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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Boundaries 

People who get a kick out of violating boundaries and manifesting aggression (e.g. self-righteous language policers, members of the deranged call-out culture, SJWs, etc) are very good at sniffing out those who will be especially traumatized by this kind of thing. 

They are favorite victims are people who are unaware they deserve to have boundaries and are tortured with guilt for even the tiniest attempts to boundary up against intrusive behavior. 

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9 thoughts on “Boundaries 

  1. Sadly, this belief that one has no right to any boundaries is learned when a person is very young, from parent/caregivers who are intrusive, manipulative fucks. It’s very hard to get over in adulthood, because intellectually you see that you need to protect yourself and you would give that advice to anyone else, but your subconscious screams that you have no right to do that; that if you try to erect any boundaries, you are ungrateful/cold/bad. This voice is very hard to silence. (TMI: I remember, even when I was fairly young, when I refused to do something that she was trying to manipulate me into doing, she’d retaliate by telling me that I am cold and unfeeling, just like my father. I guess it’s no surprise I don’t want to talk with her very much these days. An ocean and a private phone number make a pretty good boundary.)

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    • Absolutely. You are 100% right. This is precisely how this phenomenon gets created. And then such traumatized people are easy to exploit unless they make an enormous effort and build their own boundaries.

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    • Alex on said:

      Ugh. Few things mess up a kid more than “You’re just like your father!”

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  2. Anon on said:

    What about people who have no sense of boundaries both for themselves and others? I have a colleague who will constantly violate others’ boundaries by making persistent and unreasonable requests, but he has no sense of boundaries when it comes to himself either. He would do highly unreasonable things for students — give them him cell phone number, hold appointments on weekends if a student asks for it, and so on.

    Is this a person who never learnt the notion of boundaries?

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    • Tal Hartsfeld on said:

      Some folks are just too “social”.
      Hence, they have no concept of “being invasive”. To them it’s simply “normal” to be “in each others’ faces” all the time as that’s the type of social climate they’re used to and the caliber of people they’re used to interacting with.
      And if you’re not that type yourself, that kind of “constant buttfucking” can seem very interfering by nature.


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    • These are the so-called highly symbiotic people. They experience crushing anxiety whenever anybody refuses to merge with them completely. These are the same people who rummage in their partner’s phone and social networks, freak out if the partner has friends of their own, feel constantly betrayed by friends who have other friends, etc. Such people can turn very toxic if they feel that somebody significant to them is trying to boundary up.

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      • Ugh. I am afraid this describes my husband…

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        • It’s very very early traumas. Usually in the infancy. They are very hard to treat because the person obviously doesn’t remember what caused them. Sports, relaxation practices, a diary, sauna if the health permits can be good for such people.

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        • I try to avoid having any serious relationships myself.
          Quite often I’ve found them to be too conditional.
          Too many folks expect you to commit yourself to their beliefs, their viewpoints, and their standards.

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