Why Are People Offended When Teens Set Boundaries?
For the ones who don’t know Give Us The Floor, the non-profit serving the emotional and social needs of teenagers, it is a community of teens, mostly in distress, who help each other. The teens provide this help via supportive group chats on Snapchats and share their struggles on YouTube and Instagram for a larger youth audience. The result is that teens understand they are not alone, that peers are facing the same challenges and struggles as they do, and that there is a supportive community of teens that they can belong to.
Last week, we posted on YouTube the vlog of a young teenager who explains that she genuinely feels uncomfortable sharing private matters with certain people. When they insist on wanting to know what she feels, it makes her feel that her space is being violated. We have all been there. But how many of us dare to say, “Sorry, I don’t want to share this you”? I’m impressed by this young girl, Hailey, who has the courage to set clear boundaries.
No one from Give Us The Floor’s team predicted the negative reaction this video got! Wow! We know that Youtube has a lot of trolls, and we deal with them with strict moderation. Usually, a video gets a strong reaction because it is because the video is truly controversial or because people have an emotional or cultural reaction to the subject, like our most popular videos: “Being White Passing” by Sophia or “Living in Fear of Deportation” by Lindsey. But when the heck did setting boundaries become controversial?
It says something about our society when people question the very idea of setting boundaries. Boundaries are a healthy way of taking care of and protecting ourselves. What is wrong with people not accepting that they can’t know everything about someone? Or that someone doesn’t feel comfortable sharing private things with them? Does that make them feel unwanted, dumb, rejected? Well, they are the ones who should work on themselves because, if you got offended by this video, I suggest that you work to understand why it is hard for you that people want to keep private what is…private.
If you are an adult taking care of teens, it is important to respect and encourage their privacy, even if they appear angry or upset with you. That they don’t want to share with you is not bad; they might just feel embarrassed about it. Did you want to share everything with your parents or teachers, when you were a teen? Certainly not! That didn’t make you a drug addict, suicidal or a bad person. The important thing is that they have a support system in place that allows them to share their deepest secret without shame and allow others to guide them in the best direction for their mental and physical health.
You can find a list of great resources on Give Us The Floor's website