Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unacceptable behavior

I got a good night's sleep and am enjoying the cool morning here. I'm staying at a hotel right on the beach. I hope to get out for a walk later today. And later tonight I want to find some seafood, preferably steamers, to eat. I miss eating those tasty mollusks.

I talked to my sponsor and the topic for my home group meeting last night was dealing with unacceptable behavior. I'm sorry that I missed it because it is a topic that I struggle with often. My meter for unacceptable behavior can have a wide range. I'm dealing with an alcoholic in recovery so drunken acting out isn't an issue. But angry outbursts and self-centeredness still occur. I can usually shrug off unacceptable behavior in the people that I love, but there are times when I simply buy into what's going on and build a resentment. And eventually that resentment leads to anger.

I have learned to inventory my feelings. And I know that I am powerless over others. But when unacceptable behavior occurs, I don't think that I need to always ignore it. Sometimes it doesn't warrant ignoring.

I have boundaries and when those get crossed, then it's time for me to detach from the other person. And as I do, I realize that wanting another to be reasonable, wanting another to see my view, or to make amends is not something that I can control. As long as I take care of myself and keep my boundaries intact, then I can deal with unacceptable behavior in a manageable way.


  1. syd,
    when I see the title "unacceptable behavior"-then I want to hear about some K?
    I ignore ALOT. Ignoring works for me right up to the point where it doesn't.
    sigh..I need some work.

  2. Unacceptable behavior. I have different responses depending on a lot of different factors.

    Sometimes I stay and ignore it.

    Sometimes I politely excuse myself and vanish from the scene.

    Sometimes I actually have to confront the behavior.....

    When that is the case, I try as best I can to "Say what I mean, mean what I say, and not say it mean." I love that guideline.

  3. It says somewhere in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that we "are not doormats". We can accept an action or a behavior because it's there...but we don't have to condone it and can walk away...just as you've done. I have to give you a lot of credit. I have always thought that it is a much easier road for the alcoholic than for the family that has to put up with him/her. "Detaching with love" is a must.

  4. I rarely know how to react to unacceptable bahavior.

  5. Unacceptable bx... psychiatric abbreviation for behavior... something I am not the best judge of.

  6. Isn't it amazing how much latitude we provide for poor behavior? I always assume that I am over-reacting when I have finally had enough and say so. You have got me thinking....thanks.

  7. Tonight I was briefly and mildly rude to my wife. She almost was crying--oboy--and we both suddenly burst out laughing our heads off. (We have some hats to give away, they're of no use now -GRIN-) Anyway, bottom line--we both saw the stupidity of anger over NOTHING!

    Thank You God, for our program.

  8. Syd, I too have somewhat of a hard time dealing with “unacceptable behaviors” by others. Its hard to say why really because some days are good and others are bad. It all depends on what’s going on at that moment in my life.

    The big book of AA tells me that until I am ready to accept life on life’s terms I will always feel discontent. So that's what I try doing every day, accept things the way they are. Great post. AR

  9. I'm just learning about setting up and maintaining boundaries....For so long I just wanted to be liked vs. being respected. I'm learning to believe that the boundaries I choose to implement are a means of demanding and desiring the respect that I deserve. It's a matter or practice and patience, but I believe it helps maintain serenity....'accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can...'

  10. syd,
    I like that about the boundaries. Thats what I'm starting to realise about my recovery. I can have boundaries. I use the programmes principles, Gods teaching and simple stiff like the Golden Rule etc. For too many years I allowed people to trample all over my self respect in the hope that they would like me. Better to have my eyes on God. Have a good day

  11. well said, and yes, not always so easy to do. i struggle with zoning unacceptable behaviour out and not taking it personally...

  12. The last Alanon meeting I went to was on this very same topic. I have no insights for you, just that we all seem to have trouble with that.

    As a side note, can I just say that I LOVE steamers!

  13. Boundaries are good things. My SO talked about buying ice cream, and I told him no. Well he bought it anyway. I was upset and actually said something (huge growth because I used to stuff feelings with food). I said you've crossed my boundaries. He then said that he'd eat it. I told him it was like bringing crack to an addict. Sigh. I wonder how long it'll take for him to eat it or whether or not I'll be able to resist. Sigh.

  14. "But when unacceptable behavior occurs, I don't think that I need to always ignore it. Sometimes it doesn't warrant ignoring. "

    I sometimes struggle with where the line is for accepting or not accepting "unacceptable" behavior. That can be a tough one.

  15. This has always been a frustrating issue to face because when it comes to a loved ones unacceptable behaviour.I have to detach with not just love..but understanding to what brought on that kind of thing.Boundaries are so important to keeping my mind aware and opened.Nowadays I have but one ok..two..people who challenge my family with unacceptable behaviour and it's so sad to witness because it's from people who have good hearts but bad old alcoholic behaviour patterns.

    Nice pic of you on the beach :)

  16. I don't fully understand inventorying my feelings when I need to. Maybe because I'm not quite done with step 4 yet?

    Last week's meeting was about sponsor and I felt the desire to pick me one so I asked her and she accepted.

    I told her it might be awhile before I call her. I haven't called her yet.


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