Dear burymecloser, you are always so receptive, its a pleasure to answer your questions.
∙ Are you passive-aggressive? When you're upset with someone close to you, but with whom you don't necessarily have regular contact, are you likely to tell them what's bothering you?
I don't want to be. Do you know what is my first association with passive aggressive? This website. And I find that repulsive. I would hate to act that way. But I can admit that I am more likely to behave in a passive aggressive manner than many others. I am generally just a passive person. I am not easily riled, and even if I get that way it that doesn't necessarily mean I will act aggressively. At times it is just a matter of letting aggressive feelings subside and contemplating what is behind them, why things upset me. For me anger is a function of being hurt. I know others who seem to toggle between being happy and being angry. For me it would be more about being happy or being hurt. I suppose thats tied into my sense of justice, too. It is upsetting to me when people are treated wrongly because they are quiet or don't lash out in anger or aggressively demand things. (This doesn't translate into weaker necessarily always being right in my view). So when I think something is unjust or if someone is being treated unfairly I am much more likely to be aggressive in their defense. But if it is about me and I am angry I will remain calm, the anger will recede into hurt and I am more likely to just let that be and act passively. This is why I am not always my best advocate.
If I was upset with someone close, with whom I am not in regular contact, then, sadly, yes, there is a good chance I would not let them know what was bothering me. It depends on the offense, obviously. I might give it time and then explain to them in a heartfelt way what upset me. I really try to see their side of it. Hopefully anyone I am close to wouldn't have meant to be malicious to me. I try to keep it in mind that surely they care about my feelings. Therefore, I try to be sincere, friends really do want (and deserve) to know my inner feelings, and it is in no ones interest to conceal them. I am trying to be more open (-making progress ). It is my practice to speak honestly about what hurts me, instead of snarling and lashing out in anger. I find its more productive to reaching understanding because typically it gets to the heart of the conflict. It takes a really cold person to hear that and still pile on. But they can and thats why I can be somewhat vulnerable.
∙ If you think someone is upset with you, how do you usually react? Would you initiate contact to ask what (if anything) is wrong, or wait for the other party to come to you if there's a problem? How often do you assume there's a problem but it turns out to be nothing?
I find myself very aware and susceptible, unfortunately(?), to people's moods which they transmit through their demeanor. But I don't want to presume to know what people think or feel, because nobody likes that really. It isn't fair. So, I approach. But with concern, not hostility. And I don't press too hard because that has so much of an opposite effect. People open up to me at their own time and I respect that, because I do things at my own pace, too. I usually am correct when I sense someone is upset, but sometimes it turns out to be based in something I couldn't have known, which is further evidence not to assume to know their mind.
∙ If you were to abruptly stop corresponding with someone, what would be the most likely reason(s) for that?
I'm imagining a scenario like this and I want to say it would be because someone has run over my sensitivities which I told them about in more than one way, more than once. I know I am subtle, so when I come out and state something boldly it is pretty important to me. And if someone wasn't picking up on that it our limited interactions and kept offending me, I honestly could see myself just suspending the interaction. Hopefully not forever. I am speaking for myself here, and yes I see the problems with my approach. This scenario hasn't happened to me, its just something I imagined to fit your description.
∙ Which bothers you more, people who are too clingy and personal or people who are too detached and indifferent?
I am pretty private. So, I want to say the former for casual relationships. I especially hate prying if it is done out of a desire to get-the-gossip or to find information to use against me later. But for non-malicious people I totally understand that some people are just warm and intimate early on and some of them get really attached to me, and thats beautiful, I should be thankful for that. I am thankful for them.
And of course I am accepting of the detached and indifferent people out there, too. But in the realm of love it gets trickier, because if I am in love with you a stoic act can really hurt my feelings. The detached and indifferent can be very alluring to me, but if they cannot let themselves be loved or love (perhaps out of habit or fear or something) I can take that very personally. Sometimes they aren't inclined (able?) to communicate about it, either. I take that as a personal failing and its hard. Its been hard.
∙ If someone accidentally did something to upset you, what would be a good way for the person to make amends?
Make amends by active listening and heartfelt apology. Make me feel like its safe for me to express that with you without their being a resulting seismic shift that spoils everything. Honestly, after doing that you may hear me apologize to you! Don't give up on me if I seem broody. Ask me to decode my subtle messages if they confound you. Try to make things light.
I am sorry this is so long.
I hope it is useful to you, burymecloser.