I seem to have a serious problem. I can't tell people no. I was never this way in the past, but lately, I can't tell anyone no. I know I just pissed off a friend of mine because I commited to doing something with her and then never called her back to tell her I couldn't go or didn't want to. I just never called her back and blew her off. I had a friend do this to me REPEATEDLY and it drove me nuts and caused us serious issues, so why I am doing the same thing now to someone else, I have no idea. But I am always too nervous to call someone back when I change my mind about plans. I have anxiety, esp. when talking to people I am not really close to yet, so I try to avoid it even though in the long run it hurts them and embarasses me even more because now I have to call her back and have an awkward embarassing discussion about how I blew her off and upset her. I will do anything to avoid letting someone know I need to change our plans, if we're not good friends, including going to bed and sleeping through it. I think I justify it by continually telling myself MAYBE I'll go, I haven't made up my mind, yet, until it becomes uncomfortably late. I still haven't called my friend back, but she left me a voice message about being upset about things. I know I need to call her, but I don't want to.
I used to be a very aggressive person- beyond assertive- yet I hated confrontation. It always made me nervous. Now it makes me nervous and embarassed in cases like this. I often needlessly caused confrontation before, despite hating it, because I'd suddenly become very angry and would be really rude to people. Yet, now I find a hard time just being assertive and telling people, "Sorry, I changed my mind about going. I just really don't feel well and I don't feel well prepared to help you with this, can you get someone else?" I also have a hard time telling my friends, "Look guys, this cig. smoking around me all the time offends me because it's laying all over my lungs and I feel like you're making me choose between you and my good health." I don't know what happened to the assertive woman I used to be.
The really messed up thing is, while I wasn't this way until sometime in my adult years, I actually lost a semi-good friend once because of something like this. I just didn't want to be honest and open with her about a prob. I had with something, so I blew her off on an important ocassion rather than telling her the situation made me very uncomfortable. Then I was so embarassed about my behavior, that I never called her to explain, and we haven't talked since. I am usually hard core fanatical about not letting friendships dissolve, and am always the person in a friendship that wants to hold on to it. But lately, that is less true also. One of my new friends has accused me of not being there for him much which is true. This is partially because I can't be honest with him, yet, about what is going on in my life, so sometimes when I blow him off, I have a good reason, but I can't share it with him, as it is too personal. This makes it seem like I simply don't care, when in fact I have a good reason, but I just feel unable to tell him what is going on in my life at this stage of our relationship.
But the truth is, I have to admit, I have not put much into the friendship. I think I am afraid being his friend will complicate my life and I want to avoid it. For years after my dad abandoned me, I also debated whether contacting him was even worth it, since I had gotten used to life without him and didn't need him to complicate my life. Although, that was partially his own fault, I think. If he'd treated me like he cared, I prob. would have been more interested in keeping him around, and even now I sometimes lament that our relationship ended. Truth is, though, I usually hang on to people very closely, and still wish my ex who has been gone for years would at least be my friend again. I even miss his family, so this behavior is conflicting with other parts of my behavior. I'm really confused.
It seems to go along with other avoidant behavior I have. I have sabatoged a job I had by sleeping in too late even when I wasn't tired. I'd just go back to bed. Also, if I overslept when I had a school project to work on, sometimes I'd say, screw it, I've waited too late now and just not even try. I also self sabotage in other ways. Twice I had a high A in a class and then never showed up to the final for no good reason. I don't know why I do this. It's really embarassing to me, it's stressful and it's ruining my life and my relationships. Can someone tell me the psychology behind someone that does this BS because I don't even understand myself.