Fancy Coffee Friday: Missing the compassion button

"Coffee Shorthand", taken on my Android, edited with  the Photo Editor app.

“Coffee Shorthand”, taken on my Android, edited with the Photo Editor app.

The title of this post is not entirely accurate.  While I am truly missing a button labeled “compassion”, I am a very compassionate person in many situations.  I do, nevertheless, find myself in a situation with one particular person where my compassion level went from full-tilt to “I-don’t-give-a-shit”.

Why?

Because I feel that the desire by this person for compassion from their fellow man is disingenuous.  I refuse to ask how they are doing on stubbornness principal alone simply for the fact that I will hear the latest woe no less than five-to-eight times in a day.  Oh, the stories are dramatic, peppered with adjectives and adverbs and sensational dialogue to keep the captive listener subdued on the edge of their seat with concern and anxiety of the outcome.  Any opportunity to smother another soul with their narrative of misfortune is grasped and pinned to the floor in a chokehold until it has given its last kick in the throes of death.

Yesterday was another one of those days.  I sipped my coffee, worked my ass off (I wish that was more literal than figurative) and pretended not to hear the story repeated to engender sympathy and attention.  I ignored the glances in my direction at times throughout the day when I continued working on projects as if nothing was amiss (because it wasn’t).

And, in the afternoon, when yet another catastrophe had hit and there were repeated dives to the box of tissues and much ado about the blowing of ones nose, I pretended to not notice.  I pressed on in my tasks, having been pushed behind due to being shorthanded for two days, and answered in monosyllabic sentences that sounded more like guttural sounds from early man.  This didn’t save me from an onslaught of openers tossed at me to get me to ask about the latest (or earlier) calamity.

I don’t get it.

I’m not good at eliciting sympathy in others, nor do I have the desire to, in times of emotional or physical wounding.  My problems are just that, my problems.  I figure that everyone else has their own issues to deal with that they don’t need to be saddled with mine, too.  However, this can backfire on me in those times where something really has gone awry – when people find out, they swoop in and want to take care of me.  That’s a good thing I suppose, but I’m a miserable patient because unless I feel life or limb is literally at risk, “it’s all good and I’m fine, now go away.”  Those moments I do talk about something bad that’s befallen me, it’s matter-of-factly stated, a “well ain’t that just a kick in the nuts” observation with perhaps an inquiry of “what would you do in this situation,” and then I move on.  So, imagine my consternation with people who aren’t the same way.

Today, on this Fancy Coffee Friday, I will once more be seated in my pilots chair, at my command center, playing music in the background, sipping my Non-Fat, No-Whip Peppermint Mocha and not pressing my compassion button.

Do you have a person in your life who  is a “Drama Queen”?  A hypochondriac?

Do you “feed the beast” when confronted with this person or do you do your best to “let sleeping dogs lie”?

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About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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6 Responses to Fancy Coffee Friday: Missing the compassion button

  1. For the love of god you are preaching to the choir over here!! YES, my co-worker does the same thing and on Tuesday I informed my other co-worker that I would NO LONGER be lending my sympathetic ear to someone who DOES NOT LISTEN to an ounce of advice. (can you tell how this enrages me?) This behavior drives me out of my effing mind!! I will NO longer fuel the drama fire. My sympathetic ears can me more effective listening to REAL issues. Ok I’m done have a good day.

  2. William says:

    This behavior does not belong in the work place. A true professional (except under extreme situations) needs to know how to leave their personal life at the door. It’s not fair to the employer nor the co-worker. Oh, and that #** comment, I’m sure Mr. Muse as well as photographers cringe at the thought of you making that real. Keep it figurative and not literal.

    • I greet with you 100% – leave it at the door!

      And, I find it interesting that my two most popular features are my hair and my backside. I get worried looks and questions of concern when I mention cutting the one or losing the other. LOL

  3. aging cowgirl says:

    Does “hmmmm” count as one of those guttural responses?? That was usually my line – after enough “Hmms”, the point was usually made – if that was at all possible. I fully agree with the “leave it at the door.” or “It must be hard to be you…”

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