Yes, I know, that paragraph is missing the “?” at the end. Yet, the experience for me was more about the “!” — or, in other words, the exclamation of ignorance and arrogance.
Thankfully for both of us the proclamation in the first paragraph, above, was made in a phone conversation. Otherwise, I might have been tempted to persuade him to respect his elders. I have to say, though, this guy is Number 1 in my book. In 35+ years of serving the public as a CPA, I had never heard those words. First time for everything, I guess.
If one is an incident, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern — then, I have a Story to share with YOU.
Three Times In Three Months
The first time was in February — when a Teenager had been asked to keep their stuff gathered into somewhat organized piles. Perfection was not the standard — simply the traditional courtesy of keeping foreign objects out of the travel paths of other inhabitants of the Family abode.
When multiple requests were ignored, I asked that teenager what he was ‘thinking’ — because, I know for a fact, “All we do begins with a Thought.” Well, he shared what was on his mind — which was to find fault with me, for asking.
The third time was in April — when a Marine sought my participation in helping him start a new business. After 26 years as a Gunnery Sergeant and 6 years as an Air Traffic Controller, this middle-age fellow seemed to be an excellent candidate for my Coaching Services.
One problem was he wanted to constantly present his resume and refused to listen to some pretty good advice. Then, the cherry-on-top was catching him in a lie — which we had wasted a large amount of Time discussing the solution to what, really, wasn’t a problem, at all.
The second time was in March — when a third-generation Millennial rancher (the one with the foul mouth at the beginning of this story) was planning a Family transition without the participation of his Parents. Yes, I briefly participated, while thinking, “Although not the best way to start, at least this might be the first step toward something good for the Family.”
Here’s the reality:
1.) Grandpa (with the help of Grandma) built something special.
2.) Dad (with the help of Mom) was expected to maintain what Grandpa built. Maintenance men are commonly known as Janitors.
3.) Junior was born on third base and will lie to convince you that he hit a home run. Although he is the Janitor’s son, the rest of the world recognizes him for what he is — a Post Turtle. (click the hyperlink because it’s a good story)
Nothing New Under The Sun
I do believe things today are about like they have always been. In other words, I get it — sometimes misunderstandings happen because of generational differences. The educations and experiences – of each generation – create a different worldview for its participants.
However, regarding the common theme woven within the three episodes at the beginning of this presentation, disrespect is a character flaw. And, the way these Stories end is never pleasant.
In the vernacular, the ship hit the sand when 42 young men decided to have great sport with Elisha. They did not hurl sticks or stones. They simply used words (which, regardless of the schoolyard rhyme, do hurt more) and received immediate recompense for their disrespect.
Gaslighting Is Pure Craziness
Narcissists are enthusiasts of gaslighting (in an attempt) to disorient and confuse us. They do this by using denial and projection, usually under the pretense of being concerned — in order to make us feel even more perplexed.
If they succeed at this, they can then grandstand us by saying, “See, you are crazy and out of control!”
Introduction To A Narcissist
A narcissist’s weapon of choice is often verbal — by slander, lies, playing the victim (in flipped tales of who was the victim and who was the abuser), gossip, rage, verbal abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional pain.
Think of direct and clear communication (The Truth), especially when it is about the manipulation itself, as the psychological equivalent to holding up a cross to a vampire. Most manipulators recoil in the face of being “busted” and the air goes out of the pressure they are trying to create just as easily as it escapes a punctured balloon.
Respect is only possible with clearly defined boundaries. The sovereignty of a country is defined by its border. As individuals, we are citizens of one.
Self-respect is everything that goes on within our boundaries. Respect for others occurs at the border and according to mutually acceptable customs.
Profitable interactions occur through doors of opportunity that swing on the hinges of “No, thanks.” and “Yes, please!”
Narcissists will capture our attention — they are the swashbucklers cutting a wide swath with their theatrics. They are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don’t receive the attention they consider their birthright.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.
That young, ignorant, arrogant, and clueless fellow at the beginning of this Story has chosen to enroll in the School of Hard Knocks — his classes are about to begin.
Similar to the consequences in the story about Elisha, I see bears in the future of this foul-mouthed childish imp. One bear I see approaching is a Market less than bullish. Another bear, even more ferocious, is a rate of Interest greater than zero.
You see — I invested hundreds of hours for the benefit of this guy and his Family. Scattered around their little farm operation, there’s plenty of new green paint (John Deere Green) — which can never possibly be paid for with current management practices.
So, I guided him and his wife to an understanding of Balance Sheets, by using the basic Accounting Equation of Assets = Liabilities + Equity. Or, another way to state the same set of facts is Assets – Liabilities = Equity. (which can be Negative)
When the light (Truth) was shown on his misadventures (Too Much Debt), he, literally, hissed through the telephone connection, as the air from his little balloon (Ego) was punctured.
To this day, I remain amused.