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Why Do I Always Assume People Are Angry with Me?

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From a woman in the U.S.: My husband tends to reassure me often that I’m not the cause of his frustration. Sure, I mess up, but he does too. We’re human. It just happens so many times where I worry when he’s upset he can’t sleep, that I was the cause. If his work shirt gets a little messy and he gets vocally upset, it’s my fault. When my online friends talk to me and say “night” or “;bye” or anything really, I match text with a negative or upset tone.

The thing is, 90% of the time it isn’t the case. I know it’s not my fault when my husband suffers insomnia or his shirt gets messed up. I know my friends online aren’t angry with me. Sometimes when my online friends are busy and haven’t been on for a day or so, the first thought that pops up in my head is that they no longer like me and are no longer speaking to me.

In the past I’ve had people block me for no reason, but that hasn’t happened in a long time. I say things that make me seem foolish, like the time my friend’s father told me, “Hey, we”re twins!” in reference to our vehicles, and I thought he meant forgetfulness, thus possibly insulting him in the process implying he’s forgetful when I was the route cause of the misunderstanding.

…What is this I’m experiencing???

Why Do I Always Assume People Are Angry with Me?

Answered by on -

A.

I can only suspect that you experienced blame and shame as a kid and that you are still carrying the idea that you will be put down. Somehow, some way, your self-esteem took a beating. You may have unconsciously figured out that a way to avoid feeling terrible is to beat the accuser to the punch. You blame yourself before someone else can. That way, you are at least somewhat in control. It’s as if you are saying, “You can’t tell me anything I don’t know. I already know I’m at fault.”

But that’s just a guess. In order to really help you, I’d need to get to know you and to understand how your past influences your present. I could then offer you a more accurate explanation as well as some suggestions for how to deal with your perception that others judge you so negatively.

This is a hard way to live. I hope you will consider seeing a mental health counselor to help you. You are only in your twenties. You don’t have to live with this anxiety for the next 50 or so years. A counselor will help you understand the roots of your self-blame and will help you find ways to free yourself from constantly assuming the worst.

If you can’t get to a counselor right away, I urge you to look online for ways to create a more positive self-esteem. There are also some excellent workbooks available from online book sellers. Give yourself the gift of spending an hour a day working on yourself.

You need and deserve to have a more positive self-concept and a more friendly view of other people’s opinion of you.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

Why Do I Always Assume People Are Angry with Me?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Why Do I Always Assume People Are Angry with Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/07/15/why-do-i-always-assume-people-are-angry-with-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jul 2020 (Originally: 15 Jul 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jul 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.