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Boundaries - how do you know where to draw the line?


I have a big circle of friends who get together on a fairly regular basis. It's wonderful! So wonderful in fact that sometimes someone will bring another friend along, especially if they're new in town. So there is one girl in particular who joined the crowd recently and turns out she and I have alot in common. I've moved alot in my life and know what it's like to be the new person. Right away I encouraged her to keep coming out and connect with everyone. I think she really loves the whole gang.

Problem is, she has now latched particularly onto me. I'm not one of those people who says "oh, I already have enough friends, I don't need another one", but it feels like she'd like us to be best friends. I have alot on the go right now, and she has some personal stuff going on too. She tends to monopolize my time when we're together with everyone else, and so I have been gently pulling away to try to give a hint that I want to spend time with everyone too, not just her.

So then it seemed she was upset with me for a bit and I felt bad so I chatted her up again and now we're back to square one. Here's the thing - I know it's my fault. And she really is a super nice person. I'm also not great with conflict and don't know how to have that conversation "hey I like you alot, but I can't be on the phone with you everyday and get together constantly etc".

Like I said she has some personal stuff going on with her boyfriend and kids right now. So I feel like if I nudge her away she'll feel alone and hurt. But at the same time, I just can't be her BFF right now. I just don't have that kind of free time for what she seems to need.

Why does it seem like keeping personal boundaries may be a good thing for you, but possibly be hurtful to others? I really don't want to be selfish. I hate this society's mantra of "me first" always and forever. That is what gets us into more trouble I think than it should. There should be more community, helpfulness, and generosity in this world. But how do you find that balance?

I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer here. What do you think?
Nov 12, 2009 @ 10:09 am

2 Replies


Blame technology

This is slightly related to your post but more of a rant about the evils of communication technology in general :). The constant connection via cell phones and the internet can be a nightmare if not managed properly. 9PM till 7AM you don't answer your phone unless its family or your very close friends. People have to learn/understand that you have a real life that belongs to you, to live.

Let the calls go to voicemail. Answer emails & social network once a day. Most people will get it and some wont. Theres nothing you can do about it. 10 years ago you lost touch with everyone after high school and that was it. You never saw them again. You made new friends at work and spent time with family etc. Now, because of the internet and cell phones you CANT lose touch with anyone. How can anyone expect to socialize with the thousands of people they meet over their lifetime. Its impossible to keep up with and hang out with everyone you meet.

Somewhere in the middle of those ramblings i am trying to say that the only reason you CAN be on the phone and make plans to get together all the time is because technology allows/forces it. If you take a step back and live your life like its meant to be... without all of the 24/7 contact with everyone in the world... you will develop normal relationships that happen organically and you wont find yourself being pulled in 20 different directions all the time.

The last Halloween party i attended was a facebook photo shoot instead of a party. No one was dancing, no one was having a good time. They were all to busy posing for facebook photos that gave the illusion of a Halloween party. From the outside looking in it appeared to be a great party. For me, someone at the party, it felt fake and almost like work trying to get the perfect shot. Sorry for hijacking your post :).
Nov 12, 2009 @ 08:36 pm

Facebook photo shoot!

LOL! That's actually hilarious and I know what you mean. Because we are so busy recording our lives on Facebook and other sites it's always about the posing. But think of how interesting this will be for our Grandchildren to look at! Years of documented humiliation! Well, it's not all embarrassing. ;)
Nov 12, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

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