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Personal boundary or smashing a peanut with a hammer?

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Personal boundary or smashing a peanut with a hammer?

Old 01-12-2016, 09:38 AM
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Cool Personal boundary or smashing a peanut with a hammer?

Having benefited a lot from this non-AA thread, I've been attempting to meditate (classes start in Feb) and thinking about secular buddhist psychological approaches, like the four noble truths and the eightfold path. (Thanks zerothehero).

I want to navigate and nullify intense emotions that I feel from time to time, such as anger. On the other hand, I believe anger has a purpose, it tells you that there is a situation that is trying to take something away from you, and you should pay attention to it.

Today, a day off work, and visiting a friend (with my son) who has 3 very unpleasant sons who I find to be very rude, malicious and bullying. (She allows it from them). I am wondering what would be the right view, intention etc to take into this, because I have had anxiety about visiting her because of her kids for a few days.

It may come to the point where if she wants to have a friendship that I will say that I do not enjoy being around her kids and don't want them coming around, and that I would rather see her without her kids. She'd be offended of course. Sobriety for me is having the confidence and self respect to erect personal boundaries. I can't justify abuse from people no matter their age nor how long I've known them.

Anyway, that is how I am going. I really did not want to visit this woman but am giving it one last go I guess. It's hard to keep this person as a friend (her kids walk all over her, even abuse her IMO).

One thing I don't want to do is over react to provocation (in general) real or imagined. Hence the hammer to a peanut reference.

Please don't respond about the kids (whether they are good or bad or not, whether or not children deserve to be spoken of in such a way) ~ just about how to handle uncomfortable situations, when you feel like screaming your honest feelings at people....... maybe a sign that I should set a boundary in a calm manner before this happens...



THANKS!!! Have a great day or evening
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:58 AM
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If you're on the fence about continuing a friendship with this person and it would be fine with you either way, I'd ask my child if they are comfortable being with the other kids. perhaps that answer could help with the decision. ?
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:44 PM
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I would tell her that I cannot have her kids bullying mine. You should not tolerate that, IMO. It sounds like she does not have control of them, so she may feel powerless to do anything about it. That could be the end of the friendship.

Sometimes, I just let loose and tell people what I think. If anger is involved, it never ends well.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:56 PM
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I have one friend to whom I very directly say, "look, I can't talk to you in such-and-such an environment or at X time -- it's stressful to me and when I'm stressed I can't relate to you properly." She's pretty understanding about it and it's part of what's saved our friendship because talking to her at work often makes me scream at her LOL
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:15 PM
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Thanks everyone, have a peaceful day ...
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:28 PM
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I don't think that meditation involves nullifying feelings, at least I hope it doesn't. Feelings are what make us and keep us alive, it seems to me. I find that meditation helps me to accept my feelings, and still maintain a degree of detachment. I think that the practice of meditation helps develop an attitude of amused curiousity about my feelings and emotions. Sort of like, 'Well! Wouldja look at that! Huh!'

As for visiting your friend and her tribe, maybe just openly acknowledging something like, 'OMG your boys! They sure must be a handful at times! So much energy! Why don't we make a time for just us so we can really enjoy each others' company without any distractions? I bet you would like that too. Thursday good for you?'. Something like that could work?
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:18 AM
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For me, meditation involves observing, accepting and letting feelings and emotions go. I am always surprised at what will float through my brain during a meditation session. What it helps teach me is that I don't have to act on those emotions and feelings. I don't have to take them personally or be offended by them. This translates into an improved ability to remain calm in stressful or disagreeable situations. I do try to avoid those situations in the future, but when I do bump into them it is not such a big deal.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:32 PM
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Thanks so much everyone. I'm glad to read the clarification that acknowledges not nullifying feelings.
The visit itself went smoothly and am thankful you were OK with me using it as an example of handling things, and the issue of boundary setting.
Incidentally I think I got more anxious about the is it than I needed to and they certainly don't bully my son, which is great. When they acted up, I detached from it and would pick up a book and let my friend deal with it herself. I wasn't going to give audience to the naughty ones! Which might be what they're after anyway.
So - 1) thanks for clarifying about feelings and emotions, not nullifying them, but being able to take pause before acting on them so to speak. I think having that ability is valuable because if you are looking to minimise anxiety, responding appropriately is a good start. responding when in the grip of the amygdala - probably not such a great stress-reducing cause to set in train.
2) Thanks for reading this I hope it didn't sound like a petty whine.

Onwards and upwards and sober 13 days.

Many thanks,
Kuebiko.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:22 AM
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+1 thanks for detaching to let her deal with her kids

My in-laws and my mother do the exact opposite; if my daughter is worked up and she and I are trying to get back on common ground, they feel free to jump on in and start telling her stuff. Its quite stressful to be trying to get things back to a civilized place and somebody else sticks their oar in- even if they're just trying to be helpful.

Concur with above posters wrt meditation helping me to gain the mental space to choose a response to fear/anger/resentment & let the emotions go without getting worked up. I seem to get increased clarity about thoughts vs feelings rather than nullification . OTOH if you're getting at meditation being helpful in reducing the intensity and tendency to invest in them, then I'm in accord. Sometimes it seems that my mind more resembles a wild poop-throwing monkey...
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