In the past few weeks, everyone around me seeems to have problems with people’s behavior towards them. People seem to behave in the ways that hurt. For example, people say they love you, but then they just leave you. And then they call you the next day and you run back into their arms. Why is that so and who is there to blame? Are they mean dickheads who don’t deserve your attention? Are they suffering and you feel guilty? Or do they just do what they do and you have nothing to do with that? I agree with the latter I guess. In my opinion, people do what they do, it’s their story, their struggle. But it’s up to you how you take it. And it’s up to you whether you make them stop or not.
All this got me thinking – how do we know, how far we can go in the relation to another human being? How do we know we crossed some boundaries? Are the boundaries really set? How do you know who’s door you can knock at 3 a.m. and how do you know that your ex doesn’t want to read your texts when you are completely drunk? You don’t, and because you don’t know, you try. If you push too much, you push too much. Probably nothing will happen, because people are tollerant and not likely to set boundaries. So we push it, and we push is some more, until by the way feelings get hurt. Yours, theirs, and a lot of times someone elses.
We were all once called crazy ex (if not, you are rare species). Even though we were called pushy, overreacting, not letting people live their life, and we agreed on that being true, we did crazy things anyways. Why? Because we could. Because boundaries were not set. This was a brief introduction to my point. People behave towards you the way you let them. Once you set boundaries and give people a sincere feedback on what they do to you and poeple around you, they will know what is appropriate and what is not. But as long as you spoil them, they are not to blame for what they do. Their life is their thing, but if you let them sand someone else get hurt, their monkeys kind of enter your circus.
We can apply this theory not only on letting people go, but also on letting peopl in. True friendships are built in the same way. People can’t get close to us if we don’t let them. If we don’t move our boundaris and it is mean to expect people will fully understand our story. We need them, but we will never feel them if we don’t crush those walls.
How to solve the problem and finally set or remove some boundaries?
First things first – talk. Meaningful conversations are so powerful. we just don’t do them, because it’s easier not to.
And a second suggestion, take responsibility for your relationships. Respect people enough to let them go or let them in, you owe them that much.
People only do what you let them. Not reacting to their behaviour and accepting it even though it haunts you doesn’t serve anyone. So never blame them, never call them unecessary names or asign them mental disorders. Rather ask yourself if you did everything to let them go the way they deserve it.
In the spirit of portuguese love, let me conclude with a quote of amazing Saramago: “No one has an obligation to love anyone else. But we are all under an obligation to respect eachother.”
Be brave in relationships, it’s worth it, I promise.