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I'm not exactly sure how to explain this in the right manner so that you can understand me. This isn't some kind of drug or alchohol related problem, though it probably would have been a lot easier if it was.
I'm a highly emotional and analytical person, that not only drives people crazy but I drive myself crazy too.
I can spend a whole day thinking about 2 words a person used to say something to me and although I wont tell anyone else, it would eat me inside.
I have no control over my emotions, I cry at anything and everything and I can never kind of be in between. For example, I dont know how to let a situation "I know" is stupid go. Instead I'll ponder it. BUT if I do choose to let it go, then I can't speak to the same person the same way I used to either. I become aloof and very distant.
I have to either give it my all or give it nothing. (This constitutes every relationship and friendship I've had with a person)
The problem is, when I do choose to give it my all, is that I start to (my sister calls it) expect way to much from people. And when they dont measure up to my standards, or say something to me that just doesn't sit right with me, I can't seem to deal with it.
Here's an example. I love my current boyfriend very much, he seems to do all the right things but yet, there are times that I get so frustrated on the smallest things, and later I wonder why I've behaved that way.
There was this particualr incident, where his best friend had come to town, and i know that when he does, my boyfriend (to me i feel) forgets about the small things that he would do. I am guessing its okay, cause, well it's his childhood bestfriend and I have only started to date him a few months ago, I cant exactly compete for attention here. But it irritates me that he behaves in a slightly different manner.
To explain how miniscule it is, is this.
I came over to my boyfriend (J)'s place for dinner with his bestfriend (A) and his girlfriend (N) and after there was a downpour of rain. Now J offered to drop off N and I in the car instead of us hailing 2 cabs. And I had about 20 magazines with a lot of stuff that I had to bring back home with me. When he dropped us off, I expected that he would atleast help me with my stuff to my front door. But that didn't happen and I was so upset. I couldnt believe how angry I was at soemthing like that.
To me, the small things make up the big picture, and if there are holes missing. The big picture wouldn't be right. To him, i if get stuck on small things like that, I'm missing the big picture... I have no idea what to do. And for the rest of the evening and the next morning, I wasnt able to speak to him properly, I get very aloof and unaffectionate.
I dont know what to do!
And these things drive me crazy, my whole day gets ruined, I get so angry, or upset and I try and try to leave it, but it would plague me until the problem has been resolved in some way or the other.
It's not right. I can't be this highly emotional. I end up hurting myself to high degrees when I think people have wronged me a certain way as my day gets consumed with questions of Why? how ? what? and did I do something to deserve that?
How to I separate my emotion. Or stop it in a way. Or just say Fuck it!
I would have a bit of a toke just to shut my mind up of all its racing question, but I cant do that all that time.
Does anyone have an answer?
*insert something profound/witty/humorous here*
This post was edited by jael on Jul 05, 2008.
I feel like I've been reading about my own life long struggle here.
Very familiar territory.
Here's how I have learned to deal with it. I have learned not to run from it, but rather face it head on.
I too am an all or nothing person. In everything and very often to the extreem.
What seems common sense to me from my perspective is small to anyone else.
That makes it hard to seperate what is important and what isn't important.
Your boyfriend should have helped you to the door. It would have been the right thing to do simply because the weather was bad and it would have shown you that the little things, the details do matter to him as well.
If you had been offended by him not attending to you every second of the evening completely ignoring everyone else, I would say you had gotten upset over something small and insignificant.
Your reaction and I've done the same many a time, is where the problem actually lays. This is in reality a teacher for you, a lesson in understanding your self better.
What you need to help this part is to be able to communicate what you feel clearly so that it won't end up in a fight or some other problem that doesn't have to exist.
Learning how to say what you mean is something that takes work. The emotions that could get out of control make it hard.
At some point I realized that having expectations of other people will always end up getting me hurt. So I just stopped.
I still have expectations of myself. And they are hard expectations. All of the expectations I used to have of other people have now shifted to myself.
I don't expect anyone to be nice anymore. I don't expect anyone to say thank you anymore or even consider me anymore.
Any kind of expectaions of anything where anyone else is concerned doesn't exist anymore.
I realized that most of what people say they don't mean.
I've realized that people say things when everything feels wonderful but when life happens the way it does sometimes, thoes same people do not act like what they said they believed or felt.
So I stopped having expectations of anyone but myself. That has helped me to not get hurt so much at all the little things that I tend to focus on.
Hope this helped.
Thank you for taking the time to explain your perspective to me.
What you've said about yourself, pretty much pegged me down to a T.
I did realise that I had to start stating my emotions to clearly to people who mean something to me. With some people it comes easy, others I still struggle with.
And I'm working on not expecting anything from people, but I've realised so far that when I do so. I end up pretty much cutting them out of my life. I talk to them when they do to me, politely and properly, but I don't make any efforts in talking to them.
I guess for a emotionally driven person, there isn't any middle ground.
I really do wish their was a way though. That some people don't care at all and walk through life so easily compared to me in terms of this.
I really do envy this quality in people.
That if they do hurt me in any way. To dust off your shoulders and walk on without a care that they ever meant anything to them in the first place.
I just have to learn how to play with the cards I've been dealt with.
Thank you for understanding where I came from Harold M. I really did feel abnormal for a very long time.
*insert something profound/witty/humorous here*
Excellent advice Harold_M. You are not the only one Jael, I know many people who are like that, including yours truly, and it's not an inherent feature of the person, it's more as a result of how you were raised. Were you pampered a lot when you were a kid? Did you always get what what you want, or did you have to struggle in life?
I have noticed that when people struggle more in life, their ability to have expectations from others reduces. They realize sooner that the world doesn't revolve around them, and that they have to take care of things themselves. If they need help, they ask for it. If they don't get it, they move on, or try to do it themselves or ask someone else for help. People who always keep any expectation from anyone else will always get hurt. Even if the expectations are low, it just ends up hurting you. Remember one thing, the other person was raised differently then you. They have their own life too. It may not come naturally to them to be generous or to offer help when you need it. If you need help genuinely, you could ask for it. If they still don't help you, just move on, and you will know that there is no point asking for that kind of help from that person even if s/he is your partner.
So Harold is right, don't keep any expectations, and you will be the most happy person around. Also, relationships are hard. It's not easy sharing your time and emotions with someone. There will always be compromises. With lower expectations life will be much smoother.
Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.
RCD! Whoo hoo! havent see you around for a bit so yay! hugs all around =)
Alright now getting to the whole emotional aspect of me.
Harold_M definitely did help me out when I was in need in some sort of perspective, and not to discount anything that was said, but I think I have another way of looking at it right now.
I think the emotional part of me is something I have to kind of deal with ... and yes, RCD, you did say it was something to do with when we were growing up.
I realized, growing up we are conditioned to believe that -
1. When you do something wrong, you are punished. Ergo later on in life when you actually do do something wrong, the consciousness of you plays up.
2. When you do something right, you are rewarded. Therefore, later on in life, when you do all the write things in the relationship and wrong things happen to you, you feel that you do not deserve, it's more so that you feel you did'nt deserve that.
Now I do realise that what i'm about to say does stray away a little from from I originally started with.
But i say now that life is unfair. Often more so than not, good things happen to bad people and a lot of bad things happen to good people.
You may take a religious stance on it and say that it is how God planned it for you.
You can take it this way.. that most people tend to victimize themselves and say that a lot of bad things have happened to me that I don't deserve it. BUT LIFE IS UNFAIR and statistically it is more probable that instead of saying "why me?" I say "Why not me?"
So shit happens. So pick yourself up and tend to your wounds a little bit and you start walking again.
I am emotional, and yes i still have to deal with restricting myself to "think to much of it". It is still something I'm training my mind to do... Just be.
And yes Harold_M does hit the nail head with expecting less of people.
So going back to the whole did my bf help me out of not that rainy night having so many magazines ... I choose not to think that I deserved it. I have thought of it, and i've realised that I have this preconceived notion of a way my boyfriend is supposed to act.
Therein lies my problem. I should not be having such notions. Of course, having your bf helping you out is a nice gesture but, it's not something I "rightfully" deserved.
As usual, I have no idea if I made sense to anyone, but I hope I did.
I think I would be able to live in a little more piece then let the little demons in my mind start talking to me and saying things that make me worry too much.
And Ameli, I'm glad this post helped, I hope the this one would help more so than the last.
*insert something profound/witty/humorous here*
I'm writing this to you because I want you to know that even though it's been a year, I can see that what you have said has greatly influenced me.
I'm much better now. It took some time to realise not to have so many expectations, but just have them for myself and no one else. I'm still with the same person I have been with for a little over a year and a half now and things have changed.
What I mean when I say that is, sometime this year, or maybe last. I finally was able to overcome expecting from people. I no longer do at all. It's a very liberating feeling. I cannot be hurt if someone doesn't behave well toward me. I don't even keep any expectations from my boyfriend. People have come close to me and gone in this time, I don't get angry when they choose to leave, or make a remark toward me that might be considered hurtful.
However, I have to say, even though it's liberating. It is quite lonely. It sad that in a world with so many people in it, very few surprise you in good way. More of them let you down. Which to me says very little about our humanity. But I'm not an emotional wreck.
For this, I am so very grateful to you.
This is the most unconventional board/forum I've ever been on. I've met people here through words that have changed my life in a small way but with drastic out comes in the end.
I am truly grateful to everyone I've met here.
so even though this is an open letter to Harold_m, I sort of mean it for a lot of people here.
*insert something profound/witty/humorous here*
I am happy to hear that you are doing better. It means your life is going forward.
Letting go of expectations is indeed a freeing thing, but as you have experienced, it is indeed lonely.
In that place there is room to become comfortable in your own skin, and learn to enjoy who you are, that is the trade off for letting the expectations go.
I am greatful that what I was able to offer helped. That gives me a greatful heart.
I cannot explain to you exactly how much your post has comforted me. I logged on to netalive today for the first time in about 6 months, as a last resort of a place to vent and to get advice from people I knew would understand me. I barely remembered my screen name and password.
Your story is exactly like mine. I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year now, but we have broken up many times because after a while of us being in a relationship I tend to, well, flip out over everything. Because I expect so much from him. Which isnt fair to him at all. I can tell he loves me most when I dont expect him to do all these wonderful things for me, and more importantly all these tiny and yet still wonderful things for me. Last night we had a blow out and it was very messy. When i get angry at him, or anyone for that matter, it is an unfortunate trait of mine that I tend to think of the meanest, worst thing I could possibly say in that moment and I use it against that person. When an emotion comes over me I give no mercy and it is like I am in a war. I let my emotions take over me.
The advice you received has given me the answer I needed.
I was not a spoiled child when I grew up but I definately acted like one. My mom likes to tell me that she seriously thought i was possessed, haha. If I didnt get what i wanted, I would throw the worst temper tantrums. And essentially thats what I am still doing today. If i dont have something going my way I throw a fit, and I'll do anything to get my point across. Every time My boyfriend forgets to do something small for me or seems like hes not loving me enough, I take that to an extreme level of pain and I take it very personally. I wont talk to him for days.
The majority of my friends are guys. I dont get along with girls very well, but guys are easy. And, I was thinking about this today; I am the crazy girlfriend that I warn all of my guy friends about. I decided that I needed a change.
Your confession and the advice you received has brightened my night and has lifted a large weight off of my chest. I know I'm not alone.
I hope you find your way, and I hope you know that your call for help has actually helped at least one person =)