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It’s a good question.

The thing is, whether I think you were hurtful with your words from 4 days ago or not does not matter.

Your words from 4 days ago weren’t directed at me. Feelings are not anything to get wrapped around the axel over. They are just messages.

To the self.
For the self.
About the self.

My feelings say nothing about you. They say stuff about me. My interpretations of your words say stuff about me as well.

Your words and actions say stuff about you from my perspective — because I’m on the outside looking in.

I don’t know if it is an American problem or not, I do know that what is hurtful to me might not be hurtful to you and vice versa.

I know it isn’t my place to judge what should be or should not be perceived as hurtful by anyone other than myself. What’s more, is that I cannot base my expectations about other people’s feelings — what they should or should not be — on MY insides.

There are standards.

There has to be standards for how we talk to and treat one another. Basic levels of respect and certain agreements on some level about the facts must be present if we are to have a discussion (that’s why science). If not, why even bother communicating at all?

We can agree that certain words and phrases, are inappropriate. And where we disagree, if I have a boundary around certain things, it’s my job to communicate that boundary.

If you respect me, you will respond kindly. You will agree to be mindful of that boundary in the future. And since I made my boundary clear, I get to expect you to have awareness about said boundary and do what you can to avoid crashing through it.

In mutually respectful engagement, you would get to expect the same from me.

If you don’t respect me, you’ll push back against my boundary, try to tell me my boundary is wrong or unacceptable to you. At that point, I have a choice — I can choose to allow wiggle room regarding that boundary or I can do what I need to do in order to uphold that boundary for myself. Because my boundary is something I am responsible for defining, communicating and defending.

Blocking is a tactic. It is only one tactic. Personally, I try to avoid it if I can do so and remain healthy at the same time. It is a method of communicating to someone —

“you’ve disrespected my boundary, I asked you to stop and since you refused, I am going to choose to protect myself without trying to make any requests of you.”

I think however people feel, what they think and how they communicate their boundaries is their choice. I try to avoid judging that good or bad or whatever. Its not about me.

So I think the answer in a nutshell is — boundaries — communicating them clearly, accepting other people’s boundaries and doing our best to engage with people in an open way —

One that allows for many different voices to shed light on the human condition.