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Boundaries and Control

boundaries and control

Lately, in therapy, I’ve been reflecting on why I am anxious about so many things. I have realised that I tend to care too much about things outside my control. It seems to stem from my childhood - trying to escape the chaos in my conflict-stricken family. Being an only child, I had no one else to look to for support, so I tried to ignore the noise and disappear into my world.


Over the years, this has manifested in ways where I compromise my boundaries and peace to maintain harmony in situations. Conflict is triggering, so I’ve gotten less confrontational.

After a few sessions under my belt and conversations with close friends, I am now beginning to be more “cold”. If I tell you how your actions make me feel and there is no change, I have to distance myself and do my own thing. Sometimes, this feels like an absolute gut punch because it goes against my environmental conditioning, especially with family. Every fibre tells me I’m a terrible <type of relative>. It sucks at that moment, but it’s important for my long-term sanity.

According to Mr Therapist, the adult me has to, in a way, fight for the vulnerable kid in me that regressed inside himself all those years ago to seek shelter from the chaos around him.


I am slowly embracing that people’s reaction to confrontation is largely up to them. Yes, delivery matters. But delivering something matters more than delivering something perfectly. In my experience, confronting some people hasn’t changed their behaviour. People can be deluded beyond our ability to influence them without extensive effort. It is neither our obligation nor our responsibility to have to put in this effort. You can if you want to, I suppose. But don’t get guilted into it.

Once you have communicated your perspective, it is up to the receiver to reflect and act on that information. I am not responsible for seeing through that people change. This realisation has been heartbreaking for me when I pour my heart out, and it falls on deaf ears. But, this is life. I am only in control of my actions and reactions.

So, if you’re reading this, I suggest that you try to start speaking your mind more. It’s crushing to carry the burden of calculating everyone’s potential reaction.

Do what’s right for your mental sanity, and everything else will take care of itself, even if it sucks in the near term.

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