Some exes when they are breaking up with you or are hurting will tell you that are selfish or that you used them. Sometimes it’s just that, they’re angry and hurting; but sometimes your ex will say you’re selfish because you really are selfish.
You may not be selfish in the traditional sense as in you are self-absorbed, lack empathy or consideration for others; but selfish as in you take things too personally and make it all about you.
Just think about that for a moment. Really, think about it. It all makes sense.
You want your ex back but because you worry about every word and every action (preoccupied attachment) or are too scared to say or do the “wrong” thing (fearful avoidant attachment); everything thing feels personal.
Your ex doesn’t respond or takes longer than usual to respond and “[OMG!] It must be something I said or did”. Your ex seems cold and distant and it’s, “[OMG, OMG!] I pushed my ex away away”.
You automatically think you did something to create the negative experience because that’s what your past experiences have been. You love someone, they love you back, then you begin to worry and act needy and clingy (preoccupied) or act hesitant and distant (fearful), and they leave.
It’s doesn’t cross your mind that maybe it’s not about anything you did
In your anxious anticipation of rejection and/or doubt about your ability to attract back your ex, you make it all about you. Your worries and fears tell you it was going to happen soon or later.
But that’s not even the worst part. Your worries and fears push you to say and do things that make your ex think that you’re selfish.
You messed up and you need to fix things – and fix it now. So you text or send your ex an email:
- Are we OK? (I’m not okay)
- Is everything alright? (I think I upset you/pushed you away)
- I am sorry (I don’t want to lose you)
- Why aren’t you responding? (I’m scared I’ve lost you)
- Why are you doing this to me (What am I going to do without you?)
You go through all these range of (me, me, me) emotions’ just because your ex didn’t respond, took longer than usual to respond, seems cold or distant.
You don’t for one moment think that maybe it’s not about you
Maybe your ex hasn’t responded because something more urgent or important came up. Your ex may be busy and hasn’t seen your text or had time to respond. Maybe your ex thinks your text message doesn’t need a response; or maybe they just don’t feel like responding. It could be a number of things that you don’t know about and/or have nothing to do with you.
In your pre-occupied attachment thinking…
Your ex is the center of your world, you must also be the center of their life (or at least should be). Because you are thinking about your ex ALL the time, they must also be thinking about you all the time (or at least they should be) and because not getting a respond from your ex makes you feel ignored, not responding to your ex must make them feel ignored too.
So you respond to even texts that don’t need a response. You write essays in response to a question that required “yes or no” answer. You send multiple texts because you needed to ‘correct’ what you said or explain what you meant.
In your fearful (anxious-avoidant) thinking…
Every thing you say or do means something to your ex, therefore every word your ex says and every move they make means something. You must therefore pay close attention to every word and every action including the timing of your exes responses because how they about you depends on how quickly or slowly they respond. And your ex is watching how quickly you respond to their texts too.
If you don’t respond in a timely manner, they will punish you by acting cold and distant or by pulling away. How do you know that? Because this is how you would act if someone acted cold and distant towards you, or pulled away.
This has been your past experiences have been. You do something “wrong”, you get punished with withholding love and affection (acting cold and distant) or by pulling away
It’s not that you are selfish- SELF-ish…
It’s that when you have a preoccupied or fearful attachment style you always worry about being rejected or abandoned. Everything feels like rejection, feels personal. When everything feels personal, you act as if everything is personal (about you) because as far as you’re concerned, it’s about you.
If your ex is responsive, engaged, loving and caring, it’s because you are being a good. If they are cold, distant, ‘unloving’, ‘uncaring’ and unresponsive (giving you the silent treatment), it’s because you messed up or did something wrong. I this and I that.
Just think about that for a moment. Really, think about it. It all makes sense. Doesn’t it?
The question is: What are you going to do about it?
Are you going to keep making it feel like everything your ex or says is all about you? Are you going to let your ex keep thinking you are selfish when you are just someone who loves and cares deeply and genuinely, but (sadly) always somehow manages to make it all about you.