If anyone asked me for my general view of life, this would be it.
Humans have a tremendous potential for shittiness and just generally being awful. And when they get like this, there is typically no way to turn them around. Often you just have to walk out the door and come back another day when they are in a better mood. It is seldom possible to determine why someone is being a shit, and most people will deny it if you bring it up.
Or they will get angry. Or they will say, “Well, I am being a shit because you are making me this way!” You sit back and think, “OK, how am I making this person act like a shit?” And you can never think of one single thing. You can try to change your behavior in a thousand ways to try to pull them out of it, and usually nothing works. And you will often never find out what is bothering them. If you can’t figure out what’s bothering them, how can you fix it? Even if you can figure out what’s bothering them, it’s some internal issue that you can do nothing about. You can try everything, compliment them, give them money, you name it, and usually nothing works.
Generally this is something internal to the person. Usually you have done nothing wrong except show up and offer up your face as a punching bag. There’s no use trying to make a person feel bad about being a shit. You act mean back, and now they will act twice as bad. Go submissive? Fails. Turn quiet? It sort of works, but then it turns into an ugly scene where they are not talking, and they have this look that says, “Thank God you are not talking to me, you little shit!” You can walk out the door without saying goodbye to shame them, and usually their attitude will be, “Yeah, and fuck you too! You’re leaving! Good!” They never feel any guilt about their behavior and it’s always 100% justified.
Anger is one of the hardest things to pull people out of. Anger and hate feel good. They make you feel strong, and if you are not used to feeling strong, the feeling is very empowering. Once people are told they are being angry and unpleasant, they almost never stop doing it. Generally they deny it and say they are not the slightest bit angry at all. They will throw it at you. “Oh you are just too sensitive!” They will chalk it up to humor: “I’m just being funny. Don’t I get to laugh every now and then?” Then they will get a hurt look on their face like you’re so mean, you won’t even let them laugh. You are so cruel!
You tend to get a lot of projection in these cases. So the person is sitting there being a shit, and you are wracking your mind trying to figure out how to pull them out of it, and pretty soon they start accusing you of being mean and angry. This is completely mystifying unless you can figure out that they are projecting.
Almost all the time, the anger is internal to the person. They never want to admit that, and they project their anger onto you as you are the nearest object to project it onto. If you mention that the anger is internal to them, they get furious and deny it. But it’s usually something going on with them. Something in their lives is stressing them out, driving them crazy, or making them despairing, hopeless, and impotent. There seems to be nothing they can do and no way out. They’re screwed, and it’s not their fault. It’s never their fault. It’s always those other bad people who laid all this misery at their innocent feet. Here we have the denial + projection combination that is very common.
When you are with someone like this, sometimes you can wait it out. I had a girlfriend who was like that for about the first eight hours of the day. I tried hundreds of ways of responding to it, and nothing worked. You couldn’t even mention she was being a shit. Of course, she would deny it and get furious. You just had to wait out the first eight hours of torture and the final eight hours of the day were typically quite pleasant if not on top of the world. So the relationship was pleasant ~50% of the time, which is actually not bad as far as relationships go.
Usually you just have to leave. Just walk out the door. Don’t call them again. Wait until they call you. Tell yourself that they have a wild hair up your ass, you did nothing wrong, and it’s not your fault. Sooner or later they will call you back. No doubt they will be very nice and friendly. Accept their friendliness and never mention that they were a complete shit the last time. That conversation is sure to go nowhere, and now their nice mood will turn ugly pretty fast.
The principal goal of life is try to try to manipulate other humans, yeah that’s right, I said manipulate, so that they are shitty a minimum amount of the time and they are pleasant a maximum amount of the time. If you hope to have relationships with other people with no fights, you will never have a friend. If you hope to have romantic/sexual relationships with no unpleasantness or fights, just hang it up and go live in monastery.
You can have an incredible amount of joy in a deep relationship with deep love and good sex. There’s nothing better. But if you think you are going to get all those highs without paying for it with any lows, you are sadly mistaken. The cruel truth is that the ugliness, fighting, brushfires, forest fires, and general unpleasantness of deep relationships is simply the wages you pay to buy those great times. If don’t want the lows, you will never get the highs. If you want the highs, you will have to pay with the lows. Better to just figure that the only way to get the highs is by earning them through the lows, accept that and make peace with it, and try to focus on the upside of relationships, which can be considerable, while ignoring or philosophizing away the bad stuff as an inevitable wage to buy the gift of the great times.
Love is like a drug.
You pay for your highs with the lows, crashes, withdrawls and hangovers.