Scene: Traveling through Dallas we decided to grab a bite at the Admiral’s Club before we caught our next flight. Walked in, Bill went off to get something and I needed a chair — most tables were full but there was an empty one with one chair.
Sitting next to the table with one chair were three middle-aged men loudly talking sports/business with beers. They had one empty chair — and of course their phones. I walked over and said—“Hey, guys, can I take this chair?”
Action: Three men looking at their phones — no eye contact. All three say glumly: “no, it’s for our friend”.
Reaction: Are these men from the cave? What complete ass*****!
On second thought I start to analyze: Maybe it was a sexist thing — older woman doesn’t even get a glance much less support or kindness. If I were hot and young they may have not just looked up but MOVED the chair and told their friend to get his own chair. Maybe it was me – I can be very direct – maybe I should have spoken more sweetly or in a more respectful way. Maybe the whole culture is going to hell because people are constantly focused on their phone (ie, themselves) and so naturally they are rude — I was interrupting them so they mistreated or rather ignored me. Maybe they were tired and hungry — in a HALT mode (direct from my therapist of old: hungry, angry, lonely or tired – when in HALT, interact with people with extreme caution). Maybe if I were more of a Christian woman I would be sending them vibes of love and forgiveness — or at the least feeling a “Namaste moment” with my divine recognizing their divine. Maybe my parents made me too sensitive to slights that are not even real slights? And so on — fill in your own random self analyzing thoughts.
Decision on the situation: No, they are just ass*****. Or to put it another way—they are just grown men forgetting manners rather than taking a moment to look up and say politely – “Sorry—our friend is joining us”.
Question for discussion: Why do even the most fabulous of women, the most accomplished, sophisticated and even perhaps the most sincere, polite and careful among us with modulated voices and nothing but goodwill toward all have to be analyzing what we did when we did nothing but live or ask a simple question?
Feedback: If you have the answer, please submit it to me at email@example.com. I am longing to stay above and detached from all nonsense. I need some fresh solutions to this eternal self-criticism. This would be extremely helpful and likely save me money on future therapy.