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Excellent Boundaries — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for breaking it down and providing the links!
    "I think my Lizard is more scared of me when I don't stand up, than scared of other people."
    ^‚Äč I think that sentence will be a useful reminder, to help me redirect my fear energy into self-responsibility. I had a decent talk with my friend and we agreed on some level to taking a timeout. thanks again.

  2. I realize that I just painted a dark portrait of my friend in order to gain sympathy from you. He has good qualites about him too, and he is only acting in congruence with what makes sense to him. I think I'm caught between viewing this as an opportunity to better myself and my friendship with him, and just wanting it all to go away. I think the dialogical, responsible thing to do would be to try to work with him. I think I still have a hard time standing up for myself, and I'm not used to having a friend that challenges my boundaries. Would I be doing a disservice to myself by divorcing him and taking the easy way out? I guess I'm not sure where to draw the line at what I can handle.

    • Well, tis a fun set of questions. Not sure what you mean by "divorcing a friend," but I'll assume you use the phrase to mean "cutting off the relationship." Got a lot of thoughts. Enjoy.

      • I think that during the early stages of relationships, say ages 14 thru 25, people go through a lot of trials with each other.  They probably identify weakness in themselves and in their partners and do some easy learning and cleaning up.  I recall this as "cleaning up the underbrush," the more simple problems and lacks of skills.  During this time they will move from partner to partner, practicing and improving their skills.  Of course this means they have to enter into new relationships and end old ones along the way.  Nothing wrong with this, that I can see. 
      • In the process people do a bit of matching up and thus finding people who are more or less equally crazy.   Even having the same kind of problems or reciprocal kinds of problems. 
      • Pushing each other's buttons is completely normal and desirable.  All about locating the wounds each of you carry and starting the process of healing
      • Painting a "dark portrait" is normal behavior when we are angry.  Anger, the emotion of boundaries and of frustration, seems to easily be accompanied by painting the other person as "bad" – partially so I don't have to notice how "bad" I am. When you paint him "bad," I reflect that you are probably pissed off, and then I look for data about what he does and what you do about it. Boundaries
      • Yup, one does get caught in the spot between staying and working, or running away.  There's another choice, just giving up and going along – no working.  See my Map of Relationships.   
      • I like him being a "proclaimed dick."  Makes for excitement and growth for everyone.  
      • Standing up for yourself is a whole issue of Boundaries.  I think my Lizard is more scared of me when I don't stand up, than scared of other people.  Read  Boundaries and remember to have available them Alligators
      • He sounds like he is Clinging, so you better learn about that, too. 

      Good luck. 

  3. Dear Al, 
    What are your thoughts on divorcing a friend? I am still a novice when it comes to boundary skills and I became friends with someone who seems to have the same trouble. We both push each other's buttons. I initially approached him about collaborating on music, but our social interactions have revealed some frightening behavior. Before our most recent practice, he got drunk and came to my workplace to talk to me, which I wasnt happy about. He proceeded to blackout through the rest of our band practice, in a belligerent fashion. He called me two days later to ask if we had fun, cuz he didnt remember anything. He's a self-proclaimed "dick" and likes to rile people up. I do not wish to work with him. He frightens my lizard. I think I am responsible for approaching him and getting things started. What ideas might you have about how I can go about responsibly distancing myself from him? I suppose I'm afraid he'll stalk me and harrass me if I just cut things off right away. I think he's aware that I'm still working on my boundary skills… I keep thinking of the movie Cape Fear. Any thoughts you may have would be helpful, thank you.

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