No matter how hard we try, there seems to be those times when we’re sucked into the drama pit of others, and when you start pulling yourself up and out, you hear the deafening voices behind you screaming, “You have to stay here and share in our miseries!” Without a question, I’m convinced misery loves company, and all the more, the better. I was on the phone this afternoon with a past client/customer who was doing everything possible to pull me into his pity-pot drama. Since I wouldn’t let him hook me into it, there came the changing of subjects with me in hopes there would be at least something he’d said that would invoke empathy from me. Since I was talking to him on my way to a cross-town appointment, I finally had to cut him off as I was pulling into the driveway of the home I was to show a customer. In my attempts to be at least a gentleman, I thanked him for the call and wished him a wonderful afternoon. I couldn’t begin to imagine what psycho therapists must have to endure on a daily basis when listening to their clients problems, and likely feeling similarly pulled into the thick of it. Many have said dentists have one of the more depressing jobs, but I think there are far worse—especially those who deal with people who have psychological problems. For them it really must be a calling instead of a profession to be able to endure the litany of agonies of others.
I was teasing one of my young relatives early this morning to where he said, “It seems I’m having to bear the brunt of criticism!” Smiling, I walked over and gently patted him on the back saying, “Please don’t ever think I’m being mean.” And with a wink I said, “I wouldn’t be teasing you if I didn’t like you.” After having said that, he suddenly realized I truly wasn’t saying mean-spirited things and I did like him. I keep forgetting we live in a different age to where we all must be politically correct and always conduct ourselves in a quiet and business-like manner—especially around relatives. It’s no wonder more parents don’t really know what’s going on in the minds of their children. Most times they don’t realize there are pent-up angers that haven’t been discussed and resolved to where one day they snap and the flood gates of emotions are flung open. This morning I shared with a colleague a short story about a very quiet and soft spoken couple whom I worked with a number of years ago. The wife was exceptionally reticent, yet I knew there were deep whirlpools of emotion contained within. Just before the closing of their home, the selling agent questioned several previously attached items that were considered part of the sale which were missing from the home at the time of the final walk-thru. Oh Mercy! I’d never heard a woman scream so loud on the phone at me to where any bystander would’ve thought she was being killed one slice at a time. The erratic screaming continued to where I finally had to say, “Please call me back when you’ve calmed down!” The call was returned by her husband who must’ve been emotionally incited by her. Well, we did get everything worked out, but I endured a very sore eardrum for days afterward. My story is yet another example of how important it is to be in an on-going state of opinion sharing so to keep those emotional volcanos from erupting and burning everyone in sight. Hot verbal lava sticks and burns to the bone.