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I Don’t Need to Care about Everything: Dawn Knight, Regional Director (WA, OR, ID, NV, AZ, WY, ND and CA)

July 26, 2011

….or should the title really be “I Don’t Need to Make Everything My Business”?

I am trying; I really am, to not think that my opinions, thoughts, empathy, and feelings are life’s answers to everyone else’s problems.   For some reason, when having a normal conversation with people I feel the need to care – a.k.a. get vested – in whatever they might have going on.  Sure, I give the dutiful and polite head nod so they know I am listening…and to make them want to continue talking.  Meanwhile, I haven’t heard much after the initial problem statement because now I am totally focused on how sad/angry/annoyed/hurt/betrayed/insulted they MUST feel about, again, whatever they might have going on.  I generally want to hug them.  Enter the odd looks as I do stand up and hug them and am all teary-eyed while they, of course, are thinking I am a lunatic.

It’s not enough that I hug them and quite possibly hold onto them like a fly on sticky tape….noooooo, there must be MORE I can do because, again, I care.  So then, I am the one who gets dramatic and starts to think of things I can say, do, or buy to make them feel better.  I have bought a post-conversation gift bag items of candles, books, cards, cupcake flavored dental floss, funny trinkets, meaningful trinkets, monogrammed M&M’s, Whoopee Cushions (I mean really, who doesn’t love those?!), chicken laying egg key rings, SPAM-flavored macadamia nuts (who knew?), signed them up for the Bieber-Fever exclusive fan club,…you get the idea – anything to show them I care and want them to feel better.

Additionally, I am now offering unsolicited advice.  I got past the caring part and now I just want to fix their problem because, well, I think that what I have to offer is simply brilliant.  My Mother always told me that I ‘had that gift’ and, although I haven’t listened to everything she said through the years, I heard that statement LOUD and CLEAR.  Brilliant. Gift.  My daughter.  It’s like it’s tattooed in my brain. 

However, I have decided that one of my annoying habits that is actually annoying to even me is when I start projecting my brilliant gift to people.  I’m not kidding, before I realize it, I am chattering on like I’ve had a quad-shot-venti-latte-with-an-espresso-shooter!  I seriously can’t stop myself.  Can’t. Stop. Myself.  I see their head nod and I think that’s my cue to keep going.  I am helping them after all!  Yeah, no.  I need to stop.  They haven’t asked for my opinion…gosh, I wish they would….but still, they haven’t so I need to stop.  I’m trying; I really am.

Newsflash!   I found a way to continue caring about people and their whatevertheyhavegoingons without 1. Getting ridiculously vested and 2. Offering unsolicited advice.   I listen.  I encourage. I support.  I love.  I sit back.  I still hug.  I don’t judge.  I still by those gift bags items.  I check in.  I still care just as much, but just show it differently.  If none of that works, I really do have a stash of Whoopee Cushions for strictly emergency situations. 

Encourage and Support where you can….

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director: AZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, WY and ND

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