How do I stop taking others' decisions as an indictment of my own?
June 17, 2014 11:12 AM Subscribe
I seem to have this problem where I will get worked up, disappointed, upset, and distressed--a combination of all four--whenever someone makes a decision that is wholly unrelated to me but is a different one than I would have made. It has moved beyond someone being wrong on the Internet
over the past few years and is really starting to drive me bonkers. Do you, denizens of the green, have any advice for changing my behavior?
posted by fireoyster to Human Relations (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of things have been bothering me more over the past few years, and this one is the one that I'm having the most difficulty dealing with. Worse, even if it's a choice that I didn't need to make or haven't ever made, I have the same reaction if their decision is different from what I would have chosen. It feels, to me, like I am so emotionally invested in any decision that I have made or might make that it prevents me from seeing that other people have their own lives and are separate from me. I have this urge to not only "correct" the other person but to also feel disappointed in myself that I did/thought the opposite/one of the alternates.. If it was just a political candidate or a cause or a sports team, I would be OK with it as one of the areas where I am simply passionate about something but this [whatever it is] comes out all of the time.
To avoid threadsitting, here's a recent example: I bought a small house in an urban area of a large city. I'm also a big fan of and recent convert to urban-style living and all that entails. A person commented on a blog that I read that he is buying a house in a neighboring suburb because, in his view, my city is too expensive, has poorer schools, and is too risky for a real estate purchase. This has been bothering me for the past several hours since the comment appeared, to the point that I've obsessively written and deleted several multi-paragraph rebuttals.
Any advice for an overthinking flame-broiled mollusk?