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Thread: How to Ask or Being More Considerate of Others page

  1. #1
    trekfan's Avatar
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    How to Ask or Being More Considerate of Others

    Primal Fuel
    You folks are good people, so perhaps you can give me some advice.

    It has come to my attention recently that I have been, in the words of my friends, "acting like an asshole" of late and I agree with them. The last few weeks, not a day has gone by where I haven't pissed someone off because I was thinking only about myself or because I failed to ask a simple question.

    It's not like this is new. My friends and are are quick to point out that is my MO and has been for many, many years. I try and change. I try and ask but it usually only lasts a week or so before I fall back into the same problems. These past few weeks have been trying on a personal level which is why my behavior has gone from "annoying to assholeish" as one of my friends has put it.

    Just to give a quick rundown of the last few weeks, basically the entire month of April, and what's happening:

    1. Have decided to convert to Catholicism from being a Baptist. This represents a huge change for me and has made things with my family very, very ... awkward, to say the least. The last person in my family to leave the Baptist faith was exiled to Tennessee and that side of the family never shows up at family reunions anymore. It was many decades ago but that's how steeped in the Baptist faith my family is. Both my parents are heavily involved in our local Baptist church: my father's a deacon, and my mother is a preschool teacher there. All my siblings are heavily involved as well but the last few years I have grown spiritually weaker, if not dead all together, and I find myself not really caring anymore.

    I want to care. It's not a matter of "Does God exist" so much of "He exists, but I feel like I'm on hold perpetually and I can't reach him" type thing. I believe in God. I don't believe the Baptist way is the way for me and after extensive research, Catholicism is the choice: they have plenty of rules and regulations, which as a military brat I'm more than comfortable in. I like structure.

    But as you can imagine, this has put a lot of stress on me ... breaking away from the family on this, of all things, is proving to be very difficult.

    2. I'm depressed. It's not merely a self-observation, it's one that my friends have been making for months and it finally came to a head towards the end of March where I needed to get some help. I've been searching the local area for a psychiatrist, someone to help with meds because talking it out hasn't worked at all. The thoughts still persist, the behavior still remains. I don't want to go out and do things. I'd rather stay in my room and avoid everyone if I could, simply because it seems I can do no right outside my room.

    So, I've been searching for help in that area and I have yet to find one that I feel can help. It's getting to the point where I may just need to pick one and hope it works, but I need help. That's not debatable.

    3. I was going to be heading back to school in the fall after a two year break to get my health in order, but with the impending conversion to Catholicism and my current mental health issues (I hate, HATE to type that), I'm in no position to attempt a college workload. My parents were going to be helping me out but the conversion thing has put a major damper on that ... they are non-committal at this point. So, that's happening.

    So, all that said, I've been meeting with a Priest (a pretty cool guy, I must say) to help educate me on the Catholic faith and help me with the transition, at least before the class starts up in a few months. At our last meeting, as I was outlying my recent ability to seemingly piss people off no matter what, he made two very hard to swallow points:

    1. My pride, my biggest flaw, is getting in the way of me asking people for help, of me asking in general. He's right on this, I HATE asking for help. Most of the things I need help with I did to myself ... in my mind, if I broke it I should fix it. No one else should have to waste time trying, but this is not how I should go about things.

    2. That my other two big flaws, my extremism (I tend to see things in Black and White, Right or Wrong, ect.) and my stubbornness (I am unholy levels of stubborn) are part of my personality and likely won't change as I get older. Mellow out, maybe, but change? No, according to the priest.

    My pride has kicked in for number two: I can't change? I used to think that about my body, about my physical health, but I did it. I changed it for the better. Why can't I change my personalty for the better? Why can't I mold myself into a person who asks and is considerate of others?

    I want to learn how. I want to be able to say I can change those parts of myself, but they've been part of me so long (like, from day one) that I find it hard to imagine any way to go about it.

    Which is what brings me to you good people.

    How do I learn how to ask? How do I train myself to be more considerate of others, to think of other people and how my actions affect them?

    Any and all thoughts, advice, comments, ect. are welcome. Thank you in advance.
    Went Primal July 25th, 2011.

    Current Age: 25

    Total Loss: 126 lbs

    Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9

    Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2

    Current Goals: Get a stronger core through Pilates and continue being as Primal as I can be.

    My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!

  2. #2
    kathleen's Avatar
    kathleen is offline Senior Member
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    To be completely honest, and realize this is the opinion of a random stranger that only has what you have said to go from:

    Everyone else is acting as much as an asshole as you think you are.
    -It is an assholeish thing to criticize a depressed person (you) of being an asshole (which is the textbook behavior associated with 'not feeling well.')
    -It is an assholeish thing to crticize and alienate a person (especially a family member) for their religion (or in your case, the same religion, different label on the door to the church).

    From the way you describe your life, it sounds like you still live at home with your family. I would highly recommend moving out and getting on your own. When I was 19, I felt many of the same things, but for different reasons. My family was pushy and criticized the choices I made in life, such as where I chose to attend college, that I was choosing to move in with my boyfriend *gasp* without being married, how I drove, and even how I dressed.

    I moved out, did not talk to my immediate family for about 9 months. After that, I reconnected with them, and built a relationship as one independent adult to another.

    I was no longer seen as a child, from a parent's point of view, and the stress of trying to influence my life 'for my own good' or 'tell me what to do' was completely gone, because I was a self-sustaining adult, just like them.

    Being on my own, I was able to recognize both my own success and my own mistakes, and learn from them. When I achieved something, whether that be cook steak for the first time, or get a raise at work, I could recognize that as my own accomplishment. I was in charge of me, and that felt particularly great as a teenager.


    I recommend you get on with your life, and here are some tips:

    1. Quit trying to please everyone else. Worry about yourself; being selfish isn't always a bad thing, it's actually the one element that leads to success. Go to whatever church you feel like going to, believe what you truly believe yourself, and don't listen to what everyone else says.
    2. Don't try to change yourself: You are depressed, it's understood that you are going to be snappy. Just apologize if you have hurt someone's feelings, and move on. Criticizing yourself will do nothing for your depression.
    3. Get a (better) job: I don't know if you have a job, or you have a low paying job, but money=freedom. With money you can move out, call your own shots, and do things you enjoy. Key element here is that you don't need to appeal to anyone else to get what you want. Want financial help with college? Go to the FAFSA website and see what kind of loans or grants you qualify for.
    4. Find your joy: Find something you LOVE doing and make it an effort to do that EVERY DAY. For me, that was singing. Perhaps you will find joy in trying a new Paleo recipe every day, or maybe read from the Bible. Whatever floats your boat. The key to happiness is doing stuff that makes you happy!
    Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

    Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
    Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
    Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
    F/23/5'9"

    26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

  3. #3
    trekfan's Avatar
    trekfan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathleen View Post
    To be completely honest, and realize this is the opinion of a random stranger that only has what you have said to go from:

    Everyone else is acting as much as an asshole as you think you are.
    -It is an assholeish thing to criticize a depressed person (you) of being an asshole (which is the textbook behavior associated with 'not feeling well.')
    -It is an assholeish thing to crticize and alienate a person (especially a family member) for their religion (or in your case, the same religion, different label on the door to the church).

    From the way you describe your life, it sounds like you still live at home with your family. I would highly recommend moving out and getting on your own. When I was 19, I felt many of the same things, but for different reasons. My family was pushy and criticized the choices I made in life, such as where I chose to attend college, that I was choosing to move in with my boyfriend *gasp* without being married, how I drove, and even how I dressed.

    I moved out, did not talk to my immediate family for about 9 months. After that, I reconnected with them, and built a relationship as one independent adult to another.

    I was no longer seen as a child, from a parent's point of view, and the stress of trying to influence my life 'for my own good' or 'tell me what to do' was completely gone, because I was a self-sustaining adult, just like them.

    Being on my own, I was able to recognize both my own success and my own mistakes, and learn from them. When I achieved something, whether that be cook steak for the first time, or get a raise at work, I could recognize that as my own accomplishment. I was in charge of me, and that felt particularly great as a teenager.


    I recommend you get on with your life, and here are some tips:

    1. Quit trying to please everyone else. Worry about yourself; being selfish isn't always a bad thing, it's actually the one element that leads to success. Go to whatever church you feel like going to, believe what you truly believe yourself, and don't listen to what everyone else says.
    2. Don't try to change yourself: You are depressed, it's understood that you are going to be snappy. Just apologize if you have hurt someone's feelings, and move on. Criticizing yourself will do nothing for your depression.
    3. Get a (better) job: I don't know if you have a job, or you have a low paying job, but money=freedom. With money you can move out, call your own shots, and do things you enjoy. Key element here is that you don't need to appeal to anyone else to get what you want. Want financial help with college? Go to the FAFSA website and see what kind of loans or grants you qualify for.
    4. Find your joy: Find something you LOVE doing and make it an effort to do that EVERY DAY. For me, that was singing. Perhaps you will find joy in trying a new Paleo recipe every day, or maybe read from the Bible. Whatever floats your boat. The key to happiness is doing stuff that makes you happy!
    I'm currently living with some friends at the moment, thanks to their generosity. My family is all the way in Alabama but, you know, the Internet age makes it so it's like they're right here.

    Currently I work as a Nanny (yes, laugh now) but I love my job, love working with the kids. I don't make a lot of money, but I make enough to do what I want most of the time. I'm not an extravagant person by nature and prefer to shop used/freecycle stuff ... I like finding things others have decided are not worth the trouble anymore and use them myself.

    I don't feel the other people are being overly critical of me, there criticisms are legitimate in my mind. They put with me and they really don't have to. I thoroughly enjoy our time together but I find myself more and more staying out of their way so as not to be an asshole, which I'm more than good at.

    I do one thing every day that I do find joy in and that's writing. I love writing but sadly my skills are of the fiction type, and it's tough to get any real traction going on in terms of money making fiction. I write plenty though that I post to forums and that I send to friends, and that's enough for me.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
    Went Primal July 25th, 2011.

    Current Age: 25

    Total Loss: 126 lbs

    Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9

    Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2

    Current Goals: Get a stronger core through Pilates and continue being as Primal as I can be.

    My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!

  4. #4
    Bifcus's Avatar
    Bifcus is online now Senior Member
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    Some techniques that might interest you.

    1: Address the depression using primal strategies - eat well, consider whether high or low carb makes any difference to how you feel (for some folk it does), get in the sun daily, exercise daily,

    2. Consider addressing the depression using medication. Your doctor can help with antidepressants, or you can try something like St Johns Wort or SAM-e without a script

    3. Meditation. Daily for about 20 minutes every morning and/or evening. No, it won't magically turn you into a buddhist/yogi/hippy/non-christian, but there is a good chance it will help you chill and find the space between something happening and how you react to that thing.

    4. Journal. Write down a story each day of what you are thinking. Just stream of consciousness stuff - don't plan on going back and re-reading it because it will not be a good read! Today's entry might be about not knowing how to change, wondering what it is you really need to change, feeling guilty for being nasty to people, mourning the loss of family related to changing your church etc.

    5. This online program can be really useful, if you actually do the exercises. https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

    6. Set a goal for something you are working towards, and aim to do something 'most days' that gets you towards that goal. This might be an athletic goal, a job goal, a creative goal, it doesn't matter. Having something positive to look forward to, and acknowledging your progress can be really rewarding. Converting your focus from what you do 'wrong' to what you do 'right'. Start researching that novel, perhaps?

    7. Learn to accept yourself, flaws and all. EFT or TAPAS can be good for this - tapping while reciting "Even though I was rude to Mum (or whatever) I deeply and completely accept myself" can be very powerful. Be very precise with your phrasings for best effect.

    Good luck on starting your journey to a new mental balance.

  5. #5
    goinggrok's Avatar
    goinggrok is offline Senior Member
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    One quick suggestion...find someone there who can do body talk...its the most amazing thing that has happened to me. I learned to love/like myself once again. Can't explain why it works, but it does...I have referred friends to my person and they keep going back!
    You have to have an open mind and be willing to try something different

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    First of all, it sounds as if the major issue is that you're depressed. It's hard to be a kind, considerate person when your head is not in a good place-- and even if you are a kind, considerate person, it's hard to see yourself that way when you're depressed. Depression and mental illness tend to distort perception; at least in my experience, all your attention and awareness can be consumed by what's going on in your head. Honestly, you seem like a thoughtful person based on what you've said in this thread.

    I think that the only point that you mentioned which would be relevant to asinine behavior would be the combination of a black and white world view and stubbornness. If this is applied to, say, a conversation with friends or family regarding religion, I could understand how people might think that you're acting like an ass. Otherwise, you might have to give specific examples of "being an asshole"

    If you're becoming a Catholic, an idea may be to look towards your religion. I was confirmed in the Catholic Church, and went to a Jesuit university, and though I'm not paragon of religiosity, the message that I've taken from it is that if God exists, what God intended was for human beings to have compassion and love for one another and themselves. I don't mean that in a squishy, "Jesus loves you" way. I mean that sometimes it's the greatest imaginable challenge either to face down self-loathing, or to be kind when what you really want to do is slap people across the face and tell them how wrong and stupid they are. (This may not apply to your situation at all, just throwing it out there)

    And finally, if writing makes you happy, do it! If you have a gift, use it. (and for an added theological bonus, read Pope John Paul II's 1999 Letter to Artists. He says, more or less, that art is is a vocation, and that an act of creation, whether a story or a painting, is a way of connecting to the sacred)
    Last edited by Cathartes; 04-22-2013 at 08:27 PM.

  7. #7
    jammies's Avatar
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    I agree with the above poster who said you need to first deal with the depression.

    Generally speaking, you should not make any big life decisions during an episode of depression. You will frequently make decisions just trying to avoid the pain rather than what is best for you.

    For example, switching for Baptism to Catholicism. The crisis of faith you are experiencing at the moment is not likely related in any way to what type of religion you are practicing. Whatever religion you turn to, you will find the doubt is coming from inside you. What does that Catholic teaching have in it that could possible make you feel more connected to your God? You have to look inside, not outside, to find those answers.

    The first thing to do it get well. That means start with a visit to any mental health professional who can guide you. It may take a few tries to find people you trust. But just commit to doing it.

    Once you are healthy and the depression is under control, if you are still being an ass come back and post again and we'll give you some more pointers then
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

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  8. #8
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    Health stuff: An affordable and arguably more effective alternative to medication for depression would be amino acids and supplementation. Check out the book "The Mood Cure".

    I fully commiserate with difficulty in asking for help and admitting depression. I've struggled with it for 10 years, even knowing I had a diagnosis. Once you admit it and accept it, you have to realize that it is an illness, and illnesses can be treated and cured. It's hard to think rationally when depressed, so I understand how it can be hard to believe change can happen, but it can. You have a good head on your shoulders, from the posts I've read, and if you had the resolve to change your physical body, as you said, you can do it to your head. I'm not going to say it will be easy, but it is possible.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Here is my instant impression.

    Catholics do a lot of charity work. Get involved. Helping other people is the surest way to learning humility and how to ask for help yourself. It actually takes more strength to ask for help and receive it than it does to go it alone.

    It seems to work that when you try to help other people, you are actually getting more help for yourself in return. It's like when teachers say they learn more from their students than the other way around.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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