Freedigitalphotos.net/Image courtesy of Stuart Miles All is peaceful, and then you have a fight
Yesterday, I had a fight with my next-door neighbour. Over the past three years, we have had what I would describe as a semi-turbulent relationship. I’d say 95% of the time, we had grown to be close friends. We had somewhat similar personality, and yet with obvious differences.
At any rate, suffice to say, we got on well. We both cared about each other very much. Not to say we do not care anymore, but, well – out of about four major conflicts we have had together over the past four years, this most recent one is probably final.
I have not yet begun to deal with the intense emotions that will probably surface in the next few days.
At first, I started to deal with things today by continuing on with my chores like tidying the house as if nothing had happened. After all things needed to be done. However, every time I try to do this, intense emotions arise to the surface.
Feelings of sadness – that she continually invalidates my points of view. I feel anger – that the conflict has happened, and also for what I feel is invalidation. I feel regret for the things that I said that were unfair. If I had not said these things then the conflict may never have happened and we may still be friends right now. I feel angry at myself too, for saying things generally uncharacteristic of my nature, and that were nasty. I feel sadness, a loss, because I know this time, it was so bad that there will be no going back. Sadly, we will be friends no more.
I guess I could adopt a philosophical and yet logical approach. What can I learn from this? Think before I text. Stay well rested and take care of myself so I don’t become cranky. Consider how I am going to feel if a close relationship or friendship breaks up. We are also neighbours so it’s going to be that much harder to deal with. In the past, when we have met up are eyes cross and there is no cordiality in my once-friend’s eyes at all.
One of my faults is that I do have a bit of a bad temper, so I say things I don’t mean when provoked or when I feel I am being treated unfairly.
I express my anger in a very open way. I say things, raise my voice and feel a surge of energy. My friend, or once-was friend remains cool, calm and collected like she does not even care and keeps on with the housework like our relationship did not even matter to her. This makes me feel anger to a greater extent.
I think I do need to not deny my feelings. If I do this, I will become confused why I am feeling a certain way. Just as one has to accommodate a feeling of being unwell for a while due to physical reasons like a cold, so I need to accommodate the intense feelings that will hopefully settle in a while. However, I need can not just totally wallow in self-pity or nothing will get done. So, perhaps with intense feelings, allow them to be and run their course, but yet carry on as you can.
It's important not to make rash decisions as a domino effect, like moving or deciding all relationships will turn out the same way. However, I can balance this by learning the mistakes I made that made this relationship eventually a terminal one and try not to get myself into a position where I am vulnerable like in pain and not rested and so become cranky again.
I need to validate what I felt, that someone lied to me about something maybe minor, but yet I felt angry.
I also need perhaps to know a line where I should not cross in future fights with others. My worse fault is an ability to get quite nasty and say some stinging things during arguments, because I feel quite intense anger.
Yet I need to balance this with self-forgiveness. I am not going to brand myself as a mean person although I engaged in mean behaviour. I am okay.
I need to deal with intense feelings by allowing them to exist and not ignoring them, learning the lessons I need to learn, and by finally moving on, hopefully a wiser person.
I found this a very interesting article. Thank you for sharing your personal and deep emotions with your readers. I have a very cool, calm and collected personality. I hardly ever raise my voice even when someone is yelling at me. After reading your article I suddenly realised others may think I don't care when I remain calm in these situations. I do care deeply and am often wounded by the words of the person yelling at me. However, I worry that if I 'lose it' I will say hurtful things I will regret. I tend to stay quiet and say very little at the time of the argument. Perhaps I should say more so the person knows I do care. Often the other person is so upset I think they wouldn't listen if I presented a detailed response. Or it might make things worse. Is there a 'correct' way or a 'best' way to deal with personal conflicts with someone you care about?.