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”. 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).