One of the ongoing challenges which I have been forced to deal with throughout the years is the at times extreme emotional oversensitivity that has developed because of my condition.
See if this sounds at all familiar: You've done something..maybe something creative, like writing a story or a poem, painting a picture or creating a video and uploading it to You Tube. You share it with the world, allowing your friends and family to enjoy it.
A little while later , you check back in to see how people responded to your little masterpiece and discover that – say, if you're using Facebook as the medium through which to share – you've received one "like" and no accompanying comment..as if no one had even noticed..
I touched on this in a blog the other day. I cant speak for anyone else, but my obsessive disorder kicks in right about here and I can't stop focusing on the feeling that I'm being deliberately ignored,even taken for granted. I mean, I'm always posting comments on their pages and being supportive of everything they wrote, why can't they do the same for me? They're just fair weather friends who don't care, that's why!
So now our old friend Paranoia has decided to boogie on out from underneath his rock and join the fray alongside his good buddy Anxiety as my mind paints an increasingly hostile picture of people who are self absorbed jerks. The bizarre logic coninues in this vein: Screw that! I'll block them! Or I'll lash out! Or the next time they post something, I'll criticize it and see how they like it! That'll fix 'em, those bastards!
Yeah. that's not…. quite….right, is it? But that's exacty what it was like for me for a long time, until I began to keep in mind something seemingly obvious, but all too easy to forget when our feelings are hurt and we're in the anger cycle: The same people the ire is directed at are only human, just like us.
My experience has shown me that, nine out of ten times, the person or people I get upset with didn't even realize they had upset me. More to the point, there was no deliberate attempt to ignore me. Either they hadn't seen the post while they were online or they had other things come up that prevented them from even going online that day. This doesn't just apply to online posts and things of that nature. This has generally proven to be the way of it in everyday social interaction as well. Everyone has trials and tribulations in life and by keeping that in mind, it became easier for me to understand that the lack of attention wasn't any kind of personal attack. It's just the way the ball bounces sometimes because that's how life is. After all, these good people are not obligated to pay attention to anything I do..the fact that they choose to of their own free will is why they're called 'friends".
If you ever find yourself feeling neglected or upset by what you percieve as a brush off by someone you exepcted to have some input, just remember that it could be any number of factors that had not one whit to do with you. That way you remain rational and clear headed, while simultaneously cutlivating an environment of patience and understanding, which makes those friendships all the stronger.
After all, we're only human.