Setting Boundaries

Dearest daughter,

Have you ever been in a situation where something that you shared privately with one person was shared with someone else?  How did that make you feel?  Did you feel embarrassed, betrayed, hurt?  If so, you are not alone.  I have experienced this pain before in life and I can tell you from experience that it hurts and it can change a relationship.  I wish I had a simple solution to protect you from this hurt.  What I can tell you is what I have done when I was confronted with this type of situation.  I can suggest ideas to lessen the hurt and to avoid this from happening altogether.

First of all, remember that anytime you share something with someone, you run the risk of having that information shared with someone other than the person intended.  This is something you must always remember…even if the person is your best friend, boyfriend, sister or husband.   It may not be this moment, but one day, this information can become public knowledge.  It all depends on the person that you choose to share with.  Ask yourself some simple questions:  Will this person “go to the grave” with what I shared?  Does he respect others?   Will this person protect the information I have given him?  Can I share openly how I feel about something without the fear of him turning around and sharing what I just shared with someone else?  Has this person ever broken my trust in the past? 

I think what it all boils down to is setting appropriate boundaries.  Keep strong boundaries around people you first meet.  Try not to be an open book.  Not everyone will treasure your sweet, open heart.  Some will take what you say innocently and make judgments or poke fun at it.  Don’t leave your heart open to getting hurt by someone you don’t have a track record with.  Little by little you can share more about yourself until trust is established.  Then if the trust is shaken, you need to evaluate the strength of the relationship and the respect that is shared between the two of you.  Surprisingly some of the people who hurt us the most are those closest to us. The difference is figuring out who you can trust with private information and who you just need to wait until you get home so you can just journal it down.

You know, I find journaling one of the best ways to share what is on my heart without the fear of rejection or being poked fun at.  One of my dear friends bought me my first journal since my teenage years about 8 years ago when I was going through a very difficult time in my life.  She knew that I loved to write and thought it would help me with processing the pain and the hurt that I was feeling.  It worked wonders.  I wrote in my journal like a prayer to God.  Each entry was my cry to Him to share what was on my heart. Sometimes I feel that this is the only way to share the deepest, most intimate things…as a prayer to God.  Journal it.  It might make all of the difference in the end.  God is here for you.  He will never leave or forsake you.  That is His promise to us.  He is listening to the cries of your heart.  Can you hear his soft, still voice? 

I love you honey,

Mommy

Comments

  1. Something you should really point out is some people such as myself are just idiots. I have been told secrets by people and not realised they were secrets and gone and told people and then they got angry with me for telling and I said “huh, you never said not to tell anyone” and they said “I thought that would have been obvious!!!”

    Rule number one: it’s not obvious. If you want people to not tell, tell them, make them promise not to tell. Don’t assume they know that you were speaking in confidence.

  2. A very good piece of advice. I hope your daughter reads it. 🙂
    We always want to protect our children from the bad world out there and all we can do is advise. I’m not a writer but I am here to write. There is nowhere better than writing to be able to express yourself.

    http://www.dubaimumz.wordpress.com

    • Thanks for your comments Naveeka. I agree with you about how writing is a great vehicle for expressing yourself. As an English teacher, I find practicing the art of expression to be an essential element in education today. 🙂

  3. Every word of this letter is teach a lesson of the life . All remember these words because nobody share with you their life experience.

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