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personal insight

Sometimes personal insight comes in strange ways.

My upstairs neighbor is panicking because she has some cracks in her plaster. Her reaction has not been aligned with the gravity of the situation and after speaking to a roof inspector he reassures me it's not water infiltration related. The cracks would need to be discolored and paint would need to have peeled. I have seen them for myself and its nothing I haven't seen before but unfortunately she has been getting advice from a real estate agent friend who knows just enough to be dangerous.

Winter has come early this year and so has snow on the roof hence his suggestion we wait until spring to do a proper inspection. These old buildings are full of cracks and he has seen many. However, she will hear nothing of it and wants someone to inspect and give her a report so she can sleep at night.

Erratic behavior like this short circuits my brain. My people pleasing side wants to help but the logic side tells me it is a relatively minor thing and since the building is old and still there since 1930, it can wait a few more months to do things right. As head of this little condo association I want to do the right by everyone but am being blamed for inaction; a kind of emotional blackmail. My system doesn't handle that very well and never has.

I have realized that this catch-22 of wanting to please against doing things correctly makes me suffer disproportionately and I get flustered when I shouldn't. If people's reactions are strange I shouldn't take it to heart but I do and so I have made a mental note to stop.

This woman has been happy with me for years as long as I did what she wanted and then turned on me when I didn't. That's really her problem and not mine but I give her credit for finally letting that lesson finally sink in to my thick skull.


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