yes or no…

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Have you ever been in a situation where you are stressed beyond belief, or in a time crunch? And have you asked a simple question to someone that would required a simple “Yes” or “No”? Only to have them launch into a detailed, complex story?

And, if you were to try to quash their wonderful story to get to the point, they become insulted, hurt, or hang up on you?

We have all been there at one time or another. And, perhaps, been interacting with one of those who are storytellers.


I had a recent conversation with someone in such a situation. She launched into a long-winded explanation on a cat-sitting situation. At the same time, I was suffering from exhaustion due to an on-going sinus infection, as well as a very stressful situation that was unable to be resolved for 6 months and was reaching critical mass.

As the conversation continued on and on, I pointed out that all I needed was a simple answer to the current problem with the cat-sitting. The response was, “You sound just like Mom.”

Huh. Maybe there was a message in that…


Knowing that I was sick did’t quell the desire to just shorten the story any on their part. Instead, I got a dial tone.

Okay. So maybe it wasn’t handled in the best way on my part.

But the fact that more than one person made the same comment should give someone pause.

Turning inward…

To prevent this from becoming a gripe post, allow me to tell you what comes from situations such as this.

These are perfect opportunities to examine our own part in a relationship or situation. Or the other party needs to be told something they do not want to hear. Or, as in this case, both.


When faced with obstacles that are not going away any time soon, we tend to get stressed out. It can be a boss who has higher expectations than what you can deliver. In these situations, we have to try our best, try to get a reasonable resolution to our situation, or just power through it.

Or it can be something that we literally can’t resolve and have to wait for God’s timing to move out of our way. And usually God is very specific on His timing. Usually it results in the 11th hour, 59th minutes, 59th second. Very nerve wracking. But it is resolved. And usually in a way better than we could have expected.

What is our part in all this?

It is learning to quietly accept all things as coming from God’s Hands. A perfect acceptance of our situation, and an anticipation of the more perfect resolution to a problem we cannot fix.

But, we are human. And being human, our first reaction is to rebel.

“FIX THIS…NOW!” we demand. And nothing happens. If anything, the situation seems to go longer than expected, making us more anxious.

That stress spills over into relationships around us. We become short-tempered and cross. Nothing that is being done is good enough, up to our expectations, or quick enough.

In short, we become a grouch. And we expect everyone around us to accept the fact that we are under a great deal of stress.

How our response should look…

Instead of holding on to a situation and expecting it to be resolved in our expected time-frame, we should be doing what we can, and letting go of the rest.

That is the ideal. It results in a more patient approach to painful situations. And it means we must first come to accept the situation, not try to force a resolution when it may not be the right timing.

Leave it all to God.

Encountering others…

So when you are put in a tight spot, pray about the situation. Give it all to God.

When inspired to do your part, do it. Life isn’t a passive game. It requires active participation.

Just don’t think YOU can resolve the situation. You might be approaching it wrong.

When things become so stressful that you find yourself blaming others – or even God – for a situation, step back. Take the day off. Turn off the news. Step away from other things or people that are causing added burn-out.

Just relax.

God knows what He is doing.

It will save your relationships with those you love.

And it will be less stressful on your body.


Some people are born story-tellers. They have no way to shorten their recitation of experiences because they are not built like everyone else. There is an inner need to fill in all the details and gaps they see as important for the other person to fully understand the situation.

But they are not always able to listen to another story teller. Their patience is short, and they don’t want to listen to all the details.

So, to talk with someone like this, we adjust our method of conversation. It is a compromise that is needed to maintain the relationships. And to show them that we accept who they are.

The problem lies in the reciprocation of the same courtesies.

Regardless of the personality type someone is, or their personal skills, it is up to each one of us to accept each other based on who we are, our uniqueness in character. The more we understand what a person is like, the better we can accept the very things that cause us to become frustrated or drawn to them.


Acceptance is key to any relationship.

But it goes both ways.

While my relationship with this person took a hit, it also caused growth on my part to see what I could do better. I cannot change the other person, but when I need a simple “yes” or “no” answer and talk to them, I should fix a cup of coffee and enjoy the stories.

I know it will be a while. So I need to just accept it.

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