Vicious circles and insecurity

by Zoe

I seem to be in a vicious circle of becoming close to people with big personalities, only to feel, after time, swamped by those personalities and inclined to lash out.

I am friendly and warm (for the most part) and get on with people easily. I have a couple of truly great friends who understand me and see things on the same level as I do. What concerns me, I guess, is not being able to make particularly good judgements about new friendships, or second guessing myself when I do! Sometimes I sense that I cause a problem, only to run to those who I know will give me the feedback I want and therefore justification for my consequent anger.

An example of this, to make things clearer, would be a friend that I became close to 5 months ago. She introduced me to a few new spiritual concepts that I had not previously heard of and our friendship blossomed from there.

She is quite a powerful person, some perceive her to be arrogant although I'd say there are certain insecurities which cause her to act the way that she does. However, over the past month or so, I've felt stifled by her attitude and inferior to her. I tried to ignore it or resolve it myself but felt it best to discuss it with her (she had already broached the subject in an e-mail a couple of weeks previously, to which I replied as considerately and carefully as I could).

I let it all out, tried to convey my feelings in as honest a way as possible and got a few things off my chest. Her response drove me mad! It was cool, calm and collected, assured me that she had felt jealousy from many other friends before and had calculated that to be the case with me too, offered none of the understanding I had hoped for and left me totally confused. She appears to feel that she is totally in the right and I am totally out of order....

I consulted a close friend and my Mum (totally unbiased, of course!) who revealed that they had both found her extremely difficult to get on with and an over-bearing presence on the occasions where they had met her. My Mum went so far as to say she'd felt like warning me to be careful of her.

So, my questions are: is it my insecurities that led me down this path or her superiority complex or a mixture of both? Is there a way of escaping this vicious circle or is it part and parcel of life that certain people make a huge impact on you but relationships with them can't be maintained for long? Is it right to consult those closest to me, with all of their OWN insecurities and complexes, or am I just looking for validation instead of seizing the opportunity to change my future actions? Does anyone have any advice?! I'm so interested in improving my life that I'm tying myself up in knots....

Comments for Vicious circles and insecurity

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Sep 08, 2011
Believe What You Feel
by: Steve M Nash


You're probably well and truly rid of this situation, and you've already had some great answers. Still, I'd just like to share my thoughts, succinctly as possible, and they are these:

* Believe in yourself, and what you feel about yourself. At time of writing, you were patient with this person and you consulted others to verify your 'bad' feelings and all agreed. Fact is, if you had a fraction of the self-assurance of this individual you would have ever-so-calmly told this woman what *she* was doing and told her you were no longer tolerating it.

* The fact that you managed to confront this person, calmly AND bravely, and they answered 'in character' says it all. This person is hiding from the truth, so much so that when someone is actually strong enough to show it to her she still doesn't want to know.

All you can do is be yourself, and tell it as you experience it. You won't always be right, but you'll know you're always doing your best at any given moment.

Thanks for sharing
Steve @

Jan 30, 2011
becoming aware
by: Anonymous

Zoe, I just read your letter. I had a confrontation with a friend also. Mine was about a problem I had with her saying no to my sugestions for our get togethers and only wanting to do what she wanted. I was feeling bad for myself and realized I seem to attract the same results from most of the people in my life,past and present. Her resopnse to me was not understanding my hurt and pointing out that she only wanted to to spend her free nights doing what made her happy. I think I was doing what she wanted for so long even though her choices were things that did not make me happy,because I had a need to please everyone else in order to be liked. I am left with a decision, whether to end this relationship,or change my expections of her and possibly still enjoy some moments with her or maybe not. I have to stop thinking of her as selfish, even if she is, it has nothing to do with me. What I have decided is to stop saying yes to people just to be liked. Only do things that I have to or I just want to because it's the right thing or I just want to do it.

Sep 16, 2008
Thanks :)
by: Zoe

Thanks for your insightful reply Catherine, it confirmed a lot of what I'd already found out myself in the last couple of days, as well as providing some additional food for thought.

I'd agree that she's narcissistic AND that I seek validation, which is an obvious recipe for clashes, at the very least. I have done a lot of emotional digging but hadn't thought to ask why I trust my own feelings so little - that's a great question and one I'll be pondering in the coming days.

Thanks for your help :) Zx

Sep 16, 2008
by: Zoe

Less than 48 hours after posting this message, I have found all of the answers I was looking for. My past has been holding me back in so many ways which I was terrified to acknowledge, recognising the issues at hand were the first step towards releasing them and I feel lighter already.

Just being able to write it all down and knowing that someone might read it helped so much, thankyou so much for this site Catherine :)

I also apologised to my friend, she's not responsible for my insecurities and I forced her hand. It's so empowering to take responsibility for yourself, the frustration evaporates once you have addressed the actual problem.

I was greatly helped by your Power of Frustration e-book aswell as the following article:

Thankyou :) Zoe x

Sep 15, 2008
vicious circles
by: Anonymous

Hi Zoe,

I'd say that there could be a few things happening here. One is that you sound like you don't trust your own feelings and thoughts. You wanted your friend to validate that what you were feeling was right and it bothered you when she didn't. So, it may be a sign that you need to become more comfortable with your feelings and trusting yourself.

The other issue is that it bothers you because you thought she "should" respond in a certain way. When she didn't respond that way, you wanted to find the validation you were seeking from others. She answered in what she thought was the best way. She didn't know you wanted her to validate your feelings. She answered with how she views the world. She thinks people get jealous of her so she quickly assumed you were doing the same thing.

You could clarify your question to her or you could just accept her answer. It causes you a lot of grief when you expect certain responses from people. You need to validate your own feelings. That's not really her place to do.

So, you may be searching for approval too much from others when the approval you're really seeking is from yourself.

Another thing that might be happening is that you may be a good target for people who are what I call "blamers". They're always right no matter what. There is no other opinion except theirs. I wrote about them a little in this article:
Always To Blame, Always My Fault You can see if you think it describes your friend. It may as your mom and your friends find her difficult. If this is the case, then it'll be a matter of paying attention to the signs of a blamer and learning to remain detached from them so you don't get caught up so emotionally with them. Sharing your feelings with this type of person doesn't work. They just twist it around so it's all your fault.

Do you know why you don't trust your own feelings? That might be one place to start. You want to get to a place where you feel centered and at peace no matter what someone else says. You don't need them to validate your feelings.


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