Recently I hurt a friend.
There was a miscommunication. I jumped to conclusions. I went into protect myself mode. And, in the process, I let them down. For that I apologized. We have since reconciled and all is well with our friendship.
But as soon as things were better again, I began wondering why things had gone so wrong in the first place.
The short answer is I panicked.
I am a planner, not by profession but just as a general personality trait. I need to know details, information. I need to be able to say for certain I will be at this place at this time doing this activity.
This habit was brow beaten into me during my high school years. The only way I was ever able to hang out with my friends was if I knew all the details of our excursion and imparted this information to my mother in advance. Otherwise a curt “no” was her answer.
As an adult, I have come to do this for my own self easing. In part I continued this practice because it was good to have the information. But, to be brutally honest with myself, I know this habit has a lot to do with my Ex.
My Ex was a manchild. He made more money than me and worked in my industry longer, yet I had less debt, owned a car, and lived in much better accommodations.
It wasn’t long into our relationship that I learned I needed to make all the plans. He was very lazy about our outings. We once showed up for a company party after it had ended. He hadn’t bothered to check the event times.
We once almost missed a theatre performance because he didn’t look up the address of the venue. It was that particular incident which tweaked my annoyance level the most. Before we left, I asked him specifically if he knew where the venue was. He said he did. I asked if he was sure, offering to look up the information. He assured me he knew where we were going.
When we pulled up to the wrong theatre, too close to the start of the show, I kicked myself for not looking up the location. Unfortunately I did not do this with my mouth closed. He grumbled his discomfort as I called information to find out the address. (This was before I owned my fancy phone.)
When we arrived at the theatre, it turned out our tickets were for the week before. The box office gave us tickets in the same seats for the show that evening, no charge. After the show, I told him I was sorry for my outburst. We were able to attend the performance, not missing any part of it.
(But did you catch that? I apologized to him for criticizing him, even though he fucked up, twice. Yeah, my relationship with my Ex was not emotional healthy in the least.)
So, with those paragraphs of explanation, I can now get to the crux of my realization.
It is hard for me to trust people when it comes to planning events. It is hard for me to have faith that people won’t fuck up in some way, thereby screwing me in the process. It is hard for me to not immediately jump ship just because the deck is damp.
In my mind, I have to take care of myself. I am an independent contractor, making sure my shit smells like roses. So if I get a whiff of funk, I immediately go into panic mode. I find a solution for myself and allow others to live or die on their failings.
In how I hurt my friend, I did not trust that they had everything taken care of. I doubted their abilities. I panicked. And for that I was and am truly sorry.
Sadly, to be frank, I’m not quite sure how I can keep myself from doing this again.
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