Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Facing How Others See You and Other Nonsense

Recently, I’ve been doing my best to support a friend going through a break-up.  At first, it was fairly straight forward.  Listen to the problems, try to give sound advice, attempt to maintain a friendship with both parties.

Somewhere in there, for a number of reasons, the “he” in that relationship decided I was a threat. Or something.  Even though I am very close to the “she” in this scenario, I’d like to think the feelings and advice I had about the relationship, subsequent make-ups and break-ups would have stayed basically the same.  Some people just become toxic together and the only way to deal with that, in my opinion, is to cauterize the wound.  Just cut the infection and burn the shit out of the traumatized area to seal it off from germs and further festering.

Easier said than done, right?

In any event, what was once a pretty basic friendly acquaintanceship with him has turned into something really ugly.

To be sure, I am not blameless…he irritates me and picks at me like a middle-school boy intentionally pulling hair and trying to bully a girl into crying.  A set of activities I generally feel should be met with sarcasm and “mouthiness” (which, quite honestly is some sexist bullshit, but whatever.)  

My point being, when drinking I have little ability to curb my comments.

Since this has turned sour for me as well, I’m being made aware of how this other person views me.  Vindictive, meddlesome, insincere, and rude.  

In general, I don’t think I’m any of those things.  However, if I put myself in his shoes, I can definitely see how he would think that.  I’ve given advice, advice that is in direct opposition to what he’d like to see happen, when asked by her.  I suppose that would be seen as meddlesome.  Maybe due to that advice and the closeness of my relationship to her the next logical step would be a need to get revenge on her behalf for wrongs I feel he has brought to bear on her entire mental well-being.  I’m not generally vengeful and I try very hard not to act on behalf of others unless they want me to…but maybe I do have ulterior motives.  I don’t think I do, but I’m willing to entertain the idea.

Insincerity is something I don’t have a lot of patience for, neither for rudeness.  Though, I will say, if I’m being outright rude, it’s generally because occasionally Southern charm takes a backseat to sincerity.

The problem is at this point, I’m completely incapable of objective opinion.  I can’t help her anymore without it being partially an attempt to help myself.  I can’t stand the idea of my name being in other people’s mouths, especially his.  At this moment, I can’t stand to talk about him anymore.

I’m not sure how I can continue to give anything but a sympathetic ear when I clearly have dog in this fight…as ridiculous and infuriating as that is. And to be honest, I’m not sure how sympathetic I even feel.  I feel slighted so I’m looking to project an expectation of loyalty on my friend…which really sucks.  I find the need to control others to be distasteful and usually fruitless.

In reality, all those things he rattled off about me are things I think about him and worse.  And since I can only view this situation through the lens of my own personal perception (which right now is colored with lots of trauma and anxiety and stress) he’s coming out looking quite like a pile of shit.  It’s real hard for me to take the opinions of those with no sense of personal responsibility seriously, except that in some way, he has the ear of someone I care for and now I feel threatened and that makes me feel weak.

Not sure how to move forward…guess I’ll take a note from my husband’s playbook and consider the possibilities of non-personhood for someone for whom I feel only contempt and loathing.

Now, doesn’t that paint a pretty picture of myself?

Written by thelittlepecan

August 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

6 Responses

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  1. Sometimes it is hard to remain on the sidelines and keep our comments and opinions to ourselves. Believe me, I know this all too well lately. You know as well as I do that we can not control how others are going to view us, what their opinions and perceptions of us are. The voice of reason and sanity is often considered a threat by virtue of being what it is. You are a roadblock between that person and their victim of choice. You help to sever the unhealthy stranglehold. Granted I don’t know all of the details and I don’t really need to. I know enough about the situation and the people involved. I am thankful that you have been able to be there for the “she” in the scenario.

    All the hugs for you 🙂

    TSC

    August 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    • Thank you, TSC. It actually helps a lot to know that people whose opinions I DO care about and trust still think I’m A-OK.

      I think it’s bothering me so much because it reminds me of Jim’s former friends/his mother. A group of people who created opinions about me based on limited experience and their own need for attention…and we’re really pretty mean to me as a result. It caused me a lot of heartache and I never could understand what the point was.

      thelittlepecan

      August 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      • I am sure that has more than a little to so with how you are feeling. Explore that a little and then see if it helps you to let the feelings about the current situation go.

        TSC

        August 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        • Yeah, they didn’t matter in the long run and neither does this person.

          Also, my grammar and spelling is really bad today.

          thelittlepecan

          August 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm


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