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Saying the "wrong thing"

(14 Posts)
YouPutYourRightArmIn Fri 14-Feb-14 14:26:56

Increasingly I feel like I find it harder and harder to say the right thing. If I don't agree with people I feel like I'm being difficult or argumentative. I often analyse conversations and wonder if I've come across badly.

Perhaps I naturally get people's backs up. Perhaps I'm being paranoid. I don't really know but it's making me feel more and more socially inept as I get older (and I'm only 33!).

CuttingOutTheCrap Fri 14-Feb-14 14:31:45

Do others tell you you are saying the wrong thing, or is this you giving yourself a hard time? It sounds like your confidence is low - if you are spending so much time thinking about and analysing what you're saying, I'd guess you aren't saying much that isn't well considered and delivered as you intended it to be.

IME post-mortems of conversations are awful - what sounded fine at the time can sound dreadful once you've played it over in your mind 100 times and read all sorts into it that was never there!

PlumpPartridge Fri 14-Feb-14 14:32:31

I was wondering if you were my little sister for a minute - she bewails this! She's only 25 though, so unlikely.

Whenever I encounter people who disagree with me, I try to size up if they are simply disputing a fact or if they actually hate me. It takes a few angry exchanges before I start to believe they hate me, so I make a judgement based on consistency grin

I often disagree with people but try to smile a lot and make a joke of it, so they know it's not a personal issue but simply to do the the fact in question. Although I'm sure I often hack people off.

I suppose the rambling conclusion is that maybe you are, but probably not, and if you have then those people are probably guilty of misreading you a bit, and basically to try not to worry.

Succinct, hey?

CailinDana Fri 14-Feb-14 14:34:21

There is no "right thing." Just be yourself. Say what you want to say. If you have nothing to say keep quiet and listen.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Fri 14-Feb-14 14:46:44

I dunno. Think my confidence is low so that probably doesn't help.

I just asked some friends for a suggestion for something and one came up with something that just wouldn't work so I very very gently said -ooh sounds fab for another time just not sure that would work right now because blah blah (and wanted to say why so that other suggestions wouldn't be along the same vein). And I got a bit of a snippy response back. I just can't imagine ever being that snippy back (this was over email so it's difficult to understand the tone).

So no one has said that to me as such but some of the responses I sometimes get make me think I must've said the wrong thing to get such a remark back.

Perhaps you're right; the whole "less is more" thing might be the way forward.

Still, can't work out if I deserved the snippy response or not....

badtime Fri 14-Feb-14 14:50:23

I often say 'the wrong thing'. I used to be very self conscious about it, and people used to get at me a lot about it.

Eventually I concluded that 'the wrong thing' is not necessarily wrong, and that the reason people were having a go at me was because they were bullies who did not like being challenged were reacting to my obvious lack of self esteem and tendency to over-analyse things. So I decided to keep saying what I thought and stop worrying about it. I am not rude or tactless, but I have opinions which are as valid as anyone else's.

These days, I get a lot of emails after the fact thanking me for saying what everyone was thinking. (I am not a 'call a spade a spade' blowhard, I just have a low tolerance for bullshit).

So my advice would be: examine what you are saying and why. If it to belittle or upset anyone, then it is 'the wrong thing'. If not, then it is your opinion or view, which you have as much right as anyone else to hold.

If other people do not like being disagreed with, that is their problem, not yours, and you might want to look at spending time with more open-minded people.

badtime Fri 14-Feb-14 14:52:01

Cross posts - your friend was being unreasonable.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Fri 14-Feb-14 14:54:37

But increasingly I feel like I'm just getting it wrong. I had to decline an invite to a regular group event thing recently and basically said "I'm feeling frazzled at the mo, participating in this would send me over the edge" and I then either got ignored or questioned as to "really?? You can't even manage this?It's not that big a deal"..

I was actually deeply hurt that people chose to think I was being precious or lame when I guess I was actually in a very discreet way saying "I'm struggling right now".

badtime Fri 14-Feb-14 14:58:43

It sounds like your friends are not very nice. Are they old friends that you have grown apart from?

Otherwise, might the fact that you are trying to frame everything in nice/positive language mean that they don't actually realise that you are genuinely in a bad place? Some people grumble all the time and don't really mean it, so they might think you are just doing that.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 14-Feb-14 15:01:15

Unfortunalty I put foot in mouth all the time, as i get older i care less.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Fri 14-Feb-14 15:01:59

Yes - age old friends.

Maybe the brave face is too brave!!

God I love mumsnet - could've spent a fortune in therapy!

Will try not to worry as much and put it down to friend having a bad day...

CailinDana Fri 14-Feb-14 15:33:07

I have a general policy of not expressing an opinion on someone else's life or giving advice unless directly asked. Beyond that I also know that I never intentionally set out to hurt someone but I know sometimes I do, accidentally, just like everyone else. Imo a good friend will either let it go or if they can't let it go, they'll talk about it calmly with me. Sulking, narky replies, bitching etc are all childish behaviours and if a person uses them to "deal" with problems they can get lost.

tigermoll Fri 14-Feb-14 17:18:38

Hmm. Although you didn't mean it that way, I think I'd react poorly to the 'send me over the edge ' remark as well. It comes across as passive aggressive and like you are hinting that whatever it is you're declining is so awful you could not face it. Your friends might think you're being a) rude or b) over dramatic.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Fri 14-Feb-14 18:28:43

Tiger it was more a time commitment that I didn't want to make plus not an activity I would've specially enjoyed. Also can't remember if they were my exact words!

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