Never assume people know how they are imposing on you

Boundaries are, at their very core, an elevated expression of love. 

To self and other. When we express obedience to our letter of inner law, putting every choice its proper place in the economy of our version of a fulfilling life, then we are living from heart center. 

But when we don’t set boundaries, we are only enabling people. Ourselves included. 

We are stepping away from our highest good and granting others permission to do the same. 

A colleague of mind from the startup world reports to a workaholic manager. Her boss notoriously piles on too many tasks during the day and has unreasonable expectations for evening and weekend message responsiveness. 

Sound claustrophobic and stressful? 

At the beginning of her career, she says, it most definitely was. But when asked how she learned to set firm boundaries, my friend offered a helpful insight. 

Never assume people know how they are imposing on you. 

Especially if you work directly for the company founder. That person is likely to be deeply passionate about the organization. And their tunnel vision will make it hard for them to make the empathetic leap. Their brains will not compute. 

Wait a minute, why isn’t every single employee as devoted as me? 

And so, how narrow or how wide we draw our circle of commitment all depends on our disposition, on our definition of a fulfilling life. 

For some of us, if it makes zero sense for us to meet people’s otherwise unjustified expectations, then we mark our territory and hold that line. 

For others, people whose boundaries are perhaps more porous, we draw a line in the sand, but when given the appropriate reason, cross it. 

Both forms of boundaries are elevated expressions of love.


How do you respond when somebody steps across the boundaries of appropriate demand?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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