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Triggered by a friend - stop or go?


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Hello everybody, i'm glad to be back here after so many years of absence.

I have a friend, much younger than me (like most of my friends), it is just an info like another. I am being triggered by what he says regularly. I stopped the relationship twice. And I'm still being triggered over futilities often just very childish. I take friendship very seriously. He and I are like "family" to each other but still, I don't want to be triggered and/or say unpleasant things to him especially when it's just futile.

I was suspecting he was having "romantic" feelings for me and that it unconsciouly triggered me... but now I'm not sure what it is and why it is so. 

I never every bicker or get into "fights" with anybody. But I do cut people off when I feel it is toxic.

What do you think?

Thank you all in advance.

 

EDIT:

Thank you all for your replies. I didn't want to overwhelm you with a long message. Here are more details about my question:

1. Age gap and other gaps: most of my friends/aquatences are younger than me... 20 years younger sometimes... It never was an issue. I am a woman, he is man, we come from different cultures, but that never was the issue with other people but I feel here it may be the case. English is far from being my 1st language and it is not his.

2. Toxicity: it is not about toxicity, and really, it is about me, I am the one to be triggered because he would be just a bit immature or too litteral. And I am affraid of being unpleasant with him. 

3. Being like "family": we are close, I know I can rely on him and vice versa. We are in different countries and our communication is only by phone or text. 

4. Romantic feelings: it can be my imagination or it can be my intuition, I didn't give it too much importance or thought. I feel like he is trying to please me, but it is also his nature ... and that he idealizes me. 

5. How long have you've been friends: 4 years 

6. Age gap: 21 (I never thought about it...)

7. "Why did you end the friendship twice" the last time: I stopped because I got triggered for stupid stuff and I stopped communicating with him, so did he. 


8. "Why did you decide to pick it up again": because I felt a bit guilty of not contacting him again (not that he did) and that he is a good person/friend. It is not only about feeling "a bit guilty" it was because I was not in a good space at that time and decided to not call again to avoid to be deal with stupid stuff.

9. What kind of statements trigger you?  Example: last time I told him "as a musician you know that ..." he stopped me and told me "I am not a musician". I replied "OK" end of the communication by phone, and of the contact. He is a musician because he plays several instruments and he is specifically studiying piano at a  music university. 

10. What do you mostly bond over with them? No. I have very few friends because I want quality relationships in my life.

11. Do you consider setting a boundary as "fighting" or are you able to freely and calmly express yourself? I keep my calm most of the time, but I feel I just can't if I continue to be triggered like that by stupid stuff. 

For me "fighting" is a strong boundary, it impossible for me to have any kind of relationship if there is constant bickering or fighting. 

A friend is not someone I can have "fights". I just can't.

So this is not really fighting but one of our recent discussion reminded me of "romantic" relationships where the guy would say something and the girl would reply and he would be scared and run away and would like to hang up. Huge trigger for me to even have this 

12. "Do you see them purely as a friend or is there something more on your side?" I see him as a friend.

In summary: I am triggered not him, by "stupid" or "litteral" reflexions he does. I feel I the one who is becoming potentially becoming "toxic" here... 

Last issue today, here you are the pic of conversation:

- HIM: do you feel better? (I was sick)

- ME: not 100%, you?

- HIM: merci

(Merci is French for thank you)

- ME: for what ?

- HIM: you asked this : "you?"

- ME: why are you saying this, when I know..

He then replies with a tentative of joke and changes subject and than comes back to it saying that he replies "merci" for "saying how are you" and that he is sure that French reply "merci" sometimes.  

So you can totally judge me on this if you want :).

I wouldn't have reconnected with you here if it was not serious for me, I feel I need to end this friendship indeed because I am never like that, I don't recognize myself in this kind of communication.

See how stupid this is. 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Drym said:

Last issue today, here you are the pic of conversation:

- HIM: do you feel better? (I was sick)

- ME: not 100%, you?

- HIM: merci

- ME: for what ?

- HIM: you asked this : "you?"

- ME: why are you saying this, when I know..

Have you met in person? This sounds like language/cultural barrier. Many languages simply say 'Thank you' rather than detailed answers to 'how are you?'. In English it's "fine, thanks". Did you 'meet' in a language app?

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We met in person, off line. We didn't meet in an app. It seems like a language/cultural barrier indeed. 

But I feel there is more than that. Because, normally I would 100% just ignore any futility like this ... who care if he said only "thank you" instead of "fine, thank you". But I felt triggered. 

(He doesn't speak French, I do, btw. He always wants to say French words whereas he just don't understand the language.)

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13 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Have you met in person? This sounds like language/cultural barrier. Many languages simply say 'Thank you' rather than detailed answers to 'how are you?'. In English it's "fine, thanks". Did you 'meet' in a language app?

Sorry I guess i replied in the wrong place:

6 minutes ago, Drym said:

We met in person, off line. We didn't meet in an app. It seems like a language/cultural barrier indeed. 

But I feel there is more than that. Because, normally I would 100% just ignore any futility like this ... who care if he said only "thank you" instead of "fine, thank you". But I felt triggered. 

(He doesn't speak French, I do, btw. He always wants to say French words whereas he just don't understand the language.)

 

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I concur regarding cultural differences which impact language barriers, confusion and misunderstandings during communication or correspondence.

If age is an issue, then don't envision an enduring friendship with this texting friend.  Lower your expectations so you won't have triggers and upsets.

If you're afraid of being unpleasant with him, don't be impulsive.  Stop and think before you communicate.  Exercise self control.  Think about harsh consequences whenever you become easily agitated and irritated.

Both of you don't have a real 'family' type friendship if the friendship is predominantly a texting phone friend.  He's more of a pen pal or correspondence friend.  Real friends lean towards in person friends or seeing them within your locale.  (Some friends are social media friends and that's it.)  Too much absence of not seeing each other in person doesn't make the heart grow fonder.  To the contrary, too much absence causes people to drift apart and eventually fade away.  The friendship will run its course and eventually both of you will grow tired of each other. 

If you sense that he has romantic feelings towards you, make it clear that you do not have romantic feelings towards him.  Or, maintain boundaries during correspondence or communication.  He'll either get your message from your attitude and behavior or you'll have to have a discussion with him.  Hopefully, both of you can at least have a phone chat instead of relying on texts all the time.

If you reconnected and if this is an issue with him, express why and be articulate.  Never play guessing games.  Be clear with people.

Regarding the musician comment, stop taking every comment so personally.  Let it go.  It's not worth your unnecessary angst. 

Like you, I'm very picky and choosy with friends in my life.  Quality vs. Quantity is better. 

There is a difference between fighting, an argument and disagreement.  Fighting is cruel.  An argument can be civil and handled peacefully if both parties possess empathy and emotional intelligence.  Google "emotional intelligence."  A disagreement can be settled if both parties are mature and peaceful types. 

I agree, constant bickering is unhealthy.  Learn to back off by not engaging in excessive correspondence or communication.  Give people space.

Peacefully resolve issues instead of severing contact or running away.  Think of your actions before acting upon it so you won't have stress later.

He doesn't understand French so give him a break.  Don't create endless drama.

If you wish to end this friendship, then respectfully end it.  Explain that you're uncomfortable with language barriers, misunderstandings and unclear, confusing communication or correspondence with him.  Tell him that English is not both your first language and communication is confusing and often misunderstood with him.  Be honest. 

It would be better, easier and smoother to have friendships with people who speak and / or write French fluently for obvious reasons. 

 

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2 hours ago, Drym said:

I never every bicker or get into "fights" with anybody. But I do cut people off when I feel it is toxic.

Are you asking how to know when a relationship is toxic?

I'm not sure what you're asking, and I hope you might tell us how we can help.

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Thanks for your reply. I assume you're a troll or you just didn't get what I said... Enotalone seems to have changed a lot...

And btw, I speak 7 languages, French is one of them. 

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6 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

Are you asking how to know when a relationship is toxic?

I'm not sure what you're asking, and I hope you might tell us how we can help.

I'm just wondering what I have missed and why I would be triggered. Thanks for your reply

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How can anyone tell you why you have been triggered?  That would require knowing your entire personal history.  There is nothing inherently triggering in "I'm not a musician," obviously.  You probably need to take casual conversational exchanges less seriously.  Maybe it would be a good idea for you to get some counseling,  since you are easily triggered and need some help understanding why.

It's pretty clear that you have an unrealistic perception of this relationship, however.  It's not like family if it only exists through correspondence, and it's not very reliable if you've already called off the "friendship" twice.  

Are you isolated in your everyday life?  Do you have much face to face interaction with friends and other people?  

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I Have Feelings For Someone Else Wh...
I Have Feelings For Someone Else While In a Relationship

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