Setting Boundaries for the Plastic or Unhealthy Persons

Over at Plurk, my favorite micro-blogging social networking tool, a plurk from Juned caught my attention:

Juned asks civil and plastic what is the diff? Does it annoy you? When you learn someone is plastic?

Juned goes further to explain that

1. Civil is being nice and mannered while plastic is brown nosing. Does it annoy me? There are times of course I am only human.

2. Plastic has the element of design or wanting something. You trust less the plastic. Anyway, that is for me.

What I found interesting is a Plurk Friend’s response most people confuse being polite and the social graces with “plastic”.

Imagine the following scenario.

1. The People Pleaser

Ever notice this person running around, fussing over others, chattering a mile-a-minute when what they are really saying is “I hope I’m pleasing you”. Now there is nothing wrong with trying to please people. But People-pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with them, the people pleaser often get annoyed when the intent to please did not work as planned. The most comfortable people to be around are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.

Is the People Pleaser a civil or plastic person?

2. The Polite Person

Imagine two friends having an argument inside the mall over a guy named Mario. Let’s call Anna as the One who is seething with rage, raising her voice and about to pull the hair of the second girl named Betty. She suspects that Mario is flirting with Betty. Betty appears calm and collected even when…

Anna: Why? You are so plastic! F*&%&& you! I know you like Mario. What a bitch you are! I want to know the truth. Did you go out on a date?

Betty: Excuse me, I don’t want to talk to you like this. Maybe we can talk some other time.

Anna: Why are you evading my question? I want you to be honest with me.

Betty leaves Anna.

Is Betty a civil or plastic person?

3. The Arrogant Person

Arrogance is not the same as being proud or even opinionated as most bloggers are. Arrogant people seem to think that they know everything and they can really get on your nerves. They are condescending and exerts superiority over you. But see, arrogant people are really quite insecure. They seek to dominate and control because they are afraid of being dominated and controlled. Their superiority comes to a point where they humiliate you in public through insults. (An honest opinion is not an insult if it was solicited.) Now, an arrogant person who is intimidating you feels inferior to someone else because this is how his mind works, this arrogance may be nothing more than a way to cover this feelings of inferiority he experiences when dealing with someone else.

Does the arrogant person lack civility or social graces?

4. The Frank Person

Is the arrogant person the same as the Frank Person, one who is honest about his feelings or opinion. No. I know friends who are literally honest to a fault. They have trouble even telling little white lies to protect other people’s feelings. There are times when lying is the lesser of the available evils.

Sometimes, the sensitive person wants the “Frank Person” to sugarcoat their honesty. Truth hurts sometimes so be gentle with me, okay?

Sometimes, the frank person is also known as rude for speaking the truth.


Should the frank person learn to be more civil or plastic?

Looking at all these scenarios, I believe I meet these persons every day of my life. If an arrogant person bashes me, do I bash back? Most probably not.

Does it make me plastic for not reacting in the same unhealthy manner? Nope

Does it annoy me? Sometimes.

Most of the time, the arrogant, the people pleaser, the polite person or frank person does not annoy me unless I allow it to happen. Sometimes when I am in a bad mood, it can annoy me. I allowed myself to feel annoyed. Eventually, I learn to let it go. Yes, I have those days.

On most days, I set boundaries.

You have always heard me say over and over again that we cannot control people’s actions, attitudes and even events. The only thing we can control is our attitude. But it isn’t that easy. One of the choices in recovery is choosing what we want to think and using our mental energy in a positive way. Positive thinking can be extremely difficult in stressful situations. Positive thinking does not mean thinking in an unrealistic matter or reverting to denial. If I don’t like something, I respect my own opinion. If a problem hits me, I am honest about it. If something isn’t working out, I accept reality. I don’t have to dwell on the negative portions of my experience.

Life and people just seem to push and push. If someone pushes me to my limits, that’s exactly what’s happening: I am being pushed to my limits. I give myself permission to set the limits I want and need to set in my life.

The chronic nega ( or negative person) has no place in my life. I try to empower the good in myself, others and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good.

Does it annoy you when you learn someone is plastic?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1346 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

The comments posted on my blog are moderated. I reserve the right to remove comments, words or phrases that are defamatory, abusive, incite hatred and advertise an email address or commercial services or just plain spammy. I also reserve the right to remove posts that to my opinion are off-topic, irrelevant, ad-hominem, personal attacks and or just plain rude.
  • http://fitzvillafuerte.com Fitz

    I’m reminded of Mean Girls where the definition of “plastic” was excellently portrayed.

    Personally, I think being civil and being plastic has one major difference – it depends on the intention of the action.

    Let’s take your examples:
    1. The people pleaser
    Civil: To make others “happy” by saying nice things
    Plastic: To make others like him by saying nice things, even if it’s not sincere

    They may be annoying at times, but I do understand them if I see that they’re actually sincere with their complements.

    2. The polite person
    Civil: Avoiding the issue because she believes it’s not an appropriate situation to talk about it
    Plastic: Avoiding the issue because she really doesn’t want to talk about it, ever

    There are proper avenues to talk about problems. A civil person will take initiative to create such opportunities while a plastic person will delay talking about it as long possible.

    3. The arrogant person
    Civil: Boasting his superiority because he’s really proud of his achievements
    Plastic: Boasting for the sake of making others feel insecure and to solicit complements

    Although arrogance can show a lack in social graces in most cases, but I also think that it’s not at all plastic to be proud of yourself as long as you only raise yourself up and not put other people down.

    4. The frank person
    Civil: He just wants to express his opinion
    Plastic: He wants to humiliate the person

    I’ve had my share of receiving humiliating statements from frank people but in most cases, I don’t take it seriously because I know that these people are simply like that – opinionated and straightforward.

    Fitzs last blog post..Money Problems Versus Love Problems

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      Personally, I think being civil and being plastic has one major difference – it depends on the intention of the action.

      precisely! And yeah, I leave it at that because I know they are just like that. I shrug it off and say “Oh that’s how he is”. My job is not to change the person.

      Actually I have been accused oe being “plastics” simply because I didn’t bash back. Happened online in two instances.

  • http://www.ladygadfly.com issai

    this post hits home. i just cut off my communication with my sister because i didn’t set the boundaries correctly and things spiraled out of control. but i still wish the best for her and i still love her, i hope she knows that. i always try my best to follow my self-made rule to treat people the way I as a person want to be treated. so i do not want to be rude or disrespectful to people, but it doesn’t mean i’m born to please.

    and i can’t be with people who are plastic, because i do believe that your friends/acquaintances reflect what type of a person you are. so reason why i don’t hang out with drug addicts or thugs. does that make sense?

    issais last blog post..I want an iZ3D

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      For a a year or so, I didn’t talk to some of my in-laws because I did not want to be dragged to their unhealthy behavior. It worked out in the end because boundaries were established. We learned to respect our quirks. Now it doesn’t bother me anymore.

  • http://www.ladygadfly.com issai

    i think my previous comment got marked as spam. 🙁

    issais last blog post..I want an iZ3D

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      the comment above or another entry’s comment?

      • http://www.ladygadfly.com issai

        i was refering to the comment above. there must have been a glitch that the comment didn’t show up until a few minutes after.

        issais last blog post..I want an iZ3D

  • http://jencc.wordpress.com jencc

    ay, i don’t like hanging out with nega people too…it’s just so heavy (the aura?) to be around these types of people. parang everything is gray—like eeyore! Hahahahahahahaha!

    as for plastic and civil, there are just sometimes when we have to play a role. but really, that’s not my cup of cake. which is why my husband always says i can never be in politics. too transparent. lol!

    jenccs last blog post..Happy Day

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      There are days we are down and out but if a person is nega all throughout the week, it gets to be so heavy. Yup we play a role. civil , polite are part of social graces.

      Me too…I am too transparent. Good luck to us.

  • http://emsdy.multiply.com ems

    wow this was a very interesting read.

    i hate plastic people because it’s so tiring trying to figure out what they want and trying to second-guess their game plan. personally, i’d take the frank person over the plastic person any time. at least you know where things stand.

    emss last blog post..Radioactive Sago Project at Youth Vote Philippines Launch

  • http://www.mathelmacecilia.multiply.com Cecile Yap

    A civil or plastic person are two people must be mingled with. Just around my family, cousins, in-laws, you name it, you will find such characteristics.
    Many times before in my younger days, I intentionally loss contact with my relatives because of their being civil or plastic, until I block everyone from knowing my address or giving telephone numbers, coz some will look for me in Manila and when they go back to the province, they will backbite, say many false stories, make up stories why I was successful, etc. At present, with my own understanding, knowing why Jesus Christ died for us? I now realized that all kinds of people, whatever or who they are need help from people who understands what LIFE is meant to be. The two very important commandments God wants from us to do, ” TO PRAISE AND HONOR HIM and TO LOVE OTHERS “. I know to love others maybe hard, coz there are people who are evil in mind and actions. We know some of the factors that affects such behaviour, the kind of upbringing, broken family, too ambitious for success and many more. . . What I do, I wait for a time to share with this people a chance to share what I am learning from the Bible. Just watch-out and be guided by saying prayers everyday. . .