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Drawing Lines

September 6, 2010

I draw lines in the sand, to be completely blunt. I try not to because with me, once I’ve drawn a line, it is permanent And anyone crossing it means an instant termination of communication, me shutting them out of my life for good (and forever), and maybe some last very heated words too. :-/

But even though I hate drawing lines, sometimes I just have to, for my own well-being. I do warn people -A LOT- when they are making me uncomfortable or if their behavior is not healthy around or for me. I first kindly ask people to “dial it down” or to completely stop something harmful toward my self-esteem. For example: making fun of me or spouting racist ideas. Even if it’s not about my own race, it’s still harmful to me! I may ask twice or three times. Then I began to get a little peeved and my asking is not so nice, for a few times. After that, then I decide that the person is just not hearing me, so that’s when I draw lines. And once they cross that, they are then exiled from me and my life. I don’t know them, I don’t want to know them, and I don’t want any parts of them thereafter.

This is basically how I work, for good or for worse. :-p

Oddly enough, this is called “setting boundaries”. And it’s a healthy thing in relationships, as long as it’s not an manipulation thing. A person isn’t suppose to set impossible boundaries that a person can’t ever reach or keep up with, for example: “If you don’t lose 50 pounds in two days, we’re through!”. And a person isn’t suppose to set weak boundaries for themselves, which makes it easy for the other person to step all over them, for example: “It’s okay if you smack me two times… But no more than that, okay?”

No, the whole point of setting boundaries is for your own well-being and to protect yourself. It’s not a negotiation table for your safety, for example: something to TRY begging someone to stop hurting you, where the outcome of your “setting boundaries” have the option that the other person can choose to respect you or not chose to, with no real consequences to it. To ask a person to NOT hurt you is never a privilege, but an right! Nor is setting boundaries a tool to get people to do what you want then to do. It is to ensure that you get equal respect and care, that you also put into any relationship. That is to say, you’re not suppose to set boundaries that you, yourself, can’t follow for the other person as well or some equivalent to it. If you have a boundary that people shouldn’t snoop through your things, then it can’t be okay for you to snoop through the other person’s stuff either!

I accept a lot of things about people, from all walks of life, and different philosophies. My personal and spiritual belief is “live and let live!” And so many mistake my acceptance for MOST things as an acceptance for ALL things. I do have my boundaries and I make sure to tell people upfront, those that I’m sure that will be more than just an passing acquaintance, what my boundaries are. And I also welcome (if not crave) for them to tell me their boundaries also! When I am a friend to someone, I don’t want to cross the lines on their side, or break the boundaries on what makes them uncomfortable or hurts them. I take very great care to not do the things that makes another person upset or uncomfortable, because I care and love them. And the only thing I ever ask is for the same thing in return. :-)

However, drawing lines, is more of a final step in my view. This is after all the verbal decrees have failed to reach the other person. And once the line is crossed, that’s when I’m no longer the friend, no longer accepting, no longer speaking to that person, no longer in contact. To me, a person crossing the drawn line means that they could care less about my feelings or what makes me comfortable or what hurts me. It is a sign, that the person only cares about themselves and will forever only care about themselves in our relationship. And once I realize that, then I am left with a choice… Do I go on forever in a one-sided relationship and put up with the abuse? Or do I decide that I deserve better than that and move on? No matter how low my self-esteem is, on any given day or year, I always seem to choose the latter… sooner or later (but more sooner, than later!). ;-)

-D

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2 comments

  1. Very precisely put.Informative reading and helpful .


    • Thank you, mom. :-p



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