It’s 5 pm. It’s the close of the workday and your boss comes to place a heap of files on your desk and says,
“I want them done by tomorrow morning.”
You have plans scheduled for the evening. You have to pick your kids from school, prepare supper for them, attend to your sick cousin, and give your husband some of your time as a loving and caring wife. In short, it is technically impossible to complete this work by the following morning. What’s more, you’re not going to be paid for working extra hours at home.
What would you do? Tell your boss plain no and risk becoming enemies with one of the major supporters of your upcoming promotion? Or say nothing, stay up all night, and struggle to complete the work?
I am definitely someone who would have done the latter. I always had this feeling of wanting to avoid conflict at all costs. Thus I ended up not communicating my needs and feelings. If I was uncomfortable with what my friend or partner was doing, I would say nothing. Sometimes I ended friendships abruptly by walking away. And I started avoiding relationships altogether because felt I could not be authentic. I felt I had to give up myself to be in a relationship. The reason why I was unfulfilled in relationships was because I was piling up resentment until it got frustrating and I could not stand it anymore.
I learned more about boundaries from therapy. I realized that two people come together with different expectations, experiences, and programming. Through boundaries, these two humans get to empathize and make space for each other in order for the relationship to thrive. The picture below depicts how boundaries work. There are series of bends along the shoreline, depicting how the sea and the land make space for each other at certain intervals so they can both feel respected and thrive in each other’s space. Thus there is the merge, the interlocking of the sea and the land, of two individuals.
I am still a work in progress when it comes to boundaries, however I am making headway and I feel more fulfilled in my relationships. I hope you learned something new! Thank you for your time.