Situation: Temporarily renting a room in a house, shared with the host. (A retired guy.) I washed my clothes, and he put them in the dryer without asking me, knowing very well that I always air dry my clothes. (He has commented on it several times, apparently unable to comprehend why I don’t use the dryer.)
Statement: He shouldn’t have put my clothes in the dryer.
1. Is it true? Yes.
2. Can you know for sure it’s true? No.
3. What happens, how do you react, when you have that thought?
I feel frustrated, angry, sad. My clothes shrunk so they don’t fit anymore. They stink of chemicals (dryer sheets). I have to wash them again. I feel disrespected. He did it without asking. He is an idiot. He knows I never have used the dryer in the past, so why would I want my clothes to be dried in the dryer this time? He must know I have good reasons for not wanting them dried in the dryer. (They shrink! They stink of chemicals, at least when you are stupid enough to add dryer sheets. They feel and smell much better when they are dried in the fresh air. You save electricity when they are air dried. It doesn’t make noise. There are so many reasons for not using a dryer.) Does he think I am so stupid that I don’t know how a dryer works? Does he really think I am not avoiding the dryer very intentionally, and for very good reasons? Does he really think I am doing anything like that without being very intentional and deliberate about it? Why did he make such a big deal out of me not using the dryer for past washes? (Even talking to people on the phone about it, as if I am an idiot who doesn’t know that it’s possible to dry clothes in a dryer.) Why did he say that they get less wrinkled in the dryer? That makes no sense at all. They are wrinkle free when they are air dried. I had just bought most of those clothes, used them once or twice, and now I am most likely unable to use them again. He should pay for replacing them. He is an arrogant idiot. Also, why does he watch Fox News from 7am to 11pm? Why does he want to tell me all about it, and also – when he realizes I don’t agree – tells me that some people don’t agree, but they don’t know what they are talking about. Doesn’t he know that Fox News viewers repeatedly have been shown to have the least accurate information about what’s going on in the world? Why does he want to create such a toxic atmosphere in the house, day out and day in (with the persistent Fox News fear mongering, anger and paranoia). Why does he ask me just about every night if I want to have a drink of alcohol, when he knows I don’t drink alcohol? He doesn’t seem to get that it’s possible to have different preferences that are equally valid and each have good reasons behind them. He seems to think I “don’t get it” and he needs to “school me”. About the clothes again: I feel violated, disrespected. Those are my clothes. What right does he have to do anything with them without asking first? I was even there in the room next door.
4. Who would you be without that thought? Less stressed. Just doing what’s next. Washing the clothes again. Air drying them. See if they fit or not. Get new ones if needed. Tell him to not do it again.
TA1: He should have put my clothes in the dryer. Ex1: He thought he did me a favor. Ex2: From what he said earlier, he thinks it’s much better to dry clothes in the dryer than air dry them. Ex3: He may have more or less automatically done it, since he was there, and he always does it with his own clothes.
TA2: I shouldn’t have put my clothes in the dryer. Ex1: I did so repeatedly later in the day, bringing it to mind. Looking at images of my clothes in the dryer, shrinking, becoming unusable. It was stressful. Ex2: I waited longer than I needed to take them out of the washing machine (20 minutes?). If I had taken them out right away, it wouldn’t have happened. And I knew he, for some reason, was very eager for me to use the dryer. Ex3: I never told him my reasons for air drying my clothes, when he brought the topic up (several times). I thought it was obvious, and didn’t want to explain it. I felt offended by the thought of even needing to explain something so obvious. (This is something that has gotten me in trouble many times in the past. I think something is obvious and not even worth talking about, don’t see the need to talk about it, and someone else get weird ideas – they project something onto it – and act on those ideas which are out of alignment with reality, and creates problems for me.)
PS. There is a lot in the rambling under #3 to look at more. I see how I am doing what I see in him, and know there is more to find through looking.