Our own self-drawn box

switch from chaos to harmony
Drawing By Adrian Serghie

Today my mind wanted to wonder about the limitation a human being has. Of course, this is not about our physical limitations, but more about our mental limitations, which seem to guide our behavior. With this in mind, we might say that our behavior is limited by our mind, right?
If you think that some things are put there by others (e.g. parents, society, laws and so on), you’re right. However, it is our decision to respect them or to ignore them, and that’s ok, that’s normal. The thing that sparked my interest is the idea that we sometimes expect others to behave based on our own limitations. In other words, we have some behavioral patterns and we expect others to have those patterns too, so we set some expectations.
But when those expectations are not met by others, we feel bad. And we continue to feel bad on and on and on especially when we cannot understand that others have different boxes, different limitations.
So we set our own limits of what we can achieve in life (based on what we’re willing to act upon) and then we expect others to do the same. And they do, but based on their own limitations. And it has the potential of making us sad or angry.
The conclusion? We’re building a box in which we live and we expect others to do the same, but sometimes we expect them to live in a box similar to ours, which rarely happens. So we feel bad that others don’t follow our own rules and that’s because they don’t play our game. They have their own thing going on and they probably also feel bad if we don’t follow their rules.

How often does your own box make you feel sad because of other people’s behavior?


PS: If my writings mean something to you and if you feel you can learn anything from me, check out my book (Fighting the Inside Dragons) on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback format!

49 thoughts on “Our own self-drawn box

  1. I struggle with this as someone who loves to question my reality, and my assumptions about myself and relationships to others. A frequent question i used to ask in therapy is “surely they’re thinking about these things too, right?” and the answer was always “not necessarily”.

    1. Well, people think about stuff, but the connections are so different we can hardly tell which is related to what… and we still assume we know what they think about…

  2. I never felt good enough, my self image unworthy at its core

    Expectations are judgments

    These judgments ruled my life seeking approval

    Finally I figured our wellbeing was internal without expectations, actually none

    I set myself up with crazy expectations which brought loss and suffering

    Loss comes from expectation. Wellbeing by being present without judgment

    It is a choice and there are consequences

  3. Interesting. I struggle with the same thing: I have certain rules for myself re: ethics and behaviours. I think they’re pretty good rules. I’m always surprised when other people are different, when they have different rules, when the things I consider important are simply not to the person I’m with. I find it puzzling. It is awfully nice, however, to meet people who are similar to yourself.

  4. Hard life lessons: Expect nothing. Don’t take it personal. Some people are incapable of reciprocity. Some people won’t like or love you because they cannot. Sometimes you’re the asshole in someone else’s story. Don’t be shocked or surprised by any human behavior. Your triggers are not other peoples’ problems. Review often. This of course, is the “cliff notes” version of what is a lot lengthier and more painful experiences I have lived.

  5. Check this book out “The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff. It covers behavior modification you touch upon but Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest of silicon valley are way ahead data mining for gold and being well compensated.

  6. Such an amazing topic. You put it very well too; if only you were to keep dwelving further at the point where you drew your conclusion, I am sure something even bigger would have emerged. I just put my own box into yours, obviosuly. 2

      1. No but I started doing it when something happened to me and I knew the way forward was to have this mindset. Immediately I started things started getting clearer

  7. What struck me the hardest was “we expect others to behave based on our limitations”. I kinda feel that most of us feel this way probably because misery loves company or we want people to be able to understand how exactly we feel when going through rough patches in life.

    1. Yes! And because we want it, we seek for it, and every little sign that might confirm it gets to be extrapolated into a general conclusion about that person’s mindset.

  8. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Sometimes I wonder how the universe sends certain people in the exact moment and time that we are struggle with an issue, yet here you are. Words full of truth and a mental hunger that I can not satisfy enough. After reading that it just clicked. I was upset because I wasn’t understanding how someone wasn’t seeing things the way I see it. It’s because he is not me, neither I him. It’s funny how we don’t stop to think, we are not wired the same. We are of individual creativity and rare spirits here to coincide with each other without thought of how someone else may be feeling. Thank you for this. I enjoy your writing very much.

    1. Thank you very much for reading and I’m really happy something here helped you get your “click”! That is the whole idea behind Pointless Overthinking! People are different and we know it, but when we really see it, we hardly accept it. We are such strange creatures…

      1. Oh, absolutely. I pretty much know that I’m a vessel with a plethora of voices wanting to be heard. I’m here to make sure they do. It’ beautiful and people have such a hard time seeing through that. The whole demon-possession thing really pisses me off. I may have anger inside but who doesn’t? Doesn’t mean my outward appearance or playful nature means I’m damned. I’m beautiful by nature. Yay for creativity and simplistic and logical thinkers. 🙂

  9. Because people don’t live in OUR box, sometimes they actually react to strengths and traits we are not aware of in ourselves.
    For example, it can be hard to believe we are funny, smart or attractive if we don’t see ourselves as having those attributes.
    Yet others might see these, and relate to us from THEIR perspective – which can lead to a disconnect in us.

    1. This is a very interesting aspect! We are so stuck in our boxes that we cannot see the bigger picture. We tend to analyze each or our words, our gestures, that we don’t see the overall idea, which others might see. Thank you for sharing this! It’s awesome!

  10. I can honestly say, I’ve come along way from seeking the approval of others because it seems that’s what the bottom line comes down to when we are affected by how others judge us. This just makes me think. I love the read.

  11. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. Fascinating and beautiful. I come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon 🙂

  12. The part about expecting others to live in a similar box really resonates with me because I’m facing a situation a t work where I’m sharing some work with a colleague and we’re having differences because he isn’t able to meet the same deadlines. But I also believe he is limiting himself because he believes that work can’t be achieved by given timelines.

  13. I like to think of the people I encounter as brightly wrapped gift boxes, no two the same, full of surprises and new perspectives.

    Letting go of expectations definitely helps with being present in each situation, without any personal judgement, and in a state of acceptance.

    Insightful post.

  14. These are fine thoughts and strongly emphasise the importance to hold strongly to our own best ideas and actions, but also to guard against others who have their own ideas, and may not adhere to ours. If we hold to our best, then others may follow, but if you go down to our lowest level a multitude will follow. It is up to us all to choose the way we wish to live, up high in terms of virtues, or in down in the gutter of nastiness and filth …

  15. So true! The limitations we put on ourselves we also unconsciously place on others. We waste so much precious energy expecting, hoping, anticipating, fearing, bemoaning and being disappointed in others behaviors. If we could only learn to allow others to be THEM, free from our expectations, and then allow US to also be free of the limiting voices in our heads…there would be much more peace, joy and acceptance in our relationships. Great post!

  16. This is an interesting topic. I am inclined to believe that those who spend time pondering this question may be richly rewarded. They may find a wonderful landscape where flashes of insight only temporary illuminate and make conscious a web of intricate arrangements, usually inaccessible to us. This seems to be the case both for those perceptions we choose to label as internal and external to what we conceive as ourselves (perhaps deceived by our own feelings). It seems to me that there are patterns in how we choose to illuminate these dark spaces as well. Some of them constructive, and expand our borders. Sometimes we finally get what we always knew.

  17. Interesting read! I agree with your point on the fact that we sometimes feel the need to place limits on others because we place the same limits on ourselves. On the other hand, we cannot control others or their actions. Life is about respect and empathy 🙂

  18. Hi Bogdan (DM)
    First of all thanks for showing me a way to this blogging site.

    I have been thinking about this situation my entire life
    I always felt myself an arrogant type person thinking about this, whenever people don’t catch my interests. Now I think from the other side too.
    I found out in your post that it just depends upon personal behavior and nature.
    It’s an eye Opening Post.

    And I am new Follower. Definetely follow Future content.

  19. I am reading your blog for the first time and I am in love with it♥. Superb content!
    Followed so that I don’t miss any of it.

  20. The question you posed was, “How often does your own box make you feel sad because of other people’s behavior.”

    My answer is simply, “quite a bit.”

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