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There've been situations in the last 5 months where I've inserted myself into a situation because I felt like one party was taken advantage of another person that I love and care about.

Going back to old faithful:

Passive = my need < their need

Assertive = my need = their need

Aggressive = my need > their need

In these situations, the person that I love, I felt like someone else was being aggressive with them. That is, they (the loved one) were being passive and someone else was "taking advantage of them".

As such, I would insert myself and try to defend the loved one. Defend is a ironic word to use because I found myself becoming aggressive (or, assertive but heavily leaning toward aggressive) to overcompensate for my hombre.

In reflection, I'm starting to realize that I sort of have to let this go. Which sucks because I care about these people and don't want them to get taken advantage of. BUT, at the same time: 1. Dichotomy of Control This is approaching the realm of something that can only be somewhat controlled.

2. It affects their agency In the scenarios I've experienced, the people who I've been trying to protect are at least 20+. And I need to assume that at approximately that age, they are a somewhat mature adult who can make decisions for themselves and deal with the consequences. 3. It affects their long-term growth and development I think this is the most important one.

I heard some advice earlier this year about parenting: "Never do something for a child that they could do for themselves." I think this applies to all human beings. By "stepping in", you actually stunt the person's growth. They don't learn how to assert themselves themself. And they become dependent on you.

It's sort of like a subsidy in economics but for interpersonal relationships. If you provide the subsidy for X amount of time, the organization getting the subsidy begins to expect it and rely on it. Compare that to a bootstrapped startup that needs to "learn" how to make money for themselves.

Written: October 23, 2020