Can you be too practical?
Is there such a thing as being too practical? Practicality has it’s purpose that I can agree on, but sometimes being too practical can seem insensitive. So what is a practical person to do? Particularly when faced with issues that require a proper response? Let us delve deeper into this.
First let us define Practical -
1. concerned with matters of fact: concerned with actual facts and experience, not theory
2. useful: sensible or useful, and likely to be effective
3. good at solving problems: good at managing matters and dealing with problems and difficulties
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Dealing with the Practical person
When confronted with a practical person and having a discussion you will need to have some facts at hand to be able to ‘back up’ what it is you are saying. You will certainly want even a tad bit of factual information with which to present your argument. If it is all theory, it had better be a darned good theory. If you don’t have anything in your arsenal, you may end up in an argument.
The practical person can easily solve problems when confronted with them, such as technical difficulties. If it’s something they can’t fix themselves they realize they have to call in a Professional. Managing money is relatively easy for the practical person, they have X amount to work with and the bills are X amount, this is how much will be left over. If the bills outweigh the income, they know they have to work more to earn more.
Usually the practical person does well on the job, the work they perform is very well done, and is recognized by the Boss. Being practical can get you advancement in the work force. Sounds great doesn’t it? Makes you want to take classes on being practical.
My Dad is a practical person and I love him dearly, he is also a great conversationalist. We’ve spent hours upon hours having discussions at the dinner table. It used to irritate my Mom because we’d talk all through her doing dishes. I would give him my theory and then he would give me some backlash if I didn’t have my ducks in order when presenting my argument. It has helped me immensely when I’ve written, given directions or raising my children. I have always felt I needed to have a reason for giving instructions, and try to give them in the best possible way. At times it seems as though I give too much detail, but I know there can never be question, and I try not to leave anything unanswered.
Here is the hard part, in regards to my Dad. When something sad happens, one of the first comments is always “Well, it’s for the best.” My Dad is very practical when it comes to death. I am getting there as I age, as I think everyone comes to grips with as they get older. Having lost several people in my life that I was close to, I’ve had to deal with it. My Dad used to think I couldn’t handle death because I cried. I had to explain to him, it’s not that I can’t handle it, I will just miss them.
Some of his comments
When my Grandma passed his response was “She went in her sleep, she didn’t suffer”. That’s all well and good, but I would still miss her. When my Grandpa passed it was “He lived a good long life, and it was time to go”. I know he loved these two people, they were very important people in his life. They were my Mother’s parents and had been very dear to them. My Grandpa became a surrogate father to him since he lost his when he was around 30. When my Mother passed I know this was hard on him, yet he still had the presence of mind to say “She is no longer in pain now”. He didn’t even consider his own inner pain, though I know it was there.
When I had to have my dog Princess be put down, he was very practical about it. He told me “It is time, she has lived a good long life, it‘s for the best.“ He took her for me because I couldn’t do it myself. It seemed that he was insensitive to my feelings, but having known him I realize he just sees things differently. He grieves internally, never showing his feelings. I think I’ve only seen him cry two maybe three times in my life.
He doesn’t handle my tears well, I think it makes him feel helpless. He is such a strong man, both internally as well as externally.
Yet another loss
Yesterday our family suffered another loss, and knowing my Dad as I do, he replied to the news very practically. This is difficult for my Step-Mom, she is very nice and sensitive to the needs of others. The loss of life, any life is sad.
A great grand baby has passed and is now in the hands of God. Her parents will always feel her loss, as well as other family members. This was the child of my Step-Mom's Grandson, one whom she is particularly close. Things happen, for which we have no answers. Even though I don’t know them personally, I can empathize with their pain. Madison was born with a heart defect, and lived only a few short hours before the Lord took her. The possibility of this happening was known before she was born, that does not make it any easier to accept. This will take time for them to begin to heal, I pray that they can over come their loss.
Bite your Tongue
For those of you who are ‘practical’ the best thing to do in a situation like this is to bite your tongue, as hard as it is. The time may come when the ones closest to the one lost may say “It was for the best”, but it is not for you to decide when. They deserve to grieve and will do so whether you want it or not. To make things easier for them to accept and not be angry with you at the same time, please for your sake and well as their own, if you can’t just say “I’m sorry for your loss”, then say nothing and be strong for the ones who need you.