dealing with uncomfortable people

One of the best parts of travelling is meeting so many interesting people.

And another wonderful part of travelling is not dealing with annoying people. When you first meet people, usually they have stories to tell that are fascinating enough for a quick encounter, and then you can move along when you realize that their stories are all finished. Or if they are more interesting than just a few stories, you can extend the connection in all the ways that we can do that nowadays.

Oh, I wish I could say that nothing is annoying while travelling, but that could not be true, even with all the money in the world. But most of the problems come with bureaucracy, especially with the travelling itself. So I’ve learned to aim low.

Very low.

And so the probability of disappointment is lower. Not gone, but you get the drift.

But…when you return to “normal”, you get hit with the behavior that continues as it did before. Or perhaps it has gotten worse because we had put it out of our minds, or perhaps it really is worse than before.

I encountered one of those people today. What can I say? We see the world so very differently. She had met some of the lovely people I met while in Israel a few years back, but she did not find them so lovely. In fact, one of the most interesting people I have been privileged to meet was someone she said “only spoke about herself”.

Was she in too much of a hurry to tell her all about herself to listen?

We can agree to disagree, but I feel that she would not even agree to do that.

I was telling a friend about another person who was complaining to me about someone else speaking lashon hara;  yes, how ironic it was indeed for her to complain about someone else speaking ill while she was doing the same. This friend was astonished that people would complain about such things to me/ISHI/us, but I told her she’s exceptional in more ways than that; that she could not fathom speaking ill of anyone, nor would she ever complain about someone to the “rabbi” or the “rabbi’s wife”. It was in context of me having to say something bad about someone in regards to a community position, which one must do to protect the community, and yet it glides along the edge of acceptable behavior. So I was prefacing my statement by declaring the irony.

Ah, yes, being part of a community. So so complicated.

And so very confusing!

I’m slowly typing up my notes from a course I took over the summer about community-building. Isn’t it another level of irony that I just typed this statement!

People like to talk about themselves—so reach out a find other peoples’ skills/interests/talents.

It’s got to be true–here I am talking about myself.

Oh, wait–you thought I would have real advice how to talk to uncomfortable people?

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