Anna Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” fame opened up in a recent interview with Elle about the time she dumped a boyfriend who broke a cardinal rule of healthy relationships: he didn’t respect her boundaries.
“I was dating a guy. He tickled me playfully, and I said, ‘I know that’s cute and that people do it, but I really don’t like being tickled. It really makes me feel trapped and panicked. I know it’s silly and funny for most people, but I really hate it, so could you please not?’” she explained.
In today’s social climate, we’re hearing more and more stories about women of all ages, races and stages of their careers and lives who are fed up with having their boundaries overstepped. Kendrick’s boyfriend apparently thought her qualms were “really dumb” and proceeded to tickle her anyway. And that was it for him.
“If my feelings matter to you, then this is what needs to change,” Kendrick told Elle. “If my feelings don’t matter to you, then I obviously need to make a decision about what that means about moving forward in any kind of professional relationship.”
So, she did.
“I broke up with him,” she told the magazine. “And I knew that in the retelling of that story, I would be some crazy girl. You never want to be labelled ‘the crazy girl.’ … That he would tell his friends, ‘Oh, she broke up with me because I tickled her. What a psycho.’ I just had to go, ‘No, I broke up with you because I told you something was important to me, and you didn’t respect that.’”
The actress clearly made the right decision: If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, they’re not worth your time or your heart. Plus, who doesn’t HATE to be tickled if they’re not in the mood? If you ask me, that’s not silly at all.
Therapists agree with Kendrick’s move wholeheartedly. Not respecting physical boundaries is a major red flag and could lead you down a slippery slope if you’re not aware of what’s happening.
“A partner who laughs off your concerns about something as seemingly minor as tickling is very likely to shrug off weightier issues later on,” says Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist and psychiatry instructor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, told Huffington Post
“If the Tickler trivialized Anna’s feelings about being tickled, just imagine how he might have trivialized boundaries around money, kids, career, sex and family,” Anderson continued. “It’s a great reminder, especially for women, to ignore that little voice in your head that tells you to ‘keep the peace,’ or as a client told me yesterday, not ‘rock the boat.’”
Listen to your intuition when something feels wrong and stand up for yourself when you’re uncomfortable. You’ll be thankful you did in the end.