Do you treat them different?
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15-01-2012, 01:45 AM
Do you treat them different?
When some one changes, do you treat them differently?

I knew some one, or rather thought I knew some one that was a great person. they worked hard and gave everything he did their all, they were patient, understanding, loving, kindly honest, considerate of others needs, and went out of their way for others. All despite emotional abuse from loved ones

Now their unkind and uncaring, quick to anger, and quicker to decide what they think of other, did things for other only because it was just another responsibility (like having to pick up dog poop), didn’t care or have the time to hear differing views. Only became involved with others lives if they benefited from the involvement. And now was the one hurting people. (though I don’t think to the extent that they were hurt)

Some of this change I see because im now seeing this person through more observant eyes no long of a child, some of it is because this person has changed.

They have done so much good and have really gone through hell, some of crap they do is understandable considering what they’ve gone through.

Im just not sure what to think of them now. Do I keep pretending they are some great person that they aren’t because of what they’ve been though? Or do I treat them like the angry jerk they’re acting like? (not that I would treat them like crap)

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15-01-2012, 02:09 AM
RE: Do you treat them different?
Wow, this is tough, especially seeing that it's someone you've known for awhile and probably have learned to love who they were when they seemed so wonderful before their change.

I am betting that despite how life has moulded this person, who they were, or rather who they are, is still in there. It would be hard to not treat someone differently when they have treated me differently, for sure. We are all entitled to our own feelings no matter how humble, and so sometimes we want to just be angry back. And there is reason to be. However, in a situation you described it seems through so much mistrust this individual has maybe shifted their trust in life. Before, being caring and kind, thoughtful and helpful, seemed like the right thing to do. But then it maybe always left them in a vulnerable place, and maybe that place needs to be guarded and protected because they can no longer trust that others will for them.

I have a relationship with an aunt that sounds similar and it has taken a couple years to try to break that down. Things are not back to 100%, but they have greatly improved and we have some great moments. I was a child as well when something happened, and I am not sure what or why but I have made the decision to not let it define her and myself's relationship. This thought process is working and through smothered love and acceptance we have become closer. I must say though, it's important to always keep healthy boundaries and clearly define what is and isn't okay, like getting angry quickly. "I" statements help with that. Ex "I would really love to help you with ____ but I feel disrespected when you bark at me to pick up the ____." instead of "You are yelling at me and you are not being nice." That kind of thing.

I hope you can find something that works for you and the individual you are speaking about. Smile
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15-01-2012, 02:29 AM
RE: Do you treat them different?
(15-01-2012 02:09 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  Wow, this is tough, especially seeing that it's someone you've known for awhile and probably have learned to love who they were when they seemed so wonderful before their change.

I am betting that despite how life has moulded this person, who they were, or rather who they are, is still in there. It would be hard to not treat someone differently when they have treated me differently, for sure. We are all entitled to our own feelings no matter how humble, and so sometimes we want to just be angry back. And there is reason to be. However, in a situation you described it seems through so much mistrust this individual has maybe shifted their trust in life. Before, being caring and kind, thoughtful and helpful, seemed like the right thing to do. But then it maybe always left them in a vulnerable place, and maybe that place needs to be guarded and protected because they can no longer trust that others will for them.

I have a relationship with an aunt that sounds similar and it has taken a couple years to try to break that down. Things are not back to 100%, but they have greatly improved and we have some great moments. I was a child as well when something happened, and I am not sure what or why but I have made the decision to not let it define her and myself's relationship. This thought process is working and through smothered love and acceptance we have become closer. I must say though, it's important to always keep healthy boundaries and clearly define what is and isn't okay, like getting angry quickly. "I" statements help with that. Ex "I would really love to help you with ____ but I feel disrespected when you bark at me to pick up the ____." instead of "You are yelling at me and you are not being nice." That kind of thing.

I hope you can find something that works for you and the individual you are speaking about. Smile
We were never that close and now im not sure if its worth it, or that they would find it worth it. i dont ever want to be mean or angry toward them, its just that the things they say and do don't hold the weight they use to. though we weren't close, i did look up to them, and its kinda depressing to see this different person.

thank you though LadyJane, that was actually really helpful. they have had a variety of characteristics over their life, what they are right now shouldn't define what their life is/was. thank you

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15-01-2012, 08:58 AM
RE: Do you treat them different?
Of course you treat people differently - when they change, so does the relationship.
In this case, i would suggest wary, watchful distance. They may not like that, but you are not required to put yourself in harm's way, to make them feel better about acting worse.

Depending on how close you are to this person, you might also ask them what happened, how they feel, why they acted in a certain way in a recent situation that you witnessed. Pay attention and offer a sympathetic ear, if that's possible. It may be uncomfortable for the listener, but not as uncomfortable as living with suppressed, subverted emotions. Very often, people who have been abused are full of rage they can't express - and yet must express before they can begin to recover. It's a form of PTSD. Don't tell them to "get over it" or "move on" - that all sounds like (and usually does mean) "shut up" - which is the very last thing they need to do.

You might also try to find some help for them. I don't mean intervention, just check around the neighbourhood where they live for appropriate (to the particular trauma they have suffered) counselling venues or support groups; maybe look up some related web-sites. There is a lot of information out there, and blogs by people who have or had similar problems, both for the other person and for yourself.

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16-01-2012, 03:08 PM
RE: Do you treat them different?
What is faith without works? I have faith in you until I get worked. Angel

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16-01-2012, 03:14 PM
RE: Do you treat them different?
Relationships are not static and neither are people. There are several people who I admired as a kid/teenager who I no longer admire. That does not mean that the positive influence they had on me during those years is lessened, but it does mean that my current perception of them is no longer biased towards the past. Some might say that Hitler had moments during his youth where he was a great person and should be perhaps admired by some during that period, but his later actions reflect more wholly on his person and I suspect this is the case for most people. That is, we never change that much, instead we begin to let more and more of our true-self to the surface and/or others begin to open their eyes and see us for who we really are. If they had a positive impact on you when you were younger, great. If they are no longer someone who you can admire or look up or even respect, then that is unfortunate. It does not devalue the earlier memories or influences and may mean that you have both changed (or allowed more of yourselves to the surface).

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