Am I somehow stressing myself out?

I think I'm annoying and bothersome, but my girlfriend says I'm just fine. I don't think so, I think I'm stressing everyone else out

Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I think you have identified something important here. It's not unusual to experience feelings that don't seem to match up with what your rational mind recognizes. 

In this case, it sounds like a part of you recognizes that the people around you do not find you "annoying and bothersome." Despite knowing that people like you, it seems that there's still a part of you that feels like you're a bother.

Finding a local counselor who can work with you to process those feelings might be just the help you need.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lynda Martens
Lynda Martens
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc, RP, RMFT

"Where you put your attention is where you will go". I forget who said this first, but it's very powerful. If all you think about and talk about is how annoying you think you might be, that will get annoying. Your intense self reflection is lovely; it will help you monitor yourself so that you're not affecting others negatively, but your alarm is going off too easily here and you risk having the opposite effect.

You don't have to be perfect. She's with you, so she probably likes you as you are. She seems to put far less emphasis on your possibly annoying traits. We all have faults and if that's what we focus on, that's all we will see. My hunch is that your most annoying trait might be your negative self-talk. How ironic is that?

There's another irony here...your goal is to be a better partner...but when you are self-critical, your focus is on you, not her. Every moment that fear grabs ahold of you is a moment that you're not being present in the actual relationship; you're gazing at your imagined faults. Fear steals your ability to focus on your loving partner. 

Maybe take a moment to image how she sees you...all of you. Put yourself in her shoes to see the entire you...how are you loving...thoughtful...a good partner? Confidence is a very attractive quality! 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

I'm glad to hear you have friends and that your friends say they like you.

Trust your own sense of who you are which tells you that something feels uneasy within yourself.

Is the friend who says you're "just fine", very familiar with who you are?

"Friend" is a broad category.

She may not know you as fully as you know yourself.

Basically, it is possible to be "fine" and have some inner stress.

Follow your own thoughts and observations to more fully learn about yourself in ways your friend may not notice or be aware.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Mark Morris, LCSW
Mark Morris, LCSW
Therapist and Author of Living Yes
Interesting:  How much of your issue is your own self-judging and how much of your perception is real?

There are many ways to stop judging and self-judging using Cognitive Theory (CBT).  You could find a (CBT) counselor/ therapist to help you reduce your judgments.  In addition, I've written extensively about this in my book, LIVING YES, A HANDBOOK FOR BEING HUMAN (www.LivingYes.org).  I recommend you visit the webpage and pick up a copy.

As to your own perception:  You seem okay being who you are, and your girlfriend agrees.  Instead, you appear to be upset by your own guess at what others may be thinking. That's a trap that stresses a lot of folks out.  Consider this:  Many happy people don't mind what others think of them.  And consider this:  Many heroic characters in literature and movies are unlikeable.  ("Colombo" is annoying and bothersome, but we love him.  So is Johnny's Depp's Jack Sparrow and many of the roles played by George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, and Jack Nicholson.)  Would it be okay with you to be an "antihero" in your own life?  If you don't want to be an antihero, you have the power to be the person you want.  

Your behaviors and thoughts are completely under your control.  What other people think of you is not under your control.  You are completely in the driver's seat here.  The choices are all yours.  Enjoy who you are, and use your will power to make yourself who you want to be!  ~Mark  (www.MarkMorrisLCSW.com and www.LivingYes.org)


The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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