Dicky-Dancing

I take too much responsibility for other people’s feelings.

I’m excruciatingly tuned in to how other people are feeling. It took me a long time to learn that a whole bunch of those feelings are nothing to do with me. People are complicated creatures living complicated lives, and they didn’t just emerge from the abyss a second ago to enter into this conversation with me. They’re carrying stories and problems and worries. That is mostly where their feelings come from. Sometimes, I may remind them of those stories and problems and worries, but I didn’t create them. It is fairly rare for their feelings to be directly or solely caused by me.

Now, even though I know that, if we take a look at my behaviour we’ll see I still dicky-dance about a lot trying not to cause anyone undue hurt. So, why, exactly, do I think dicky-dancing is required to avoid causing undue hurt? It seems an awful lot like I might have spent too much time around people looking for a reason to get hurt. People who were going to get hurt regardless of what I said or did.

Anyway, dicky-dancing is a terrible method to resort to. Just asking for some stepped-on toes.

Straight lines

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.

I’m bad at boundaries.

Most people I know are bad at boundaries.

Is that because most people are bad at boundaries? Or because only people who are bad at boundaries can tolerate people who are bad at boundaries?

I notice, when I try to instate or uphold healthy boundaries, that a lot of people don’t like it. My first thought, of course, is that I’m doing it wrong. Which may be true. But I suspect it’s probably more to do with violated expectations.

I also notice, when I try to instate or uphold healthy boundaries, that I often don’t really like it either. It’s hard work. It’s effort to maintain the balance of empathy and kindness with drawing lines. I fuck it up a lot.

I also notice, though, that when other people set clear boundaries, I love it. It doesn’t happen that often, but I feel so free when it does.

So I know what I am chasing: People to draw adjoining shapes with.