Making sense of a situation

Started by HomerJ, August 06, 2021, 12:31:23 PM

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One of my closest friends got annoyed at me because we had plans this week and the previous night I went out at the last minute with another one of my friends - so I was hungover for the next day. He said I 'ruined the night already planned' I think that is exaggerating it, he got annoyed and was saying things that 'i am so easily controlled' and calling me names.

I'm very self protective from the CPTSD and I don't respond to it, really I don't feel much about it at all. I felt angry and upset briefly but for literally 5 seconds. I think I tell myself that I can handle the relationship ending and just become defensive - we've known each other for 20 years so I don't think that's an appropriate response but it is a learnt one.

I know ultimately it'll be fine and we'll talk again soon - is there anything I could do differently in that situation? He gets annoyed easily and has trouble letting things go, I can relate in some ways but I am more anxious and I won't let the worry go. I don't think jealously is involved. The situation is a bit childish but I want to know if I could take into account his feelings more - my people-pleasing is so much stronger with my other friend so i think whilst i am not outwardly dismissing his feelings i am doing it inwardly. And i know my response is not the most appropriate.

Feel free to be as honest as you can be, some of you might be able to relate to my friend more than I can.


I'm going through a bit of turbulence in friendships this year so your post caught my eye.

Calling somebody names even if you are annoyed with them is not OK. It's probably also not very helpful to tell somebody that they are easily controlled. However I can understand your friend feeling annoyed that you were hungover. It sounds as if he might have been disappointed as well but couldn't feel it? Or couldn't express it?

I have trouble letting things go too, especially if it's a situation I've spoken about before and it gets repeated. I have no idea if you and this friend have had this kind of situation before, but just saying.

Whether to take this friend's feelings more into account? It's a tough one and I think only you can decide really. You could try to and then see how that works for you. I personally try that kind of change out and then discuss with my T, but Idk if you have a T even.

If you can manage it, an apology can do wonders. I used to go into huge EFs at the thought of apologising, so that's why I say "if you can manage". But if the situation or a similar type happens repeatedly, the apology will no longer do wonders imo.

Or is it even possible to go out and not get hungover?

I hope you get some more responses here because it's probably good to get different views on this.


No the situation hasn't happened before, I apologized and he did too and it's okay.

I don't have a T at the moment, I'm finding it difficult to find a good one. But yeah in future I could try and be a bit more responsible and not get hungover in the first place

Thanks for your reply


Hey Homer,

I don't think it's a crime to go out with friends 2 days in a row. And sometimes that may include a bit of a hang over. I don't think you did something wrong, necessarily, depending on how you treated your friend.

If you were unable to do what was planned or were snippy. I think I'd be looking to apologize for whatever behavior or consequence  hurt your friend, and not the hangover itself. The hangover is a little bit of an excuse for the behavior and not the behavior itself. So for example, my mom may do something that is hurtful and instead of saying "I am so sorry I hurt you in x,y,z way. That must have made you feel _____." She'll say "well I'm sorry! I'm trying my best! I was under a lot of stress!" So the apology is about the excuse and not my feelings.

I've also learned in therapy something of a formula for communication called 5 secrets of effective communication and what I like about it is that there is room for YOUR feelings too. There are 5 key components. I won't go into detail cause you can read about it but the essence is you find and acknowledge the other person's truth, you imagine and state what they may be thinking and feeling, you ask them if you are getting it right? Then you say "I feel..." and share your feelings on the matter. And then end with something positive about them. In your case it might be something like:

"Hey man, I wanted to talk to you about the other weekend when my hangover got in the way of our plans. You're right to be upset with me. We had plans and I was a little too (tired, cranky, whatever it is) to really spend quality time with you. At first I was surprised that you were so upset but then I tried to imagine what you were feeling and I realized you might have thought I didn't put enough priority into our friendship and you might have been feeling hurt and even angry. Am  understanding right, or is there something else?" Then let them talk and acknowledge whatever they tell you by paraphrasing it. Then you say how you feel "I feel a little _____ because_______". But you know I really love you and our friendship is important and I feel really grateful that you told me how my actions made you feel. Next time I'll plan better so that I can really be there for our time." Or something like that.

If your friend is controlling or otherwise makes YOU feel unvalued....protect yourself and your rights too. Listen to if you are feeling angry or hurt and what that might be about. Maybe this friend tramples your boundaries and you need to speak up and make sure you matter.