Not at all surprised that your personal experiences also very much color your perspective on this. In that context, it makes sense. I deemed James’ “stuff” as that because when he did some healing work around it and addressed his insecurities, it evaporated — with minimal effort. It was like flipping a light switch almost. As I said, if he’d done the clean up on the insecurities and then still really had that boundary, I would have been willing to talk further about the issue, but I didn’t feel like I was meeting him before, as much as I was meeting his wounds.
With Nat, it’s more that I’m meeting him. It’s not his wounds or programming that make him a less effusive person than I am. It’s just his personality (and I realize that not all of personality is innate, but that some comes from our experiences/socialization). But perhaps the real difference is that I’m not requiring Nat to be different than he is, but I didn’t see myself as requiring James to be different so much as I was encouraging him to dig under the detritus and find who he actually was — and he did.
And perhaps I feel confident saying all of this because that’s my profession to be able to assess these things about people. I’m a personal growth coach, and so I have a lot of training and experience looking at my own shit as well as other people’s. In the examples you’ve given, those people’s needs are coming out of their wounding. They are real needs in that they are dealing with authentic pain and concern, but to force other people to behave in certain ways to accomodate your (one’s, not you personally) wounded self isn’t healthy behavior. You are responsible for figuring out how to heal and deal with your own shit. This is my entire point.
And I don’t really think we are going to come to agreement on this topic, but that’s OK. I’ve enjoyed the discussion and it’s helped me think more in depth about things, so thanks.