Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ruminations on Obsessing. (Part 1)

It always starts with something small... a joke at a dinner party that falls flat, the use of an in-crowd term to a person who isn't quite 'in' the crowd yet, a slip-up featuring too much honesty when asked my opinion... and then we're off to the races.

I am a gold-medal-contender for lying in bad at night, obsessing about something I've done/said/written that might be misconstrued/hurtful/annoying. Hours. Hours and hours. Days off from work? Spent bringing it up, over and over, to John, or anyone who happens to call me, and scrutinizing the minutiae of my perceived mistake.

What do you do in cases like this? Not for a second do I think I'm rare in my ability to obsess... enough blogs, conversations, Sex and the City episodes, Facebook posts and apologies-days-later have come way to know that this is a trait others share. How do YOU beat back the obsessies?

(Part 2 will be written at a time TBD. I'm pre-obsessing on how much I ought to reveal about numerous recent events that inspire such obsession.)


  1. Hahaha! I soooo get this. So. Get. This. It's like in movies when the poor guy keeps calling back to clarify the message he just left on the girl's machine, and he keeps doing it b/c he keeps thinking he's getting it wrong. It's like that. In the brain.

    I am doing this ALL THE TIME with my castmates. We spend time together but we still don't really know eachother. I spend hours afterwards wondering if I should have said something different or at all.

    And when you actually think maybe you said something offensive? I don't know. Wait and see I think. Try and get a sense if damage has been done. B/c often people get over it and they see the person (you in this case) as more than that one interaction. But other times the relationship is new and needs to be tended a bit more closely. In those cases I suppose try and interact again, and be more weary.

    Wait, was this whole post rhetorical? Ah crap.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Off and on all day today I've been going back and forth in my mind, ultra-analyzing every interaction between a certain person and myself, wondering if I offended her, knowing I might have, even though I didn't mean to. It didn't help that my husband told me I wasn't listening to what she said well enough and that I share the blame for the tension that arises between us...sigh. Why can't husbands just nod and smile and pretend their wives can do no wrong?

    I do my best to let it go and aim for a fresh start the next time we see each other. I wish I knew how to just turn my brain off, or block my neural pathways so I wouldn't keep going back and thinking it over.

  3. Funny that you brought this up because over the Christmas break, I spoke to Aaron about this VERY thing!

    I too seem to obsess and fret over a comment I've made that may have offended someone or put them down (I also do this when I feel that I came across unintelligent or degraded myself in some way). Sometimes I realize it right away and awkwardly repeat/justify/fixate on what I said even if the topic at hand has already taken a natural shift... OR I think about it much later and bounce off what I said to E in which he replies,"Why did you say that?" or "It's not that big of deal." In both cases, it takes me at least a day to let it go or simply forget about it. However, while I'm spinning, I always tell myself that I will be more careful next time and really watch myself and my thoughts.

    After having this conversation with Aaron, he simply said that if I was really 'in the moment' and always coming from a place of minfulness and respect, that I wouldn't say something that I would later regret. Apparently he's got it all figured out...
    Wait, should I have said that?