Friday, January 22, 2010

King Solomon Complex

Sometimes the truth of something appears not so much as a revelation but more as a gradual submerging into conscious realisation; then when you express it clearly it seems to have been obvious all along.

This morning I noted the following: when two friendly parties independently bend your ear to complain about the other following some minor incident or altercation, each with a completely opposite interpretation of the circumstances; it is your role merely to sympathise, acknowledge their grievance and, with gentle nudges, attempt to bring the parties back to a friendly understanding. It is not required of you to hear both sides, consider sagely and then pronounce a judgement on the case (either for one of the parties or for a compromise).

I suspect most women grasp this instinctively, but we men tend to suffer from what I will hereby christen but probably never refer to again as the King Solomon Complex.

22 comments:

martpol said...

I suspect gender plays a part on both sides of the equation. Women might intuitively understand what is required to defuse a situation; but if my wife's anecdotes are anything to go by, they're also far more likely to bear a grudge about it, long after the incident itself has been theoretically put to bed.

Perhaps King Solomon himself recognised that the only way to avoid this was to threaten actual murder, which kind of puts any dispute (long-running or otherwise) into perspective.

Brit said...

So you prescribe the threat of violent death as the best solution to most squabbles?

martpol said...

No, only those involving women. In offices.

Brit said...

You could be on to something. Der Elberry approach.

malty said...

Didn't get on, at all is the universal description of that aspect of the human condition that surfaces mainly in the workplace, particularly in government and local government offices where they have nothing better to do than gripe about each other. The only thing that have sympathy for, with civil service managers, they need the patience of Job.
In my days as a profiteering capitalist if a dispute arose between employees I would bung them in a room together and tell them to grow up and sort it out, or else.

Never worked.

Else had to be invoked.


Fabulous cure for some obnoxious condition over at Niges's place this morning.

worm said...

I find just pretending to listen to people is very effective. I have no idea what my partner is talking about approximately 80% of the time.


word verification :Ouroiks
- english football hooligans locked up in foreign jails

Gaw said...

Perhaps she's speaking German at you, worm?

Sean said...

Get yourself a nice shed, it works for me, where you can ponder the mystery of the day.

Todays mystery is how come the wifes hair costs 50 quid a throw, the dogs hair cost £22 and mine cost £5.50

malty said...

Sheds tend to depress, some form of simmering resentment followed by naked aggression works well, keeps the shrink's invoice within reason.

worm said...

german, english, whatever - it's mostly just a high pitched noise

Brit said...

These are brave comments ahead of your nuptials, Worm. I take it the the future Mrs W is not a TofE reader...

Peter Burnet said...

Indulging in a lttle sexist philosophizing today, are we? Oooh, the delicious, forbidden thrill of it all!

Many men who are hauled through the divorce courts are notorious for becoming extremely bitter about the time and money they are forced to spend, and most of them end up blaming "the system", lawyers, whatever. They tend to be absolutely convinced matters could be resolved fairly through a much quicker, more efficient system they lie awake at night perfecting in their heads. It's only the more perceptive among them who eventually come to the painful realization that, while they are desperate for an early, inexpensive resolution (based, of course, on their own notions of fairness), their ex-spouses want anything but, even if they were the ones who initiated everything in the first place.

I once knew a brilliant Orthodox Jew who told me that some of the original ancient Hebrew versions of Genesis could be better translated: "And God created Woman to oppose Man." Anyway, Brit, if the office dispute is between two women, wear protective gear.

Brit said...

Not office in this case though I've got some good work-related musings planned for next week. And I meant the original post literally so that bit wasn't sexist.

malty said...

After watching La Wintour in action recently I have come to the depressing conclusion that twenty first century man has become merely a toy to be used at will by the burdz. Like say, a box of Lego.

Yes, I can see the Freudian slip, just like you lot.

Peter Burnet said...

Be careful there, malty. The trouble with that kind of blunt assertion is that it is widely seen in the great fraternity of man as both: a)objectively true; and b)the perennial whine of losers and abusers. Better to stay around the edges in a tone of wistful and befuddled irony.

malty said...

I refer not to myself Peter, as one who has been held firmly in the tenacious grip of forty four years of continuous wedlock I consider myself far, far beyond the event horizon. I was alluding to young Worm Et Al.

Readers please note the term continuous.

ghostofelberry said...

5.50 is quite a lot for a haircut in South Yorkshire, Sean. In Huddersfield i used to go to a place that did you in 5 mins and charged 2 quid.

In Kiel it seems nearer 20 euros a go though i'm sure there are squalid backstreet joints where a man can get his locks shorn for something more reasonable - like a euro. My students tell me that many Scandinavians come to Kiel to get their hair cut - it's more like 50 euros up North. Because of the ice, you see.

Hey Skipper said...

Women grasp this not instinctively, but sheer repetition.

The odds of the two erstwhile friendly parties being women is at least 10x men.

As AOG has said elsewhere, the mental state of most men is so simple as to nearly preclude the possibility of minor incidents or altercations.

At least those not involving alcohol, women, or sports.

David said...

The role of problems is to be solved.

Sean said...

Yes Elb, there are cheaper places, but they are not Turkish, and everyone knows the Turks cut hair the best, so I go for the value added service, and when I am flush I might even for an extra 4.50 have the a wet shave, hot towels ect.

Womens hair dressers sorry "stylists" should be studied by particle physicists as they could not not get any nearer to a real black hole, not only does money disappear in a nano second, but 5 full hours elapse in earth time before her arrival back home when I am summoned into the kitchen to agree with my wife "that it looks nice" and "its well worth it"

Peter Burnet said...

malty, then I salute you, Sir. After forty years, you have earned the right to say whatever you want. :-)

Sean:

Does your wife, like mine, press you to reassure her it isn't "too different"?

Sean said...

PB, ive not worked out an answer to that one.

Is it trap? has she spent less and going to try to convince me that 40 quid is a real bargain beside the 50 originally indented?

or is it she had a colour done which boosts the price up to £75 and Ive not noticed the colour. Am I being tested?

At this point I make sure all the lights are on, there is this thing called "highlights" which means some of the hair has been coloured, If you dont notice this you are in real trouble, its a bit like opening a pork specialist butchers next door to a mosque.

If you find yourself in this position I find the only way out is to quickly open up the laptop, get a holiday site up, the credit cards ready and visible,and say "ive been looking at x and this is a real bargain shall we go" you might just get away with it, and you can say that because she has been out so long, the holiday is gone...bit of a late consolation goal. they all count.