Why am I so offended by this guy?


#1

The guy in question is a devout Catholic who I’m sorta familiar with because he’s friends with my Catholic friends. From what I gather he is very involved in his parish, very devout, and very open and enthusiastic about his faith. But I also see him as being very forward, something I frankly don’t like too much.

When I first met him we got along because he, like me, is one of those people who is very politically conservative (we hate gun control, don’t like how the country is run politically, etc.) but from then on I didn’t really like the guy. I feel threatened by him for some odd reason. One easy example is music: as a music nerd I am very opinionated on the subject and I know what I like and don’t like (but oddly enough I don’t really share this with others and if I do I purposely try to do so humbly and without sounding arrogant). He had suggested that I should listen to Christian rock which I strongly dislike (it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me…although I love listening to chant and traditional choral music). So I responded by saying that I don’t like Christian rock and he replied with a response of something along the lines of “you should listen to it, it’ll grow on you”. :confused::confused::confused: This advice bothered me a lot and I don’t know why. I know what I like already and it’s not that and I should be content with this. If anyone else had given me this advice I wouldn’t have been bothered at all. But for some reason when he mentioned this to me I felt deeply bothered.

Another example where I have been bothered by him was on the subject of youth groups. I attended one once and was really turned-off by the happy-clappy music/spirituality they employ, whereas another youth group that was more traditional and which has a higher median age was more my style and I liked it. I have mixed feelings on going back to the first group but would gladly attend the second group. When I mentioned this to him he responded by saying that “I should go to the [first group], they are so joyful and so on fire for Christ and it’ll grow on me” and this too offended me. Again, it was just a suggestion, nothing more, and really shouldn’t offend me. I’m reluctant to go back to the first group but I would gladly visit the second one again if it fits my schedule. So why did his suggestion offend me?

And other things like this often happen when I am speaking to this guy. I can’t explain why but many of the things he says and tells me offend me and I really don’t think I should be offended…if I don’t want to do/like something someone suggests to me I don’t have to do it/like it. This doesn’t really happen with anyone else except this one guy. While I don’t foresee becoming good friends/buddy-buddy with him because I’m not terribly close to the guy I nonetheless want to be able to associate with him without feeling threatened by him. He’s a nice guy and there is nothing to hate about him but I have trouble with these feelings.

If it helps I struggle a lot with self-doubt, rumination, and confidence so I tend to be very protective of my likes and dislikes, mainly because I can be easily led into doubt whenever someone suggests that I may like something other than what I am used to…this can sometimes lead to long moments of anxious rumination over “do I really like this?” or “am I doing the right thing?” which leads to sadness and anxiety and worry, even though I already know that the answer to the questions are “yes” and “yes”

What are your thoughts? (although I should really mention this to my spiritual director when I meet next).


#2

Maybe you can seek some counseling to help you sort this out? From what you write, it sounds like you have some inner conflicts.

You obviously don't click with this fellow, if he bothers you so much, you can avoid him. From what you write here, you sound very uptight and highly opinionated and not very tolerant.


#3

Oh I definitely have issues and I’m in counseling already along with seeing a spiritual director. And yes the latter is true too, although I’ve never thought of myself as uptight…although I guess that makes sense, too.

The weird thing too is that my close friends are non-Catholic and I attend a secular school so I’m used to having to deal with people whose views are opposed to mine and we get along mostly fine.


#4

I personally it would be a red flag for me. I too would be put off by someone that always tells me I should do this, I should do that when I’ve already mentioned I don’t like something. Explore it more with your spiritual director for sure. But I truly believe the “gut feeling” is something God gives us for a reason and I would listen to how I’m feeling when I was with this person. I would limit my time with him until I’ve worked through the situation and feel comfortable with it.


#5

[quote="PatriceA, post:4, topic:193943"]
I personally it would be a red flag for me. I too would be put off by someone that always tells me I should do this, I should do that when I've already mentioned I don't like something. Explore it more with your spiritual director for sure. But I truly believe the "gut feeling" is something God gives us for a reason and I would listen to how I'm feeling when I was with this person. I would limit my time with him until I've worked through the situation and feel comfortable with it.

[/quote]

I really would like to limit contact with this person if possible, although in reality he is a good person. I figure that all of this was just me but I'm not certain.


#6

We don't have to like everyone we come across. We just have to love them like ourselves.


#7

That’s interesting. Sometimes, we have more problems with those who are closer to our views, with whom we should have a lot in common, but disagree on a few points, and focus on those. Kind of like the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. There are so many similarities, so much in common, but nevertheless, much animosity.


#8

Regarding Christian Rock, it actually does grow on you. I used to not like it but started listening because I do a lot of driving for my business. It totally grew on me, there are a lot of fine Christian artists out there.


#9

Dear LotusCars,

IMHO, he just doesn't sound like your type and I would try not to worry about it if I were you. We all come across people who just rub us the wrong way, and that's OK.

I notice that this person will hear your opinion and then say you "should" do the opposite. Maybe the problem is not with his giving of his opinion, but the fact that yours was not given equal weight and he's told you what to do?

He sounds like a decent, enthusiastic guy who might not have the best conversational skills. Telling people what they "should" do all the time is not a great way to make friends. Sounds like he also has trouble putting himself in other's shoes. That's OK...none of us is perfect. If you pray for him, God might use this as a wonderful opportunity to teach you patience with him.

If I were in your position, I would try saying this the next time (all in a very polite and even tone, of course, no sarcasm!):

"Hey Lotus, do you listen to Christian rock at all?"
"No, it's not my style. I like....."
"Oh well, you should listen to Christian rock, it'll grow on you."
"No, I don't think so. Thanks for the suggestion though."

I PREDICT that if you kindly and politely shut him down like that once or twice, he will stop telling you what he thinks you should do. It could be a good learning experience for you both.

God bless you!


#10

There’s a book called “The Temperment God Gave You” By Art and Laraine Bennett. It deals with four main personality types. Your friend sounds like a problem solver type so when you say you dislike something, he sees it as a problem to solve. This bothers you because you have probably spent a great deal of time and effort discerning your likes and dislikes and opinions. He thinks he’s helping you. You think he’s insulting you.
This book explains people’s communication styles based on their personalities and why some just naturally conflict.

PS.-I hate when somebody tells me I should like something I dislike just because they do. I think it’s just dumb to expect people to like things because I do.


#11

You know, sometimes people just rub us the wrong way for some reason. I am one to believe that every person that comes into our lives is there for a reason. Maybe he is there to teach you something?? Sometimes the most well meaning people just say things in a way that are off putting. They truly mean well but don’t have the…finesse to couch it in a way that lets other people hear them. This guy sounds like he might be like that with all the ‘you should’ comments. It would annoy me too I think. Maybe dealing with this guy is an exercise in increasing virtue for you, so I’d pray about it.

(FWIW I can’t stand Christian rock either. I’d rather stand in line for a free lobotomy than listen to it. It might grow on you but so can mold:p)


#12

[quote="shannyk, post:11, topic:193943"]

(FWIW I can't stand Christian rock either. I'd rather stand in line for a free lobotomy than listen to it. It might grow on you but so can mold:p)

[/quote]

BRAVA! :clapping: And I have to wonder, if Christian rock is so great, why do we have to wait for it to grow on us? I liked Mozart and The Beatles the very first time I heard their music. :p Not to get off topic or anything....


#13

Maybe you are a bit jealous of his positive outlook?


#14

[quote="m_crane, post:10, topic:193943"]
There's a book called "The Temperment God Gave You" By Art and Laraine Bennett. It deals with four main personality types. Your friend sounds like a problem solver type so when you say you dislike something, he sees it as a problem to solve. This bothers you because you have probably spent a great deal of time and effort discerning your likes and dislikes and opinions. He thinks he's helping you. You think he's insulting you.

[/quote]

This book explains people's communication styles based on their personalities and why some just naturally conflict.

PS.-I hate when somebody tells me I should like something I dislike just because they do. I think it's just dumb to expect people to like things because I do.

This is so true. I was married to a problem solver temperament type and boy, when I first met him I could not STAND him!! Every conversation however short turned into him telling me what I should do.:rolleyes: When I came to realize this was his way of being helpful and kind, it completely changed my interaction with him. Good insight!


#15

I tend to agree with cecilia97. From your OP it sounds to me like it’s not so much his differing opinion that bothers you as it is that he’s not listening to you. The other posters are right in that you don’t have to click with every person you meet, so if you can I’d minimize contact with him. However there will always be people like him - people who don’t listen to your feelings or who run over your opinion. When you do have to be around him, use it as a chance to practice for other situations you may not be able to walk away from. Practice letting go of his criticisms. Practice being internally strong without being overbearing. All that kind of good stuff.


#16

LotusCar,

Good time to practice "TURN IT OVER TO GOD" ...


#17

The problem is... he isn't YOU. ;)

You respect him because he's a good Catholic... that's a good thing! :thumbsup:
But "Good Catholics" don't have to follow a set criteria (*personality *wise) for how to live. :o

You need to separate your "lifestyle choices" (ie, music choices) from your "faith choices" (ie, conservative moral thought)... not every single "Good Catholic" is going to have the same "lifestyle choices" as you.

So your personalities don't click... so what! :shrug:


#18

Honestly, you have way more patience than me. Happy clappy youth group? Christian rock? I'd immediately inform someone who was into that stuff that I'd want to put a bullet into his skull.

Hyperbole? Yes, of course. Mean? A little. But I absolutely hate that stuff and frankly find "feel the power of Jesus" evangelical style youth or adult groups totally offensive, disrespectful and antithetical to Catholicism. Christian rock is just bad music, though obviously I don't find it disrespectful since it's in a secular environment.

Just tell the guy that while you like his religious and political views, he has bad taste in music and nothing he can say will change that fact and leave it at that.


#19

Yeah, he’d offend me too. He rejects you when he says he’d pick something different, christian rock or the christian group, and then tries to influence you a different way he thinks is better, to change you. It’s not very accepting. It pushes away. It’s annoying.

It may be best to stay away from conversational subjects where he tends to do this.

I offer my sympathy.

:o


#20

I remember reading once that if someone annoyed you in this way, you probably annoy him too.

I think often when were are inexplicably bothered by someone in this way, we are reacting to what the Jungians call our "Shadow". We see something in them of ourselves, but that part of ourselves that we dislike and try not to show. I have found this to be true, sometimes in a way that is rather humbling.


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