Boundaries and Discretion When Meeting New People
Having boundaries with (new) people is absolutely necessary and important! We might have to reflect about whether a friendship is equally and mutually beneficial or not. Additionally, boundaries help to protect us as women!
Boundaries when meeting new people
When we have boundaries, it is necessary to know how we want to open up to people. Are we open for spontaneous friendships? Are we open to start conversations everywhere? Are you a woman that needs more time with a person before opening up?
Being open and friendly is a very desirable trait in a woman. Yet, it is important for you to know ahead of time and decide for yourself as a woman what situations make you feel comfortable and what situations make you feel uncomfortable. We have to decide for ourselves what we want to share when talking to new people. Therefore, set boundaries on what you are willing to talk about and what not! If we do not set boundaries in that aspect we mind end up sharing too much or something that is inappropriate to share with a stranger.
When we meet someone new we have to be careful with what we share. We can even put ourselves into danger if we open up too early without knowing a person good enough.
Information that we should not share irresponsibly
Where you live
What and where you work
Be careful and thoughtful about what you share to protect yourself.
As Christians who are thoughtful with who we spend time with we should also use our intuition and judgment that God gave us to navigate situations so that we do not end up in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes we can notice in a conversation that we cannot trust a person. By hearing what a person says, we can already notice whether we are on the same page with someone or not. Of course everyone is different but if you for example meet someone who does not respect your values or lives a complete different lifestyle than you, then there might be the possibility that those contrasts put both of you in uncomfortable situations OR even cause heated debates.
"understand that wisdom is higher than intellect and discretion is higher than debating."
Always keep in mind that you do not have to share anything with strangers. No one can force you to open up about something if you do not feel comfortable doing so. Don’t be scared to stick to your boundaries. As a godly woman who is discreet, it is your right to decide where you draw the line. The earlier you start practicing this, the easier and more comfortable meeting new people will be.
At some point I had to learn to be more discreet. Sometimes I felt like I might come off as boring or weird if I don’t go along with the topics that I actually don’t want to discuss with people I don’t really know yet.
As a feminine woman it is a wonderful quality to be thoughtful and careful with what we share and talk about. Learning how to answer questions vaguely, careful and discreet is definitely feminine and safe for us.
“…be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
I’m not saying that everyone is going to respect your boundaries and label you as discreet and feminine when you stick to your boundaries. People will be frustrated because you’re obviously not giving them what they want. But think about it, how many times have you regretted sharing something that someone used against you? How many times have you felt uncomfortable after oversharing? You never know how pushy or intrusive some people might be.
Nor should we be surprised to find out that some people withdraw after we have established our boundaries. There are people who either want it their way or not at all.
A lady, however, insists that people respect her boundaries and don't rush her.
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, knot given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that othe word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2,3-5
A discreet woman is self-controlled, careful and circumspect, prudent, and inconspicuous.
There are many aspects in everyday life where we can practice discretion.
We can be discreet:
In the way we speak
In the way we dress
In the way we encounter other people
As women of God and women that have etiquette, it’s important to develop a sense of what is good and appropriate in every situation. Here, we are speaking about discretion when we meet new people.
A discreet woman uses discretion when she speaks the truth in love, and when she keeps quiet and listens.
Ecclasiastes 3:7 :"…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."
If we want to keep growing in biblical womanhood and godly femininity, we must be teachable and humble. Only then we can be discreet. YHWH delights in a teachable spirit!
To be honest, I ‘m a person that likes to talk a lot. Especially, with people that I know. I love to share my (sometimes complex) thoughts. Nevertheless, I had to learn that not everyone cares about your opinion. Most of the time people just want to talk about themselves. This made me understand hat I don’t want to be a person who is full of herself. I want to listen more to others. When listening more to other people, especially new people, we can practice silence and discretion. Sometimes it's not necessary to say something. We don’t have to fill an ‘awkward’ silence and regret our words afterward…
I also had to realize that spilling every detail about myself comes with pride. Discretion is being moderate when it comes to our opinions and passions. We might be passionate about scripture and other things. But is it really necessary to flood a stranger with all the information they did not ask for?
Let us learn to find the right timing in sharing personal beliefs and opinions. A preacher that I really respect once said “If a person didn’t ask you for an opinion or solution, they don’t want to hear it. The information will have no fruit”. But when someone asks you on a specific topic that you are passionate about, you might open up about it a little bit wisely and in an appropriate amount.
In the bible we read a lot about when to speak.
Speaking comes with self-control.
James 3:5 : "So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!"
Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Let's make sure our speech glorifies God and encourages others. Let‘s learn to be discreet and thoughtful about what we say. Let‘s meet new people with our boundaries in mind that protect us from inappropriate and uncomfortable situations. Through the Holy Spirit we can navigate situations, say the right things or even stay silent. It‘s a process. The sooner we start applying boundaries and sticking to them, the better our conversations and acquaintances will be.
Be Blessed sisters!