anxiety · avoidance tendencies · awkward · blogging · family · social anxiety · solitude · writing

Upset Over Stupid Things

I’m still doing poorly at times with managing my anxiety. I get upset when the change starts blooming inside me. It can happen on a subconscious level without me even realizing there has been a shift in my mood. Or maybe I do recognize it but I don’t know how to seize control of what I’m feeling and just deal with it without having it affect my outward behavior towards other people.

One aspect of my social anxiety is it can be hard for me to initate conversations if I feel it’s a topic that may make me more anxious. Several factors are at play here. I may fear becoming anxious because of whatever topic I want to talk about. I may be fearful of the person’s reaction to what I share. Sometimes it’s not even the topic but I have a negative association with the person to the point I feel fearful of the person and assume the conversation is not worth having at all. That’s where the avoidance comes in.

Since my mom has been away on vacation and my dad is often leaves for work early, these days I go about my breakfast alone and without the anxiety that riddles me when either of them are around. I do feel in some respects that my apparent preference for having no one around is a mixture of just enjoying my moments of solitude but the other part where I seem to feel pressure and/or discomfort around my own family is me not wanting to deal with whatever perceived fears I have when interacting with them.

I get such a horrible feeling building up inside whenever someone in my family asks me a particular question and my response is to become anxious. I end up giving the most vague or general response to the question because I’m scared of the person’s reaction if I tell the whole truth. And if the person follows up with another question, I start feeling defensive and almost like I’m a bear in a cage being poked at. I know realistically that is not what my parents are doing when they ask me questions, but my mind just instinctively goes for the assumption they either have an ulterior motive for asking me xyz or are asking me on purpose to worsen my anxiety. It is probably my mind’s way of perceiving the anxiety. Rather than seeing my own emotions as the problem, I see my parents as such.

Earlier I acted wrongfully towards my dad. He asked me if I was going out tomorrow. I said yes and left it at that. He followed up by asking if I was going to yoga class and if it would be during the afternoon. I wasn’t exactly focused on the conversation when it was happening as I was busy texting someone on my phone. I affirmed that I was going to yoga class and stated sometimes the classes were in the morning. Then he asked me if I went shopping or browsed around elsewhere afterward. At this point, I felt agitated by his continued questioning. Maybe he asked so much because on my end I wasn’t offering much to the conversation. Half of me answered his questions hoping he would eventually get the hint that I didn’t want to share much. Maybe he felt curious and was just asking to satisfy that curiosity, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps I got anxious because I didn’t want to say what I actually do after yoga class. Wander around the streets. Walk down several blocks to get more exercise. Stop by a grocery store to have my lunch. Go window shopping, or browse a bookstore. There’s nothing wrong with doing all this, yet part of my mind just kept thinking if I told him how I actually spent my time, he would find it stupid that I did all these activities alone. So I didn’t even reply to his question in this instance. Why do I go for that particular thought when it’s obvious I have no way of knowing that is what he would think of me?

8 thoughts on “Upset Over Stupid Things

  1. This is a great post and I really admire your honesty. I’m about as British as they get and I’m guessing that you’re quite young … I’m 48 so half dead compared to you! I have two kids 18 and 19 … one is chatty and open, the other would prefer (but doesn’t get) total silence in the morning. They’re both completely different and there’s of course always the odd hormone raging about in there. The problem we have as adults is that when someone is secretive or evasive it’s human nature to want to find out the truth. We of course worry about our children and that’s a part of it too … my God, what I put my poor mother through! … What I have told my children is this ..

    “There are times we want to be quiet, but it would be impolite .. so blag it (ie go through the motions and be chatty and polite even though it’s killing you). In a short while when the inquisition is over and the mealtime is over, then you can have your peace.

    There are times when you want to scream and shout, but if you want to be taken seriously and treated like an adult then behave like one … again, blag it and then when you’re alone, rage all you like.

    Sometimes we just have to go through the motions to keep the peace and there will always, always be times when we have to contain our inner feelings otherwise all hell would break loose if we all acted on our emotions”.

    This is what I tell my boys and they get it. It’s tough, seriously tough when you’re in your parents house and you have to abide by their rules .. I do remember, I’m not tooooo old!

    I don’t know if this makes any sense to you, but there’s an old Persian saying which is, “This too shall pass” and it’s very true, time passes darn quickly. So, all in all, if I was in your shoes, to stop the incessant questions, I’d give them what they want … answers with a smile … “going to yoga and then a nice walk, it helps loosen up my muscles after the class” or some such thing!! I don’t know … I’m sending you huge hugs and a smacker of a kiss. I do hope this helps..?? I’m just saying what I tell my kids! Hugs, Katie. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you say does make sense. It’s nice to hear things from your perspective since I am not a parent and I don’t have that experience to understand why I can’t just be let alone lol. I am 27, but the way. You look younger in your profile pic!

      Part of the reason I don’t like the incessent questions and them wanting to know where I am is, yes, I would prefer being able to go without having to abide by notifying people of my whereabouts. I want to say it’s an introvert thing but I believe it’s also linked to my social anxiety. I often have anxiety associated with even telling people that I am going to the park or yoga or meeting friends at xyz because my default is to assume they will think negatively of how I spend my time. For example, if I already went to yoga yesterday and then I have plans to go again this morning, I feel apprehensive about saying where I’m going just because either I don’t want any followup questions that will raise my anxiety even more or I just think the person will think something like, “oh great, she’s exercising again. Doesn’t she have anything else better to do? What a waste of time.” No matter the outcome either way I end up feeling more anxious than I did to begin with.

      Of course on a rational level, I don’t truly believe people think so terribly about me but you know how anxiety is. It tricks you into believing your own assumptions about yourself are facts that cannot be disputed.

      You may see a pattern on some of my other posts where I’m evasive with my parents or not entirely comfortable in the presence of other family members for the same dilemma I described about how I feel in letting people know about my activities and interests. First and foremost I always think the negative opinion will happen one way or the other even if I don’t see signs of it in the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is really interesting because you sound so very similar to my husband’s daughter. She is without fail very nervous each and every time about answering any questions. I think the reason for her is that she doesn’t want anyone to be negative to her, or criticise her. She also hates being put on the spot, unless she’s in an extrovert mood. It varies a lot.
        I totally understand what you’re saying and it must be hard not having your own space and often feeling the need to justify your actions. I wish I could help! Maybe next time they ask, turn it round a bit and be all bright and breezy and say, “… I’m going to yoga … it’s really doing me good … you should try it, you might love it! See ya later!!” Just a thought! Anyway, sending you hugs and hope you have a good weekend. Katie xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I knooooow. I am so with you! I like to be alone in the morning in the office, so if other people come in early when they usually come late, I get a bit agitated. Because I need that sort of solo meditation before starting the day. I just never get time to myself–and never, ever get peaceful time to myself in which I know I won’t be disturbed since even if I’m alone, I am on edge thinking of when someone will come. Same with family members… I’m often wary around my dad as well because he sometimes makes the mood uncomfortable or asks too many questions. He has good intentions, I guess, but his method of caring can be burdensome xD I think cause we live at home with our families our moods are often dependent on their moods and how they behave. We’re sort of sensitive to that… 😦 And I’m naturally kind of secretive and don’t like telling people what I’m feeling or what my plans are for the day or in life, etc….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you get me! 😯 It’s like starting out a day and not wanting to be bombarded with people trying to talk to you or ask you fifteen questions about this and that. UGH. Like, shush and let me have my peace, please. I know the feeling of being alone and just beginning to wind down and try to relax but then being afraid someone will arrive home to break the silence. That happened yesterday and I suppose that was the start of my mild irritation that paved the way to a growing annoyance.

      I hate that our moods are so dependent on our families’ moods. 😖 Where does it come from, anyway? My sense is it’s embedded in the culture. Not to give East Asian cultures a bad rap, but I think it’s not a culture that encourages individualism and instead prides itself on togetherness and harmony with others. Unfortunately I believe that has a lot of negative influence on us youngsters who are not totally culturally Asian since we are American too so we have that Western influence that doesn’t jive with the Asian cultural values.

      Me too, I don’t really care to share my plans for the day unless people ask me (which I hope they dont, especially not my parents). It’s like, my parents go out and I don’t grill them with a ton of questions about where they went or whatever. I struggle between wanting them to back off and let me do my stuff, and then feeling bad because I feel like I’m shutting them out. But really, I don’t need them to know where I am at all hours when I’m out of the house.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeahhhh because I still live at home with my parents, there’s a sense of entitlement to knowledge about my plans and the like… It’s interesting… and annoying. I do understand that it’s different because I’m under their roof so them actually knowing when I’m out and what I’m doing is important to them out of responsibility, but it goes back to my adulting blog post about how they need to treat us more like independent adults.
        I’m not sure how much of it’s to do with Asian culture. I feel like it might just be a family thing and everyone has to deal with it from living under the same roof under tight quarters and the tighter bond of blood relations. Like family members are less inclined to hide their frustrations and negative emotions with one another, and those kinds of things are so contagious and toxic. I feel like even non-Asian families have to often deal with nosy family members, that sense of entitlement, and other problems in households. I remember being very in tune with a friend who was not Asian but had similar problems. I think I was surprised by how alike our circumstances were. I guess families are just families. Ya love ’em but ya also can’t stand ’em sometimes xD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree that parents don’t let us be independent enough. I haven’t had much experience talking to other people about their family dynamics so it’s interesting to know it’s not only an Asian family thing. I would want to ask other friends about their experiences but I don’t want to seem nosy and/or they’re not comfortable sharing that sort of stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

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