You ever met someone who just seemed to cross every boundary that was ever set, whether it was stated or just implied? Lately, it seems like there are a lot of people crossing certain boundaries that they shouldn’t, and honestly, we’re all adults here, you shouldn’t need someone to parent you and tell you that you are crossing a boundary.
Let me pull up an example of what I’m talking about. Have you ever been friends with or worked with or even just spent time with someone who seemed to feel that privacy just wasn’t an important thing? Maybe they hover behind your desk at work, reading what’s on your monitors or maybe they will snoop through every piece of mail that is sitting on the counter when they come over to visit you. Well, in my opinion, that’s crossing a serious boundary. When something is left out, it’s not an invitation for someone else to read it, but yet that’s how so many people act. They think that if it’s left out, it’s fair game, and they justify it by saying “well everyone does it.” No, everyone doesn’t do that, that’s not only crossing boundaries but it’s an invasion of privacy. You wouldn’t appreciate someone going through your phone if you left it on the counter, but you think it’s ok to do that to someone else to justify your curiosity? Sorry, but no. I get it, sometimes it’s really tempting to listen in to a conversation or to read something that’s sitting right there. But it’s not there for you. That means, unless someone says you can go read it, you need to respect the boundaries and accept that it’s just something you’re not going to know. For women, there’s been plenty of discussion of men crossing boundaries that they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, I don’t know a single woman who has not had a man cross a boundary at some point, including myself. I have had myself grabbed inappropriately by men I don’t know, as well as have had them cat call and call me names. Do you consider that a boundary crossed? I certainly do, I also consider it ridiculous. But, it is what it is. The only person that you can control is yourself, so do your best not to cross any boundaries and make someone else feel uncomfortable.
It can be really hard to not cross certain boundaries. Some we don’t even realize we’re crossing, some get crossed innocently enough, and that’s ok, things happen, nobody’s perfect (if you think you are, read my last post). But if you are purposefully ignoring those boundaries and just scooting across them, then it’s a problem. So just try to keep that in the back of your mind. A piece of advice that my driver’s ed coach once gave us was to act like everything we did would be front page news the next morning. If you don’t want your snooping plastered across the front page of the paper, and you feel slightly ashamed at the thought, then you probably shouldn’t be doing that. That’s solid advice for anything. If you say something to someone that you would be mortified anyone else heard you say, then should you really be saying it? If the answer is no, then you may want to think twice before acting or speaking. And these boundaries can be crossed in a variety of ways. Kids cross boundaries all the time by testing their parents, teenagers do it with their mouths (self-recognized smart mouth right here), and even adults do it in a variety of ways. Just always stop and give your actions a second thought. And consider, how you would feel if there was a picture of you on the front page of the morning paper, crossing a boundary.