Chances are that all of us have had this one particularly painful experience:
A chemical reaction in the head goes off as you hear yourself mouthing two sentences, connected to each other, and that goes like this:
"It drives me crazy when....."
"I cannot understand how..."
You never want to have to say these two sentences back to back because it can mean only one thing. You are having an uncontrollable CrankaTsuris. Smoke is coming out of your ears. Your blood pressure is through the roof. You are screaming at the top of your lungs because you are absolutely furious. It is definitely not safe to have anyone within ten miles from you.
So, I had two situations in one day, back to back, that I got to enjoy the pleasure of experiencing.
Just recently, my daughter had a crack in the windshield of her car. I came up to visit, and went with her to the windshield repair shop. After waiting for an hour, the technician installed a new windshield. However, it was only after we drove off that we realized that he installed the wrong windshield. A breeze was coming into the car. Rain was in the forecast for the next day, and the interior would get soaked. We had to turn around.
I was fuming. "It drives me crazy that we go all this way to a specialty store for windshields, and they screw up the one thing that they specialize in! I cannot understand how you can go to a windshield store and they do not know how to install a windshield!"
We confronted the owner, and told him about the problem. He was fuming. He said to us "It drives me crazy when I can't rely on my technicians to install a windshield. Once we take it out, we are unable to use it, and my profit margins are small. I cannot afford such a thing! I cannot understand how my technician screwed up. I showed him the fifteen minute Youtube video on how to do the installation!"
The owner yelled at his technician who proceeded to install the correct windshield. Afterwards, I was in the bathroom stall, and I heard the technician coming in and then talking to another employee. He was fuming.
"It drives me crazy when the boss gives me a hard time for installing a wrong windshield when he does not bother training anybody. I cannot understand how he expects me how to know how to install a windshield from watching a fifteen minute video!"
The windshield was finally installed and since it was getting late, I suggested that we go to a restaurant for dinner. It took twenty minutes to have the waiter take our order. Once he took our order, we waited fifty minutes, and we still did not get any of our food. People who came in after us were served, and I looked everywhere to summon the waiter.
I was fuming. "It drives me crazy when we order food, and I look at every other table getting served except for us. Everyone came in after us no less. I cannot understand how the waiter does not see that we have been waiting forever!"
I finally was able to summon the waiter. The waiter apologized and quickly brought out what we had ordered. However, it was ice cold. We complained, and the waiter told us that the owner would not charge us for the entree.
The owner came out to apologize to us. He was fuming. "I am so sorry. It drives me crazy when something like this happens. I run this restaurant on such low profit margins, and this is so unacceptable. I cannot understand how the waiter can serve all the other tables, and not attend to you. Meanwhile, you were sitting here not getting served for an hour."
I went to the bathroom, and again, I was sitting in the bathroom stall. I overheard the waiter talking to a fellow employee. He was fuming.
"It drives me crazy when the boss is constantly directing me where to go, and then, he gets upset because I have to ignore a table because of his constant directions. I cannot understand how he expects me to wait twenty tables all by myself!"
After I experienced this, I noticed that there was a direct correlation between going crazy, and the lack of desire, but not ability, to understand. We all have had an argument with someone, and we try to calm the other person down by saying this:
"Can I explain? I like to make you understand."
Now, when you offer this gift of understanding, most of the time, this offer gets rejected. Understanding is not possible. It is not in the cards. We want to hold to our craziness. We think it is power. However, in reality, it is really holding on to powerlessness.
There is a very simple reason for this. If you let the other person explain, and try to make you understand, do you know what happens? You now become enabled to make the other person understand why what happened was so hurtful. You can explain how it made you a bit crazy. You create a situation that allows you to be heard. You have taken some power in this tangle.
Coincidentally, that night, we went back home and watched one of the Batman movies with the Joker and Harvey Dent who became the villain Two Face. Think about this. Can you even have a Batman movie if they never explained how Bruce Wayne became Batman? Or why the villains became who they were?
It turns out that we have a huge thirst for understanding. And, if we try to open ourselves up to a good dose of understanding, perhaps we would have much less Drive Me Crazy CrankaTsuris.