We all understand that, how it feels like to be criticized/ disliked by someone. That’s why we deal people with the greatest degree of empathy [ not sympathy] and compassion in our hearts. But sometimes we come across a situation where we realize that we need to be more selective in our dealing with others. We cannot just let everyone into our lives. We cannot allow everyone to be in our comfort zone. We need healthy boundaries. I hope you agree with me, dear reader.

Biologically, we are hardwired to remain connected with our close friends, relatives et al. We do our best to avoid relationship breakdown. The inherent primitive fear of rejection and abandonment is what motivates us to deal every relationship carefully.

The million-dollar question is, on the evermoving carousel of time, we have to seriously re-evaluate some relationships in our lives.

Love the person, a creation of God, but hate the bad behaviour in him/her. Forgive the mistakes of other people, but always expect improvement from the other side. If, there is, no improvement in a reasonable period, then the time is ripe to mark a delete on such a person. I will say better alone, than in a bad company.

Here is the type of people, we need to review and mark a delete, if need be:

The people can not trust any longer:

For the relationship to work, as desired, there must be a level of trust present on reciprocal basis. There is no point in sharing with a close person, in case the subject matter will not remain confidential. To feel secure in any relationship, a person must have qualified to be absolutely confidential, to truly keep a secret, the expressed deepest thoughts, feelings, and life experiences.

Stay away from people, who are habitual criticizers and are always on a fault-findingmission. They are an incurably negative lot. In case you decide to continue with them, your own reputation may be affected. Always remember, one is known by the company one keeps.

On time front, at some point, we’ve all had our trust tested in a relationship. Maybe our best friend revealed something confidential and we spilled the beans and that resulted in damaged reputation. In such circumstances we start feeling ill-at-ease. A lack of trust is indeed a real barrier to a genuine and authentic connection. A wise and prudent person always mark a delete on a person who violates his trust. I always feel firmly that I have the right to feel safe in my friendships/ relationships with others.

The people who do not respect us as a human being:

Rightfully, they say, a man is a social animal. We all are socialized in certain ways of our own. We all have our own level of comfort zone. We have our own likes and dislikes. We have our own preferences. Those who do not respect your feelings, viewpoint in general- have no business to be around you. If a person respect others’ bodily autonomy, caste, color, creed, ethnicity and culture, that is a likable person, in my point of view.

we are hardwired with a longing to belong to others. Under the garb of selfishness, others, sometimes try to take advantage of our emotions; and more so show contempt also. Many relationship experts (e.g. scholars, therapists, counselors) have conclusively cited individual or mutual contempt is the best predictor of a relationship failure.

If anyone cannot respect that I am a human being with my own desires and needs, I do not have a place for such people in my life. If such a person cannot respect my ability to make my own choices, then polite no will be my answer.

Though the boundaries are incredibly hard to set. The ways we interact with each other, depend on our culture and our upbringing always influence our behaviour. We all make mistakes. Others forgive us and so we should also do. This way, we can build healthy boundaries that respect everyone involved.

The people who always make us feel guilty:

There are always some people in the society ,we move ,who make us feel guilty about something. It is natural for us to feel uncomfortable. We feel like we need to explain to ourselves, and apologize, even when we are not in the wrong.

Such type of people plays dirty and they think it is our job to please them. Guilt can be a useful emotion—it tells us when we have done something wrong—but when we are in a relationship with someone who constantly has us feeling like we aren’t good enough, it can drain our energy and hurt our selfesteem. An injured self-esteem opens an exit door for the relationship to ed in near future.

The people who are not flexible:

We all have our habits, which are not easy to change. Likewise, when those around us have been stuck in the same bad habits for years in succession, it is an indicator that something is wrong. There are times when friends, family members and partners get into tacky situations, and they seek our help. It’s normal to lend a helping hand when someone is in need, but there we need to draw the line.

Our brain process rejection much like we handle physical pain. When we feel small or slighted, courtesyunmerited behaviour of others- our brain releases a chemical named endorphin [ a neurotransmitter-a painkiller], to heal our sufferings. It is always wise to give yourself time to heal from the unmerited firing and move on.”

We can only help someone who wants to help themselves. Many people have a way of saying that they want to change, but their actions tell us otherwise. Maybe they always say how miserable and unhappy they are, but instead of trying to solve the problem, they would rather sit on the couch and engage in Social Media, all day.

Nobody is required to be happy and positive all the time, and it is important to honor and process our negative feelings and experiences. But some people seem to thrive on the drama, and at a certain point, we must admit it is important to take care of our own well-being first.

The people who only show up when they need favor from us:

Relationships thrive if they are based on the doctrine of reciprocity. In a healthy relationship, both sides share the good and bad happenings in their respective lives. They walk together, eat together whenever time permits. Such type of relationships always matters, because they load us with pleasure and happiness.

The word of caution is for those selfish ones, who, approach us every time they need something. If they are going through a rough patch in their lives, they need to talk., otherwise they keep the door closed all the time. But when we need help or going through a rough patch, they are not there, Not There and NOT THERE. In such a scenario, I fervently feel, time is ripe to close the door and walk away.

The selfish people:

Recognizing if and when someone is being selfish in a relationship/friendship can be difficult, especially when it’s someone that’s close to you. Most of the people are good at heart, and we should give others also the benefit of the doubt. People who use and misuse others for personal gains are leeches, and they don’t care who it is they hurt. They are selfish by nature.

The probable signs that your partner/ friend is taking advantage of you are as follows:

• Everything happens on their terms and conditions

• All the decisions regarding places you go, people you see, and things you do are too frequently theirs

• Your ideas are quickly rebuffed or deliberately ignored

• Most communication from such a person is negative, neutral and discouraging

• They have contempt in their dealings, which result in relationship failure

• They exhibit a lack of effort very often which is a sign of disinterest or disengagement.

• If you’re pouring a disproportionate amount of time, money and energy into the relationship and they are not doing so on reciprocal basis, then something is wrong.

• They are not ready to make your relationship a priority.

• You’ve seen them flirting with others. Physical lust is their priority


Cutting ties with people we know or care about is a very difficult process. We long to hold the relationship with compassion because we know how difficult rejection can be.

But we can’t let compassion turn us into a doormat for use or misuse by others. We have a right to feel safe and loved in our relationships. While it’s important to remember that we’re all human and make mistakes, if someone shows no signs of remorse or no willingness to reciprocate in our relationships, it might be time to let them go for ever.

Always remember to have compassion for yourself first. You deserve respect. You are allowed to enforce your own boundaries. And once you do, you open the door for more positive, nourishing connections. Always remember that,

“A relationship without sacrifice or compromise is not a real relationship.”

Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Health Coach of University of Victoria