Sunday, 9 October 2011

Feelings of Criticism, Rejection & Disappointment

My Week In Retrospect 

As you know I have a habit of looking back on my week and trying to make sense of my experiences and feelings.

I have been lucky enough to experience three 'me time' sessions. Wednesday I went to the cinema to see Melancholia and found that lacking. In fact my verdict was that it was self indulgent twaddle on the part of the director Lars Von Trier and so I walked out of the cinema after about 30 minutes thinking I had better things to do. I may add I rarely do this.  

That evening we went to see Fascinating Aida.  We had invited our  friends to eat with us before we went and we had a pleasant time. However, when we arrived at the theatre I found out Jim and me were sitting on our own and our friends were sitting with some mutual friends. J insisted that it was a mistake by the theatre and she hadn't known about the seating arrangement but nevertheless the error seemed too neat & I felt discomforted. So there we were and I was grizzling away to myself. 

When the show started I was really looking forward to it but I was feeling upset and I was trying not to spend my time seeing if 'the friends were enjoying themselves'. I would like to say Fascinating Aida were good and they are very professional. I did, however, have some doubts about some of the material. In fact, there were times when I felt very uncomfortable with some of the 'jokes' and afterwards I found myself wondering if I have developed into a prude. In some respects I'm not worried about it because I don't care what context it's in I do not like the 'c' word. Ah my friends explained, whilst looking at me as if I had two heads, it was ok because it was an acronym for the Banker's saga. Sorry, I still don't like it and I asked if my feminist friends would have found it so funny if they had been a male comedy act? That, however, is a future debate. Let's stick with the idea of another 'me time' not being up to scratch. 

So the final me time of the week was experienced yesterday when we went to Manchester to see Peter Kay. The tickets were last year's Christmas present from my son Alan and his wife Liz @pinklizzyg. Getting to the concert was not without its difficulties. We'd booked to go on the coach but that was cancelled because there were only the two of us booked on the Sheffield connection.  We then decided to try the train but there's no late night train from Manchester to Sheffield? We considered staying over but the accommodation on offer was too expensive so by a process of elimination we decided to drive. 

The drive over the pennines was not very pleasant due to the weather conditions but we arrived in Manchester in plenty of time to eat before the gig. We ate at Cafe Rouge which was ok rather than inspiring. When we arrived at the MEN it was already quite busy but we had no problem finding our seats and it was with some anticipation we waited for the the show to start. Let me say now I found Peter Kay very funny. I love observational humour and his observations are about the working class and it reminds me of the people I knew growing up. What I didn't enjoy was some of the audience participation.  In front of us was an elderly woman clearly under the influence of alcohol who kept standing up and doing some kind of wave action on her own. Then behind us was another older woman similarly inebriated who screeched her way throughout the night.  I realise at this juncture I risk sounding like a grouch but hey what can I say. I'm not perfect. 

So to make sense of my experience. What have I been feeling this week? Reading this through it sounds like one long moan. On one hand I want to tell myself to get a grip. I'm lucky to be able to experience such diversity of entertainment when so many people have all on making ends meet. Ok the experiences weren't without flaws but am I really expecting perfection and can only be satisfied by that? To be fair to myself I don't think so. I think several things have been happening for me. At the beginning of the week my friend had been critical of my responses towards her. She had been experiencing a problem. I questioned her coping strategies and she felt let down by me. I felt unhappy about this and tried to address this by standing back from the situation but it hadn't really been resolved. So I was still harbouring feelings of being criticised. Then the seat mix up occurred and I felt left out (rejected). Then all the happy times weren't quite as I expected so cue disappointment.

If I'd talked out my feelings with my friend they would not have infected my week. Though I work hard at dealing with problems as they arise. I am not always successful. Once again those feelings from childhood came to the fore and bit me on the backside.  Now having talked about it with you I have made sense of it and I can now let go and feel optimistic about the week ahead. 



  1. It is such a shame when something you look forward to does not turn out the way you expect - especially when it's not your doing.
    It sounds like you were very frustrated and felt let down over the events - and quite right too. I fully understand how you felt.

  2. thanks for taking the time to comment Sheila. My intention in writing this post was to show that sometimes we set ourselves up for disappointment? I also wanted to show that if we deconstruct what's happening for us we can sometimes feel better?

  3. I always love to hear of someone suffering like this - not because of the suffering but for the fellow feeling. I can never - at the time of having the being criticised and rejection feelings in particular - believe anyone else ever feels this way.

    I think that's part of the whole thing - those feelings make you feel isolated, incompetent and alone. Which, of course, makes them worse.

    Next - we need an instant cure!


  4. Hi Barbara,

    A refreshingly honest, and astute post - as always. :-)

    We're all emotional beings, whether we want to admit it or not. When the anticipated pay-off doesn't happen (as in going out and hoping for a fantastic time)all we can do is accept that's the way it goes sometimes.

    That said, people standing up in front of me spoiling my enjoyment would irritate me too. But again, I guess that's part of life's tapestry...

    Back to emotions. We carry a bag of them around with us, don't we? So, if a friend triggers negative emotions, we feel it more as it means more. Unresolved conflicts or misunderstandings can upset us if we let them. I often think of what I want to say afterwards, and stew over things instead - which I'm sure isn't the best way of handling situations.

    Sometimes, it's easier said than done. I still feel sad about the way a friend let me down at a time I really needed her friendship - and that was 5 years ago! The friendship didn't survive, for various reasons. I wrote her a letter to say how I felt and she never responded. If a friendship is to survive it's worth fighting for isn't it? Or should we simply accept that people are human and make mistakes/have reactions we don't expect?

    Either way, I'm glad you raised this issue and had the courage to talk openinly about your life.

    Have a great week! :-)

  5. one of my reasons for writing this post is to normalise various responses and to show how to make sense of them. One of the reasons I felt angry, is not just because my friend felt I'd let her down it, was because of all the times before I'd experienced the injustice of other people telling me that I'd let them down, when I'd been doing my best? I said to her, that to argue about it didn't feel useful but, instead of revisiting the subject when we'd both calmed down, I chose not to. Now that would have been ok if I'd let it go, but I didn't, I stored it up and then let it infect my life? I love that you engage thank you :) x

  6. Hi Barb,

    This is what gets to me too. It's that feeling of not measuring up to people's expectations that is the sting in the tail. The truth is, sometimes you can't always be there for someone else, you can't always give 100% and you shouldn't be the answer to someone else's happiness.

    I had to make a very difficult decision regarding someone who said I constantly let her down - during a time in my life when I really didn't have any energy left for others.

    Despite explaining my circumstances, I definitely got it in the neck - and my inability to be there all the time was even held against me. It does make (and did make) me question the relationship when someone says your reasons are excuses.

    Being judged and castigated for being human is an interesting topic - that I'm sure you meet in your line of work all the time.

    Perhaps one of the problems is that we don't always find it easy to forgive ourselves?

  7. I think we sometimes set the dynamic up that way? See my post Do What You've Always Done etc. When all is said and done we need to keep ourselves safe? I do so agree about the difficulties inherent in forgiveness whether it's others or ourselves but I think it's a necessary component of letting go of hurt and pain. I've said before but it feels that we have a lot in common :)

  8. I love the honesty of this piece Barbara and can empathise too - I'm sure we've all had similar experiences.
    Your deconstruction is really helpful as well - thanks for sharing!

  9. I feel if I am to help other people I need to be congruent? Thanks Bob I really appreciate you taking the time to comment :)

  10. As always I appreciate how open and honest you are Barbara. It helps me to see and understand things about myself. Thank you. Cindy