Healthy Boundaries: Understanding Rejection

Last night, I was at the slosh with a friend of mine. We were talking with someone I’d just met about all manner of random shit, and the topic of my writing came up.

I mentioned that I’d written about this friend of mine. That I’d referred to him as my crush. I actually referred to our conversation, and said that I was “twitterpated.”

Touch Is Not My Love Language, But It Is My Core

Anyway, the conversation turned to how cute it was that I was crushing on my friend, and I played along saying that he was my crush, and that he’d broken my heart by dropping contact with me like a hot potato for reasons of his own, and there was some joshing about how OK with it I was.

So, when today’s topic popped up on my calendar, I was immediately reminded of that conversation.

You see, I enjoy crushing. Even when it’s not going to be returned. I enjoy the feelings of FEELING twitterpated, gobsmacked, smitten, love struck, keen, entranced and infatuated.

And sure, sometimes it’s with people who will never return the favor.

I’m OK with that.

As I said last night, it’s not about them, it’s about me, and enjoying who I am and what I like.

And really, I KNOW there are people out there who crush on me that I will not return the favor for. And so one.

AND, really, if I crushed only on people who conformed to my will, I’d not be crushing on THEM so much as crushing on their ability to give me things and feelings, which is kinda ick.

How does this have anything to do with healthy boundaries?

People with healthy boundaries enjoy and respect their own thoughts and feelings, and give themselves space to experience them.

This may be like in my example, loving the feelings of being bewitched by an amazing person. Or, it may be recognizing and honoring their anger or jealousy, and listening to what it’s telling them. It may be sitting quietly with their need for some time alone, even if they don’t know exactly why they need it.

Too Hard Boundaries In Rejection

In contrast, people with rigid boundaries will keep other at a distance to avoid feeling things that they don’t want to feel.

Like rejection. Or sadness. Or even happiness, because they know the “other shoe is gonna drop,” and they don’t want that in their lives.

You’ll see a lot of this online especially, by people who put a lot of time and effort into being mean and nasty for seemingly no reason. They’ve already decided it’s better to go on the offensive and keep people away than risk rejection and hurt.

Too Soft Boundaries In Rejection

And people with soft boundaries go the opposite way, and cleave to others, trying to avoid their own feelings and needs, so that they are not rejected by others for being themselves.

They tend to not speak up a lot with their own opinions, in fact, they mostly stay quiet, except in support/mimicry of the people whose approval they crave. They will give up their own time and space and needs for others over and over, and will eventually feel used and taken advantage of—even when they made those choices for themselves.

What are your thoughts?

Do you see yourself in any of these examples?

None of us are perfectly balanced in everything. We may find that we are mostly healthy with our boundaries, while still feeling a bit of “oof” from one of the imbalances. Maybe even both, sometimes.

What’s been your experience?

Image by Lisa Redfern from Pixabay

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