Saturday, January 3, 2009

68 - People who leave when it gets uncomfortable

I hate it when other people do it, and I've touched on similar topics before in my blogs and my comments on other people's blogs.

I'm not going to be self-righteous here. I do this too, more often than anybody else I know around me (maybe because I see the most of what I do in my life). It's so frustrating for my friends whenever I just leave, just because I can't keep my composure, suck up the bad stuff and face the music. And with a bit of self-reflection, I can see how unreasonable it is and how cowardly it is.

It's funny because doing precisely this was part of my new year resolution. I knew that in 2008, staying in the heat of the moment, battling it out, opposing others and standing for what I believe in took a lot of energy, effort and time. It drove me insane and made me ever-so-tired. In addition, confrontation often made me a very unpleasant person to be with.

And I guess I just got tired of all of it, so I started to just bail whenever I got pissed. I tricked myself into believing that I can stand alone and be alright, which isn't true at all. I realize I can't just run out.

I've had three pretty intense social situations so far (and it's only Day 3 of 2009). And in a mere three days, I could see that my resolution is not practical. The problem is always miscommunication. Staying in the moment to sort it out with others is better.

17 comments:

Alan said...

Maybe you would be a bit disenchanted with me, but I have a family that lives in the next state over that thrives on drama. Over the years I have taken to leaving, rather than participating. At this point, I don't have enough years left to argue with my three older siblings over who get my Mom and Dad's old furniture.
Am I gonna have to airmail you a helium balloon to release, lol???
Alan

Michael said...

Alan, I have had several conversations with people in real-life since I posted this and I am ever-so-confused. I don't know what I'm meant to do. Leave or stay. I just don't know... My emotions have been flying since the new year came to be honest. Somebody help me...

thumbsUpsmile said...

Already played the guitar and piano; stayed with both for a while and surprisingly, I like the cello more.

Drums might be interesting, and I do have a harmonica lying around the house somewhere.

Oh and relating to your post. Stay just a little bit longer than you would like, if the situation is still pissing you off, leave; it's not worth it.

Randa said...

I'm one of those "let's talk about this" people and I can tell you, the walk away thing never jives with me but I can understand why you do it.

A good rule of thumb is to, as thumbsUpsmile said, stay a little bit longer than you would like. At the same time, if it's something dealing with people you actually like and care for, than stay a lot longer than you feel comfortable.

I have this conversation with my boyfriend a lot because he's like you and when something makes him mad or upset, he just walks away. To me, that's saying he gives up and is not willing to try anymore so it makes me that much more upset.

What I'm trying to say is that if you care about the situation or the factors involved, stay. If you don't, there's no reason to waste your time.

I hope you can come to terms with it soon but remember, you're still young.

Madame DeFarge said...

Interesting post. If you stay, only stay because you want to. If you leave, then feel confident about leaving and why you're leaving. I'm with Randa on this one.

I take a fairly reductionist view of life now. Do what makes me happy and doesn't hurt others. Don't do what makes me unhappy and hurts others.

J.J. in L.A. said...

For me, it depends on the other person...

If it's a drama queen/king, I leave. They just want to rant and I don't have the patience for it.

If it's someone who really needs me to be there (and I know they'd do the same for me) I stay for as long as it takes.

Cat said...

Fortunately for me, I neither stand for, nor do I believe in anything. I almost never have conflicts with people.

You are a very iteresting young man, Michael from Hong Kong. Very introspective and insightful. Shouldn't you be out trying to get drunk and get laid? I'm just speaking from what I know :)

Michael said...

Randa: Your comment was really thought-provoking. I'll keep it in mind.

Madame DeFarge: I want to follow a similar principle, but it is hard to identify the lesser of two evils if staying and leaving may both make me unhappy and may both hurt others.

J.J.: These are generally people I care about and care about me. That's how it makes it all the more complicating. I agree with you when it comes to the drama queens and kings, though. I generally don't make very good friends with them, maybe because I'm the drama king! :D

Cat: Very fortunately. Getting drunk? Definitely. Always. Getting laid? Sex is messy. And if you read my posts, you'd know I don't like messes.

Michael said...

My thanks to all of you. I think I have a better idea of what I should do after considering and reflecting on all that you said.

marrriahhhh. said...

I found your blog pretty randomly, but your 'about me' strikes me

"what else is more universal, more relatable, than the beautiful emotion of hate?"

I never thought of hate as a unifying characteristic, but I guess really it is.

Michael said...

Welcome to the blog, Mariah. Thank you. Don't complain about the bag! It looks like a great bag.

yolanda said...

michael, im a 'leaver' too. in the past i used to leave because 1) i was giving up - i didnt think id get the other person to see sense, 2) instead of losing the argument, i could reject them, which kind of amounted to winning.

it was all a power struggle, really.

but there is also an element of self-protection in the tendency to leave. if a situation is hurting you, then i dont think theres anything wrong with taking a step back, and attempting to revisit things once both parties are not so emotional. some times a bit of silence is required before our egos allow us to look from another's perspective. same goes for them.

love,
yolanda

Michael said...

Yolanda: Did you win, really? I always feel I've lost either way...

Sometimes, bad situations strike us at unexpected times, and we simply do not have enough time to absorb it and find out how we are going to protect ourselves. Sometimes, the situation hurts whether you stay or go.

I don't know what I'm saying, I really don-...

Vivienne said...

Hello you, not sure if you know this about me but I'm quite nosy (in a nice way) so burning question - what social situations have you been in so far in 2009?? :) you can tell me where to go of course.
I hate confrontation. I worry too much about what the other person will think if I say something.
Have a sitaution with a friend at the moment, I'm pretty sure she's mad at me as I havne't heard from her and she's not replying to my texts so am going tos end her an email this morning.....

yolanda said...

michael, absolutely agreed - i was never 'winning'. but leaving can infuriate the person you are arguing with, and so it would give me a rush of power.

your observation about 'bad situations' holds true - they do strike unexpectedly. i am not suggesting that leaving holds a long term solution to a problem, but i do think that sometimes it is wise to calmly disengage from an emotionally charged situation, and revisit it with the clarity that only time can bring.

in the 90's, psychologists believed that in times of great duress, it was essential to talk about what was going with you, right then and there. they believed this so much that for a while a psychologist was often brought onto accident scenes, to talk to the victims while they were still in that raw emotive state. however, with subsequent research, they found that this was actually incredibly destructive to the person's psyche. sometimes people need time and space to make sense of things.

all that can apply to any unpleasant situation. i no longer leave because i feel the situation is futile, or because i want to get one up on the other person, but simply because i know that there's no point in really talking about something until both parties are ready. its only then that things can be resolved.

yola x

Michael said...

Vivienne: I find it perturbing how we all hurt each other and make each other worry when we rarely mean any bother or harm at all.

Michael said...

Yolanda: What you said about calmly leaving to collect yourself again makes sense. One of my friends told me that my problem was not opening my mouth to say when I was leaving, though. A simple "I need to be by myself for a while, please" would suffice but I still need to learn how to dampen my pride and say those words.

Readiness is also something that holds true to me when I think about it. But what happens when two people are never ready because one or both of them is/are confused about what to think, or how it can be resolved?