Setting Boundaries or Laxman Rekhas in life or Dealing with Tormenters Oppressors


Joginder Singh ji
(Former Director – CBI)

Good boundaries around our houses, keep our goods safe and allow us to work at the speed we like in the protection of the environment of our choice.

Similarly, good personal boundaries, prevent us from being humiliated or insulted by others . They also let others know, as to where you stand in relationship with them. They also signal, as to what you would stand for and what you would not. They also avert, our being hurt, by the deeds or words of others They also let others know, as to what you want and what you do not want. A border line, like in the countries, is a limit that sets you apart from others.
Boundaries need not be, only physical, like good or high walls. They are also, emotional or feeling boundaries, as each one of us, has unique feelings and reactions, to any given situations.
Our response to situations, as well as other people, we come in contact is based on our own perceptions, background, previous encounters or dealings and what our concerns and values are. There may be , similar values, and concerns of others, who might react ,broadly in the same way. But no one will react precisely, the way we may do or do. It is for the simple reason that everybody is different.

Most of reaction, in a large majority of situations, is emotional. It might be, some observations or comments, by colleague or a friend or a total stranger, which could upset us. As children, we are more susceptible to be emotionally black mailed. Some body might comment nastily, on a child wearing glasses. The child may be non plussed, as to how to react, but a confident adult individual might tick him off to say, that it is none of his concerns, as to what he wears or totally cut him out from his company. He may also reply that nobody has a right to comment on his or her method of working or appearance.

Other forms of weak or poor emotional boundaries, or disturbing black mail, includes doing things, against your wishes and attending parties or functions or programmes, in which you have no interest, or ignoring your own interests and needs to please others or in the interest of not letting down others.

Others varieties of pressures, or bullying, include, ignoring your own needs, or agreeing, with others, when you do not really want to do, or hiding your own true feelings, when you are upset, but pretend that everything is alright, or putting up with the browbeating of others. Another kind of bully, which is often to met on educational campuses is the one, who borrows money or your personal effects and not returning them or even not talking to the lenders.
In every area of our life, whether it is in our family or in the place of work, we need to set boundaries . There may be people, who are angry or hostile, or aggressive. You have to set, a threshold, as to what is not acceptable. Not only you should set boundaries of behaviour, conduct, manners and mannerism, but also not keep quite , if the same is violated.

For your own happiness, you must not make your emotional needs secondary to other people’s desires and wishes. If you do so, then you would be conveying a wrong message, that even bad behaviour is acceptable. This approach , in turn would make you feel, more painful, and embarrassing, than if you had conveyed, that crossing a boundary was not acceptable.
If we permit others , to treat us, in a rough or harsh way, he or she will neither learn nor realise, that, as far as you are concerned, this behaviour is not acceptable or he or she can humiliate you and still get away . Shielding yourself and setting wholesome boundaries is vital for both parties. You have to continuously go on educating and upgrading yourself, as to what behaviour, or conduct, is not acceptable. To your pleasant surprise, you would discover, that people, by and large would respect and comply with your requirements easily. If some people still continue to treat you shoddily and appallingly, then you need to tell them directly and unambiguously , to stop their offensive behaviour and conduct . But before you do anything, and set your boundaries, be clear as to what you want or what you do not want in life and in your relationships and behaviour with others and how do you want people around you to behave. It is upto not to have any interaction or connection with such people and reduce the same to the minimum, if some contact is required as you are working in the same organisation . You would be pleasantly astonished, that by and large, you get in life, what you want.

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