Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Uncategorized
If you felt overwhelmed, not good enough and unqualified you might wonder, “Why am I here?” That struggle, and the other lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty-five years at TreeHouse are part of this series called “10 for 25.”
Why Am I Here?
When we feel out of place, it helps to find out what we are qualified to contribute. My StrengthsQuest assessment explained, “Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.” Yes, I am.
“You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person.” So true!
“You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person’s life.” That’s why when so many people have told me – sometimes screamed at me – “@#$% YOU!” and I don’t (usually) take it personally.
One evening I had a kid so furious at me as he reached back to punch me in the face, he angrily growled, “I want to punch you so hard, but you’re smiling at me!” I know someone out there reading laughed, “That’s Scott.”
How’s That Work At TreeHouse?
One principle helps me make sense of the mystery why people – even very smart people – make stupid choices.
The principle: Most people do what they believe makes sense.
This weekend teens will lie to their parents about where they are going, what they will be doing, where they will spend the night and about who they will be with because they know their parents would disapprove of the party, of their drinking, of the drunkenness and of their sexual decisions.
Most people do what they believe makes sense, even if their judgment is distorted. One of the strengths that I bring to TreeHouse is I am a very good listener. While listening patiently I can often identify, appreciate and confront – with grace and mercy – when people do what they know they shouldn’t do.
What Were They Thinking? 1
A teen comes home drunk.
She might be seeking to assert “control” over her choices.
Mom scolds her teen for disengaging from all family activities. The teen runs away .
He might be seeking to demonstrate to himself his autonomy.
Mom’s boyfriend smokes marijuana as soon as he walks in the door.
He might be seeking to relieve the work-related physical pain and stress.
Though she hate her reputation as a “thot” or a “whore” she’s a text-easy “booty call.”
She might be seeking to compensate for her emotional wounds.
Always the star athlete, he gives up on sports.
The teen might be seeking to freedom from the expectation and to self-identify goals.
Teen is cutting or other self-injurious behaviors.
The teen might be seeking to manage her emotional pain.
He seems incapable of carrying on a conversation with either parent.
The teen might be seeking to safeguard his privacy.
Unfortunately, it’s like all pain-reducing behaviors and decisions there are often short-term benefits and long-term consequences. Their choices, like yours and mine, often make sense … at the moment of decision.
#mysilentscream: Listen. Listen. Listen.
1 – Note: While these are sweeping generalities, and do not represent all teens, they are based the lives of people I know.