Someone close to me recently received an undeserved and over-reacted explosion of emotion from me. He simply said he was a little angry with me over something I didn’t tell him. That’s all. “I’m a little angry with you.” I fell apart. I can’t bear to upset him, or anyone for that matter. I perceived it as a massive fight and that, just like everyone else, he would leave me. I wasn’t good enough. I was a failure. I admitted to him that I hated myself all over again.
He recoiled, confused. Surely I couldn’t be THAT sensitive. A tiny comment imploded some raw part of my heart and I blew up at him. Emotional shrapnel cut into him; and just like soldiers tread tenderly over areas known to hold landmines, his first reaction was to hold back on telling me how he feels in case another bomb went off. Fortunately, he went with his second reaction to ask me what the hell was going on. I didn’t know the answer.
A couple of days later I was reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown on the plane, and her words jumped off the page, arranging themselves into an explanation like magic. There it was. The answer to the massive question mark I had lodged into the space between my friend and myself.