Respecting by limiting: An Ambiguous nature of human relations
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Respecting by limiting: An Ambiguous nature of human relations

With diverse behaviours of people comes the need for healthy boundaries and priorities

Post by NADEEM QAYOOM & SHRISTI GUPTA on Thursday, October 13, 2022

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In the rush of achieving success and pleasure, in search of the moments of life, how many of us have ever reflected upon the various social circles with which we are tangled? Many of us at various crossroads of this journey would have felt a need to stop for a moment. Again, in search of a desire to be frank and open about our decisions and thoughts without any judgements, it takes us to look at ties a person has while being a part of a family, friend circle or society in general. Though there are people and connections in our lives whom we can rely upon, there are also times when we don’t find space for ourselves in them. Being criticized, when we reject the line of thought of society and prefer to act as per our understanding and logic, hearing the words that cause unexpected pangs are some of the responses when we fail to act as per the wishes of others or give out the social and cultural conventions. 


Be it changing our bad habits or leaving close ones when their presence feels toxic by their actions. The deliberate transition seems tough though it is our innate desperation to shun evil actions or thoughts for good. But we are entangled in the dilemma further deep. The reasons for this can be many but, in this way, its implication can be severe as it can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Solitude has never been a matter of discussion in the scenario and it should never be. We all are sustained because of cooperation among ourselves. It also should not be declined that we need to perpetuate this cooperation among us no matter what. However, if it does exceed the level of our comfort and breaches into the arena of discomfort and mental agony, it is better to at least try to leave the situation for the time being and rescue oneself to the deserving peace or else navigate through the situation in a way that is not too bruising. As a peace-building strategy, it may aid in lending ears to one's inner voice to tackle diverse situations.  


Everyone is distinct and each one of us is different in our mental makeup. Our emotions, thoughts or variations can never be the same but despite this, an inherent quality of tolerance is present in all that prevents us from retorting others at first if their tone of narrative contradicts ours. The story starts when out of our innate preposition and social conditioning, we wait until the point of no return. Couching our words only and only to appease others and preventing our embarrassment in front of them deprives us of expressing our responses and feelings comfortably; that does much damage to our mental peace. The social setting here needs reasonable flexibility to accommodate the varied thoughts and modes of understanding. Further, it must respect the limits of its infringements in the day-to-day doings of its representatives and not breach them; though its fundamental responsibility of restraining any evil doings of its fellows needs to be exercised whenever it happens.



It is a common observation that the word ‘limit’ or its other forms is used in a situation that gives a person an alert sign or negative connotation regarding the context. Hence, not being well versed in the same further puts them out of their comfort zones and regular temper. Considering only the literal meaning of any word is not always the intention of its speaker. Actually, one must get a broad understanding of the conversation including choice of words i.e., not just a ‘signal’ but a holistic interpretation of words so that the purpose of the same is not defeated. 


With diverse behaviours of people comes the need for healthy boundaries and priorities. The balance of both ensures a psychological equilibrium. Apart from giving a way for the socialization process, it also helps to figure out one’s comfortable space and improves self-care. Moreover, with such values and limits in relationships, one enhances his/her identity and personality simultaneously. Being aware of one's preferences and choices, he/she builds confidence about how much one knows oneself and also adds up to their image in the social context. This as one of the methods, works on reinforcing our existing perceptions as an individual by others in society. 


In an attempt to explore further, we consider a different take. When it comes to human relations, an individual’s values and boundaries are crucial to give a sense and structure to the relationships an individual holds. We must have heard that “Man is a social being”. While being social beings, we need to underline what is social in our lives. One needs to be vocal about what is the extreme to which one can hold the interactions of the world so that it doesn’t become interference to him/her or others in the end. For this to follow it is important to realize that every person has a different level of interaction with different persons. Accordingly, with this take, one must define his/her boundaries. Though the notion regarding these limits is present in our subconscious, it is neither heard properly nor given enough attention if heard. The person’s upbringing, self-esteem, values and experiences have a lot of influence in this regard. The need for personal space and mental peace should not be made to subside to any forms of fears, criticisms or judgements. If things are going beyond the consideration and compatibility level of the two individuals then it is significant to have a check over the resultant dynamics. Therefore, when life gives you lemons, one way to make lemonade is to resort to embracing your space and mental peace to survive through various complexities of human relations. 


Therefore, the crux figures out that limiting social interaction doesn’t necessarily mean absconding the society but YES, it does mean respecting the boundaries each member enjoys. Human relations were never meant to cause discomfort; indeed, they are for the opposite. A social connection is essential for all of us, especially with our close ones to have healthy relations that not only keep us guarded from solitude and its baleful clutches that ruin one’s life but at the same time, it is also equally not wrong to limit this connection when a situation regarding personal stability and peace is involved. Here, it becomes the responsibility of society to reciprocate the same. Its lack of awareness, education and tolerance results in the preventable complications ahead but Alas! we don’t understand “It is sometimes better to leave than to cling to a situation.”


(Nadeem Qayoom is a tutor at Filo EdTech and can be reached at: and Shristi Gupta is a student of Development studies at TISS, Mumbai and can be reached at:

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