Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Facebook Boundaries: To Friend Or Not To Friend?

This post is an ERP that I'm doing as part of my therapy homework. Yes, I have to address "The Facebook Issue." Which for the average person, might be nothing more than a blip on the radar, but for me, it is an issue. A people pleasing issue. A hyper-responsibility, fear of hurting other people's feelings issue. A "if I don't 'friend' someone, I'm a bad Christian" issue. A "they won't like me if I say no" issue.

Boundaries were completely non-existent for me. Though I tried to be careful to never step over anyone else's boundaries, I didn't know how to protect my own, and I allowed them to be trampled on at times. And I resented it. But, I was too fearful to do anything about it. Or if I did get angry enough about it, I would still be afraid to respond for fear of being disliked, or a "bad" Christian, or even worse, I would respond, but I would react to the person in ways that I would regret later.

Many years ago, I read just the first couple of chapters of a book that literally changed my life. It is titled, (shocker!) Boundaries. I highly recommend it. Well, at least the first few chapters that I read! The great thing is that it was written by Christians, so I felt a bit more comforted that I was not being unChrist-like by setting boundaries.

Though this book was very helpful, it has still been difficult to hold tight to my own boundaries. This has been especially difficult in the area of Facebook lately. When I first joined Facebook, I decided that it would be a place for me to share things with my family and my actual, in-person friends. I thought that decision through carefully, and at the time, I felt like it was a good decision. To be honest, I still do.

I've met SO many wonderful people through this blog and through a private Facebook support group, and I've been "friended" a whole lot recently. And though I've wavered back and forth, I've decided to stick with my original plan of keeping my circle to family and personal friends. But, oh, has that been hard! So often, when I've been friended, I've thought, "Oh, but this person seems so lovely, and I would really like to get to know them in their own personal life, and well, maybe they'll think I'm a snob if I say no, etc." I think you get the thought process here . . .

My wonderful psychologist has challenged me to stay true to my initial goal of Facebook. She agrees with me that it's a healthy boundary, and she recognizes that it's healthy for me to have to, gulp, say no to people. It may be healthy, but that doesn't make it easy. But, like any other ERP I've had to undertake to get my life back, it does get easier with practice.

So here goes.

I care so very deeply for all of you, my fellow bloggers and readers. Truly, I really, really do. And I love the online relationships I have formed. And they surely are real relationships to me. But I'm going to have to keep my Facebook account to my family and in-person friends. I really hope you understand. Hugs. Monique

15 comments:

  1. It's a reasonable boundary to not friend people you've only met online. I've only friended a few people from online.

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    1. Yes, my head tells me it's reasonable! Not so sure about the rest of me!

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  2. Monique, I have very few friends on Facebook, less than 90, to be honest, and I feel that the quality is so much more important than the quantity! Stay true to who you are, and yes, I have unfriended people from time to time but do not feel guilty, because I never do it out of malice. If there are people on my list who don't participate in my life, then what's the point? Sending you a warm hug and much love.

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    1. Absolutely, I agree 100%. It has to be about quality, not quantity. Much love to you too!

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  3. Good for you for honoring your boundaries! I know what you mean about feeling badly about not friending someone. I had a real struggle recently about a couple of relatives putting things on FB that were hurtful. I finally unfriended them and felt do much better!

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    1. Yes, I do think there are times when it is actually appropriate to unfriend someone, if someone is going to be cruel or not respecting of your boundaries, or of you as a person, I think they really leave you no choice, don't they?

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  4. I understand where you're coming from. This is such a tough circumstance! Well done putting up some boundaries and sticking with your original goal. I'm sure it isn't easy but its nice to keep some of our personal lives private. Hugs to you!

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    1. You know, I think that's part of it, Lauren. I basically spew the entirety of my life online (and I'm really ok with that - after all, it was my choice!), and maybe I just want to keep part of it to myself? Plus my friends and family haven't volunteered to advertise their lives, and it's not up to me to open them up to that!

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  5. I also have the book Boundaries. It's a great book. I have recommended it to some people and have let a couple of people borrow mine. I don't know how you feel about following pages, but there is a Boundaries page on facebook where the authors post something daily. I think having boundaries with facebook friends is a good idea.

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    1. I did not know about that Boundaries page, Carrie. Thank you! I will absolutely go find it.

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  6. I agree with you...I use Facebook the same way (mostly family and close friends), and I prefer to keep it that way. It's just easier - and safer! But it can be hard...I recently had a co-worker try to friend me and I had to say no. Good for you for working on your boundaries.

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    1. Wow, pretty impressive that you were able to say no, Janet. Ugh so awkward, but really, so necessary . . .

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  7. I agree with everything you say. Glad you are working on those boundaries!

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