I think it’s safe to say my post titles sometimes give readers the “wrong idea,” inviting them to assume a direction never taken.
This may be one of those posts, people.
In previous posts, I’ve written about
- Particular phobias/fears I have known (here and here), and
- Anxiety about keeping other people waiting.
I would now like to take the opportunity to dub #2, above, with an official phobia name:
Hmmmmm. I don’t like that title. It implies I’m afraid of waiting, in general. Now, I’m not denying that, but I need to be more precise, for the purposes of this post.
If this post weren’t muddled enough already, here comes a digression: I had to pause, right there, to wake up my son, for the first school day after the weekend’s time change, which reminds me of another fear of mine:
which is a too-general name for fears about having to wake people up.
Geeesh. At this point, I am so far away from a hint of any cure — Doritos or otherwise — I’m feeling a little phobic about that. Are you?
So, where were we? Oh, yes. Trying to come up with a good-enough name for the fears related to making people wait.
Maybe, what would help, at this point, would be to imagine a picture, related to this phobia of mine.
Whenever I can’t respond immediately — to a phone call or another request at work — I imagine somebody waiting, in pain. As a result, I can feel frantic.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my supervisor at work about this issue. She asked about my own associations with waiting and pain. And a personal picture came up, for me, of a little girl, in a hospital bed, waiting for pain medication, after surgery.
My supervisor and I talked about how pictures stick in the mind. We also discussed how a cure for old pictures can be … new ones.
We still seem to be light-years away from Doritos, don’t we? I really don’t want to make YOU wait, in pain, either. So I will get there ASAP, I promise.
In this meeting with my supervisor, she asked me what pictures I imagined, regarding people waiting for me to respond back to them. And the pictures were similar to the one I’ve included in this post, above.
She then invited me to replace that picture with something different, which might help reduce my Making-people-in-pain-wait-o-phobia.***
We talked about how — whenever somebody waits for a response for somebody else — they are rarely in just one state of mind for the whole time. People have lives. They are distracted by other things. She suggested that I replace the pictures of people in pain with an image of somebody doing something else, besides just waiting for my phone call.
She said, “Why don’t you … imagine the person eating Doritos?”
I don’t know how she came up with Doritos. I didn’t ask her. But since she and I have had that conversation, I’ve used that suggestion.
Now, whenever somebody is waiting for a phone call back from me, I can choose to imagine them like this:
instead of only imagining them in pain. I can remember that most people, waiting for a response from me, are not in pain, every single moment.
Okay! I’m looking at the clocks around me. I see that some of them indicate I have plenty of time, and others are saying, “Not so much.”
Time to go to work!
* I found this image in response to “people in pain” in Google Images.
** I found this image in response to “person eating Doritos” in Google Images.
*** That’s the best phobia name I could come up, for now. I am open to better suggestions, for sure. Take your time. I can wait.