Archive for August 2nd, 2011

This blog entry continues from here.

I truly do not understand this dynamic. If something is bothering me in a relationship, I don’t lie and pretend that I am not bothered by it, let it fester, and then explode all over the other person weeks, months, or years later. That only happens after I have said something repeatedly and been ignored, which is another issue entirely. And I am not someone who enjoys confrontations – I really hate them because I half-expect the other person to decide I am too much trouble and walk out.

I generally let it slide the first time (unless it really bothers me) in case it is just a one-time thing. If it happens a second time, I evaluate whether I can accept the behavior and let go or work around it. If the answer is no, then I very tactfully say something, typically blaming it on myself, such as, “I am not saying that there is anything wrong with you doing X.” I give the other person an out – “I understand where you are coming from,” etc. “The problem is that I get triggered by this because…” Because I present the issue as something that is a challenge for me rather than a character flaw in the other person, that conversation is typically very well received. Problem solved.

Also, I only have this conversation when it really is a deal-breaker for me. I do a cost-benefit analysis, ask myself if this is really worth getting into, and then only say something if it is really going to bother me if I don’t. If I choose to let it go, then I let it go. I don’t secretly harbor a grudge and get pissed off on a regular basis that my friend is doing X. If it is not important enough to talk about, then it is not important enough to let fester and potentially ruin a friendship later.

Am I really so unique in this? I am having a very difficult time understanding the alternative. How can I be “too fragile” to handle a gentle redirection today but, at the same time, be so arrogant and unyielding that I need to be cut off at the knees two years later for the same behavior?

When people do this to me, it causes me to doubt myself and my ability to read people, which is extremely triggering and makes me feel very, very unsafe. Regardless of intentions, it feels like a lie – the other person has been lying to me for months or years that I was safe around him or her and then blindsides me by, out of nowhere, becoming very unsafe. I was so shaken by the one-two punch (one family member and one friend) that I was barely functional for 24 hours this weekend. I self-injured for the first time in a very, very long time. That’s why I have a therapy appointment today.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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