture of what boundaries should be like, and I realized that for most of my life I have been doing things all wrong. Majorly I realized that people had been crossing “BOUNDARIES” that should never be crossed and I, likewise.
As I flipped through the book, which by the way I haven’t finished, I realized that more than 50% of the problems in my life were somehow are and are still somewhat connected to a lack of boundaries., and I’m not talking about the type that has to do with my mum badging into my room unannounced, no.
An example, a very popular one is when people keep nudging you about your personal life. You’ll hear things like “wait you guys aren’t dating yet”?, “Haba how long has it been since you have been talking? “,” Ahn Ahn, so because of that small thing you’re upset” see there is a lot that I may not be able to mention here but are very important.
The funny thing is that many times I feel myself falling apart when people pry through those boundaries, and sometimes I let it slide, but on some other days, I para o. I don't accept it, and though I use to have a hard time handling it when I say a hard time, I mean I froze people out in the past, but over time, I have learned to handle things how I would want people to do with me.
Here is what I used to do before:
Keypad battle in the softest and kindest of ways, I’ll send an epistle that would make you feel so sober and also respected in a very annoying but subtle way.
This usually happened if stage one didn't work, I would slowly ice you out. one word replies less and less communication.
This didn't happen very often, but there are times that it did. In this stage, I will tell you what you are doing and call you out respectfully, but still as subtle as in stage one.
In this stage, I usually just let go and delete your contact, and our messages. No goodbye or anything I just zoom zoom away.
Being a super-sensitive person was good for me for a moment, but it always came back to haunt me. the gnawing feeling behind my throat that makes me wonder “ what if they actually so so and so”. Slowly, but surely, my “operation lockdown” would scatter, and the same vicious cycle would be started again. Exhausting I tell you so I had to develop a mechanism.
Introduction to Ekabism 234
Here is what I try to do these days:
- I acknowledge that there are things I cannot change or handle in people.
- I TRY to communicate things I feel might be an issue later on e.g for me when it comes to “means of communication” I hate being pressured. Long calls and unwarranted video calls are whoof. Hence, I say it in advance if needed.
- I “TRY” to talk about issues when they are still fresh in my mind. Voice notes and I are buddies, texts too, “I’m no longer an epistle girl tho”. I noticed that when I allowed things to ruminate in my mind, wahalur would begin to brew.
- When I notice a certain kind of change that affects me, I communicate it, so the angel of confusion won’t stir the pot.
- Something that has helped me these past few months is seeing things from other perspectives aside from mine, tackling my mindset, and being open to what people have to say.
- When I know that it is beyond me, I peaceful tell the person how I feel, and how their behavior is affecting me. There are times when I absolutely just need to cut off and find peace elsewhere, while some other times, I’d have to let my words marinate, as I wallow in the anguish of “do I really want them to text back?’
As someone who talks to herself a lot, and does a truckload of research, I have learned that time and time again, I also encroach on people’s boundaries due to my selfish interests, and I try to tackle that when I realize it. I know I still have a long way to go. However, I love the fact that I am now very self-conscious about boundaries, for myself, and for others.
So now “no” no longer means they hate my guts, it just means “no”, and it is a valid answer. Reading a message a certain way doesn’t mean they absolutely meant it the way I read it. Breathe Ekab, breathe. Slowly but surely, I’m catching on, and I hope people around me do too. Till then, I would try to finish the book on boundaries because my head needs to keep navigating this life.
I Ekab will strive to take boundaries seriously henceforth.
And if you ever find yourself needing to learn more about boundaries, here is the book I talked about: Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab.