Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, May 17, 2010

Random Thoughts: Sharing Too Much

Yesterday I went through the Taco Bell drive-thru just to pick me up a number two combo. As I pulled up to the window I gave my usual greeting to the cashier, "How's your day going?" I was assaulted with this wave of info that everyone would consider TMI. This person decided to share with me that she has been having a horrible week after discovering her boyfriend has been cheating on her, she is fighting with her sister and a co-worker is out to get her.

I could maybe see sharing this much if you've been overwhelmed with this all at once. But this person didn't say this all happened yesterday, this was something she's been going through over the course of the week. She has had time to process all of this.

Maybe it's my own fault. See by asking this question to a total stranger that I don't know (this was not my usual Taco Bell) and will hopefully never see again, I opened the door for this intimate relationship that this person felt compelled to established with me. I started this by being polite. But am I asking too much for expecting the quintisential "just fine" or "so far so good." If you're having a bad day its okay to deliver a "well I'm here" answer without going into sharing all of these personal experiences.

I don't want to come off as selfish or conceited. I don't want you to think that I'm not concerned about others. Its just that sometimes the info people share with me makes me a bit uncomfortable and I don't like being put in that situation. After giving this info to me, what do you expect me to do with it? My interaction with this cashier would last probably 2-3 minutes. Should I be empathetic or sympathetic? Should I try to offer advice? The time I had to interact with this person would not have allowed for me to do that. And who's to say that either of these reactions would have been desired. So why unload all of this stuff on me. It's true that misery loves company and I really think this person wanted me to wallow in her misery with her. But I refuse. I didn't react to her comments. I thanked her for my burrito and soda and drove away.

1 comment:

Jeanine said...

I understand your pain on this, my response to a person like this is "Hope your day/week gets better" and leave it at that. It doesn't leave any area for more info to be thrown your way, it's a simple I heard you but really not my concern.