Something happened tonight that deeply hurt my feelings. It was a little thing that happened. I made an offer, and the other person responded to it with a sound of contempt. Pft. I think that’s how you write it. Just a little sound, a puff of air really. Totally dismissive.
They didn’t say anything else. I waited a few moments, hoping, I think, that they would add words that would take some of the sting out of it. They didn’t. So I walked away.
They weren’t thinking about me when this happened. They were thinking about their own circumstances and their own wants and need. They weren’t thinking about how it would sound or what it would mean to me, but – hear the difference – in the context of their life, my offer was not worth considering.
Later – and this part is almost funny – they offered me something similar back. Something that they had already said they were planning for me weeks ago.
It flipped my perspective – you know how things do sometimes? It was a picture of a young woman, a vase, or a town and suddenly it something completely different – an old woman, two faces, a person sitting on the beach.
So suddenly, things that I had dismissed and made excuses for and overlooked, suddenly those things showed up in the foreground. And suddenly, I flipped from feeling like I wanted to curl up in a ball and stay there to feeling —
Irritated. Not even enraged – not an anger equal to the hurt I’d felt. More like, good grief, this is some serious bullshit. I am putting way too much energy into taking care of this person, and I need to back the fuck up and rethink my position. Reconsider my priorities.
Obliger Rebellion: Because of the Obliger’s tendency to focus all their energy on doing things for others, over time, those expectations can become overwhelming. An Obliger meets, meets, and meets an expectation until one day they burn out and then snap and refuse to meet the expectation any longer. This is known as “Obliger Rebellion.” (From The Four Tendencies, by Gretchen Rubin)
I haven’t quite snapped, although I’ve certainly done that before. And when I do, then I’m done. But there’s no need for that drama. I do need to let this person know that the contempt registered. And I just need to take better care of myself, and acknowledge things being what they are to myself.
I will consider their needs less and my own needs more. I will not look to them for some aspects of relationship that I once did. I will not buy into feeling unworthy because of their thoughtless, crappy attitude. Fuck that.