Boundaries

9 Dec

I use this blog sometimes to explore ideas, and what these ideas mean.  This time, as I watch documentaries on a rainy Sunday, I am thinking about boundaries.  The reason for this, is because good boundaries make people feel safe. Weak boundaries can make people feel unsafe.  Tight boundaries make people feel controlled.   Do a good sense of boundaries, and the ability to set them make for a better life?

The problem with talking about boundaries is that it’s hard  not to get into therapy talk, because after all, the idea of personal boundaries–if not introduced by psychology, certainly has been taken over by it.  The thing is that the whole idea of boundaries is completely illusory–since the whole world is reconstituted in our heads, most of these boundaries are made up as we go along and highly changeable.

I mean who says that if John asks Mary to see a movie she doesn’t want to see five times, she’ll say no the first four, but yes the fifth?  How much can someone’s kid beg for candy before they get it?  How much begging will make certain that they will get no candy at all?  How do people push their ideas on others?  How do advertisers get below our defenses to make a product into something else (their goal is to make a product an extension of ourselves.)

Also, with boundaries, does closing our boundaries to being influenced also close our boundaries to influence others?  If two people want two different things, what determines what wins?    When do things feel safe and things feel dangerous and how do other people fit into it?

I know this is full more of questions than answers, but there’s a billion places in the world to find answers–everybody has answers to these questions–but do those answers make people happier?  Are they real?  Or are they just more boundaries?  How much is describing what is vs. how much is describing how we want things to be?

I can say from my experience, that people sound much more certain of their interactions than I am.   After a simple interaction with another person, the thinking part of me that does things like write blogs is completely puzzled by the person who interacts with others–it’s like they’re two people.  Interaction me is completely instinctual, and isn’t thinking consciously about what is going on, thinking me goes back and tries to reconstruct it, but for me that’s almost impossible to do–maybe others have mastered this, but for me it’s hard to even know what I’m thinking when I’m talking to another person, it seems so chemical and automatic.  Later I can decide an interaction means this or that, but in reality I haven’t the foggiest.

I mean it’s not like I’m doing anything wrong or anything, so I don’t worry about it, except that I would like to do more and be happier, and I think boundaries might have something to do with it.   That sense of safety so that I can grow beyond my current boundaries.

Of course such growth involves getting beyond comfort now and then–hmmm could I make a plan to do that?

Except that I hate plans–so American business–so what I’m trying to get away from.  Plans always make me think of action plans that work makes people do when they get in trouble, and those plans are usually absolutely BS–the mistake is usually human error, and the plan is punishment to make people remember what they did wrong.  Managers would never say something like that, they would say it was to make people be accountable, but it’s really just a big stick to make the donkey move in the right direction.   It’s going to your room and thinking about what you did.  The thing is if you remember being a kid and being sent to your room to think about it, you never really did think about it, you just sat and sulked and were more careful not to be caught next time, if you were smart.  Isn’t that funny, as soon as someone tries to make someone else do something, they are just about guaranteeing that the opposite will happen.

I’ll think about it.  I like to believe that just focusing on things and playing with an idea, something is bound to grow from it–like a heat lamp over an egg.  So I’ll play with boundaries for awhile and see what it brings me.  (This idea might also be wrong, after all there are people who obsess over an idea and just end up spinning their wheels.)

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