When do you consider someone an asshole?
Today I want to share with you a story about loneliness that I came across recently and that made me think a lot. I would like to go into the moving backgrounds afterwards. Here is the story:
“Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel really well when I woke up. I went downstairs for breakfast, hoping my wife would congratulate me on my birthday and possibly have a present for me. As it turned out, she said neither “Good morning”, “All the best” or “I love you”. I thought, “Ok, that's the way it is in a long-term marriage. But the children will remember my birthday. "
My children ate and didn't say a word. So I felt very bad and was disappointed when I went to work. When I got to the office, my secretary Bettina said: "Good morning boss, all the best and congratulations!" It felt good that at least someone remembers my birthday. I worked until 1 p.m., then Bettina knocked on the door and said: “You know, it's a wonderful day outside and it's your birthday, let's go out for dinner, just the two of us.” I said, “Thank you Bettina, that is the best I have heard today. "
We went out to eat. But we didn't go where we normally were. Instead we were in a small restaurant with a private table. We drank two martinis and really enjoyed the meal. On the way back to the office, Bettina said, “You know, it's such a wonderful day. We don't need to go back to the office, do we? ”I replied,“ I don't think so. What are you going to do? "She said:" Let us go to my apartment. "After we got there, Bettina turned to me and said:" Boss, if you don't mind, I'll go to the office for a minute Bedroom. I'll be right back. "I nervously replied," Ok ... "She went into the bedroom and, after a few minutes, came out carrying a huge birthday cake ... followed by my wife, my children, and a dozen of my friends and co-workers and everyone sang "Happy Birthday".
And I'm sitting there ... .. on the couch ... .. naked ... "
"Asshole" or poor sausage?
What are your first thoughts as you read this story? I can tell you how it was with me. After I had to laugh properly at first, the laughter quickly got stuck in my throat. Sure, the situation comedy is kind of funny. But to be honest, the first thing I thought to myself was, “Whoa, that ass! Is married and has a family that surprises him so nicely, and he just wants to go to bed with his secretary. ”Understandable thought? Clear! Maybe your first thoughts were similar.
But isn't there another point of view from which this fictional but thoroughly realistic story could be viewed? Is this husband really the ass? I mean, don't get me wrong: his behavior or intended behavior to cheat his wife with the secretary is a definite no-go. We don't need to discuss that. But at this point I am less interested in the behavior of people than in the attitude that leads to such behavior. Because our behavior is always only one consequence, our inner attitude. What made this man develop such an attitude to allow himself to be carried away into such an act? Perhaps, in order to come up with a solution, we need to take a closer look at this story.
Loneliness and a lack of appreciation destroy the soul
The man described has a wife whom he very likely loved once and may even still do so. He has children whom he certainly loves too, because every father loves his children or his family in the heart of his heart. However, the story describes right at the beginning that he does not get something for his birthday that he obviously longs for: love, attention and appreciation. You feel this lack of recognition on days like your own birthday even more than usual. If your own expectations (i.e. those of the man) are disappointed on this day, however, the emotional injuries that he has suffered over the last few weeks, months or even will be the result Years, feel even more strongly. I know from my own experience: You can feel a lot of loneliness, especially on a birthday.
Surely you also know people who do not care at all if they are "forgotten" by close people on their birthday. There can only be two reasons for this: Either the birthday child feels so old that he doesn't want to be reminded of the new year at all. Or this person really lives in prosperity in relation to close, warm interpersonal contacts, from which he draws a lot of recognition, appreciation and above all a feeling of solidarity with his friends or family. Whether he is then forgotten on that one day does not matter to him, because his relationship account is strong in the plus!
How is your relationship account with your fellow human beings?
The husband's relationship account from history was obviously overdrawn for a long time and clearly in the red. This is the only way to explain why he reacted so strongly and immediately to the personal attention and attention that his secretary showed him. It took away his loneliness. The man was obviously looking for emotional and then physical closeness. When you lose genuine interest in someone and stop paying real attention to them, it changes their feelings and attitudes. The level of relationship to this person then dies, as there is no longer a feeling of connection and belonging.
You can always tell the quality of an interpersonal relationship (whether between husband & wife, parents & child or boss & employee) by how much real attention and mindfulness you show each other. If dealing with one another becomes too superficial and certain things simply become a matter of course, this is the beginning of the end. Because the consequence of this is always a lack of intensity with which the relationship with this person is then lived.
With this in mind, I ask the question from above again: Who is the ass here now? Couldn't one also say: My God, how does this family deal with the poor man that he obviously feels so lonely and ignored that he then seeks closeness in another person who pays him a little attention ?! How superfluous must he feel? What kind of loneliness must prevail in him? How sad does he have to feel?
Please get me right: I'm fine here now Not a final assessment of the question of guilt. I have no interest in who is to blame for such incidents. First of all, looking for someone to blame is usually impossible, as the question of the real cause is mostly subjective. And secondly, the result of the question of guilt does not lead to a success or future-oriented solution. Rather, it is about the question of responsibility for these or similar situations. Who is actually responsible for the man's behavior?
Out of my sight all Involved. The man himself - there is no doubt about that, because, despite all the circumstances, his behavior was definitely disrespectful and wrong. But after this incident, the wife and children should also ask themselves in a quiet minute how it could actually come to this. The question, "What is missing from my husband / father and how little he obviously feels valued by me", would be a responsible view that his wife or children could adopt instead of playing the role of poor deceived dogs. Assuming the role of victim here would be humanly understandable at first, but apart from whining and anger it leaves no options for action for the future.
How is your relationship account with your fellow human beings? How much do you pay into the account of your partner, your children, your friends, work colleagues, parents or your boss? And how much do you withdraw every day? Payments have names such as “attention”, “appreciation”, “praise”, “recognition”, “respect”, “affection”, “love”, “mindfulness” or simply “interest”. Withdrawals can be described as "blame", "ignorance", "personal criticism", "dishonesty", "righteousness" etc.
To put it in a nutshell: Everyone is looking for a feeling of belonging and connectedness as one of the most urgent basic needs in their lives. People who do not feel connected remain non-binding for a lifetime. Just like the man in the story….
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