Do you know that you can tell a lot about a person by how they exercise boundaries or not? So for eg, if someone stands too close to you while talking to you, and this person is not your lover, partner, child, parent or sibling, this person is likely run by their inner child consciousness, most of the time.
It does not matter what the person's intention is, whether innocent intent or not, meaning that they do not get social context types of boundaries.
What does it mean to be run by one's inner child, this person most likely will be reactive to things, instead of responding to things. They usually lack emotional stability with lots of emotions brewing within. Basically, they do not know how to parent themselves.
This is not to say that only people who do not understand social boundaries are run by their inner child. This is merely one example.
Another example of one run by their inner child and not understanding boundaries is when a person has a sense of self-importance. They "demand" attention from people of authority by being a 'trouble-maker" they demand time and need to be the centre of attention.
In the workplace, these sorts of personalities are extremely draining to be around, and it is often unclear to persons of authority how to deal with them because they demand attention in the name of professionalism. On one level if we go by the rule book, they are not wrong, but it definitely FEELS so wrong. I think you can think of one or two people you have encountered right now in your life experience who are like this.
So how you do deal with people like these? Throw them the rule book, do not engage more than is necessary. And simply point them in the direction to find the answers.
Other types of boundaries that we must learn to establish and exercise are psychic boundaries (mental boundaries would fall under this broad category), emotional boundaries, spiritual boundaries and so on.
What are emotional boundaries? Establishing emotional boundaries means being clear about how you manage your emotions in the presence of other people. So for example, if you're in a professional environment, you do not pour your emotions out about what is/was happening in your personal life.
Far too many people do this, even in professional business network events. Pouring your emotions out and sharing the emotional history of your love life is professional suicide. And it is distasteful. And it forces other people to establish that boundary for you, by avoiding you. Only those who thrive on drama would be drawn to these situations.
There are many ways to make a connection with someone you first meet. You can do this through the common interest you have, common hobbies, or maybe even common friends. Sharing your emotions about your personal life in a professional setting is not about authenticity. This simply means you need a therapist, and you should get one.
Emotional connections with people are formed over time, this is through experiences you may have shared together, even though a work environment. For example, a group of people worked hard together to achieve a common goal, and this inevitably will band people together emotionally. And only after these sorts of connections, would it be more natural for your emotional boundary to be widened and loosened. Even then, there is an unsaid "rule" that you should know when and where to open or close this emotional boundary.
What are psychic boundaries? (this includes mental boundaries). This is an area that is so grey yet so important. Most people have their deep, sometimes dark fantasies within this particular area. When one's fantasy involves another person who is not aware of what is happening, one is crossing the psychic lines and pushing one's energies across the psychic realm. Over long periods of time, these psychic energies can cause the person harm, eg. holes and tears in their aura and over time, if multiple people use them as an object of fantasy, their psychic boundaries can be so torn that they fall ill often and easily. So public figures, movie stars and so on are often victims of this.
Of course, psychic boundaries are not just about fantasies. But it is by far the easiest to describe! So I hope you get my explanation through my example above. Psychic boundaries are less tangible and mostly felt by people who are more sensitive or empathetic.
I hope what I have shared above is helpful to you and that it gives you some food for thought.
©2020 Shamala Tan @2022 Updated and edited
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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.
One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.