Eggshells

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

August 27, 2010

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Categories: The Balancing Act

Abrasive. Rude. Always says what’s on their mind. But, if you return the favor YOUR head gets bitten off. Know the type?

I’ve worked with a few, in volunteer and in paid positions.

They have a lot of great things to say, they can be insightful. They can see the big picture. They understand boundaries. But, they don’t listen. I know, it’s weird, right? They can see the big picture and are great observers, but they cannot internalize what other people say or feel.

Sometimes they are good workers bees, so it makes it hard to see them go when eventually they do. Why? Because they can’t sustain lasting relationships. A few that I am remember, really do thrive on external connections. They need other people. They need to be able to talk, to bounce their ideas off others. One person, I am thinking of, never listened for validation. And, here’s where the clincher, for me, comes into play – you had to be extremely careful of what you said around them. Not that gossip was a problem (for some it was), but lest you hurt their feelings.

You had to walk on eggshells. Don’t break any.

Well, they got broken. And, in one instance, I can see where we erred. In the other, it’s much less clear.

We, effectually, ganged up to correct behavior. It was relevant, it was timely. It was handled poorly. The aforementioned irony is that this person does the same thing, hourly, to others. Sure, fine, the tough exterior shell to protect the tender insides. I’m sorry, my mother raised us kids to “think before we act” and to remember to “not dish it out if we can’t take it.” Okay, we didn’t think before we acted. We could have been more intuitive to the situation. But, it was boiling. We’re human. This person has rescinded their work from the organization in which we spend our time. A very passionate, dedicated loss. But, I can’t help but feel a little relief. Why? Because we don’t have to walk on those eggshells (there are others). It’s like we are one step closer to building trust amongst each other once the non-trusting person has left.

I love eggshells in my compost, but that’s about the only place in my life I want eggshells.

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