My wife and I have been getting together for coffee at our local coffee-house with a small handful of people since 1999. It is an open group.
Anyone is welcome.
What I have appreciated about this group (and why I think we have continued to get together this many years) is because of what happens when we are together.
I come away feeling heard.
There has evolved a mutual give and take when it comes to our interactions.
The topics of conversation are rich and varied.
There is a lot of laughter.
It is hands down, the high light of my week.
You’ll have to trust me on this next stuff, and believe me when I say, I am not embellishing anything.
Last week we were joined by Tim, (who is a talker, and tends toward the negative).
The last time Tim joined us, was early last Fall, leading up to the election. After a 3 minute angst and fear-mongering speech that felt like it was literally sucking the air out of the room, I couldn’t take it any more and asked him to stop.
Told him, that wasn’t the time or place.
I took everyone by surprise, including myself 🙂
He had (and has) no idea, how his presence completely changes the dynamic of our time together.
Instead of a mutual, give and take, he (literally) has to say something
someone else has spoken.
(Have you ever known someone like that?)
I’ve known Tim for 30 years, this is how he rolls. I’ve heard his wife call him out on his talkativeness.
To give you another word picture from the world of bees….
A bee hive is a cohesive, collaborative group, where everyone works together for the common good. Their goal is to put up enough honey so everyone will have enough to eat through the winter...everyone.
There is not a sense of give and take.
It is all about them.
The “honey” in this case (I think) Tim is attracted to, is having the undivided attention 5 or 6 people who are all good listeners.
I decided to keep quiet last Saturday and watch as Tim dominated the interaction. We hadn’t seen Tim since I’d laid into him last fall and it just didn’t seem appropriate that I say something again.
If I knew Tim was thinking about coming on a regular basis, I would find a time to visit outside of Saturday morning and as nicely and diplomatically as possible ask him to just come and listen for a few weeks.
Because this group is such an important and long standing part of my life, I refuse to just roll over and do nothing.
If Tim is not at coffee, this coming Saturday, I definitely plan to bring up his most recent visit, …
and if he is there, we will just have to see.
Yellow jackets stealing honey.