That little tidbit of information came flying into my head when one of our elderly office helpers backed herself into my cubicle today saying, “Now, I told you you have to wait out front and you can’t just walk back here.” Her slight, short stature was reflecting her helplessness as this tall, dark and handsome man, much like the man in this photo, pushed his way to my cubicle anyway.
The little lady apologized to me and tried to explain what this man was doing. He didn’t want to wait. I felt “it” rising, my anger, and used whatever I had in my arsenal to tamp, beat, channel, deflect that rising monster into a controlled tone of voice. It was barely enough.
“Did you see how many people are out there waiting patiently? Everyone has to wait today, that is the way it is.”
“All I need is…”
“It doesn’t matter what all you need. If you want to see me, if you want my help, you will wait your turn.”
“I’ve already been waiting. All I need is…”
Enough of what he wanted leaked through my solid wall of resistance that I snatched the note from Little Lady’s hand and scribbled a phone number on it for this man to call and would’ve thrown it at him if he didn’t take it from me.
“But, I also need…”
“You will wait your turn.”
“But I don’t have the time to wait.”
“And everyone else does? You have no choice but to wait.”
I stood up at that point and my voice was steely cold. He backed away a few steps and walked away quickly while saying, “Come here for help and I don’t get it as usual” a bit loudly, but not so much.
Little Lady apologized up and down, and I tried to let her know it was beyond her control, that she did what she could. That she was rendered so helpless by that impertinent ass fired my anger even more. I was fuming.
It doesn’t take me long to get out of and beyond any emotional reaction I might have, as a rule. But, it does take more than the four steps it took me to grab the next paper and call the name out for the next person.
Yes, the wait in my office today was an average of 45 minutes to an hour, and the next man’s face was a bit on the sour side. Oh, I so needed a few more steps.
I whipped around to the guy with a raised finger and said, “Look, the last guy just bit my nose off, so if that’s what you intend to do too, there’s nothing left.” I usually just say, “How are you?” Egads.
He pulled back, startled, then smiled sheepishly. “No, no, no, I’m not going to bite your nose off!” he said to me, and then I remembered the “How are you” to break through and into a bit more of a comfortable exchange. Poor guy.
I have no problem dealing with idiotic behaviors aimed at me. I find a way to defuse and channel so that, in the end, everything is calm and moving forward. But, when I see someone abused and pushed around, I come out fighting. I hadn’t seen that rise up in myself in years, so it was good to see. But, I must’ve learned something along the way, or I’m just getting old, because this time, I didn’t blow up and blow the handsome ass out of the water, even though I wanted to do just that.
Could I explain to you how I did it? Not a chance. I need more practice.
Narcissists beware: Not only are you getting axed from the DSM, but you don’t stand a chance with me either. In fact, I bite.