I’m a very nice and upfront person. I don’t like to play those games of “I’m mad at you, and even if you guess why I’m mad at you I’m not going to tell you because you should already know.” I feel like that type of behavior is garbage (and sorry for anyone who plays that game and you’re offended…). But, I’m too much of a happy person to ever really get mad at people or stay mad for too long. The problem that I have sometimes is that I assume that people are like me. That if they’re mad, they’re going to either address it or find a way to deal with it. However, some people just aren’t like that.
Let me take you back to my senior year of high school, when Nelly, Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins were blowing up all types of music charts and I had an unknown frenemy. This girl, off and on, would act like she had a problem with me. I would be nice, try to ignore it, think that I was being too sensitive, but when the craziness got too much, I would ask: “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you mad at me?” She would always tell me no, that [insert someone else’s name] made her upset and she was just thinking about them and she didn’t realize that she was taking it out on me. That’s why I didn’t realize she was a frenemey until after we both graduated high school and went off to our separate colleges.
Running into her the next summer after our freshman year, she was being extremely rude. But, I’d forgotten about her foolishness, so her behavior wasn’t so easy for me to brush off this time. Sending her an impassioned Facebook message I asked her what was wrong, why had she been so rude, what did I do and the so forth. After a day she sent me back a message detailing incident after incident where I had made her upset and all I could think of (besides the fact that she had a LOT of misconceived information, but whatever) were all of the times that I approached her during those times, asked her if I did anything and she would adamantly say “No! You didn’t do anything! I swear!”
Because of that, I’ve become kind of paranoid with certain people. Not really with my friends or coworkers, but the few people who, when I ask them “What’s wrong?” and they say nothing, I immediately think: “LIAR! They’re mad at me!” Then my mind frantically starts searching for times that I might have offended/angered them.
You know the story of Narcissus, right? Based off of a Greek myth, he was a young man that was so consumed with his own image that while mentally drinking in his reflection in a pool of water (because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet) he fell in and drowned. Most Greek myths were written as cautionary tales to warn people of dastardly results from crazy actions, and his fatal actions are where we get the term narcissism.
In this day and age of digital narcissism, where we broadcast everything we do and expect people to care, has made people unintentionally narcissistic. Now, I’m not knocking it. I have a Twitter account, and it does sting a little when I notice I’ve lost a couple of followers. (Nothing that a nice cry in the shower won’t fix. Just kidding.) But because of these actions I feel as if our society has became just a little bit sensitive. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves that it’s really not about us.
When someone seems crestfallen in our presence, they could be thinking about mortgage payments, crazy coworkers, or global warming (people are still worried about that, right?) instead of thinking about us.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we are the problem (and I had a Facebook message to prove it), but not everyone is as crazy as *Melissa was (*name changed). If you did do something wrong, then do your own version of damage control, but if they tell you you didn’t, don’t obsess about trying to figure out what you did. That’s a deep pool that you’re wading in, and if you’re not careful you can end up drowning.
Swim away from your narcissistic fears and to Kendra Koger’s twitter account @kkoger.
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