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  1. #31
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning
    *nods* This is usually what I try to do. Except in cases where they (mostly my parents) insist I should do something I didn't truly agree to. And they hold me for their assumption that I agreed. Family obligations give me a headache. I wish I can be free to just do what I wanted to do for others instead of this expectation.
    You are not obligated. The obligation is in their head and they try to transplant it to yours. It's up to you as to whether or not they succeed.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  2. #32
    Senior Member Fiver's Avatar
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    I try to respect the other person's wishes and be aware of my own idiosyncracies. If something is important to the other person AND they are important to me, I am happy to make the sacrifice for them. Obligation isn't usually an issue for me because I decide what level of relationship I want to have and what the boundaries will be. Ultimately, 'Begin as you intend to go on' is my guide. In other words, the first time you meet your inlaws, slap them across the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    Fiver is correct, it is freeing to not have to impress someone, to be accepted for who you really are.

  3. #33
    Member Vildechaya's Avatar
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    Obligation is hard for me too. Either way. Social graces are confusing . It appears that you are very thoughtful and will avoid hurting anyone.
    INtP...RCUEI primary I...5w4...INTp... ILI...The Artist Formerly Known As Car!ssa

  4. #34
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I think much in a person's experiences growing up affect how we relate to a significant degree. This is a chicken and egg question, but I have some sense of how these patterns were reinforced in my socialization. I moved around a lot growing up and didn't ever get involved with people to the extent that I had an obligation to a group or something. I was inundated with a sense of obligation to a set of religious ideals, so that plays some role, but it was more abstract than social. During adolescence and early adulthood, I didn't manage to belong to a social group or clique. Part of the reason was that I could see how many particular behaviors were expected. There was a lot of obligation involved in order to gain acceptance. I think in order to be socially involved in the world, you almost have to embrace some of the obligation to others. The people who naturally came to me were often socially ostracized. In some cases these people had boundary issues, but not ill intent. Because of that I acted out drawing clear boundaries without obligations. If someone talked to me too long, I would tell them that I "appreciated seeing them, but that I need to go now" or something like that.

    I also don't think people should feel pressured to not be obligated because there are pragmatic reasons for it. I guess it is a topic that effects most everyone, something I have felt a little out of step with, and an area that can cause confusion.
    Sorry I'm a little late to the conversation, but I feel almost exactly the same way you do about social obligation. For me, I have spent most of my life trying to avoid situations where the obligations were expected but unspoken... that creates a LOT of anxiety in me. My issue is that I feel so inept at "perceiving" what the expectations are... and then I fail to meet the expectations... and then I am harshly judged for failing to meet the expectations... and so on... And so, I found that avoiding getting into those situations in the first place was the best way to avoid epic failure.

    In the last 5 years or so, I have been more daring and have been more willing to enter into relationships. I just try to be as honest and up front as I can with what I'm thinking and feeling... and I guess I also let people judge me if they want to... I probably never prevented people from gossiping about me anyway...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiver View Post
    I try to respect the other person's wishes and be aware of my own idiosyncracies. If something is important to the other person AND they are important to me, I am happy to make the sacrifice for them. Obligation isn't usually an issue for me because I decide what level of relationship I want to have and what the boundaries will be. Ultimately, 'Begin as you intend to go on' is my guide. In other words, the first time you meet your inlaws, slap them across the face.
    Yes...

    That can come off as you saying basically "I call the shots in this relationship, so tow the line or ship out!" But I know what you mean and I know it's not like that. I'm more than willing to be reasonable and stuff, as long as I don't feel coerced into it. It must always be my decision, what I do, just as it should always be your decision what you do.

    I will never blame you for my own choices, cos i know that even if you tried to force me to a particular one, I'd have no problem saying no if I really didn't wanna do it. So I've no patience or indulgence really for when people try to pin their actions on me by making out they had an obligation.

    There might even be times when I consciously allow decisions to be made for me, but that's when I've already decided to allow that of my own free will, having realized that I'm cool with any of the options, or maybe I just want to invite a random element into an equation.

    It's because I take responsibility for my actions and choices so very seriously, that I refuse to allow other people to make them for me.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  6. #36
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I have to feel like every exchange is authentic, so I avoid any arrangement that forces the other person to do anything.

    But I will say what I like and I hope the other person does, too. To the extent that I can, I'm happy to do things for the other person that make them feel loved. To the extent that they can, I expect them to do things for me that make me feel loved. One is, don't call me on the phone unless it's urgent; we can chat online. Two is, give me room to breathe. etc.

    It all has to be negotiated.

    And part of this is solved by etiquette, although that's kind of disappearing. But it is really easier if you know what the polite thing to do is and you just do it. It generally doesn't require that much effort -- unless you associate with more people than you can really maintain in your life. Which is why I usually only have one or two friends at a time, no husband, no kids, no inlaws, etc.

    I hate it when I really like someone and am generous and affectionate to them because I want to be, and they can't accept it because it makes them feel obligated. I don't take anyone else's gifts as implied obligations. To me, that's an ugly way to think. But I have been called to task about it, too. (I did this for you, therefore you should do this for me.)

  7. #37
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    I learned not to obligate myself to anyone..because people will obligate you
    right out of your 'me' time. I've learned there's a difference betweeen pass-
    ing favors or agreeing to things out to everyone you socialize with and think-
    ing about who actually deserves them.
    you have all the power you need if you dare to look
    for it.

  8. #38
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    By not allowing others to make me feel obligated, I am better able to sincerely like them. This is why it's easy to say "no". I do it with a sense of personal honesty that I respect and like them and so would not put them through the shame of being a bother.
    That's a good perspective to have on things, Toon. I'd never thought to look at it that way. Instead of being really rattled by a "no," you can look at the honest answer as a sign of the health of your relationship. Your partner is respecting you enough to be honest with you and is, at the same time, trusting that you're mature enough to respect their choice and to see it not as evidence of rejection or malice, but as just their honest feelings on the matter. That's a lot of respect and trust. If anything, it's the opposite of a sign of rejection! But I know how very easy it is for negative thoughts of rejection and worthlessness to creep into your mind sometimes.

    We can't control whether or not we receive a "no"; we can only control how we respond to the declination and the perceived rejection. The key is perspective, is viewing things right. If we perceive a threat, we will respond as if there is one. If we do not see things as a threat, we will treat them calmly and without fear or anxiety.

    When you're dealing with someone that can obviously decline you and say no to you, you know that when they say yes, more than likely that's their real answer.

    Feeling beholden to others is something I often experience. There's a downside to it, in addition to whatever other downsides there may be, and that is that I often worry that other people operate the same way; that they feel beholden to me. It's a terrible feeling, but it's hard to see outside my own mindset, hard to imagine what it would be like to be someone who didn't feel beholden to others, and, therefore, hard to trust that they won't feel hurt and rejected if I say no. If you can see it from a perspective that allows you to see respect and trust rather than rejection in the answer "no," then you can better trust that others will see things the same way, and it's that trust that will allow you to say no more easily.
    They're running just like you
    For you, and I, wooo
    So people, people, need some good ol' love

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