I’ve had this conversation with friends, clients, and acquaintances far more times than I like to remember.  I bet you have too.  You’re talking, having tea or coffee or lunch and they start telling a story.  Now, it’s not fiction.  It’s their life as they are living it right now and it’s obviously bugging them and they need to talk about it.  And it’s an amazing puzzler for them because this just keeps happening to them over and over again or its remarkably similar to something that happened in their life when they were a kid or it reminds them of someone close to them or it’s just so random it doesn’t make any sense at all…..

But to you, not emotionally involved in the scenario, probably knowing only one or two of the characters if any and only glancingly, see the story unfolding like a TV show and can see the characters and the plot, the motivations and the underlying reasoning behind it all and all  you can think is “You’re working through your  (fill in blank) issues…”

They had a shitty relationship with their Dad and they struggle with their boss in the same way or their boss acts the same way forcing them to confront the same behaviors.  They had a terrible relationship with a sibling and they keep treating this other person like their sibling and don’t understand why things go wrong or they react oddly.  Rejected by the only woman in their life they have issues around committment and keep getting dumped or dumping women that try to stay.  The stories are endless, unique, and never-ending.  Because instead of dealing with the actual issue, people try to ignore it or ‘just move on’ thinking that it’s not a big thing when it’s actually a gaping wound in their life that they are constantly attempting to triage.  It’s like they’re professional runners who have had one shoe stolen.  They keep saying ‘it’s not a big deal’ and they keep running with only one shoe and then wonder why their timing is off, why they limp, their back and hips are in agony, their foot is constantly sore and bleeding, and why they seem to have become kleptomaniacs concerning shoes.   And they can’t seem to figure out why they are in trouble with the cops about shoe thefts in the area and why people look at them funny when they run.

I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.  The only one who doesn’t see that something needs to be healed is the person telling the story.  And they do know they need to heal the issue because it’s on their minds and pressing on them in their everyday life, but not in a way that is going to resolve the issue.  They are telling you about running with one shoe and complaining about the shoe theft charges.  So what do you do? No easy answer there.  Sometimes I point out that it’s an issue with having only one shoe.  And then suggest that shoe theft isn’t the answer.  It’s what got them into the mess in the first place.  Perhaps they should press charges against the person who stole their shoe in the first place or at least confront them.  They they will be able to deal with the only one shoe issue.  Either they can buy a new pair or run without shoes.  Both are viable options.  I can’t do much more than that and it’s up to them if they want to deal with the issue or not.  But sometimes I realize that telling them about the shoe issue is pointless.  They won’t be able to hear me so I just listen and let them walk out with only one shoe.  Hopefully listening is enough.   Maybe for Christmas I’ll get them a gift card to a shoe store…..

1 Comment

  1. Can I just say what a relief to locate someone who really knows what theyre talking about on the net. You undoubtedly know how to bring an problem to light and make it important. Far more men and women need to read this and realize this side of the story. I cant believe youre not a lot more popular due to the fact you absolutely have the gift.

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