‘We shall act with good intentions, but at times we will be wrong. When we are, let us admit it and try to right the situation’ – Joe Paterno
Apologies if this gets a little self indulgent but this has been on my worried little mind for sometime now. I like to consider myself a nice person, i have good manners, I let the stranger in As You Like It use my NHS discount at the bar to get half price drinks and i’ll give pretty much anyone my last rolo. I avoid conflict like the plague and although I can be pretty highly strung at times, when it comes to other people and their plans, wants or needs i’d like to think i’m pretty laid back and happy to go with the flow. So how is it, that i find myself pissing people off on almost a weekly basis?
I feel that lately I’ve been going about my daily wife, working, exercising and socialising yet on an almost weekly basis I inevitably end up upsetting someone. Sometimes it’s at work, sometimes it’s my family and sometimes it’s one of my friends and although it seems to happen on an uncomfortably regular basis, It blind sides me every single time. Dramatic as it might sound, but how is it that i’m so misunderstood?!
If you’ve never met a chronic over thinker allow me to explain how we work:
- I read way too much into everything, that bugs people, especially if someone is having a bad day and i’m constantly asking if they’re OK. Because I like to be cared for I sometimes forget other people sometimes like to be left alone – I’m an ‘are you sure’ pest.
- When I say I’m sorry I really, really mean it. And when you say it’s OK I won’t believe you
- No one can say anything negative to me that I haven’t already said to myself a millions times believe me I am hyper aware of my short comings
- For every situation I automatically mentally prepare myself for the worse case scenario, and worry about things that haven’t happened yet, which is exhausting.
- I have no courage in my convictions whatsoever. I trust everyone’s opinion over my own.
- I could be given 99 compliments and 1 insult and I’ll believe the insult is true.
- I love social media; twitter and blogging because I need constant validation and reassurance
- If you don’t text or call me back for a while, I’ll replay our last couple of interactions in my mind wondering if I’ve said something to upset you
- I can’t have any kind of pain or illness without thinking I have a tumor or a terminal disease
- I’ll apologise for anything, even if it’s not my fault, if it means it ends a disagreement
I sometimes think because I am the way I am, people see me as a bit wishy washy or a pushover and because I’m non confrontational it’s almost like they subconsciously think they have the green light to speak to me however they like because I probably won’t challenge it. The problem is, for every time someone has a go at me because they’re more outspoken than me and bluntly tell me how I’ve messed up or let then down, they get on with their day having gotten something off their chest, and I’m left feeling like the worse colleague/daughter/sister/friend in the world.
I just feel that people are constantly challenging me, telling me where I’ve gone wrong or upset them, but I try (as best I can) to take people’s little idiosyncrasies as just all part of the rich tapestry of what makes us human.
I’m no saint by any means. I admit I can be thoughtless and selfish sometimes I like to be the centre of attention and I like to get my own way, but they’re hardly hanging offences. Ang sometimes lacks the ability to make a decision, sometimes it annoys me that Steph doesn’t like coffee like normal people, Janine sometimes completely misunderstands what you’ve just said because she’s thinking of the next thing to say, Meagan does everything last minute which sends my need to plan everything 3 years in advance into overdrive. Sometimes we can all be dickheads, but isn’t that just people? And friendships? And we still love and accept each other because of all those little quirks not despite them.
Clockwise from left: Ang, Janine, Steph, Meagan and Patricia; All different, all the same
I’m learning to be a bit stronger, grow a back bone and stand up for myself a little more, or at the very least try not to dwell on things too much and remember that you can’t please everyone all the time. But my advice would be if you come across someone you think may be a sensitive over thinker, go easy on them, they may infuriate you from time to time with their incessant need for reassurance, but I promise you they’ll be the most loyal friend you’ll ever have.