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It seems to me a lot of young adults have loose social boundaries. The thing is though, this is the time of our life to really build ourselves up; to establish who we are. It’s not just the school, work, money, or lover. Building character is about a ton of other abstract qualities that only come with practice, from the inside out. Things like respect, honesty, and kindness. And simply being real…which really isn’t always simple.
I have only recently been connecting honesty with maintaining boundaries. In order to be honest, boundaries are needed; likewise, in order to maintain boundaries, honesty is needed. That is, if we want to have respect in the picture. Look, to be honest opens the self to vulnerability; when vulnerable, boundaries must remain in place to ensure the honest, vulnerable self will not be disrespected. Once disrespect is happening, all hell breaks loose- yeah, we don’t want that.
I know when someone asks me to be honest, I will naturally expect to be respected. Wouldn’t we all? Wouldn’t we all hope to be respected for keeping it real? Although, we can only hope because not everyone can understand or control their reactions to our honesty. Reactions can get messy and complicated. This is why we need those boundaries in case they pull a fast one on us.
Every time we are trying to be honest, we are ultimately hoping to be respected for our authenticity. Just don’t expect respect if you can’t keep yourself safe with boundaries.
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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