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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

Back in March, I wrote about healthy boundaries in emotional intimacy, and talked a bit about “too soft” boundaries and oversharing.

I did not define oversharing—which led to some interesting conversations in the comments—because, to me, it’s a very simple thing.

of course, if I’d paused for a moment and thought about it, I would have easily realized that others might take a different view.

So, let’s discuss oversharing.

o·ver·share

/ˈōvərˌSHer/
verb
reveal an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life.

A simple enough definition that I think we can all get behind.

The confusion that arose from my writing was not in that particular definition, but more along the lines of ‘Who gets to decide what is inappropriate?’

And THAT is the key to healthy boundaries, in my view.

I had said:

People with soft intimacy boundaries tell way too much too soon about their personal lives, often either scaring people off or signaling they are vulnerable to less-than-pure intentions.

They are commonly referred to as “oversharers.”

It’s more than that, though, because there are many ways to be open and transparent without necessarily having weak intimacy boundaries.

It’s often a combination of oversharing AND making themselves overly vulnerable to people who have not yet matched their level of investment and disclosure in a relationship.

In how I wrote this, I realize that I did not make clear my stance on this.

Oversharing, to me, is something that an individual must decide for themself.

In other words, no one else gets to determine whether you’ve overshared.

They might get to say it made them uncomfortable. Or that they were disgusted. Sure. But that you overshared? Nope. That’s not for them to decide.

At least in the way I’m using the word in relation to healthy boundaries.

Because healthy boundaries are about what you feel comfortable sharing and how vulnerable you can be at any given time, appropriate to the situation.

And only you can decide that.

For example, last week, someone told me that I told them too much about a situation with a mutual friend.

To them, it was too much.

I was surprised. I didn’t tell any salacious details, and they had solicited the conversation by bringing up the topic.

They felt I overshared.

I thought about it, and I don’t feel I did. If they felt uncomfortable, well, I can certainly respect that.

  • I did not violate any of my healthy boundaries.
  • I did not make myself more vulnerable than the relationship could account for.
  • I do not regret saying what I said.
  • It was done in a kinky space, not where vanillas or kids could overhear.
  • I did not violate another’s right to privacy.

The thing is, some people are closer to the surface than others. Some people speak their minds with less filter. Or without as much politesse. Or with less “fakeness,” as some might call it.

Take your pick. It may be a bit of everything.

I don’t think that being more open than most is inherently a negative thing, or should be classified automatically as oversharing.

Unless it violates your personal boundaries.

Unless you find yourself often thinking, “Ugh. I shouldn’t have said that. Why do I always say too much.”

THEN, you have overshared, because you have hurt yourself and put yourself into a position of regretting what you’ve said.

What are YOUR thoughts?

I know what I’m presenting is a different way of looking at this word than is commonly used. I’m presenting this primarily for the use in defining healthy boundaries, not for every life situation everywhere (work spaces, for example often have very different rules).

That said, do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Where do YOU end and where does another begin?

Where does the state line of Healthy Boundaries meet it’s neighboring District of Codependency?

For me, after a marriage of emotional abuse, getting sucked into someone else’s untreated mental illness, I tend to be hyper aware. Like, “I know it when I see it.”

But to set lines of demarcation for others? It’s harder.

I do know there are things in a relationship that each person is responsible for, regardless of dynamics—at least in my view. Of course, my view is also that [a dominant is responsible for EVERYTHING in their relationship dynamic][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/3224217].

(Yes, I know that sounds contradictory. It’s not, in my mind, because my submissive can be responsible for their behavior to me, and I can also be responsible for their behavior within our dynamic.)

Here are a few things, though, that (for me) give a good hint at where the lines could be drawn:

  • Doing things that I think will make them happy and healthy and feeling loved is ME.
  • Ensuring they have a happy life is NOT ME.
  • Their financial success is NOT ME.
  • Their mental health is NOT ME.
  • Being a human of my word is ME.
  • Creating a safe space where they can express themselves is ME (not as therapy but as groundwork for the emotional connection that enables intimacy—I’m not responsible for fixing their problems, but having a healthy relationship means providing a non-judgemental ear to listen or shoulder to cry on).
  • Expressing myself is ME.
  • Leading by example is ME.

And so on.

What is YOU in a relationship?

Do any of my lines feel right to you? Do any feel wrong? How does your dynamic affect what is YOU in a relationship versus what is not, if at all?

In a relationship with healthy boundaries, where do YOU begin and where does your partner end?

I look forward to your thoughts.

In 2015, I wrote this piece about No Regrets, and it’s recently come back up in conversation.

@Lilianthorn mentioned self-image issues leading to regret, and I said that regret, to me, is more a boundary issue than a self-image issue, and she asked me to clarify.

I started to write, and realized this might be a better writing on boundaries…

To clarify, soft personal boundaries are often a result of self-image issues, so there is that link. I don’t think it’s as direct as posited, though.

regret

feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).

So, there are two aspects, In the case of my No Regrets writing, I’m speaking specifically to regrets over what HAS been done.

And generally, people regret things they’ve done because they crossed their own picket lines, broke their boundaries, consented to things they did not want to consent to, etc.

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