Do you ever think back on some of your less than glorious moments and believe you have a really good sense of what the people you were with were thinking at the time, but were too polite to say. And you now wish you could have a conversation with some of those people, to offer at least a small explanation of how massive the worldview shift has been inside your skull since that time, and that you wish you could sort a few things out?!
Well, let it go... for a range of reasons.
1. Some of those people are dead, very dead - I've even sent a few silent prayers to them on occasion, just in case they could hear me, saying something along the lines of "I had no idea... and why didn't you say some stuff straight out..? It might have given me a few shortcuts on the 'road less traveled', and you know sometimes it'd be nice to just take the four lane by-pass. Some towns you just don't ever need to see!"
2. Maybe you are a slightly less of a 'pain in the bum' now than you would be if you didn't have that memory of being a PITB, so be grateful and let go of the painful flashback.
3. It gives you great pleasure to pass on the favour by letting other 'pains in the bum' just be... it's their turn. And if you have ever tried to confront a PITB you are probably very well aware that most will just argue back that they are not a PITB, and that you are the one with the problem. So again be grateful for the historical insight, practice your now well-honed diplomacy, and keep the interaction with the PITB as brief as possible.
4. Occasionally while listening to a PITB, you hear some finely tuned wisdom. I've noticed that (due to some of my hindsight re personal PITB behaviour) I do have quite a bit of compassion for P'sITB and occasionally I've really heard some fascinating insights mixed in with the boring BS.
5. It also gives you insight into the people that pride themselves in not being P'sITB. They may not be open P'sITB, but they are ripping the blatant P'sITB, and themselves, off. They might generously stop PITB in their tracks at times, and the PITB may be more likely to pull out their gems of wisdom (or they may just argue their PITB stream of consciousness). BUT if you ask the PITB a really specific question, or challenge them to focus (even if it is to focus on your specific need) you may be surprised.
I can enjoy most conversations in most contexts these days I think mostly because I looked back and saw myself so clearly as a PITB (and of course clearly still am to some people in some contexts), that now when I find myself thinking "you are a PITB... please Shut-up, can't you see I'm trying to get away from you". That thought, which is 'in my face conscious' most times now, triggers another thought and that is "hang in there as long as you can... ask for the focus and the wisdom" [not necessarily out loud - but sometimes]. Then either diplomatically wander away if the PITB unconsciousness is too entrenched, or stay and enjoy the flow.
Still, many times these days I recognise myself boring the crap out of some patient 'I'm not a PITB' person, who is clearly trying with all their might to diplomatically get away from me, and even though I'm often aware of their body-language, and even words at times stating "STFU"! I feel compelled to go on... my need to communicate along a certain path, well and truly overwhelming my awareness that a hasty shut down would be good!
My conclusion having listened more carefully to a lot of PITB conversations (particularly in the last decade) is that the ordinary things can be a hell of a lot of fun...
Today's example: I donated some blood. I wasn't sitting close enough to the nurse for her to take my blood pressure.
Nurse says: "I won't bite"
Me: "Maybe not, but you're going to draw blood"
Duck enjoys a few ordinary moments before sleep...
Ps. Duck apologises for not writing to his fellow pond dwellers for a while. I've noticed you, I was just pondering whether to speak or not