Don’t Bother Others with Your Boundaries.
“Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” –Prentis Hemphill
Boundaries. Sometimes even reading, hearing or speaking the word out loud can bring up uncomfortable feelings in a person. We live in a world where we are constantly bludgeoned with messages like: 'take care of others before yourself,' “boys will be boys,” “just smile and be nice,” or “but they’re family” and so many more. Even if we might not have heard these exact phrases directly spoken to us (though many of us have) the message is clear either way: “self-sacrifice is how you should measure your own worth. Don't bother others with your boundaries.” This kind of conditioning is especially prolific in how we raise our girls, but no one is unscathed. It doesn't take long to think about how these messages affect us. People unable to file for divorce- despite being deeply unhappy in their marriage, letting your boss belittle you in front of coworkers, saying “yes” but wanting to say “no.” What I find truly interesting about this conundrum is that we cannot have good relationships with others without boundaries. Oh the irony. We spend so much time trying to fit in and have people like us that we let people step on our feet and in doing so, ruin our relationships with resentment. At the barbershop the relationship between the client and barber is crucial to every single cut. Boundaries are a pillar within our four walls. If each person prioritises their own wellness and establishes the boundaries they need we can cultivate lasting, meaningful, connective relationships with each other and in consequence create a truly loving space in our lives. Boundaries are not narcissism, and the only people benefitting from that narrative are those who gain from the making-small of others. Boundaries are a beautiful thing to celebrate, because ironically, they actually bring us closer. In the chair, behind the chair, and then out in our communities with a fresh haircut, we can see a wholehearted change. Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind, the bother boundaries bring.