Telling Others How I Feel About Their Behaviour

Today I need to do something which I find challenging and that I feel anxious about. Somebody has behaved in a way towards me that I feel frustrated about, and even a bit hurt by.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a big thing to others, perhaps it would. It is big enough for me to need to say something, and so the friendship can survive.

I need to tell them how I feel when they behave in such a manner to me, and I need to keep the focus on how I feel, rather than blame them for their behaviour. Over the years I’ve learned that people have the right to behave however they choose, and that I have the right to tell them how I feel when their actions affect me.

In principle that’s easy enough. But I struggle with it. Although my self-esteem is most definitely improving, but it’s not so good that I feel at ease with expressing myself when it comes to conflict. In my mind I talk through why I shouldn’t say anything, I empathise with the other person, I feel for them, and I think I don’t have the right. After all I’ve made mistakes in my life, meaning that I therefore don’t have the right to say anything to others.

On top of that I get anxiety come up quite strongly. I’m afraid of how the other person will react or if they will reject me, it’s easier to put them first so that I don’t get rejected. Fear of rejection is a big thing for me, it’s also destructive. I’ve stayed in damaging relationships before, rather than allowing myself to feel rejected.

I know what I want to say. I’ve got that clear in my mind. I think it’s best to leave them a WhatsApp speech note, rather than talk to them over the telephone. They don’t live in the UK so I can’t tell talk with them face to face. A speech note feels like a bit of a cop out, but most of our friendship has been conducted in this way, and if we speak on the phone they won’t hear me because they talk too much to listen. It still feels like a cop out, but it’s the way I am choosing to do it.

I’m not sure how it will go. I don’t know if they will accept what I have to say, or whether they will become cross with me. I just don’t know, and that’s difficult, not knowing, it could go either way.

The thing is that I need to say something for my own sake. If I don’t say anything then I will become resentful of them, which will only make the situation worse. So I have to bite the bullet and be authentic. Living an authentic life is important to me now.

6 Replies to “Telling Others How I Feel About Their Behaviour”

  1. Standing up for yourself and confrontation is hard. Especially when you’re sensitive and empathetic and think about how you’d feel if the situation were reversed. I totally related. Except the truth is, you probably wouldn’t have acted that way. It is absolutely okay to have boundaries, to enforce them, and to tell people when they’ve caused harm.

    Liked by 1 person

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