To Connect Because you Want To But Would Be Advised Otherwise, Set Your Rules

A Nuclear family, Image by FredCamina

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When we want to take what is good and leave the rest, to keep the best and let the otherwise character pathology pass us by, to make good memories with someone who torches the ground and air they breath, splits families and catastrophizes the little and ignores the big personal flaws – when we actually turn around and say with a fully informed consent, “I want us in each others lives,” make rules.

1.  Take care of “Me” (bio-psycho-social)

2.  Have walk-away power

3.  Nothing violates what you say is impermeable; such as you and your spouse, your nuclear family, your home

4.  Consistency combined with as blind a vision as you can bare

5.  Take nothing personal

6.  Pick your fights carefully

7.  Let them save face

8.  Set them up for success in your relationship

Each one of these generally takes hard work.  Some of it will be natural and easy.  A lot of it will be hard.

Setting boundaries for the other person helps them control their chaos and they’ll feel safer with themselves.  The boundaries, when clear for a person with character pathology, helps them trust themselves more and subsequently us more.

Again, if these things seem exhausting and insurmountable efforts, it might mean that medically – emotionally and behaviorally …–>  Go back to #1.  Take care of “Me.”

Self-Care Tip – To connect because you want to even when you’d be advised otherwise, set your rules.

22 thoughts on “To Connect Because you Want To But Would Be Advised Otherwise, Set Your Rules

  1. There are several dozen delightful I have met blogging. There are 2 women with whom I really relate on an advanced level re each other’s postings and opinions and there has been some email connection beyond word press. They are married and much younger. We would enjoy phone call talk and such but I have refrained. Will not call. Not that inappropriate or appropriate romantic gestures are intended on their part( I would run away to Tahiti with them in a flash) but I have put up boundaries. Will not take it up a notch. Not that my intentions are the least bit sinister but some relationships must be at arms length so that one’s intentions are not misinterpreted and complications arise. It saddens me that this is the safe and practical approach for all.In contrast, my ex girl friend has been married for 16 years and we often chit chat over politics and contemporary literature and the disaster the school system has become and nothing sneaky takes place. The fine fellow she is with is a much better husband to her than I could ever have been. Boundaries are necessary even with people with whom we know at different levels and I suppose it is best they are self imposed re meeting new people. Being a bachelor for 28 years breeds disappointment and my books and my sketches and my 12 Step meeting friends don’t fill the void. The self imposed boundaries will remain. It is safe. “Do no harm” This topic has been on my mind for some time.

    • carl, u underestimate yourself. most of us underestimate our virtues and overestimate our flaws. (see there! i did it too!) u r likely laying waste to xx-chromosome hearts all across the world, with certain hot spots cloistered here or there. i am sure that quality women (including some married and some u might even relate to) would run away to Tahiti w u in a flash if u didn’t have such perty red-brick walls! i dare u. hugs.

  2. My birthday was Saturday but the most wonderful present came today. In 2007 and 2008 I did hundreds of hours of research for a residential and outpatient drug and alcohol rehab facility, G & G Holistics. They have a great web site. At the time they were becoming an accredited institute to train holistic therapists and well as acupuncturists. Curriculum, student study guides, test banks, techniques, histories, alternative medicine, Chinese medicine, 500 entry annotated bibliography for student research. Today they started the paperwork to grant me a master’s degree as a Certified Addiction Professional. This is the background I have in trying to say somethings fairly meaningful on your blog. Life after retirement and second MA. I will post my diploma when I get it.

  3. I recently had an experience were I had set up boundaries, but it still back-fired. I could not have been more cleared, and I ended up getting burned. I guess I need to stop been so gullible and learn that there are crazy people ( more than I am ) out there. Thanks for the advice. Hugs. Marie.

    • picking pals with character pathology will burn. maybe recurring forever. it’s part of the package. that’s where the informed consent comes in. when we stop choosing it, or when we stop doing what we do well and in good health, we remember “Me,” that constant friend to honor and protect and invest in and get excited over, over and over again. We turn aside and go back to #1, returning to those outside only when we choose to again. hope the burns heal. hugs.

  4. I don’t mean to pick up the same guys, on the contrary. I lay down the rules/boundaries and everything seems fine, specially when I say that I am only looking for a ‘casual friendship’. But this guy turned out to be a psycho. Why me? Maybe it just was bad luck… or is it possible that I do attract the same character every time?

    • LV, i just love the idea of u picking up on guys (big smile.) too adorable. whoever is on the receiving end of your company is blessed and privileged. when u love yourself like u do, being a friend to yourself, u r always at hand to protect this precious gift that u r. to give the inner dialogue, the feedback, the warning when harm is near to your friend, the encouragement when you choose to go forward.
      my advice is to shorten your skirt an inch… wait@! that wasn’t right. ahem. keep on lady courage. u r beautiful.

  5. Hi Sana, what happens when you are doing your best to set boundaries with someone who is constantly on the defensive, wanting to win, argumentative? At times I just lose it and give in and fight for myself, and I feel I end up losing. What do you do when you feel out of control? I am setting boundaries, but then I am made to feel bad or to blame even with my boundaries. It seems it’s always my fault, no matter what. Today, I feel I have lost me. And to regain back control or the power struggle seems to take a while once I’ve lost ground. I guess in these times, I just need to reset and start over. Let go of the fact that I’ve lost…we both have. It’s very tiresome.

    • determined. what happens then? u r telling it true. in these relationships, we expect chaos. when we forget about taking care of Me, prioritizing our friendship to Me, not only will Me suffer but so will those we are connected to. i am not saying u did this. i don’t know. but i’m saying Me is your home base to go back when u hear yourself talking like this. it doesn’t disolve your connection w your chosen relationship. it simply says u r caring for Me. nothing more or less. it is not a qualifier of the value of the connection w u and the other. u can describe that if u choose to. but u define the reality, u know your reasons, u don’t have to defend yourself unless u choose to, this is all your choice accountable to Me… and so forth. your connections will only b blessed when u r. that’s 2cents from Dr. Q and nothing more. keep on.

      • Thanks Dr Q…I needed to hear this today. I think when I fail, all is over. But going back to me, there are some things I can change or could have done differently. I reflect. Choose ur battles wisely. I hear. Don’t defend unless I wat to. I hear. Thanks Mama, Dr. Q

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