It feels like I have written a lot recently about how I’m feeling kind of down and how I procrastinate and how that makes me feel worse and about lack of self-esteem and all that. And I know it’s all kind of vague because, to be honest a lot of that stuff feels vague for me as well. That’s the problem. It would be much easier if I noticed in advance what brings on this kind of negative thinking. So I could either avoid the situation or even better come up with mechanisms to deal with it much better. Most of the time it’s just small things that make me beat myself up for how badly I handled a situation or for doing things the wrong way. Even though “wrong” of course is a relative term here. It probably was the right thing to do, but I feel bad about doing it regardless.
A few days ago a friend of mine shared a buzzfeed link on Twitter: 26 problems only anxious people will understand. It was a bit sad, how much I could relate to
some most of the stuff on this list. There was a moment towards the end of HobbitCon yesterday which can serve as perfect example for how screwed up my mind processes some situations.Here is one example of my personal version. Problem #27 on the list, so to speak :-).
I was sitting in the balcony and during the last panel another fan a few seats to my right was constantly taking photos of the stage. Using a photoflash. No idea how well she expected these pictures to turn out because we were like 15 meters away from (and above) the stage, but that’s none of my business anway. But when I say constantly, I mean that almost literally, like every 20 seconds she used a photoflash right next to me and it was annoying like hell. I didn’t say something right away, because I thought she must realize a) that it’s no good to use a photoflash on that distance and b) that it’s annoying for the other folks around her. She obviously did realize neither.
So after a while I shoot her an annoyed look, probably including rolling my eyes. She kept taking photos with a photoflash, even after I shoot her at least two more even more annoyed looks. At some point I turned around and told her – in probably not the nicest voice, because I was so pissed off already – that her photoflash was really annoying. She replied sourly, that I could have said that in a nicer tone. But then she at least stopped using the photoflash.
A “normal” person probably would have just let the situation go and turned her attention back to the panel on the stage. And I tried to do that and I most of the time managed to do, but in the back of my mind there was this nagging voice telling me: “She was right. You could have been nicer. Why didn’t you just nicely asked her to stop, when it first started to annoy you?” Well, probably, because I expected her to get angry at me for asking her to stop and I didn’t want to turn her wrath on me. Or something like that :-)
But I started to worry again, because I indeed could have been nicer and just asked her to stop instead of harshly telling her I was annoyed. Then I heard her talking to her friend and even though I didn’t understand a word she said, I was quite convinced that she was trashtalking me for being such a pain in the ass. And all of a sudden I was at the point where I was blaming myself for that slightly heated exchange of words, because I obviously couldn’t keep my calm and react rationally and nicely. Because I’m a moron and socially enept and it’s no wonder nobody likes me etc. etc. And then – at least – I caught myself wondering :
Do other people make such a big deal out of quite ordinary exchanges? Do other people always think that everything is their fault? Do other people replay moments like these over and over again and think of how they could have handled it better?
I know in fact these people are out there, because I’ve been reading their blogs :-) But when it comes down to it, sadly enough it often still feels like such a lonely battle against personal demons.