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“How Do I Enforce My Boundaries” Repost From Dr. Nerdlove

8297526208_d2061b5370_zLink to this article.

Doc, I was hoping you could help me with something. I’m a 30 year old guy who was sexually abused as a child by a woman. When I was younger, dating and even flirting with women brought about anxiety and a vague sense of dread. A few years ago, I got myself into therapy, started being more mindful of things that trigger me and subsequently got much more confident around women. I’ve been doing the online dating thing for the last couple of years and it’s generally been a good experience. Even when the women haven’t been a good match for me, I’ve generally enjoying meeting and talking to new people. As a result of my abuse though, I’m not really capable of physical intimacy with women until I get to know them a bit and feel comfortable around them. I usually tell them that, “I just want to take things slowly,” since I don’t feel like disclosing my abuse to people that I’ve just been on a date or two with. Unfortunately, many of the women are totally baffled by a guy who turns down sex and they often get upset. The last girl I went on a few dates with actually called me a faggot for not wanting to sleep with her. Is there a way that I can communicate my boundaries while making it clear that I’m still interested? Thank you Dr. NerdLove you’re my only hope!


Don’t Know What to Say

First of all, DKWTS, I’m sorry for what you went through and I’m proud of you for not only having survived it but for having been strong enough to get help and work through your issues. It’s entirely understandable that you have scars from your experience – after all, you went through some hellish shit! – but those scars aren’t something to be ashamed of. They’re proof that you’ve been through the shit and came out on the other side.

So far, you’re doing the right thing for you: taking your time and establishing a level of comfort and trust with the women you’re interested in and that’s good. You’ve got every right to want sex on terms that make you the most comfortable and feel safe. From the sounds of things, it sounds like you’re having two issues. The first is communication. It’s a social trope that all guys are horny at all times and can’t wait to bone. Sometimes when a guy wants to take things at a slower pace, this gets read by others as “not actually interested”. Now you don’t say where your limits are and depending on how you’ve set them, this may cause some confusion; if you’re uncomfortable with, say, kissing or making out, it’s understandable that – even when you say you want to take things slowly – that women may feel as though they’re getting mixed signal, especially on the first couple date. If there’s no sign of physical chemistry, even a good night kiss, then your date may think you’re just not interested in her at all or that you’re only interested in her as friends. If you’re setting the bar towards heavy fooling around (mutual masturbation, oral, etc.) or penetrative sex, then it’s a bit easier to explain.

Either way: you want to say more than just “I want to take things slowly”. Frame it as being part of who you are, not anything about them. Say “Hey just so you know: I think you’re amazingly hot and incredible and I’m attracted to you, but I really prefer to go slow when I’m with someone I really like. It’s just my thing.” And you leave it there. It’s short, simple and respectful. It won’t be a big deal because you’re not treating it like a big deal, and others will take your lead. If they push for details, just reiterate: “Its just my thing”. You don’t need to explain or justify it. The women who are right for you will understand and respect that. When you do have that level of trust and comfort, you’ll have established that attraction and you’ll seem like you’re just practicing restraint or are the sort of person who has a slow-burn rather than not being interested. When you know them better and feel comfortable with them, you can explain. But until then: “It’s just my thing. It’s just how I am. That’s all. No big deal.”

And by the by, DKWTS, thank whatever gods you believe in that you didn’t sleep with that last girl you mentioned. Between tossing “faggot” out as an insult and berating you for having boundaries, you very clearly dodged a massive bullet. Her shitty attitude and behavior is on her, not on you. That woman volunteered her status as an asshole right up front and life is too damn short for dealing with (or dating) assholes.

But you see: that’s the great thing about having boundaries: you filter out the assholes who don’t respect them or try to push past them.

Good luck!

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Creativity Comes From Our Letting Go of Thinking

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
– Ray Douglas Bradbury

1.  From Marty Baker (Creativity Central): “Never go to a meeting naked”:

A few months ago, I led an Inotivity session at a large company. I asked how they approached ideation or brainstorming meetings. “Basically, we just show up and we start tossing ideas around.”

Ideas should be tossed, flung and poured generously over everyone.  But there’s a smarter way. I told the group, “never go to a meeting naked.”

Generally, most groups gather. A white board or easel with a large sticky note pads is placed in the front.  A problem or question is posed and then one of the alpha members of the group offers up the first creative salvo.

So you’re already ten minutes less productive. What if each team member came with 10 ideas on small sticky notes? If you have ten people in the meeting, you’ll have 100 ideas ready to go.

If you want to save even more time, have someone collect the sticky notes in advance and have that person put up the ideas up in in random order all over the room. Then, the first few minutes of the meeting, people are exploring, reviewing, and expanding on ideas.

These ideas are unfettered by the dynamics of the meeting itself — personalities, styles, and me-too thinking.

Now you can cluster similar or complementary ideas together, discuss, add, and ultimately vote independently on which ideas resonate the most.

It begins with a short email or note,  well articulated problem to solve, a request for 10 ideas on sticky notes, and a time limit for the meeting.

2.  From Carolyn Rubenstein (A Beautiful Ripple Effect): “Inspiration Board Roundup”:

While I adore pinterest (an understatement!), I am almostas equally in love with real tangible inspiration boards. Since I mention inspiration boards quite a bit on A Beautiful Ripple Effect, I think it’s time to share a bit more about the many wonders of creating your own boards. Let’s get started with a visual feast for your eyes that is sure to excite your inner creative.

More of her inspiration boards on Pinterest.

3.  From Jan Tijmes (Idea Marketers): “Developing our creative side”:

Most of us think that creativity comes as a gift to some people and we believe that successful musicians and painters were born with an inbuilt talent. Creativity doesn’t come as an inbuilt trait, it has to be nurtured and developed with persistent efforts. Everyone has some creativity in them and if worked upon this creativity can be developed significantly.

Great writers like Shakespeare did not always know that they had a gift; it was only because they had faith in themselves that they kept working hard towards building this creativity. If Shakespeare had thought that he was not meant to be successful he wouldn’t have been successful. Whatever the mind conceives can be achieved.

If the mind conceives images of success then you can be successful, but if the mind has self doubt then even if you try you cannot be successful. With consistent effort anyone can be a creative genius. Creativity needs an outlet and it knows no boundaries. It is only when you let creativity flow through you without any restrictions and you provide it an outlet can you create great works of art.

We all have our strengths as well as weaknesses, while it is true that you cannot be good at everything that you try it is also true that you can be successful at what you are good at if you work hard. In order to develop our creative side you need to follow the below mentioned suggestions:

* The first thing that you need to do is to understand yourself, know what you are good at, what your interests are. If you do not know your own interests and what your strengths and weaknesses are you cannot succeed.

* Once you know what your interests are you must be dedicated towards working hard to develop your interests. If you are interested in painting, you must be determined to work hard towards developing the skill.

* For anyone to develop their creative skill practice is essential. Even a great artist would not be able to produce a great piece if he/she does not practice regularly. Keep a few hours every day for practicing.

* Let the creativity flow through you without any restrictions. When you are practicing, do not get distracted by anything else. Do not be judgmental of your own work and do not think of what others might think of your work. Let the heart lead you; let your own creative skills come out in the fashion that it wants to.

* The most important thing is to believe in yourself and in your work. Only if you believe in yourself and your work can you be successful. No artist can develop his/her skill overnight. Developing a creative mind takes months and sometimes even years of practice. You might not be able to see stunning results in the beginning but if you stay motivated and keep working hard towards your goal sooner or later you will succeed. Persistent efforts and positivity always pay sweet rewards.

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