When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice. ~ Brené Brown.
I must say that writing this particular post was a struggle and that’s not because I didn’t know what to write but because I was busy reading this book in the bid to work on certain personal struggles and I just couldn’t find the time to just write the post so I decided that I was gonna take a break (like minimize the book and just type right) only that I had to type this post 11.19pm – pause to sleep and then round up 4.00a.m. in the morning.
So what is it about boundaries?
Personally, I am very convinced that boundary (ies) is the least understood and least-respected concept in Nigeria. It’s so bad that people extends it to social media and all. Just because you’re a public figure, people become comfortable saying things (nasty things) to you! There are no boundaries whatsoever – everyone thinks because I follow you on IG and you probably follow back, we are now friends so I get to have a say in what you do, say and how you do it! There is virtually a liberty! I get to tell you red look so ugly on you! Your brows are terrible! You shouldn’t do this or do that – I get to judge, criticize and condemn you (I think that’s the part that annoys me the most because people who come for others on social media pages for whatsoever don’t even have a clean slate of their own)
Is lack of boundaries limited to social media use alone?
NO!!! Boundaries are practically in everything! It could be physical – in relationships, friendships (some people can say ‘we are friends, but my relationship is not up for discussion), looks (you don’t tell me how to look or what to wear), workplace (no fraternization or entering my office when I’m not there or I don’t share my pen) etc.; it could be emotional (let’s not talk about this, this is what I don’t like or I don’t like people getting closer); it could be moral and spiritual too (like talk about moral values and Christian values) etc. . .
In setting boundaries, there are two ways to it – sometimes, you have to tell people up front and another time which is mostly the case, you have to wait for that person to do it first before telling! Cause it won’t make sense to just tell someone your boundaries at first and sometimes it does.
For example, my friend Adedoyin doesn’t like people coming to her house without telling her! If you do it, she’d be inside and know that you’re there and won’t answer no matter how much you knocked! The first time I went to her place and I didn’t tell her that I was coming, I knocked and then she peeped from inside and discovered it was me, then she opened and then later, she told me calmly that she doesn’t like people coming to her house without notification and I apologized and I took note of that unlike me, she could pop by my house anytime and I have no issue with that and that includes every other person except maybe you’re not someone I wanted to see etc. she always believed I’m home, so she’d drop by and if she didn’t meet me at home, she’d then call and be like ‘nibo lo lo!’ and if I’m in the neighbourhood, I’d tell her to wait or I’m not around. The gist is, sometimes people don’t like to be caught unawares or maybe they are not in the mood for company and some of us don’t have a problem with dropping by so far you’re someone I’d love to see, I’m in the mood to see and I’m home.
In short sentence, boundary is simply respecting the dos and don’ts of people! Learning to accept what’s acceptable to and with them while dealing with them. I remembered when I was in Abuja, the first week, I was still trying to watch because the truth is just because you’re friends with someone and they invited you to their home doesn’t mean you feel entitled to everything (that’s just the way I think). I could remember Debs would tell me, Ibukun, feel at home o! Be free and with time I realized she has certain boundaries too (like you can’t hold her phone when she’s not there because she believes you’ll be having access to her notifications especially whatsapp – creepy af!) and then I think she also learnt that with me, you can’t be let in unless I’m ready to talk about something and believe me, before I left, the things we talked about ehn! Is a oga sth! We were free with each other before going and before I left, we became freer and knew each other best! (Am I supposed to write this???)
Why do people find it very difficult to respect boundaries?
I think that’s basically because they don’t have boundaries! Lack of boundaries in other people tend to affect the way they deal with others – just because you don’t have any doesn’t mean every other person is like you! And you don’t have to understand it to respect it because the truth is there’s a reason why someone does something and most of the times, they are the only one who understands their reasons. So when you keep trying to understand someone’s boundaries, you don’t take it serious! And you know the beautiful thing I discovered, some people’s way of creating boundaries on social media is deactivating their comment section – rather than you go all nasty on my personal page, will rather cut off that volume that makes you give birth to your perceived right!
In short, let’s just learn to recognize and respect people’s boundaries – be it weird, ridiculous etc.! It’s there for a reason! And boundaries can solve many unnecessary fights, misunderstandings and arguments.
You can’t just take advantage of your relationship with someone or their niceness to catwalk on their boundaries. It’s totally unacceptable!
Most importantly, when people tell you their boundaries, don’t be offended or become emotional about it. 95% of the time, it’s never about you!!!!
A HAPPY NEW MONTH TO Y’ALL! SLAY AWAY OCTOBER????
~ ©Ibukunwrites. 2017.
Never try to make sense of people’s personal boundaries. ~ Ibukunwrites.