Feeling guilt about showing annoyance

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Socialsunshine

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Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« on: March 01, 2021, 10:22:39 PM »
So, I know these feelings are left over from the co-dependency/enmeshment, but I'm having some guilt about possibly being passive aggressive/showing annoyance with my uBPM last week. I'm getting pretty good at grey rock and medium chill, which has been great, but what I WASN'T good at last week was holding my boundary. She asked to see me and my kids and even though I wasn't in the emotional space for it, I consented. And bc I wasn't in the emotional frame of mind, I was SUPER annoyed with her the whole time and she could prob tell. She didn't say anything but she probably picked up on it (I caught myself sighing a lot for instance). I'm just frustrated because I've been doing so well not feeling guilty and then this comes up. But like- it IS wrong to be passive aggressive and rude to someone...so I'm having a hard time differentiating that. How do you draw the line between having grace with yourself because you were triggered and having to interact with an unhealthy person vs. a person you're in a healthy relationship with? FWIW I would still sigh around my DH but I would be able to tell him why and we'd talk it out. I guess I feel guilty for possibly making her feel uncomfortable...?! Idk. Obviously I'm in the FOG right now and that annoys me   ::)

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2021, 11:07:00 PM »
I've totally been there. I think I'd chalk it up as a learning experience: this is what happens when you allow the boundaries to slide. You end up annoyed with her AND at yourself. The good thing is that you know that next time, when you aren't feeling up to a visit, the answer is NO.

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Hilltop

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 01:27:10 AM »
I've been there before, just think of it as a learning experience and go for a visit when you are in the right frame of mind for it.  People have bad days, you don't need to feel guilty for having one.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2021, 06:17:22 AM »
Hereís my thoughts FWIW guilt is not an emotion actually itís a judgment. Shame is the emotion we would feel inside. It may seem like semantics but let me explain why this might help.

Shame is what we feel when some thing we did doesnít quite align to our internal moral compass. How you behaved felt yucky to you, doesnít feel good for you inside. Honor that because the gift in shame is that we get to walk away with a lesson learned.

You recognize yourself that you werenít good in holding your boundary, you agreed to something you didnít really want to agree with so thatís the lesson learned.

The past is the past minute by minute, we get to reset and move forward. We get to make new choices next time around. So my suggestion would be hold grace for yourself in this instance and make a different choice next time. Honor your boundary, your wishes, unapologetically and if youíre not in the mood simply just donít with no need to explain - it just doesnít work out for you this time. Itís on them if they donít like that response.

My personal policy is this, if Iím not in the mood, if Iím not in a good place, if I know I canít handle the interaction I just bow out gracefully.
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∑ Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
∑ It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
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Socialsunshine

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2021, 10:00:37 PM »
Thank you for these gentle replies. You all are so right, this situation has been such a good reminder to listen to myself and my boundaries. I also reminded myself of something a T told me once about holding boundaries being the most loving thing we can do bc it allows us to still be around the person which is what their desire is. I need to remind myself of that too when I feel ďselfishĒ for having a boundary.

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DetachedAndEngaged

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 09:00:51 AM »
Socialsunshine, you sound like a very kind and considerate person.

I agree with everyone here that the main take-away is to respect and maintain your boundaries moving forward. The sure fire way to avoid being annoyed by someone annoying is to avoid their presence.

At the same time, there's nothing wrong, pathological or unhealthy (however you want to put it) about being annoyed with someone and expressing it.  Expressing annoyance by sighing is neither passive-aggressive nor rude.

It also seems like, though you don't say so explicitly, you experience guilt and shame for even feeling annoyed, regardless of whether or how you express it.

I can very much related to your experience. One lesson I have learned for myself is growing up in a household with an uNPD father and enabling co-dependent mom led me to insist upon a crazily high, unrealistic, unhealthy internalized expectation not to offend them in any way, which enabled their pathological behavior. I am still retraining myself to not always feel the need to be a "nice guy." I learned how to walk on eggshells and to feel badly if I dared to cause a crunch when I tip-toed around. I'm learning that if I'm walking and egg shells get thrown in my path, there will be crunching. That's life. Some people won't like the crunching sounds of those egg shells. That's life.

If your mom asks to come over, you say OK and then she's annoying you, your annoyance is something she has to deal with. That's called reciprocity. It is healthy to feel annoyed by an annoying person, just like it is healthy for your hand to feel pain if you touch a hot stove. That pain is what tells us there's a problem we need to address. Similarly, there's nothing wrong with crying "Ouch!" when you touch the hot stove anymore than there is with sighing when your mom is annoying.

Of course, the lesson to be learned is: don't touch the hot stove. No amount of self-work or discussion with the stove will make its flame cool and safe.

Be easy on yourself. You deserve sympathy. You have mine.  :thumbup:

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Sneezy

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 01:07:30 PM »
It is healthy to feel annoyed by an annoying person
This is so true - the very definition of an annoying person is "someone who makes us feel annoyed."

For me, it's almost impossible not to feel annoyed around my NM.  I try to maintain my boundaries and practice medium chill, but she is an expert at getting around all that.  She's had years of practice.  Sometimes I let her know I'm annoyed and sometimes I go into full-on medium chill.  It depends on the circumstances.  For example, on Monday I offered to take mom to the bank to deposit a check and then out to lunch.  She insisted that I had to park and take her into the bank, which I refused to do.  So we compromised and drove through the teller window, where mom insisted that she HAD to have her February statement.  It hadn't arrived in the mail and she just HAAAAADDD to have it right away.  At that point, both the teller and I let her know we were annoyed (actually, the teller was more patient than I was).  It was 11 a.m. on March 1 and no one had their February statement yet.  I let mom know that from now on she was going to have to wait, like everyone else, for her statement.  She could tell I was annoyed and that's ok, because (hopefully) she won't get all wound up about her bank statement again.

After lunch, though, we stopped at the grocery store and she went into toddler mode.  First, she was mad because the clerk didn't use the disposable bag she had brought with her.  Then she changed her mind and wanted a paper bag.  Then she got mad because she wanted extra paper bags and she didn't get any.  I just let it all slide, told her I had extra bags at home and would bring her some, and then changed the subject.  Not worth getting into a big argument over paper bags.

My point is it's ok to feel annoyed.  And it's ok to show your annoyance or hide it, depending on the circumstances.  PDs are experts at annoying everyone around them.  Some like the feeling of control, others seem to need the guilt that comes along with being annoying.  I've stopped trying to figure out every one of my mom's annoying behaviors, although sometimes it is truly fascinating to try to decipher why she acts the way she does.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2021, 05:41:53 PM »
Sneezy and DetachedAndEngaged bring up a good point. What are PDs if not annoying?  :bigwink: 

I think you could make a case that there's a fine line between a sigh being passive aggressive vs. you expressing your emotions. Especially if the reason for the annoyance is related to some sort of boundary issue. For example, if you've told your mother you don't like gossip, and then she starts telling you all the gory details of her friend's divorce, I think that kind of reaction is warranted and not passive aggressive at all.

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Socialsunshine

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2021, 06:24:24 PM »
I think you could make a case that there's a fine line between a sigh being passive aggressive vs. you expressing your emotions. Especially if the reason for the annoyance is related to some sort of boundary issue.

Yes, I think youíre right! When going back and examining my behavior, I wasnít intentionally sighing trying to be passive aggressive- it just happened  ::)

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 07:13:55 PM »
Annoyed as one of the lowest forms of anger and it’s actually a good signal that a boundary needs to be reset. Being aware of our emotions at a lowest level and responding to them rather than stuffing them down until they intensify is an amazing thing.

Fir me sometimes I realized that in reality I was annoyed with myself for giving in when I didn’t want to
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 07:16:21 PM by Spring Butterfly »
∑ Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
∑ Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
∑ It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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Boat Babe

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2021, 09:24:09 PM »
Annoyed is one of the lowest forms of anger and itís actually a good signal that a boundary needs to be reset.

Wow, that's a gift. Thank you. I have been annoyed around my mum forever. I'll restate that. I've been angry around my mum forever.  That's the more accurate statement and something to work on. Thanks again.
It gets better. It has to.

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DetachedAndEngaged

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2021, 04:50:08 AM »
I have come to subscribe to the idea that anger is a secondary emotion--anger is an extreme expression of underlying negative emotions like annoyance, fear, grief, etc.

One of the pernicious elements of being raised in a PD FOO is that we can not only learn to pathologize our own healthy anger, but our own healthy negativity of any sort.

I really used to believe that whenever a PD (or even many other people in my life) elicited a negative emotion in me I was screwing up and needed to work on being more positive. I.e. implacable. Grey rock not just in outward appearance, but inner feeling as well. That is seriously mess up and made me tolerant of abuse.

I have come to learn that not only is experiencing anger healthy, but expressing it, even with a raised voice and unfriendly vocabulary, is sometimes important to communicate effectively for everyone involved. If this becomes one's default, this is unhealthy; however, having a gamut of feeling and expression is necessary.

I remind myself that grey rock and medium chill are both tools, not ethical imperatives. They have their place, but they aren't universally appropriate.

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Socialsunshine

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2021, 07:14:07 AM »
I have come to learn that not only is experiencing anger healthy, but expressing it, even with a raised voice and unfriendly vocabulary, is sometimes important to communicate effectively for everyone involved. If this becomes one's default, this is unhealthy; however, having a gamut of feeling and expression is necessary.

I remind myself that grey rock and medium chill are both tools, not ethical imperatives. They have their place, but they aren't universally appropriate.

This is so so good. Thank you DetachedandEngaged for both of your responses. They are so thought provoking and validating!

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Lisa

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2021, 02:16:06 PM »
Social Sunshine,
I believe that sighing can be the body's natural way of calming the nervous system.  Maybe if you notice yourself sighing you could excuse yourself to the bathroom, take a few deep breaths or do something that helps you to feel more calm.  It also helps me to jot a few quick notes in my phone at the same time about what the exact situation was I just removed myself from.  Were they being critical?  Overbearing?  Gossiping? Judgmental? etc.  That helps me to normalize my emotions if not right then maybe later when I can look back.

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DetachedAndEngaged

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Re: Feeling guilt about showing annoyance
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 04:39:43 AM »
Social Sunshine, I'm glad to know you find my input helpful! Thanks for saying that.

Hang in there; dealing with PDs is a marathon.

Lisa, I second your suggestion about taking notes. That had a huge impact on my ability to see patterns of what was going on when I was figuring out the PDs in my life. It is easy to forget. Seeing things written down over time can reveal just how insane and unhealthy situations are.

"Forgive and forget" was a message drilled into me by my FOO growing up. Though there is a certain wisdom to that, there's also a whole lot of potential pathology; when PDs are involved, that pathology is actual.

"Remember and protect yourself" became my new mantra.