Why do I have to feel so excessively terrible when I put my foot in my mouth and/or hurt someone else’s feelings?
Maybe I pride myself a little too much on my diplomatic tendencies. I think that normally I am pretty careful about what I say and how it is likely to affect the other person, I try to reassure people that I’m not trying to say something hurtful (ie if it is critical) even if it might come across that way – etc. And mostly when I apologise for potentially hurting someone’s feelings, they are surprised and say there was nothing to apologise for.
But I didn’t have a very good weekend in that regard, or more accurately, a very good yesterday. I think I managed to put my foot in my mouth twice, fairly majorly. Well – I’m not sure if the first one was really foot in mouth. I told a friend (INFJ) that she needs to reduce the drama in her life. Believe me – in all the years I have know her, it has been non-stop drama and lately it has been really frustrating me because it impacts on my life too. Maybe I had to say it, but I think at least I said it at a pretty insensitive moment. I’ve apologised and I doubt she’d hold it against me but she may take it as evidence that I don’t really understand her or her life (and maybe I don’t.)
As for the other friend (ESFP?), I made a somewhat unpleasant joke at his expense which had some implications on his relationships and loyalties with certain of his friends (who are not really my friends, more acquaintances). It was just a dumb thing for me to say but I think I said it slightly out of jealousy and slightly out of frustration at what sometimes seems to be his rather conflicted and changing attitude toward these people. When I said it he said “what does that mean?” in a very cold way and I knew I had made a mistake. I said “sorry, that was supposed to be a joke but it wasn’t very funny” and he said “no, it wasn’t.” We then went off into other areas and later I mentioned it again and said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it” and he said “it doesn’t matter”. I had a feeling though that he was still a bit upset about it which was confirmed when I exchanged a couple of texts with him today. Not that he said “what a terrible thing to say” or “I can’t forgive you for this” but what he did say confirmed that he had been thinking about it, and normally he forgets about things like that pretty quickly, so if he doesn’t, it confirms that it did hurt his feelings or make him angry. I apologised again and he seemed quite ok about it and said that we should just forget it. It turned out he was also feeling quite ill yesterday and was probably a bit more sensitive as a result.
I just feel so bad about this kind of thing. I want to cry and I’m not even sure why. I think it makes me worry that my friends with whom I have had these exchanges may never see me in quite the same way again, which is probably utterly paranoid. I accept their imperfections, I hope that they can accept mine. It seems that I forgive others their insensitive remarks more easily than I forgive myself my own.