Saturday, February 5, 2011

Organizing One's Thoughts: The Whining Complex

I know an awful lot of people who appear to be brilliant.  They have inspiring insightful things to say, and they say those things.  They have perspectives and viewpoints, and they know enough about their surroundings and how to please people that they are constantly sculpting their responses, increasing their shine all the while.

What I've failed to see is that many of the same people--though not all to be sure--are also, simultaneously, full-on disorganized about their own thinking as it applies to their own lives.  It gives me pause, because some folks are at times quite aware and principled--let's say as applied to a particular field--but when when the lens turns inward, they are lost, and revert to emotional preadolescence.  Why is that?

I certainly do it at times.  The way I communicate with my intimate partner (and there's only one) when I want something is not the same way that I communicate with my colleague at work, but it is also dissimilar to the way I ask a good friend to do something.  I've caught myself literally whining until I get in response, not my preferred objective, but the "look of doom."  One glance, and I'm either going to capitulate and state my desires in a more grown up manner, or, I'll defend myself and get upset.

By the way, it doesn't follow that I am also proficient in other realms of non-whining object acquisition. The point remains.

I have been on the phone with people in a professional capacity and be forced to tell them something they might not want to hear, only to get an earful of angry remarks.  Why is it so personal?  Isn't this precisely the type of stress that causes bad things to happen?  Don't we want to keep bad things at bay?  What makes people think that anger gets results?

Oh, right: it works!  The loudest complainers get treated first, so long as they value their end goals more than the perceptions they create in others along the way.  That's the only conclusion I can come up with right now.  And so, the conclusion to this conclusion?  Shall we endeavor such an endeavor?

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