So off late I have been feeling a tad bit worthless – my job is fun & boring kind of at the same time and I feel that I need to do something spectacular, but not sure what that something that needs to be done is… and so yes, I have been a tad bit whiney.
Now while I appreciate the people in my life who take the time out and lend a sympathetic ear, I do believe they need a course in how to be sympathetic. For example – If I say, “I was called fat today” – don’t go ahead and say “you know what? Someone told me I look like a molester.” Or take another example – If I say, “I did not get the award I wanted – I got something lesser”, don’t go with “at least you got ‘something’ – I haven’t been recognized since Obama became president of USA” –because frankly, when I am whining – I don’t care about you, no matter how good a friend you are. I don’t whine a lot and when I do – I am NOT looking for a competition on who has had a worse hour/day/week/life! I appreciate the fact that maybe I do have it better than most people – I acknowledge that your problems may be far worse and more complex than the run of the mill ‘digital disruption study’ – but please note that the fact that you have it worse gives me no respite from the pain I feel due to MY problems, however shallow or easily amendable they may be.
I would like to know how it is exactly that ‘comparison’ solves any of the problems. “At least you have it better than last year”; “At least you know you have the strength to get through this”. “Al least you’ve got everything else going for you in your life” – These are statements which while well-meaning, are often misplaced in the entire “I am here for you” scenario. The fact that I’ve been through worse, that you’ve been through worse, that they’ve been through worse, that the ants and snails don’t have it easy either, that God made the human for the emotional struggle etc. etc. – all of this does absolutely NOTHING to solve the issue at hand… it just creates scenarios that ask you to ‘accept’ and ‘compromise with’ the situation at hand based on the simple, plausible premise that “Hey – It could be worse!”
Maybe the best listener is the objective one – who doesn’t automatically tick mark points in their head under “Been there – done that” or “I’ve had it worse” when you are relating a bad hour in an over-dramatic fashion. Maybe, the best statements a friend who is trying to ‘be there’ can say in a situation like that are that “That Sucks!” or “Crap!” – Eloquent. To the point. Effective. But maybe I ask for a lot! Maybe, that is not how problem-sharing works. Maybe when you tell your problems to another, there is an unsaid agreement that transpires between two people which states that if I give you my time to listen to your worries, you HAVE to accept whatever I say in response to that – helpful or not. Which leads me to wonder – In this world of problems of all shapes and sizes, is the basic problem – problem sharing?