My nerves frizzle and I get all jumpy and snappish, like a machete-wielding sex offender in a hockey mask is about to jump out from behind a tree at any moment. I'm distracted and upset and walking this weird line between trying to hide how I feel and wanting to let it all out.
Mostly everyone in my life right now (thank you, God) is understanding and patient. And these people are all there on purpose. They know if I do something hurtful that it's not on purpose. They feel comfortable calling me out if I'm being somewhat turkish and forgive me when I behave badly. But of course, we have misunderstandings and hurt feelings sometimes. And that leads to conflict and badness and stomach aches and everything horrible.
Now that I'm old, I've figured out that you really can opt out of drama club. These days I tend to keep people at arm's length who seem a little scary to me emotionally. I just... can't. I can't handle it anymore. And I have three little people and one large person counting on me not to lose my schmidt. Plus it can start to feel like high school and I really hated high school.
Also, I have this theory that every so often in life, conflict and drama just show up on your doorstep (in the form of sickness or death or divorce or deployment or accidents or getting fired or some such horrible crap). So since it comes eventually anyway, I don't seek to make any extra. I have no idea if that makes sense. Probably not.
The following is an overview of what happens to me when I have a conflict with someone, as told in gifs. I hope you like it and that you can relate a little. If not, let it make you feel a little more sane and together by comparison.
What Happens When I Get in an Argument with Someone
When I feel that someone has hurt me or done me wrong, I get upset. My first reaction is usually something like this, where I'm not even fully registering what is happening but I know that I'm feeling a lot of hurtness:
While I believe this reaction is common, I also know that many people respond differently. Some react to conflict by being stoic or feeling themselves slowly settle into a cold rage. For example, when Kate gets her feelings hurt she's more like this:
And of course, other people just completely lose it.
At least I try to keep it together, even if I totally want to cry.
I wait to fall apart until I'm alone. Which is like - NEVER. So I try to carry on as usual and not let anyone see that I'm upset. Which is so pitiful. I'm like a walking Sarah McLaughlin song. And I'm going to be honest and tell you that as soon as I put my kids to bed, I'm pretty much like this:
Thanks for reading this.
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