Did you know that boundaries come in a variety of styles?
Some are super obvious, like, “Don’t touch me without permission.”
Others are a little trickier and dance on cultural norms, like, “Please honor me by arriving on time for lunch.”
But there are also sneaky boundaries that are hard to put into words, in part because we don’t think of them as boundaries.
Click to read a brief story, and see if you can spot the boundary break…
Many years ago, while I was facilitating a large group program, I was pulled aside by a participant who told me that my “energy and enthusiasm was off-putting” and suggested I “tone it down.”
I immediately felt a wave of shame and shrank to the size of an ant.
After all, don’t we all fear we’re “too much,” and here was someone offering clear proof that I am.
Being a people pleaser, for the rest of the program I was constrained and measured. I did everything in my power to contort my personality to ensure I didn’t make anyone uncomfortable by being too loud or too happy or too friendly.
I also felt it extremely important to hold onto that bit of feedback, allowing it to inform my facilitation style over the next couple of programs.
Okay, did you spot the sneaky boundary breaker?
Here’s a hint… It wasn’t the guy who told me to tone it down.
It was me.
I chose to accept his “feedback” as fact, without first evaluating it for validity, then proceeded to alter who I was in the world. I allowed my Queen to be pushed off her throne.
This was not a growth-oriented performance review by a boss or a loving request made by a partner.
This was just someone with a very different personality than me, who felt strongly about letting me know he’d do things differently.
Unfortunately, having your crown knocked askew by someone else’s energy invading your space can happen every day. Whether it’s an angry driver flipping you the bird or haters on social media. You can’t control them, but you can control how it affects you.
Next time this happens, have your Warrior hold fast by keeping others’ judgments— and your assumptions about that shade—outside your Queendom.
Simply straighten your crown…
(1) Take a few deep breaths to re-center
(2) Remind yourself that it is your birthright to be You—whatever that looks like
Remember Pumpkin, YOU are the ruler of your internal space.
Don’t let other people come in and ruin your Happy Place with their crappy ‘tude.