On a somewhat personal issue

You guys, sometimes I have a really hard time reading other people.

I usually feel like I am somewhat well-equipped with people skills. I can usually tell when I click with someone and when I don’t. Even though I am a people-pleaser at heart and like to be liked, I can live with this realization now.
Sometimes though, I can’t seem to figure it out. There a mixed messages and subsequently there’s a lot of hurt feelings and disappointment on my part. Sometimes I am sure it’s legit, sometimes though I feel I blow things out of proportion in my mind and make myself miserable that way.

You know the kind of people I am talking about. We all know them.

The kind, who blurt out an ‘offensive’ remark and then act like nothing happened while you stare at them gasping;

the kind, who wrong you and then expect you to apologize (FOR WHAT, I ask);

the kind, who act like jerks and then make you feel guilty if you bring it up with them;

the kind, who make you feel “left out”;

the kind, who are just not considerate of their behaviors and actions and who leave you with a crappy feeling.

Especially the two very last groups of people get to me. If someone is outright rejecting me, I can handle that. It doesn’t make me feel good, but I can react with equal rejection. Not everybody likes everybody. I get that. Ambiguousness, on the other hand, I have a very hard time with.

I  am sure you want to say to me right now “don’t make everything about you”; and I swear, I don’t.
I am painfully aware that most people don’t think half as much about me, as I think about them and there clearly are situations where indifference is totally normal.
If the situation is somewhat more defined, though, it leaves me wondering. Unfortunately,  I have this – very unhealthy, if I dare say so myself – tendency to always give somebody the benefit of the doubt one too many times. I search for faults in my own behavior first, before I go after somebody else and falsely accuse somebody. Why this might sound like a desirable quality to you, it sucks for me.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent mulling over something that somebody said or did, trying to understand and dissect the reasoning behind it. More often than not, I come up empty-handed feeling completely lost and blown off.
One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that I will always end up with the shorter end of the stick, just because I want to be nice; because I don’t confront people about their shitty behavior unless I absolutely have to; and because I very often make excuses for somebody else’s shortcomings.

“I am sure (s)he didn’t mean that”.

“I probably misunderstood or misinterpreted”.

“I shouldn’t be so sensitive.”

“I’m sure (s)he just slipped up, I will give him/her one more chance.”

Does that kind of reasoning sound familiar?
Well, this is what I do all day long and I think some people have figured it out and without remorse, use my goodwill and permissiveness to their own advantage. I hate feeling played. I hate feeling abused this way, but I shy back from confrontation if I am not 100% sure that my criticism or my allegation is valid or even based on intentional behavior. Why confront someone about something that I am not even sure they did on purpose? Why stir the pot?

I keep thinking that if I can’t be friends with everyone (I know, talk about lofty goals!), then I should be at least be able to be friendly with everyone.  But this is not how life works. People screw you over and even the option of “being friendly with each other”  is simply  gone, squandered.

Still, I have a really hard time accepting that. I let people walk all over me, constantly thinking that they’re not doing it on purpose or that they are just insensitive to other people’s feelings and not mean-spirited. My problem is that for whatever reason, I can’t emotionally let go of those people.
I want to fix the situation. I want to ask “why did you do this or that“, in hopes of a satisfying answer that sets my world right again.
Even if I know that they don’t have a satisfying answer for me, I am mostly frustrated and almost sad when it seems like I can’t have an amicable relationship with them anymore.

What the hell is wrong with me?

What it comes down to is that I basically let people make me feel this way. I know I don’t have to take everything so personal, but I don’t think you can do anything about your feelings, you can only decide how to react to them.

I posted this quote here last week and it kind of stuck with me all week and made me think.

Source: onederstrucked.tumblr.com via San on Pinterest


Eleni also had a very interesting post recently, provocatively asking if we believed that we can choose how we feel and if we thought other people do (or do not) have any responsibility in how they make us feel.

I have a very strong opinion about that. I think every person has a huge responsibility in how they make people feel around them. I am not saying that I exclude myself from being guilty of making someone else feel shitty. I am sure I have, most likely unintentionally, made someone else feel less than welcome or misunderstood, but that doesn’t change the matter of the fact. I am just more aware of it now. I want to be aware, so I can change my own behavior towards others.

In return, I want to start asking questions, if I feel unsure about someone’s actions or remarks. Just thinking about it makes me break out in a cold sweat, but I think I could really gain something from this experience.

You see, the hardest part for me to realize at the end of the day, is that sometimes “it’s really not me, it is the other person“, as much as I am trying to blame myself for a “failed” relationship. Having the the insight that there is really nothing I can do, and that that is okay, would help me take a huge step forward on my way to self-discovery.

  1. This is a tough topic. Many years ago, I had a “friend” that kept hurting me over and over again. I kept excusing her and trying to go on, and then I ended up with an experience with her, where she was trying to take all I had. I literally had to fight her to get her out of my life.
    There are bad people out there, and I did finally accept this. Now I pick and chose my friends much more carefully.

  2. oh my…I am sending you a HUGE virtual hug…you are not alone…I am like that too. I always try to be nice, I always try to make people feel good, I go above and beyond to help, I do things I don’t want to because I can’t help it, I can’t say no if I know it will hurt the other person. and I always expect people to be equally nice…which mostly they are NOT. And then I start questioning myself and even try to discuss it with my hubby who gets totally annoyed by it and tells me to “not always take it personal” or “not to think about it again”.

    Remember when I talked about all the Drama on my blog and how I tried to help a friend. I literally dedicated two weeks of my life to dealing with her problems, being there for her 24/7, constantly discussing her problems and giving advice. At some point we started disagreeing about how she should handle the situation and soon enough she basically told me my advice isn’t needed (wanted) anymore. We had planned to meet in a group of people (fan base for my fav band – me, her and 15 others), she had organized the meeting and plainly uninvited me! I was shocked and hurt….but did’t go to confront her…and she just stopped talking to me all together. In person, on the phone or through facebook.
    As I heard lately she handled it her way and it went wrong…which caused a whole lot of more drama…and in the end I had to send her a message (asking how she is doing – still caring – stupid me!) for her to halfway apologize and tell me I was right from the start!!! And also the other girl involved in it finally apologized (on her own) after about a month…

    my friend told me something when we talked about it, she said “what goes around comes around” – if you don’t treat people nice it will happen to you one day that you are treated equally “unnice”…it doesn’t help to know but at least it made me smile :)

  3. I do understand you!
    I am actually totally like you and I get a s%^*( from my fiance when I am sad about somebody or what somebody did or said. And I also keep thinking about it and talking about it all the time.
    I so so hear you!
    Hugs from LA

  4. I feel the same like you, Sam… Especially just letting a situation go and not rethink everything. I do not call someone “friend” easily.

  5. This all sounds so familiar! I feel the same way. Worry way too much, always think I did something wrong… and why argue when I know where it would lead (the other person not seeing his mistakes and denying what he said to make me feel crappy in the first place)! Felt used and “verarscht” a lot and decided to not let that happen anymore a while ago! You are such a wonderful and strong person, and who ever treats you that way just doesn’t deserve your friendship!
    Hugs xxx

  6. oh honey, you are just wayyyyyyyyy too nice for your own good. i am a bit different (as you know ;)) but really am trying to understand you. it makes me sad, though, to see and hear about how you beat yourself up and doubt yourself when i can clearly (!) see that it’s not you but the other person who’s screwing up the relationship with you! i personally learned (the hard way) that it’s completely up to ME what i make of how other people treat me. how much i let my feelings and thoughts bring me down. i’d rather not have a friendship at all with someone than one that constantly makes me wonder and feel bad. you are such (!) an awesome friend and person, so warm and loving that whoever choses to not be friends with you is an idiot and it’s definitely their loss. while you’re certainly not perfect (who is) you have no (!) reason to question yourself as a friend because when it comes to that department you’re damn near perfect, suesse! HDGGGDL!

  7. I can completely understand where you’re coming from on this. While I don’t believe I let people walk all over me, I don’t exactly stick up for myself when I need to. And a lot of time I find myself putting more into a relationship than I’m getting. That always makes me take a step back and try to figure out WHY I want to keep this relationship in my life – what am I getting out of it.


  8. Wow – I am a little unsure of what to say. For such a long post you really put your feelings so eloquently! I totally agree with you and alot of what you say is about being appreciated as a “friend” or “wife” or “sister” or “daughter” or whatever your relationship with that person is.Sometimes people just don’t appreciate the people in their lives enough, we get caught up in our day to day lives and forget what it would be like if “that” person wasn’t in their lives any more.
    Love ya hun xoxoxox

  9. Great post, San. I am not sure I can write a comment that is adequate for this post. I think I am different in some ways, and alike in others. I have become better at letting people go who are negative influences on my life. It’s a lot harder to let go emotionally, but I have tried not to allow them be part of my life anymore. It’s hard, but in the few instances where I have cut someone out, it was worth it in the long run.
    Something I am also still working on is … knowing that I cannot change how people act, only how I react to their actions. I think that if I always remembered that when dealing with other people, I would be a lot calmer and happier.

  10. I’m right there with you on this, lady. I’ll give and give and give until I’ve got nothing less, just because I don’t want to deal with the confrontation or because speaking up for myself stresses me out too much. It’s tough, because I don’t want to start a fight or say something that hurts someone, even why that someone has said they’ve hurt me. It’s silly, because in a lot of ways I’ve learned to pick myself first and to stand up for myself, but when it comes to girlfriends, I struggle, a lot.

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