I Don’t Care What You Don’t Like

Whenever someone asks me what my ‘pet peeve’ is, I am always stumped. Little things annoy me just like they annoy everyone else, like long lines, slow walkers, and delays on public transit. I wouldn’t exactly call any of those a ‘pet peeve’. More like ‘universal peeves’.

But I was reminded the other day by a tweet from Hank Green (“Never let what you hate define you”) of something that started bothering me intensely about 4 years ago.

I can’t stand when all people can talk about is the stuff they don’t like. Complaining is the way they make conversation and they love debating with you just for the sake of it.

When you get really close with someone, inevitably this is going to happen; you complain to your loved ones and they help you work through your problems, and you do the same for them. But when I’m still getting to know someone, I don’t CARE what you don’t like. We can talk about that later. For now, tell me about what you DO like.

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What To Do When Someone Walks Away

Losing a friend or partner, even temporarily like in the case of a disagreement, can be extremely hard on people living with social anxiety and other mental illnesses like depression and borderline personality disorder.

I am no expert in how to get people to stick around. Clearly, I am terrible at that. But I do consider myself a little bit of an expert in how to deal with the aftermath, because this situation just keeps happening to me over and over again, at least once or twice a year. And every time, I am emotionally destroyed, but every time I somehow get back up again. At first, it seemed to me like this was an accident and I only started to feel better because something good randomly happened to me. But at this point I think it’s safe to say that I am pretty resilient.

I’m sort of going through one of those situations right now, and it occurred to me that although I am basically a ball of constant anxiety and I’m a lot lonelier than I was before, I am actually doing kind of okay. Not great, but okay. I’m doing better at this, and I’m also doing better at actually resolving conflicts. So it prompted me to take a closer look at my habits to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, and I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with you.