New Post Advanced Search

Them against the world.

11 replies 1.2K views
Retireby40Retireby40 Forumite
342 posts
100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
✭✭
This isnt about me but a family member. Not that its important who it's about. I reckon its quite a common thing and I'm trying to understand it a little better maybe to help.

Does anyone here feel like more often than not its them against the world? Not in a bad way but in certain situations.

Family member has self esteem issues (I think because of Google search) but on the outside appears a very strong confident person. I reckon that maybe the vibe they give is almost too confident. Not in an arrogant way but maybe like defensively confident.

For example. Said person very rarely tells anybody what to do. For example they are playing tennis with someone not a close friend but close enough. And they know the other person is doing something a little wrong. Rather than saying your doing it wrong they let the person play their own game and make their own mistakes. However if the other person says they are doing something wrong it can cause my family memeber to get quite defensive. The typical. You do things wrong and I don't say anything so dont criticise me. This puts them in the this why do people criticise me when I dont them. (Me against the world).

Said family member also hates asking people for things. They find they have to be super independent on their own. Almost like its weakness asking for help. And maybe if you offer to help them (DIY) they think you are helping them because you think they dont know how to do it. Or if someone checks something they did and makes a small comment about it again it's this.....defensiveness. they might not say they are annoyed but you can tell. 

From what I know they dont have any huge reason to have self esteem issues but who knows. I dont remember them having family who told them they were inadequate or not good enough. I reckon they have it in their head and maybe when events transpire someone saying something reaffirms what they believe. I really don't know. 

They also seem to hold things against people a lot. Like he said this to me one day I wont forget that. Again it could have been something simple but they take it more personal than needed.

They have a super competitive personality. If you beat them at something more individual competitions they always want another game straight away. (I am like this a lot myself so i dont know if that's a trait or just stupid)

Has anyone come across this type of person. Sorry if I'm super unclear. I just worry about them that they will start to be more isolated and maybe run into problems down the line. Psychologist the best place to go?

«1

Replies

  • 74jax74jax Forumite
    5.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    For example. Said person very rarely tells anybody what to do. For example they are playing tennis with someone not a close friend but close enough. And they know the other person is doing something a little wrong. Rather than saying your doing it wrong they let the person play their own game and make their own mistakes. 
    I don't see anything wrong, let them play their game how they want. 
    However if the other person says they are doing something wrong it can cause my family memeber to get quite defensive. 
    Like you say, it's a close enough person. So everyone be more cautious. If you they will take offence or get upset, don't say it. 
    Said family member also hates asking people for things. They find they have to be super independent on their own. 
    A lot of people are like this. You also get others the complete opposite. 
    They also seem to hold things against people a lot. Like he said this to me one day I wont forget that. 
    Hhhh I'm someone who just let's things go and if someone wants to say something I'm not fussed. Not a lot you can do about this. 
    They have a super competitive personality. If you beat them at something more individual competitions they always want another game straight away. (I am like this a lot myself so i dont know if that's a trait or just stupid)

    Its interesting that the competition isn't too bad to you, because you say you have it too.
    It all to be honest sounds fine to me, but appreciate its just a snapshop.
    If everyone is close, and you know something winds them up, just don't do it. 
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • welshbabe88welshbabe88 Forumite
    152 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I think everyone has some insecurities.  Often with males especially they feel they have to keep a front, of knowing what is happening and not liking others offering help, as if it diminishes them.
    I don't think you can change these people.  Just remember everyone has a scared little child inside themselves, it just manifests in different ways.  And there is no need to deliberately point things out to them just to be hurful.
  • rach_krach_k Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    It sounds within the scope of normal to me.  

    Some people just don't take criticism well.  It can be that they think they're awesome and don't like to hear otherwise, or it can be that they already think they're rubbish and don't need people to point it out.  It could be somewhere in the middle, or something else completely!  

    Likewise, many people are fiercely independent.  If they want to get on with things alone, let them!

    It might not be self-esteem issues.  It could be something like anxiety or it could just be normal personality traits (you probably do things that they consider odd, but because they're your traits you don't notice...  maybe you're nosy, or post information about your family members online, or think everybody different to you needs a psychologist!).

    If you notice them becoming unhappy, then might be the time to sit down and have a conversation, but remember that 'isolated' to you might be 'happy in my own company' to others.  
  • edited 2 July at 1:09PM
    Retireby40Retireby40 Forumite
    342 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    edited 2 July at 1:09PM
    rach_k said:
    It sounds within the scope of normal to me.  

    Some people just don't take criticism well.  It can be that they think they're awesome and don't like to hear otherwise, or it can be that they already think they're rubbish and don't need people to point it out.  It could be somewhere in the middle, or something else completely!  

    Likewise, many people are fiercely independent.  If they want to get on with things alone, let them!

    It might not be self-esteem issues.  It could be something like anxiety or it could just be normal personality traits (you probably do things that they consider odd, but because they're your traits you don't notice...  maybe you're nosy, or post information about your family members online, or think everybody different to you needs a psychologist!).

    If you notice them becoming unhappy, then might be the time to sit down and have a conversation, but remember that 'isolated' to you might be 'happy in my own company' to others.  
    Rach K thanks for your input. I just wanted other peoples views on things. I sometimes see them having problems and often I think maybe if they didnt take things so serious and be so defensive in situations that maybe dont really require it deep down they may be happier.

    I come to this to see if there is some possible issue that causes these traits. I am not a professional nor claim to be. Today in society if someone is having a few difficulties getting on with people and sometimes having clashes with people because someone points out something it's not abnormal to think could some kind of help improve their relationships or connections.

    I certainly have odd things about me. But it doesnt often lead to arguments or a feeling of defensiveness. And I address my shortcomings. I'm just trying to understand if it's completely normal or is there anything I could do to help them a little ie boost self esteem or maybe if they have anxiety look at what could be useful.

    If the above behaviour is normal (which it could be) then they dont need to do anything.


  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
    2.7K posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Aside from the competitive aspect I can see some of myself in what you describe. I don't like accepting help. Not because I see it as criticism but because I like the satisfaction of doing it myself . Unless it's something I really can't do, then it does make sense to call on someone who does know. 
    I also wouldn't point out someone's mistake (unless it was something dangerous) or they specifically asked for my feedback, because what's the point? It's only going to make them feel bad. So in return I probably would be a bit out out if they criticised me. If someone tried to correct my tennis moves I'd probably just see them as a bit arrogant. Unless they were my coach! 
    I don't think what you have described is that unusual. Unless said person is very unhappy? I'm Autistic. Not sure if that's got anything to do with what we just talked about but I certainly feel differently to 'the world'. Not that the world is against me though. Why would it be?
  • Retireby40Retireby40 Forumite
    342 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    Aside from the competitive aspect I can see some of myself in what you describe. I don't like accepting help. Not because I see it as criticism but because I like the satisfaction of doing it myself . Unless it's something I really can't do, then it does make sense to call on someone who does know. 
    I also wouldn't point out someone's mistake (unless it was something dangerous) or they specifically asked for my feedback, because what's the point? It's only going to make them feel bad. So in return I probably would be a bit out out if they criticised me. If someone tried to correct my tennis moves I'd probably just see them as a bit arrogant. Unless they were my coach! 
    I don't think what you have described is that unusual. Unless said person is very unhappy? I'm Autistic. Not sure if that's got anything to do with what we just talked about but I certainly feel differently to 'the world'. Not that the world is against me though. Why would it be?
    Hello Firefly thanks for your comment.

    In general I dont see a whole lot wrong in a lot of their actions. It's small things like overdefensiveness etc. 

    I dont know how common it is or not that's why I came here. What I described may not even be a problem and maybe I'm just being too eager to look for a problem or trying to help them even though there may not  be much wrong.

    I ask here mainly because nowadays a lot of people are a lot more aware with things like mental health problems and while I'm not trying to say they have a problem I'm just making sure there isnt anything more than just a hatred for taking advice from people who at times mean well.

    Again thanks for your input. It's great to get other peoples points of view on things I dont know much about.
  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
    6.4K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    For example. Said person very rarely tells anybody what to do. For example they are playing tennis with someone not a close friend but close enough. And they know the other person is doing something a little wrong. Rather than saying your doing it wrong they let the person play their own game and make their own mistakes. However if the other person says they are doing something wrong it can cause my family memeber to get quite defensive. The typical. You do things wrong and I don't say anything so dont criticise me. This puts them in the this why do people criticise me when I dont them. (Me against the world).

    Said family member also hates asking people for things. They find they have to be super independent on their own. Almost like its weakness asking for help. And maybe if you offer to help them (DIY) they think you are helping them because you think they dont know how to do it. Or if someone checks something they did and makes a small comment about it again it's this.....defensiveness. they might not say they are annoyed but you can tell. 


    I don't tell people what to do and I don't ask for things.  I don't tell people what to do because it's not my life, it's theirs.  They can make their own choices as they must live with the consequences.  I expect to be accorded the same respect.

    I rarely ask for help because I'd rather do things myself if I possibly can.  That way I can work at my own pace, to a standard I am happy with.  If I mess it up, it's my fault. 

    I find people in either category above (offering unsolicited "advice" or complaining that I don't ask for help) controlling and worry about possible future coercive control, so wouldn't have them as a friend, or in a dating environment it would be total red flag.  It shows a complete lack of respect for personal autonomy and I cut people like that from my life.

    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
  • edited 5 July at 8:31AM
    jjj1980jjj1980 Forumite
    567 posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    edited 5 July at 8:31AM
    I am fiercely independent and hold myself to extremely high standards, which leads to me being very self-critical.  I am also stubborn as a mule which means I don’t give up easily.

    I like the poster above am in no need of hearing criticism from others as I can guarantee I am already criticising myself 100 times more than they ever could for the same issue.  I won’t tell people they are wrong in their actions or how they are living their life, how ever much I might disagree with it, unless they are clearly hurting another person.  I do find that my expectation of being shown the same level of respect does lead me to feel upset that quite often it isn’t shown to me though.  Why people think their unsolicited advice would ever be welcomed I have no idea!

    If I know I am unable to manage something myself, I will ask for help but like others say, people saying they will help as soon they hear what I am intending to do can come across as them having no faith in my abilities.  I am quite the perfectionist and hate things to be finished by being patched up, such as in DIY situations.  To me, it’s better to do a full replacement and for ease and speed, it feels simpler to just get on and do it myself.  

    In regards to things going on in my life, it is really no-one else’s business unless I choose to confide in them.  Even now 10 years after separating from ex due to him being abusive, my wider family are not aware of everything that happened.  One aunt in particular hates this but she is one of the type to tell you what she thinks you should do/have done, without having been asked for her opinion, then gets very nasty when you don’t do as she says. 

    I would be really offended and upset if I found out a relative or friend thought I was in need of professional help due to me being able to take care of myself, not wanting to constantly correct others and expecting the same respect back!
  • Retireby40Retireby40 Forumite
    342 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    Imagine trying to work out if a family member has a problem and coming onto this site for advice. Seems a lot of people think I'm wrong having concern about a member of my family who is incredibly stand-offish with people and who takes things so personal when you tell them theres a better way to do something that they start an argument. I guess maybe I should just not worry about them and if they have no friends or constant arguments in work because they are too pig headed to get advice and take it on board it's not my problem.

    I dont think its unreasonable that if someone is cleaning the floor with fairy liquid and you say better with bleach that they go off on one and take it super personal.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    42K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Retireby40 said:2
    Imagine trying to work out if a family member has a problem and coming onto this site for advice. Seems a lot of people think I'm wrong having concern about a member of my family who is incredibly stand-offish with people and who takes things so personal when you tell them theres a better way to do something that they start an argument. I guess maybe I should just not worry about them and if they have no friends or constant arguments in work because they are too pig headed to get advice and take it on board it's not my problem.
    Well on one level it's not your problem. Just as it wouldn't be your problem if they were drinking too much and didn't want to stop, or using drugs and didn't want to stop. You can't change other people, make them change, or make them want to change. 

    IF they came to you and said "I'm really struggling at work and I don't seem to have any friends", THEN you might be able to help. 
    I dont think its unreasonable that if someone is cleaning the floor with fairy liquid and you say better with bleach that they go off on one and take it super personal.
    I don't think that's unreasonable either: if I want the floor cleaned my way, I'll do it myself. If DH is kind enough to do it for me, and does it 'wrong', I'll bite my tongue. 

    Sometimes it's more helpful to ask questions. Mine often start "I'm sure you had a good reason to ... use washing up liquid to clean the floor, can you tell me what it was?" And then I might find out that the Flash floor cleaning liquid wasn't under the sink, and he thought plain water wasn't adequate, so he spotted the wul and used that. All super logical, no need for anyone to get defensive. If I said "Don't use wul" or "why aren't you using the bleach?" it's an immediate attack: his way is WRONG. 

    I do have a sibling who often seems to have employment problems. Another sibling and I both agree we wouldn't like to be their manager. 
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support