What are my basic human rights?

Photo by    AJ Colores    on    Unsplash

Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

Did you know that there is a difference between boundaries and basic human rights?

One of the things I find often is that people treat their basic human rights like they're personal when they are actually universal.

The reason I call them rights and not boundaries, is to help you distinguish between what is everyone's, and what is yours.

Everyone on the planet has the same basic human rights. Not everyone on the planet has the same boundaries. Learning what someone's boundaries are comes from developing connection, healthy authentic communication, intimacy, and building trust. On the other hand, it is your responsibility to know what ***our*** collective universal basic human rights are as an adult.

A few examples of basic human rights are:

✅I have a right to say no with no explanation (and so does everyone else).

✅I have a right to decide how I spend my time (and so does everyone else).

✅I have a right to change my mind (and so does everyone else).

If you're practicing these rights in your own life, it's expected that you honor the fact that others practice them in their lives as well.


That means when someone tells you no, you don't ask them to explain themselves, even if they always demand you do when you say no.

That means you don't try to coerce or convince other people to do anything ever, even if other people coerce you all the time.

That means you don't pout and get mad when someone changes their mind and decides they want to do something else, even if you feel guilt-tripped every time you do the same thing.

That means if someone demands an explanation from you, you are not required to give one (though it may be kind to).

That means no one can coerce you into doing something you don't want to do (and it's up to you to remember that, not them).

That means you are allowed to change your mind (AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT).

That means you respect yours and other people's basic human rights. Period.

And some tough love:

If you've experienced any kind of trauma as a child or as an adult, chances are likely you struggle with these rights. If you didn't experience any kind of trauma as a child, but you were never taught these things through healthy modeling from your parents, chances are likely you struggle with these rights. If you struggle with these rights, chances are pretty likely that you've experienced some kind of trauma, whether you remember it distinctly or not (either in your own life, or in your family lineage).

It is not other people's responsibility to uphold your basic human rights for you, ever, as an adult. If these rights were violated for you as a child, you will need to learn how to uphold them for yourself as an adult (and my experience is that the best way to do that is in a safe container with a therapist or coach). If you violate your basic human rights as an adult, and you don't communicate that, you are the person responsible for rectifying the situation (without blame). You are the person responsible for learning the communication tools and the heart opening capacities to evolve and heal here, with these basic human rights as your foundation.

Learn them. Print them out. Read them to yourself every single day, morning and night, until they get into your bones. (Adelyn Birch’s Boundaries After a Pathological Relationship is a great place to start).

And then we can talk about boundaries.

Do you need help finding out where in your life you need to up your game on your basic human rights, or to learn how to honor someone else’s better and more cleanly? Are you wanting to get clear on your boundaries and aren’t sure where to start? I’d love to chat and we can determine together whether I’m the right person to guide you in this process. You can reach out to me here.