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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: HELP!

Daze of My Life
HELP!

The admission I'm about to make I make publicly because I can't believe it is only me who feels this way. If there is indeed strength in numbers then perhaps a show of support might help me through the next time when I feel like I felt the other day. And the feeling to which I now confess is, irritation, total irritation with a side order of impatience and intolerance. I refer to my bad attitude (not bad mood), an attitude so negative that it permeated every fiber of my being, fortunately being one of those infrequent occasions when the affliction totally consumes me.
And it's on these few-and-far-between days that I readily admit, I absolutely cannot be out in public. Whatever interactions I have with people; in-person, over the counter, over the phone, while driving, etc., I cannot be trusted to give any of them the benefit of the doubt. I jump to conclusions, assume the worst, stereo-type, generalize, presume facts not in evidence, sneer, snarl, condescend; you name its unattractiveness, that's me, occasionally. And it's on these once-in-a-while days when my omnipotence knows no bounds, that I wonder, if it's only me who has these moments of loathing and self-righteous high-handedness or have many of you been there and done that
Granted, this behavior is only temporary and mostly an aberration from my normal demeanor (just ask my wife, Dina, she'll confirm it. Wait, don't ask my wife, Dina, she might ask you to define aberration). Nevertheless, the occasions when I feel this overwhelming urge to disconnect with people seem to occur because their existence in my world/space and their verbal and/or non-verbal interactions with me, in whatever context, are so troublesome that I can barely finish the conversation. And by troublesome I mean, disappointing and disturbing and aggravating, a symptom no doubt of some underlying problem - of mine, I'm sure. But since I am neither a professional or even an actor who plays one on television, I can only attempt to muddle through and admit that I am powerless to change some of the circumstances in my life that cause me to feel powerless. And one of the things that I am most powerless to change are the random nature of the multitude of interactions that occur on these days when I'm feeling the way I'm not proud to admit that I felt on this particular day.
And it's not really that I have such high, or even unreasonable expectations of my fellow man, or that I am from the manor born, hardly. It's more a matter of the universe conspiring against me to cause me to have to interact with people in public places who are doing things that really shouldn't be tolerated in a civil society, civil as defined by yours truly, of course. And though it is quite apparent that I am likewise powerless to prevent its cause and effect, maybe I can recognize my behavior when it starts getting obnoxiously self-absorbed.
Yeah, I can recognize it, but I really can't stop it. Moderate it, perhaps, at least until I remove myself from further interactions and get back home, but that's about it. It just requires distance and some time away until I can get over myself. Eventually, in the privacy of my home, I will and I'll realize, that even if I can't do anything about other people's behavior, I can certainly do something about my own.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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