It’s interesting to watch the people you respect set boundaries, because often times it comes across in a negative way, but Whoopie Goldberg did it perfectly tonight. As perfectly as Ana Navaro did the other day when she told Meghan McCain not to yell at her.

“I don’t want to talk about this.”

“I don’t want you to yell at me.”

“I don’t want to deal with this.”

Are full sentences that must be respected, and yet we’re so often used to saying what we want without impunity that when people in our real lives are setting boundaries, we aren’t paying attention enough to listen to them.

I used to have so much clutter in my head I wasn’t capable of hearing when people were trying to set a boundary with me, and this came across as me not caring about their feelings, when in reality I couldn’t recognize the signals. It’s time I think for us to be more upfront, because I think the subtle art of well…subtly has been lost among the world of Social Media.

We’ve gained the ability to say and do as we please, but we’ve lost the ability to connect to each other on a one to one level, and we take the same behaviors that we use on Twitter into the real world, and it’s only just occurred to me, how much my social media experience mirrors my real life.

There are people I admire that I follow on Twitter, but I don’t reach out to them, I don’t talk to them privately in DM. In fact I think the only people I speak to privately are Adele, JC and Stephen and only when they initiate it.

I tend to give people a wide berth these days, because I am without knowing it, setting a boundary.

I wonder how much easier life would be if we could just wear signs that said “I am dealing with this today”, so people would know what our boundaries are. But since we’re not, why don’t we take a page out of the books of Ana Navarro and Whoopie Goldberg, and actually pay attention when people are asking us to respect their triggers?

I find reaching out to hurt other people so needlessly complicated, because once the damage is done any kind of relationship we thought we had with that person dissolves into a shadow of its former self that can never fully recover from the damage.

I’ve lost friends over the years because people didn’t pay attention when I tried to set a boundary, and because I didn’t pay attention any more than they did. Its a lot harder to ask “are you really okay?” and be genuine with our hearing skills, than it seems because we’re so focused on only taking in as much information as the newest tweet will give us.

I don’t even read blog posts any more because words are starting to lose all meaning to me. All I see these days are words on a screen, and thus everything feels disingenuous, which is why I am so utterly pissed at all these people saying that Greta Greenburg is mentally unstable or immature.

She’s sixteen years old and filing law papers on how damaging adults, myself included, are being to the world today. She should be getting ready for dances and studying for tests but instead she is out there in the world taking it on and pointing fingers in all the right directions. She’s setting a huge boundary about what she is willing to accept from this world and while half of us are listening the other half are telling her to shut up and smile pretty.

If you’re wondering why more and more people are dealing with mental health issues than ever before, this is it. Its the lack of boundaries and the refusal to pay attention when people are setting them.

What are some of the ways you set your boundaries with people? because I tend to just go radio silent and refuse to pick up the phone and call them. I only chase people for so long before I give up and settle on my own company, I know it’s not healthy but it’s a hell of a lot kinder than hassling someone into the position of telling me to my face to back off.

At least that is what I’ve learned, do I have it wrong? let me know in the comments underneath this post.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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