Meg makes faces for fun.

DEAR ABBY: I have always suffered from what I now know is social anxiety disorder. When I have to attend a large family function, I’m extremely nervous and miserable. As a result, sometimes I have had a sour expression on my face (although I didn’t realize it). At a gathering several years ago, I guess I inadvertently gave what appeared to be a dirty look to the in-law of a family member. I didn’t mean to be rude, but I was extremely nervous.

Since then, this person has made a sarcastic remark about me on a family video, and another time as I was walking out of a family member’s home, they made a face or gesture behind my back. (I realized it later because I was wondering why the person I was saying goodbye to looked past me at them and laughed.)

I regret what happened and constantly replay the event and beat myself up over it. However, I feel this person has more than made up for it by their actions. I’ll be required to see this person for years to come. Apologizing is not an option, as the two of us now have a seething dislike for each other. Do I have a right to give myself a break for this? — ANXIETY SUFFERER

DEAR ANXIETY SUFFERER: If someone was offended by a “look” they perceived, they should have approached you and asked what it was about when it happened. Surely other of your relatives know about your discomfort being in groups and could have explained to the person that the expression on your face wasn’t directed at them. Regardless of how you feel about this individual, because you are going to encounter the person with some regularity, it would be in your interest to quit stewing, make the “gesture” (not obscene!) and straighten this out. (c) DEAR ABBY

Huh. Was her expression perhaps anything like… this?

DSC01452

Or this, pray tell?

Picture 71

Or maybe this?

Picture 66

Or possibly like this?

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Or like this?

Screenshot (364)

Or maybe like this?

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Or did she look more akin to this?

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Or potentially like this?

hows-that-working-for-you

I’m just trying to get a visual. The funny thing here is that all of these images have been used in my previous blog posts, because WordPress has them all saved when I click to add media.

Do I have a right to give myself a break for this?

Absolutely. Reading the letter, I get the strong sense that the other person is being a bully by mocking her for his own enjoyment. That’s not cool. It would be different if the other person’s feelings were hurt by the expression, but I don’t think that was the case. If I were the letter writer, I’d avoid associating with this person, and I’d possibly avoid the larger group altogether.

11 thoughts on “Meg makes faces for fun.

  1. Haha, Meg, I am in another one of those phases where I can’t focus much on a lot of detailed text, but I had to comment about photos – it’s a treat to finally see your personage – the face behind the author – even if you are making funny faces in all of them šŸ˜†šŸ˜…šŸ¤£. Yeah I have not been following long so this is the first time I have seen you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY!! Yeah, that’s me!! šŸ˜€ HA HA HA HA! I can’t look at that first photo of myself without dying from laughter. I took it in February several years ago when the dryness of winter affected my hair. Freakin’ hilarious, and the dryness always makes me terrified of touching a lightswitch for fear of getting shocked. šŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Abby’s advice is kind of lame. If the person was really hurt (which, like you, I’m quite doubtful of) I agree that this would be definitely better if he just approached the letter writer and talked it through, but when people are really offended they often just don’t do it even when they “should”, because why would you want to interact with someone you felt offended by, even if it could potentially clear up the situation. I’d even say that most of the time people don’t do this the way Dear Abby imagines. And then there are people who just enjoy feeling offended. And I don’t understand why it’s so sure that the letter writer’s relatives must know about her problem. This is not an obvious condition, and even if she makes faces unvoluntarily, I guess for most people this is not a tell-tale sign of social anxiety.
    I agree with you that she has every right to give herself a break. Also, “an in-law of a family member” doesn’t sound like such a very close relationship that you wouldn’t be able to break free from, as could be the case with your own in-law, grandfather or uncle. Perhaps there still might be a way for her to extricate herself out of hanging out with him, or at least limit it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I completely agree!! I hate the thought of her being mocked for her resting facial expression. That just seems so unkind and unnecessary. I’m sad that she blames herself at all, given the mockery she’s been experiencing. šŸ˜¦ And that’s a good insight about people who enjoy taking offense. Geez!! AAUGH!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my best friends in university had resting bitch face. We didn’t become friends until second year, but we were in the same first year math class, and I had noticed her in first year specifically because of the resting bitch face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, a bad case of RBF? That bites. It’s an interesting phenomenon for sure!! I’m glad you were friends with her instead of being all judgey like the letter writer’s relative!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah I have anxiety and totally get how the letter writer is feeling, and Iā€™m always feeling guilty about potentially offending someone with a look or my initial standoffish nature. BUT, this person just appears to be acting like an A Hole. No one would be so offended from a perceived dirty look that they would deliberately target that person at every occasion they see them unless they were already willing to bully in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

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