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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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Hi, Im feeling very low after a terrible new years eve. Always

Customer Question

Hi, I'm feeling very low after a terrible new years eve. Always find this time of year difficult. Was stranded in bad weather for two hours waiting on my boyfriend, he has a fight with one of his friends at the start and end of the night but what really has me upset is that after we rang in the new year and finally had a few drinks and laughs we played a board game. I hate board games because I always seem to lose but reluctantly gave it a go. Felt slightly nervous as I was playing with boyfriends friends who I haven't known for all that long. Of course when I it came to my turn I screwed up on the rules twice. It was really so embarrasing. The guys were giving me a really hard time over it and kept mocking me about it for the entire night and morning. I laughed it off and tried not to take them seriously but now I feel so hurt now and they keep making jokes about me being a bimbo. What do I do??!?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.
Hi Marilyn:

Goodness - what a night. 2010 hasn't been exactly comforting for you, has it? Well, as I read through your question, I kept asking myself, "Where the HECK is her boyfriend in all of this?" There are not many possible answers, and several of them do not bode well for this relationship:

(1) He was present and did not take part in ridiculing you. If this was the case, then he totally dropped the ball when it comes to protecting you. If he is truly that DENSE that he could not see how badly the ribbing was bothering you (and I don't care how much you "think" you concealed your reactions - a lover would know you were faking), then you have chosen a mate who may not be the best at emotionally connecting to you.

(2) He was present and took place in the ribbing. If this was the case, then he is more toxic and even LESS connected to you than I gave him credit in answer number 1. In fact, there may be a sadistic edge to him. You are 30 years old, so I assume he is roughly your age. If he was 17, then I could firgive some of this block-headedness. At 30, this is just boorish behavior.

(3) He was not present. I will table this response, as I presume you would not play without him being around.

(4) You were hyper-sensitive to the ribbing, and may not have read it/them correctly. I will also discount this possibility, as their calling you a "bimbo" leaves very little room for misinterpretation.

So... (5) here's the deal: You MUST take this up with him if your relationship is to ever survive. If not, this will fester inside of you until it comes squeezing out in all sorts of destructive ways. The fact that you are writing to me instead of speaking to him about it tells me that you probably have some trauma in your history that makes you either (a) accept criticism because it confirms a negative self-view and low self-esteem, (b) fear confrontation, thinking that a catastrophe (i.e., abandonement, abuse, etc) will happen if you open your mouth and stick up for yourself. Or (of course) (c) both of the above.

So listen marilyn, take care of yourself, okay? If your b.f. allows this type of treatment to happen, it does not mean that you have to allow it as well. If you do not feel you will be able to open a discussion about this topic, or find yourself repeatedly falling for guys who are clueless as to your emotional well-being, then please seek a therapist to help fortify some of your boundaries.

If you are satisfied with your answer, please hit “ACCEPT” so that I may receive credit. Feedback is also appreciated.

Thanks!

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience: 19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
Dr. Steve and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the advice. Funny that I never even considered my boyfriend in all of this, was to busy feeling like an idiot in front of his friends as opposed to what it said about our relationship. He remained completely silent throughout the repeated ribbing. At one point I looked at him and he seemed completely embarrased by me. I took it all in good jest and made a few jokes about me not getting the rules etc, didn't want them think I wasn't a good sport. The fact they kept going on about it is what hurt me. Again the boyfriend would say nothing. I felt ashamed to bring it up with him. I think he'll say I'm overeacting to what seemed like playful messing. The only other girl there stuck up for me and told them to leave me alone but one guy in particular kept mentioning that night and when we were sober the following day that he couldn't believe me and how I didn't get the rules. He then made jokes about how he wouldnt trust me to do various things etc. Part of me feels like I'm being hyper-sensitive, but what they were saying really got to me, I feel my confidence is at such a low ebb after this and am dreading the next time I have to socialise with these guys. Am terrified of playing a board game again!!! These guys are all intelligent professionals and I feel like such a dumbass around them now!
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.
Hello again, Marilyn:

Listen, you may not be as smart as them - but that is irrelevant. The way they treated you speaks volumes about them. Think about it this way: You (marilyn) probably interact all the time with folks who may not be as smart as you or as pretty as you or as tall as you or... whatever as you - but you don't ride them down and treat them like garbage, right? Respect comes in all forms, and supercedes the ability of either party.

And kudos to the other girl in the room. She "got it" a lot better than your boyfriend.

Take care of that self-esteem ebb - it is what shuts off the little voice that tells you to stand up for yourself. Something in your past has bent your radar antenna if you constantly question whether what you feel is "real" or "vaild." Fix that, and you'll feel a lot more whole - AND make better boyfriend choices to boot!

Be well-
Dr. Steve

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