Love your neighbor; just don't take down the fence

Love Your NeighborWhen people think of fences between neighbors, the thoughts tend to drift towards the type neighbors found in Robert Frost’s Mending Wall.  Where two neighbors meet one day in the spring to walk the line and mend the fence together. 

In real life and from my own personal experience, it usually doesn’t work that way. 

I’ve seen firsthand where friendships have been damaged and enemies created all due to a fence, tree or hedge along the property line.   

It’s crazy how this invisible line can cause so many problems for homeowners. 

And that’s why I tend to think of fences between neighbors as boundaries.  As in the type of boundaries that Dr. Henry Cloud speaks of in his book, Boundaries: When to say yes and How to say no. 

Dr. Cloud says that some people focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they fail to set limits as to what behaviors are acceptable.  This includes their own personal behaviors as well as those of their family, friends and neighbors. 

If we don’t set these boundaries in our life, people will walk all over us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

This includes real estate.  It is not uncommon to have to work with “characters” in our business.  It’s up to us to set our personal boundaries with everyone involved in the transaction including the agents, the lender, the buyers/sellers and the new neighbors.

A lack of boundaries is the main reason why we have so many troubled relationships.  Some people never learned to set them for themselves and recognize them in others. 

It’s hard for me to believe, but people without boundaries will walk right across and never see them until you point it out.  Even if they are common sense boundaries that most people recognize. 

Fighting back without setting a healthy boundary usually leads to increased aggression and more problems. 

Instead, when violated, I will quickly set the boundary and explain why I feel the way I do.  I will also state what is unacceptable to me and what is completely acceptable.  This way there is a clear red line in the sand for the other person to see.  They know at all times where they stand with me based on which side of the line they are on. 

Setting personal expectations is the secret sauce for maintaining relationships with those we love. 

If you are looking for a respectful real estate professional that guards your boundaries at all cost, then hit reply today. 

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