Personal, Travel

A Week in Greece #37: SOOTHING INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT and ANOTHER KINDRED SPIRIT

Not much to report this week, or at least there wasn’t until yesterday, when two big things happened that cannot yet be announced.  Sooo….that leaves…a lot of TV watching, book reading, and Greek practice.

Work is still going.  We had some big meetings this week, and during our 12 Step time, two people expressed pent-up hurt in a way that brought us all closer together.  Afterwards, Anthi thanked me.  “Whenever someone says something that might make someone mad, you always say ‘Thank you for being honest with us’ right away.  It’s very hard to be mad when you have already thanked them.”

And at a different time, someone complained about something, and I asked, “Have you told them how you feel?”  The person said, “TRICIA,” and then a few hours later came back and said they’d told the person how they feel, the person had said, “Wow, I had no idea that’s what you felt!” and now they both felt a lot better.

This (interpersonal conflict management) is, I think, one of the most valuable things I bring to HD.  We are very lucky to have an amazing team of women working here, but any job is stressful, ministries even more, and NEW ministries even MORE.  So there’s always conflict somewhere, and when I’m on the emotional ball, I think I do a really good job of helping people deal with it effectively.

I am so much healthier in my work life than in my personal life.  But hey!  I’m glad I’m healthy SOMEWHERE.

The only fun thing I did this week was meet up for coffee with Damaris.  We have crossed paths three times in the last five months, but this was the first time we sat down and had a conversation.  We bonded over shared interests and shared insecurities.

Damaris:  How’s your Greek going?
Me:  Not well.  What about you?
Damaris:  Yeah, it’s pretty bad.  Do you practice it much?
Me:   …No. That’s why it’s pretty bad.
Damaris:  Me too!  I hate using Greek outside of lessons.
Me:  I don’t like to talk to strangers in ENGLISH, let alone fumble through a foreign language.  My anxiety can’t cope.
Damaris:  YES, EXACTLY.

Ah, the struggles of being an introvert in a foreign country.

But we also talked about our shared love of personality tests (one more convert to the enneagram!), and later, when a new song played through the speakers, she said, “Oh, this is from The Fall.  Have you seen that movie?”

Reader, I’m not lying.  I grasped her arm in my talons and hissed, “That’s my FAVORITE MOVIE.  I’ve never met anyone who’s seen it before I forced them to!”

We spent the rest of the evening talking about our favorite scenes, quotes, and landscapes featured in 2006’s horrendously under-watched The Fall.  I hope we’ll hang out again, but even if we don’t see each other that much, the whole experience was really encouraging.  It reminded me of one of the biggest things I love about traveling – finding kindred spirits from South Africa in Greece and realizing that there are so many amazing people to meet.

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