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Friends like these - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Friends like these
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rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: August 28th, 2003 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm right with you on this; am thinking of modifying my policy again to say

a) if work gets busy, I'll start pruning based on volume people post
b) if it happens that I get savagely depressed any time soon, I may temporarily stop reading anyone on my list who happens also to be depressed for fear of the very real danger negative feedback presents me with
c) if you have ego issues with either of these statements, they're your problem, not mine.
j4 From: j4 Date: August 28th, 2003 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
a) if work gets busy, I'll start pruning based on volume people post

In my case it's also a question of "If $boss is at his desk or [worse] comes to talk to me I will not be able to do any email/LJ/news/irc/etc., because if $boss sees me doing it I will lose my job; so I may have to just vanish in the middle of conversations with no explanation".

[...]
c) if you have ego issues with either of these statements, they're your problem, not mine.

I wouldn't want to imply (I'm not sure whether or not you are doing so...) that anybody having a problem with these statements had "ego issues" -- if you-when-depressed stop reading other-depressed-people, then you're potentially already in some kind of feedback loop.

I find that what happens (and this is a recognised pattern rather than a reference to a specific person) is something like this:

1. I realise that reading X's communications in medium Y make me stressed and depressed, because X is depressed, so I stop reading them for a while.
2. X (who is, after all, depressed) assumes that I am ignoring them, and tries to contact me in medium Z, usually with "Where are you?" or "Do you hate me now?", or something similarly reply-requiring.
3. I reply and explain that conversation in medium Y was stressing me out, and I didn't feel able to reply to it.
4. The conversation gradually moves from "urgent request for contact" to being exactly the same type of conversation (in medium Z) as was depressing me and stressing me out in medium Y.
5. Rinse, repeat.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: August 28th, 2003 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't want to imply (I'm not sure whether or not you are doing so...) that anybody having a problem with these statements had "ego issues" -- if you-when-depressed stop reading other-depressed-people, then you're potentially already in some kind of feedback loop.

I think I may just be talking about what you talk about below, in different words.

I do have a problem, though, if I say "I need to stop talking to person X [ or to person X about issue Y ] for specific reason Z to do with how I feel right now, and will come back as soon as I can", and person X insists on hearing that as a value judgement of them, or of how I feel about them, or of how important they are to me - which is essentially accusing me of lying when I go to the effort of explaining reason Z. The degree to which I am willing to put up with that grows ever less as I get older.

Fortunately, the simple application of Darwinian principles over time means I don't have many people in my life who do that any more. Ye gods it can hurt when they do though. I really hate people forcing their models of emotional reality onto the way my mind works.

[ There's also "I would rather not read your journal right now because I could really do with some time to calm down about the particular argument we're having or I might lose my temper in ways that could end the friendship." I like to think that any sensible person reading that would hear it as about me doubting myself and valuing the friendship enough not to want to hurt it.]
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