Once in a while I come upon people with whom my gut instantly tells me… Alert! Alert! Alert! Nowadays I listen to my instinct and what it is telling me. Experiences have taught me many things: what to do, what not to do in certain circumstances. One important thing it has taught me is to identify as quickly as I can when something or someone is a problem. This means to shrug off the tendency to deny, or make light of a situation, to assess the person or actions in question not in a judgemental manner but how and where there is a problem between us, then to make choices as to what boundaries need to be set.
The more tired I am, the clearer my vision and ability is to identify problems areas. When I am rested, alert, and at my best I am busying myself by working on a positive attitude, perspective thus ignoring or disregarding negatives, aversions, etc. Exhaustion automatically lowers my defenses. It takes too much energy and effort to deny, to avert. It is during this time that I am able to directly examine, identify and protect myself or others by setting some rules, drawing some lines, making some choices for myself as to where I will and will not go, or where this person may or may not tread. Unfortunately it is not always wrapped in the softest and prettiest presentation. At the same time, I am also my most vulnerable during this time because while my defenses are down to my own defense mechanisms, they are also down to others. I have to be aware of this. But typically, setting boundaries for me is much harder when I am at my best. Strange, huh?
Sometimes I mistake firmness in myself as being rude. It is not. Firmness is simply the level of integrity in which I choose to set these boundaries and hold to them. Many a day have I set wishy washy boundaries that were quickly discarded or forgotten. I have learned that with some people all I need to do is to very gently mention my comfort zones and they instantly and respectfully responsive, honoring them. With others it is sometimes important to draw a line in the sand, and more so at times is a necessity to erect a fence. Some people are more astute at manipulating their way around your boundaries, and firmness and fences are necessary. Therefore I remind myself, this is not being rude, it is being firm. It may not be the way I would like to deal with them, but sometimes it is indeed necessary.
How interesting it is to detach from my feelings for others and just observe. I learn much about other people, and much about myself in doing this. Alongside of this is how difficult it can be to find a vehicle to carry and ditch the body of the person who crosses my boundaries! 🙂