I’ve totally been hot-boxing all of the various series by Robert Ohotto that I have and every time he says something that sparks a thought or a realization or a question, I make a voice note so that I can remember all the sparks. In his “Creating Intimacy” series, he flat out says the Patriarchy doesn’t permit women to have boundaries.
Talk about a “duh” moment.
All those incidences where women’s polite “not interested” is responded to as if this was some code for “please continue the unwanted advances but up the aggression factor”? Disrespect for boundaries!
There are thousands of permutations on this theme that I can think of to illustrate this, and I’m sure you can as well. What’s fascinating is that, from my observations, those who are most likely to disregard boundaries are also unbalanced themselves. It’s like they completely steamroller attempted boundaries because they literally cannot tolerate them on a psycho-spiritual level, feeling the need for something outside of themselves to ‘make them complete’ – like a black hole sucking in everything around it.
“No! I don’t want to be sucked in!”
“Now don’t be rude. You’re just playing hard to get. I like it.”
It’s … pathological. (Apparently that’s my new favorite word.) I also think it’s part of the whole co-dependence thing I’ve talked about before, where an incomplete thing seeks to complete itself from outside sources. An inability or unwillingness to recognize the boundaries of that which is considered necessary for completion then begins to make some sense — as well as understanding why it affects some and not others.
Exactly how this can be meaningfully addressed is best left to those more educated than I am, but it’s an awareness that needs to be more widespread. Pointing this out for what it is, in a calm and rational way, is far more likely to get attention than shaming and blaming. Crucial Conversations teaches that the best and fastest way to shut down any form of communication is to put someone into a position where they feel they must emotionally defend themselves. Doing the shame and blame thing is an instant conversation killer and nothing productive will result from it — except for more shame and blame with increasing levels of resentment.
Featured Image: That just totally cracked me up and had me laughing for a good hour afterwards. It came from a post on Anger Mentor entitled “How to Control Your Anger by Setting Solid Personal Boundaries.”