While boundaries are essential, it doesn’t mean that they are going to be the same for everyone. One person could feel infringed upon when another person does something, and if this was to happen to someone else, it might not cause any problems.
But although there will be differences in what people are comfortable with and what they are not, there will be things that apply to everyone. So this means that someone can violate another person’s boundaries without them even realising it or it could be something they do on purpose.
This is why it is important for someone to assert their boundaries during the moments when they feel compromised. Because whether another person realises what they are doing or not, one still needs to protect themselves.
And this will include ones physical body, their mind and their emotional body, as well as their possessions At times other people may get too close or want to touch them when it is inappropriate, and one will have to let them know. One might hear something or be told something that it harmful or inaccurate and so one will need to stop what they hear from entering their mind.
There will also be the need for one to be discerning in who they open up to. Opening their heart to anyone would not be wise; first one needs to see if someone can be trusted with such openness. When it comes to one’s personal belongings, one will need to let other people know when they are doing something that is intrusive or inappropriate.
Through one standing their ground and letting other people know when they are violating their boundaries, one will feel safe and empowered. This doesn’t mean that one will never feel compromised, but what it does mean, is that it is likely to be a rare occurrence.
Without having the ability to do this, it is clear that one is going to be walked over. And this means they won’t feel safe or empowered, they will feel vulnerable and powerless. However, even though this is not the ideal, it can be normal and what they are used to.
Being walked over is then the rule and not the exception. Other people could be seen as having something they don’t and/ or one could come believe that they deserve to be walked over. Either way, it is bound to make someone feel frustrated and angry.
But while one’s mind can come with all these reasons as to why they are being compromised or violated by others, it is happening for a reason. And this reason can be due to what has happened in their adult years or it can be the result of what happened during their childhood years.
From the moment someone is born, they are wide open or to put it another way – they are boundaryless. And so whether they form boundaries or not, will all depend on how their caregivers treated them.
If one is brought up by caregivers who are empathic and are therefore in tune with their needs and wants, it is going to mean that their personal space will be respected in most cases.
This would have allowed one to realise that they are separate and that it is safe for them to have needs and wants. And through this, it enabled one to speak up when they did feel compromised in any way; for they knew that they would be heard and respected.
What these early experiences do is shape their adult expectations. These expectations then define their behaviour and other people will mirror back what they have come to expect.
For some people, the complete opposite would have taken place. Or if it wasn’t this extreme, certain things would have occurred that set them up to be walked over as an adult. Here, ones needs and wants would have been overlooked or minimized.
It is likely that they were brought up by caregivers who didn’t have the ability to empathise or if they did, they didn’t utilise it on a consistent basis. And this then made it possible for them to violate ones personal space.
Through these experiences, one would have learnt that it wasn’t safe for them to stand their ground. And that they could only survive by letting other people walk over them. They would have ended up feeling worthless and that they deserved to be treated badly.
These early experiences then formed their expectations and as the years passed, these probably become unconscious. So as this is what they expect and what feels familiar and therefore safe to their ego mind, they will continue to create situations in their life where they are walked over by others.
Just because someone is used to being walked over, it doesn’t mean they deserve it. Their experiences may cause them to believe that they do deserve it, but what one experiences is simply a reflection of what they believe. And so what is taking place externally doesn’t reflect what is true, it simply reflects what is taking place within.
When this changes, ones outer experiences will begin to mirror back these internal changes. There is likely to be beliefs that need to be changed, and trapped emotions in one’s body that need to be released. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.