About Boundaries

When suggestions are heard as criticism
Followed by gaslighting & defensivism
Criticism could be offered as suggestions
Followed by choice for personal decisions
It is often effective
To speak in languages native
To all that internal wiring
Sparks that have grown old & tiring
Need a lot of space for nurturing
The grounds of self-loving & caring

My internal dialog when this came up to be posted for this week:
“Really is this what you want to post? You have better thoughts, better words, better works to share! This?”
Am I sensing judgment for what truly came out of nowhere and is clearly asking to be the one today?:
“Well, does it even make sense?” “I think so… hope so…it is written and ready to go!”
So here it is. I don’t know why but this needed to go today from my universe into yours. I would be humbled to know if it spoke or made sense to you.

118 thoughts on “About Boundaries

  1. I guess we need to understand the intention of the person and receive the criticism or praise accordingly. Criticism from a parent can be taken as a constructive one for our betterment whereas a praise from a jealous relative shouldn’t be taken that seriously. It’s always the intention in my opinion.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Even well intentioned words can be devastating to someone who is raw inside, and we canโ€™t necessarily see it from the outside!!

    I have learned that sharing my own journey with the choices I made along with the results I got to be received far better! There is no spoken or unspoken expectation then that the person โ€œshould follow my adviceโ€œ! The pressure is off them, so they can mull over what is shared and determine if it is something that could work for them!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I hear you. That is a skill that I continue to refine. I can think of instances where I could have been better and you describe it very clearly for me to check in with myself for truly embodying simple sharing with no expectations and advice. My issue is being gaslighted for my suggestions of boundaries or change with as much compassion and time I could bring with it. I then have to learn to be more direct erring in the direction of actual criticism, even if unpleasant for me, as often establishing new boundaries is. Thank you very much for taking the time for meaningful conversation, it is of great value to me ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒน

      Liked by 2 people

      • I understand! To me, setting boundaries discussions arenโ€™t criticism when we share with the other person, because stating boundaries takes a lot of โ€œmeโ€ words!

        Yes, there are people who gaslight when someone wants to have a boundaries conversation, because they personally benefit from no boundaries being in place. They choose to live in denial about their actions and the effects they have on others, and will gaslight and redirect any blame they feel into other directions, rather than take responsibility for their actions and words.

        Itโ€™s difficult to keep standing your ground and standing up for yourself, for in deflecting their responsibility they often resort to name calling and making the person who is setting their boundaries feel like a โ€œbitchโ€ or say theyโ€™re crazy!!

        So hereโ€™s a few self reflection questions:

        What are your personal boundaries when this happens? Do you want to stay in a relationship with people who do this? If yes, why do you feel you need to?

        What would happen if you state boundaries with consequences attached?

        For example: โ€œWhen you do x, I feel (disrespected/ unheard/ unimportant to you, etc). I understand that I cannot demand that you change, for thatโ€™s your choice, but if you choose to continue to do x, then I need to do y, for myself.

        Setting clear boundaries also involves letting the other person know what you need to do for yourself if they do choose to continue their behavior, and then gently following through!!

        Years ago my mother would call me every day. The conversation always started pleasantly, but would soon devolve into her being hurtful and critical towards me. I was tired and exhausted from crying and being hurt by her words, so one day I told her, โ€œWhen you become critical itโ€™s not helpful to me but very hurtful. In the future when you start, Iโ€™m going to signal that our conversation has ended, because I am no longer going to sit here to receive your negativity.โ€ Then when sheโ€™d start in on me, Iโ€™d tell her, โ€œMom, itโ€™s time for me to go now. The conversation has turned a negative corner and I need to go.โ€

        I needed to repeat that process each time, because boundaries are nonexistent for her. My brother has been practicing this for the past few years when he visits her, because she still hasnโ€™t dealt with her own inner stuff to be able to be respectful towards others for any length of time before she starts crossing lines. My brother spent years (as did I) trying to get her to change her behavior. Finally we needed to accept that she is who she is, and the only thing we can do is to set our own boundaries with consequences, then to follow through.

        We have been doing this for a few years now. Has this caused her to want to change her own behavior? Not really. Has she modified her behavior as a result? She has become aware that if she just โ€œspeaks her mindโ€ that people pull away from her, but at some point she almost isnโ€™t able to help herself.

        For our own mental health we gently leave, and she seems to understand and accept the terms we set!

        I wish you inner strength as you deal with the individuals in your life you are setting boundaries with! Know where your line in the sand is and be comfortable stating it each time itโ€™s crossed. Then follow through on the actions you need to take to take care of your own mental health!

        PS, we arenโ€™t being a bitch by setting our boundaries! We arenโ€™t crazy for seeing them crossed or even erased by another person! We ARE taking responsibility for our own actions and setting up expectations of how we are to be treated!

        Blessings to you as you do this work!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Dear Tamara, you model sharing and not advising inside out, so honestly, so effectively – thank you very much for sharing about your relationship with your mother, along with your sibling too. It is so exactly real and relevant. I thought I was past this and so was surprised/annoyed when this poem came to be posted, and insisted to be posted ๐Ÿ˜Š I needed to get it out of my system I guess and am I so grateful I did so! I received such vast wisdom and affirmation and support from you and the various comments here. You truly are a wonderful guide to those learning to live authentically as themselves. What I wrote in a poem, you described in a life experience. I am honored to have this interaction with you here. Thank you and Much Love my friend ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŒน

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you deeply in turn my friend! Iโ€™m honored to be seen, and to be of help and support for you!

            Truly, your poem and how I responded touched me to the point of enlarging what I said into a much longer post! It will publish tomorrow morning. I hope you enjoy it and know that you created the trigger for it!

            I have found that when something insists on coming to the surface to be seen, it is because it is time and I am ready!

            Blessings to you!

            Liked by 2 people

    • Wise wise words Tanveer. I so agree. If the person isn’t ready to hear the spoken or unspoken it becomes like an explosion, a war zone. Better to stay quiet.

      But I share my journey my mistakes and my learning. The other doesn’t feel I am pointing fingers. They may mull over it, they may change, they may think me weak. But, it doesn’t matter if I am strong inside. It is an indirect seed planting that might flourish in years to come or may not. I don’t expect it too. But, I have spoken what I wanted to indirectly and there is no explosion.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Once upon a time when everyday I wrote something Pragalbha, I would question myself about whether the piece was good enough to post or even understand … but nowdays… I don’t let my self doubts control what I produce … I now believe in my ability to express my thoughts, in a way that pleases “me” … and really, that is all that matters … “the piece is solely your own creation and nothing can change that” …. !!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You made my heart melt in such deep smiles and joy with your loving words. Having a way to make life easier – that is such beautiful compliment and acknowledgment – I receive it fully and seal it in so I live it knowingly. Thank you for seeing me so kindly. Real life meeting – a precious gift it would be sister ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a profound poem and message, dear Pragalbha. It is so important to take our time with people, to seek understanding, and to empathize and create spaces filled with love and compassion. Whereas it is not our choice for someone to open up and share with us, we can create the possibility of a safe space to entertain this kind of context. This here is so important, “Sparks that have grown old & tiring
    Need a lot of space for nurturing
    The grounds of self-loving & caring” It is also important, to nurture that which is coming up for us in these kinds of situations. I am always checking my internal senses to make sure that I’m in line, and that I am being present. I have a couple people in my life right now that fit into this conversation, and my patience and understanding of myself first, and then of them is key to moving the relationship forward if they choose to. Thank you for sharing this piece today. Much love and light to you. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’™

    Liked by 3 people

    • You make me feel so good in my being and seen for this process, with how you read it clearly in all and also between the lines. You so wisely highlight the lines for me that are more soothing in nature, a reminder for the importance of self care and love. It is particularly jarring for me to learn (again) to be more direct than try to keep things nice (kindness in my mind). Unless we are bypassing in to bliss, being present to these interactions is such cultivation. I wasn’t thrilled about doing this post, as I couldn’t accept this is still dominant in me. Your kind support and reflection is invaluable to me, thank you very much Jeff truly ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

      Liked by 2 people

      • Youโ€™re most welcome, Pragalbha. Always. Indeed, I understand, as this is always something I am present to and working on within myself, which highlights the high level of resonance with this conversation. It is always my pleasure to read you, and I am always grateful for the conversations you create, which are real, full of life, love, light, and hope. Indeed, blissful for me on this night. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒท

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I used to be very, very, very sensitive to criticism. I’ve developed a thicker skin at work, but I am still sensitive to things close family say. I feel that family should know very well what hurts us, so I think that’s why I am more sensitive.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think I have been exactly like you – I wish family was more caring towards our caring feeling genuine hearts. My issue is being gaslighted when I am the one making suggestions for some changes I would like to see in their behavior towards me. Thank you very much for sharing with me, I feel validated for my not very distant past self.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think we are all sensitive to criticism of any sort. But with family even more so. We expect them to know what we feel. We all do this. I have been working on this in my journalling and I concluded for myself – I don’t share everything with my family, I can’t read others mind, sometimes I can and sometimes I get it wrong. So if this is what I am like, than others will be a little similar to me. Therefore I concluded I can’t expect family to get me, because I don’t always get them. And I am sensitive and my sensitivity helps me to get the wrong end of the stick and I see criticism where it wasn’t ment that way.. therefore my bad.

      Inner work and self respect, reflection always results in me saying oh god I have so much more to transform in myself. But progress is made. Baby step by baby step

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow, I canโ€™t believe you thought this isnโ€™t a blog-worthy reflection. It is very profound and resonates so well with me. โ€œWhen suggestions are heard as criticism
    Followed by gaslighting & defensivism
    Criticism could be offered as suggestionsโ€- it is actually an essential wisdom, one we all need but donโ€™t have. Iโ€™m buying this! ๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah you make me feel so good with your positive appreciation and actually repeating those lines back to me. Sometimes being direct is better than being nice – for all involved. You are so sweet and kind ๐Ÿค— thank you very much dear wise friend ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hear you Prag, insensitivity often hurts but people don’t realize it. Also, it depends on the state of mind of a person and even well-meaning words get misinterpreted. Such experiences make us stronger though. Hurts ennoble us, so let it go! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 3 people

    • Such experiences do help us become more authentically ourselves, stronger version ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a new learning for me to be more assertive on the side of actual criticism, which I would normally guard against, but now required to create boundaries. I agree with you, it is only personal for the lesson we have for us and rest let it go. Thank you for your wise knowing words ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒน

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Everything happens for a reason…right! This got written because it was it’s time. ๐Ÿ˜Š We write about what moves/bothers us. Sharing always helps us to look at things from a new perspective. We don’t go in search of criticism or empathy, it is how others react to us!
    Your words resonate deeply, Pragalbha. More power to your writing. ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 4 people

    • This got written because it was itโ€™s time. – this and everything you said felt so good and comforting. I was unaware this was dominant in me, or maybe wished it wasn’t – you are so right, we write what bothers and I am so grateful for such amazing unfolding of perspectives. It is such deep joy to know you found resonance, your kind support and encouragement is greatly valued and appreciated dear Punam, thank you very much!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I always love your beautiful honesty ๐Ÿ’™. It’s more important to be authentic than always falsely positive…I have more fully accepted this only recently, and I’m much more accepting of the whole of me…all the light and darkness; within myself and other people too. Much love ๐Ÿ’™.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You bring a fulfilling feeling to this experience. It took me time to understand the difference between false positive and attempts of staying kind no matter what. I have discovered that kindness is also towards myself by being more direct. I love and appreciate you bringing attention to accepting the whole of myself and others. That brings so much ease I agree. Thank you truly ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒน

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your thoughts come across very clearly, Pragalbha, and I don’t think the point could have been put across any better. While I have erred in the distant past in giving suggestions as I saw right, cut and dry, without keeping sensitivity in mind, with age I have become quiet and more thoughtful before speaking out. I heap praise but rarely give suggestions, unless I can see that something is going horribly wrong and is grossly unjust, or, it is to the immediate family. Why? Because invariably it is taken defensively and antagonistic!

    I cannot but give a suggestion here…ha ha ha. Write. Share. Whatever comes to mind, Whenever you feel like. Do not think twice about it. It may be a simple thought. There may not be any complex metaphors. It need not be so every time. The thought is important and we, your readers, can reflect upon it along with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so kind and generous in your thoughtful response for me ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜Š thank you for appreciating my post to be apt in how it came. I hear you on what you share about giving suggestions – I keep learning continually about being more direct than worry about being unkind – in the process being unkind to myself. Thank you very much for such empowered encouragement for my writing, your consistent support means a lot more than I can say in words. Much Gratitude truly ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

      Liked by 1 person

  11. a deeply profound post Pragalbha … I wanted to read what others said, hence my late comment. This post totally resonates and look at the heartfelt discussion you’ve generated, that is priceless!

    Boundaries are important but we cannot change others behaviour. Once we’ve told them this or that hurts then, like Tamara, I set clear consequences for continued violations. My mother couldn’t change her behaviour, no insight whatsoever, but I believe she did grow to respect my stance and that’s the best we could do ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Pingback: Setting “Boundaries with consequences” – Tamara Kulish

  13. I once said to someone, “I am getting so tired of people crossing the boundaries I refuse to set.” I think that is the challenge — we worry our boundaries will upset others, yet know the power of holding our boundaries is an act of loving self-kindness – and consideration to the world

    I love your words. They are a powerful reminder that I cannot be responsible for how others hear my words — but when I speak them with loving care, I don’t have to carry self-doubt and criticism….

    Liked by 2 people

    • You offered such crisp clear validation and description of exactly what I felt here. It took me years to even realize I was walking on eggshells with some people I valued, and still find myself navigating that edge between self-kindness and care with honesty for others.Your words make it simple to embrace. Thank you very much Louise for your wisdom and thoughtful sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Boundaries are so important. We can set them by our actions and the way we live. We can speak them out too. But, I am sorry to say, that in my experience some people get the unsaid Boundaries, there are some – that even if you say the Boundaries just don’t get it. So what does one fo them. For peace and relationships, you mention it subtlety in another conversation and hope the penny clicks, or you letting it as you don’t meet those people so often. It is such a fine line.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am so glad i went over to your site and saw this. Criticisms when done in good faith or given constructively is something i would want to listen to or consider; but let’s face it some people are doing it to destroy ones self worth. I think gone are those days (although some still do) that criticisms are given on a positive note…and today many had overused this idea by spreading so much hate and taking it as they “simply giving a constructive criticism”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. There is so much miscommunication these days, Prag, and people are so overwhelmed and many so out of touch with their own self, that I am learning that criticism can be turned into more gentle ways of expression. When we speak from the heart there is no harshness or judgement or derision, but only expressions of truth spoken in ways that do not alarm or hurt. And even then, when one speaks as such, misunderstanding can still arise. That is when one steps back to observe the “thought” or the “emotion” behind the misunderstanding. Conversation with some is like walking through a mine field. Your quote spoke volumes to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes true I agree with you dear Amy, on the overwhelm and misunderstandings. I am just learning myself that sometimes direct communication erring towards criticism with as much compassion possible is important than trying to wrap everything in Love – which if not understood is hurtful. It means a lot to me that you understand, thank you very much for your kind support and visit ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒน

      Like

      • This is a learning process. It’s confusing and difficult. At times truth just will not be tolerated and this is where acute discernment comes in. I seem to come from a world where truth is common and welcomed. Not so here. However, hearts are opening and for this I rejoice!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. A powerful post. I often don’t want to share negative stuff. But, sometimes we should. It is part of the journey, the awakening, the realisation, the transformation. When we are awaken, when we write it down, then we can figure it our, hear the pain, hear the solution, hear what I need to change, otherwise we walk around in a cluttered head of waste , negative unhelpful thought. We can privately journal about, which I do. But, recently sharing a bit on my blog , because these feeling are felt by all and the comments help us and help others.. and wp.com really is a safe house I feel.

    Always lovely to read your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The manner in which criticism is made matters a lot… Even when people have right intention while making suggestions, it turns out to be criticism to the one who is being suggested… It can give fruitful result when both the party: one who is suggesting, his suggestion should not turn out to be a criticism and the one who is being suggested, the suggestion made should be understood and acknowledged…

    very nice post as always… Liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • the suggestion made should be understood and acknowledgedโ€ฆ – yes I agree with you on this. Especially when my suggestion is a boundary I need to establish. Thank you very much for your kind attention and thoughtful response.

      Like

  18. Profound thoughts Pragalbha. I usually refrain myself from giving suggestions unless asked for. While the intention may be right, often the person may not receive it in the right spirit. I think with time and maturity one learns how and when to offer suggestions or to keep a silent stance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful response Radhika. I agree with you about giving suggestions when unasked. But when my suggestions are boundaries that I need to establish in relations that I cannot distance with, then their making it into a criticism and playing victim is a form of gaslighting. I concluded then that perhaps a direct criticism works as a better understood language.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s