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Over the past few years, a great deal of content has been generated about boundaries.
Lots of people on social media are talking about boundaries, or about stepping out of their comfort zones. However, it seems people aren’t willing to have those uncomfortable talks in their own lives. While it’s easy to spout quotes from Brené Brown in one’s feed, it’s not so simple to actually have the uncomfortable talks around boundaries—to stay with the topic until it is finished.
We can talk about other people’s boundaries, lack of boundaries, and society’s silent support, but do we have the courage to have these uncomfortable talks in our own life? Can we have the talk with our partners, spouses, and friends, when we feel they have crossed a boundary? Can we ask for our boundaries to be respected?
We’ve been conditioned to avoid speaking about boundaries.
Let’s be honest—we love the idea but don’t want to do the work. We would rather move on to other topics and avoid the discomfort. On the surface, we may seem okay with discussing boundaries, but our actions tell a different story. We become less connected, less communicative, and less available. Sometimes we break up with a partner, or perhaps even ghost them, to avoid it. Many of us would rather leave a loving relationship—romantic or otherwise—instead of having an uncomfortable talk. That’s how much we want to avoid the topic.
Think about it: how many times have we moved on from someone who brought up an uncomfortable conversation?
It happens every day. We just do it, and as a result we don’t evolve. We keep surface-level relationships in abundance and avoid deeper connections.
The deadliest conversation is the one where we have to hear when we are the ones who crossed a boundary. This might be the hardest talk to have. It’s painful to hear how we, ourselves, didn’t stay within the boundaries—it sucks to have to own our mistakes.
Can we really be present with our own discomfort when it’s our turn to hear what we have failed to do?
As a society, we tend to point our fingers outward. That’s the comfortable approach to uncomfortable talks—blame conversations are the ones where we are barely responsible. It’s the easy kind of uncomfortable.
Can we actually be still with ourselves and hear what we do not want to hear? It seems to me that we cannot. We have created the trend of occupying the arena of discomfort, but still having one foot in the comfort zone.
People do not like it when you speak about boundaries. They simply prefer you don’t verbalize it.
How fricking uncomfortable. We can’t do that! It’s too far into discomfort.
It’s too healthy! We will be forced to look at our sh*t.
We support the status quo by avoiding or bypassing the topic. We want people to read our minds instead of having real, authentic talks. We are not recognizing the courage it takes to bring these conversations up, and having gratitude for them.
We miss the point. These discussions are evidence that someone values you enough to go through the discomfort.
We do the opposite. We devalue authentic talks—the kinds that make changes and build deeper connections. It’s crucial to understand how much we would benefit from these conversations—to learn the meaning of true connection, deepened trust, and intimacy. Instead, we avoid them at all costs.
So yes, we can certainly spout praises about Brené Brown’s work, and even quote and write articles about it, but do we actually live by the words we are quoting?
Can we find the courage to stay in discomfort long enough to work through the boundary issue, through the discomfort?