Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries

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karbon

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Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« on: May 31, 2018, 01:29:52 AM »
I’m having great difficulty in determining with the kind of friend I seem to attract, where I am maybe being unrealistic in my expectations due to past childhood abandonment and over sensitivity vs. acknowledging and validating that the person is being a jerk and should be held accountable. I’m one of those ‘always there for you’ reliable sort of people. You need a ride? If I can do it, i’ll be there. Having a bad day? I’ve got a good ear. Send me a text? I’m gonna respond. Call me and leave a message? I’ll call you back when I’m able. Birthday? I got you.

I’ve got two very, very close friends. I’ve shared my history of my biological father after 13 years of being present and raising us deciding to peace out and cater to his depression. I’ve shared my depression and anxiety with them, over the course of years i’ve always considered them to be my ‘exceptions’. I’ll cut people out of my life and INFJ door slam when necessary, but they’ve always been my exception to the rule - because cutting them out of my life would be like cutting a piece of me out, and I don’t want that pain. But for over the past year they’ve really let me down. One of the girl’s has been my best friend for well over a decade. We used to talk every single day. And of course people grow and relationships change, but she’ll go 2-3 months not talking to me, not getting back to my texts, only to pop up and go ‘hey sorry! miss you! love you! just in a bad headspace and taking a break from social media!” Uhm. Yo. I was worried. I was plotting my travels to your house to knock down the door and make sure you’re alive?!?! What the heck man.

My other friend who’s always been an exception is also very, very close to me. I supported and was there for her in breaking up, kicking out and divorcing her abusive ex. When she called me nervous that he was coming to get the last of his stuff, at the drop of a hat I drove out there, sat with her through it all so she didn’t have to worry about him doing something regretful and foolish. I saw her through the months coming out of the bad relationship, and saw her through the months of starting to date again. She found a great guy and i’m really, very excited for her. Except I don’t really exist anymore. The minute he proposed, our wine nights stopped, answering my calls stopped, the only way I get to see her now is if I swing by her department at work (since we work at the same company). Literally, if I didn’t occasionally go to check on my client’s and run into her, I would  never see her, she’s incapable of planning an evening away from her new fiance. She’s blown off every plan we’ve made and turned down every invite i’ve given her because of this new relationship.

I want to honor and validate how I am feeling, but it’s nagging at the back of my mind when other people have told me my expectations on other’s is simply too high. Which breaks me to the core, because I genuinely feel my expectations are to be kind and compassionate to one another, to attempt best as possible to do no harm and be supportive. It kills me to think my expectations to return text messages and phone calls (I’m talking like…once or twice every few weeks here). If I am to lower my expectations as I’ve had people suggest…then what am I okay with allowing? Because the behavior above makes me feel like crap, and being told that I should accept and expect this behavior makes me feel like double crap.

Due to my CPTSD, I think part of me has always felt if I give 100% of everything I possibly can, and give no reason to be abandoned then I can avoid being left behind. When my father abandoned me, there was no warning and the only rational being his personal mental health. Logically, I know that, but it feels like being on a human-size hamster wheel trying to accept that I cannot change the behavior of other people (my career choice of a behavior analyst suddenly makes so much Freudian Sense!) but ultimately, will have to carry the price and the pain of it. I think that's why knowing when and how to set boundaries has always been so tough. I either have a brick wall, or it's a free pass everywhere so I can feel there's less of a chance of being neglected again. And it's not the easiest conversation to say "Hey when you act like a jerk, it trigger's my C-PTSD left to me by my absent father so tread carefully.

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Rainagain

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 11:20:22 AM »
I don't have much to offer, but I was wondering if they would respond to a message like 'you still alive? My anxiety disorder is making me want to know you haven't trapped an arm under a boulder?'

They probably don't realise they are hurting you, just wrapped up in their own stuff. Your friend with the fiancée is making a classic mistake in ignoring friends, hopefully she will realise that soon.

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finallyfree

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 10:23:18 PM »
Dear Karbon,
I had a similar situation with a very close friend. I was the super friend and gave far more than I received, I in retrospect probably just was grateful to have a good friend so I gave too much. Then she became friends with another person and it felt like she dumped me but only called me when she wanted something, but could never return my calls or texts and the one time after almost a year and a half we made actual plans to meet and see each other like we always had done she called me and informed me this other friend had invited herself and there was nothing she could do about it and I just turned my car around and went back home and we had a few hurtful words and didn’t speak to or see each other for almost 6 years. I felt dumped and she told people I was jealous of her new friend that I had never actually met. I was so sure I was right in this situation and at the time it felt like a divorce because like you and you friend we talked everyday and I did all kinds of favors and helping her with her kids. This happened before I realized I have CPTSD and was disowned by my family and finally realized I am the scapegoat in my FOO. Now looking back at this situation, I can see that the friendship was far more important to me and like when I was a child and even as an adult I have always given far more than I have received. I always felt as a child if I was just perfect they would love me, because they always blamed me for everything whether it was my fault or not??? It’s a conditioning and a conditional upbringing. Very hazardous to your health. Anyway now I see that I attempted to cling to this friendship because I did receive something I did not get from my FOO which was someone that I could talk to and genuinely cared about me. We were both wrong in the ending of this friendship and the other new friend was the one that was jealous of me, so she attempted to come between us due to her own insecurities. We were able to talk once we reconnected and are again close, but I just tell myself whatever happens happens, I just take it as it comes. I know I wanted from this friendship what I know I didn’t get with my FOO. I am working on me now and not taking things too seriously. She did blow me off completely but I think she never thought it would be as hurtful as it was to me. We both apologized and have become closer since. I hope this in some way helps you, I am not sure if it will. Just wanted to respond and share my one experience in an attempt to let you know your not alone in this. I wish you all the best.  :heythere:

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Urs

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 09:36:13 AM »
I’ll cut people out of my life and INFJ door slam when necessary, but they’ve always been my exception to the rule - because cutting them out of my life would be like cutting a piece of me out, and I don’t want that pain. But for over the past year they’ve really let me down. One of the girl’s has been my best friend for well over a decade. We used to talk every single day. And of course people grow and relationships change, but she’ll go 2-3 months not talking to me, not getting back to my texts, only to pop up and go ‘hey sorry! miss you! love you! just in a bad headspace and taking a break from social media!” Uhm. Yo. I was worried. I was plotting my travels to your house to knock down the door and make sure you’re alive?!?!

I am in a v similar situation with a "BFF". Best friends for almost 15 years, and she says she is sorry for not keeping in touch, because she was busy and that no, she is not re-thinking our relationship and she does have nw friends but some people simply stay in your life forever... except I was told by a fw people that she might be simply using me, because she apparently CAN find time to talk if she needs sth... except we spend 6 days a week together for 13 years and she is the only person I actually care about.

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radical

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 10:30:19 AM »
Hi Karbon,
I don't think your expectations are too high.
From what has been described in this thread, I feel sad.
I got to end-stage, skid-row co-dependence and it nearly killed me, so I feel strongly about this.


Basic respect and humanity are not too much to expect.  Without them there is no relationship, in my opinion.
Nowadays, when people are important to me I make a point of keeping relationships reasonably equal and reciprocal because otherwise, for me they become like a destructive drug.  They don't do me any good, I'm drained, I become more and more inured to being treated as being worthless, which just gets me crawling back for more.  For me this cycle led further and further down.

So, I spent a while alone and found I prefered it, things really had gotten that bad.  If I feel hurt and disrespectedI say so.  I expect an acknowledgment of my hurt and possibly an apology.  But most of all, I remember who gives back and put most of my energy into relationships with people who make an effort because they value me.

I was at the end of the line.  i felt like I was completely worthless.  At my lowest ebb, at the very end, it was clear what I was worth the people I devoted my time and care to.  Nothing.


I run into those people every now and then, a couple of them have contacted me and tried to resurrect the friendships.  I'm polite and grey rock.  They hurt me badly.  I don't have that many friends but the people I give my love to, give love to me.   That is not too much to expect from friends.  I feel immeasurably better about myself and my life.  I wasn't loved when I was a child.  I repeated that pattern for far too longand harmed myself in doing so.  It told the world that I wasn't worth anything and  the world sent it right back to me like an echo.


I still give my heart, my time and my resources generously and freely at times because I want to.  But to me, friendship is equal and reciprocal over time by definition. There is mutual respect, trust, dependablility and love.

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karbon

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 12:15:47 AM »
I haven't been on this site in awhile, it was so rewarding to come back on and read the replies left for me. They really left an impact as I am currently going back and forth in my head over one of the friendships, which had once been very close and now it's like half-chewed peppermint gum that's lost most of it's flavor, but you're just not committed yet to spitting it in the trash.

I've gotten a little better at separating my self-worth from actions and messages I am perceiving from people I consider friends. I try to remind myself that I don't know 100% what is going through their minds and my intuition (though rarely wrong) could absolutely be in the wrong. At the very least I am determined with 2019 to stop letting other people's actions define my own internal love for the self. It's not very fair and it's giving others entirely too much power. I about lost it back in October when I was asked to be a bridesmaid for one of the friends who had slowly been drifting. It ended up being a mini-destination wedding to Savannah, GA. I got a bridesmaid dress approved from her, spent entirely too much money and agreed to spending more days than I really wanted in Savannah (two things I should have set limits on due to finances). I endured, like any good soldier on a bride's wedding day, all of her anxiety and unnecessary snapping at us while getting ready and gave compliments and reassurances as we arrived 5 minutes late to the venue in the park. There the small group of people for the event were all wearing nice outfits, but nothing bridesmaid-like. The bride was whisked off to talk to the minister and...suddenly we were asked to stand over to the side and the ceremony started. I stood in the crowd of people, feeling absolutely ridiculous in the expensive and tasteful bridesmaid dress...all to attend as a guest to her ELOPEMENT. You'd think the evening could only improve but fate was determined to prove me wrong. Fortunately, it really helped me with setting better boundaries and figuring out how to casually remain friendly with her (since I do work with her the INFJ door slap wasn't professionally practical) and it's been really good to feel safe to have a conversation and keep things light and know I am not unintentionally giving someone power they don't realize they have to hurt me or have a drastic effect on my mood.

Being able to state what I need has always been difficult when it comes to setting boundaries. It's why I either wall up and shut down or try to do everything perfect and be the best possible friend. I'm understanding that my owning my childhood trauma of never being heard or always being invalidated of my thoughts and emotions doesn't mean my adult self doesn't deserve to be heard, and my adult self has a right to be heard AND my adult self is more capable than ever to handle the response of the other person.

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cookiecat

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 07:03:37 PM »
I just stumbled on this today, I feel like I could have written it and parts of the responses.  I’m starting to feel that one of my problems is I misinterpret that sort of “honeymoon period” when I meet a new friend and think they have a lot of empathetic traits as I do.   But I start to realize over time, that just hugging people and saying “I love you friend”  doesn’t an empath make.   Actions have to match.  And I struggle the same with worrying my expectations are too high, but how low is too low conversely?   Tired of being the “that’s okay” with unbalanced friendships 😑

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karbon

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 01:55:09 AM »

It wasn't easy - but I was able to let go.

Some days I still struggle with the sudden quiet in my head, of my thoughts no longer at war with each other on to fight or 'give up' on a friendship. Giving up isn't a word I am comfortable with. I've never been one to back down from a hard fight. It was only when I looked at the situation from a new perspective that I realized I wasn't giving up on a friendship.

I was finally making the decision to fight for myself. While it cuts me that the message I left for my best friend is one she has yet to read (she may never find it...although I left it where it's easy enough to find), I finally found peace in doing a complete shut out. All social media (including my accounts) deleted so I can't torture myself with checking in. Number blocked on my phone because if she texted me, I would ALWAYS come running back even if it had been 6 months since ignoring my third "I'm really worried is everything okay?" text. I still think about it almost daily - a song plays on the radio or a text comes through and it's hard not to think about it...but it's a kinder thought, a quieter thought. I'm not panicked or desperate that I'll never engage in this old song and dance again.

I finally decided to fight for what I believed I deserved. And I deserve better than being haunted by an empty friendship. I hope anyone who still stumbles upon this old thread is able to find the same peace and love for themselves that I found. Letting go wasn't easy, but it was worth it. *I* was worth it.

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Three Roses

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Re: Overly Sensitive Vs. Setting Boundaries
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2019, 04:12:47 AM »
Yes, you are worth it!  Thank you for this thread.