If there is one place where women keep their guard down, it is their personal space. And, when lines are not drawn on how to value each other’s personal spaces at home, it does not reflect at a societal level.
As virtues like patience and tolerance are assumed to come naturally to women, testing them with requests, questions or intrusive behaviour is problematic. Here are some quick pointers on how not to jump the gun that a woman is comfortable to entertain you and respect her time over yours.
While having a girl child is bliss, as she grows older, she needs a support system. When a child closes doors, the impulse would be to check on them; but it is a boundary that one must not cross. And the concern for your teenager’s friend circle must not force you to eavesdrop, while they are on the phone or go through their devices.
Instead, practice healthy dialogue. Overstepping these subtle, but significant boundaries will not only impair your child’s ability to develop a trait of self-dependency, they will also normalise such behaviour for future generations. This also applies for all the members of the family; respecting privacy is respecting personal space.
Consent is key
Whether or not a woman is a homemaker, she deserves her personal space. Familial roles apply to everybody; and while altruism is an appreciable quality, not everybody wants to get right up and run to complete your task. Like some mothers say, ‘if you’re old enough to ask someone to do something for you, you’re capable of doing it yourself.’
Also, never interrupt when someone is not done speaking.Pregnant women become the centre of attention once they enter a building. And, while you might be elated for this wonderful phase of their life, it is better to not touch their bellies when congratulating them. Touching a belly is as intimate as someone’s face. Consent is everything.
Say it loud
There are two sides to every coin. With those who intrude personal space, come those who let them do it. Here are some statements that women need to practice.
- You interrupted me, I am not done talking.
- That was not funny
- I already knew that
- That won’t be necessary, thank you
- You are making me uncomfortable
- That is not appropriate.