Reading the signs
Boundaries. These are things we are supposed to use to protect ourselves, but I think sometimes we instead use them to push people away.
As I delve further into awareness, I become increasingly aware of the unspoken signs and boundaries people put in place to let me know when they do not consider me a friend, and do not wish to consider me one in the future.
I know for a fact that there are some of you reading this who think I don’t “get it.” I do! I feel the unfriendliness in your responses to me. I notice the short answers and or the somewhat abrupt although polite tone you use with me. I'm aware of your closed or limited body language and or eye contact. I notice when you reply in such a way that doesn’t invite more conversation. I feel your boundaries screaming at me not to come any closer, to go away.
You know, the reason you think I don’t get it, is because I persist with my over friendly nature that pushes you away. I pretend I don’t hear it and that it doesn’t hurt me. I am over friendly, flirtatious even, by nature. I enjoy people and I am not shy about telling them this. I enjoy some people who do not seem to enjoy me. I do notice and it does hurt me. But I don’t dislike them for it.
I can accept that I am too much for some people. I am too intense, too friendly, too nosey, too flirtatious (especially for the straight women!) too forward or whatever else they want to call me. I don’t let their feelings towards me colour my feelings for them. I am also learning not to take it personally. I think their unfriendliness is much more a reflection of themselves than myself. If someone wants to be so focused on the fact that we are not friends, I have to wonder how they made any friends at all. It’s fairly unkind behaviour that makes me feel it’s wrong to want more friends. It’s not wrong, is it? How else, other than being friendly would one achieve this?
Why is my friendly nature so off putting to these people? Why does someone trying to be their friend trigger a very stand offish boundaried (there I go again making up words! Lol) and cautious response? Equally, why does this unfriendly response trigger me to try harder when I have been consciously aware that this is the very thing that makes them pull away? Touché.
I can’t say I have it in me to be unfriendly, unless we have had a disagreement and I feel unfriendly towards someone. However in an attempt to have more respect for you and your boundaries, I will no longer push them. If you imply in your responses, with closed body language, vague responses, short uninviting messages, or lack of responses at all in some cases I will take the hint and leave you alone. So if you don’t hear from me again; it’s because you were unkind, unwelcoming and or unapproachable and you rejected my offer of friendship. It is because you did hurt my feelings. I felt unworthy of your time, friendship and kindness. I want you to know that. I know you don’t care – after all you didn’t want to be friends, you wanted me to go away. You win… but you also lose, because I am a freakin’ great friend!
I am sure you have your reasons, and they probably don’t have anything to do with me at all. If any of my readers can relate to this, just know that a person’s unfriendliness or lack of engagement towards you is a reflection of themselves. Never let these people make you any less friendly or open to new people. My good friend and I refer to this as “crumbs.” Sweep them into our proverbial bakery (it has a theme song and everything!) and go get yourself a loaf. You deserve more.
If people want to use their boundaries to push you away, it’s (probably) not because you are awful and someone they need to be protected from. It is because they are not open to the possibilities. Keep being kind, and friendly… just with different people. Never stop telling people all the things you admire about them or what they mean to you, how much you enjoy them or how much you value them. The people who are worth keeping in your life will respond in kind. Those are your people. The other people aren’t but that doesn’t mean you have to waste energy disliking them back. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I Promise! Plus the way you conduct yourself is a reflection of you and you’ll feel better about yourself if you stay kind.
It’s sad for me to say I can list quite a few people who will feel this post is directed at them. If you are wondering if this post is directed at you…. the song ‘You’re so vain’ by Carly Simon comes to mind “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you, don’t you?!...." Lol Relax. It’s not about you! If you did wonder though, that’s probably your guilty conscience telling you that you have indeed used boundaries to be unkind and push someone away for no good reason. Maybe it was me, or maybe it was someone else. Boundaries are meant to keep yourself safe, not to push other people away. Were you really unsafe? Or just unkind? Think about it.
Your Best Friend ForNever