I knew from my first interaction with Tracee that I liked her and I know you will too. We met on Twitter and eventually began to dialogue through our blogs and email. Tracee is a therapist pursuing licensure as well as an accomplished speaker and hip hop aficionado.
She is passionate about the topic of Boundaries, so grab a seat and welcome my friend Tracee to the couch.
by Tracee Persiko
We are beginning to live in a world where the accessibility to people is immeasurable. Relationships are growing at a rapid rate.
Before online communities began, we had coffee dates and conversations that took on hours. Questions were asked that facilitated a maze through the heart of another. Time is what made the relationship a true treasure. LOL’s were actually heard. We learned ways of reading emotions, reactions, and voice inflections. Relationships allowed for development.
The introduction of online relating, and communities, are changing the definition of relationships as it once was. Relationships are starting and growing at an exponential pace. Getting to know someone looks so different then just talking to them. To get to know someone online there are alternative ways of seeing someone without actually having a conversation with that person. We can read their blogs, follow their banter and interactions on Twitter, and watch their journey through pictures on Facebook. These are just glimpses- great glimpses, but authentic snap shots at that.
Every day is filled with new introductions and glimpses of new hearts. We are hungry to be seen and known. We all have gifts that ache to be used.
Relationships are what we are wired for. We are created to know deep connections. Just like life, all relationships need boundaries to work well. The story of another is worth hearing. We long for it, we want to be a part of it; we want to offer, and be offered into. However, there is a time for everything.
Online relating lends itself to knowing another through pieces. It can also lend itself to false intimacy – perceived closeness to someone because of their exposure. It is really easy to exchange typed hearts. More people seem to be willing to “go there” with the perceived safety of cyber walls up, but there is a responsibility that comes with that.
Sometimes I cringe watching people place their hearts out there unguarded and left to the responsibility of others who are unknown. We are sadly moving into being a culture that is enabling enmeshment and blurred boundary lines.
So what do good boundaries look like?
“Guard your heart and mind” is a life principle no matter what sphere you are in. If you are not quick to hand out your heart in person, please take the same precautions when online. Guard the treasures of your story well. Your heart matters.
Proverbs 12:26 states, “a righteous man is cautious in friendship.” There is wisdom in taking relationships slow. There is value in development.
All relationships need time to prove trustworthy and safe. Just like in your first coffee meeting with someone, you might not tell your whole story right away. If you are interested in knowing someone more, engage in preliminary conversations. Leave room for your heart to be pursued. Let people ask about your heart and life.
Knowing information about another person does not mean you KNOW them. Guard your heart and help people guard theirs. Be cautious when entering relationships. Our hearts are worth valuing well. Love people well by asking questions. Love people well by not rushing into relationship levels that are falsely intimate. Do not cheapen the treasures of your heart by handing it out to others who will not be responsible with it.
What kind of boundaries do you uphold when interaction online?
In what ways do you see that better boundaries could be implemented online?
Tracee cares deeply about the heart and story of other people. When it comes to areas of passion, Tracee enjoys speaking on topics including: leadership development, cultivating character, second mile living, identity in Christ, and carrying the weight of your influence well. Her heart is all about empowering others to believe different and live different.