Hearing the words "I need you to attend this networking event tonight on our behalf" can trigger a series of extreme reactions in an otherwise rational person. The range of discomfort can vary from apathy and weariness to aversion, distress and even a rising tidal wave of nausea, at the thought of forced social interaction.
Parents need to be around when it matters for their kids - crisis times such as down days, difficult exams, relationship breakdowns, changes in family dynamics and important transition times. How do you know what stresses them out? How do you make it clear that you are available anytime your child needs to talk.
“I’m sorry, okay?!” does not work.
My neighbor asked me to help her husband die peacefully at home. This was not a request to hasten his death. Distressed by his marked physical deterioration, she reached out to me knowing I am a geriatrics and palliative care physician.
Obnoxious people rarely recognize themselves -- until they get tired, fired, or lonely. If you have one of these people in your workplace, stand clear until they get help. Otherwise, they create havoc and resentment for all concerned.
Many professionals fear speaking to their boss or a roomful of strangers not because of the planned presentation, but for the unplanned: what if they ask me a question I can't answer?