Today I met an angry annoyed man standing in a queue and cursing this world.
In an instant, I made a negative opinion about him and stayed away from him and ignored him totally. Then he abused the person in front of him. All of a sudden there was a verbal fight between him and others. He was alone in the fight yet there was no fear in his eyes as if he doesn’t care.
After some time they were calm, and I couldn’t stop myself from asking him what’s up. As expected he didn’t reply and gave me a frowning look.
Anyhow, I started a conversation with him (that was a tough job to do).
Me: hey, what’s wrong? (I know that’s a bad question to ask when he was boiling with rage)
Stranger: Get lost. I don’t want to talk. Nobody is trustworthy and this world is against me.
Me: Woah! (He has been ignored many times as I did it, he needs to be heard)
Stranger: (looking down and breathing heavily)
Me: Trying to look into his eyes, it was red.
2 minutes of silence. I didn’t leave. I’m still standing there.
Me: I understand this world is cruel and treats harshly.
Stranger: what do you know about cruelty? You seem to be completely fine and happy.
Me: No, I just pretend to be happy.
Stranger: ( looking me with contempt) How’s that helping?
Me: I remain positive. What’s your story?
Stranger: Huh! With a big sigh!
He started to talk. Finally.
Stranger: The simple story of mine- How things were awesome, had an accident, stayed on the bed for months, almost lost my leg, became really depressed, edged a suicide then feeling better temporarily until my father died. (There were other mishaps too but I’m not writing them)
Me: Damn! That’s a lot to handle.
Stranger: Hopefully, I started a business.
Me: Awesome! You started a business after all the loss. You’re courageous.
Stranger: I’ve not started it yet. The idea is there. But I felt I wasn’t ready to deal with people.
Me: Deal with people. ( Why is he not trusting anyone?)
Stranger: yes, deal with all fake people coming along. I wouldn’t be able to hold my anger and disappointment. I already hold in so much.
Me: (confused, what’s really wrong ? And disappointment with others . Why?) Hmm..so you feel stuck in life?
Stranger: A bit. It’s all in my mind. I’ve learnt to keep calm and control myself.
Me: (Calm. Not even close to that)
Stranger: The thing is that I’ve been close to going off on people but I think it’s worthless.
Me: You don’t trust people. Am I right?
Stranger: Yes. Even I don’t trust my family. I don’t like being around my family. I hate to get those vibes to fake love. They act like they are there but you just hear from them a few times a year or when they need help.
Me: (He needs love and someone to listen to him) Yes. It’s really bad when people have no value for you.
Stranger: When I hopefully have my business going I will settle far away from here and only a few will know about it.
Me: How ready are you to live all alone?
Stranger: I don’t think it will be that bad. It kind of feels like that already. I’ll have more to do out there. I think I’ll be more relaxed without disturbing anyone.
Stranger: Yeah, peace.
After the conversation and listening to his story, I no longer feel the same about him. He is different and everyone is. We need to know them before making any opinions about them.
Empathy and active listening helped me to make him feel safe with me and make the connection.
I abandoned my internal talks and listened to his story.
Everyone has something to say. They need someone to listen to them.