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 Post subject: Acceptance or running away?
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I read BPDpip’s Quote
“People often misunderstand "acceptance" in a meditative context. It doesn't mean passive resignation. What radical acceptance means is acknowledging the way things are is the way they are. You don't have to like it, but you're not in denial about it. It means not running from any part of the experience. You open to it, bringing awareness to your pain or whatever is in front of you. - John Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.”

And I’m questioning my behavior. I came to this site today because I’ve been irritated by a person I’m in a business transaction with - whom is friends with my ex and is trying to stay friends with me. I’ve made it clear on several occasions that I don’t want to speak of my former relationship, but each time we talk he bring up a name of one of her friends or family. I’ve either sidestepped the topic or just ignored it.

I feel like a wimp for not getting over the past but the only thing that seems to have helped is to just have nothing to do with anyone she’s related to. I don’t consider them my friends so why would I have anything to do with them. Is this running away from something I need to accept or have I accepted this is over and this is just how I deal with it. I’m confused because each time I talk with him it bring the past back in my head and I don’t like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance or running away?
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Hi Anchorage, good to 'see' you posting but sorry for the cause of such.

Quote:
I’ve made it clear on several occasions that I don’t want to speak of my former relationship, but each time we talk he bring up a name of one of her friends or family. I’ve either sidestepped the topic or just ignored it.

From what you describe, this sounds like a boundary/separation of stuff issue to me, not a RA thing. You have to deal with this person for business, correct? So avoiding him altogether doesn't sound feasible. Avoidance, to me, would mean not dealing with your emotions about the break-up or not trying to move on (which it sounds like you have been doing for a while now, kudos!).

However.....by 'sidestepping' or 'ignoring' when he brings up a topic that is off limits to you, well.....that sounds to me like he is not getting the message or you are not enforcing your boundary effectively and therefore feeling like your wishes aren't important/not validated. It seems a bit passive and sounds like it's causing you turmoil. Who knows--maybe he has his own agenda for continuing to bring this stuff up? Or maybe he just doesn't realize how painful it can be for you? Remember, no mind-reading or assuming, so if you think it might be one of those my suggestion is to ask in a very direct manner. It is always completely up to you to enforce your own boundaries in such a way as to not cause you distress or even to not cause you to have to relive old traumas.

Remember, we cannot control what others do or say, we only control ourselves. After repeating (very frankly I find is best, hints don't work) to him that you do not wish to be involved in any conversation that has anything to do with your ex, why not try saying something to the effect of "if x is mentioned again, I will walk out of the room until such time as you can respect my desire to not discuss x"? Or even "I'm here to discuss business and nothing else. If my ex or anything to do with that comes up, I will end the business meeting immediately."

A boundary relates to someone else what is not acceptable for you, in this case talking about your ex or your ex's family/friends. If you do not wish for him to discuss such, walk away or figure out a consequence that works/is okay for you and ends the topic for every single time he brings it up. He will get the message eventually or at the very least by enforcing your boundary surrounding the subject, you will not have to hear about the ex anymore. You could say "If ex's name is mentioned, our business relationship is over. This is a deal-breaker for me" or anything to that effect. Boundaries are basically in the form of "x is not acceptable. If x happens, I will y"-- we use them to protect us from this type of emotional turmoil. It's perfectly okay, even a good/ maybe healthy thing in my book, to request the subject of your ex be left out of the conversation-- it's a way for you to move on. You are not meeting with this person to discuss your ex or whatever is going on with that-- it's business. I find it easier to enforce a boundary when I have another goal for my interaction with the boundary-breaker, like a business meeting.

My point is......you don't have to listen to stuff about your ex or anything to do with your ex, but you do have to take control of the situation (or extricate yourself from it) in order for you to not feel put-out.

FWIW, I don't think it's wimpy at all for you not to have anything to do with people who are not your friends but rather your ex's friends. However, if you have to deal with this guy for business, that's a different scenario. It's not acceptance, in my book, to have to 'take it' or hear stuff all the time about a subject that continually brings you down. Acceptance is knowing, however painful, that is truly is over between you and the ex and moving on with your life, even if you don't like it. Acceptance to me is knowing and accepting the reality of the situation through and through, even if I don't like it. By placing effective boundaries in place-- and most importantly enforcing them--- you can protect yourself from the emotional storm when you do have to socialize/relate to someone who knows both you and the ex. And maybe by doing this you will even gain a higher confidence level and a deeper level of radical acceptance that you have dealt with this situation effectively and head-on. Not to mention, the more you deploy and effectively use boundaries, the easier they get. Bonus!

Make sense?

_________________
Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance or running away?
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:51 am 
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Thanks Harmonium,

In a nut shell, you've described what I had planned to do, although I will implement my own style into the conversation. I guess I just needed a sounding board to see this from a different set of eyes and you did help me see I was looking into Acceptance while I should have been considering Boundaries and Separation of Stuff. No, I don't like this stuff, but I need to do what I know is right for me.

Thanks


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