Boundaries

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by SpoiledPrincess, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. SpoiledPrincess

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    We all have different boundaries with different people, our boundaries with out close friends are very different to the boundaries we have with for instance someone we talk to at a tube station. Hopefully good friends know your boundaries and don't overstep them, and you know your friends boundaries and don't overstep them but how good are you at setting boundaries and where are your boundaries, do you like a lot of intimacy with your friends/partners or are you someone who likes some distance?

    Personally I'm not big on boundaries with very close friends/partners, I think the closer you are the better and with my friends there are no questions I won't ask them or they won't ask me, the same with favours and so on, they can ask me anything and I can ask them anything, if the answer's a no up to now it's always been taken without offence.
     
  2. ManlyBanisters

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    Boundaries - I prefer to keep them as low as possible, if not non-existant, with close friends and family. This was actually a serious point of contention between me and my ex because he was an extremely high boundaries kind of person (with everyone except me). The obvious conflict there was that I had to keep certain things from people I would normally share with so as to maintain his boundaries and keep him in his comfort zone. My family share everything - everyone knows each other's business, good and bad. No secrets. My ex's family - well, put it this way - he doesn't know what age his mother is or what date her birthday falls on :eek:

    On a more general level, casual acquaintances / collegues, I tend to let the other person set the boundaries. I rarely feel the need to volunteer personal information or details to people but if I feel an anecdote from my life might be helpful to someone I don't feel uncomfortable sharing. Likewise if a person wants to share his/her personal info with me that's fine, but I don't go digging for it.

    With strangers I seem to be one of these types who attracts the fellow traveller who will tell you his/her life story, or give you a blow by blow rundown of his/her medical history - I listen politely but I hope I never end up being one of those people because I feel somehow they are overstepping boundaries - Not in a way that makes me uncomfortable, but I can see how it might have that effect on others and I do wonder what makes someone so free with their personal info. Is it just the liberty of talking anonymously to a stranger?

    In terms of physical boundaries - with friends I'm neither touchy-feely nor standoffish - again, I mainly let the other person dictate what physical level of contact they are comfortable with. My own immediate family are very phyiscal - kissing, hugging, holding hands, tickling and so on is all very common place and I love friendships like that too but I would never force it on a person who wasn't comfortable with it.
     
  3. Osiris

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    I am usually very liberal with boundaries until given a reason not to be. I think when to rational people take the time to truly get to know each other the boundaries just kind of naturally get set.

    I'm married

    I'm gay

    I'm straight

    I have children

    I'm single

    You get the idea. The more you know about a person, the more you know about what boundaries naturally exist. I find this avoids a lot of mixed signal sending as well.
     
  4. Mr. Snakey

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    In terms of boundaries with me there are none. I tend to look and see whats in someones heart anyway. I have no problem with giving a Male or Female friend a hug. However i am not a touchy and feely person because it sends signals of a sexual nature.
     
  5. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I have boundaries. With friends, with family, with everyone. I can talk to my friends about ALMOST everything... and they know they can talk to me about anything. But for the most part, when I'm upset, depressed, or sad, I just keep it to myself because 99% of the time, my friends don't really understand what I'm going through, and that just frustrates me more. I only have one friend that I've been able to be completely open with in the past, and that openness ended about 2 years ago. So I usually just write or blog. Physically, I have no boundaries. I love hugs. I'll hug anyone. My friends aren't really the "huggy" type, but if someone wants a hug, I won't turn them down. :smile:
     
  6. ManlyBanisters

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    I don't know if that is necessarily true - it certainly can do. And some people interpret it that way, for sure.

    The phrase 'touchy-feely', to me anyway, applies only really to people who over do it. I think it is very inconsiderate to hug and/or kiss people when they are clearly not comfortable with the contact. And "I don't mean anything by it" is not a lucid or adequate argument for anything.
     
  7. Mr. Snakey

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    No i would love to give the whole world a big hug and a kiss. Im talking in terms of co-workers etc. Friends or family no problem. I am very old fashioned in my respect for women. I am very old fashioned in the way i conduct myself around them. To me there is nothing more wonderful than a woman. I have such a respect for them. It is out of respect for one woman that other than a Christmas hug i avoid any kind of contact in that way. I know im old school and silly. Ok throw in the temptation factor in to the mix.
     
  8. Damian Johnson

    Damian Johnson New Member

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    Princess,

    I think that you can group this into five broad categories - and we all behave differently within the five -

    1) Sexual partner(s)

    If its a long term relationship there's very few boundaries, and certainly no secrets left!! They see you well, sick, pissed off, naked, drunk, happy etc etc

    2) Close family

    Again, even if you want boundaries, theyve often known you since you were young, so its close

    3) Good social friends

    Few boundaries

    4) Business colleagues

    Should be boundaries - and keep separate from real social friends - otherwise big trouble.

    5) Complete strangers / first contacts

    Boundaries - until you get to know them

    --

    Sometimes people mix these boundaries - work with pleasure, or work with sexual etc etc - I think that when this happens thats when the trouble can start
     
  9. SpoiledPrincess

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    I seem to share something in common with Manly when it comes to boundaries, my ex was a very private person who had a lot of boundaries with friends and family he'd be considered close too and I had to consider what his boundaries were rather than just go on in my normal blabber mouthed way, even so a few times I told someone something that he considered private but I'd just say I respect your boundaries, you have to respect that sometimes our boundaries aren't quite the same.

    Good points Damian, but I also think that there are some boundaries that should never be passed, I'm don't believe in a lot of boundaries with a partner but the day I let a partner see me poo is the day I give up :)
     
  10. Sixofspades

    Sixofspades New Member

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    I like my distance. I'm a private sort of guy. Sometimes there's nothing I love more than being with my friends, but at the end of the day, I really want to go back to my own place. Similarly, if there's a night out planned, I'll get a cab home at 3am rather than crash at someone else's house. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I always came home right after school, and class trips were the worst. It's not that I didn't want to do anything, far from it. It was just a case of it having to be on my own terms. Needless to say, I don't have legions of friends as a result, and that's by my own choice - I'm easily put off by people (and women). I've got a handful of great people in my life, who I can really talk to and be myself with, and that suits me just fine. But I'm really not the most social person out there. I need my four walls around me for a set period every day and I like being the one to make any arrangements. One of the things I hate most is people dropping by unexpectedly, for example. It's the same on this site - I don't cam with people, I don't share endless pics or send women flirtatious PMs. I just keep to myself for the most part. My mother's a lot like this too so I really think I got some of that from her.
     
  11. Damian Johnson

    Damian Johnson New Member

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    You spot on about the poo stuff Princess. YUK! Thats total private :biggrin1:
     
  12. Ethyl

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    Must admit I like my privacy when pooing as well.

    My boundaries are few in most any type of relationship and the ones I have are firm.

    Hmm...N_S is reading this post and frowning about the possibility he may never see me poo. I think he's scheming different ways of breaking down that barrier. Good luck with that. :tongue:
     
  13. SpoiledPrincess

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    Tell him to stick six laxatives in your coffee :)
     
  14. Ethyl

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    Hehehe...only if he agrees to take responsibility for the condition of the bathroom afterwards. :biggrin1:
     
  15. ManlyBanisters

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    *MB (the latter) reminds herself not to read exchanges between SP and MB (the former) during dinner*

    :yuck:
     
  16. SpoiledPrincess

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    I hope it wasn't a chicken korma MB - Sorry :)
     
  17. ManlyBanisters

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    Fortunately not!
     
  18. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Where is this thread going??? :puke:

    I have no boundaries with my close friends and never have. I have lots of boundaries with family. Both situations tend to be overboard. I'm too open to my friends and too isolated with most of my family. It's led to a lot of pain.

    I wear my heart on my sleeve but am learning to not do so. It's not easy. Some people I find I just trust immediately with anything, others I never trust. What I need to do is hold back for a bit before I know who I can really trust and who I can't.
     
  19. Lex

    Lex
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    SP-I have been meaning to reply to this thread, but I kept thinking and the more I think about what you have written, the more I think that "boundaries" may not be the most accurate word in this case (this is not a criticism).

    It sounds to me that what you are talking about is being transparent (not honest) in your close relationships. Transparency goes beyond honesty and requires a great deal of trust. To me, being a close to someone and trusting them means keeping my integrity while becoming more and more transparent to them. Everyone has boundaries-- you would not let anyone hit you--that is a boundary. Having integrity means keeping those boundaries with everyone.

    Where I have come to (I think) is that I must live with a principled center. Principles are unwavering and, therefore, the compass always points North. My goal is to live with integrity and transparency. Read if you will: honesty-- and it is more than that.

    Integrity is the value I place on myself--that I say what I mean, follow through, practice what I preach, and that I am me all the time--good, bad, or indifferent. Integrity is owning your words, actions, and truth--making them one with your inner energy.

    Transparency lives on the far side of honesty. It goes beyond honesty in that instead of choosing which things to share and be honest about, you allow others to see your truth at all times without careful selection of topics and subject matter. It's SO hard to do this.

    And (not "but," as "but" negates all that comes before it) I know in my heart that what I try to achieve is good. It is good for me (and my trust issues) to push through and past honesty to transparency. It is good for others to interact without feeling "protected" from my truth (as weird and uncomfortable as that feels to us both/all). Who am I to think I can or should protect them, anyway?

    And, as such, I must realize that there will be times when I am judged, marginalized, and compartmentalized by others who feel this truth and, perhaps, are unprepared for it. I realize that their marginalization, compartmentalization and judgment of me is a more primitive reactionary protection that we all do when faced with the things (truths) whose presence transcends our limits in new and unnerving ways.

    I realize that while my natural instinct in those moments is to refrain, to hold back, to second guess--that my compass points North. And that as I walk this very challenging path, I reflect on what my greatgrandmother always said to me as a boy: "The long way home is the best way."

    I've rambled, but I hope this helps in some way.
     
  20. SpoiledPrincess

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    I didn't actually mean transparency Lex, but I think that having low personal boundaries can often go hand in hand with transparency. I live by a similar set of values - with me what you see is what you get, I'm honest about my faults with everyone, I always act the same and won't tailor my beliefs to fit in with who I'm with. People who meet me often find me a little hard to handle at first, they find honesty unusual and a little hard to deal with, very soon it's one of the things they value most about me. I've read some of your previous posts and think that, perhaps, for you transparency is a bigger issue, I've led a life that has been fairly free from pain so for me it's easier to be transparent, and easier for me to have boundaries that are fairly low and very elastic.
     
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