Scene 6: “The Sixth Source of Negativity”

Krista: “Before we talk about the sixth source of negativity let’s take a break and focus on the wonderful skills and talents we all have. We can be so proud of them. I’m talking about those talents that are exercised through conversation:

“Being HELPFUL. Being SMART. Being RIGHT. Being ASSERTIVE. Being LOGICAL. These are all important skills today. How about a person who can TAKE CHARGE… EFFICIENCY? Or the great CONVERSATIONALIST and people who can entertain you with HUMOR.

“Let’s write these all down here on a chart. Let’s call it “Our Skills and Talents”. Congratulations for having them. Clap, clap, clap.”

“Many of them are necessary in the work place.”

Ricky shows chart and talents:

“Here they are; they’re pretty wonderful.”

“But wait…”

Krista: “What did she say to you?”

Ricky: “She told me to turn the chart over and we would get a surprise.”

Ricky turns the chart over.

“WHAT????”

Joe: “I’m afraid she’s right. Notice the first one is “helpful”. One time I was the subject of an intervention… you know when a group of people sit you down and tell you what you’re doing is not right. What I was doing was giving them too much advice… helping them. It was not appreciated.

“We who have these talents are so proud of them we think everyone else is going to be impressed too.”

In the work place… yes… at least some of them. But at home or among friends?????

“Well I got news; nobody’s impressed… in fact they’re annoyed. Remember when you were a kid and there was a smart alec or smarty pants in the school yard.? We still are.”


Patti: Does this apply here? “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” — Elizabeth Taylor

“What if you go to college and you really are smart… and logical? Same thing. Lord Chesterfield warned us: “Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”

“Then there is: BEING ASSERTIVE, MAKING ALL THE DECISIONS, TAKING CHARGE. Back in the 1970s people had to be taught how to be assertive, especially girls. It was necessary then. It’s annoying now.”

I know from personal experience that people who do this are only trying to be helpful. We’re only trying to share what we know. And some people have an inclination… a “penchant” for butting in and straightening people out. “Somebody has to do it give them advice and make the decisions,” We’re taking charge because we just happen to know the best way to do things. And when we talk all the time we’re only trying to be entertaining.

“However you shouldn’t be too surprised to discover that to other people these “considerations” could be perceived as BOSSY, ARROGANT and CONTROLLING: Then if you put “anger” with control you get a really bad situation. If the father in the family is the angry controller you get fear; if it’s the mother you get sadness”

“TAKING OVER THE CONVERSATION… DOING ALL THE TALKING…Sometimes with humor. People who have this talent are very proud of it. They push it out in front of them wherever they go. They think it is attractive. It was desirable 100 years ago… before television. People entertained their neighbors by telling long stories. Or funnies. But today this gift is not attractive any more. It is very annoying. It kills healthy conversation.”

“When we are unsure of our deep down simple selves sometimes we flaunt our talents thinking that they make us attractive. Not so. “Au contraire”.

Dave: “A special case is that of a couple who live together, one of whom has a job out in the world where he meets exciting people, such as a job in TV, while the other member doesn’t. An intense jealousy can develop, which is perfectly natural. I have noticed that Dr. Phil brings his wife more and more into his programs. And Rosalynn Carter sat in on many meetings in the oval office.”

“Of all the six sources of negativity the most difficult one to deal with is FLAUNTING OUR SKILLS AND TALENTS. This is because if you’re smart and right you aren’t doing anything wrong. You probably got prizes for this in school. How can anyone think they are destructive? But unfortunately they are.”

“There is a word “insufferable”. There is a danger that when we emphasize our talents (flaunting skills) we can be insufferable to others… and so we can be met with “resentment”.

“You mean all these years I have been going around being insufferable? Why didn’t somebody tell me……………….?

Ricky displays the chart again:

Turn to Scene 7: “Negative Energy”.