blogging gobbledygook and such

Boundaries & Territories

Life is one big social network. Six degrees of separation and all that. That means you would make friends with friends of your friends. Friends of your friends become your friends directly after that. Most of the time, people have no problems with that. They love it when their friends are friends with their other friends. It doesn’t have to be two different circles of friends anymore ‘cos it’s merged and moulded into one big circle of friends. Of course, who wouldn’t like it, if all your friends got along with each other, right?

What happens if they got along a little too well than you expected? Consider these situations:

1. Your friend dating your ex
2. Your two best friends liking each other’s company more than they with you
3. Your friend making friends with someone you dislike

When I was a kid, I had this friend who lived near my home. I would mostly go to her house to play because she wasn’t allowed to go out. The rare occasions that she could, she’d come to my house and play (where the toys are better, in my opinion, haha). I loved it when she came over, but I hated it if she started talking to my mother. For some reason, she got along with my mother better than I did. I didn’t like it because their conversation was eating in my playing time with her. Usually she didn’t have long to play with me, so my mother chatting with her made me annoyed. You might say I was jealous, but only because I wanted to play with her and not talk with my mother…

Throughout my many broken friendships in life later on, I would feel this many times over. As I grew up, I learnt to see the situation more rationally and not let my emotions get (too much) in the way of friendship. I mean, they have every right to make friends with whoever they want to, right, since I have that same right myself? Yet I still have this what Sushi calls feeling territorial thing.

In my blogging life, I’ve made friends with many of Ish’s (my son, lol) friends, who I suppose stumbled over after seeing my comments in his blog. Well, I wouldn’t give entire credit to him for the many Indian blog buddies I have, but I would say that he was a big factor of that happening. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I notice some of my blog buddies are friends with each other. I won’t name names, because it is just my assumption, and I’d like to think that I had something to do with it. ๐Ÿ˜› In this case, I don’t feel territorial whatsoever.

But there are some friendships in my life at the moment that I feel territorial about… again, not naming names. I think I feel like this because I either like this friend very much and feel threatened by the other party, or because I thought we were close and that I have her loyalty. I’m not saying that liking another friend better than me is being disloyal; I believe that there are ways to show a friend that you appreciate her friendship, even if you do like the company of another friend better.

Is it really petty to feel this way? I know I don’t feel like that with all my friends who are friends through my introduction (or I like to think so, haha). But some friends bring about this territorial feeling. I do know why, I think, and I have reasons that seem to justify it… But is feeling territorial ever justified??

If yes, does that mean there are relationship boundaries? I mean, of course you can’t go around sleeping with people’s spouses or significant others, that’s basic. What about the three situations I’ve named above? Or do you have a situation in mind that requires subtle boundaries?

If no, why not?

Comments on: "Boundaries & Territories" (18)

  1. I think there are some boundaries, but nothing huge. I’m too tired to write a coherent response, so I’ll just say that much.

    Though, I must say, if there were ever a person to violate these boundaries, that would be me. I’ve made… unwise choices, shall we say, about what to do and what not to do concerning friends.

    sulz: well, at least you’re not too tired to read it, so thanks. ๐Ÿ˜€ can you elaborate on those unwise choices, particularly on the consequences of it? would you say that you deserve it?

  2. I guess feeling territorial is common every where. In fact, in all the relationships. Boundaries are important, and so is respect. I believe if you respect each other, you would be able to tolerate feeling territorial. And the most important of all, love yourself first before loving others ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once you have the love and trust in yourself, heck your friends can be friends with whom so ever he or she chooses.. girl, go for shoe shopping after wards ๐Ÿ˜€

    sulz: does that mean feeling territorial indicates a lack of respect? i’ve bought enough shoes recently, actually… i need a new cardigan, though, lol.

  3. I have visited some blogs after seeing your blog buddies’ comments. I like to think of the blogosphere as one big playground. ๐Ÿ˜›
    This is an interesting topic. When I was in my teens I had one “best friend” from school, and one “best friend” from the religious organization I attended at the time. This was fine for several years, until all three of us joined a musical group. The two of them obviously had great taste in friends since they both liked me ๐Ÿ˜‰ and so had things in common with each other. But, after a while, they liked each other better than they liked me! They did things together and didn’t invite me, and I felt left out, and betrayed, because I was their friend first!
    To be honest, I haven’t quite gotten over that yet! (Hmmm, some work to do there). It’s tricky, though. I certainly wouldn’t want to tell other people who to be friends with, and, these days, I would just meditate or something until I felt better. Friendships come and go, and as long as I can truly wish for my friends’ happiness, as well as my own, I will be able to be happy no matter what happens.
    Feeling territorial is normal, but so is being able to let go of it.
    (PS, I didn’t like when my friends talked to my mother, either. I mean, she was, like, OLD, and everything!) ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    sulz: it is! wow, you had first-hand experience of the scene i described! exactly, it’s not for us to say who should be friends with who, but at the same time you may not help but wonder why aren’t you included in their plans?

    hmm, i don’t think i am as noble as you! i will probably sulk and fret… until something new distracts me, haha.

    haha! i shall remember this if i ever become a mother and tried to be buddy buddy with my kid’s friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰ just in case s/he hates it!

  4. Every relationship has a boundary — as far as I’ve experienced. I’d had this “best friend” for like 14 years…and then, in the 14th year, I became friends with her boyfriend. We hit it off perfectly and we 3 hung out all the time. When she broke up with him, she had major issues about our friendship. I mean, we were never interested in each other…but tht fear was rampant in her thoughts, I suppose. I’m still “best friends” with her…but she still has a prob abt my relation with her ex!

    yea…i do think its a question of loyalties…irrespective of gender, there’s the fear of who is more closer to whom…

    And well, when one can feel that about a spouse, one can definitely feel that about a friend — the kinda love in both cases are different, but it’s love, all the same ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sulz: wow, that’s one of the big whammies! (imagine if she didn’t break up but divorce… that would’ve been even more complicated!) well, since you’re still best friends with her i guess her territorial feeling didn’t get in the way too much with your friendship with her then, that’s good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What I have known from my friendships is that no matter what happens, if a person really really want you to be there in his/her life, he/she will never let you go.
    When he/she does, its time to move away. Simple!

    sulz: i agree with sushi and arpit agreeing with you, too! simple solution, but complicated problem because i have troubles letting go. ๐Ÿ˜› and sometimes i wonder, what if that friend is also waiting for me to make the first move while i wait for her to make it too?

    you’re right. i’ve tried to arrange get-togethers with some ex-classmates, but so far only two took the time and trouble to meet up with me, so…

    so i suppose you have no boundary issues, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. You know, I thought long and hard in regards to what to comment. I’ve told you my story, so it would be nothing you don’t already know. I suppose it’s only natural to feel territorial with your friends–especially if you’re like me who likes to compartmentalize my relationships with people hehe!–but I think in the end, if you really think about it, it all boils down to insecurity. If you feel secure about both your relationships individually, you wouldn’t necessarily be bothered being left out out the picture while they go do something they have in common with (while you don’t).

    But then again, it’s normal to feel left out eventually.


    But I like Amit’s view on this and I feel it is so true. You can only hold on for so long before the age old saying becomes true..

    “friends come and go!!!!!”

    sulz: wah, i’m honoured, especially since it’s your holidays. :mrgreen: and i’ve told you my story, so do you think insecurity played in that? since you know how i feel about both those people…

    true, when i was in macau a couple of friends went out without me – i usually go out with them – and i wasn’t bothered that they didn’t wait for me to get back to go with them. i didn’t want to go to the place they went, anyway, haha. but if they did that a few more times i may not feel so fine about it.

    don’t really like that phrase; feels like it trivialises friendship. it’s true, i don’t deny, but i wonder if it’s because people believe in sayings like this that it becomes true?

  7. @ amit : you really justify your views!
    and SULZ i would also give the same advice as amit gave to you!

    need not look back and just move on…you can have thousands of acquaintances but only a few best friends who will always be there for you ๐Ÿ™‚ so as you said …….stick to your basics ๐Ÿ˜€

    and now i have been victimized by plagiarism ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    need your suggestions and views for my course of action!

    sulz: true, but what about boundary issues? ๐Ÿ™‚ commented in your post already.

  8. I think everyone is his or her own person and should be friends with whoever he or she chooses. The situations you named are particularly awkward though, especially the first one. I don’t know what a person would do in those circumstances.

    3 I’m kind of used to, and it helps that I don’t tend to hold grudges, so I don’t have a problem with people being friends with people I don’t exactly get along well with. Sometimes I’ve even gotten to like people who I didn’t used to just because we were friends with the same people.

    sulz: i wouldn’t either, but knowing me i’d probably react in one of the most negative ways possible. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    i’ve had that before too! i actually grew to like this person when i didn’t before because we were in the same circle of friends. one of the rare times though, haha.

  9. thebeadden said:

    I agree with Kiran
    “Once you have the love and trust in yourself, heck your friends can be friends with whom so ever he or she chooses..”

    A little something that happened to me:

    Someone, who at one period in my life was my best friend, showed up out of the blue to invite my husband and I out to an event. I hadn’t seen her in at least 4 years. She insisted that she come back and pick us up that night.

    She showed up and guess who was in the front seat with her? Hubbys ex-girlfriend. The one who never had quite gotten over him.

    I had to admit, I was shocked and also surprised that she didn’t forewarn me. That she even did it at all.

    Then the nasty side of me thought, “I’ll show her!”

    The whole night I talked and joked with the ex-GF. I even coaxed my husband to get up on the dance floor with her. The sad thing is, was that my so-called friend was mad. She was mad I wasn’t letting it get to me, and she left. She left and never came back! Thank goodness it was within walking distance to our home.

    It ended up, the ex was a pretty nice person, we did have fun and stayed until closing. She was past the whole break-up thing and we really did have some good laughs at hubby’s expense!

    It’s funny what life throws at you, but what you throw back and get in return, might surprise you.

    sulz: that was a real doozie! why would someone who was your best friend do that?? that was incredibly mean… good for you for showing her up! ๐Ÿ˜€ when life hands you lemons, make lemonade huh? i’ve never got the hang of that… maybe because i don’t know how to make lemonade. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. thebeadden said:

    I really don’t know why she did it. It doesn’t matter to me anymore and we still get together every now and then. It sure took me for a loop at the time.

    She is a Gemini, so, you never know what to expect with her. It’s a good thing I know how to lower the bar on my expectations of people. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sulz: my, you’re big-hearted. if i were you, i’d either confront her icily or just stop being friends with her… maybe that’s why i keep losing friends! ๐Ÿ˜† must learn from you the guru.

  11. gentledove said:

    Yeah I was going to say a parcel of stuff and then I read thebeaden and she says it, you want people to love you with undying love and well if people ever do it must take an age to grow. If you are like me I need for my friends to forgive me my weaknesses and if someone hurts me I’m gonna tell them “ouch you hurt me”

    sulz: um, i’m not sure if thebeadden said that, and i certainly realise undying love is not possible without time if it’s ever possible. true, i don’t deny i have my weaknesses and it would be nice if my friends forgive me for that and i hope i do the same with them too.

  12. I completely agree what Amit says, you stay put with what you got to give to any relationship.

    If the other is uncomfortable/ uneasy/ feeling encroached/ not liking it in any manner, will inform you, or else take the steps as required.

    I feel, its very difficult I believe to judge what friends want easily.

    sulz: when you say steps, do you have anything in particular in mind? well, i have that problem myself, so i could a few pointers on it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. sulz boundaries are just baseless issues! being from a different country doesnt makes much of difference in your friendship..if you want to stick to a person , no matter to whichever country he/she belongs but finally we all are humans…territorial boundaries are just another creation of humans and there is no harm in breaking the law created by human! ๐Ÿ˜€
    so enjoy your friendship and keep blogging ! cheers ๐Ÿ˜€

    sulz: well, the boundaries i was thinking doesn’t really have much to do with the race or nationality my friends are, but rather the social relations between us. breaking any sort of law – legal or social – definitely has consequences. but if you are prepared for anything, i guess you could do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. and yes i read your views..finally i have left a message for that guy to delete it from his profile! ๐Ÿ˜€

    sulz: good! hopefully he won’t make a fuss about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. gentledove said:

    I hope I wasn’t putting words in thebeaden’s mouth, I did not intend to.

    sulz: well, i didn’t think she meant that, but you could be right. interpretation! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. thebeadden said:

    Sulz, don’t get me wrong. I don’t like lowering the bar.
    I lowered it on her, which puts her down a few notches in my fav peoples list! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I know I am far from perfect, and it wasn’t worth letting it get me down. Then I am the one who feels bad and negative. I get over stuff pretty quick. Unless someone really P’s me off. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sulz: ah, i do that too, especially if it’s someone i have to tolerate for a while more just yet. ๐Ÿ˜› i could take a page off your book about getting over stuff quick!

  17. Even I used to have trouble letting go earlier, but then I realized that if I would not have let go of a particular person, I would not have met another great friend of mine.
    Its always good to give a try to make things better, but after a certain tries and talks and incidences, you just know that its not working.

    But, I don’t intend to be totally negative. Some people do stay forever. They become a part of your soul. Even if you meet them after 2 years, you instantly connect and those 2 years just dissolve away.(This happened recently with me)

    sulz: so letting go is like wisdom, comes with age? ๐Ÿ˜› i don’t really like to meet people i don’t keep in touch with – there’s a reason we lost touch in the first place, isn’t it? ah, it’s just me who gets attached very easily! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  18. Hey Sulz, there were friends of mine who came home and would leave if my mom was not around..saying “we came to see your mom! You we see everyday!! ” I did not feel bad, in fact, I used to mock anger and say how dare you to them, but glow with pride that my friends found my mother interesting and friendly! You know how we usually feel about the older generation (well, I guess I am a generation older than you! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) …but you get the idea! ๐Ÿ˜€
    About one friend liking another…well, again, I am one who likes all my friends to meet and know each other. My best friend from school married my best friend from college ๐Ÿ™‚ That is liking each other a lot….in fact, I remember the first time they told me they were seeing each other. They were like, remember the walks we took and left you out; hope you did not feel bad. Thing was I never did feel bad even before I knew this! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Guess the only time I should feel bad was when I heard that my schoolmate is supposedly going out with my husband (well, he still has not filed for the damn divorce! so technically he still is!) I used to, now I don’t cos I don’t have a sense of belonging to him or her even as a friend. ๐Ÿ™‚
    That is me ๐Ÿ™‚

    ps: I am jealous of my brother when I feel my mom loves him more!! that is a different territory ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sulz: you’re less territorial than i am! ๐Ÿ™‚ what an intricate circle of friends you have! i would feel weird if someone i know dated someone i dated before, even if i don’t like him anymore. that’s ‘cos i’m extra paranoid, i guess!

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