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16 Apr 2003

Troubled
I have a friend(male), who i have been friends with for many years. We have
a lot of experiences together and i value the friendship. Now what happened
is: I wrote an SMS to my girlfriend, about him ,saying nothing bad, but in
that SMS i called him by a Pet name that me and my girlfriend use,which happens
to be one of the famous cartoon characters. Unfortunately for me, i send the
message to him by mistake. And he naturally discovered the Pet name.
Now he says he's more angry than he's ever been in his entire life.
He is saying this is proof that, i am ruining him and his reputation behind his back,
that he will never forgive me for what i did, he also makes assumptions that all
my other friends and my girlfriends friends are call him by the same name etc.
I tried to assure him that it mean't no harm, to no avail. Is he justified?
Answer 284 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Well, Rob, Not exactly justified, but it's understandable, isn't it ? And surely he'll cool down in a while and see this as somewhat of a storm in a teacup ? A good example of over-generalizing --- of taking a conclusion that is true about one very specific situation ( eg you and your gf happen to use this affectionate nickname for him ) and assuming without any actual basis that everyone including the UN Secretary General calls him by this nickname, and also an example of Catastrophizing --- concluding without any real basis that if anyone on earth calls him by such a nickname, however afefctionately, this is inevitably and absolutely awful catatrophe with certain and terrible effects on his entire life.
it seems pretty obviously daft when someone else does it, but we are all capable of both of these logical errors.
Also, points out some of the perils of the SMS, doesn't it !
As someone who, within weeks of the TV cartoon series launching, was discovered by people searching the phonebook for the same surname, and endured endless witless calls asking to speak to Bart, or Homer, I can understand what he may have felt --- but I decided to conclude that it was irrelevant.
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