Two days ago on the telephone, when I told my friend about the handyman, my friend felt terrible he had recommended the guy, and asked me to stop talking about it. In a few minutes, he had became agitated, annoyed, and then angry...at me.
If anyone should have been angry, it should have been me, but I wasn't. In fact, the handyman's bid for the job was so low that we can now afford to have someone else paint the rest of our house. And while the handyman left us in the lurch, fortunately my husband and I could complete the work.
Tonight I had plans to meet my friend (his wife--who's been my friend for years--and their daughter) at an outdoor concert. From the moment I greeted my friend, it was obvious he was still angry with me, and was less than friendly.
And this is where my "sensitivity" comes in. His behavior truly hurt my feelings. The fact is that I'd done nothing wrong. I wasn't angry with him for recommending this guy. And I wasn't even angry at the handyman, just confused by his behavior. But what did bother me was my friend's behavior tonight.
In the old days, this would have triggered a depressive episode because my friend truly turned a cold shoulder my way, and his anger was irrational. Moreover, if he was so annoyed with me that he knew he would be unpleasant, I would have preferred he tell me in advance and I wouldn't have attended the concert. If he wanted to explain his irrational anger, he should have responded to my email in which I asked him what was wrong. But instead, he didn't respond and yet made me feel uncomfortable at the event.
So...I handled things in my "new way," which enables me to prevent depressive episodes, and I did the following: 1. Recognizing my friend's lack of friendliness, I stayed away from him. 2. After we ate and listened to music for awhile, I took a walk and interviewed people for a piece I'm writing. 3. Then I left the concert, which was in an outdoor area and took a walk, which allows me to think and relax.
What I realized on the walk was this: 1. I wasn't having fun. 2. I don't enjoy being somewhere with a person who's not being friendly to me. 3. The ball is in his court because I'd already emailed him and he ignored me. 4. I needed to leave and go home. And so I did. 5. I needed to "write" this out of my system, and so I have.
The bad news is that I feel a bit sad, disappointed, and bruised by the encounter. The good news is that I'm not depressed.
Question: How do you handle a friend's irrational anger? Does it make you feel depressed? Does blogging about it help? What other wellness tools do you use?***
We're unexpectedly going out of town from Monday to Thursday of next week. I'll post this weekend, but then not until I return. And I probably won't be visiting other blogs. But I will try to moderate comments.