When to get mad, and when to let it go

Sideways

Sponsor
When someone has treated you really badly, been really disrespectful about you, or undermined you to others, or maybe, like, sabotaged your recovery and your alliance with your treatment team...stuff like that...

How do you decide when to (a) be motivated by your anger and try confronting/communicating with that person your hurt, or disappointment; or (b) suck it up and accept that some people are just gonna treat you like shit, and let it go?

Maybe there’s a middle-way - but I can’t see one.

So, how do you know when someone has gone too far, and hurt you too much, that you need to do something about it.

I’d like to salvage the relationship. Possibly that means accepting they’re always gonna treat me like rubbish and undermine me to others? Or is there a boundary issue here that I’m missing, that I maybe need to assert?

Confused how when to do something about being treated like rubbish by loved ones...
 

bellbird

Sponsor
So, how do you know when someone has gone too far, and hurt you too much, that you need to do something about it.
To answer this question in a general sense, I usually sleep on it and see how I am feeling in the morning.

I can feel pretty emotionally reactive within myself in the moment, but have learnt that it's not always in my best interests to act/respond while that feeling is still strong.

Usually if I've slept I can see things from a broader perspective, and I also have a clearer idea of how I want to respond and not just how my heated emotions want me to respond.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I usually sleep on it and see how I am feeling in the morning.
Yup, so having slept on it, I decided to start a thread and get some opinions!!! So, I think you and me are seeing perfectly eye to eye.

I’m really mad. I’m really disappointed. I’m also concerned about protecting myself from the behaviour in the future, because it hurts a lot, and I don’t have a developed enough self-esteem to really tolerate it very well...
 

bellbird

Sponsor
Hit post before I'd finished, sorry!
How do you decide when to (a) be motivated by your anger and try confronting/communicating with that person your hurt, or disappointment; or (b) suck it up and accept that some people are just gonna treat you like shit, and let it go?
I’m really mad. I’m really disappointed. I’m also concerned about protecting myself from the behaviour in the future, because it hurts a lot, and I don’t have a developed enough self-esteem to really tolerate it very well...
What's your gut instinct telling you to do based on these emotions?
Btw I totally feel you on all of them.

Speaking to a situation that I'm in currently; I've not sure how applicable it is but I'll share and you can take/leave what you will :)
I'm currently writing a formal response to a, quite honestly BS incident report that came out relating to something that I was involved in.

I'm also exploring mediation for meetings with two people related to that incident. One of whom I wish to move forward with our relationship, and one of whom it's possible we might not but I'm feeling ok with that.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
So, my gut can’t really be trusted, because it seems to be saying something along the lines of “filthy fkn whore, how dare you feel anything but gratitude for this” (ahem...gut still suffers from a bit of abuse programming).

Mediation, probably isn’t going to work. But that’s the middle ground - stuff like that. Not backing down and burying it, but not burning bridges either. So that is g helpful,, thank you :)
 

bellbird

Sponsor
because it seems to be saying something along the lines of “filthy fkn whore, how dare you feel anything but gratitude for this”
Aha! Gotcha.
But that’s the middle ground - stuff like that. Not backing down and burying it, but not burning bridges either.
Yes, absolutely.
And there will be one/many manifestations of a middle ground for your situation, even if mediation doesn't suit.
 

Karolina12

Learning
I have a lot of thoughts on this. I think I kind of have a process for it.

If it’s not someone I care much about (most people), I’ll let it go but take note of it for future reference (usually impacts how I view that person’s integrity immediately). If it recurs, then I’ll consider what boundary I need to protect my reputation or feelings. If I choose not to use a boundary, I’ll adjust my feelings internally about the situation. That’s the simple and straightforward and then it gets messy when it’s a loved one but it’s still a good basic template to work off of.

With a loved one I won’t be so quick to change my impression of the person. My reason for addressing it will likely be so I don’t think less of the person—a chance to redeem themselves. I’ll do a through internal check first to see if I can re-evaluate the situation or excuse it. From there it depends on the person and my history with them and how they best receive feedback and what I want out of our relationship.

One individual, for example, I’ll give clear direction on what I want and don’t want in the future. If that fails I’ll assess their ability to do that and if there is anything I can do to help them do that.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I really love ladee's input. I think the fact you are acknowledging, recognizing and taking time to sleep on it says a lot about your resilience. It is obvious this person means a lot to you but also I notice you said you may not have the self esteem to tolerate this. I took the later that the issue could be something you could at different time learn to live with.
I do not have advise but from what I learned from life of trauma lens is this: I validate my feelings and I truly try to see if my reaction is from the past or here and now. Like trigger or this is real. Like a man touching me when I say no is here and now but a man who looked at me certain way could be either... My body useally tells me which one. I listen to it. And approach the person with a feeling let us find solution to this thing I feel from you and allow space the possibility of being wrong or misunderstanding. I do this because at minimum I have no reason to believe this person would want bad things happen to me. If they do or did in the past, then the question is more why do you want to be with person? And if you are not safe with this person, please have an alliance with your therapy to help you cope until you are ready to remove yourself. This last point is only extremely applicable if safety is an issue. That is how I approach now. In the past I would cut people off at the first real or perceived misunderstanding. But thank goodness, my pickers have matured.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I have no reason to believe this person would want bad things happen to me.
This is really important.

My parents both have pretty dysfunctional personalities, which is evidenced by their inability to sustain relationships beyond each other (the term ‘enmeshed’ comes to mind, but it works for them, so whatevs).

My dad is very bright, but socially abysmal. Fired from very senior jobs throughout his career because he’s technically brilliant, but socially a disaster. He has very (very) strict rules about everything, but it’s almost impossible to establish what they are (I think he has low self confidence - he seems to know that he’s not well liked, but genuinely doesn’t understand why), until you’ve overstepped one of his rules (and it can be really arbitrary stuff, the the front door being kept open for a certain period in the morning, but otherwise kept closed). Then he explodes.

My mum is just plain scary with her anger. She doesn’t have a violent bone in her body, but she still manages to be incredibly scary with the way she talks when something makes her angry. And unfortunately, often she gets angry at the person she’s actually feeling angry on behalf of, like yelling at you about how badly someone else has treated you. Ongoing issue for many family members - she’s aware of the issue, but either unable or unwilling to change. Sometimes she has to be specifically directed, “Please do not raise your voice at your (93 year old dementia) mother over this banking issue”.

I don’t think they want to hurt me. When they talk about it, they always seem hurt that so many of their family won’t talk to them.

Doesn’t make their behaviour acceptable, or even tolerable. But their intentions are definitely relevant.

I don’t want to shut them out. I think I largely have reasonable insight into their issues and I lean towards accommodating people’s differences rather than applying universal rules. Probably why I work well with the disability crowd that I work with.

Would like to not be a person that behaves like the brick wall that the wrecking ball gets repeatedly thrown at. But how to do that I’m not sure.

ETA: and fortunately, in their extensive notes, they have been told by 2 well respected pdocs who have seen me that “Sideways does not have a personality disorder”. So, “the manipulative liar” label probably isn’t as accurate as they keep banging on about.
 
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