One of the challenges I have with my bipolar disorder is misreading situations. In the past, this has caused me stress and anxiety. Today in relationships, when I check in I ask four questions:
Hi, this is Dave Mowry for Bp Magazine for Bipolar. One of the challenges I have with my bipolar disorder is misreading situations. This has caused me stress and anxiety and makes me feel that I don’t trust my own judgment.
About eight years ago I was feeling well enough to work again. I took a part-time job at a large department store chain. I worked for minimum wage in a low stress sales job. This job was important because if I could follow through and succeed in working there, that meant I could find a more challenging job in the future.
While working I thought I was developing relationships with my co-workers. I liked them and I thought they liked me too.
When someone left the job, we got them a card, a balloon or we met for a drink after work. This happened many times. But for me, after a year, when I got a new job there was no card, no balloon and no get together. Just silence.
People who I thought were friends weren’t. On my last day I simply checked out and left. I was hurt and confused. How could I misread this situation so badly? Did my bipolar disorder keep me from seeing the reality in front of me?
I went to my new job questioning my judgment about my relationships with co-workers. I expected less from them. I would check in with myself to see if my perception was reality.
Today in relationships when I check in I ask four questions:
1. Am I really being myself with this person?
2. Does this person accept me for who I am?
3. Do we have anything in common besides work?
4. Do they smile and look me in the eye when we talk?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then I know I am not setting myself up for disappointment and confusion.
QUESTION: Do you sometimes find yourself misreading situations and relationships? If so, how do you deal with this? Let me know in the comments sections below.
This is Dave Mowry for Bp Magazine for Bipolar. Thanks for watching.
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