At the new job, there is an internal instant messenger program… so that we can basically chat with coworkers.
It gets used for both official purposes and general conversation between calls.
At one point recently, I had two different coworkers sending me messages.
Both were having personal issues… drama that I usually try to avoid in my life.
But one of the conversations annoyed me, where the other one drew me in.
And actually the one that annoyed me was the person that I’m closer to, where the one that drew me is was a situation that I was recently trying to figure out whether or not I wanted to back away in the name of avoiding drama.
Wasn’t really sure why at first.
But as the conversations continued… at one point, the annoyance grew high enough that I found myself typing “You do realize that you are choosing to be involved here, right? You can say “enough” and it’ll be over… it’s not your problem, you are just making it your problem.”
(I didn’t actually send that message by the way… I did delete and sugarcoat it a lot more..)
But suddenly I realized… that’s the difference.
The one person had bigger problems, part of which were consequences of their own mistakes… but they were not optional problems. They couldn’t just walk away… they had to be endured, as much as he would love to have a way to walk out of them.
The other was inserting herself into the problems of someone she was in a relationship with. If things were really that rough on her, the option to pull back from the relationship, even if temporarily, was always there.
And the more that I think back over the dramatic situations that have driven me nuts over the years, the more I think that’s actually the key.
Almost all of the ones that have been the biggest frustrations and with the messiest aftermath have always been the ones that the person could have walked away from the mess if they wanted to. Instead, they chose to continue allowing the chaos, or in some cases, even chose to walk into the chaos in the first place.
Maybe something that I need to stop and think about a bit more when my own life gets a bit overly drama-filled.