Friday, January 18, 2013

Caring Too Much

There's something odd that happens when you really care about someone and you really get to know them well.  At times you can get into a battle of wills, except you each are fighting for the other.  "You should do it."  "But you don't really want me to do it, so I won't."  "But you want to do it, so I want you to."  That's not really a bad place to be.  It gets trickier though.

Sometimes what happens is you can get stuck.  Let's say I want to play this game with you, and I have it in my head that you don't want to play this game with me, based on previous experience or whatever.  It's very difficult for you to change that view, because if you say you want to do it I think you're just being nice.  Even if you really have had a change of heart, or I am just flat out mistaken, it will take a lot of convincing for me to believe it. 

But wait, it gets even more twisted. 

So I want to play this game, and let's say you don't want to.  I ask if you want to play.  Now you are in the unfortunate position of having these choices:  play the game that you don't want to play, or upsetting me a bit by saying no.  That's a no-win situation.

Let's take it a step further.  So if I know that you don't want to play the game, I will start to question things when I get the desire to play it with you, because I don't want to put you in that situation.  Eventually I start to resent the desire itself, because I know it will just bring conflict.  I could just ignore it entirely and never bring it up, yet that is by default a loss for me. 

There's some sort of balance to be found there.  I can't be completely focused on you to the total exclusion of my own desires.  That will just breed resentment. 

So what do you do?  How can you break free?  I haven't completely figured this out yet but here's some things that have helped.

-Compromise.  Shutting things down completely hurts way worse than having at least something to look forward to now and then.
-Talk things out ahead of time.  I have realized that I really don't like surprises much.  If I plan things out I can be somehow mentally prepared for it and it's not as big of a deal.
-Sacrifice.  Go along with it anyway.  They wouldn't keep asking if it wasn't important to them.  Just count it as time well spent because it makes them happy.

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