Free Radicals

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3 Comments A+ a-

Good morning - hope everyone out there is having a great week.

I'm sitting here listening to an iTunes playlist on Apple TV. My special-needs son woke earlier than usual and needs music to mellow him out first thing in the morning. Otherwise he heads straight to the kitchen and forages for food. The kids eats about every couple of hours. Don't know where he puts it--he's small, lean and muscular. Maybe a hollow leg?!?

Didn't get a whole lot of quiet alone time this morning, so I'll be dependent on my respite worker for help today to get things done. In the time I did get, I happened to check out one of Arisa's doodles:

Her comment for the doodle reads: "Life becomes so much better when you establish boundaries for what is normal/sane and don’t permit people to throw unreasonable at you. When you hold people to a level of normalcy they will typically meet it without realizing."

I laughed--carefully--when I saw this doodle. Don't know about you guys, but I am a magnet for dramatic people. They are drawn to me like free radicals to an electron. Perhaps they sense compassion and stability, or they're attracted by the fact that I listen and don't turn away. Whatever the reason, they gravitate in my direction.

Free radicals bombarding stable cells

Just recently I found myself on the receiving end of a dramatic individual's rant-and-rave. Her thoughts tend to be all over the place, and a phone conversation with her is almost impossible. I just listened (listening, not turning away) as she talked herself through her issues. She wasn't in a good place, so I offered to help her out in a few ways (compassion). She jumped all over that and was very grateful. The way I offered to help required time, energy and money--but when I sense that a certain action is the right thing to do, I just go for it.

The problem is...I can't continually give to people. My resources are limited. After my helpful act was complete, she contacted me several times over the next few days to "talk" (stability). Reading in between the lines, I could tell she needed and desired more of my help, but I drew my boundary line. In my situation, I can only do so much. And it's my experience that dramatic people take and take--but often don't give back due to their unstable nature.  

On top of all that, I don't want or need another person constantly in my life. I prefer to see friends every once in awhile. It's all I can take. That's why having a respite worker can be a challenge for me...I need the help but don't want the extra presence in my home. Having another person around will drain my energy, even if we don't interact. To my good fortune Johnny is a quiet, unassuming introvert with a good sense of humor. His presence usually adds to my day rather than taking away.

So I listened to this lady and gave her encouragement and advice. But I didn't offer more assistance. That way co-dependency lies, and I'd much rather teach someone to fish than run out and get them sushi every time they have a meltdown.

I completely agree with Arisa. Don't get caught up in other people's drama. Whether in the workplace or in our personal lives, it's vital that we establish boundaries for our own protection. If we allow free radicals unlimited access to our precious INFJ resources, they can cause damage. Instead, we should help them get to the root of their issue by offering productive antioxidant solutions that point them in the right direction.

Speaking of antioxidants, I think I hear my vitamins calling...better go mix some up!

Have an awesome day, folks!


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January 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM delete

I think this is at the core of why some people "flock" to me and others get easily disgusted with me. Certain folks at work have learned I have a sympathetic ear, and I do try to offer help for their problems. The drama queens among the waitresses though avoid me like a plague. I'm too matter of fact for them, and I don't encourage anything that perpetuates the drama. It's hilarious because it's led several of them to think I'm mean (or cold) when all I'm trying to do is help all of us get our jobs done as efficiently as possible. I don't need to know that this guy's burger wasn't what he wanted (pink, wrong cheese, etc.) I need to know if you need another burger, if I can fix the food I already sent out, if he doesn't want anything else, or he's just complaining. It really throws some of them off balance.

January 3, 2013 at 12:56 PM delete

Lol, I feel your pain, Jonathan! I, too, like to skip the B.S. and go to the source. Forget the dang dissertation, just give me a straight freaking answer and then the space to deal with it. This is why I often prefer the company of men over women. Females seem to get bent out of shape over things that I merely glance at and then dismiss.

Ha, if I had a dollar for every person who thought I was mean or cold, my bank account would be smiling!

So you're a cook - awesome! Is it a diner, drive-in or dive? Seen Guy Fieri in your workplace, lol?!? I haven't eaten all day, so this reply is making me hungry :-)

January 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM delete

As for what I am I describe myself as a jack of all trades. I am currently earning my money by cooking. It's an Indiana local restaurant much like Bob Evans, though less range of menu. But as I've mentioned before I'm an artist (five years of college debt to prove it ;)), I also enjoy working on basic handyman type things. Pretty much if I can work with my hands I'm happy.

I chuckle because for me it's often easier to be around women than men, not sure why because the drama factor tends to get higher. I have and value my guy friends but either through long exposure or simply a unique quirk in my make up I find the company of women to generally be more fulfilling. Of course as I said I also have a tendency to drive the drama queens away because I refuse to engage it, unless I'm feeling out of sorts. My inner Phoenix if you will. Fortunately that doesn't last long.