Friday, August 30, 2013

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business
By Barbara Berger

(Excerpts from Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life)

The number 5 cause of suffering and unhappiness is minding other people’s business.

Having healthy boundaries
When you mind your own business, it is a sign that you understand what it means to have healthy boundaries. When we have healthy boundaries, we understand that I am me and you are you and that each of us has a right to be here and to be who we are. It also means that each of us has the right to make choices for ourselves and then to experience the consequences of all our thoughts, words and actions. When we have healthy boundaries we understand this and respect everyone’s right to be or do what feels right for them (and experience the consequences).

As a result of having healthy boundaries we respect other people’s rights and we expect other people to respect our rights. This means that when you tell someone how they should think or feel or what they should say or do when they don’t specifically ask for your advice, you are not respecting their boundaries and their right to be them. And it works the other way too. Which means when someone tells you how you should think or feel or what you should say or do when you don’t specifically ask them for their advice; they are not respecting your boundaries and your right to be you. Either way, these are examples of boundary violations and feel uncomfortable when they arise. So minding your own business means to respect other people and not tell them what to think, say or do unless they specifically ask for your advice or opinion.

When you start to understand this mechanism and begin to notice what you’re doing, you’re probably going to find that a lot of the time you’re everywhere except at home with yourself. If this is the case, don’t despair. Becoming aware of this mechanism is in itself a powerful impulse for transformation. And it works automatically because as you start to see what you are doing, your natural inclination will be to pull back your ideas and suggestions as to what you think is good for other people. Your natural inclination will be to let them decide for themselves. Because as you wake up, it becomes obvious that you can’t know what’s good for them anyway. In my experience, thinking that you can or do, causes nothing but pain and personal anguish.

So all we’re left with is the question – whose business are you in? Theirs or yours?

Read the rest of Mind Your Own Business by Barbara Berger on Guest Articles page at

Barbara Berger is the best-selling author of The Road to Power – Fast Food for the Soul (published in 30 languages) and The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind. Her highly acclaimed book, Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life (already published in 14 languages) is being released in the US and the UK on August 16, 2013. The books can be ordered on For more about Barbara Berger see

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