I sometimes become irritated over things many people would not understand. Even I don’t understand it. There is a support group that regularly meets socially outside of group meetings. I had been attending intermittently for a long time. It was great fun. The group that meets socially includes members of the support group and those who manage the group. Then a new couple began joining us. The woman was a member of the support group and her husband was not. He seemed to go everywhere she did. There are plenty of fine reasons that can explain that, but inside I was still irritated by his presence at the routine socials. It kind of felt like he was weaseling his way into a club he had no business joining. He was not “one of us.”
However, it was not only him that got to me, but his wife, too. I didn’t like when she participated in the conversation. Anything she spoke about made me want to change the topic. When there was a lull in the conversation, I would try to think of something to say quickly to keep it going so she wouldn’t jump in. The woman started to become a social butterfly over time in a way. Now she was bubbly, spoke with a lighter pitch, and felt it necessary to hug everyone when she arrived and before she left. For some reason, I didn’t like any of that at all. She acted like we were all her long lost friends, but I felt like she was still an outsider who shouldn’t be there. Every time I arrived and saw both of their faces, my heart sank. It didn’t actually bother me a lot when the couple first starting joining us. It was after they became regulars and opened up more that my feelings changed.
I felt that whenever the wife and husband spoke the mood or feeling of the group changed. I was probably the only one who felt that way, but that’s how it was happening to me. It was as if I was enjoying the company and dynamics of a very close-knit family, and then some complete strangers invited themselves in and disrupted everything. I avoided speaking with them as much as possible in order to limit my agitation. I directed my interaction toward the rest of the group, but the couple couldn’t be completely avoided naturally. As a result, I decided not to attend the socials as often. Only if I was in great need of social activity would I go.
However, there was one week in which I arrived before everyone else. I was alone and felt tense and anxious. The couple were the first to arrive after me and I actually felt happy to see them. I needed to not be alone in that gathering place and they provided company. My negative feelings about them were nowhere to be found that time. Maybe if it happened that I arrived early every time and they always arrived second, causing me to rely on their company for anxiety relief, it would change my feelings toward them. I’m working hard to understand and overcome my resentment, but the root cause for these thoughts and feelings and the best way to change them remains hidden from my consciousness.
There was another person whose very presence at social events stoked the flames of my anger. I was a member of a social group for young adults who attended a local parish. When I think of young adults I think of people in their 20’s and early 30’s. But, one man started attending our events who looked to be at least 50. I wondered to myself if the man didn’t understand he wasn’t a young adult anymore. It was the same feeling as with the couple from the other social group. He wasn’t a member I was used to and I didn’t want his addition to the group.
So, of course there were little quirks about him that annoyed me more than if it were someone else. He occasionally let out a loud “ha” or a loud clap sporadically during the movies the group went to see. I badly wanted to shush him, but I bit my tongue. However, the anger remained in me and took away a little enjoyment of the movie. He was a nice enough man and I think he was just looking to make some friends. I didn’t loathe the sound of his voice like with the couple, so outside the movie theater it didn’t make a difference to me whether or not he joined in the conversation. It was just his mere presence that maintained that low irritation throughout.
When doing a little research to try to shed a little light on why I might have these issues, I came across this interesting article. There are tons of others on the topic with lots of useful information, but I’m ready to set the subject down for today.