The other day I was traveling and had to rent an automobile. I parked in a particular location that turned out to be in front of somebody's garage. They left a note for me saying that they needed to get their car our of their garage and were going to tow my car, etc. I grabbed the note and hurried away, I was late for something, but the note continued to bother me. How could I have not seen the garage, I wondered? What would I have done if they had towed it, let the rental agency deal with it? How had I let this almost happen? My mind wouldn't let it go.
I read a good description of this type of reaction in this comment:
Any time a kink happens in my social interactions, whether it's a slip of my tongue or an unexpectedly aggressive reply, I dwell on it. It replays in my mind, and I dissect it to find out what I could have done differently. Did I misread the person's intentions? Was I not forthcoming enough? It's not that I truly care how people perceive me; I don't hunger for their acceptance or praise. But I very carefully cultivate my outward persona: it is charming, it is witty, and it is benign. So when it fails to work as planned, it's a serious problem. It throws into question all of the hard work I've put into it.
If I make someone cry, I'm not disturbed because I've caused them pain. I'm disturbed because I don't mean to be seen as a negative source--now I have to apologize or feign sincerity, or all my effort to appear as a sympathetic and trustworthy person, and the emotional power it gives me over that person, vanishes.
I'm disturbed because I control everything, all the time, and for me to not do that, or stumble--it's unacceptable.
With regard to my parking incident, I drove back the next day to that same neighborhood to investigate. There was no cutaway from the curb. The "garage" was covered in ivy and not clearly either a garage or functional. It was as hidden from sight as the Batcave. I was at glad to see that my mind hadn't slipped as much as I thought. And I started to wonder at how often people park in front of their garage. Do they deal with this every day? Could they put up a sign? Or perhaps paint the curb a different colour? I was angry at them, for setting me up for failure--for trapping me and acting like they had some sort of moral or legal high ground. I left them the note they wrote, secured in their door. I don't know why, but I thought it was vaguely threatening, like letting them know that I knew where they lived. And they shouldn't leave notes on my automobile. Or something...