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SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/21/2013 12:38 PM

This happened this morning, and I'm curious to see what others have to say on it.

I'm in recovery. The one meeting I make every week, no matter what, was this morning.

So there is a guy, let's call him C. C makes bracelets at meetings. He's known for it. He gives them away.

So this morning he asked me if I wanted one, I gave him a non committal shrug and turned my focus back to the meeting. He made me one. He wanted to tie it on me, but I said that I would put it on myself.

It didn't feel entirely comfortable. I don't know if I'm hyper aware because of Infidelity, or if it was truly an uncomfortable feeling. The anklet wasn't given with any weird vibes attached.
C is not someone I speak to regularly, never one on one. In fact the last convo with him, my BS was there and he offered both of us bracelets because we helped him pick up beads.

I immediately called my Bs and we talked about it. I told my IC. She thought I handled it well.

The thing is, is that I don't really like it, won't wear it, but took it so as not to hurt his feelings.

So there was some people pleasing in there.

I guess in a normal relationship, it's not a huge deal. C makes bracelets for a lot of people, I'm just one more. I just happened to be sitting near by when he made it.

In a relationship touched by infidelity, where is that line?

Darkness Falls posted 10/21/2013 13:19 PM

It's a hard line to call, sometimes. The obvious ones are easy---blatant flirting/fishing/"testing the waters" are usually easy to spot, but it's the innocent stuff that is the tough call. I tend to find myself questioning everything now: did I smile too much when talking to this person? Am I wearing makeup/dressing in these clothes because I want to, or does it look like I'm trying to get attention? Did this person really mean that comment innocently, or should I be wary? And so on, and so on.

I think you handled the bracelet thing fine, and I think it was probably innocent on his part (since you say he makes them & gives them away all the time). I agree that you should just dump it if it's not your style.

rachelc posted 10/21/2013 13:28 PM

broevil - I know I have to make a conscious effort to be rude to people (God that sounds horrible). Not to everyone, but to those who push beyond my boundaries. I have to say to myself that its ok to tell people no, and at that point it's not being rude, it's standing up for your values.
We didn't stand up for our values before... i need much practice.. the people pleasing, i so understand it.
put yourself first in this case! IF saying yes to things like that will make you feel guilty later and you know it, make life easier for YOURSELF and your spouse by enforcing your boundaries...

authenticnow posted 10/21/2013 15:01 PM

That's an interesting situation. In recovery I know there is a bond among the group that is unique (kind of like SI, but in person). I was sitting and chatting with WH5 at the MI g2g, and I wouldn't do that with a man in any other situation.

I think it's great that you called your BH and discussed it. I also think it's awesome that you're continuing to check yourself regarding your boundaries. I recently started a conversation on FB with a man who friend requested me. It was innocent and I didn't think twice, but upon further reflection I realized I wasn't guarding mine. It was eye opening and a good reminder for me.

The fact that you mentioned people-pleasing behaviors shows me that it's something that you're working on and again, I think it's good that you're looking at it closely

SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/21/2013 16:29 PM

Thanks for your responses!

Upon further reflection and conversation, I realized the best course of action would have been to say no thanks when he asked if I wanted one!

nealos posted 10/22/2013 08:20 AM

hey broevil, another recovering addict here--

I think you're right to question your behavior as people-pleasing, care-taking or codependent (depending on how you want to look at it). The reality is, you can only keep clean your side of the street. I actually don't think you did anything wrong by accepting the gift, and I'd actually say that you upheld your boundaries by not letting the other member tie it to your wrist. In retrospect, should you not have taken the gift at all?... perhaps. But you took it. Now ask yourself, "what is the next right decision?" What do you need to do now (if anything) to amend an ill action you took? That ill action could be that you let yourself participate in codependent behavior. That ill action could be that you didn't respect your own boundaries by taking the gift (if that is was an existing boundary). If you need to amend this situation, it is an amends to yourself. You did nothing wrong to the other person. But that is my opinion. I think you should ask your sponsor obviously too.

DefeatedDad posted 10/22/2013 19:03 PM

I don't see what you did as people pleasing. You have a hippie in the group who gets a little happiness for himself by making something handmade for others, without expecting anything in return.

Doesn't sound like he was flirting or anything. Cut the guy some slack. Give the anklet away if you don't like it.

I'm BS and if such a thing was given to my wife by a harmless hippie I would say "cool" and then turn my attention back to the ball game.

Don't make mountains out of molehills. He's harmless unless he actually makes a provocative move on you.

authenticnow posted 10/22/2013 20:26 PM

I don't think Broevil is making mountains out of molehills, I think she's listening to her inner voice, her gut questioning something she is working on, and that's good.

He's harmless unless he actually makes a provocative move on you.
I think that's a dangerous assumption in any case.

mrmarx posted 10/22/2013 20:46 PM

Being aware of the boundaries is a good call. Even if it seems as if its a harmless thing. Why open yourself up to make more mistakes?

SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/23/2013 13:11 PM

Doesn't sound like he was flirting or anything. Cut the guy some slack.

There is nothing about the guy, doing anything wrong, in my original post. He wasn't flirting. It was MY shit I need to take a look at.

Don't make mountains out of molehills. He's harmless unless he actually makes a provocative move on you.

So the fact that 3 of 4 of my A's started harmlessly, with no "provocative moves" made right away, means that I can continue to act the same way?

This was all about introspection. It had nothing to do with anyone's actions but mine.

Being aware of the boundaries is a good call. Even if it seems as if its a harmless thing. Why open yourself up to make more mistakes?

Yep. It was harmless, but that doesn't mean I should have accepted it.

[This message edited by broevil at 1:12 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

Jrazz posted 10/23/2013 13:22 PM

You handled your feelings after the event REALLY well. Now if you can learn something from this, next time maybe you can give a new response that will make you feel even better.

The people pleasing is a killer. I think that it's so important for you to be able to stand up for yourself and say "NO", whether it's an innocent gesture or someone trying to violate your boundaries.

Let's strip everything else away and just look at the bare components:

Man makes bracelets. You do not want one for your own personal reasons. He offers you one.

You say, "No, thank you."

You have done the RIGHT thing.

You are not obliged to take a bracelet. It doesn't make you mean or rude. It makes you honest, and true to yourself and your boundaries.

My heart goes out to you. I see Crazz struggle with this all the time. He shortchanges himself so much to please others, and I hate how much the real him gets lost in all of that.

You're doing really really well. When you go through something like this, it strengthens your lines and you will know better for next time.


[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:25 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/24/2013 06:21 AM

Thanks Jrazz!!

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