People that get mad over hypothetical situations

Postby ced316 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:50 pm

I dont know how to word this , but it's become enough of a 'thing' that I want to sort it out to see if I'm not the only one that has experienced this

Several family members, over time have all started an argument claiming to be hurt emotionally because myself or others didnt consider 'what if' emergencys

in one case, the person went to the hospital for a check up. they were concerned there could have been something serious going on but it was an ordinary check up which was discovered nothing was wrong. after the fact we all busy with our lives touched bases to be sure everything was ok. the response was a guilt trip that no one reached out prior to the visit out of concern of 'what if it was serious and we werent there for them'? and the drama show went forth

recently another family member made arrangements to have furniture delivered all on her own. one sunday afternoon she calls and asks someone in our house to come over to just 'be there in case the deliverers are criminals or something'. we said it was too last min but if they could reschedule it for another day , if that was a real concern, we could help out. they flipped out on the phone using that as proof that no one cares for them, shows how selfish we are and completely went off on the deepend with accusations of how careless we are - based on a threat that didnt really exist.

finally i had another cousin who really got under my skin. i literally had surgery and was on bed rest. i was home with a few people calling me to check on me. he called me up asking me , while i was on bed rest, how i was doing. the response is normal - im doing fine thanks for asking. when i asked him he said he was feeling sick. i said take care and two days later he called me up to guilt trip me about how much i didnt care about him because in the course of 48 hours i never once called him to check on him due to his announcement that 'he felt sick'. i told him feeling sick is different than actually being sick and in my condition of being on bed rest i dont think i should have to police up situations like that.

in the three examples, are they being manipulative or weaponizing guilt to continue a relationship of some sort? i cant define it but it gets on my nerves. what is going on here?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:31 am

ced316 wrote:in the three examples, are they being manipulative or weaponizing guilt to continue a relationship of some sort? i cant define it but it gets on my nerves. what is going on here?


All three examples can be lumped together under “the birthday game”.

When you play the birthday game the person that is having a birthday has expectations and there is nothing you can do about that. It’s not your fault or your responsibility if they expect only a call, or maybe a card, a cake, a cake and present, or maybe a night on the town.

If on your birthday they got you a cake, then probably they expect when it is their birthday you will reciprocate. This holds true even if you didn’t want or ask for a cake.

Over time relationships develop a certain perceived equity, a social contract of sorts. If I helped you move, then when I need to move it is expected you will help me.

When the social contract is out of balance there can be issues. That is what it sounds like with your examples. People don’t expect random help, so in each case these people must feel as if they have invested in you socially in the past and that there is inequity. They believe they are owed in some sense.

You obviously believe that their expectations are too much, hence your post. You believe the social contract is unbalanced, but not in the same direction and this makes you upset. Fair enough.

What I do is pretty simple. I ask for nothing and expect nothing. I give friends my labor for free. I never loan money, but instead consider it a gift that if they wish to pay back they can. If someone does something nice for me I appreciate the effort, but I do not then feel obligated to reciprocate. That certainly can and has generated some negative feelings towards me in the past, but that is okay with me. It was their expectation of reciprocity on something that I never asked to receive in the first place.
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:37 am

Just to add. It doesn’t matter if their expectations are hypotheticals. They see the expectations as reasonable.
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#3

Postby admmck81 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:03 pm

Most people don't consider the reasonability of their expectations. They just expect more than they get, and assume everyone is on the same page without saying a word.
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#4

Postby ced316 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:44 pm

thank you i will be adopting that phrase 'birthday party game'.
i think there is a lot of merit in that thought - that people feel like maybe i should be more invested in them so they might invent situations to present concern

if someone needed a ride or help in real life i have always been there. but life gets very busy. and if its not serious or even real, i'll wish them the best and talk to them later. most cases, they have more time on their hands than i do and it becomes an issue also
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#5

Postby Candid » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:50 pm

Ced, you have Complex PTSD (and I think we agreed you were the family scapegoat, too?). Both of these things make you over-anxious to please, and distressed even by implied criticism.

If anyone else wants to tell you you're not doing enough for them, tell 'em Candid says you're a top bloke so they should jolly well shut up. That'll fix 'em!
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#6

Postby ced316 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:30 am

Thank you ! I will do just that Candid!!
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