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New Boundaries and "Friends"

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Scorpio2310 posted 1/13/2014 20:37 PM

Since putting my barriers in place I have not had to deal with females outside of work, so all I had to do was remember to keep all conversation and contact professional. Today though, something happened that threw me off balance: one of my BSO's friends said that she thought I had dyed my hair. This goes against the way that she normally treats me, she is usually very abrasive (and not just to me but everyone).

This is a friend that my BSO said is safe for me to be around and interact with. I know from what my BSO has said about her friend that she is happily in love with her boyfriend. I am almost positive that she meant nothing by what she said and my BSO agrees with me.

This is my first interaction with a female "friend" since putting up my boundaries. I was wondering if these feelings are normal with my first social interaction outside of work with a female or am I crazy? The other thing I was curious about is why I might be feeling so uncomfortable about this interaction.

Clarrissa posted 1/13/2014 21:12 PM

I understand how a compliment can throw you off balance and make you unsure of your boundaries. Do you ignore out of fear, do you accept and thank them, do you return the compliment? First, I think, you need to find out why it unbalanced you. Was it the source? Are you unused to them? Did the outside validation feel better than was really warranted? As you look for the answer, I think your safest course is to accept the compliment and thank the person who gave it. And continue with your business. Also, in the spirit of transparency and honesty, tell your BSO of the compliment and your response. It really is the little things like this that help build trust the most.

Jrazz posted 1/13/2014 21:17 PM

So so so so normal. Well, at least it was for US. I think it's uncomfortable because you went from telling yourself that inappropriate attention was ok, to having no clue where to draw the line when you finally started trying to do the right thing.

Putting up boundaries for the first time is a tricky thing. Crazz and I went a little overboard but I don't regret it at all, and neither does he. He did get thrown into a panic if a woman would so much as ask him about his weekend, as did I. Things are so raw in the beginning, and so new and unexpected as Reconciliation is attempted in earnest.

Expect to be cautious and confused for a while. Err on the side of consideration for your BSO and safe, solid walls between you and other women. Things will balance out after a while.

Unagie posted 1/14/2014 04:09 AM

I get it. I got complimented on a dress walking down the street one day on my way to tango class. I said thanks and kept walking. I got to tango class and ome of my fav people to dance with (older man who was slow with me because I was a beginner) started telling me about his wife complaining about something and I almost freaked out. Asked him if she was going to come to tango because she seemed like a lovely lady and then almost ran to my BFF when partner changes happened. It takes adjusting getting used to your new boundaries. There will be a few wtf and omg moments.

Scorpio2310 posted 1/14/2014 06:56 AM

Thank you all! Your encouragement and advise is very much appreciated. I am glad that people can relate to what I'm going through.

First, I think, you need to find out why it unbalanced you. Was it the source? Are you unused to them? Did the outside validation feel better than was really warranted?

I do believe it was the source. She very rarely gives compliments and this one was completely out of the blue. I am getting more used to compliments, though they usually come from my BSO, so that may have added to it. I was thrown for the loop before the outside validation had even registered.

I think it's uncomfortable because you went from telling yourself that inappropriate attention was ok, to having no clue where to draw the line when you finally started trying to do the right thing.

Jrazz, you are so right! That is how I felt. I knew that my BSO's friend was stating an observation, but it was a compliment also. With my newly placed boundaries I was unsure how to take it.

somethingremorse posted 1/14/2014 08:27 AM

Since I was a KISA in my As, I feel uncomfortable when one of the women at work complain about the boss. I almost want to tell women to not complain about anything to me. But I know that to be like a normal human being that I need to be able to interact with people around me without "falling off the wagon." I mean, I could lock myself in the house. That way I know I won't stray again. But that is hiding from a problem, not fixing it.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 1/14/2014 10:06 AM

What jrazz said!!

I had NO IDEA what boundaries were.
So I went to the extreme at first.
I had rules:
No hugging men (We're in a 12 step fellowship that uses hugs as a greeting)
No personal conversations.
We categorized our friends (M&F) into FOM, friends, and everyone else. And had guidelines for each group.

I questioned everything, every thought every action, every feeling.
I analyzed every interaction I had with men. My motivation, what was said, how I acted, Body language. Even down to whether or not I made eye contact, and why I did or not!

I picked grocery store lines with women checkers. I had blinders on, would not even look at men.

At first I was so nervous about it I would not tell Chicho if I thought something was questionable, obviously this was not the way to go. Now if something doesn't feel right I tell him as soon as I can.
We tell each other about our days and what happened, who we interacted with. It's become such a habit it feels a bit strange if we don't do it!

I'm beginning to feel comfortable with my new boundaries.

I was just thinking that it's a bit like breaking in a new pair of Doc Martens.
When you begin wearing them it's so uncomfortable. You can only think about your feet and how they feel, where they're being pinched, where the boots are too tight.
They just don't feel right.
HOW LONG is it going to be until you feel okay in them???
But you keep wearing them.
And slowly they get soft, they conform to your feet, You never want to stop wearing them!

You wonder how could I ever have found these uncomfortable.

silverhopes posted 1/17/2014 03:44 AM

With my newly placed boundaries I was unsure how to take it.

It is wonderful that you're questioning how to take it and pausing if you don't know.

If such a thing were to happen again, how do you think would be the best way to respond? Sometimes it helps to think of a plan in advance. With new boundaries, there will probably be a lot of situations that throw you… Just keep patiently working through them!

Scorpio2310 posted 1/17/2014 23:24 PM

If such a thing were to happen again, how do you think would be the best way to respond?

Good question... If it was the exact same kind of situation I would just take the comment at face value, thank her, and go on about my business.

However, if it was someone that my BSO didn't trust or more importantly someone who made me feel uncomfortable, I would ignore it and the person who said it.

Either way I would be sure to talk the situation out with my BSO. It is best to talk these kind of things over with her, innocent or not.

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