Jan. 27th, 2013

Boundaries

Jan. 27th, 2013 12:34 pm
pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
What "good at boundaries" means to me (a partial list):

  • Pays attention to nonveral cues about people's comfort level and does not push them beyond them (there are occasions where you get to do this, other people's comfort is not a straightjacket for you, but it's a good default)
  • Does not take pleasure in making other people uncomfortable.
  • Knows their own limits about reading nonverbal cues and doesn't send or solicit signals more subtle than the ones they can read. I.E. slowly escalating flirting a wonderful thing to do, if and only if you are capable of reading the other person's interest level in subtle flirting. If you are not capable of reading non-interest, you must explicitly ask people out.
  • Doesn't escalate relationship/do things that might discomfort people when in a setting where you can't read them (e.g. online chat) or they don't feel free to express discomfort (e.g. in a group)
  • Has a good sense of when they can and cannot read people
  • Has a good sense of when people will and won't feel free to express discomfort
  • Gives the other person room to escalate the relationship, and takes a complete absence of escalation as a sign they like where the relationship is
  • Doesn't hold people to agreements they never made
  • Keeps the amount of favors they give below the level at which they will feel the other person owes them and they will be angry if they are not paid back. You can decide the flow of favors is unbalanced and you don't want to give any more, or even that you don't want to be friends anymore, but you can't declare that they owe you.
  • Keeps the amount of favors they receive at a level that doesn't unbalance the friendship
  • Doesn't demand anyone feel anything (although you are free to expect actions)
  • Doesn't follow Geek Social Fallacy #4 ("Friendship is Transitivie). I mean, doesn't suffer from any of the Geek Social Fallacies, or Relationship Fallacies, or Sexual Fallacies, but *especially* not social fallacy #4.
  • You know what, throw social fallacy #1 ("Ostracizers are evil") and sexual fallacy #4 ("Drama is always worse than the thing the drama is about") in there too. Ostracizers are not evil and acting as if they are impairs other people's abilities to maintain their own boundaries
  • Has a good sense of when their feelings are other people's problems and when they are not, and acts accordingly.
  • Understands people can do and feel things that hurt them without doing and feeling these things at them.
  • Doesn't dismiss other people's feelings as drama.
  • Takes ownership of the effects of their actions. You can decide you don't care if an action hurts someone (for example, I can decide I don't want to have sex with someone even though they want to have sex with me), but you can't claim they aren't feeling hurt.
  • Asserts their own boundaries in a useful manner.



What "good at boundaries" seems to mean to people who say they are good at boundaries:

  • Stops pushing people when explicitly told they are pushing.

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