I was out to dinner the other night with my lovely husband. I hadn’t seen him for ages and, rather frustratingly for him, my attention was caught by a group at a nearby table. Picture the scene: two couples in their mid-twenties and an older lady, an aunt or mother perhaps, out for a celebration. The older lady – I imagine she’d been a war correspondent – was telling some amazing tales of her travels. But what really caught my attention was the woman sitting next to her. Going through the motions of polite listening, she made it absolutely clear to everyone else how much contempt she had for the older lady. The transparency was astounding, and the negative energy emitted was overpowering.
The game of doing the right thing on the surface, whilst at the same time making your real feelings perfectly clear, is as common as it is destructive. People do it all the time, and it really couldn’t be further away from smart, kind, respectful and authentic behaviour.
Be alert to it over the next few days. Do you, or people close to you, play this game?
PS. Depending on your disposition, you may or may not be glad to know that I didn’t follow her into the ladies and tell her what I thought of her game. My husband wouldn’t let me!
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Stephen is one of the Ivy House Alumni, and when he completed the Programme he made a commitment to himself: take on and conquer the Brighton Half Marathon.
The game of doing the right thing on the surface, whilst at the same time making your real feelings perfectly clear, is as common as it is destructive.