In My Brain Today: Destination Guilt

Someone has just given me a round-trip ticket.   Yahoo!  Only the destination is not some place warm, sunny, and fun.  I was on my way to another locale all together: Planet Guilt.  (I quickly put the breaks on). 

You know what I am talking about because you have likely been the “lucky” recipient of such a trip–or maybe even you have been the ticket master (hope not). 

I don’t usually fall prey to such travel nightmares, as I generally surround myself with happy, well-adjusted folks.  But every now and then the travel agent goes on vacation and leaves me with someone who doesn’t know me well enough to send me to the places I like to frequent. 

As I was listening to this person ramble on and on over the telephone about her “woe is me” sort of existance, I started feeling a teensy bit responsible.  What??!  Why on earth should I feel responsible for a person who lives hundreds of miles away from me? 

But that’s what was happening and that’s what I was feeling. 

They wanted me to feel bad. They wanted my pity and concern and they made me feel responsible for their feelings.  Instead, this person could have asked, “What do you think I should do about my situation?”  I could have helped with that.  I could have given some suggestions or hints or something.  Instead, I just politely listened and then went about my business as I put the phone on “speaker,” and sat it on the counter as I gathered all of the ingredients I needed to whip up a batch of my homemade bread dough. 

I hung up–the conversation was finally over (all 8 minutes and 53 seconds of whining and justifying and trying to illict my sympathy) only to receive an immediate call back.  Really?  “Please just keep this between the two of us,” I was reminded.  Of course, no one else wants to hear your sob story, trust me.

As I hopped into the shower I thought, “No.  I am not going to feel bad for you.  I am not going to believe half of what you are even telling me.”  Of course, the shower became therapeutic, washing away all of the bad vibes brought on my this brief, yet bitter converation. 

Emerging with a healthy glow about myself, I remembered one of my favorite quotes, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,”  –Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Now if Eleanor could book a trip for me to… say, to the Virgin Islands, she could be my travel agent instead of whats-her-face on-the-phone. 

More on Guilt Trips:  What is a Guilt Trip

How to Give a Guilt Trip

How to Survive a Guilt Trip

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