I was walking to work a few days ago, listening to my audio-book and thoroughly engaged in my own little world, when a guy started chatting to me. I wasn’t in a very good mood, and didn’t want to prolong the conversation (it was really awkward, and he was acting very strangely). I politely apologized for having to rush off to a meeting, bid him a good day, and walked off towards my building.
I was just opening the door, when I noticed him out of the corner of my eye, dashing after me. He bounded up, red in the face, and very angry that I had walked off. Confused and a little upset, I tried to explain that I was late for a meeting and really did have to leave (but this just made him even crosser).
At this point, he was ranting on about something. I just stood, rooted to the spot, too shocked to react. After a few (very long minutes) of verbal abuse on his part, I opened the door, walked through it, and ran up the flight of stairs. When he realized what I did, he followed suit. Resulting in me hiding in the ladies’ room for half an hour (only agreeing to come out after a friend of mine, who had walked into the bathroom, went out and scouted the landing to make sure the coast was clear).
(Yes, I had to be rescued from the girls’ bathroom!)
Anyway, I’m fairly sure this lovely man didn’t even realize he had crossed the line, my line. (Yes, people tend to come in all shades of oblivious).
We all have boundaries, physical and emotional; lines that we don’t like other people to cross!
For some reason, I was convinced I had posted on the topic a while back, but turns out I haven’t, so that’s what we will be talking about today!
Rules For How Not to Step Out of Bounds:
1. RESPECT each other’s boundaries! If your prince charming (trapped as a beast) asks you not to go into the west wing, then you stay out of the west wing!
We all have our own little things that bug us when it comes to personal space. Some people need more of it, and others less. But at the end of the day, the whole thing is a very subjective matter. Sometimes we just need to accept the oddities of our respective partners.
2. Boundaries slowly come down (both the physical and emotional ones); that is just the natural way of things in a relationship. DO NOT FORCE THEM! You shouldn’t corner someone into doing something they are not ready to do, or share something they are not ready to tell you (that just builds resentment and contempt).
I know the wait can be frustrating, but your relationship will be stronger for it. Just make sure they know you are there for them when they are ready to open up.
3. Make sure you make it clear where YOU draw the line. The other person probably doesn’t even know they crossed it! (Don’t expect people to guess these things, because they probably won’t, which will only upset you).
We don’t all have the same issues, some of us (like me) are more touchy about stuff, and it is really really easy to make me feel uncomfortable. And I do try to make an effort to make it known to other people what bothers me. (For example, I hate inviting people over, it’s my personal space and it takes me forever to agree to share it).
4. No, means NO, always!