View Full Version : miscommunications and blurred boundaries

04-04-2012, 05:38 PM
I think I probably almost always will have a difficult time with miscommunications/misunderstandings, or at least a renowned neuropsychiatrist who evaluated me after psychiatric testing thought I would always have difficulty in that area. It is frustrating because things happen where I feel horrible afterward and I honestly don't know what I can do to prevent these altercations from occurring.

Here's a perfect example: I pay people to drive me places because I no longer drive. A local woman had advertised her driving services and I answered, we were working together for awhile. Then we had an altercation because she showed up one day when I didn't think we were going to meet, and yelled 'Shame on You, Shame on You!' at me. When we were meeting in the week prior I had discussed that I needed her for some appointments and she was iffy about her ability to commit to the appointments, then later said she couldn't, then later said she could. I received a letter from her saying she was always fair and honest, but couldn't say the same about me, which I take serious issue with. How do I resolve this with her? I truly don't know. I wrote her what I thought was a polite letter where I was assertive but not rude. Afterward, she called me and I had received her letter after I sent mine which offended me, so I was irritated when I answered the phone saying "I don't want to talk right now" - then hung up.

This isn't the first driver with whom I have had things go wrong. I have had issues also with doctors, dentists, hairstylists, co-workers, and other professionals. They have been serious enough that I have been in legal trouble a few years ago but I learned my lesson and wasn't convicted, I am very lucky. I don't want history to repeat itself. That's why I really wonder what is wrong with me when I start looking up people I know professionally on Facebook, I don't always know where to draw the boundary or maybe I do and ignore it. I may be moving soon and want to be on as good terms as possible with people. I know I have improved a lot, it's just setbacks like ones with this woman who drove me really upset me and are a red flag. I wish I knew how not only to resolve the issue with her but what I can do to help myself ongoingly.


04-04-2012, 06:00 PM

what was the context of her yelling shame on you? Did she just start yelling that, or had there been any interaction with you before that?

I've been following your interactions for some time, and I've noticed some common traits to these situations.
a) You often seem to make smaller issues into larger ones, ie, your level of anger is disproportionate to the interaction itself.
b) You often seem to focus on the other party's role in the situation and what they've done to you.
c) It can take a while for you to understand or acknowledge your role in the situation, if this happens at all.

Something that might help is when you're faced with a situation that is distressing or confusing, don't respond immediately. Don't be impolite to people, but take some time to evaluate the situation before you go off on it.

04-04-2012, 06:37 PM
Hi bellydancer,

I appreciate your honesty.

When the female driver found out I wasn't going to use her driving services for the day, that's when she started yelling "shame on you, shame on you!" The prior interactions that I can think of would have been our phone conversations about appointments during the course of the week before.

I think I am definitely practicing not being impolite and lashing out at others, today I could have done that at work very easily with something related to a co-worker but instead I was polite and assertively approached my co-worker which led to a peaceful resolution :bounce

I'd be interested as to what other members of the :bowl have to say too.

04-04-2012, 08:36 PM
Are you getting all your drivers from the same service? If so, you might consider calling a supervisor there and telling them you've had issues with a few of them and want to know if your expectations are in line with what they should be doing and how they should be talking to you.

It's possible you've had a few drivers that aren't acting the way their employer would want them to, and you can find this out now. You might also find out that the drivers feel their interactions with you are difficult and this is coming from you rather than them. Either way, at least you would know.

If the drivers aren't all coming from the same company, is it possible to find a company that supplies them? You could let them know up front what you want and expect (friendly people, little conversation, lots of conversation, etc.).

04-05-2012, 01:00 AM
Hi Kensington,

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, most driving services cost a lot of money, more than I can honestly afford, so I have been relying on drivers through word of mouth, advertising in local papers and in this case with the lady yelling at me, well- she advertised to drive people. I think you have a great :idea in theory, I only wish it were more practical financially.

So, this leaves me rather dumbfounded as to how to handle these situations. I find myself in the same situation as where I was when I had an irresponsible cleaning lady. I see bellydancer's point in the irresponsible cleaning lady's situation where "It can take a while for you to understand or acknowledge your role in the situation, if this happens at all." I was too busy at the time blaming the cleaning woman for watching :antenna and playing on the computer when she should have been cleaning, but looking back on it, I was the one who gave her permission to use my computer and :antenna. I definitely should have set clearer boundaries. I think another issue I have had issue with in my life is authority. I don't like being an authority and I don't really like authorities so when I have had to be the authority when it came to actually being a 'boss' to a driver or cleaning lady, it felt uncomfortable.

I feel I have done a lot better in my life with a lot of issues. I don't lash out angrily at people as much as I used to. If anything, unfortunately, at times I have done a complete role reversal where I have become way too passive like 'ok whatever you want' to the angered party to avoid conflict, not feeling comfortable being assertive.

So, at this point, part of me is debating calling the woman who yelled at me and trying to work things out but part of me doesn't want to because I don't know that I would feel comfortable with her after that angry dispute. I wish I could make more progress in this area...

Thanks :bowl, keep the suggestions and feedback coming please!

06-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Well, well, well. The saga continues.

I finally reached out the driver who yelled at me to tell her I had some of her belongings and see if she wanted them back. She left a very polite voice message on my voice mail. Why do I have such a hard time moving on and forgiving her?

I have since re-hired a driver I hired who quit before a few years ago. I like her but she hasn't returned my phone calls. I don't really know why other than she may have thought I wasn't giving her enough money. Honestly, I wasn't doing that intentionally, but I was trying to figure out what was the fair amount for both of us.

It is really quite upsetting and frustrating to continue to have unpleasant interactions with people. I just want to get along with others. I am debating calling the driver I mentioned first to see if we can patch things up.

Thanks for reading.