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User Topic: Dating annoyance - a little venty
cayc
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Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, August 9th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One of my flaws is that I'm easily annoyed/aggravated, and when I am, I overreact and decide I don't like that person /shut people down/shut them out/blast them back across the county line - basically I react in a self-protection via isolation forcefield building way. I'm forever having conversations in my head saying to myself "calm down, they are trying to be nice, don't be so sensitive, they think they are being kind". (And of course, this habit of discounting negative feelings makes me susceptible to assholes since I keep trying to override my natural instinct and be nice for too long).

I do it with total strangers too. Like today, some guy thought he'd be helpful by taking my grocery cart from me so I didn't have to walk it back to one of those holder cages in the rain. Except since I was still unloading my stuff into my trunk, I felt rushed, wasn't able to sort things in their place for the drive home like I like, and thus was clearly annoyed at his "help". That's rude, and I wish I could figure out a way to not do that.

And this problem rears it's head in dating too. I've been chatting with a guy, who I'm supposed to have dinner with in a few days for the first meeting, and as it often does, it has become this thing where he's all about how pretty I am, how smart I am, how successful I am. Don't get me wrong, I've been enjoying talking to him rather a lot, which is unusual enough that I think there might be something there. But I've already tired of the compliments - my looks, education and job are the *least* important things about me, and say the *least* about who I am - and I'm started to get annoyed by them.

And so that whole debate has started up in my head again. I know he thinks he's being nice (his complements aren't over the top, they are actually kind and flirty) but once that switch has been flipped .... that negative train of fuck, stop talking about how smart I am, for sure it's one step away from you saying snidely to me: "oh you think you're so smart don't you". That runaway negative train that's accurate if he's an asshole (so far, I don't think so) but exceptionally unhelpful if he's not.

I know self protection is at the root of this dynamic but I can't figure a way around it. I wish I were a nicer person, but I'm just not sure I can get there.


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3091 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
InnerLight
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Member # 19946
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, August 9th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Some people are a little awkward and clumsy with their giving, and end up not giving you what you really need which can be frustrating.

Can you separate out in your mind the part about receiving what someone has to give, and the part about acknowledging deeper needs?

I have had to retrain my brain to receive good things like compliments, even if they are not as perceptive as I might prefer. I've learned there is an art to receiving from others and I can allow myself some kind of nourishment this way. Of course, if it doesn't feel good to receive from someone creepy I ignore or shut it down.

I have a need to be seen for who I am, in a perceptive way, but that doesn't come often or easily. It sure is a treasure when it does.


BS, age 53, d-day 6-2-08, divorced after 17 years and 20 together. Now I am living alone in the beautiful rural property that was once the dream retreat with X. It's taking a long time to create new dreams but despite some struggles I am mostly happy.

Posts: 5826 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Rural California
nomistakeaboutit
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Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 11:02 PM, August 9th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm glad you gave those two examples. It helped illuminate your point.

Shopping cart guy: that one's on you, I think, for not just saying what you said here. "Thanks for offering. I've got it. I'm going to be here sorting this stuff out for the next 10 minutes. Thanks, though!"

Compliment guy: nothing wrong here. He's not deep enough for you, PROBABLY, and you're just seeing that likelihood quickly.

I can definitely relate to what you're saying. It reminds me a bit of the Seinfeld syndrome - close talker, eats her peas one at a time, etc.

I don't have any advice. I struggle with the same thing and always have. I think the answer is probably in the area of seeing the glass half full, prioritizing what is important, etc. but, I don't think I'm ever going to change, honestly. I'll give you an example. Although I'm not interested in dating right now, I had lunch a couple of months ago with a woman who has a lot going for her (strong character traits such as incredible courage fighting-off breast cancer) and who I am very attracted to. But.....her voice annoys me. Now, could I get over it? Maybe. But, it just annoys me. And there you have it!


Me: BH 58.........Her: WW 45
DD: 8..........DS: 5
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 944 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
persevere
♀ Member
Member # 31468
Default  Posted: 11:23 PM, August 9th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think you've received some good insight so far, and the best was from yourself. You recognize what you see as your flaws and that's half the battle. I'm not saying it's right or wrong - that's something only you know.

So I will reply with what i see. In your posts I see you as direct, and, yes, I think you sometimes jump to assumptions of intent. I think I've triggered that on occasion, and it wasn't my intent because I value your opinion even when I don't agree with it. But, overall, and that's the important part, you are straight up and it's appreciated. When you post cayc people listen because you post with substance.

Nomistake makes good points about the two examples - as for the compliment guy, he is out of his league with you - you need someone who has more substance, and when you take the time to look at yourself, as you are doing, you put yourself in a better place to recognize it when you see it.


Me: BW-44
Him: XWH-44
Together 9 yrs
DDays: 1/10/2011
Status: Divorced 4/27/11

Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling


Posts: 4527 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: Texas
SBB
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Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 3:49 AM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have rage issues that lay dormant from my childhood until something relatively 'small' triggers it.

My reaction is as you describe. Scorched earth - cut out if my life. Game over.

My fuse is a lot longer since I had some anger management therapy after almost ripping a guys face off after he slapped me across the face when I was 21. I still feel the urge but I recognise the physical signs well before the rage floods my blood.

Things like voicing

You are not wrong for feeling this way - there are things you can do to have more measured reactions to it. For me it is voicing uncomfortable thoughts.

"Thank you but I like to take my time and you are making me feel frazzled".

"I appreciate the compliments but those are the least of my qualities and I am starting to feel uncomfortable the more you voice them."

I have always been fairly blunt and my brain to mouth filter is pretty flimsy. I've learned how to not feel bad about it. My discomfort isn't less important than theirs.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5559 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
cayc
♀ Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 8:29 AM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

These are all interesting comments.

I hear what you all are saying regarding "voicing". That's definitely a coping mechanism that would work with people I know. It just seems like "in the moment" I'm so annoyed that getting to a calm place to recognize why I feel uncomfortable and how to say something civil/polite/not rude ... well, there's a time lag there. Persevere nailed it. I'm assuming negative intent, and reacting accordingly, and only later thinking, what if that's not what they meant?

Except of course, so often, negative intent is meant! Between shitty co-workers, ridiculous child-men, passive aggressive friends who won't bluntly tell me "hey cut it out" but instead start taking potshots trying to bring me down ... I've definitely got my guard up/am extremely defensive.

As for strangers. I'm probably SOL there. I perceive strangers approaching me as an inherently hostile act. I always have. And I was raised that way. I think it might be genetic too (I'm 100% Appalachian/Scot). Here's how I explain this one: do you remember that show the Beverly Hillbillies? How when *anyone* drove up to the mansion, Granny would run outside with her shotgun ready to shoot until the visitor was proven to be a known quantity? Yeah, well. That's me. You're an enemy until proven otherwise. Appalachians are like Southerners in that we are super friendly, but we are only friendly to people we *know* lol.

I know you all really can't solve this for me. I'm just thinking out loud about it because it came up with this guy where I was getting all het up because of the compliments, and then thinking about a friend of mine who uses compliments as a good thing/measure of interest. And as I was becoming annoyed, feeling pressured I thought about that difference. The other stuff of how I am might be on the spectrum of normal (if difficult) but this, this is not normal.

Another thing behind this as I am thinking it over (and thank you for letting me just talk this all out) is that I think I'm laboring underneath a feeling of not having any value (instilled in childhood, cemented in place by xWH) so a compliment is just a step ahead of someone being angry that I'm letting them down because I'm not as smart as (or whatever) as they thought. It's like I'm discounting the compliment and the genuine feeling behind it because to me, it's akin to ammunition to take me down later.

Good lord, I'm insane, aren't I?

As for this guy, the jury is still out. It could be he's just a genuinely enthusiastic person (which is what I suspect) so that he'll always be effusive about everything. I've accepted that if what I want is a partner to share my life, then to get there, I have to entertain discomfort in order to date.

[This message edited by cayc at 8:30 AM, August 10th, 2014 (Sunday)]


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3091 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Sad in AZ
♀ Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 8:51 AM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you recognize this as a 'flaw' then you should try getting some help with it. One of the many things I admire about my DS is that he recognized at age 18 that he had anger issues and he sought out a therapist to help him with it. I think he was seeing that his reactions to people were similar to his father's (who reacts much as you do to people) and wanted to mitigate it.

I also suspect that you don't show your 'soft' side to people. You are understandably proud of your accomplishments in the business world but that is your public persona. Showing the world some of your outside interests would help, but it can be scary. I was always a workaholic and I defined myself by my jobs. My bliss is birding, but birders are nerds (to the unknowing ) so I rarely talked about it. Now I proudly identify with it, and people are interested!

Let your shine. You deserve accolades for what you are and what you've accomplished.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20175 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
ProbableIceCream
♂ Member
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You may be perceiving the (unknown parts of the) world itself as inherently hostile. Insane? Maybe, maybe not. Mostly fixable? Sure, with time and usually some therapy.


Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 831 | Registered: Nov 2012
hummingbird8
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Member # 25086
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You've said you have been chatting with him but have you actually met him and been dating him a while?

How would he compliment you on deeper parts of you if he has only been chatting with you?

You need time to get to know each other.


Posts: 504 | Registered: Aug 2009
InnerLight
♀ Member
Member # 19946
Default  Posted: 12:11 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Perhaps this would be a good resource for you:

There is an international group called non-violent communication founded by Marshall Rosenburg, PhD. There are many communities that have training and groups that explore the ideas he put forth and there might be one in your area too.

My mom went to meetings for 3 years when she lived in upstate new york. I just attended an intro meeting in my town. I think these are very helpful.

http://www.cnvc.org/

They help explore how to speak without using judgemental words but still get your needs across so that both parties feel heard and understood.
At advanced levels it's used in political and activist confrontations, but certainly most use it for everyday and personal relational needs.

Just a thought. Ignore if it doesn't feel right.

[This message edited by InnerLight at 12:30 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]


BS, age 53, d-day 6-2-08, divorced after 17 years and 20 together. Now I am living alone in the beautiful rural property that was once the dream retreat with X. It's taking a long time to create new dreams but despite some struggles I am mostly happy.

Posts: 5826 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Rural California
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 12:33 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I get really annoyed really quickly when new guys compliment me on being smart. I feel like they see "attorney" and automatically assume all these things about me. It feels fake to me, and it really annoys me a lot. Sometimes I can't push through that annoyed feeling, and I run. I've examined why I feel that way though, and I think it's because I want to be seen for more than just being an attorney. I think they automatically assume that being an attorney means that I'm smart and confident, and that's not the way that I perceive myself. I want the guys to get to know the real me, and compliment me on the qualities that I find important about myself.


Showing the world some of your outside interests would help, but it can be scary. I was always a workaholic and I defined myself by my jobs. My bliss is birding, but birders are nerds (to the unknowing ) so I rarely talked about it. Now I proudly identify with it, and people are interested!

I definitely agree with this. I hide some of the "embarrassing" parts of myself from the world. I'm on a competition colorguard team. I think it's cool, but assumed that most of the world thinks it's dorky. I've started sharing that part of myself, and I've been surprised at how many people ask really good questions about it and seem interested. So, I'm letting more people inside by sharing that part of me.


29 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1165 | Registered: Jul 2013
missherlots
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Member # 30591
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It looks like there is a lot of anger processed as self protection.
IC, IC, IC, IC, to look underneath of layers of defense mechanisms.


Pain and suffering is part of life, but I choose to feel love and compassion for all people excluding no one.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Jan 2011
cayc
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Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey missherlots! Good to see you!

For now, IC isn't going to happen.

So, to narrow this somewhat, and as I've been mulling this over today, I don't find the world inherently hostile, I do find strange men hostile (so that old joke, men are afraid of being laughed at by women, women are afraid of being raped and killed by men).

As for dating, it's like LG says. I'm not the one who brings the career thing up, all I talk about are my hobbies and how I see the world I'm exceptionally open about who I am. But guys hone in on my professional success and gush about it and do the whole "I can't believe you're talking to me, I'm not worthy bullshit, you're too beautiful and awesome for me" and it's annoying as all get out. I'm not my job. I'm not proud of my accomplishments b/c they aren't accomplishments. It's just work, I show up and do it. It's just a degree, I paid the money, showed up and turned in the work. Anyone can do these things, there's nothing special about it.

And once I'm annoyed, I can't shake it. I can't talk myself out of it by saying "well, he means well".

It could be that I'm reacting negatively to someone coming on strong, invading my personal space and/or emotional space too quickly. That's the common thread I'm seeing in all of these interactions I'm describing.

[This message edited by cayc at 3:19 PM, August 10th, 2014 (Sunday)]


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3091 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
ProbableIceCream
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Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

anyone can do these things

You'd be surprised how many people can't do stuff you consider to be trivially basic.


Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 831 | Registered: Nov 2012
Williesmom
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Member # 22870
Default  Posted: 3:35 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with probableicecream. You can't seek yourself short, but I also agree that what I do for a living doesn't define who I am.

There has to be a happy medium. I think it's somewhere between the close talker and the loud talker......


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7653 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 10:16 PM, August 10th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But guys hone in on my professional success and gush about it and do the whole "I can't believe you're talking to me, I'm not worthy bullshit, you're too beautiful and awesome for me" and it's annoying as all get out. I'm not my job. I'm not proud of my accomplishments b/c they aren't accomplishments. It's just work, I show up and do it. It's just a degree, I paid the money, showed up and turned in the work. Anyone can do these things, there's nothing special about it.

I felt like I was reading my own words here. I completely agree. I get the same thing from guys. It really annoys me when they tell me that they told their friends they're dating a lawyer, and the friends reply "wow." I usually roll my eyes inside, and instantly feel annoyed. I realize that they're trying to compliment me, but I think it's annoying because I have the same conversation with every single guy where I try to explain that my job is not that big of a deal. I think it's also a small trigger for me personally because my xwSO used me being "better" than him as a reason for why he cheated.

I don't really have a solution for you, but I definitely feel the same way.

I did go on a date tonight with a guy who didn't do the usual "wow" thing on my job. His job is pretty impressive too though, so maybe that's the trick.


29 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1165 | Registered: Jul 2013
gonnabe2016
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Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 1:08 AM, August 11th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

do the whole "I can't believe you're talking to me, I'm not worthy bullshit, you're too beautiful and awesome for me" and it's annoying as all get out. I'm not my job. I'm not proud of my accomplishments b/c they aren't accomplishments. It's just work, I show up and do it. It's just a degree, I paid the money, showed up and turned in the work. Anyone can do these things, there's nothing special about it.
Cayc, you always amaze me by your ability to totally sell yourself short. You got a degree because you worked for it. You have your job because you worked for it. You are good at your job because you give a shit about it. Anyone *can* do those things, yes, but not everyone does.
But anyway. When the potential datee starts laying the shit on too thick about how awesome you are, maybe you could just say something like "I'm human, my legs go into my pants one at a time just like anyone else's" as a kind of *reality check* to the person?


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8007 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
cmego
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Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, August 11th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I also think part of "this" is not being used to someone complimenting you.

I have the same issue, when a guy starts complimenting me, my "shields" go up. My BFF says that I'm simply not used to men complimenting me since ex never did.

With one of the last guys I was dating, he starting complimenting me really early and I just kinda point blank said, "Thank you. But I don't reciprocate until I'm more "in" a relationship and feel like I know you better." That kinda slowed it down.


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4144 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Topic Posts: 18

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