narc_magnet wrote:1) An employee who has been reporting to you for the past year is significantly underperforming versus both expectations for the role and others in his peer group. You've given him consistent feedback and coaching throughout the year, to no avail. You believe he is not a good fit for the role and you put him on a formal performance improvement plan -- which could end in his termination if he is unable to achieve the goals spelled out in the plan. A few days later he comes to you to share that his wife has left him and that he's going though a tough patch -- and asks that you 'take it easy on him'.
You think: I think this situation sucks. On the one hand I've given this guy more than enough chances to fit the job. And I already feel like he's not a good fit (as per your description). On the other hand I know how #######5 it is to be left by someone and what an emotional roller coaster that can be. I think making a choice on what to do next will be difficult.
You feel: I feel conflicted. Knot in my stomach sort of feeling. Maybe a furrowed brow. I feel frustrated over giving this person so many chances. I feel sad for him and what he's experiencing. I feel a little anguish about the position I'm in.
You say: "I'm sorry to hear that things are going rough for you. I have to stick with this plan to meet the objectives of the company. Do you have any resources (friends, family...) to help you get through this?" ...and then if time allows have that conversation about how to help him (without compromising the performance plan).
(I should make a note that this is already a little annoying for me to do because think & feel are intertwined for me and it feels weird to separate them. It feels unnatural to me to do that.)
narc_magnet wrote:2) Your close friend has finally separated from her emotionally abusive husband (or wife) after 10 years of tears and self-doubt. She calls to tell you that her soon-to-be-ex came to her crying, apologizing for his behavior, and asking to reconcile. She was impacted by his display of emotion and is now feeling conflicted. She wants to know what you think.
You think: I think ###$ him. 10 years of abuse isn't erased with an apology.
You feel: I feel bad for her. She's likely still in a place of healing from abuse and now her emotions are being toyed with. I also feel bad for the stb ex-husband but he needs to get his $#%^ together and stop abusing people. I may get a little angry towards him in the moment.
You say: You separated for a reason. Give things time to see how you feel. This sounds like a continuation of his abuse. I understand how upsetting this is and I'm sorry that your emotions continue to be played with. Start to focus more on yourself. Spend time learning to trust in your decision. Life isn't going anywhere without you. If he's meant to be in your life time will eventually tell. For now this is the time to get to know yourself better. If you need someone to talk with I'm here.
narc_magnet wrote:3) Your out on a first date. He (or she) picked the restaurant -- Japanese. When his food comes, he struggles to manage the chopsticks and sushi is falling apart all over his plate. It's pretty obvious he doesn't know how to use chopsticks. Rather than laugh it off and ask the waiter for a fork, he gets visibly flustered and blames the sushi for falling apart too easily.
You think: I won't be having a second date with him.
You feel: Uncomfortable. His irritation isn't something he can contain so now it's spilling over into me and I'm feeling like I have to somehow manage the situation. I don't like that feeling so I get a little irritated.
You say: (First I laugh in a compassionate way.) Why don't you ask for a fork? I'm sure it won't be a problem.