• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

How to tell when someone is joking or not/improve social cues ?

L

lemontree

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
74
Location
Home
My boyfriend pulled me up on the way I act this morning - he said he feels like he can't joke with me anymore because I "take it too seriously" and then make things awkward and it's hard to come back from. In all honesty, I don't notice doing it and in the past we've joked a lot and it's been fine. The only thing I have noticed is that I find it very difficult to know lately, when he is joking or not. Times I have tried joking with him he is dead serious and gets very angry with me for trying to joke, and then when he is joking I think he is being serious so try to treat it as such.

For example, one day he accidentally dropped his meal and it went all over the floor. He was cussing and trying to clean it up, so I offered him my meal and said I will clean it up. He said no, and I said are you sure, I don't mind and then you can have a meal and he got super angry at me over it and said I need to understand that no means no. Then this morning, on the other hand, we were laughing at a picture I sent him and then afterwards I sorta went hehhe at another picture I was about to send him and he said to stop going hehehe, so I said I am sorry, am I annoying you? And that's when he told me that I need to stop taking everything seriously and that I say I make things awkward and there is truth in that because I make situations awkward and then it's hard to come back from since the other person always has to work hard to make things happy again. It just didn't sound like he was joking so I assumed he meant this seriously and wanted me to stop, and I know that I am awkward and annoying so I just wanted to confirm so I don't repeat the behavior again.

Ironically, I feel a bit like I am walking on eggshells with him. Which is to say, I really can't tell if he is joking or not a lot of the time as he is a jokey person, but also very good at keeping a straight face and has quite explosive anger that comes on quickly.

I also recognize though, that things haven't been the best as he has been considering leaving me because of personal reasons, not because of our relationship, but I feel like I need to be the best or else he will leave me. I know that's just my BPD trying to avoid abandonment, but it's hard to act normal with that looming over me and it feels like I can't do anything to really know what he will decide in the end. I've even been trying to figure out what I would do if he left because I thought we were going to be together for a long time, he'd even been hinting at marriage for us. I don't really think I could go through with suicide after all the failed attempts I have made in the past but I thought maybe it's best if I moved towns and had some time to myself as I have no friends and am not close to most of my family.

Sorry this turned dark. I just have nobody else to talk to
 
Z

Zoe1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
17,570
Location
Nowhere
did you come from a different part of the country to him lemon tree ?
if you want to learn someones lingo
you need to let them be right for a while as you learn it
 
L

lemontree

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
74
Location
Home
did you come from a different part of the country to him lemon tree ?
if you want to learn someones lingo
you need to let them be right for a while as you learn it
No, we met in the same town and even if it was different parts, my country is small and there's not the same differences in people like there might be in larger countries. We're all pretty much the same types around here :) I am just exceptionally bad at knowing social situations
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
1,779
Location
Canada
that's the problem with having a self-image. whenever it gets threatened the fear can turn on pretty quick. it creates an enormous unreal vulnerability. its all psychological and only exist in the mind dimension. in this dimension everything is only known through comparison, and judged as either good or bad. the mind fabricates a self and it becomes bound by these laws. this hijacks the serotonin and amygdala responses. so anytime the mind judges the self as bad in comparison the serotonin will drop and the amygdala will trigger fear. the strong will become angry and end up in jail, and the weak will bottle things up and end up in hospital. eventually the psychiatrist intervenes and puts the person on some drug that suppresses the subconscious where all this is taking place.
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
6,142
Location
England
that's the problem with having a self-image. whenever it gets threatened the fear can turn on pretty quick. it creates an enormous unreal vulnerability. its all psychological and only exist in the mind dimension. in this dimension everything is only known through comparison, and judged as either good or bad. the mind fabricates a self and it becomes bound by these laws. this hijacks the serotonin and amygdala responses. so anytime the mind judges the self as bad in comparison the serotonin will drop and the amygdala will trigger fear. the strong will become angry and end up in jail, and the weak will bottle things up and end up in hospital. eventually the psychiatrist intervenes and puts the person on some drug that suppresses the subconscious where all this is taking place.
In English please
Or Canadian :)
Eh wot?
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
6,142
Location
England
No, we met in the same town and even if it was different parts, my country is small and there's not the same differences in people like there might be in larger countries. We're all pretty much the same types around here :) I am just exceptionally bad at knowing social situations
Have you read Underneath the Lemon Tree?
I was curious if you chose your username due to reading that book.
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
6,142
Location
England
I think i would find your boyfriend confusing too. It sounds like you are trying to make the relationship work, trying very hard, but i'm not sure he is putting in as much effort? I might be wrong.

Perhaps he is struggling with the relationship ending too, perhaps he has other problems at the moment that are distracting him. I know that a person under stress can be very difficult to be around and their behaviour can stem from their own stress, which has nothing to do with you.

I would leave him time to think and say that you are there if he wants to talk, but that you are finding everything a bit confusing at the moment, not sure what to do for the best, for both of you. You could give him some space.

Also it might be good to give yourself a breather. You sound like a great person, a person who would put effort into a relationship. Caring about a partner's happiness is a sign of a decent person. A mature person.

Please remember though that your happiness is the most important thing.
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
3,389
Location
London, ON
I dunno. there might be a control aspect to it. Some people bait and switch with being joking and serious, ie, whichever assumption you make, joke or not, he'll decide it wasn't what he meant. It keeps you reacting to him, so he has control.

Not saying it is that, but it could be a factor.
 
L

lemontree

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
74
Location
Home
that's the problem with having a self-image. whenever it gets threatened the fear can turn on pretty quick. it creates an enormous unreal vulnerability. its all psychological and only exist in the mind dimension. in this dimension everything is only known through comparison, and judged as either good or bad. the mind fabricates a self and it becomes bound by these laws. this hijacks the serotonin and amygdala responses. so anytime the mind judges the self as bad in comparison the serotonin will drop and the amygdala will trigger fear. the strong will become angry and end up in jail, and the weak will bottle things up and end up in hospital. eventually the psychiatrist intervenes and puts the person on some drug that suppresses the subconscious where all this is taking place.
That is true, but in a way we are all helpless to stop that. It's human nature to have a sense of self I think :) All we can do is manage it as best we can
 
L

lemontree

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
74
Location
Home
I think i would find your boyfriend confusing too. It sounds like you are trying to make the relationship work, trying very hard, but i'm not sure he is putting in as much effort? I might be wrong.

Perhaps he is struggling with the relationship ending too, perhaps he has other problems at the moment that are distracting him. I know that a person under stress can be very difficult to be around and their behaviour can stem from their own stress, which has nothing to do with you.

I would leave him time to think and say that you are there if he wants to talk, but that you are finding everything a bit confusing at the moment, not sure what to do for the best, for both of you. You could give him some space.

Also it might be good to give yourself a breather. You sound like a great person, a person who would put effort into a relationship. Caring about a partner's happiness is a sign of a decent person. A mature person.

Please remember though that your happiness is the most important thing.
He does try very hard too, just in different ways. To provide an example of this, a few years ago I attempted suicide and had to go to hospital in a different town about one and a half hours away from where we usually live. He came by every single day after working full time just to see me and make sure I was okay, even though the first like 3 days I was out of it and don't remember a thing. Unfortunately due to bad timing, his mother passed away about a day after I landed in hospital but he was still there for me which I thought was the nicest thing anyone has done for me.

I think he is just stressed at the moment, I am learning that he acts in a certain way when stressed and that nothing I do can change it, but unfortunately I can't change the way I react to that either. Maybe it's things like that that mean our relationship will not work out after all. Maybe that is what he is thinking about right now.

I did end up taking a breather though, went out for the day and had some time to myself. I do feel better, but it's exhausting sometimes to have such high emotions and knowing that the best I can do is ride them out.

Thank you for replying though, you sound like a very nice person :) P.S, I've not been much of a reader lately sadly, but I got my name because I have a little lemon tree sitting on my deck. I really couldn't think of anything to sign up with :p
 
L

lemontree

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
74
Location
Home
I dunno. there might be a control aspect to it. Some people bait and switch with being joking and serious, ie, whichever assumption you make, joke or not, he'll decide it wasn't what he meant. It keeps you reacting to him, so he has control.

Not saying it is that, but it could be a factor.
My last therapist did raise that with me, as she thought there was some minor things that seemed a little controlling. I think that maybe it could be that way, but I don't believe he does so intentionally as he is also very likely BPD like me except he gets the anger whilst I get the sadness. We think he was misdiagnosed because of the anger but I have read that it's common for BPD in men to be misdiagnosed because it manifests itself in different ways to women.

That is interesting to think about though, maybe I will have a ponder on it. There might be a way I could make him feel more secure so he wouldn't think to try and control me in that way. Thank you for replying :)
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
1,779
Location
Canada
It's human nature to have a sense of self I think :) All we can do is manage it as best we can
the sense of self and the self-image are two different things. the weaker the self-image the more easily the serotonin will drop and amygdala response will get triggered. this creates depression and anxiety. the triggering will be blamed on others and cause a break down of love and therefore cooperation. the mind will then attempt to learn as many things as it can to compensate.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
2 I want to tell him I hate him.. Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 3
EarthChild I was so stupid to tell my sister in law that i want to leave my husband Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 7
F i want to tell my psychiatrist i am in love with her Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 19
S Just had 2 outbursts at an office and keyworker( not my nice keyworker a different one) and someone at the office she works in. Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 7
I I really need someone to calm me down. Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 9
L Can someone have quiet BPD, but it doesnt show up in the relationship until something traumatic occurs? Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 4
U How do you react when someone pulling away Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 8
L Pushing someone i love away due to BPD Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 3
H I'm in a relationship with someone with BPD... Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 6
C Can someone with BPD change? Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 14
maggie0123 scared of someone dying Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 1
D Please please can someone help me, in distress Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 15
UnstableSolace How do I externally feel for someone? Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 1
B How do you get someone to stop being your favourite person? Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 9
H Someone might needs this today Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 2
Volbe [Advice Needed] Cutting ties with someone you care for because you know BPD will get in the way? Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 13

Similar threads

Top