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Imagine being featured performer

inside a shoulder-to-shoulder ring

of twenty or thirty shrinks! 


     Ever get yourself frustrated with a relative, neighbor, friend, co-worker, employee or boss who is just too damn busy to visit, socialize, go to lunch, get coffee before (or a beer after) work,  discuss books, articles, music, film or theatre productions, children or grandchildren, church, doctors, or the circus . . . anything that has nothing to do with work?  

     You know who I’m talking about.  Somebody you’re pretty sure is not on the wittness protection program.  It’s that loner who can’t find (or seem to make) the time for pleasure travel or experiences.  Often, it’s someone who’s rarely in touch with any sporting event or team, hobby, or community organization . . .  and is often distant to her or his own family?  

     Don’t feel rejected.  Odds are it has nothing to do with you. 

     In psychotherapeudic circles (I know, I know, they don’t sound like such great places to be either.  I mean just imagine being featured performer inside a shoulder-to-shoulder ring of twenty or thirty shrinks!  Yikes!  That’s enough to make you crazy even if you weren’t to start with) — anyway, in this psycho-shrink category of diagnostics, particularly as it emerges from Gestalt Therapy, people who create distance with others usually do it unconsciously.  

     By barracading themselves behind desks, office doors, and work schedules, it’s easier to explain their reluctance to get involved with others’ lives, and with themselves.  By consistently saying yes to others’ requests (to the point of his or her own detriment, exhaustion, for example), it’s easier to avoid intimacy (tenderness, empathy and affection, caring) at any level.  There’s always something to keep preoccupied with!  In Transactional Analysis (TA), this kind of activity is referred to as a subconscious “game” called The Harried Executive.

     I get accused of this on occasion, but my work, my writing, is my life . . . and I never avoid contact with those around me, though I will often delay an encounter until I’ve finished the sentence or paragraph I’m working on, and I will often avoid getting into situations that offer no personal reward . . . going to an opera or ballet, for example, because I do not understand or appreciate either (with apologies to my wonderful high school classmate, ballet star, teacher, and ballet aficionado friend Rhodie Jorgenson, whom I greatly admire). 

     The Harried Executive may have once been emotionally traumatized by allowing his or herself to get too close to someone else, and then been stood-up, or jilted, or in worst-case scenerios: cheated, beaten, robbed, or raped. 

     Percolating somewhere down deep in such an individual’s unconcsious mind is the fear of ever getting into that kind of situation again, and the misguided notion that avoidance of all things, people, and experiences that represent any kind of intimacy is the safest route to take.  Folks like this need help, but probably not from you, unless you have a Masters of Social Work.  Free yourself from guilt and worry and get on with your life and career.        

Note for my new two-part blog series (Part I tonight and Part II this coming Thursday) on STOP HOLIDAY DRIVING STRESS . . . good stuff for all of us!   Halalpiar    

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