Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What are some innocent signs of deeper personality conflicts?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) April 20th, 2012

I think that attitudes about food can be very telling about a person’s personality. I think that a very serious relationship I had once foundered because she could not throw away any food. We had to eat it all. We had to take any uneaten food home from the restaurant. Throwing any food away, no matter how old or unpalatable was like committing suicide.

That attitude of scarcity eventually took the fun out of the relationship for me. I could never relax. I was always worrying about whether my SO would tolerate my “profligacy.” I couldn’t spend money on anything fun for fear of upsetting her.

So that, as much as anything, I believe was an underlying cause for our breakup—the reason why we no longer respected and loved each other as we once had.

Are there things like this in your life? Either with food or some other seemingly innocent thing that hid a much deeper personality conflict?

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26 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I once worked for a pastry chef who, when he tasted pastry, would just impassively wallow it around in his mouth, then spit it out (I should mention that this guy was over 6 ft. tall and weighed 105 lbs). It was quite evident from other aspects of his behavior that we weren’t going to get along, but somehow this one little thing seemed to sum it all up for me. Here was someone in a trade that exalts sensuality, but who was himself totally impervious to its charms. When I understood that, I began to see that this was indicative of a generalized deadness to life’s most basic joys, and that my time with him would be singularly dreary.

Trillian's avatar

A man recently approached me to tell me that he thought I was pretty. He saw me a second time and asked for my phone number. Then he asked me again the next time he saw me. I gave it to him. He called me right away and I told him that I’d meet him for coffee to talk and see if we had anything in common. He called me baby just as he hung up.
Um…. what? Then he texted me and said he thought I was sexy as heck.
Nope, not going to work.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think ALL the signs are innocent until, with hindsight, you can see that they’re part of a much deeper picture.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok, @Dutchess_III. Take off the “innocent” and think about some signs of deeper personality conflict that you didn’t notice until later.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m trying…still thinking…I probably won’t come up with something till I’m at work and can’t get to Fluther!

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I get weary of people who make excessive jokes about drinking as a way to escape from life. I don’t much like alcoholics

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok, how about someone who constantly talks about food…what they’re going to have for dinner / lunch, what they’ve had in the past, how it was cooked, how it tasted, yadda yadda, yadda?

geeky_mama's avatar

Someone in our family (tangentially) has major mental illness (trying hard here to protect her identity).
After over a decade of having this person in my life and seeing her when she’s doing well and not doing so well I now have “clues” that someone may have deeper mental health issues that they are not addressing appropriately.

Here are a few:
– If I see their car and it looks like a rolling dumpster. The most telling sign is not just a few fast food restaurant wrappers—but when you see unopened mail strewn in the car. When I see a really nicely dressed person who looks like they have it all together on the outside, but their car has unopened bills and garbage inside..it’s a sign they have may have depression/chaos going on inside their head, too.

- Trying to excessively control things that are waaaay far ahead. Sure, it seems benign when that person invites you to a party 3 months from now..but heck, I barely know if I’ll be in town that far ahead or not…and when I say as much they demand a commitment or are offended/angry.
When the person I know with mental health struggles starts sending out invites for events that are months from now (like demanding we commit to a week long event in August when it’s still March)..then this is a sign to me that she’s having a hard time / has something else going on with her emotions that isn’t quite right.

—If you’re at dinner with someone and they finish eating and feel the need to HIDE their plate. Strong sign of a problem with food. When they cover their entire plate with a napkin. Shows underlying problems with food/eating. (Again, just based on past experience. The only people I’ve noticed doing this have ended up having eating disorders.)

Coloma's avatar

I cannot tolerate anal personalities like @wundayatta mentioned either. I have had several relationships with really OCD types that insist on everything being perfect all the time. My ex husband used to freak out if I rearranged the furniture, I told him if he didn’t go blind what’s the BFD? He used to bitch that I ” displaced” the gravel on our long driveway. lol

Another ex was super anal about his house and car, once my cat jumped on his car and he came unglued, she didn’t scratch it or anything, just sat on it.
I am a tidy person but I am NOT anal about anything, sooo, it’s the classic anal type being attracted to the free spirited type and then conflict arises. haha
Yuppie dude in fancy house in the city and country girl is not a blend.

God forbid the horse sneezes on you. Heh!

nikipedia's avatar

I know someone who eats 1 apple every day and saves the stickers on a napkin she keeps on her desk. Pretty innocent, right?

She is looney tunes. Everything in her life is regimented in this way. She eats the same meals every day. She runs all her errands for the week on Monday. She cannot attend any work or social functions on Monday, because that is the day she runs her errands. She has to sit on a specific seat on the plane every time she flies. She will only fly specific airlines. Someone was once ten minutes late picking us up for something—she collapsed in the street crying hysterically.

Coloma's avatar

@nikipedia OMG! Just shoot her, out the poor thing outta her misery. lol

Coloma's avatar

A friend was in a relationship with super anal guy too, this guy actually hovered over her to make sure she “burped” the ziplock baggies correctly before putting food away. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma You’d best just stay the hell out of my driveway!

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III LOL..seriously, I think my ex counted the freakin’ pea gravel one by one by one by….. what a burden. haha

Oh, and I should mention that I was only allowed 4 sticks of kindling when I built a fire. We would go round and round on this issue. Jesus, boyscouts of america die! haha

Keep_on_running's avatar

@nikipedia Hmm, that sounds a bit like obsessive-compulsive disorder to me.

Symbeline's avatar

If you puke on your partner’s limbs so the limbs melt, and then you suck it all back up in order to feed, that probably isn’t normal.

sorry

wundayatta's avatar

Is this some kind of alien black widow symbolinism?

Symbeline's avatar

No, I just watched The Fly.

wundayatta's avatar

Damn! I need me my Symbelineisms!

Symbeline's avatar

Well, I can make it happen. The dissolving vomit part, not the Symbelineisms.

wundayatta's avatar

I suppose it could be useful if you could do it on command.

Symbeline's avatar

I can. :D

wundayatta's avatar

On my command?

Symbeline's avatar

Just tell me when to throw up! Make sure to tell me where though, so I don’t make any funny mistakes.

wundayatta's avatar

Don’t worry. You’ll know exactly what I want you to do.

keobooks's avatar

People really do have allergies, but I have noticed that most people with allergies don’t talk about them ALL the time. People with some problems. There is a form of anorexia where people don’t eat not because they think they are fat, but because they are convinced that they are allerigic to everything or make a huge deal out of only eating “healthy” food (which ends up being a really picky starvation diet and they can only eat foods that they themselves prepare under a rigid set of rules)

I have a family member with this condition and it’s really hard to explain it to people. They think I’m being a jerk when I complain about cooking for her and having to deal with her allergies. What they don’t understand is that she has SO MANY allergies and keeps getting new ones every few months. Whenever she eats at my house, she ends up not eating anything except for food she brought (just in case.. she says) because I put something in it that she was allergic to. And once they meet her, they give her lots of sympathy, until they’ve been stuck with her giving a half hour monologue about all of her allergies.

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