General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

Is it unreasonable to think I shouldn't have to be the only one to change how I do things?

Asked by SergeantQueen (12037points) 2 weeks ago
52 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

In regards to friendships, relationships, whatever.

In my previous post I talk about how I struggle with certain things communication wise. People need to be clear and straightforward or I won’t get it.

I also am super emotional, and am very black and white, zero to 100 with how my emotions work.

I am trying to change how I respond, and have gotten better and stepping back, taking a breath, and addressing the situation after I have had time to logically think things through.

But also, why can’t people who want some type of relationship with me adjust to that? Why can’t some people learn how I communicate and try to help make things easier? I really hate it. Why should I always be expected to change? Can’t people just adapt to me?

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SergeantQueen's avatar

I had an issue at my grandma’s house for Christmas. The kids were yelling and having fun, but being loud. The TV was on, people were talking, and my brother was playing his guitar.

It was all too much. I started feeling overwhelmed, I was on the verge of a panic attack. The sounds were all happening all at once, I couldn’t tune anything out.

I begged my brother to stop playing. He wouldn’t. He said I was being unreasonable, and annoying for asking.

Why can’t people help me out when I need it? Why do I have to be expected to sit there like everything is all normal when on the inside I feel like I am about to explode from all the commotion driving me crazy?

That would have been a nice situation to have some compromise. People adapt to me.

I am not talking about strangers adapting to me. I don’t give a fuck if some stranger likes how I do things. No one is forcing you to talk to me, so leave. It’s the people who supposedly want to get closer to me.

Yes, I know I need to “tough it out” but why can’t I also be given a break and given some assistance?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@SergeantQueen I had a similar problem. My solution was to cut out family and friends who were inconsiderate to my demands, and boundaries. No family diners, no Facebook (Meta), no birthdays and no holidays. It is just me and my mom and very few others.

I did the my house my rules on others and a couple where put in tears and ran away. I stopped talking to most of my family to 15 years and only recently started talking to them on a limited basis .

My life is awesome now. No drama, no bullshit.

I learned it from a ex-friend who cut me off. I was in tears. She sent me one last e-mail saying that all my e-mails would be deleted unread. It is a very powerful tool.

I suggest looking for classes or online assistance in learning assertiveness. It helps to be assertive and not aggressive. It is too hard to change others, but you have full control over yourself and boundaries.

Forever_Free's avatar

If it doesn’t serve your soul, let it go. You do not have to change. Just be you.
If others do not try to accept your norm or what you go through, then take yourself out of that situation.
I hope that you can surround yourself in loving caring people. That is not always easy, but can be an achievable goal. Treat yourself with kindness along the way.

jca2's avatar

@SergeantQueen: You have to take care of yourself, and your own needs. In a situation like Christmas where the situation was loud and hectic, maybe you could have taken yourself outside or to another room where it was more quiet. At an event like that, people are not likely to want to stop what they’re doing because of one person’s request.

snowberry's avatar

I have similar problems. If it gets too bad I find it necessary to remove myself from the situation. Sometimes that means going into a bedroom away from the commotion and shutting the door, and sometimes it means going outside and taking a walk. I find that other folks generally don’t mind changing their life for you- but there’s a limit, and while I appreciate their efforts, it’s never enough.

Like RDG above I have learned to limit what goes on in my home. I can’t afford to allow others to engage in activities in my own home that make me ill. Sometimes that’s going to make me seem rude or unaccommodating.

If I were in your situation, I probably would avoid going to the next family get together. I’d also make an effort to visit with my grandmother alone.

It’s annoying isn’t it?

chyna's avatar

Sensory overload is a real thing.
I cannot imagine myself in Las Vegas with all the lights flashing, the noise of all the machines and all the people.
My brother knows me better than anyone and he knows the look on my face when I start getting anxious due to noise levels. If we are in a restaurant and there are kids screaming to the top of their lungs, people being boisterous etc, he will either request a new table or rush dinner because I start having a panic attack.
All of this to say, know your limits. If you start feeling anxious about too much noise, leave the room. Go outside, go for a quick walk. But at some point explain to your brother what is going on inside you and hopefully he will become your ally and look out for you.

janbb's avatar

Unfortunately, for most situations, you are the only one who can change how you do things. Whether that’s adjusting your reaction or removing yourself from unpleasant situations, you generally cannot change others around you.

JLoon's avatar

Let’s be straight with each other.

You’re in treatment for a number of mental health issues that you’ve referred to in open forums here before. Some other members have similar problems. I’ve been diagnosed with a condition that could ruin my life without counseling and other support. We’re not “normal” in any conventional sense. Glad you’re making some progress. So am I.

But it does no good to ask why other people can’t change to accomodate your needs. Our needs are beyond what average people can understand. Healing and recovering requires that we change. No one else can do that for us. Sometimes the best option is to remove yourself from the sitaution, environment, or people that trigger negative feelings and behavior. It works best to do it without anger, blame or guilt.

Just work on that. It’s not easy – and misunderstanding yourself only makes it harder.

rebbel's avatar

Hooking on to @janbb‘s answer, adding to it:
You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This is a perfect subject to discuss with someone at your school counseling center.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Counselor may help give you coping tools, defuse the situation before you start to panic.

Jaxk's avatar

Events like Christmas are designed to be boisterous and exciting. Expecting everyone to sit quietly at those times may be a Bridge Too Far. You know it will be that way so you need to plan on a way out of the hectic environment. A place to go to remove yourself from the festivities. Everyone will understand your need to leave but not your expectation to lessen the enjoyment for everyone else.

Jaxk (16660points)“Great Answer” (11points)
SergeantQueen's avatar

I am not in treatment or counseling, and the only people I am thinking should change is people who actually want to get close to me. Not just strangers.

JLeslie's avatar

We can’t control other people and what they do, but it is nice when people who supposedly love us are willing to learn about your needs and make some adjustments to making you comfortable. I’d say this happens more one on one than in a group situation, and if it bends the other person too far out of shape it’s not going to work well. Having relationships with people who naturally fit our personality needs well is a much easier and more productive path in my opinion.

Expecting others to change for us is a horrible plan. It’s full of disappointment in my experience. At the same time, stating what we need does give the other person a chance to change their behavior to better the relationship. We can’t expect anyone to figure it out on their own or read our minds. I don’t think you do expect that.

The Christmas situation I would expect kids might be loud and annoying and you just have to remove yourself if nothing is being done to quiet things down.

Sensory overload is real, and as I age it is more and more difficult for me to deal with a lot of noise. I bring ear plugs with me at almost all times. I keep them in my purse.

Have you been evaluated for Asperger’s Syndrome? You don’t seem to have all of the attributes, but I’m no doctor. Sensory perception and using language very literally is part of the traits. We can have some traits of a condition, but not meet the bar of that diagnosis being warranted. It still can give us insights to how people cope.

Lastly, I want to say that some of the self evaluation you have mentioned on the last few Q’s might seem like you are different than many other people, but there are also many people who are similar, and some of the things you find frustrating I think you can overcome to some extent and some can actually be beneficial in some situations. Being literal and technical can be a good thing in some careers for instance. Same with doing better in quiet places.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@JLeslie I have been asked that a lot but no I haven’t been diagnosed

JLoon's avatar

@SergeantQueen – Look, nobody feels like arguing with you – but since 2020 you’ve posted at least 5 times asking about meds, psychiatry, trauma, and counselling.

We can sympatize, but that’s really all random people on a site like this can offer. If you’re still not getting help from qualified mental health providers you’re probably not doing yourself any favors.

JLeslie's avatar

@SergeantQueen To be clear, some things you write about don’t fit that diagnosis, so I’m not trying to box you in to the diagnosis. These types of things are on a continuum.

Also, about sarcasm. I tell my husband all of the time not to be so sarcastic. Sometimes it’s very hurtful and sometimes it’s not funny when he thinks it is. Difficulty with sarcasm is not very unusual in my opinion. He is assuming people will understand his sarcasm and I think it’s a big mistake all too often.

Plus, I know it’s not good to generalize, but I find a lot of men think it’s funny to toy with women, especially young men. See if they can get a girl to believe something outlandish.

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SergeantQueen's avatar

@JLeslie, I said people have asked me that. Not that I believe I fit the mold.

kritiper's avatar

Different strokes for different folks. What works for one may not work for another. Everyone must find and develop their own technique for success. And you don’t argue with success!!

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flutherother's avatar

I would have a quiet word with whoever got him the guitar for Christmas.

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jca2's avatar

@SergeantQueen You were talking about Christmas being overwhelming. People gave you ideas about coping mechanisms. You said you think others should change and we told you that’s not likely to happen, so you have to do what you have to do for yourself. The bottom line is you need to take care of your needs, because others are not likely to do that on your behalf. They may, but they may not, and at an occasion like a holiday, with a lot of people around, you’re probably not going to be able to get people to act sedately.

As for your mental health issues, you should be going for help and if you don’t have insurance coverage, you might find something on a sliding scale through your school or through your local government social services office or health department.

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rebbel's avatar

The best thing that I can suggest in such a situation, and I speak from personal experience, is to remove yourself from said situation.
Especially if you are close to a panic attack.

About not wanting to change all the people around you; that’s a good one.
Don’t even try that.
In fact, one can’t change any one person, so that they will act exactly as one wants to.
The thing is to change, or adjust, yourself, so that you can deal better with certain events/people.
We are only the centre of our own universe, not that of other people around us.
If we had to adjust ourselves to be able to converse with all different kind of people in our social circle, and outside of it, we’d be exhausted at the end of the day.
And, more importantly, we’d not be our true selves.

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KNOWITALL's avatar

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable for family and close friends to accomodate your pecadillo’s. But I’m from the Midwest, that’s kind of our thing.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL pecadillo “a SMALL, relatively unimportant offense or sin”.

It is impacting her interacting with her family.

NOT SMALL!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie He could have just stopped playing, it seems a relatively small request. Sounds a bit too much to me, too.
No one wants to feel like they don’t matter, family is our soft landing in a hard world. Maybe her family is part of her other issue’s, it often turns out that way in therapy.

Example: My family are loud, competitive and had 6 siblings. They love to play games and scream and laugh-type A’s all around. As an only child I enjoyed reading and the quiet so they were too much to me at ‘full spectacle’. I would go to my room until it quieted down and they teased me a little but only one aunt got pissy. We had a very rough relationship after that, when she called me a spoilt, selfish brat for not socializing.
Needless to say the rest of the family were not pleased with her. So I do have some empathy for @Sergeant_Queen.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Is @SergeantQueen living with her family? The answer would make a whole lot of difference, seriously.

And also maybe her family isn’t aware of her problems?

I’m really hesitant to say “it depends” to this question because she said she can’t tolerate an answer that isn’t absolute, but that’s what it is. The situation isn’t absolute. Context is key.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I agree. If they don’t know, they can’t really be blamed for not helping.

jca2's avatar

@KNOWITALL: Yeah, but what you did when you were a child, in your comment, where you retreated to your room until it quieted down was exactly what several Jellies recommended @SergeantQueen do – take care of her needs by going elsewhere.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 True, but also @KNOWITALL was seen as antisocial, and sometimes family gets offended.

My husband has this problem with his family. They used to blame it on him being Americanized, and felt he didn’t care about being with the family enough. My rift with his sister was because she felt my husband didn’t want to be around the family. Even my father feels hurt because my husband doesn’t always want to be all together when they visit. My dad is too much overload for my husband. It’s a headache for me.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t know the specifics of this particular situation, but the question is a little like moving to a foreign country and asking why you should learn their language instead of everyone else learning English. .If your communication style is in the minority you can expect some accommodation by others, but mostly it is incumbent upon you to make adjustments.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie At large gatherings, I’ll often gravitate to a den or a library or take a walk outside. Sometimes one or two people will end up joining me, just by moseying in, and we’ll have a chat or look at some books on the shelf or something. Nobody’s ever accused me of being antisocial. Often, if the party is hectic, nobody even misses me or us. I’ll just spend a half hour recharging my batteries (figuratively, not literally), with some solace, and then I’m ready to go back out and join the crowd. I’m an introvert even though nobody would guess it, and I need to have some alone time in order to function well.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 Exactly, and it was my natural response as a child. Her asking this question as an adult may mean she IS wired differently, as per her previous question.

@JLeslie I’m sorry to hear about the rift and your husband’s situation. I bet we’d get along well.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 What you described sounds totally normal to me. Im an extrovert, but I still sometimes like to get away from the crowd.

I think it just depends on the people. I remember once we went to a friend’s house and my husband wondered away from the group into the living room. He fell asleep on their sofa. Very casual comfy furniture. My friend, the host, said, “it makes me so happy he feels comfortable enough to relax and rest if he felt tired.”

SEKA's avatar

Why should I always be expected to change? Can’t people just adapt to me?

Because you feel that you are “expected to change” and you do it. If you expect others to change and adapt to you, you might be surprised to discover that they will. It won’t happen overnight; but if you insist on doing it your way, you may find that others will follow your lead. Work on adopting a “it’s my way or the highway” mentality and don’t be so quick to give in and do what is expected from others. Change “your attitude” and expect others to do as you desire and see what happens. It will be difficult in the beginning; but with time, you will begin to notice that others are treating you with more respect in place of taking advantage of you

dabbler's avatar

“Why should I always be expected to change? Can’t people just adapt to me?”
The biggest reason is that you’re the one with the problem.
The other people involved don’t understand/feel the situation the same way as you do, and they cannot fix the problem for you because they don’t get it.

Learn to cope and learn to remove yourself from the situation when you cannot cope.

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