The Polite Boundary

I’ve learned to say over the years It’s none of my business. What it really ties into is boundary issues, but it has a polite ring to it. It’s the polite boundary.

This has come up for me in work situations. But it can be a family situation (You should talk to Dad about…he always listens to you). It can be among friends, when the tea begins to spill (Somebody really should tell her…). And while we’re on that metaphor, tea stains and it’s impossible to get out.

I opted out by saying ‘I don’t think this is any of my business.’ And it wasn’t. I didn’t want to share the problem, I didn’t want to  participate in solving the problem, I didn’t think I had the authority to be taking on even a fraction of that problem.

So rather than overstepping my boundary, and by the same token letting the brouhaha invade my space, I simply opted for the I’m sorry that’s none of my business option.

I’ve blogged about the importance of boundaries and deciding just how much you can/want to give of your time, resources and energy, keeping in mind all these are finite. But concretely, asking yourself Is this any of my business? is a great way to apply the boundary concept.

Boundary Issues

I won’t invest time and energy in something I don’t have any interest in, or any power over, or any responsibility towards. When you think of it, a lot of things aren’t any of our business but we jump in, or wander in, or get pulled in in spite of ourselves and then we are part of a problem-solving team or worse the designated problem solver.

It irritates or even stresses us because we didn’t want to be there in the first place. But at the same time there’s guilt because we don’t know how to say no. So we annoy ourselves.

It always comes down to ourselves: not knowing our limits, not respecting them. Even when our limitations are clear, we must now muster the courage to say No. Sometime this courage fails us.  Sometimes other needs are at cross purposes: the need for validation, to feel important, to be the hero of the situation. But if we just take the time to ask ourselves Does this concern me?

A Good Mantra

Not only is It’s none of my business a polite boundary setting, it’s a great mantra. Have you ever been tempted to cross your own boundary, but you know it’s not going to do you any good? I’ve repeated this line over and over, usually where an ex was concerned. Because I knew, from making the same mistake again and again, that if I gave in to curiosity about what they were up to, who they were seeing, checked on social media, or worse doing the accidental run in, I’d speculate and dwell on every detail until I drove myself nuts. But that’s me. It applies to anything or anyone that it’s not going to do you any good to revisit. Tempted? Repeat the mantra. Someone starts telling about that person or place or thing, instate you polite boundary Sorry, I’m not interested, it’s none of my business.

An Energy Issue

Yes, we’re going to talk energy again. Having a boundary keeps that bad energy out. Not hearing about the ex, about who got promoted when you didn’t, about the opportunity you missed out on is avoiding that depressing energy. The one that is going to fill you with sadness, or regret or shame.

Doing something you don’t want to do, because you didn’t define your boundary is going to have you hovering between guilt and self-annoyance. You know when you end up doing something you don’t want to do, and the only person to blame is, well, you? You don’t need any of that. Don’t let them impose their needs and rent space on your head.

Boundaries are one of those concepts that are simple but hard to apply. But just being aware allows you to evaluate from a new angle. Ask the question Why am I doing this? It’s none of my business!

Photo by Ethan Haddox on Unsplash

In other news. I participated in an online exhibition. River and Rust, one of my works was shown in the Prunelle Exhibition, held from April 13th to the 24th. What freaked me out, but made me reallyIMG_0039.jpg happy too is that the background for the promo is my painting. How cool is that?

You can get the Newsletter here. It’ll be once a month, no more, maybe less. I do not share/sell/trade emails, nor will I will not be spamming you with offers. You can check out the January Newsletter

I’m in the process of moving and the blog has not been getting the attention it deserves. However, I have picked up some time as I’ve left my full time job. So, looking forward to getting back on track. I also hope to publish in 2022 and have a decent body of art work. You heard it here first. Now I’m committed. Which is better than being committed! Ha! Be well.