I’m convinced there are two kinds of people in the world: people that need somebody else to dump their headaches on, and people that collect the headaches of others.
When I say headaches, I mean the small battles you fight that feel like a big deal in the moment, but in the larger scheme of life become insignificant. Lost a client. Didn’t get that deal. All these things are real and intense, but in a month’s time, you’ve bounced back. You’ve adapted. You’ve moved on.
So when you give these headaches to someone else, just keep that in mind. It’s not that you should feel that you can’t talk to someone when you need to; it’s just a matter of being considerate, and self aware. How many times have you taken out a problem on someone through your mood or actions, and regretted it later? How many times has it happened to you?
I have always had the ability to come home after a long day and leave it all behind for my family. My dad did not have that ability, and maybe that’s why it has affected me so much. But while my dad couldn’t do it, my mother could. Tremendously. She collects everybody’s headaches. Maybe you have someone like that in your family as well. Sort of a keeper of the peace.
But at the end of the day, there is one big reason that I separate these things from my family life: because they are the ones that have allowed me to work so hard. My wife, especially, has given me the freedom to have this life. Without her love, I would have none of this. It’s completely inappropriate to disrespect that love, to then carry over my headaches home.
Complaining is something I have no tolerance for. If you’re in control of it, you have the ability to fix it. Where is the value in complaining? Assess the problem, find the solution, and get on the offense.
There have been numerous times I want to complain when I came home. When we couldn’t ship to Texas anymore on WineLibrary.com and lost so many customers. When we didn’t get a really potentially strong client at Vayner. They were huge issues. But the second I walk in that door, I need to repay my amazing family that has given me the opportunity to do my thing by shutting that all off and turning on a different gear.
I listen to other people. I’m thrilled to hear your headaches, and to try and come up with a solution. But I have no interest in giving you mine. And I truly believe this is something that can be developed in a person. Listen more than you talk. Make a conscious effort to ask more questions of the people around you. Make sure the buck stops with you. Remember what others have done with you. These are all places you can start; and you’ll only move forward from there, I promise.
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