Author Topic: How to deal with sinking stomach feeling when relationships (any) are amiss  (Read 1366 times)

jo552006

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Today I saw a family who I haven't seen in many years.  I wouldn't say we were friends, but our lives were extremely intertwined when I was in school due to being similar age to each other, and the mother teaching me for many years.  In fact, the mother was probably the single most influential person in my life outside of my parents.  When I went to say hi, I got a curt happy Easter, and was ignore by everybody I wasn't literally shaking hands with.  (Admittedly, mother whom I was closest to did not see me, but I am confident family recognized me)

My question isn't entirely about this in particular but more in general.  Whenever a relationship (not necessarily romantic) is amiss, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach that changes my mood at least for a day, sometimes a few depending on how close the connection to the person/people, and also depending on whether I screwed up (foot in mouth) or just something is wrong.  How do other mustachians deal with things like this without letting it ruin their day(s)?  (I understand LOGICALLY the, who cares about them if they don't care about you mentality, but it doesn't help me feel better to think that, I just have to wait until the sinking feeling goes away.  Today, being Easter, I figured it was worth asking how others deal with situation, especially since I want to enjoy my family party to the fullest extent)

As I won't have access to answer any questions, I will put it out there that I know I was (and am) not always the easiest person in the world.  Definitely can see people why somebody might not want to be friends with me but I never expected this, much less on Easter and from a family I was fairly close to.  I just assumed a quick catch up and move on would occur.

Khaetra

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I usually give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe there's something going on (bad news, death, divorce, etc.) that recently happened and could have put them in an off-mood, holiday or not.  My father died over 20 years ago, but it was two weeks before Christmas and I was in no mood for greetings of any kind.  I wouldn't fret too much over it, after all you said it's been years since you've seen them.

Frankies Girl

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It likely is like Khaetra said; they could have some stuff happening in their lives that makes them less open to speaking to anyone - it may not have been anything you've done at all. It would be better to assume that you are fine, that this has nothing to do with you, unless they specifically tell you this.

That feeling is rejection. You're feeling rejected and it makes you sad because the people/friend/acquaintance didn't want to interact with you in the manner of the relationship you perceived you had. So they rejected your perceived relationship.

Rejection hurts. If you already are awkward with relationships in general, you likely have your self esteem and self worth tied up in being rejected by others as well, and worry over interactions in general, so that feeling is not easy to let roll off your back.

It sounds like if you are feeling rejected, you dwell about how you feel and what you may have done or not done, and then start beating yourself up and feeling worse and you let this really bad loop happen every time your interactions don't go the way you wanted them to.

So what I'd do: Do not assume this is about you. Breath through those thoughts when they start up, and reject those feelings. You don't know what is happening in their lives, so instead assume that they might be having difficulties and you caught them at a bad time. Or maybe they're just rude - people are sometimes assholes. Don't get caught up in your head with the bad stuff just swirling around in there making you feel worse. If you are not a bad person, you don't have to take on the idea that it is your fault for the interaction's direction.

As long as you try to be a good person, and apologize when you make mistakes, you're a decent human being. That doesn't mean everyone in the world will like you, but realize that this is okay. You don't need to beat yourself up every time an interaction doesn't go the way you thought it would. Being awkward myself, I get this now, but it took me decades. I do hope it won't take you as long. ;)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 02:53:39 PM by Frankies Girl »
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dandypandys

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Frankies Girl that is nicely written. I realize more and more with experiences, after hearing about things after the fact etc, that it is not about me usually, and that my perceptions can be too wrapped up in myself. I hate that feeling though :(

jooniflorisploo

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+1 to "usually about something in the other person's life so try to let it go."

Also, I'm reading a book called something like Manners for Nice People Who Say F*ck. It doesn't sound like it would, but it covers the kind of thing you're talking about! How we feel in such moments, and why we do. I'm finding it so helpful!!

LadyStache in Baja

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I used to have a lot of anxiety related to people until I realized that People are thinking about you much less than you think they are. And I mean that in a good way, it's universal. The general You, not you you.

Most people are so wrapped up in our shit we don't have time to empathize with others. If they're rude, or ignoring you, or whatever, it's probably because of some bad shit they're dealing with in their own life, not for any reason actually related to you.

As Frankie said, It's not about you. It's not about you. It's not about you.

jo552006

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I really appreciate the responses.  They were helpful.

I will say, I don't tie up my self esteem/self worth in what other people think of me too much (just the opposite in fact, it's what I think of me.)  I generally realize that I probably worry people are thinking about me more than they are.  I also know that even when people ARE talking about me when I'm not around, it's probably not to hurt me.  They may be griping, joking, or just talking in a good/neutral way, but I realize that even friends/family/wife sometimes need to vent/talk.

My issue is that I feel very bad when I feel like I've offended anybody.  I tend to be extremely hard on myself.  In this case, it is definitely was rejection I was feeling, but given the specific people involved, I am pretty confident that it WAS personal, and about me.  If not, it was still rude, even if there was a good reason.  Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to remedy that, but enough time has passed that I will just ignore it, and try not to duplicate such a negative interaction.

RyanAtTanagra

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Rejection hurts. If you already are awkward with relationships in general, you likely have your self esteem and self worth tied up in being rejected by others as well, and worry over interactions in general, so that feeling is not easy to let roll off your back.

Frankies Girl's post is all spot on.  Even if your self worth isn't tied up in other people's opinions about you, rejection still hurts the ego.  I went through discovering this when I had to learn how to date in my 30s (couple long-term relationships in my 20s let me avoid it then), and deal with the subsequent rejections.  I imagine with family/friends it's a similar guttural feeling.  I don't think there's a simple fix for this other than experience letting you grow thicker skin.  One thing that helped to keep in mind that what someone else does has nothing to do with you, it's all about them.  Still sucks, but I don't get (as much of) a sinking stomach feeling anymore, and don't lose sleep over it.

Also, I'm reading a book called something like Manners for Nice People Who Say F*ck. It doesn't sound like it would, but it covers the kind of thing you're talking about! How we feel in such moments, and why we do. I'm finding it so helpful!!

Love that title, is it worth reading?

jooniflorisploo

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Love that title, is it worth reading?

For me, YES!! I`m truly loving it! Very fresh material on relating. I find it a relief, and practically helpful. I think the author and I are a lot a like, though. Except she apparently knows way more than I do about this stuff :)    She`s like the New and Improved Me, in my future! I hope.

Further to the thread, I have great self-esteem, have quite a bit of room for a lot of `people stuff`, etc, but I too feel that squelchy ugh when a person seems to have issue with me. I think it`s okay to feel like that -and yes, according to F*ck book, totally biological and healthy and normal. As long as we don`t let it totally direct our journey, the feeling itself is just fine.