Have been thinking about boundaries recently in a loose sort of way, mainly brought on by various things I’m reading but also from stories about things houseguests and loved ones have done while staying during the festive season.My boundaries are very hard-won. It is important to push back, not least because I will not lie awake angry about things that are mostly pretty unimportant. The more you are aware of and enforce said boundaries the more it passes from conscious behaviour to unconscious thought and you can become one of those awful assertive people, y/n?It is generally a truism that people will treat you how you let them, but also I am aware that I miss out on friends and experiences for this reason. It’s a hard needle to thread. So I move from being too harsh on people for the most part to feeling angry if I have a boundary stepped on or violated and it’s up to me to work that balance out. It’s important to know where you draw that line, and that will be different for everyone. It’s even more important to understand people’s own personal boundaries and how they protect them, some people are better at being upfront about this and their own needs than others, and it can be easy to take those of people who are quiet and non confrontational for granted. This isn’t an excuse for being less aware. I’m interested in hearing from everyone about where their own boundaries lie, what they do to enforce them, and if they have similar difficulties.
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 15:45 (one year ago) link
Id introduce the further additional complicating factor of then being in different places for different people and when you yourself are in various contexts or moods etc
So my answer is its fluid, to an enormous degree
― pandmac (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 15:49 (one year ago) link
*enters thread waving enormous white flag*
look i know we've had our recent differences and i know a load of you think i'm a stupid asshole, which is to some extent definitely the case, but this thread feels like it could be valuable in unpicking various strands of antipathy that have been of late baked into ilx (which I will admit I certainly share fault in)
my own boundaries are pretty liberal (good choice of word eh lol yes yes) and i do realise a lot of that comes from privilege; i can afford to have liberal boundaries because yielding to others doesn't threaten my extremely secure sense of self (a sense that has come under SOME attack in recent years as i contemplate artistic failure, unwantedness etc - but a sense that is ready to rebound at any moment)
and so it is not my place to criticise when others have harsher boundaries, and in fact irl i have friendships where i now know how to respect these boundaries a lot better (being definitely kinda aspie has meant i've been way too self-absorbed, and continue to be on the internet at times, for which i apologise)
however i think it's good for everyone to examine where their boundaries come from, when they're able to modify them, and circumstances where they are not gonna stand for someone's shit (eg mine, lawlz)
so yeah good thread idk why am i posting oh yeah it's this white flag see
happy new year everyone esp gyac
2022 resolution to not beef except with alphie
― imago, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:03 (one year ago) link
I read Nedra Tawwab's Set Boundaries: Find Peace (twice!) and would recommend it to anyone looking for real talk about boundaries. Personally, I am very good at maintaining some (with my rude abusive grandmother for example) and (historically) VERY bad at maintaining others (mostly at work). The concept of creating/maintaining/shifting one's boundaries can be life-changing! Thanks for this thread.
super cool of imago to pop in and make it all about him :-/
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:04 (one year ago) link
LL, tbh my op is asking for people to make it about them because by necessity we will (hopefully?) understand our own boundaries best
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:19 (one year ago) link
Kinda opposite LL i think, a lot of my working life has needed clear boundary setting and I think I'm mostly good at that (as long as I feel the boundaries are important and reasonable)
Personally tho idk I'm very conflict avoidant - lol I swear that's true - and sometimes have a compulsion to be over-open maybe? because I yearn for some kind of connection (I just can't make the) so I probably maintain my safe space more thru avoidance and retreat than more assertive techniques. I think mainly I'm fine with that tho
Darragh's not wrong that everything is case by case tho
idk I have a weird "reserve is good"/"absolutely sincerity is good" binary rattling around in me but don't we all contain multitudes?
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:20 (one year ago) link
Nah that all totally chimes with me, open until you see the recoil or you get bit yrself then back into scuttling mode
Have to say i find it pays off richly, when it pays off, a lot of my favourite people are fixtures in my life because they respond well to relaxed openness which i think is too rare a trait
Personally tho idk I'm very conflict avoidant - lol I swear that's true - and sometimes have a compulsion to be over-open maybe? because I yearn for some kind of connection
Would def have said that about you tbh
― pandmac (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:24 (one year ago) link
i've been thinking a lot about some extreme boundaries i've had to put into place recently for abusive family (no contact). or rather, you don't get to interact with me x way, and if you do, repeatedly (they do, and have shown that they want to keep it up), then you won't be in my life. i wonder sometimes just how much it's my responsibility to spell all this out to them when i'm frankly just exhausted and need to not talk to them at all. i wish i were able to do that, i'd feel better about all of this, but quite frankly i'm just not.
i think because i'm a cis man, i don't have my boundaries crossed or pushed as regularly by strangers or by coworkers as i otherwise would. BUT i do have a notably domineering supervisor who does not treat others with respect and crosses boundaries because she can. recently i really stood up for a particular boundary (you don't just get to tell me what to do, citing seniority, without discussing the larger reasoning / goals with me). in the past i would have just let it go and quietly seethed / despaired, but i just couldn't do it this time. i asked for a meeting with her the next day and was pretty good about communicating that i wasn't ok with it.
on the other end, because i was raised by a woman who basically only wants to cross other peoples' boundaries to establish a power imbalance / relationship of control in a misguided attempt at feeling close to other people (and all her enablers), i've had a fucked up playbook that i'm still in the process of erasing and revising. i.e., i have to be really mindful about respecting the boundaries of my relationships. it's a bad habit to slip into acting in ways that cross a boundary without asking about that boundary in the first place (or, in most cases, recognizing what that boundary is based on already-received information).
i had a really wonderful conversation with a friend of mine recently. he teaches at a montessori school and works with toddlers. he was talking about how one of the most important things you can start teaching a child is what boundaries are, how to communicate about them, and that ultimately this is a very loving thing to do. it enables little people to begin the process of treating others with respect, which is foundational for love.
― Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:30 (one year ago) link
arsehole next door trying to set boundaries when he was totally ignoring mine and had been since he moved in. I do wonder if it was a white privilege thing, ahole trying to make out I wasa subordinate or something.& his wife is even worse. Unbelievable shite.
― Stevolende, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:33 (one year ago) link
oh yeah boundaries supposedly being set about them having ignored boundaries which was the cause of the situation
― Stevolende, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:34 (one year ago) link
When my daughter got into her teens she actually taught me a lot about boundaries and made me think about how the dodgy societal "norms" of parenting need examination and pushback
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:34 (one year ago) link
obv nil illegitimi carborundum and all that :)
(NV taught me that phrase on here many moons ago, it is evergreen)
― imago, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:36 (one year ago) link
I don't know how to tell the difference between a healthy boundary and an obscene fortification with a moat filled with alligators. What if your boundaries conflict with the reasonable needs of people you care about? What if the boundaries you need for your mental health are also bad for your mental health?
― emil.y, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:37 (one year ago) link
(being definitely kinda aspie has meant i've been way too self-absorbed, and continue to be on the internet at times, for which i apologise)however i think it's good for everyone to examine where their boundaries come from, when they're able to modify them, and circumstances where they are not gonna stand for someone's shit (eg mine, lawlz)
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:38 (one year ago) link
(I mean, I guess the answer here is "go back to therapy you idiot")
xp to self
― emil.y, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:38 (one year ago) link
Do we have internal boundaries from ourselves too?
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:39 (one year ago) link
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:40 (one year ago) link
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:41 (one year ago) link
I know I have things I refuse to think about much, even without dragging the unconscious into it
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:42 (one year ago) link
i think one of the things people talk about when they're talking about boundaries is the amount of work they do, have historically done, relative to others in relationships. for instance, i'm a gay man who was raised in a very patriarchal and homophobic church. i.e., i had to do all the psychic work of staying alive, and no one else had to do any work of changing their beliefs and behavior. so coming out of that, i'm particularly sensitive to any hint of "i'm going to have to do the work in this relationship." i guess one of my boundaries is, i won't work for you if you aren't going to work for me?
to the people who are feeling lonely based on hard boundaries they feel like they have to set - i say, it's so hard to do, but it's just so much better for you than not respecting your needs, keep it up, it's worth it in the end.
― Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:43 (one year ago) link
I don’t know if I have anything concrete to add here yet - other than that I’m extremely conflict averse generally - but thanks for starting this thread; I’ll be thinking on it.
― Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:43 (one year ago) link
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:46 (one year ago) link
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:47 (one year ago) link
xp oh, absolutely. of course it's worth it. i just wonder sometimes about the "spelling it out" part. like, did i let them know enough. but then i remember, yes i did. and at this point, really, shouldn't abusive people know that they need to change, at like 65 years old? if they don't know at that point, it isn't my responsibility to give them an essay about it. holding tight to the actual boundary of no communication is so much more important than trying to explain again, which if you think about it, is a form of substituting myself for what is ultimately not my issue to fix.
it's wild how much no-contact with certain people is by far the most loving thing you can give both them and yourself. i can literally feel the space and healing it gives me.
― Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:52 (one year ago) link
There are definitely internal boundaries. I've had to set both external and internal boundaries to try to stem some of the behaviours & emotional states of borderline personality disorder, but in doing so I've basically become someone displaying the behaviours of avoidant personality disorder, which, y'know, is also not healthy. But maybe less dangerous? Certainly less dangerous for people around me, because now I have almost no people around me ever, hooray.
― emil.y, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 16:55 (one year ago) link
protecting boundaries is something I have to work hard on, and for me that involves a lot of rehearsal and preparation.
An example: working in retail during the pandemic, I refused to let anyone enter my shop without a mask or an exemption lanyard, and they absolutely had to respect social distancing and keep their mask on, as well as our store/sector-specific guidelines. I was not prepared to risk my or my staff's health so someone can feel slightly more comfortable when we didn't have the choice of staying at home.
The night before re-opening, the end of furlough, I practised out-loud in a mirror saying "I'm going to need you to take a step back." "I'm going to need you to put a mask on." "I'm going to need you to wait outside as we are at our capacity limit." I did this enough times that I could hear my own voice saying it, and how to sound warm and polite, yet assertive and unmovable, ensuring my language and demeanour suggested all this was non-negotionable and also so obvious as to be undeniable. I found this strategy really worked for me, and I encouraged my staff to employ it too, and we had very little pushback on it, thankfully.
But in my everyday life, if I'm not mentally prepared or expecting an encroachment on a boundary I want to maintain, I find it very hard to react quickly and confidently in that moment. If I'm surprised or horrified I find it hard to affirm those limits, and I wish I was better at responding in the moment. I think part of this is not being 100% confident in what my boundaries are and what crossing them will look like. What strategies can I develop around this?
― boxedjoy, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 17:15 (one year ago) link
i'm a gay man who was raised in a very patriarchal and homophobic church
omg and speaking of boundaries ... said homophobic church also sucks at respecting the boundary of "I am no longer a member of your church. Please leave me the fuck alone!" ...my ex spent years trying to get them to leave him alone. ... they would send missionaries and church elders to our apartment at like 8am on a Saturday morning.
Anyway, I am glad, map, that you survived.
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 18:31 (one year ago) link
my ex had some boundaries that were like emil.y's moat of alligators, and that shitty church was part of the reason why
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 18:35 (one year ago) link
xp aw thanks :) you know, i suspect that in your ex's case, family members may have been playing a part. i've heard it tends to become a problem because the church is obsessed with tracking people and if you have family members letting them know where you have moved to, the harassment never ends. the way i got my name removed from their records was through a lawyer doing pro bono work - iirc, there was language included that stipulated if they were to try contacting me again, there would be legal action. i think that flips a few switches to 'off' internally. anyway, i've never had them try to reach me again, and it's been almost 10 years.
yeah i pretty much classify being raised in these kind of cultlike "churches" (including american evangelism) as abuse.
― Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 18:40 (one year ago) link
At the very beginning of the pandemic I thought that grocery stores should have hired all the currently unemployed strip-club bouncers and stationed them at the doors to keep anti-mask fuckos out. But it probably would have erupted into a shooting war in several states.
Re the general topic of the thread, at first I thought it meant boundaries like "don't talk to me through the door when I'm in the bathroom," stuff like that. But it's clearly larger than that.
I've never had a hard time cutting people out of my life, honestly. In fact, it's been the easy option most of the time. My mom had five sisters, four of whom are still alive, and I don't talk to any of them, or my cousins either, for a variety of reasons. (She's not talking to most of them herself, so clearly it's inherited.) Some of them were nasty to my wife early in our marriage, others just brought nothing to the table, and I've kinda always thought, if we weren't related, would I be friends with you? If the answer's no, then so be it. Blood earns you nothing in my book. But I've also gotten pretty lucky in that my parents were never abusive in any way that registered with me - my dad was an asshole, but when I told him I didn't want to see him anymore (my parents divorced when I was 11 or so, and when I was about 16 or so I just stopped going to visit my dad on the weekends) he just said OK. We reconnected a few years later - I lived with him for a year or so after high school - and it was fine. Then we drifted apart again and that was fine, too. We weren't talking when he died, and that drove a wedge between me and my younger brother for a while (he'd stepped into the breach and become Daddy's favorite), but that didn't last. Now I talk to my brother a few times a year, and my mom a couple of times a month. And my brother hasn't talked to my mom in years, and she never asks me about him. So...we're all fucked up, but we're all good with it, I guess?
― but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 18:45 (one year ago) link
i posted this on the working from home thread a few days ago but it's something along the lines of this thread topic
I am currently "on vacation" ... I am not going anywhere but it's like, how do I say "I am taking this time to not work" ... anyway, so a client texts me saying they have a question about a thing and want to get my advice on the thing. I respond "I am on vacation." Client asks, "can I schedule a time to discuss when you are back from vacation?" ... I kinda don't grasp how "scheduling a work appointment" does not fall under the general category of "work" which is excluded from the current status of "taking this time to not work" ... I have not taken more than 3 days in a row off work since 2015. I don't want to get bitchy with clients I generally like, but ...
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:01 (one year ago) link
I saw that and thought the right approach probably would have been to reply to the first email with "I'm on vacation - email me about this on [day you're planning on being back from vacation]" and then *ignore any subsequent emails*.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:13 (one year ago) link
this was my response to the two clients that emailed me today! thank you ILX
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:14 (one year ago) link
i have gotten really good at establishing work boundaries even though i work in one of the most boundariless industries of all time, i’m lucky in that my attitude is reflected by my boss, who also doesn’t want me to think about work at all when i’m not working. but i’m also very lazy and a great way for me to feel miserable is to feel like my job is taking up too much of my time and attention, and jobs that have forced me into this position have been short-lived. moreover we must embrace the four-hour workday, etc.
boundaries with family are a lot more fluid which can suck, but again, i’m very lucky, no one i regularly talk to (mom, dad, stepdad) is much of a boundary overstepper. i can’t remember the last time i had a friend who did either. maybe i have good boundaries, i’m just unconscious of them most of the time??? i also think some of my boundaries are trauma-produced, like the moment i feel like a relationship is getting anywhere close to passive aggression or shame-based verbal abuse i’m just out, goodbye
i suck very bad at communication and i’m very conflict-avoidant though
― STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:16 (one year ago) link
i have gotten really good at establishing work boundaries even though i work in one of the most boundariless industries of all time
part of me wants to collectively determine which the most boundariless industries are, but the better me feels like that would lead to harmful conflicts.
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:21 (one year ago) link
tbf every industry i can think of has godawful work/life boundaries lol
― STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:23 (one year ago) link
― Karl Malone, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:24 (one year ago) link
A few years before my dad died I was visiting with my daughter - she was always feisty and headstrong and sometimes difficult to deal with but I'm allowed to say that, it was clear my dad had a huge problem with her and a lot of that problem was because she wasn't behaving like he thought a girl should. Dick. And something happened and he lost his rag and started having a go at her and when I told him to mind his business he actually fronted up to me, right up to my face and it was funny and heartbreaking and enraging in equal measure
And I walked out of there and we got the next train home and I would have never spoken to the cunt again and after a fortnight he had to swallow his pride and call me and apologise - probably at my mom's prodding - and I never had that kinda trouble off him again, hooray for setting a boundary
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:26 (one year ago) link
i think about my first ltr sometimes and how it ended in a painful way because i was just never able to straight up say "we aren't having sex as often as i would like" and proceed from there.
xp i feel like "do goodism" is a cover for boundary problems in the workplace. non profits, small businesses seem like a haven for them ime.
xxp yeah the real answer is "work, period"
― Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:27 (one year ago) link
God yeah non profits I've known encourage some absolutely terrible abuse of work/life balance
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:29 (one year ago) link
why i will never be in a "helping" role ever again. the only way i could establish effective boundaries was to quit.
― towards fungal computer (harbl), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:32 (one year ago) link
hooray for setting a boundary
― mardheamac (gyac), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:34 (one year ago) link
Yeah Han is not at all cuddly and it took me a while I guess to figure that out. Having said that she will still encourage me to scratch her feet if we're hanging at home
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:36 (one year ago) link
Oops boundaries soz
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:37 (one year ago) link
I built such an impenetrable boundary between me and my biological dad that I wouldn't even visit him when he was dying of throat cancer because fuck it lol I was watching a 2nd leg playoff game in the pub. My mum didn't put any pressure on me to visit him but did suggest I might regret it when he's gone, but I didn't. I don't know if this is an interpretation of boundaries in the spirit of this thread, but sometimes I believe they are often a healthy way of avoiding unnecessary conflict and unhappiness because there is already plenty enough of that shit to go around.
― calzino, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:41 (one year ago) link
at my old job I would have to deal with kids a lot. One of my methods for building rapport and trust before what can seem scary to kids is to offer a high-five, and ask some questions about school or anything they had with them eg what games were they playing on the DS. But any kid has the right to say "I don't want a high-five" or not answer questions from a stranger, and that's fine, it doesn't bother me: ultimately my goal was to make the experience easy and pleasant for the kid where possible.
The amount of parents and grandparents who would chastise their kids for not wanting to do a high-five was unreal. I would instantly say "it's up to them, I don't mind!" and yet they would insist. I can't play along with that because it's not fair to anyone. The way we teach kids about consent and permission can be so unreal - you must go high-five the stranger in the shop, or hug your smelly uncle, or play with the neighbourhood kid who pulls your hair... and then we wonder why people struggle to say No at the moment necessary.
― boxedjoy, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:51 (one year ago) link
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:52 (one year ago) link
Shit dads can fuck off, even if they're dead. And in my experience you don't regret putting that boundary in place (in my situation I am glad I met up with him once before he died but also glad I didn't try to do so more frequently, fuck that noise). Solidarity to everyone in the shit dead dad crew.
― emil.y, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:52 (one year ago) link
― STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Wednesday, December 29, 2021 11:23 AM (twenty-three minutes ago)
this is apparently one of the appealing factors of civil service for some people. There are plenty of people employed in bureaucratic government jobs that show up, punch the clock, do their tasks, get a generous amount of flex time and paid time off, and leave on time. for a while when I was growing up, my mom was a mail carrier. She went in, sorted the mail, put it in her vehicle, delivered the mail, dropped off the undeliverables at the post office, went home. People on her mail route did not call her at home. Her supervisor didn't call her on her days off.
― sarahell, Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:53 (one year ago) link
I mean ffs the unspoken belief in children as property without agency is still so widespread
― Khafre's clown (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 December 2021 19:53 (one year ago) link
had to say "no" today and did it just like a rip of the band-aid. a friend of mine (Stage IV cancer, I've talked about him here) wanted to take a trip here to visit his mother, but couldn't afford a plane ticket and didn't want to drive by himself and his girlfriend isn't available.
I held out to see if it was possible, if we would have home health care at the house by now, but we don't, and my brother isn't available, and after dad's fall this weekend, there's no way I could leave him in mom's care for an entire day and a half, nor can I afford to pay out of pocket for a nurse. not to mention, the money it would have cost me to come get him and bring him down.
I had every valid reason to say "no", and he's apparently going to try the trip solo, but he managed to throw in a few sentences that seemed to be attempting to make me feel guilty for it, talking about how his girlfriend worries, and he only has a short list of people he could ask for this type of favor. but I didn't react to it, for once.
He knows I did him a favor like this once, but those were different times - my mother was able to take care of dad solo back then, as he wasn't as much of a fall risk, and she wasn't recovering from thoracic surgery. and that trip about killed me - because of my inexperience driving 27 foot truck, I damaged a local business's wall while pulling out and wound up shelling out $500 to reimburse the guy.
I would have totally done it, too, had things been different, but i can't imagine how stressed out I'd have been away from home had I done it.
so ...yeah, doing the uncomfortable things!
― Toonie Orlando (Neanderthal), Monday, 22 August 2022 21:20 (seven months ago) link
cool, i'm glad I finally have the ability to enforce these, but that doesn't mean it doesn't leave me feeling hit by a truck afterwards.
― i eat ass with a knife and fork (Neanderthal), Friday, 16 September 2022 23:30 (six months ago) link
bump for the holidays! lol. no communication with my immediate fam and it's been good. how long has it been now? over a year? i genuinely can't remember and don't really want to!
anyway, i saw a fb post that made a good point about boundaries. they are declarations of what you will or won't do if someone does x, or continues to do x. i.e. if you email me on a weekend, i won't respond until monday. that way you have control over that action and you stick to it. that's the boundary.
― ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 16 November 2022 23:51 (four months ago) link
going through this right now with a client -> former client --> client ... they're totally testing me and pushing and doing the thing where they are trying to make me feel guilty or bad for putting boundaries in place where I initially had fewer/none
― sarahell, Saturday, 19 November 2022 18:49 (four months ago) link
I don't particularly think I was ever great with enforcing boundaries, but I was way better at it a decade ago.
Now, I get into stressed-out mode and tell everyone I need a quiet night to myself, instead I'm dealing with a hysterically crying friend talking to me about her breakup simply because I'm too fragile to take someone telling me that I'm cold.
I'm just apparently never allowed to deal with my own shit.
― Fash Gordon (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 01:52 (three months ago) link
hope that don't take your whole night
― maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 03:34 (three months ago) link
geez, neanderthal, your post exemplifies why i'm leery of getting very deeply involved with most other humans. sorry you have to deal with this, but the alternatives often aren't much happier. where ample love is lacking things get thorny very quickly.
― more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 04:07 (three months ago) link
It turned out ok.
I'm just in "too much going on" mode with the holidays
― Fash Gordon (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 04:35 (three months ago) link
Oh - this was the thread where my "stupidest post yet itt" unsurprisingly went straight over gyac's head.
― Luna Schlosser, Wednesday, 21 December 2022 12:14 (three months ago) link
one of my favorite songs of the yearhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPd1cB2yy4o
― “Cheeky cheeky!” she trills, nearly demolishing a roadside post (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 16:22 (three months ago) link
xp almost a year ago and you’re still smarting over that? Couldn’t be me. The idea that there was more to that “joke” than meets the eye…nah.
― bit high, bitch (gyac), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 16:26 (three months ago) link
Skirmishes continue to break out along the border.
― immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 21 December 2022 21:18 (three months ago) link
so at the gay bar where i dj there is a resident queen, let's call her mia. she works at the bar on weekends but also comes in on my dj night (thursday) to hang out with her friends after she does a drag queen bingo gig. i was unguardedly friendly to mia at first, and then over a period of a few months realized that she is manipulative and controlling under a guise of being "nice" and "cute". last week things came to a bit of a head. she came up into the booth and made a demand to change what i was playing, then when i demurred she watched over my shoulder for two minutes and said "that was good" when i mixed into the next track (n.b. her "compliments" are disingenuous and part of her game.) i turned to her and said "i don't give a shit what you think" and then "i need some space up here, would you please leave?" later on she tried to engage me by dancing to some songs. she stayed to the end with a few of her hangers-on and was pretty much right at the exit when i finally left the bar at the end of my gig. i didn't say another word to her. one of her little friends laughed at the tension.
so this week, i knew she was going to make an appearance and announce herself to me in the booth as always. my plan was to say "hey, do you have a song request?" and after dealing with either answer move quickly to "ok then, need to get back to work." treat her as just another customer at the bar. that is exactly how it went down. i couldn't help but add a little spice to it by playing a song after that called "let a bitch know." nothing as ice cold and satisfying as setting an effective boundary! removes the personal heat of someone who likes to play head games by treating them like a stranger that you exchange civilities with. anyway she and her friends left a few songs later and the night was a good one, i could focus on other energy.
― ꙮ (map), Friday, 27 January 2023 18:42 (two months ago) link
hahahaha awesome ... "let a bitch know" hahahaha good job!
― sarahell, Monday, 30 January 2023 13:53 (two months ago) link
trying this new thing where when I'm tempted to give someone an explanation they don't deserve, I put down the phone and come here.
typical bullshit where someone invited me to something late, I had other plans, and he got mad at disrespecting 'tradition', since we've spent many years watching it together (nevermind that it wasn't every year, AND each time he had formally invited me weeks in advance, I didn't just show up at his doorstep due to some 'tradition').
I got about five words into a message defending my choice and remembered I don't owe it to him and deleted it. I do think I probably have diagnosed OCD due to some of the obsessive spirals my brain has gone in where an unresolved issue can actually take away an entire day from me, unable to move past it (esp w/ COVID). but I'm teaching myself to be comfortable with discomfort.
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 February 2023 18:08 (one month ago) link
Expanding your window of tolerance. Good on you! Also good job not explaining.
― Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Thursday, 9 February 2023 18:19 (one month ago) link
have never exactly been GOOD at the boundary thing, but I used to be better at it and I don't know what happened other than my mental health cratered due to specific events in 2013-2014 and even after those things faded, never recovered. I outright stopped talking to my oldest friend for *four years* because of toxic behavior on his behalf. didn't buckle once, and he finally years later atoned for it, went above and beyond actually atoning for it and I let him back in, and he's been great since. I can't even imagine having the courage to just bounce on someone like that now. the pressure, the using other people to try and talk to me to 'give them another chance' would work on me in two minutes now.
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 February 2023 18:53 (one month ago) link
I'm getting better at saying, "I am sorry, but actually I can't do this for you." or ... "I don't feel comfortable doing this." ... I used to be the person that said "No" all the time, and then I realized that I was denying myself opportunities out of fear, so I said "Yes" a lot ... and that turned into saying "Yes" to too many things, and now I am "curating my yeses" better and working towards being more honest with myself about what I want and can do for other people, as well as cultivating "the enthusiastic maybe"
― sarahell, Thursday, 9 February 2023 20:41 (one month ago) link
that's a vibe I totally get - I was similar (at least in the saying 'no' part), but very easy to overcorrect.
I used to have a problem of overcommitting by rushing to say "yes", so my new strategy is to never say "yes" to an invite (unless it's a same-day invite) when initially asked, to always say "let me take a look and get back to you", because that gives me time to check my calendar and make sure I didn't forget something, but also to do an assessment of how busy said thing will make me and removes the impulsive part of the response from the equation.
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 February 2023 21:01 (one month ago) link
yeah! my go-to re invites is, "Cool! I want to go! But I've gotta see if I can actually make it."
― sarahell, Thursday, 9 February 2023 21:29 (one month ago) link
update from yesterday, he and I had a good heart to heart where we both listened to each other. i still didn't cave, I did acknowledge a few thngs that in hindsight I could have handled better, but I also stayed firm and brought up things he did that didn't sit right with me and he owned them and apologized.
which probably wouldn't have been possible if I'd just caved and took the blame all to myself yesterday so...progress :)
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:11 (one month ago) link
meanwhile I might end up doing something I have avoided doing because I don't think it's something I'm good at, which is teaching/training on work that I do. There is this whole convoluted set of circumstances that have made it so that if I were to do this, it could solve problems for several different people/groups. Also, it might be a good way to frame some of the collective process issues so that there are clearer boundaries, like, in this scenario, I would be the teacher, and they would be the students ... as opposed to a peer based relationship where sometimes people will complain that I "take up too much space" by talking too much, in a context where I am the person who knows things that they want to know?
I know Neando and LL, y'all teach and train people ... am I being stupid by thinking about this?
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:23 (one month ago) link
Not at all - I’m most comfortable where there are clear and formal role distinctions, whether I’m the teacher or the server.
― Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:28 (one month ago) link
No, it's a great idea! frankly I still do love teaching people, even if the company I do it for frustrates me, and it does give you a different dynamic to work with that might help a more fluid communication and help wipe away some of the confusions or frustrations that exist with these people and groups.
as far as not being good at it, I think it just takes a lot of time to get there. I was a reallllllly bad trainer like, people that I trained back between 2006 - 2009 would laugh if I told them at the time that I'd pursue doing this full-time. it just took a lot of trial and error and feedback, and pre-practice before sessions.
but it sounds like an innovative way to problem solve on your team and I think it could definitely work!
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:29 (one month ago) link
thank you! I am trying to alleviate anxiety on my part by thinking of it like I'm playing a show. If students don't show up, or if things don't jibe, then at least I've shown up and done my set, and I can work on doing better next time ... and it isn't like this is for any sort of certification for anyone and the stakes are fairly low?
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:40 (one month ago) link
exactly. it being a performance helps a lot with the anxiety. I tapped into my theatre skills a lot and it helped me not take things personal.
i looked mighty dumb but there was one time I taught a class I had never taught before, and for 8 hours the day before I walked around the room saying the material so that instead of it sounding memorized, I was talking off of the top of my head and making it conversational, and it helped a lot the next day.
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:43 (one month ago) link
like, going back to LL's Girls Rock Camp presentation where she quoted me, I will play a bag of potato chips as an instrument.
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:43 (one month ago) link
Neando -- I definitely am realizing that a key to doing this well is preparation. One of my potential students is a clothing designer/seamstress as a creative hobby ... and I have been thinking about how accounting in Quickbooks Online is similar to making a garment.
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:46 (one month ago) link
Exactly!! You also have to accept that there will be nerves whether it’s a performance or a teaching role. Being prepared and having a plan helps a lot w that. I always try to remember that no one wants an anxious teacher (or an anxious drummer!!)
― Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:48 (one month ago) link
Also the similarities between volunteer coordination and teaching ... like, you kinda need to have ideas for tasks and how to do them prepared in advance, so you can ask, "who wants to do this?" And then they will inevitably ask, "What exactly do I have to do?" ... And then "ta da!" you have materials on hand to explain the task and hand it off to them.
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:49 (one month ago) link
xpost honestly infusing humor and being corny is how I deal with my nerves. like...I tell bad jokes on purpose in class, and if I make a mistake, I don't belabor it or draw attention to it, but some light self-deprecating humor is fun and relatable ("hmm I can't speak today!").
LL very much otm.
let us know how this works out if you do go that route. i think it's an awesome idea.
― waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 February 2023 17:49 (one month ago) link
I mean, I've done volunteer coordination before but it has always been very concrete things like "paint a wall" or "take money at the door" or "sell beverages at the prices listed on this piece of paper" ... this is slightly more complex work
thanks y'all for yr support
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:53 (one month ago) link
oh and my best volunteer coordination task -- "all of this stuff over here is garbage, load it into this guy's truck and he is going to take it to the dump"
― sarahell, Friday, 10 February 2023 17:54 (one month ago) link
I'm responding to you on that alleged 'joke grievance' that you insist on bringing up on other threads (crossing boundaries in fact):
For boundaries to work, you have to enforce them...Many relationships seem to have more complicated arrangements than the Northern Ireland protocol, and with a greater variety of 'no hard border' and 'backstop' solutions, and protracted negotiations and threats to trigger unilateral dissolution.
Many relationships seem to have more complicated arrangements than the Northern Ireland protocol, and with a greater variety of 'no hard border' and 'backstop' solutions, and protracted negotiations and threats to trigger unilateral dissolution.
What I am saying is not entirely a poor joke - what I am saying is that if you identify hard boundaries, and insist on actively them, I can see this getting very protracted, involved, bureaucratic - and unpleasant. I'm wondering it's actually worth it.
To be clear- I didn't hold a grudge on your post for a year or whatever. I simply found my post again when the thread was revived - and noted that you hadn't grasped what I said.
By the way, I wonder if the irony has occurred to you that you were 'hard policing' a boundaries thread with your comments.
― Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 19 February 2023 10:49 (one month ago) link
may the conflict over this post not last as long as the referent
― sarahell, Sunday, 19 February 2023 15:24 (one month ago) link
Has anyone got any good tips for dealing with persistent interruptions? I work in teaching, so of course interruption is woven into the fabric of the job. On a given day, outside of the usual madness of lessons, I might get visited by upwards of 10 kids who just want to check in, which is fine. But it's the stuff after school when I might have an hour/hour and a half to get prepared for the next day and it's just relentless - and complicated by the fact that it's not one person (to whom I could say, 'look, any chance?'), but multiple people, none of whom are really aware that I've just got rid of the last person. I guess I have an approachable demeanour, which is fine, but short of a sign on the door saying 'leave me alone' the only real tactic I have is to get grumpy. Today, I went and hid in another room and got so much done. HELP.
― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:19 (two weeks ago) link
Can you do your wrap-up work from home or do you have to sit in the office til 4:30
― G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:25 (two weeks ago) link
I mean a sign is perfectly reasonable also imo. Come on in/knock/do not disturb/out. Seen those a million times in my life!
― G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:26 (two weeks ago) link
A set time for office hours on your door and otherwise not available? A sign up sheet?
― Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:31 (two weeks ago) link
There's a weird grey area in teaching (in UK schools, anyway) where you're free to go at 3.30 and no one will judge you but 'oh, you're the kind of person who goes at 3.30 are you?' is absolutely a thing. Eh. Plus, I've set myself a boundary, that I stay at work and get finished up so that I don't let it bleed into my home life, because will it ever if I let it.
And the sign is fine, but certain people - senior management, lolbantz colleagues - would totally ignore it: the former, fine, that's expected; the latter would make it a point to come in and talk to me about the sign and I'm back to being grumpy. ARGH.
― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:34 (two weeks ago) link
Interruptions by colleagues rather than pupils, right?
― giant bat fucker (gyac), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:58 (two weeks ago) link
I actually think about this gif all the time https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2018-11/28/13/asset/buzzfeed-prod-web-02/anigif_sub-buzz-11354-1543428630-7.gifNot just cos it’s amazing (though it is) but as a slightly unusual example of enforcing personal boundaries in a way most people are going to have trouble responding to. The interviewer asks Mariah about JLo, who Mariah hates; Mariah just breezes straight through with “I don’t know her.” What are you going to say to that? Can you prove it? Are you going to call out someone saying something so brazen? No, most people won’t want to get drawn into awkwardness. The conversation moves on.Anyway in this situation you can probably take a leaf from Mariah’s book - less is more. It might take a while and it depends on what the interruptions are.You can gesture at whatever you’re working on and smile sweetly (if you can do this, I personally can’t) and say “really sorry, can I come back to you, I’ve just got to finish…”. The trailing sentence is important! Don’t specify! There are two reasons: 1) it may not be any of their business and 2) you want to cut the conversation short and not give them an opening to ask about what you’re working on. It’s really important to be nice but firm about it.It’s probably not useful for you but in my circumstances if I have time to volunteer to help people at other times then I’ll do so, purely so when I say no, they know that you are the kind of person who will help, crucially, if you have time. Headphones are usually a good “don’t bother me” signal but you will ofc run into people who cheerfully ignore this. Might not be appropriate in your workplace either.
― giant bat fucker (gyac), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 20:08 (two weeks ago) link
Oh yeah and importance of saying along the lines of “I’ll come back to you” factors into Mariah example. You may have zero intention of doing so, especially if it’s a trivial interruption, but it softens the excuse and it actually works with your reason: if you don’t come back to them on their timetable, you can simply point to the thing you’re working on (sorry, you know how it is!) & eventually they may get the message. Either way it’s good to get practice at saying no.
― giant bat fucker (gyac), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 20:13 (two weeks ago) link
That all makes a lot of sense, gyac. And I'm here for a Mariah solution. I like the 'playing the long game' vibe of it. I do that 'turn back to my computer and just get on with it' thing but, it's either all teachers or I work with a particularly thick-skinned subset of teachers, my colleagues have a remarkable facility for just carrying on rabbiting at me.
I'm second in the department, so it is sometimes work-related, which is obviously fine; but mostly I think it's either a) someone avoiding making a decision and fixing it through me or b) plain boredom/distractedness.
― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 20:30 (two weeks ago) link
If you’ve ever been on the tube at night & had someone fall asleep on you, I liken the kind of people who cheerfully ignore these signals to people slightly impaired from drink. They probably don’t mean any harm but they don’t know what they’re doing and you don’t want them in your way, right? So the gentlest nudge to move them on. That’s why it’s important you say “Sorry can I come back to you…” cos it makes it impossible for them to ignore the other signals you’re sending out.
― giant bat fucker (gyac), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 20:53 (two weeks ago) link
and, if you let it slide enough times without pushback, eventually it can become a much more angry "leave me alone" that comes out of you out of nowhere as the frustration builds up and isn't processed.
― hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:13 (two weeks ago) link
i was pleasantly surprised the first few times I said "I actually am a bit tied up at the moment" gently how well it was received. sure, every now and then someone gets cranky about it but wasn't very often.
― hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:14 (two weeks ago) link
I've got a sense of being much better at putting boundaries in place as I get older. I've stopped commenting on a bunch of different WhatsApp groups, and have stopped going to a bunch of things I used to out of duty, and I honestly don't miss any of it but I do get a twinge of worry sometimes, and am conscious of becoming an 'only on my terms' guy and isolating myself. I don't know. Does that ring true with anyone else?
― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:20 (two weeks ago) link
You make it sound eminently achievable, Neanderthal, which is totally what I need to hear!
― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:21 (two weeks ago) link
I do that 'turn back to my computer and just get on with it' thing but
genuine pro tip, stop turning away from your computer when you dont eant to be disturbed
its something i was told a few years ago, working in an open office, and it's a genuine game changer
― Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:36 (two weeks ago) link