The Case for Boundaries Lost

pix_joannegrazide-gateHere’s the thing. I’m at a rather pleasant gathering of like-minded people, people who have come together for a purpose. To talk, share, elucidate and for me, to just show off. Not really. I just feel like sometimes I need to speak up, blow my own horn as it were, and keep up with the cool kids. Now this crowd is one of a few, hand-picked, carefully tended groups which I frequent – or not, depending on what kind of activity we are into.

For instance, computer club has a mixed group of people who only have one thing in common at this point. An ongoing interest in technology. Although there are a choice few who seem to be battling with older technology and unable to comprehend that as of this hour, technology is available to all. Which brings me to the next point. Despite resistance on the part of our “elders,” there is a growing need to migrate to some sort of online presence, and at this point, it would be a shame to give up our FaceBook page or MeetUp, but that may happen at some point because heck, only three people use MeetUp to advertise their activities. This only results in stagnation, and I’m in the middle of it, just looking out from the midst of frustration.

Then there is the photography group I’m a member of. Here is where boundaries come in. there are people and there are people. The purpose of this group is to simply get together and perform activities like photo-shoots, which I’m crazy about. I will drive anywhere and get my equipment on me and spend hours tramping about. There is no pressure. I don’t have to talk, or demonstrate anything, and I have a great bunch of work to get to at the end of it all. I’m not there to be involved in drama or problems. That is why, the other day, there was a problem.

We are all sitting around having coffee after a productive, fun, and interesting shoot, and one person comes in and after some preliminary B.S., states that she has to learn LightRoom. I nodded in approval, and she realizes that I am still a beginner but would consider myself able to show someone some tips and tricks. She asked me if I would sit with her and teach her.

Now, there was a time, somewhere between when I retired and now, when I would have jumped on the opportunity to share what I know, and get someone going on this great app. But I said no. I do have my reasons. But I’m not for hire.

She seemed perturbed. She seemed to think that just by asking, she would gain the services of me. I seemed to think that she didn’t know when to come to a stop. There is no need to explain reasons why someone who basically has nothing else to do, has to comply with her problem. She canvassed some others, finding out that not only is there a LightRoom workshop coming up, but that some have actually taught themselves. I taught myself. I worked and worked, and am still working on learning it. I use the occasional YouTube presentation if I run into a problem. There is so much I’m not doing, I know that. But I will eventually get to where I can do what I want. I can learn, and I can always learn more.

So she seemed perturbed. It seems to me that there are boundaries in any situation. People cannot demand your time. People cannot feel bad if they ask an unwanted favor. People cannot expect to have all their needs fulfilled by others.

This same person should have been in the computer club. She had never heard of some terminology and never heard of some popular games. So she evidently has no time to relax. Just as some professionals who come into a career later in life, and don’t have an online presence, or need lessons in something like, it is beyond my understanding why. The internet being the lifeblood it is in social and now more and more professional circles, is not something to be scoffed at. Privacy? We gave that up long long ago when we filed our first tax return, or got our social security number. There is no excuse for deliberate ignorance. It is not funny to say you don’t know how to turn it on. It is like saying you don’t know how to open a door, or dial a rotary phone.

At this point, it is not an age thing but an ages thing. Keep the distance, please, and plug into your own knowledge base before bullying someone you don’t even know and never met before, into defensive tactics. As for me, I’ll attend the workshop on this program and bet my bottom dollar, my new friend is not in attendance.


4 thoughts on “The Case for Boundaries Lost

  1. From your post, I’d say you were intuitively following Bregman’s advice because you were “not the right person” to help her. Well done, Jo!


    1. Not the first time, but unfortunately not the last probably! Thanks for reading this!


  2. I just finished this terrific book: .
    When trying to decide how to respond to a request (from a coworker so not a direct analogy to your post) to help, Peter Bregman suggests we ask the following three questions:
    1. Am I the right person?
    2. Is this the right time?
    3. Do I have enough information?
    If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then it’s most helpful (to us AND to the requester) to decline to help.


  3. Good for you Jo. Your time is valuable too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close