Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries with people has been an ongoing problem in my life. When I was halfway through the 2nd grade I was skipped into 3rd grade. This was in a small rural school where the average grade size was about 20 students. Everyone knew everyone. I quickly became an outcast. The 2nd graders didn't like that I was smart enough to be skipped ahead. And when I continued to be at the top of the new class, the 3rd graders called me a "baby 2nd grader." I yearned to be "liked" but I became an outcast. One person agreed to play with me after school if I didn't tell anyone she was my friend. This went on for years.

I now realize that at the root of it all, I am reluctant to set boundaries with people because I fear they won't "like me." Intellectually I know this sounds silly, but most of our reactions and behaviors as adults actually stem from patterns established in childhood.

This reluctance has been an especially difficult process to overcome as a business owner. Especially since the business owned is a yoga studio where people think any boundaries set should be fluid or abandoned otherwise we are not being "yogic."

However, I've learned through experience that trying to "be nice" leads to avoidance of the issues, and by not setting clear boundaries, feelings of manipulation, disempowerment, suppressed anger, misunderstandings, and the deterioration of relationships can result.

I recognize my pattern and I'm now determined to change it through expanding my awareness, by recognizing when I try to avoid rather than move forward. I will set boundaries with clarity and kindness. I will move forward without fear of someone "liking" me or not. I am now embracing setting boundaries as an integral part of my yoga practice that will lead to inner strength and a better opportunity to have healthier relationships with others.  

Beverly Singh