Monday, August 26, 2013

overheard (and why is this not obvious?!)

Sum up 80% of the conflict in human relationships and it boils down to this: one person wants something from the other. Overheard:

Person A: And so my __________ (mom, dad, partner, etc.) just really wants me to __________ (be a doctor/lawyer, be outgoing, go dancing, have kids, be a pianist, get a promotion, be more affectionate, get married, clean more, etc.). It's not what I want but they won't stop putting this pressure on me.

Person B: They want this of you because they love you.

Person A: Sure, I get that. But their motive doesn't MATTER, it's not helping me. They're pushing too hard.

Person B:  But what they want is a good thing.

Person A: That doesn't matter either, I'm just not going to ever be that way. It's not in my nature. It's not what I want.

Person B: But they want it so badly! I'm in this boat too so I understand, I want to see my loved ones improve too.

Person A: That's what they want for me but it's not what *I* want for me.

Person B: But they'll be so disappointed!

Person A: They'll have to learn how to deal with it. It's not my responsibility to manage their emotions.

Person B: But if you just did it, it would make them so happy!

Person A: Look, I would love to wrap my arms around my pet parakeet and hug it tight. But guess what? Birds HATE being hugged or touched. I can't show my bird love the way *I* want to show him, I have to show it in the way that HE wants it. He wants millet spray. Fine. I mean, I still have this need to hug -- I'm a primate, afterall -- but it's not up to my parakeet to console me because he's just being himself. I'll deal. And so they can deal.

Person B: Huh. You got a point.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." Kurt Cobain


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  2. Hey dude, you're doing it wrong.