Is It Me or Is It Them?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I do not feel like I can express myself to other’s in an appropriate manner. What I mean is, I cannot confront someone without thinking that I have to make sure I am loud and clear. I think that because of this, it limits my relationships with people. I do not like that I have Schizophrenia, furthermore, I am wondering if I am Schizo-Effective..? My mother has Bi-Polar and, I think that I may also have this same disorder. I get frustrated easily, when other’s do not handle their own responsibilities or “problems” that they have. Not only that but, I also get upset if someone does not keep a structured format. I like for my day to at least have some kind of order and, to not be chaotic. I do not like when people betray my trust or, [un]intentionally hurt me or do something that irritates me. I make sure to be honest with them and, tell them my peeves. However, frankly, they do not take this serious. I find that to be disrespectful. Let alone, the fact that I have no one turn to for help. People think I am making this stuff up. It’s NO lie. I cannot tolerate people who do not take me serious and/or know when to joke appropriately. My life has been hell, however, I try to stay strong and make it in life. I just need some kind of guidance as to how to handle people whom I communicate with or with not. I feel really sad that my own girlfriend cannot even open up to me or communicate with me. She was really nice to me, when we first met and dated for a couple of months. Now, I think that she has turned against me or she is just sick of my illness. I am confused about how to handle all of this.

A. It may be “you” or “them.” I only have your impressions of the situation so it’s difficult to determine with whom the problem lies. It may be you, or the people you are interacting with or both of you.

When you confront someone, your stated goal is to make your message “loud and clear.” I’m not certain what is meant by that expression. By “loud and clear,” perhaps you mean that you’re aggressive. If so, people may find that unpleasant. They may perceive you as being “mean” or difficult to get along with.

When you believe that someone is not “handling their own responsibilities,” I am curious if you tell them what you think. If so, they may see you as being rude. Offering unsolicited advice can be seen as impolite. Your motivation for offering your advice may stem from a true desire to help but realize that not everyone will see it that way.

You also mentioned that you prefer to do things in a very structured way. If you impose this “structure” onto others, they may see you as being too rigid or too demanding. Friends and family may resent having to conform to your way of doing things. All aspects of relationships should be equal. In other words, it can’t be “your way” all the time.

If this continues to be a problem, I would recommend seeing a therapist. A therapist could analyze your interactions with others and then advise you about what you might do better. He or she could also help to improve your social skills.

Finally, you said that you have schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia often have poor social skills. They may not be fully aware of how their behavior is affecting others. Many schizophrenia treatments include social skill-building exercises. If you choose to see a therapist, consider one who specializes in working with individuals with schizophrenia.

I hope this helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Is It Me or Is It Them?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/06/13/is-it-me-or-is-it-them/

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