Handling arguments / fighting without fear

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lacroix
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Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:35 am

Any tips on handling situations where you hurt the others' feelings or are afraid the other is upset with you?

I've gotten out of two extremely unhealthy relationships. I don't think I've ever been in a healthy one. In both of them whenever I felt the other person was unhappy with me or upset with me I just couldn't take it AT ALL. My heart would sink. I would jump straight in and try and fix it and just couldn't think about anything else until the situation was resolved. With my recent ex we would sometimes stay up until 6:30am (not exaggerating) trying to "resolve" some sort of argument (normally we went to sleep around midnight). This happened actually a lot of times and I always felt like shit the next day.

I bring this up because right now I have a girl that I regularly see 2-3 times a week. We do a bunch of couply stuff, but she knows I see other girls too. (She doesn't really like it, but I've told her, and she accepts it. Story for another time I guess). Anyway something happened and I realized I hurt her feelings over text and I realized I had no idea how to handle it. The same old really panicked and fearful sensation rose up again. Ultimately I tried honesty. I called her, tried to tell her everything in my head, and also said I was sorry. In the end she seems ok and we still agreed to meet up later this week but I'm still really anxious. I don't know what she's thinking or what's going to happen.

Something similar happened yesterday when we were hanging out in person. I did something I thought she didn't like and immediately got fearful she was upset with me. I resolved it by telling her I was very anxious she was upset at me, and it's not her fault, I just have a dumb brain. She said she wasn't upset and then it was ok. But sometimes people are actually going to be upset. Then I don't know what to do.

I think this is probably some sort of weird / maladaptive attachment strategy, maybe stemming from childhood. Made worse by my generalized anxiety disorder. It's a really unhealthy dynamic but I really have no idea what to call it, or how to replace it, or what to do about it.
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Sin Silver
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Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:02 pm

You have got to read 'No more Mr.Nice guy' by Robert A. Glover. As your symptoms sound just like the 'nice guy' that he tackles.

From all of your examples, it sounds like your fear of loosing women or facing some kind of rejection is whats causing this behavior. Your trying to make sure shes happy, never angry with you, never upset, because that could result in her leaving. So, you attempt to be a perfect boyfriend, never argues, never complains, always perfect, but that's a terrible way to be in a relation, it completely overlooks your needs, which can make you ill or resentful. I can also end up smothering her, making her feel guilty and upset.

You need to learn to stand up for yourself. Don't aim to be a perfect boyfriend or a nice guy, be a better man.

All this is covered in No more Mr.Nice guy, it's the most important self improvement book I have read, I can't emphasis enough that you go read it.
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KillYourInnerLoser
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Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:09 pm

I had a mate who was exactly like this, so this one touches close to the bone. I will do a podcast on it at some point.
Andy / Australia
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KillYourInnerLoser
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:17 am

Podcast is up (I'll add a description and links and stuff in a bit, just wanted to get it to you ASAP:)
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1279346/5289757
Andy / Australia
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lacroix
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Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:11 pm

KillYourInnerLoser wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:17 am
Podcast is up (I'll add a description and links and stuff in a bit, just wanted to get it to you ASAP:)
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1279346/5289757
Wow, thanks for taking the time to do this. I've already listened to the first half. There's a lot to digest in here. I do think it makes sense to go out there and try and figure out what a healthy relationship actually looks like. Also, I think I lot can be said about the observation that relationships stop being exciting on their own, and progress to the point where the excitement comes from each person driving towards their own goals. That's definitely something I was missing in the past.
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KillYourInnerLoser
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Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:32 pm

I'll add it in again: I was hard on you in this podcast, but I think you need to hear it. Sometimes we get caught up in our own anxiety (I'm a highly-anxious person too dude, so is Imogen) that we don't realise we can be a bit selfish with it. You're a good dude - a really really good dude. I already know that from talking to you a few times, and from the stuff you post. So I hope I don't come off as judgemental/etc in the rest of the episode.
Andy / Australia
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