Woe Is Me! “I Bitch About People I Love, Then Lose Them. How Do I Stop?”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
“Whenever I get close to someone, I can’t stop myself from bitching about them. I feel they don’t like even a little conflict between us, and that leads me to break every connection with them. I think I’m a twisted person. I do love them but whenever my anxiety rises, I start finding fault in my loved ones. How do I stop?”
— Don’t get too close
DR: You’re not twisted, but do you really need someone to tell you that you’ve fallen into a toxic pattern here? Before burning too many bridges, and being forced into socially isolation, please seek therapy.
If therapy is too expensive — which it can be, in this unfortunate reality we live in — then begin the process of honest introspection right away. And, in the meantime, try looking up therapists who use sliding scales to charge for their sessions, or have slots avaialble for people who can’t afford their full fee.
AT: I think, most of the time, these issues stem from our insecurities and from how we have been conditioned. I have a tendency of finding faults in people that are close. But lately, I’ve come to realize it’s me projecting my insecurities. Essentially, it reflects how I see them, and not necessarily how they are — but that doesn’t mean you’re always wrong; just be aware, I guess? Our perceptions and reactions are colored by our pain and I earnestly believe working on yourself is important.
This is thrown around a lot, but communication really helps, and maybe, taking baby steps such as telling your loved ones when something bothers you — instead of shutting them out — might save your relationships. I wouldn’t say you’re twisted; a lot of us are this way, and what matters is how we deal with it. Disagreements and conflicts are natural in any relationship and are also important for the development of deeper bonds.
AS: You’re not alone in trying to push people away as soon as you start getting close to them; so, no, you’re not “a twisted person.” This is not to say your actions and words won’t hurt others; eventually, you may find yourself in a position where you have no more close connections to run from. While you work on this, you could try flagging this pattern of yours to those whom you trust and are close with, so they are spared the hurt and confusion of being cut off for seemingly no reason.
Meanwhile, I think it might be time to begin working on the underlying reasons for this with the help of a professional, especially if you’re noticing it happening regularly and actually want to stop finding fault in everyone that crosses your path.
DD: I think in good, meaningful friendships, conflict is inevitable, and most times, also healthy. Maybe, instead of bitching about them, you could directly talk to them (if you haven’t tried already) and let them know what’s bothering you. It might help to hear their perspective, too. Also, when you’ve been with friends for a while, their faults and yours will become more and more obvious. But part of friendship is not only tolerating them, but also helping each other recognize what they are and grow from it.