C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Life With Wee People: What goes up must come down... eventually...

Carolyn Tann Starr 2011

Life With Wee People: What goes up must come down... eventually...

Sometimes people are so busy climbing to the top that they don't make plans for a successful retreat. Take Stephen, the Minion Blur for example...

When over-coming obstacles it is easy for shorty to become distracted by the immediate tasks at hand and put off his exit strategy. If you are anything like my kid then the assumption may sometimes revolve around the idea that you have time to work out the details if you have to eventually address a problem. One issue negatively impacting that theory is the fact that the view from the top is never the same as the view from the lower levels and some options tend to change/disappear as we make decisions placing us in different situations. Another issue negatively impacting that theory revolves around blaming others for not doing what you want them to do on your behalf when they decide not to get involved in a mess they didn't create. 

What might have worked at ground level or passably well on the fifth floor has nothing to do with the situation currently developing in the penthouse. If you are fortunate, you'll have people stand beside you who are willing to work with you to help guide you through a sticky situation so don't casually burn those bridges on a bad hair day when something goes wrong. People willing to help you through a situation and/or catch you when you lose your step and/or fall are more than a professional asset, they are worthy of friendship.

Nothing beats having people in your corner who will not hesitate to respond whenever you call. Friends do that without blinking so don't cry wolf with your friends or fail to maintain relationships you cultivate. Sometimes, a third party friend will do favors on the strength of a common denominator relationship not because they give a crap about the person in trouble but because they care for the mutual friend that is in distress over his/her/their loved one's trouble.

Sandbox love is a curious thing. Little kids will do a lot for each other in adulthood based upon who they bonded with early in life over toys, cuts, scrapes, bruises and snackage. If you have that type of friend do not take their feelings for you for granted because if the bond gets destroyed the emotional trauma turns into a six degrees of separation hydra from Hell.

If you abuse any of your friendships then there is a possibility that people associated within the clique may start to withdraw or adjust their level of brick and mortar association. If you try to redefine the terms they are wiling to be friends on without their consent then the social media relationship might not be repaired because you will be seen as an intrusion. When Facebook was an internal messaging system not easily forwarded people felt comfortable speaking on one level. Now that it is real e-mail, when a fall out happens and Yahoo says you've been blocked people go over there and send out thoughtless FB e-mail in reply-all mode.

Some people act as if their virtual life is as fickle as bouncing in and out of a twitter stream where follow/un-follow and other social media squabbles becomes a game where the embarrassment of a flesh and blood person is disdained or reduced on a two dimensional level. Some will go as far as destroying the clout they had with third parties (from being crib mates or part of the sandbox mafia of a mutual friend) with a single e-mail.

What I am willing to do for my girlfriend from kindergarten is not the same as what I am willing to do for my girlfriend from the sixth grade. My college friends do not have the same clout as my high school buddies. My art and music friends trump my law enforcement friends. I started real estate in September 2007 so except for one Realtor who befriended me in 1990 all of my previous categories of friends trump all of you real estate industry blogging buddies.

First we try, then we trust. I've invested time and energy in every single category of relationship that I have and will never say a person I've known for a year is more important than a person I've known since I was five years old. That's a personal flaw I embrace and will not apologize for. Because my kids come first, if I sense continuing a relationship will harm them I simply withdraw from what appears to be unnecessary drama and stress. What people are exposed to colors their responses and opinions so if you are going to live your life in virtual media then live it honestly.

You don't have to be perfect but you do have to be honest...

I need help all the time, especially when I make mistakes so I find it easier to confess my flaws and deal with it rather than engage in useless circular fallacies that don't address the issues which need to be repaired. I've been on the debate team and can argue both sides of an argument. When I ask a direct question requiring a factual answer to resolve a technical issue that's all I want.  

If a person doesn't know the answer they should say so and not waste other peoples time. On a personal and professional level I will trust you until you prove to me that I should not. I will help you until you prove to me you are a waste of my valuable resources and a bad personal investment regarding my time.

I can accept apologies, forgive people and even move on but it doesn't mean that I have to stay in the relationship because you say so (or decide after happily kicking me to the curb that you made a mistake because you discover later on that you want something from me so I'm a bitch for not answering your e-mail, taking your calls and am stone cold silent when you send third party missives).

I take my virtual relationships just as seriously as my brick and mortar ones and am never being facetious when I say lose my number and feel free to un-friend me. If someone tells me to get lost I usually respect their wishes and leave. Life is too short to squander the precious commodity of personal time with people who do not value the gift of you being you with them (or the fact that when you make time for them you are taking time away from someone else that you love who would have treasured the moments).

If a four year old has enough sense to ask for help when he realizes what goes up must eventually come down and he suddenly discovers he has miscalculated a safe route of retreat, then some of you may want to pause before pissing away your relationships in a moment of snippy self-importance on your way up to your professional plateau.

I have seven mentors who are amazingly transparent and hold me accountable for what I do because a poor performance on my part harms their reputations (they are my teachers and people trust/respect their judgment).

Giving bad professional/social media advice because you think a moment in someone else's life life has to conform to your personal rules before you reveal the answer can be similar to pushing your virtual peeps off of their digital cliffs because what may seem like a simple little jump down to you may actually be viewed as a huge fall to someone else... If it is a time is of the essence issue and you are arbitrary and capricious with how you respond if something doesn't go your way there will be consequences to your hubris.

There are usually consequences to hubris... In my case, when I leave a relationship I really do leave so if you tell me f-off in a nasty enough way or try to quid-pro-quo your personal messages to a mutual friend as a prerequisite to receiving a business answer be prepared for me not to come back.

When I tell you I'm done with something or someone I really am... It is disingenuous to e-mail me about personal issues with a mutual friend that I know nothing about as an explanation of someone not having issues with me per se yet withholding a client's information. My personal life and my business life are two seperate entities that I will not let be used as leverage against each other. Using my personal life to screw with my busniss life will not be tolerated on any level. It's another flaw I have that I embrace.

For the record: It makes me really cranky that I even had to articulate that fact. Seriously... 

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Comment balloon 4 commentsC Tann-Starr • April 13 2011 05:52PM


I very much liked the thought about being honest in relationships and giving all your personal time with minimal or zero time from the other is so unbalanced it is not even funny. Life is all about growth and moving from one phase to the other. Get to the top, well, there is another mountaintop to find.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Thank you, Gary. I now have to write about exit strageties for changing firms. People are asking me all sorts of interesting questions based upon Tim's featured post. Transition is a curious thing... it brings out what ever is in a person and can magnify emotions.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

C - I agree that every relationship works two ways. You get what you give and you must give value to get value.

Posted by Robin Scott, Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) over 9 years ago

Robin, very well said. You must give value to get value... That would make a wonderful blog post title. You should write on that subject. Seriously... :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

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