I have always had an issue with boundaries. They have either been wide open or shut so tight that no one could get through. Currently I am in the process of learning what healthy boundaries are and developing them. Surprisingly, I find Face Book is helping me.
For me, face to face encounters prove nerve-racking. If I am put on the spot by a person I tend to bend to their will. I have always been this way, especially in my personal life. I am likely to dismiss my feelings as being silly when face to face. This reaction has gotten me in to some difficult situations.
With Face Book though there is a built-in time delay and it’s helping me with my boundaries. I get to listen to my reactions. Sometimes they are knee jerk and not appropriate, but other times they are appropriate and should not be dismissed. My hardest boundaries to form rationally are my protective ones. In the past I have been “all or nothing” in this area. Now I am learning to adjust my boundaries based on the person and situation. That pause that is built-in to social media is teaching me to listen to myself and if need be, question my reaction. On of the results of this is my new-found ability to say “no”. I know understand that I, like everyone else on the planet, has the right to keep myself safe. I never really understood that. Face Book is also helping me in reading other people. I know that sounds weird as I am dealing with virtual people, but it is helping. It is teaching me to listen to the internal voice again.
The other interesting aspect of Face Book is all the different people you encounter. Not to mention situations. I find that I am learning to deal with a multitude of different personalities and relationships. We don’t like to admit it, but we have different categories of relationships in our lives. I had forgotten that. Now I am being reintroduced to all the different categories and the expectations that go with each one. Again, for me, this is easier on Face Book than it is face to face. While it is easier to acquaint myself to different relationships on-line I find that this practice, if you will, is helping me when dealing with people face to face.
No matter how you develop them, boundaries are important. Healthy ones will keep you safe yet open to a life time of opportunities. That goes for the world of social media too.