Maybe it is Time to Respect the Boundaries

Inktober 2020 – Day 8: Billy Joel Lyrics

For some these words may sound defiant or even militant, to others they are a sweet cry exuded from self confidence and self reliance. There comes a time in all our lives when we need these lyrics as a mantra for friends, family even colleagues who all think they know best.

Of course we will assume that when someone tells you what to do, how to do it or even what you could do better they are doing it with only the best intentions. They think they are helping, providing support even guiding you towards success. Everyone who has had a physical ailment thinks they can understand YOUR physical ailment, not true. Everyone who is in a relationship thinks they can understand and provide support when your relationship fails, not true. And everyone thinks that because they are your friend, family or colleague they have the right to speak into your life. This one is especially not true.

All too often we sit there and take their comments, thoughts, prodding or even their subtle guilt trips because we do not want to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings. And yet that same concern does not seem to be in the mind of the giver. Letting people know you are okay with your life and the decisions you are making is important, even vital to becoming an adult. Whether we like it or not we all have to live with the consequences of our actions, even if that means we have to sleep on a friend’s sofa because we can’t pay the rent or end one romance in order to be healthier as we hope for better things in the future. Setting boundaries is healthy, it is those who benefited from no boundaries who usually balk when boundaries are set.

It is human nature not to like being told what to do. No matter how close or personal the relationship, no one likes being told what to do. It is when we ask for thoughts, ideas or experiences that we are asking for help on what to do. Providing that information without asking is just like telling someone what to do, don’t be surprised when they fall silent or bristle at your chatter. It also means being open to asking for ideas, suggestions or a listening ear when it is needed. We all have to live our own lives, that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. The best relationships grow and sustain when boundaries and respect are liberally applied on both sides.

As Billy Joel said, I don’t need you to worry for me ‘cause I’m all right. Let’s show that same self confidence and respect for all the relationships in our lives.

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