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Every relationship has expectations, rules, and practices. Each person plays a part and depicts a role in that relationship. Ideally, when we accept these roles, rules, expectations, we agree with the nature of that relationship as it should be. What does this mean?

For example, culturally, we inform children that they can treat their aunt just as their mother ("maasi is like your mom"). A child gets confused and allows this relationship with his or her aunt to hold the same set of rules, expectations, and behaviour that s/he would exchange with the mother. Here we are teaching an individual to let loose of their healthy boundaries.

What does a healthy boundary teach in a relationship?

It isn’t incorrect or impolite for a young adult to expect their parents to knock at the room door before entering. It is respecting the private space of the individual and setting an example to do the right thing. Culturally, the extreme form of care nurtured in people may not come across as concerning, however, perceived as an intrusion.

Healthy boundaries sound like :

- I value your opinion, but for now, I need you to listen. I do not want suggestions.

- I understand you feel safe to share your emotions with me, but today I don’t think I could comfort you.

- Please don’t remark about my clothes, I don’t appreciate it.

- I am with my family, could we talk later.

- Please consult with me before inviting people over

- I’m working, could you please ask me next time before beginning a discussion

- Please ask, don’t assume for me

Healthy boundaries exist to allow both people in any relationship to put forth their expectations in an appropriate way where both are respected. It gives one of the people in that relationship less guilt when being assertive and not letting anyone violate their privacy.

Boundaries are necessary with parents, parents-in-law, partners, children, friends, and colleagues. It allows an equal exchange of energy, and it is not rude or disrespectful. It might not align with the cultural norms. So maybe let’s reflect, and begin the journey to unlearn and relearn!

P.S - the use of “I” allows one to take responsibility for oneself. Remember, people will address self-care as selfishness unintentionally breaking into your space.

Boundaries are protecting safety nets, not inappropriate barriers. They allow freedom!

#mentalhealth #createhealthyboundaries #wellbeing #relationships

He said, "I was fine till yesterday, suddenly, some fears set in." And his therapist said, “it looks like you might have OCD.”

It is a bright sunny day, and yet there is a feeling of being lost. Life, in general, seems uncertain. The mind only thinks that something horrible is going to happen. While the heart says, think of something positive, there is doubt if that is even possible.

I happen to read the diary of a person with OCD, and he wrote, "I drive and think I might hurt someone while driving every day. Yet, I don’t stop driving. The outcome is relative, but my effort is absolute. These thoughts bother me even when I am not driving. Sometimes I think, would it be a privilege to be psychotic? I’d be living in a world of my own, at least less ego-dystonic as mine.”

There is nothing more uncertain than living. It isn’t just about life or death that is uncertain. There is so much uncertainty every day. Every morning one plans a set of tasks to be completed by the end of the day. However, what if the plan does not go as desired. The faithful aspect of uncertainty comes with a demanding question, ‘what if?’

Sometimes people can overcome this question by not focussing on this aspect of uncertainty. They let their focus remain on the more certain options available. There are people with so many different mental illnesses. When I come to think of them, I can only be sure to sympathize with them. Not empathize. I possibly cannot imagine how difficult it is for someone with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) to live with uncertainty.

Anxiety is not just being nervous, OCD is not just the order of things, and OCPD is unknown to the world.

Mental illnesses are not just labels used to categorize anyone as disabled. Mental Illnesses are real-time experiences, feelings, and situations of people who are able and capable.

Mental health will always remain vulnerable, that is certain.

#mentalhealth #mentalillness #OCD #experiences #obsessions #thoughts #compulsion #anecdotes

“I wish I could point at one thing & change it”

Look around you! People have insecurities and uncertainties that they are silently fighting, one of them being - criticism.

Self- critics are not just high achievers who want more from life and are competitive. They have a trait as part of their personality. It begins to dominate when reinforced throughout the years. There are many reasons for it. It could be because, as kids, some people experience bullying in school. It could also be that their parents expected more from them than they could fulfil. Or maybe their parents were never around them with love and care. Lastly, there is a possibility that they are a product of a dysfunctional society that always imposes ideals.

Self-criticism is viewing oneself negatively and always evaluating oneself in light of failure. It is like maintaining an account for losing a task, hobby, and emotional sanity. It’s a feeling of never being good enough. Self- critics carry a burden other than the vulnerability of being judged by others. Sometimes, it is beyond just being harsh on oneself. There is less impact in telling them to “just be easy on yourself and enjoy life a little.” It even ends in self-harm, using a substance, and often rumination (repetitive thinking).

Self- critics are not just individuals who want to be in a high ranked position. They are just like any one of us. However, it could lead to difficulties and problems in relationships, work, and with oneself.

Give out love and compassion so people could believe in a safe world.

Let’s practice compassion. We never know someday, someone might want to become a self-compassionate person than an exhausted self-critic.

#Selfcriticism #mentalwellbeing #traitsandpersonality #selfcriticalpeople #mentalhealthmatters #morethandiagnosis #themadnessforreal

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