Sometimes depression can make us do things that are often described (and misunderstood) as being “impolite.”
Maybe you “ghost” your loved ones when they check in on you. Maybe you space out in conversations and unintentionally hurt people’s feelings. Or maybe depression makes you so irritable you lash out in anger at the slightest provocation.
If you struggle with an “impolite” manifestation of depression, you’re not alone. The only way we can set the record straight about “impolite” things people do because of depression is to talk about it. To open up this discussion, we asked our Mighty community to share one “impolite” thing they do because of depression.
Here’s what our community shared with us:
1. Canceling Plans — Often at the Last Minute
“I will wait until the last possible second to cancel, because I’m berating myself for not getting out of bed, or I’ll drag myself there and clearly not have a good time.” — Betsy C.
“I cancel appointments with good loyal friends because I’m afraid my depression may destroy the atmosphere.” — Doni S.
2. ‘Ghosting’ Loved Ones
“I don’t respond to texts or calls. I can be flaky and run late for everything because it takes me so long and so much energy to get out the door.” — Keytra B.
“‘Ghosting’ people. I feel overwhelmed by too many messages, or I want to take time to answer and build up anxiety to answer. I want to answer, I want to reach out, but it’s so hard.” — Dana L.
“I don’t call people back or even at all unless I have to. I prefer to text. Many of my relationships have suffered because of this. I have a hard time reaching out to anyone.” — Kayla O.
“Continue posting on social media while ignoring messages.” — Asha V.
3. Not Apologizing
“I don’t apologize as often as people want me to — instead I say ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate…’ I don’t like apologies because they are almost never sincere or they are literally just a filler in the conversation. I personally don’t apologize unless it’s sincere and I honestly am sorry for what I’ve done. If I’ve made a mistake at work, for example, and my boss comes to reprimand me, I say, ‘I appreciate you coming to me with this, I will avoid doing it in the future…’ People often think it’s impolite that I avoid apologizing like that.” — Caty P.
4. Forgetting to Say ‘Thank You’
“I don’t say ‘thank you’ or express gratitude. I say it in my head but for some reason, I can’t express it in words or actions. My mom would say I’m heartless at times. I feel bad about it and I try to laugh it off, but it’s a big problem I have.” — Tatiyana L.
5. Avoiding Social Situations
“Avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. I work in a very social environment, and I fear I appear mean because I avoid social interaction whenever possible.” — Randall R.
“I don’t always greet/hug everyone who comes over to my house or at parties. Sometimes I just am not up for physical contact because I already feel drained or anxious.” — Serina J.
6. Fixating on Others’ Insecurities
“I tend to pick out everyone’s worst qualities and can zone in on their insecurities. In the moment this makes me feel better until I realize my own insecurities are showing and then the guilt sets in and I avoid people. Unfortunately, my husband gets the brunt of this.” — Jacquelyn M.
7. Getting Irritable and Lashing Out
“I become extremely irritable and very short-fused. I snap at people for no reason or because of stupid things because I am a ball of emotions and not able to express them correctly.” — Kisena A.
“I will literally tell people to shut up if I’m getting overwhelmed by their voice (most of the time it comes out of my mouth if several people are talking at once). I feel bad and apologize, but it just comes out before I can stop it. My husband calls it diarrhea of the mouth.” — Shayla F.
8. Asking for Requests in Writing
“At work, I ask that everything be in writing because my depression makes processing words really hard. It’s easier to reread the same sentence 10 times than to have someone constantly repeat themselves. It makes more work for others, but I’m trying to save them time because I just can’t process what they say to me.” — Jess B.
9. Forgetting Important Dates Like Birthdays
“I am always insanely forgetful. People can tell me stories or important things to them and despite paying attention and genuinely caring about what they said oftentimes I will just forget. It definitely has made people feel like I don’t care in the past even though I very much do.” — Kelsey A.
“I forget things, like a celebration from someone I really like, or a message asking about a friend’s issue, or even a birthday of a best friend…” — Marcele L.
10. ‘Tuning Out’ in Conversations
“I completely tune people out, ignoring their every word. You may as well have a conversation with a wall instead of with me when I’m depressed.” — Tiffany C.
“Spacing out during a conversation. By the time the conversation is over, I’ve barely gotten maybe a third through and then the rest is blank.” — Cora W.
11. Being Brutally Honest
“I become incredibly blunt and brutally honest when speaking with people. If I’m upset, angry or sad you will know about it and cringe at the force of my temper.” — Jamie C.
“I have no filter so if I think it, I say it regardless of how harsh or rude it comes across. I’m extremely abrupt and upset people without meaning to. It’s easier just not talking to people.” — Sarah S.
12. Pushing People Away
“I push people away. My depression puts me in a place where I feel I can’t trust anyone’s intentions because I’m ‘presently’ believing I am undeserving of love… So I — rudely — tell people to leave me alone because ‘They don’t actually care about me and they’re just trying to make themselves feel good.’” — Ruby W.
13. Leaving Without Saying Goodbye
“Disappear from social gatherings very early, without saying goodbye.” — Kate K.
14. Not Showing Up for a Job Interview
“Saying I will show up for the interview but never going. Or being accepted to a workplace and later disappearing and never going back without any explanations. Too stressful to start a new [job] and too stressful to leave my room.” — Lilit W.
15. Being Late
“Being late. And it’s not because of lack of trying. It’s just that invisible force that stops you from doing things and makes you feel like whatever you’re trying to do will surely fail.” — John B.
If you’re struggling with depression and the “impolite” ways it makes you act, you’re in good company. To chat with other people who really “get it,” you can post on The Mighty with the hashtag, #CheckInWithMe. Depression can feel isolating, but you don’t have to go it alone. Join The Mighty community and find the support you need.
What “impolite” thing does your depression make you do?