I just finished all of my Christmas visits with everyone. A big theme I noticed is it was easy to disappear in the background if I didn’t talk. It felt like everyone was competing for attention of someone; it was truly an interesting dynamic to sit back and watch. My mom would try to “one up” pretty much everything I would discuss about my husband’s pain or surgery. My stepmom was doing the same thing. This is something that had literally been going on for years, so I wasn’t surprised. It’s just this week it clicked that it doesn’t matter which parent or family member I’m talking to. We have nothing else in common but our ailments…. And everybody wants to show their expertise and knowledge about something. Hardly anyone asked questions about how someone was actually doing; but if they did ask, they tended to want to just interject their current observations of themselves.
Is this just human nature? Are we really listening to each other? Is this why many of us feel so lonely? Just a few things to think about on this Saturday evening.