November 19, 2012
1. I was recently at a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous when I encountered a friend. I said hi but I was not particularly prepared to strike up a conversation.
To be honest, I do not always find the value in small talk. It feels awkward and insincere.
In any regard, I indulged him and chatted for a while, but he just would not stop. He continued to talk about how much he missed Percocet, Darvocet, Heroin, and Vodka.
The entire time he stood there and talked, devouring my time and energy, oblivious of his selfishness and my disinterest. He went on to discuss every tedious aspect of his life, from recent death of his cat, to the girl that he is dating, as well as his surfing lessons that are going so well.
I stood there, patient but flabbergasted, trying to be present, listening, as he went on and on about things that did not concern nor were really about remaining clean and sober.
After nearly 10 minutes (of dumping on me) went by with no end in sight, I finally said I had to go.
In fact, I made up something about……having to get home because I had an emergency call. I was so drained from that conversation that I did not even stay for the meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that intended to attend.
My part was that I did not enforce appropriate boundaries. All I had to say was, “Hi. How r u?.......I need to save a seat.”
I did not have to indulge him and then develop a resentment because he took advantage of the opportunity to be listened to.
My part was also that rather than tell the truth that his “monologue” had gone on far too long, I lied about a having an emergency that did not exist.
God divorce me from avoidance of doing what feels difficult, i.e, setting and enforcing appropriate boundaries.
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