Yackety-Yak: Self-Criticism

Do you every look at a conversation you’ve had and thought: ‘wow, I’m really letting them down‘?

Sure? It this a new thing for you?

I guess not? I mean, we’ve all had moments where we overthink something we’ve said and try to dissect all the possible ways it could of been interpreted. I’ve just been torn lately between wanting to talk to/be there for others as opposed to just hanging alone.

And how does this link back to your question…?

Because i-….I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I think my value as a friend is at risk? As if I might fall to wayside and when the tide of pandemic finally washes out, I’ll be washed away too?

…Right…so you’ve become hyper-aware of your conversations and are worried you might disappoint.

Pretty much sums it up.

Well I think you need to take a deep breath and relax. Look, everyone is going through varying degrees of stress. You can’t please everyone you care about without driving yourself insane- especially if you’re focusing on it. This is a time where you’ve got to do what you need to do; and if you have people keeping score in your corner, then it might be time to clear out the corner.

And then I’ll feel like a selfish bitch because they could easily of been venting their stress and that’s just how it came out. Or what if I’m the one keeping score? Then what?

…Wow.

What?

I’ll admit you have a point there. And to be fair we’re all guilty of dipping into either side of the pool- I know I certainly am.

So did I win this one?

I don’t think you can win a question, but regardless I’m going to say no. You still need to take a deep breath and relax. Maybe stop putting so much weight on every little interaction and just let yourself be more present? Our friendships are supposed to be an outlet and with the way you’re going; it’s definitely going to become one way flow instead of a circulation.

I don’t know if that analogy actually makes sense.

Doesn’t matter because you still got the message.

Quarantine Revelations:Toxicity

With the way things are right now I don’t really see a point in talking about my personal day to day. I mean, plenty of us are experiencing variations of the same thing, so what more can I possibly add. Right?

For instance, in my case there are only three important (if we can even call them that) points: I was put on a ‘work from home’ order two week ago after returning from Washington state; with budget cuts I’m now working part time; everyone will be moving out of my home in a few weeks.

See my point? None of that is very worth noting aside from my privilege/luck of having a boss who fought and succeeded in keeping me employed (thank you *****!).


With all that out of the way I wanted to talk about something I’ve come to realize in these times of deep “self reflection” or what I like to call: I now have no distraction from self reflection and over thinking. So, what is this thing I’ve discovered about myself? Well, I’m pretty sure I’m a toxic friend and it’s put me in a position where I think maybe all this social distancing would do me good in kind of stepping away from things and out of tropes…if that makes sense?

I guess given all the added stress on everyone right now I’d rather not add unnecessary fuel to the fire.

If you’re wondering how I know I’m a toxic friend; such as if I was told in some way or snooped or something… I suppose the answer is no. It’s more: I was having a conversation with a friend about an issue we had and certain verbiage they used kind of struck a cord in me. Think of a light bulb moment, but instead of discovering Shirokuma Cafe you get hit with a wave of ‘I really must be trash‘ & ‘I’m surprised they haven’t chucked me‘.


On a completely unrelated note I was told I may or may not be adjusting well to quarantine and lack of human contact. Do I agree with this? No idea. I’ve been viewing it as a lesser issue in the grand scheme of everything happening right now. Is this the best stance to take? Who knows.

Anyway, this was my attempt at articulating my current thoughts and feelings in a way which hopefully made sense. I went back and forth on how to possibly close out the post for a while, but I think I’m going to have to just end it here.

Why the Sexualization?

It’s an unfortunate thing to have simple actions sexualized: especially when it’s those close to you who are doing it.

Now I understand teasing among friends, but there comes a point when it’s a little…much. In my instance, it started when I made a comment how one of my bros wanted me to teach him to swim.

The fact that we agreed to this in December was just poor planning on both of our parts.

Well this somehow became ‘interesting’ since I was going to be in a bathing suit, it was going to be cold; and there was even comment on how he was probably looking for a way to stay warm.

At first I was thrown off, but then just said there was nothing ‘interesting’ going on. I met the guy this semester and we formed a study group to get through a challenging class. He’d asked if I’d teach him to swim earlier in the semester when he found out I had a pool and I’d said, “Sure”. He’d even planned for another member to join, but they had to take their grandparents to the airport, so they couldn’t come.

Now after the comment was made about ‘staying warm’, I said I was going to go since they were making it awkward and I really wasn’t going for that angle with this guy. They tried to keep the conversation going a bit, but after they said I’d ‘spoiled their fun’ I just changed the topic entirely. And things were fine.

It wasn’t until later that it really began to sink in for me. I’d been straightforward about nothing going on in the beginning and yet they’d kept at it. In the past I don’t think this would’ve bothered me as much, but after everything I’ve been through in the past two years…I think I’m just over it.

It’s like I can’t even have male friends without there being some sort of ‘angle’ where I’m either trying to get with them or they’re trying to get with me. And honestly, it’s mainly my girl friends who do it. My guy friends are pretty lax and get we’re just bros. What probably hit me the hardest was how she’s a victim of assault just like I am, so I guess I thought given the knowledge of my second attack over the summer…she wouldn’t have continued down that route after I’d made it clear the first time?

I used to have a complex when I was younger about how I was constantly praised for my body and therefore must not be the ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ type- just the ‘sexy’ type. After my first assault it seemed the prophecy was right and I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. I thought I’d found my way back again and then had another incident- this time far worse than the first. It’s been about six months since and I’m happy to say I’ve made some pretty good headway. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t view myself as a sexual object anymore, I’m opening up to friendships, and I’ve put work into myself. This progress has led me to a point where I guess I’m just not about getting typecast into old tropes anymore.  

Learning to let go of old standards we hold for a person can be a hard thing to do; I know I’m guilty of it for sure, but I’m definitely going to reevaluate how I view people as opposed to the person they’re becoming. We all change as we age- no one stays the same forever and it’s something we have to accept just like we accept it in ourselves.  This is especially true for the people we care about because if we really care then we’d  try to help them become their best self.

This has gone beyond off topic, so I’m going to end it here. If you made it this far though, then congrats because you did it! You made it!

For follow up I’ll just add I did not end up teaching him to swim today because it’s DECEMBER and the water is unacceptable. So, we decided to reschedule for when it’s warm again.

And while the conversation I had may not of had anything to do with old standards…that’s what it ultimately reminded me of and where this cluster of a post went.

I’ll try to keep it more together next time, guys.

O.P 14 December 2017

Yackety-Yak: Bad Friendship

Do you think you’re a good friend?

Um…is there something we need to talk about?

What? No. I’m not talking about ‘us’ specifically. I mean in general.

Oh…then I’d say…sixty-forty, maybe?

That low?

I guess? I mean, the way I think about it is: I know I’m in friendships that aren’t healthy and I know I should leave, but I don’t because of whatever reason. I think it’s also something where we all have to accept that there’ll always be times when we’re being the toxic person- even if it’s reactionary because that shows there’s something going on there.

So you think you’re a good friend a little over half the time.

Well, I’m always going to be extremely critical of myself obviously. Plus I know when it comes to certain friends, I’m hypersensitive to my actions and theirs which also isn’t ideal.

Hm…Am I one of those friends?

Ha! No. You aren’t one of them.

Okay, cool. Because for a second I was worried I was being a bad friend.

Do you think you’re a bad friend?

All the time.

Why?

I just feel like I’m constantly negative; a shadow of darkness in the corner, and am only kept around out of obligation. Basically.

And you feel like that for everyone?

Not everyone. Just a few specific people, I guess.

Hmm…maybe we should talk to our people and clarify some stuff.

Like whether we’re actually bad friends or just being insecure?

Aaand how the problem might be coming from more than one side of the friendship…

Oh.

It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. I think sometimes we forget friends can honestly outgrow each other. You might link up in the future…you might not. We carry on.