Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya

I'm one of those persons who has always cared too much what other people think--like most of us, I want to be liked. Hell, I want to be loved! Unfortunately, this tendency hasn't served me well over the years, and I've had to learn the hard way--over and over again--that ultimately it's not good for me to take things personally. That is a surefire way to make myself crazy.

Fortunately, with sobriety came the realization that very seldom is it even about me: if someone has an issue with me and we can't talk it out, sometimes that says more about them than it does about me.

A case in point:  once a coworker got a new girlfriend and was sharing her excitement about that with me in a text message conversation. She said (and I thought she was saying it proudly): "She's got abs! Six-pack abs!"

To which I responded, "Oooh, hot! :-)"

There was a pause and then came her next text: "She's mine! You keep your hands off her."

No smiley, no j/k, so I wasn't sure how to take this. But maybe she was kidding. So I answered, "Um, yeah, I'm married, so I don't think you need to worry." (And I was also thinking, "and not to mention that I don't even know this person.")

And she responded, "Yeah, okay, must be my Scorpio jealousy."

I wished her luck in her new relationship and dropped the conversation.

But in the past, when I was drinking and taking everything personally, which would trigger me to drink even more, I would've gotten upset over the implicit accusation that had been fired at me: I don't trust you to not try to take her away from me. Why would she think that about me? Does she think I don't respect other people's relationships? Does she think I'm a huge jerk? Does she think I'd have sex with any person who had six-pack abs? How shallow does she--how shallow do people in general--think I am?

Today, I look at this conversation and I see that, instead, her implicit accusation had everything to do with HER, and absolutely nothing to do with me. It not only suggests what she admitted to--that she struggles with jealousy--but it suggests she's entirely insecure. She projects what she fears onto other people.

Well, needless to say, her relationship with that person lasted for maybe a year, something like that. And there have been other instances in which I've seen her do a similar thing: take a perfectly innocent statement way out of context, attribute a villainous motive to the poor soul who uttered it, and blow up. Consequently, the day another colleague referred to her as "crazy," I wasn't surprised.

Others have noticed her erratic behavior too.

This is on my mind today because she did it again yesterday--she accused a group of colleagues of being cliquish bullies. The accusation took everybody by surprise, and nobody seems to have a clue what she's talking about. Clearly there is some history in this woman's own mind that makes her assume something like that, but who knows?

I guess it bothers me a little because I saw one of the accused take it personally. However, she chose to let it roll off her, so that's okay.

And really, if you really want to avoid a lot of wasted energy, heartache, and drama, this is the about the only way you can respond to a difficult person like this. Let it go in one ear and out the other. It has nothing at all to do with you--it's their bullshit.

Or, as Chelle is fond of saying, "She's got issues."


Chelle said...

Actually, I like to say, "That's HER issue, not your issue."

The other persons issues are never your issues... That's why I say, "She's got issues".

Joyce said...

And as we all know, YOU have no issues. ;-)