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EmotionalFool posted 7/11/2013 12:50 PM

This is not infidelity related. But about change overall.

One of my aunts loves me like crazy. There was a significant function marking an important milestone her life couple of days ago.
I was planning to call but din as I was having my own pity party that day. My bro pinged me n said I should call. I told him I was busy n would call later. (I did not in the end)
He on the other hand very thoughtfully remembered the occasion and made sure to call her.

Today I called her and congratulated. She was very happy to receive my call and she said all sort of stuff regarding how much she missed me on that day.
And in the same conversation she mentioned that she was very thrilled when my bro called. Somehow I felt very guilty and had an urge to defend myself. (or to show myself in a good light)
I ended up telling her about the chat and said that since I knew he was calling I decided to call later.

My bro did a sweet thing, I could have appreciated it along with her and maintained that I couldn’t call on that day.

Now my question is, how do I change? I mean should I just take a note of it and be alert next time? Should I correct it? How?
I am not even sure what to conclude on this.
But its making me feel uneasy.

If I really break it down.
1) I was uncomfortable in appreciating my bro as you even I could have done it ..after all it was just a call
2) I though my aunt was really expecting my call and I had disappointed her.

So now I have identified this, how do I replace it/correct it?

MovingUpward posted 7/11/2013 15:17 PM

And in the same conversation she mentioned that she was very thrilled when my bro called. Somehow I felt very guilty and had an urge to defend myself. (or to show myself in a good light)

Could you be projecting? It is highly possible that she was happy to hear from both of you, and she was sharing with you about her day things that she thought was special and about the people that she'd know you'd know too.

I also am wondering if the not appreciating of your brother is blame shifting. You felt guilty when talking with your aunt. What caused that? Are you sure that the cause of those feelings are that your brother called? Or do you think that the cause is that you felt bad because of the choice that you made that day to not call?

Why did you feel that you had to defend yourself? Why did you feel that she wasn't seeing you in a good light?

One good step that might help you avoid these feelings is to stop and put yourself in someone else's shoes. Think about how you'd feel if you were them and then taking it a step further and use that person's own personality to try and think how they'd feel. Taking the time to view things from different angles before taking an action can often open one's eyes to a bigger picture.

I think that if you had been able to do this on your Aunt's special day that you would have either been calling her that day or been comfortable in your decision that you waited.

However I don't know the all the details and history, so only you can really sort through things. Try to do this without worrying about what people think. Seek to understand the reasons for your choices and then re evaluate them. Hindsight is 20/20 so you might uncover a piece of the puzzle.

BaxtersBFF posted 7/11/2013 20:32 PM

Are you talking about a b-day or anniversary and not sending a card or making a call?

The whole calling to acknowledge something or sending a card thing is something I've had issues with in my family for a long time. The fact is, many people like receiving calls or card s in acknowledgement of major events or milestones. Others get great joy out of sending them. Some (raising hand) enjoy both but have a hard time remembering to do the acknowledging and don't really notice if the acknowledgement isn't received for events like that. That might sound shitty, but it doesn't mean that the caring isn't there. Some people are just not good at remembering.

So, I guess I'm wondering why you feel you need to change. A change like this is going to continue to be a challenge to you in that there will always be something that is coming up that you will probably feel pressure to make that acknowledgement. And if you don't, what will that do to you?

I finally told my folks that they will either get a call or they will get a card. And if they don't, then they won't. Doesn't mean I don't love them. Doesn't mean that I expect a call or a card from them. Sure is nice if something does show up in the mailbox.

Not sure if any of this applies to your post, and I probably sound like an ass now...just think that there needs to be some reality applied to some expectations in life.

Finally10 posted 7/11/2013 21:41 PM


Change requires a commitment to change, the discipline to effect that change, and the will to make that change a habit. Obviously, you wanted to acknowledge the event, and there will likely be others, you just found yourself in a place where at that moment you didn't feel like it...

If you want to become a person that remembers to acknowledge things like this, start a practice of calendering those important dates in your life, make a practice of looking a few weeks ahead, buy/write your cards and prepare them for mailing or schedule your calls so they become like appointments. Set reminders in your phone or computer so you remember well in advance. Then follow thru. Mail the cards, make the phone call, buy the gift etc. In fairly short order, these things will become habit. Once habit, it becomes natural, easy and spontaneous.

gonnabe2016 posted 7/12/2013 01:00 AM

How do you change....what?

NOT calling someone on a day that is significant for them?
That's easy.
You call them.

Your post feels a lot like a push/pull type of dynamic. You knew it was a significant day, your bro pinged you to remind you, but didn't call, thereby kinda 'tanking' yourself and setting yourself up for your expectation of someone being disappointed in you.

If you are asking how to fix 'this' particular incident? You can't. It's over and done and it seems as if your aunt was happy to hear from you....even if it wasn't on the exact date of her event. So let this one go.

Write this stuff in your calendar and when the time comes, put it on your daily to-do list. And then, the next time that your bro calls you up to 'remind' you of can tell him "thanks, but no thanks. I already called."

(disclaimer: I totally suck at keeping in touch with people. It is a running joke with my kids that "mom will do it 'tomorrow'"...*sigh*)

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