I have issues: Part 4 — Fear of Annoying People

I hate to be a bother. I hate to annoy people. I get worked up about possibly saying the wrong thing to someone at a party and worry about it the next day, and beyond. I don’t know how normal this is. I don’t normally talk about it, but I know it is the root of a few of my character flaws, like why I usually wait for people to call me, rarely initiate things with friends and why I dislike asking for help of any kind. I don’t want to bother them if they are in the middle of something. I don’t want to annoy them with my request. I don’t run my air conditioner if I don’t absolutely have to because a neighbor complained that it was loud — I wouldn’t want to bother her in her quietly air conditioned house. I just want to live my life and not be a bother to anyone.

Until the past couple of years this issue only manifested itself in real life, but lately I’ve been more conscious of feeling this way about my online interactions. For instance, when I first became active in Facebook I had all sorts of things streaming on my “wall”. I had my twitter feed and my friendfeed sent to my Facebook wall. I also allowed whatever app I was using on Facebook to be sent to my wall. These notices were then sent to my Facebook friends’ newsfeeds and I annoyed at least one person enough that he deleted me from his friends. When I asked him about it he suggested I join twitter if I wanted to update my status as often as I seemed to be updating it. I explained that it was twitter that was doing it.

Anyway, after that I tried to limit what was posted to my wall. I made a few mistakes, but seemed to be doing fine. Lately, however, a number of people are posting status reports that they are annoyed by other people’s wall posts. Of course (another of my issues is thinking that I’m to blame for everything) I assumed they were talking about my wall posts. Was my app/external site usage being seen by my followers and I didn’t know it? I searched the settings and double checked that what I was doing on Facebook was not annoying anyone. Not bothering them.

And then there is this blog. The theme or the plugins or the widgets is causing problems with commenting and viewing. I’ve spent entire days troubleshooting and have not found an answer.

This is one issue that is not going to be fixed by writing a post about it. I expect that I’ll have this issue until the day I die. I imagine it is part of a larger issue.

So if I annoy you in real life or on Facebook or on Twitter or on my blog, please accept my apologies. I really don’t do it on purpose.

12 thoughts on “I have issues: Part 4 — Fear of Annoying People

  1. I could almost have written this myself. I am probably more conscious of what I say on the Internet than in real life because it’s so easy for words to get misinterpreted without appropriate tone of voice and facial expressions to go with them. I always feel really bad when someone misunderstands something I wrote.

    I have a lot of complicated thoughts about Facebook and those who use it. I do get annoyed with the people who only use Facebook to play games or take quizzes, etc. But I think Facebook’s user interface is confusing enough that people often mis-direct their annoyance to other users instead of the interface itself.

    I enjoy FB posts (blogs/twitter/et al) that are “real” and I try to ignore the rest. “Real” to me means (something like) writing (hopefully) interesting posts about your life and the things that happen to you without hurting other people in the process. Very hard to strike a balance sometimes. I like your blog and Twitter posts because I think you accomplish that very well.

  2. Well, for what it counts, you’ve never annoyed me. And I think your worry about annoying people is normal (at least to me, I have the same type of worry; maybe that’s the real reason I’ve avoided Facebook).

  3. Bridgett — I don’t find you annoying. Prolific & self-assured is how I’d describe you.

    KW, Helen & IB (who cannot comment but sent me an email) — sorry you also worry about this. I’m glad I have company, but not glad other people worry about it too.

    As for people Facebook who use it for games and post their progress in on their walls or people on Twitter who post their Foursquare check-ins — I just smile and know they are having fun. I sometimes block applications on Facebook, but if I’m also using it I don’t. I’ve reconnected with people I’ve not seen in decades and sometimes that’s the only status they ever post. It’s reassuring to see their names pop up — even if it involves cows or lost penguins.

  4. Dona! Shocking!! YOU, annoying? I think not! But part of me is glad to hear someone else (besides me) worries about this. One of my profs recently explained the 18/40/60 rule: At 18 we think it's all about us, and everyone is noticing our every move, pimple, whatever. At 40, we decide we donn't give a s??? if they do. At 60, apparently we realize that basically very few people were that interested, ever. They were too busy worry about themselves.
    As for people being annoyed with you (or me! THERE'S a topic for further discussion, if you're interested!) that's their issue. If your friend shut you down on Facebook, OK, that's what he needed to do. Maybe's he's feeling overwhelmed, but can't admit it, so he scapegoated you. Hopefully he'll get over it, or grow up. After all, he did CHOOSE to be on facebook, and that's just part of the deal.
    Let me know about Chinese New Year on Sunday…

  5. You're not alone. I think it's a universal worry – at least among women. On the ectopic site where I volunteer, women who are in mortal danger don't want to go to their doctors in case they might be thought annoying or a nuisance!

    I'm also learning that most people don't care about us … they only care about themselves. (Ouch, and I'm not 60 either!) But I still worry. For example, lately, I worry that Deloney never posts on my blog anymore. I worry that I'm boring. (That really IS boring!) etc etc.

    I know I commented recently about complaining about other's wall posts etc – it wasn't you I was complaining about!!! Recently, for example, I've seen ultrasound pregnancy photos from people I don't know, just because they're friends of friends. (When I'm not feeling my best, they can be quite upsetting, and I've not been feeling my best lately). It's purely because MY friends haven't adjusted their privacy settings, and there seems to be nothing I can do about it. That is a nuisance.

  6. I'm glad to know my posts on FB don't annoy you, Mali. I am careful of what goes there now. Although I loved a post that my sister-in-law's niece wrote telling her followers how to hide her application posts. She threw it back in the court of her followers.

    My aunt, who, for years sent me nearly every joke, email hoax and chain letter emails that she received from her friends (and I never complained — just deleted them) is now complaining about getting too many farmville etc posts on her newsfeed. It really makes me wonder what people are thinking. My feelings get hurt for other people, I suppose.

  7. I'm glad to know my posts on FB don't annoy you, Mali. I am careful of what goes there now. Although I loved a post that my sister-in-law's niece wrote telling her followers how to hide her application posts. She threw it back in the court of her followers.

    My aunt, who, for years sent me nearly every joke, email hoax and chain letter emails that she received from her friends (and I never complained — just deleted them) is now complaining about getting too many farmville etc posts on her newsfeed. It really makes me wonder what people are thinking. My feelings get hurt for other people, I suppose.

  8. Wow, i’m so glad I’m not the only who has this problem!!
    : (
    It sucks because I forgot how to be social as well, I over think too much in what I say.
    I barely talk to any of my friends because I think I “annoy” them. I’m becoming a loner day
    by day because of this problem. Even online I barely update posts, for weeks even. If people want
    to hang out with me I’ll let them call me or text me first, otherwise I’d feel as if I was annoying them.
    I never get texts though, probably because everyone thinks I hate them. : (

    This problem sucks. I wish I never had it. I’ve become alone because of it. : /

  9. If they get annoyed then they are quite frankly assholes that don’t deserve to be in your presence. Keep on trucking.

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