One of the hardest lessons for me to learn has been to go with the flow when someone is demanding my attention, and that person is not someone who I want to have time for.
Going with the flow here means that I give that person my full and complete attention for as long as it takes for the flow to move on.
Because I am giving them all of my attention – a rare experience for both of us but particularly for them – the effects of this are unpredictable by me. My brain would be telling me that if I do this they will never leave me be, but of course, it hasn’t been like that.
At work there is a mad woman who comes in and shouts at us and at herself. She knows she is mad, and shouts because no-one takes care of her and she doesn’t take care of herself. I recognised my desire to hide, which I usually gave in to, but instead stepped out to her, said “Hello Mary” and offered her a glass of water, which she accepted, and as much love as I could project to her. There then followed the most remarkable conversation between three of us: me, her and her.
It surprised all of us when the conversation reached a rational solution to an issue troubling her, she thanked me for caring and being honest with her (a very humbling experience for me), and left.