Sometimes, a simple incident in your life makes you realize how personal boundaries need to be respected. Recently, I met my childhood friend in a shopping mall. I was looking forward to meeting her. But this whole outing was a disaster. Her elder sister tagged along with us and kept asking extremely personal questions regarding my job, marriage, and personal relationships, etc. I tried my level best to answer politely but by the end, I could feel my patience running thin. It took my all self-control to not just lose it.
Thankfully, this whole interrogation lasted for merely half an hour. But it felt like torture for me. I sat there for a long time after they had left, trying to fathom that what just exactly happened. This whole experience was unpleasant, to say the least, and I could feel my social anxiety kicking in.
Later, I tried to make sense of this whole thing. A stranger asking you these kinds of questions will never sit well and rightfully so. Like all other incidents, I tried to learn something from it. It made me realize that there is a need to develop strong boundaries and others need to respect them.
I didn’t need to answer those questions yet I did because it was against the so-called moral ethics. Since childhood, parents in our culture tell their children to be respectful to their elders even if they are trying to bring you down or asking any kind of details about your life. We are told that anyone can ask anything from us and we should not refuse because it will not look good.
Growing up, we also become a part of this mentality and unknowingly started snooping into other’s lives as we don’t see anything wrong in doing so. This also makes us think that any Xyz person can ask about our lifestyle or personal choices and we are answerable to them. Also, we need their approval for our choices.
Just think about it, she asked me about my personal life and I should have told her that it’s none of her business instead I answered her queries. She got her answers but I sat there seething and feeling miserable. I couldn’t stop thinking about this incident and am still overthinking it a week later.
This is the reason that boundaries are necessary. We need to teach our children to not be nosy and interfere in the life of others. On the other hand, we also need to teach them to just politely refuse to answer if any comment or question is making them uncomfortable.
Boundaries are meant to create safety. Their violation is one of the major causes of failing inter-personal relationships. No one deserves to feel like a horrible person for living their own choices and life. And we need to stop questioning the lives of others as it is none of our business.
Start working on developing your boundaries and start respecting other’s boundaries. It will make you feel a lot better about yourself and would lead to a much happier society.