Sunday, December 24, 2006

Interlude: Boundaries

Interlude: Boundaries
Deviant Survival Guide
Copyright 2006 by drewkitty

[Author's Comment: it has not escaped my notice that I seem to have a life filled with people who have boundary issues, that my profession involves the enforcement and maintenance of boundaries, and last but not least, that my worst problems have been with people who are either blissfully oblivious to boundaries, or simply do not care enough to recognize that they exist. So this is a bit more personal, but in my arrogant opinion, no less relevant.]

Boundaries are about the difference between driving over the yellow line because you don't see it, and knowing that you're driving over the yellow line but not giving a damn.

Accordingly, here is some advice, which is worth what was paid for it.

  • I own my actions. You own your actions. Unless your duties involve calling me to account for my actions, don't try. I will disrespect your attempt. I may even mock you. If I am feeling particularly patient, I may choose to explain the boundaries involved . . . but then again, I may not.
  • You own your feelings. The management (that would be me) assumes neither responsibility nor obligation for any feelings you may choose to have or not have.
  • I do not set out to hurt other people's feelings. Nor do I treat adult people as fragile cockleshells that would crumple under the weight of a drewkitty thought. Treating people, and especially young women, as if they are fragile and helpless is the fastest way to make them so in fact, and make it easier for predators to victimize them.
  • "As brethren, fight ye." My friends do not have to be friends with each other. However, I expect fights to be fair and within reasonable boundaries intended to minimize drama and splashback on innocent bystanders. (I am not an innocent bystander in direct proportion to my involvement.)
  • Incoming fire has the right of way. Friendly fire isn't.
  • You have the right to negative emotions about me. You have the right to express these to me, within appropriate boundaries and in the context of any interpersonal relationship we may have. Your negative emotions do not privilege you to be rude to third parties, or to behave like an asshat, or to break rules you've agreed to (such as convention policies) or for that matter, the law.
  • As in a duel, if you choose to exchange fire with me, once you have taken your best shot you are expected to stand your ground like a gentleman (or lady) and take fire in return. If not, I won't make you . . . but I'll lose all respect for you.
  • You may ask for my time and energy. I may choose to offer it. I may choose not to. The only people who can demand my time and energy, and get away with it, are my employer and those few persons who have a deep friendship or romantic relationship with me. Even they are advised to consider whether they are loading the drewkitty with more than he can bear -- and I will tell them so, because we have a trust level that can support this.
  • Everyone manipulates. What matters is what one chooses to manipulate for. I choose consciously to manipulate situations in such a way that the best results occur for everyone. My people come first, myself second, innocent bystanders third and active aggressors / asshats a distant fourth.
  • I place a high value on truth. Lying to me is a fast way to get on my shit list. I don't have time to sort through bullshit. Neither do you. The clock is ticking, Death waits for us all, and Satan laughs every time a lie hurts a person.
  • Don't ask me unless you want the truth. However, I will listen to almost any question, and will usually give a thoughtful answer. The answer will be true, but may not be complete.
  • "Never do an enemy a small injury." If I did you a small injury, sorry. The good news is that you're probably not my enemy.
  • I don't have many enemies. It takes hard work and long effort to become a foe of mine. However, once someone achieves this vaunted status, I shall never forget and shall always plan accordingly. If I am ever found dead, at least one of my enemies will be very surprised to be speaking to the homicide detectives.
  • Users will find that they can take advantage of me for about twice as long as they can most ordinary people. However, they will also find that once I finally wise up, my tolerance turns to implacable disdain, which I can with difficulty override if there seems to be a good reason. (Rarely.)
  • I like making good things happen to and for people. I am resigned to the idea that it does not work the other way around. But don't expect me to be cheerful about this.
  • "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." I strongly believe this quote by Solomon Short (David Gerrold). "The defining quality of truth is its ability to disturb."
  • I have good reason to keep the secrets that I do. Don't be offended if you ask about a secret, minor or major, and I simply tell you, "Sorry, I can't share that with you." I may be able to explain why, I may not. Either way, if you take it personally, I have to assume that you're the type of person who can't be trusted with secrets.
  • I have a very, very high tolerance for deviant behavior. Never assume that this tolerance extends to my professional life, or to obscene behavior in public that offends or hurts others.
  • Last but not least, the drama llama feeds on injudicious and hasty comments, especially online. Think before you post. Admit it when (not if) you screw up. Being right is the booby prize -- no one wants to hang with someone who is right all the time. One reason I have so few real friends. It would be funny, but it's not.

No comments: