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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Getting your limits respected when you don't know how to respect someone else's

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Author Topic: Getting your limits respected when you don't know how to respect someone else's
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I want to open up a conversation about something pretty serious I have noticed a lot around here, and hopefully y'all can handle me being candid.

In a word, we hear plenty of users talking about challenges in getting people around them to respect their limits. At the same time, our experience with pretty much just as many users is that some of you are -- again, hopefully it is okay for me to be frank -- pretty darn bad at respecting limits yourself when we or others set them or try and set them with you. (This isn't a character judgment, it's just an observation.)

Not respecting limits often doesn't look like someone physically forcing someone else to do something. often -- more often, I would say -- it instead involves kinds of coercion, like guilt-tripping and other kinds of emotional or intellectual manipulation. Trying to talk someone out of a limit by basically making a case they should not have it, or that you do not believe that is an actual limit, or by saying your need is more important than someone's limit seems to be especially common.

In my experience, this is so much of a two-way street. In other words, if and when we don't respect the limits of others -- and better still, welcome them and accept them with ease -- we really can't expect folks to do the same for us.

As an example, there's a lot of talk about guys not respecting the sexual limits of women, but we have also had to call out quite a few women users talking about ways they clearly are not welcoming and respecting sexual limits from guys, or asking how to convince them out of their limits.

So, maybe we can flip this script a bit, and change things for the better for everyone by talking more about how to respect the limits and boundaries of others, and less about how to get our own respected? Ultimately, it is the same conversation, really, and again, if we can't start by being respectful ourselves, we are unlikely to have others treat us with respect in this way.

Anyone game?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67087 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
silvergirl_sailing_on
Neophyte
Member # 110025

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No-one picked up on this it seems so I'm gonna be the first, even though it was a month ago! I think it's a really important issue that we should definitely be more aware of. I've noticed a lot of people doing this, and I'm not going to pretend I haven't done it myself. I can't think of any specific examples but I probably have. One of the things I'm most interested in is working out when a limit is (1) a full-stop limit, (2) a limit that needs to be allowed to work itself out on its own, or (3) a limit that someone actually wants to change. For example (1) something the person never wants to do which should be left alone, (2) something the person maybe wants to do in future but which should be left alone until they are comfortable or (3) something that the person is uncertain of but wants to do and asks for help getting past their limit. Possibly (3) wouldn't even be a limit. I don't know. But I think some limits are moveable and changeable, the main thing is we have to recognise that unless the person asks for our input/involvement/help, they're not for us to change or push to be changed.

The main thing which has made me a little uncomfortable to read is when people want help "convincing" someone to change their limits, as it feels as though they don't see that this is no different really from "forcing" the limit.

Since arriving at this site I feel I have been more aware of my own limits and more prepared to make myself aware of other people's where they might not be obvious.

Sorry if this is far too late or if you didn't mean that you wanted to discuss it just that you wanted us to be aware of it, I just felt I wanted to say something. Please let me know if that wasn't what you intended!

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~Ciara

"Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way."

Posts: 14 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Not too late at all, and I really appreciated your contributions!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67087 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
silvergirl_sailing_on
Neophyte
Member # 110025

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Thanks then! And just... great job on this whole site! [Smile]

--------------------
~Ciara

"Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way."

Posts: 14 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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