Dear Person with Problems,
I am sorry you’ve had a bad time of it but frankly my interest in your problems ends at the point they begin to make PROBLEMS for me. See, what you don’t grasp is that my compassion, sympathy, and empathy are not endless wells. Oh yeah, once upon a time you might have played those angles and while it’s true my heart was more open then, I look out for myself more now which I think is a pretty good trade-off. You may not but toughening up has served me.
Why you think you are the only person in the world with problems or that your problems are more important – and thus deserve more exceptions and attention – I just don’t know. There’s nothing spectacular about you. You’re not saving the world, feeding the masses, curing diseases, or spreading joy wherever you go. Now somebody like that, they might get exceptions. “He’s a genius! Cut him a little slack already.” You’re not a genius. You. Are. Not. Special. And you know what? Your problems aren’t special either. Oh I know you THINK they are. But really, they are pretty mundane.
Every where you go your problems become other people’s problems. Directly or indirectly. You create a swath of issues in everything you touch. Nothing is easy with you. You make a mess of everything. But you never see your hand in it. It is always somebody’ else’s fault. The boss. The friend. The husband. The judge. The government. Your parents. The co-worker. The random stranger. They all make life so very rough for you. Poor you.
I am so, so very tired of you. Because you never go away. Every time I turn around, think life has quieted down a little and maybe we can all relax and have some peace for a minute, there you are. Making demands, complaining, drawing attention to yourself, barking, agitating, taking, stomping all over other people. It’s just the way you live. You don’t even know it. In fact, your self-awareness is sketchy at best. Yes, once in awhile you might allow that your life is abysmal and you aren’t happy but you soon default to your typical stance. Action without thought. Making your problems other people’s problems.
Most of us have bad days, days we say the wrong thing, take something out on someone, or otherwise chafe against other people. We all have problems and they do sometimes affect other people negatively. But that’s not you. This is how you are all the time. Every day is a bad day.
Now if you’re going to tell me about the miserable circumstances you grew up in, the poverty, the absent parent, the drugs, the rough neighborhood, the abuse or anything like that – and offer them as the excuse for your behavior – I will have little patience. If you’re going to tell me how nothing has ever worked out for you, that your dreams weren’t fulfilled, that your life hasn’t gone the way you’d have hoped – and use that as an excuse for your behavior – again I will have little patience. Do you really think everybody else has it so good? That all or most people are skipping along through life problem-free with jolly childhoods, fulfilled dreams, and constant successes?
I realize you aren’t thinking about the rest of us, you’re thinking about yourself, but I DON’T CARE. I’ve had it with you. Your problems have become such a nuisance and have permeated my existence to such an extent, that I no longer care about ANY of them. I can’t even give you my normal level of concern because I am so burnt out. I’d rather give what energy I have first to myself and then to other people who deserve it, people who are trying to live decently, asking for what they deserve, but generally trying not to make all of their problems someone else’s fault or responsibility. I have nothing for you. You take too much. Your problems don’t interest me.