Anna Kendrick knows when to walk away from a relationship ― and she doesn’t care if she gets labeled “crazy” in the process.
In a new interview with Elle, the “Pitch Perfect 3” actress talks about the time she dumped a boyfriend who refused to 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 recalled.
The soon-to-be ex apparently thought Kendrick’s qualms were “really dumb” and tickled her anyway. Bad choice.
“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 labeled ‘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 lost a boyfriend, but she walked away with valuable lesson: If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, you should keep your distance. Therapists say she had a pitch-perfect response to the situation. (See what we did there?)
“Many of my clients worry about being labeled the ‘crazy-ex,’ but the truth is this: If you honored an important value or upheld a non-negotiable boundary, you should hold your head up high and let it go.”
“It all boils down to feeling like you are heard, understood and that you have a voice in the relationship that is respected and held in high regard,” said Marissa Nelson, a marriage and family therapist in Washington, D.C. “When there is a pattern of your partner dismissing or belittling your feelings, it begins to erode the foundation of the relationship.”
It’s important to be aware of a potential slippery slope, said Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist and psychiatry instructor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine: A partner who laughs off your concerns about something as seemingly minor as tickling is very likely to shrug off weightier issues later on.
“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,” she said. “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.’”
Luckily, Kendrick had the self-esteem to say, “nope, not OK,” and went on to live a tickler-free existence. Even better, she wasn’t overly concerned if she got labeled a “crazy ex” in the process.
“If a woman sets a strong boundary, some men feel threatened or challenged and will call her crazy,” Resnick Anderson said. “Many of my clients worry about being labeled the ‘crazy-ex,’ but the truth is this: If you honored an important value or upheld a non-negotiable boundary, you should hold your head up high and let it go.”