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Navel Gazing

I’ve had some interesting conversations in the past few days, though calling them conversations may be stretching it a bit. I am sharing them because they are leading me to look from another perspective.


Merriam-Webster defines conversation as: oral exchange of sentiments,

observations, opinions, or ideas. For me, “exchange” is the operative

word there. It also defines exchange as: the act of giving or taking

one thing in return for another.


In the first "conversation", I had allowed myself to be roped into a telephone conversation with someone who, I knew, would try to recruit me into a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business. I had some

curiosity about one aspect of the business, so I took the call. I was expecting the pitch.

The woman did have the acumen, just as we were getting on the call, to go to my copywriting website. She opened by saying, “Hi Tanya, this is Sherry, and I am looking at the photo of you on your website. I’m am feeling intimidated. You look so powerful.” What? How does one respond to that? (Assuming that intimidation was not the purpose of the photo.) I deflected with, “I had a terrific photographer.”

She then addressed the fact that I had declined the invitation to attend her organization’s day-long “dog and pony show”, by lamenting, “How will we get along without you?” Really? Again what can you say? This time I just chose not to respond.

From there, it went further downhill as she continued on with a few thinly veiled questions, designed to corner me into her to pitch, and even worse, to talk (rather endlessly) about herself. I learned: She earned money editing and copywriting while pursuing an acting career. She was contracted to write a “Dummies” book. She has three small children. She was considering writing a novel. When I asked her when she would find time to do that, she said she had plenty of time, seeing that she didn’t have to worry about earning money in that way anymore. “But, please don’t tell my children, I have lots of time,” she begged. “They think that I am busy all the time, because I don’t chauffer them to soccer and other things.” I promised I wouldn’t tell them.

When we finally hung up, the only thing she knew about me actually turned out to be about her: She didn’t make the sale.

The second “conversation”, after my initial surprise and irritation, made me chuckle. I had encountered a real-life version of Kristen Wiig’s SNL character, Penelope, who turns everything you say in to something about herself, and with it does her best to one-up you in the process. Exhausting.

I feel like the MLM lady made badly veiled attempts to push her agenda, and neither woman could pry her focus out of her own navel. A loss for all of us.

Both of these conversations really bugged me. I know that when people do things that get under your skin, it’s most often because there is some aspect of it that you need to work on in yourself. So now, I am left to examine myself and those experiences from that perspective!

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