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  1. Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate all of it. I think my main problem is bottling things up and exploding - I think I just need to take a step back and try to figure out how to diffuse my anger so that this type of situation doesn't happen again.
  2. Hi everyone, I'm going back to Uni for a career change, and decided to do a 4 week summer course to prep. It's all online due to COVID-19. I was put in a group with 5 other people to do weekly group assignments. They range in ages from 18 to 35. I dislike group assignments because I generally end up doing a vast majority of the work, and I find this frustrating. This time has been no different, but with the addition of one very challenging individual, let's call her Alexa. The first week we needed to submit lecture notes to our group chat by a certain date. I was the only one who did it within the deadline, and the next person to submit was Alexa. She had copied my notes verbatim. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be angry, because it seemed so ridiculously bold. But it wasn't a graded assignment and it seemed petty to mention it so I let it go. The second week we were supposed to do a group leaflet. I suggested the topic, which the group accepted and I provided all the peer-reviewed scholarly sources for people to write their content on. We decided to all create a leaflet and vote on the best one. Out of 6 people, 3 people did not make a leaflet because they "didn't have time". The 3 people who made leaflets were Alexa, another group member (let's call him John), and me. John and I had each made a completed leaflet with all the content in it plus our own images, however Alexa only had a leaflet template from Word. Regardless, the only person who bothered to vote was one of the group members who hadn't completed a leaflet. She was therefore the deciding vote, and she voted for Alexa's leaflet. Alexa then used all the images from my leaflet, deleted everyone else's initials off the poster, and put the following wording front and center "Collated by *Alexa's Initials*". This made me really upset, but I didn't want to start anything I just wanted it to be rectified. So, I put this in the group chat: Me: Looks good, Alexa. Could you please add everyone's initials to the questions they did as well? Me: And probably remove the bit that says collated by Alexa since its a group effort She said yes, and obliged so I should have considered it a good outcome. But honestly, I couldn't help but harbour some amount of resentment. The third week was uneventful, thankfully. Which leads into today, the fourth week. We have to do a 2 min video with hint/tips for next year's summer course and it's due a day ealier than usual. Since no one has said anything about it yet, I suggested we divide it between all 6 people and each do 20 sec clips. However, I mistyped 20 sec as 20 min. Alexa then commented, "A 20 minute clip?!". At that point, I'd had about enough of her so I replied in the group chat something like "Obviously, Alexa, that was a typing error. It was supposed to say 20 sec as you should be able to surmise from the context." She replied, "Haha I did think it must have been a mistake!". I know I should have just left it, but instead I wrote, "Well I'm open to hearing your suggestions, Alexa, if you have any". Then she privately messaged me as follows: Alexa: Hey FairyGodmother, I just wanted to point out to you the aggressive/condescending tone in the last two messages aimed at me in the group chat. I don't know if this was the way you intended them to read, I wasn't having a dig at the 20 minutes I was lightheartedly noting the typo. Also I appreciate that you've already began planning the group work this week, it's very helpful! Me: Hi Alexa, I apologize for my tone. It did seem to me that your comment was meant to undermine my contribution to the group. However, you have said that was not the case and that I acted in a way that was inappropriate so for that I am sorry. It won't happen again, and I have deleted the comments in question. Alexa: Not at all, it's great that you are always fully engaged with the group work. I thought you would have seen the funny side in the typo and my message too, 20 seconds vs 20 minutes haha! No worries, very happy with what you've proposed for this week! Long story short, I know that I was rude and that my comments were not justified no matter what she has done. I wish I could undo it, but I can't. So instead, I'm just looking to prevent this from happening again because obviously I'm going to have to work in groups again in the future - not just at uni but at work. I would be really grateful if you guys could 1) explain to me what I should have done in this situation to get a better outcome and 2) give me some tips on group work for the future. Thanks.
  3. So, the first thing is that you say this: But also this: So, whether you meant to or not, you are judging. Perhaps on a conscious level you logically know it's not right to judge people, but it seems like your unconscious is not quite there yet. Maybe try to work on your acceptance of other people's lifestyles. You're not obligated to be around them, and neither is anyone else. Secondly, it's a massive generalization to say that all people just want sex, parties, and money. That may be true of the people that you are in contact with, but it's certainly not true of the entire world. Maybe look at the way in which you met these people and decide to meet people in other environments where they might be more likely to have personalities similar to yours. Obviously, this is challenging right now because of COVID but you could try get involved in groups like book clubs, arts/crafts/DIY clubs, cooking clubs, film clubs, gardening clubs, table tennis clubs, pottery clubs etc. There are countless groups, you just need to tailor your involvement according to your interests. If you can't be involved in person right now, then try finding online communities i.e. subreddits, facebook groups, online meet-ups, forums. Lastly, I would say yes it can be hard to make friends. But it's not impossible, and hopefully by doing the above the process will be easier and more enjoyable for you. Don't give up, your friends are out there!
  4. Insecurity is, unfortunately, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Acting out of our insecurities can push our partner away. I like analogies because they help me understand situations differently, so maybe think of it this way: Let's pretend you're a vegetarian and you always have been. And let's pretend your partner is a vegetarian, but he only became one when he started dating you. Before that, he ate meat. Okay, so there's no real problem at this point in time because you both share the same values which is that you're vegetarian (ie you're only dating each other). But now, you're getting upset at him because he used to eat meat (ie engage in casual sex and one night stands). He can't undo that, right, it's already been done. And he isn't doing it right now either - he stopped doing it when chose you. So I guess what you have to ask yourself is what do you get from being upset by this? It sounds like you may have already alienated him, because you're not sure you're still dating. And that was the exact opposite of what you wanted, which - correct me if I'm wrong - seems like it was reassurance that he enjoys being with you and doesn't want to be with anyone else. The problem is that your thinking has very little to do with him, and more to do with you. I would suggest trying to improve your self-confidence, and I am a big fan of cognitive behavioural therapy. You need to arm yourself with some mental "tools", so that when these intrusive thoughts come up you can tell yourself "I am equally as good as any of the women from his past. He prefers to be with me, and that is why he is with me and not them. I may not do the same sexual activities those women did in the past, but I provide lots of other benefits to the relationship that are equally as important and that is why he chose me."
  5. Yes, I've realized from various replies that I need to work on this specifically. Thanks.
  6. Two of them are very close, let's call them Ariana and Beyonce (lol). The other is close to me, let's call her Cher (again lol), and I thought Cher was also close to Ariana. However, yesterday when I was telling Cher that I was frustrated at myself for talking too much during the call she said it wasn't my fault and that she also feels that talking to Ariana is like pulling teeth. It was really surprising because they have always been close, but apparently when Cher asks Ariana about her personal life Ariana shuts down and says that Cher "wouldn't understand". I feel like all of this is too much "drama" for me to be honest. I barely have enough energy to deal with myself, let alone other people. Considering abandoning the idea of reconnecting with Ariana and Beyonce and just continuing my friendship with Cher.
  7. I agree with this but in retrospect I've realized these people have some special circumstances which make this not applicable. To be less cryptic, we all had really bad home lives. There was alot of physical/emotional abuse, and in a way we were such good friends because we perfectly understood each other's situation. Our friendship was based on alot of avoidance i.e. fun, light hearted, care-free. So, without thinking, I asked them about their personal lives on the video call because we used to know everything about each other. But they were super reluctant and uncomfortable talking about themselves overall. And it felt really weird and superficial to not know anything of substance about where they live and what they're doing but talk about pop culture?
  8. I think you're right, but I didn't want to accept that yesterday because it made me sad. It was easier to think that it was my fault that it was awkward because I talk too much. When, in reality, yeah I talked alot to fill the silence but the silence was there because we probably don't have that much in common anymore. It's amazing that you were able to verbalize exactly what I'm guilty of. On reflection, I think it's because I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and when I tell people about it alot of the time they understand it better if I expain how my life was growing up (violent, abusive, unstable). So I've gotten used to being in this weird story teller mode when I talk about my life.
  9. This is a really interesting question. I did ask myself after the call when I felt like everything had gone all wrong, "what were you hoping to get out of this?". I guess to a certain extent it was nostalgia. I wanted to re-experience some of the easy-going, generally hilarious, friendship we had in high school 10+ years ago. They also had first hand experience of how my home life was, hint: not good, and I feel like that gave us a unique relationship as compared to other friends I've had. I also thought that we maybe had more in common than what we actually do. I am starting to realize that maybe we can't just jump back into our friendship as it was when we left it. I need to get to know them all over again. And it's hard because I think we might have a different perspective on alot of things, which was surprising to me.
  10. Thanks, I will definitely try that. That is spot on, it felt exactly like I was interviewing them. I will work on asking different kinds of questions and respecting the natural flow of the conversation more.
  11. Probably, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder so I tend to be pretty harsh to myself when I feel like I've done something wrong. It's something I'm tring to work on, but thanks for the reminder to be a bit more compassionate to myself. 5 years for two of them, and incidentally it was those two it was most awkward with (maybe that should tell me something). I speak to the third one more reguarly. There wasn't much going on in the background, but I would say their expressions were fairly blank. One of them actually messaged me yesterday to explain that she was upset about something, and that's why she was kind of weird on the call.
  12. Thanks. I guess I'm just scared that if I don't say anything that it will be silent and no one will say anything. And then if that happens maybe they won't want to talk to me again because we have nothing to say. But then I guess alienating people by talking too much isn't any better.
  13. Hi everyone, I need some help on how to have better conversations with people. A bit of background: I moved to different countries alot throughout my life due to various factors incl my parent's jobs, studying abroad, and being in a long-term relationship with someone from another country. Even when I have stayed within the same country, I've moved cities alot as well. As a result I haven't had many long-term friendships. In the last couple years I found it "easier" to not have friends, maybe to avoid the disappointment of losing them when I move away? I try to keep in touch, but it never seems to work out very well. In any case I recently decided to put more effort into reconnecting with previous friends and making new friends. In the spirit of that, I had a video call with 3 of my high school friends yesterday. But the conversation was decidedly one sided. I do have a tendency to talk alot when I am nervous, or when other people are not talking because I feel uncomfortable with the silence. Although I am aware of this problem, I don't know how to change my behaviour? As a result the call was disappointing because alot of it was me talking at them, with them kind of interacting but not really. I did try to engage with them by asking them questions like: where are you living now? with who? what is your job like? how is your family? I received a fairly tepid response, and I did try to ask more but I also didn't want to pry into their lives if they didn't want to talk about it. I spoke to my partner about being disappointed after the call because I still don't really know much about what my high school friends are up to, and he said that he thinks that: 1) I would do better talking to them one on one than in a group so I don't verbal diahrrea as much and 2) I need to figure out a way to talk less by being more to the point with what I say. I would be really grateful for any tips you guys could give me, because it feels really isolating to want to connect with people but doing it wrong and not knowing how.
  14. Thank you for sharing this, I really enjoyed reading it! Such a sad story... and a beautiful, deeply moving painting.
  15. I am very surprised at many of these replies. In my opinion, your girlfriend is emotionally immature. There is no way for anyone to know what their SO would want in every single situation, and frankly it's better to ask than assume. You're not some sort of psychic. I'm sure the topic of having children may come up in relationships, but donating sperm/eggs generally does not. In light of that, why would you have any idea how she felt about the subject? It was a complete overreaction on her part to start crying at your suggestion to discuss this topic! It's ridiculous! She is a grown woman, and if she wants this or any other relationship (romantic or otherwise) to work out then she needs to learn to discuss things. She could have listened to your proposal, calmly said that she felt strongly opposed to it and that would have been that. I would be very wary of continuing this relationship if you cannot make her see that you need to be able to discuss everything, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Communication is key in every relationship.
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