Recently I pretty much kicked someone out of my life, and I am finding that this has strangely helped things out with my stress levels.
You see, I worked with someone who was always just a little ~too~ interested in what I was doing, where I was going, etc. And I wrote it off as being socially awkward because hey, that happens. A LOT. I was one of those people (and I still socially derp from time to time) so I understand sometimes you just cannot be on the same wavelength as those around you.
The problem came in when I, against my better judgement, allowed him to become Facebook friends with me; this on a site where I mostly just stick with friends and family. Shortly thereafter he started commenting or liking every single status I posted, and making comments that were ginormous non-sequiturs that were only funny within his own personal reference and lexicon. It got to the point that he commented so often and so much, I threatened to unfriend him because it.
That was about 8 months ago, and he had gotten better, only "liking" damn near every single post.
He had said on multiple occasions that talking with me was the best part of his day at work. I have no doubt that he was sincere, and meant it as a compliment, but it came off too heavy, too filled with import for me to really be comfortable with. I joked about it to downplay it, but he said it multiple times without changing his tone. Alas.
He had physically exhausted me with the sheer volume of storytelling/sharing when I sat next to him, so that when I moved to night shift I was actually grateful for the quiet that filtered in. It also meant that it was easier to handle the IMs, the likes, and all the other small intrusions.
But when we moved back in to the main room, I discovered him constantly looking at me, IMing me a bit more ferociously, and demanding that I friend him on other social networks, and that he find out my username so he could friend me.
It just became too much, so I slowly started to back away from it all, hoping if I just toned it down that perhaps he would relax in a month or two and get used to me being in the same room again.
But then my husband told me a story of when this guy was at our housewarming party and his wife was with him (Almost exactly a year ago). When she realized he and I were somewhere else (in a group of people touring the upstairs, but I don't think she knew that) she yelled "Where are X and Y??" and went bowling up the stairs to see where we were.
So his wife was concerned. Apparently he had talked of me often enough that she legitimately thought something might go down. And that threw up all of the warning signs and red lights and stuff like that.
I unfriended him immediately from anywhere that our social networks touched, and when the inevitable text message came asking what he'd done, I explained in detail over 6 lengthy text messages exactly why.
He never responded. He barely looked at me at work. He never asked for me to refriend him again.
I know that he's mad at me, as I was promptly taken off of the only special project I had training the new employees on how to speak with customers on the phone. (This coincided with me saying I could not come in on my day off to train someone because I had a prenatal doctor's appointment during the time they wanted me. If they took me off the project because I wouldn't chose my job over my unborn child, I will raise almighty fucking hell, because it looks like that might be the case).
Either way, when he talks to me he is stilted, and recently when he overheard I'd been on a trip and he asked if I'd enjoyed it, he was obviously mad that he found out about it second hand. But for the most part he has not approached me again, has stayed a respectful distance, and has kept professional while at work. It's about all I can hope for.
I thought the guilt of doing this would eat at me for weeks, but I am actually finding that in speaking my mind I got a lot of anger and fear out of me and out in the open. I could free up that mental space for something productive. It's been so useful, I'm about to do it again to other people in my life who have been extremely negative and self-focused but continue to try and maintain a friendship with me.
If I told you I had one of them in my house checking the expiration dates on my food and telling me my dog and husband were a complete idiot while I was trying to talk to them about things that were driving me to consider suicide, but that not one moment was really given to anything I wanted to talk about...? I'm betting you would not think it cruel of me to do so.
In fact, that one's lived in my belly for about 7-8 months now, and i think that will be my next cleansing act.
This is, after all, the Year of Living Fearlessly. That includes pissing off people who think they're being your friend when they really aren't so you can get on with your life.
The mere thought of it actually makes me breathe easier, actually. There may be a post, there may not be. I'm trying to keep things positive here. In fact, I'll be following up with something rather nifty shortly so you guys can be rewarded for slogging through my emo!
And thank you for listening, you cold, giant, dark void of internet.