The Cost of Passivity

The faucet in Jenna’s bathroom kept dripping for months.  Her every day life was busy and calling in a plumber was way down in the list.  It did not seem that bad, it was controllable and she got used to the sound of ‘drip, drip, drip’.  


Until the water bill arrived.  The bill was enormous which meant that it will throw her off financially for a few months. 


So, she thought of a quick fix – to close the water pipeline that directly leads to the faucet and just turn it on every time she used the washbasin until she had time to call the plumber.  


This went on for a few more months.  Every time guests would visit, she would explain jokingly her unique situation and give them instructions on how to get the water running.  


One day, a friend who was a handyman and always carried tools in his car, visited Jenna.  He noticed the problem and without making mention of it or asking for permission, he fixed it within 20 minutes. 


It took Jenna some time to realize that she is now getting ready so much faster for work and cleaning the washbasin quicker than norm – all because the faucet was fixed.   


This is how it is with some relationships.  Many times we accommodate certain behaviours in a relationship because we think that : 


  • it would ruin the relationship if we express ourselves 


  • we are too scared to express how we feel 


  • we decide that it is not a big deal and that we should accept the person as they are.  Meanwhile, not realizing that every ‘drip’ is costing us negative stress, anxiety and tension every time an incident happens. 


We continue to accommodate these behaviours in spite of the ‘enormous water bill’ that cost us the emotional tension and unwanted financial sacrifice. Yet, instead of nipping it from the root, we compromise all because we are afraid to confront the issue and draw a clear line to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to us.   


It takes courage and honesty with oneself to decide the quality of life you want to have for yourself and the quality of relationships you desire in any given relationship. 


Boundaries help bring clarity and peace in a chaotic and tensed relationship. Well thought out boundaries are the first steps to creating the life we envision.  


Spend the money and get the plumber, your life is worth the investment. 

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