Who Draws the Line?
The lines we draw in life are really barricades we erect to establish acceptable behavior with the people we interact with. One of the most obvious ways to recognize people whose life is off-balance is to observe where they erect these barriers. Many have none at all. Barriers are like road warning signs to prevent traffic from entering areas that may be dangerous or deadly. The lines we draw in life serve the same purpose. They can be vital to our existence.
The people you surround yourself with, those who are 'in your loop' represent where you drew lines in the past. The story about who you have become is revealed by a close observation of who is in your life today. You surround yourself with people who are what you see yourself as becoming. As the same as the old adage says, 'birds of a feather flock together'; you will be judged by the company you keep. Your comfort zone tells the story about who you are and plan to become.
If you find yourself accepting behavior today that was unacceptable before, your line has been moved by you or through your acceptance of bad behavior. A spouse or partner who has a new bad habit, a child who has become a stranger, a friend who speaks disparagingly about you or your family or the multitude of things that you observe and know were unacceptable before are good examples of how your lines or barriers have been relocated. When you notice these changes in the people around you and realize you are no longer offended or bothered by them it is time to examine what changed, and why.
If the reason is because you have new information or have discovered an underlying cause that is acceptable your barriers were moved to accommodate a cause you believe is in your best interest. It takes a miracle to change the mind of any human, or a crushing blow one believes they cannot change or recover from. If the reasons you identify fall more into the category of a blow to you or your self-worth it is time to drag them back into place, recover your values and polish your self-image mirror. These kinds of things render those warning signs as life-preserving.
It is never OK to accept the unacceptable if you are trading off your own values to allow another person or situation to use you for their private doormat or whipping boy. The company of no other person is worth accepting less than you should demand for yourself. People who genuinely care will never ask this of you. If you become confused about the cause, examine the content of the requests. Would it be embarrassing to share with someone who you have no doubt about cares for you? Is it in your best interest to re-draw the lines? If the answer is no you are better served to cut ties than move lines.