What I Do

I just tend to read a LOT into everything. If I have a great conversation with a girl I start imagining that maybe she's interested in me. If my boss looks up at me with a scowl on his face when I come into work, I think he's angry or upset with me and get worried (will I get fired, yelled at?). If someone tells me that they need to talk to me, I get worried about what they want to talk to me about. If someone sends me to the store to get something for them and gives me cash for it, I always present a receipt when I return because I worry that they won't believe/trust that I spent what I was supposed to.

When it comes to girls I can find any meaning in whatever a woman says in splits seconds. If she says nothing: maybe she's not interested; maybe she thinks it's hilarious that I actually thought I was good enough for her; maybe she's creeped out by me; maybe she was never interested; maybe I said that wrong thing when I called.

I can see layers of meaning in everything people say, and--being very cynical--I often extrapolate that their meaning is X, which happens to be not-so-good. Like if one of my co-workers says "wanna get out of here a little early tonight?" I feel like down about myself and think that maybe they don't want me around; they must not like me; I must've done or said something which irritated them; I must be boring them; they must want to keep whatever tip money was gotten that day all to themselves; etc.

It's vicious.

Yes, I am a writer, so I suppose this may be a valuable gift. But does it have to be so pervasive and painful? How can I learn to control this tendency? It gets out of hand sometimes. It'd be good if I was more balanced in my perspective, and less invested. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the guys did want me to go home early so that they could have some time to hash out something personal between themselves or even just share a prime tip between themselves. Maybe every girl doesn't like me or want to go on a date with me, but it's not personal. Maybe they just recognize that I'm not a good match for them and they're doing us both a favor. Maybe they realize that they're psycho and they're taking pity on me and saving me from them. I don't know.
liferiot liferiot
26-30, M
9 Responses May 11, 2007

its ok im the same way and you know what it has protected me and revealed details with aquaintances and love ones what other s what of missed . Its seems to be a safety mechanism for me and usually people like us are the more selfless people out there we are people pleasers well at least i am so of coarse i look towards body languge and words to understand something. although it can complicate my life sometimes it usually turns out for the good nothing wrong with being aware and to be on top of potential consequences.

its ok im the same way and you know what it has protected me and revealed details with aquaintances and love ones what other s what of missed . Its seems to be a safety mechanism for me and usually people like us are the more selfless people out there we are people pleasers well at least i am so of coarse i look towards body languge and words to understand something. although it can complicate my life sometimes it usually turns out for the good nothing wrong with being aware and to be on top of potential consequences.

its ok im the same way and you know what it has protected me and revealed details with aquaintances and love ones what other s what of missed . Its seems to be a safety mechanism for me and usually people like us are the more selfless people out there we are people pleasers well at least i am so of coarse i look towards body languge and words to understand something. although it can complicate my life sometimes it usually turns out for the good nothing wrong with being aware and to be on top of potential consequences.

Darling( and to prevent you from wondering as to the use of that word lol I said it because Its a gentle way to address you and you appear to be suffering and should know that I know how this must affect you, I am also a 40 year old woman with lots of experience in mental health):)<br />
I think you need some cognitive behavioural therapy. You have to unlearn some messages you keep telling yourself,. You can go the long way through self help books and suggestions, or you can go and see a professional and work through a management plan that is going to see you get results.There is no fear or shame to take control of a situation which for you must seem at times uncontrolable. It can change , it is possible, its not uncommon, there are people who are experts at helping you find the solution. Make an appointment, find a professional that you think you can trust and respect and invest in YOU, your potential and most importantly your FUTURE.. You are worth it and this is no way to live. Good luck.

Thank you for your frankness, TardyDodo. You may be right, perhaps I am utterly self-centered. Turning my perspective around on what I'm doing like you did was really helpful. You're right that I do find myself constantly wondering "how does X effect me?" If so-and-so is saying Y about me, does that mean they don't like me? And so on. You get the picture, obviously. I'll try not to think about myself so much; or at least I'll start with not worrying about what others are thinking about me, or assuming they're talking about me, and even if they are talking about me--not assuming that they really care as much as I think they do about what they say about me...even if it sounds fairly harsh.<br />
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Maybe the point is that if I spend too much time ruminating on the past I'll crash into the future because I'm spending too much time looking in the rearview mirror.<br />
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In the worst case scenario, even if I'm right (if I took the time to think about it--which I'm going to try doing better about) and people are talking behind my back and saying mean/negative things about me, then it doesn't do me any good to focus on it. As you point out, the "how does it effect me?" question isn't very useful. So people are saying mean/negative things about you (maybe). What're you going to do about it? Even if it leads to getting fired, cheated on, or whatever, that's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes...so perhaps it's best to simply save my energy for dealing with the future and present. If nothing else, it is very exhausting constantly fretting about that kind of stuff.

I am one to give unwanted advice, so here goes ;) STOP THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF. Seriously. It might feel like you spend all your time thinking about other people, but all you're actually doing is thinking about yourself. How does it affect me? How does it affect me? I don't mean to holier-than-thou, because I'm a pratastic fool who no idea what they're doing, but I've been close to enough self-centred people to know the signs a mile away, and this story has them in fifty foot neon lights. So, that's the key, I think. If you're really interested in changing things.

Alright, having been like you, I totally understand the feelings BUT instead of placating you I CHALLENGE you!! For ONE day, fight the automatic feeling of the cynical thoughts, assume they have NOTHING to do with you. IF you can do it for one day than try for a second day!! You, like me, MIGHT be amazed!! It can seriously change your life FOR the positive. I admit that I am a Dr. Phil fan, people either adore him or hate him, but despite how you may feel about him, he has a few great sayings about many things. He has one saying that directly challenges your feelings and the way you think, so this is just food for thought. I can't quote him, as I do not remember his exact words, but basically he states, that our fear of what other's think about us, is often unnfounded, if we REALLY knew how little they are actually thinking about us. Something like that. So accept my challenge and see what happens!! All my best!!

Or, if I see some people I know laughing or making angry gestures, it must be about me (I've overheard them talk about me at least once before actually, so maybe it's not all in my head). <br />
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I frequently misjudged women's body language: I think they like me, they don't; I think they don't like me, they do. <br />
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And, yes, I tend to believe that the worst possibility is real. <br />
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Here's another good example. This is pretty blunt, but here goes: about eight months back I had a one-night stand--and the condom we used broke. Yeah, talk about freaking out. I told her about it, she supposedly took the day-after pill and that's the last I heard of it. She moved away a week after that. A couple weeks ago a mutual friend txts me and asks if I've spoken to One-Night Stand girl. I say no. She tells me to call another mutual friend who typically is the enforcer in our circle of friends. When I ask why, she tells me to just call the Enforcer. <br />
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I immediately jump to the conclusion that One-Night Stand is pregnant, and it's mine, and all the sudden I'm a father, and all the sudden my already shaky financial picture just got a LOT hairier...and so on. However, I don't call the Enforcer because if that's what it really is about then One-Night Stand needs to call me herself. Or Mutual Friend just needs to give me the news herself. But whatever, the point is that I immediately blew her initial txt out of proportion. *sigh*<br />
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I still don't know what the txt was about.

I know EXACTLY what you mean. If I ring someone and they're short with me, then I must have done something wrong. If someone says something to me that could be taken a couple of ways then I take it in the worst way. If a stranger even LOOKS at me then they're thinking badly of me...