’08 Sept 09 Yesterday at breakfast, Marian was telling me that she had been talking to Janice, (our daughter) about the townhouse condo fees and how they had remained at the same rate for a number of years and that when it came to repair the roofs, the association had no money in reserve, so everyone had to pay extra to have the roofs fixed. For whatever reason, Janice didn’t understand what Marian was saying, and when Marian left, Janice was not on the same page as Marian.
All that really isn’t important, it’s just to set the background for an insight that I got when Marian was telling me all this. I knew the story only too well and so I stopped her and said, “Just because Janice was confused and didn’t know what you were talking about, doesn’t mean that I’m confused and don’t know what you are talking about.” She stopped a few seconds and then started talking about something else, but within two sentences, she was back on about the condominium fees again and how Janice didn’t understand.
At that point I got it, and I told her, “I know the story and I understand and agree with your assessment of it, but just because Janice doesn’t understand and agree with you, and you failed to convince her, that doesn’t mean that you have to keep talking to try to convince me.” She stopped and blinked her eyes and then said, “yea, OK.” Although she stopped discussing it, I felt that she didn’t let it go as there was more, but she got up and left the table.
What I also got was that when people tell the same old story over and over, it’s only because they have either, found a sympatric ear, one that agrees with them, or they are trying to get a person to agree and sympathize with them. It’s their way of venting their frustration and denied anger, while still denying the real issue. In this case, the denied issue is the fact that she was forced to pay out over $2000.00 for a new roof, and that she never expressed her real feelings to the people on the condominium board. Instead, when she is activated, she now looks for someone that agrees with her, and with Janice not agreeing, she was triggered into her old denied rage, determined, that this person (representing the condo board) understand and agree, thus justifying her original denial.