Why am I so butthurt?

I have a ritual at the end of the work day. When I get home, I generally need a few moments to decompress before I can really talk normally to another human being. The dogs being so excited to see me that they jump all over me annoys me. The poor husband who’s been home alone all day and just wants someone to talk to gets brief responses and me constantly escaping to another room to be alone, resulting in a comical chase around the house. Makes me wonder if I’m more of an introvert than I thought. Anyway, last night my need for decompression led to a bit of a tiff between me and the husband.

Shortly after I’d walked in the door and was getting ready for my nice, relaxing bath, there was a knock at the door. Jeff goes to see who it is, and steps out to talk to the Time Warner guy who’s out there. Apparently he was trying to upsell us because we currently only have internet-that they know of. See, when we cancelled the cable, we still got all the channels, through like 60 or something. At first I just thought that was what everyone “gets” for free now and wondered why anyone pays for the stuff, but then I realized that we were scoring free cable. Anyway, the guy must have been persistent because Jeff tells him “look, you can take it away if you want but we already get x-y channels.” Guy’s all flabbergasted and asks Jeff if that’s legal-we tell him we cancelled everything through their office.

Jeff comes back in to relay the story and I get disproportionately annoyed. You TOLD him we’re scoring free cable? Why would you do that! Now I won’t get to watch HGTV when I get home! WAH! And poor Jeff’s all perplexed. “Yeah, what’s the big deal? We have Netflix and Hulu and plenty of ways to be entertained”. And there’s the problem. The heart of the matter. Jeff’s in school. He’s reading about math and poli sci when he’s doing homework, and about space when he’s not. Pretty intellectual stuff. I spend my evenings watching TV, messing around on the computer, and read the occasional tabloid (OK, not occasional-I get a few subscriptions. Don’t judge). I get pretty defensive about that stuff because I feel like I “should be” more intellectual than I am. I’m a smart lady, but at the end of the day I want mindless fluff instead of getting smarter, creating things, or cleaning house. And I feel guilty about that, so I transferred that into annoyance at Jeff. Not fair, right?

We all do that to some degree, though. The things we’re most self conscious about in ourselves get rigorously defended when someone sees them. It’s projection. I’ve been working on my insecurities, and I’m aware that feeling like I’m not using my full potential is one of them. So instead of whining, being mad, or any other reaction, I just went into the bathroom, closed the door, and took my bath. I’m pretty prone to a gut response and then once I think about things, getting better perspective and totally changing my opinion. I thought about what was at the core of my reaction instead of “I can’t believe he told them to take our free cable away!” And I realized that my reaction wasn’t really to the situation at all, it was an internal feeling of being “less than”. So I made myself list ways that was wrong. You can only be “less than” if you’re comparing yourself to someone. And I’m trying HARD to break the comparison trap.

So, the moral of this story: I’m maturing. I can recognize when my gut’s telling me to do the wrong thing, separate from the situation, and wait until my gut catches up to my brain. Look at me, adulting all over the place!

4 thoughts on “Why am I so butthurt?

  1. Great post and funny … and I think it is important to do this stuff to learn to be more self-aware. I have talked about how I struggled when I was younger to understand and identify my feelings, something I have gotten much better about through the years. Now I feel and OWN my feelings, and generally they are in line with the situation. That is a separate discussion, but with my wife the three step analysis is:
    – Am I justified having strong feelings in this situation?
    – Are the feelings linked to the stuation (i.e. anger or hurt or whatever based on what is happening)?
    – Is my reaction in proportion with the scale of the situation?

    My problem was often that #1 and #2 were fine, but #3 I should have been reactign at a ‘7’ but I was reacting at a ‘2’ (e.g. I was ‘concerned’ when I should have been ‘freaking out’). I am much better with this as well.

    If you need some space getting home, that is just how it is, and I definitely get that. I think it is just how we all process things differently – sometimes we need space.

    Oh – and I would definitely be annoyed about the cable, as I feel we are constantly getting gouged as it is! I am still butthurt that in our negotiations early this year to cut our bill nearly in half that we lost BBC America … ended up buying Doctor Who on Amazon, so it is all good 🙂

    No idea where I am going, but great to see another post from you … and I nominated you for one of those Liebster things with loads of questions, and there is also the ‘Mustache questions’ – would love to see you do those as well. Or you can tell me to shove off 😉

    • No shoving off! I’ve got the mustache questions all ready to go and I’ll do the Liebster this weekend.

      I’ve been trying really hard to be more self aware and recognize what’s really bugging me when I react to something. It usually has nothing to do with the person I’m probably taking it out on, and I respect my husband enough to make sure I don’t do that to him! This relationship may just last. 🙂

  2. I’m the same way! I spend all day at working racking my brain and I get home and that LAST THING I want to do is learn! I was in school for TEN YEARS and working full time for a lot of it! I don’t want to learn anything! I don’t want to see some history channel crap or learn how it’s made! I just want to watch Real Housewives and have some mindless time! Jon makes fun of me all the time and asks why I watch this stuff and I tell him, “It’s mindless and I don’t want to think.” But I would have really been annoyed if Jon had told them about our free cable! Like, legitimately annoyed about that. Not cause I feel less than (my husband is way smarter than I am- but I have way more dedication than he does and I run a house and pay bills WAY better than him- so pretty much, we even it out for each other!), but cause I’d want my HGTV! Jon actually brought up the whole Ferguson thing last night and I was like, “What Ferguson thing?” and he was like, “Seriously?! You don’t know about this?!” Ain’t nobody got time to be keeping up with all the depressing crap in the US! (That’s a lie- I have PLENTY of time, but I don’t care right now.)

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