Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by James T. Vader, Apr 3, 2013.
Sorry. I should have added: In Amsterdam.
You know it's a funny story but it boggles the mind how people over share. I've been in these icebreaker situations more than a few times where what is supposed to be a get to know you deal ends up with someone grandstanding and making it all about them and their suffering. When, you know, it was supposed to be directed chit chat to help people feel comfortable. I do not understand it, though I do have a good friend who does it all the time herself.. and I still don't understand it.
I think you only have to look at message board threads to see how easily it is for people to turn a discussion of anything into a pity party for themselves. As was mentioned upthread, it's incumbent on the facilitator to set the expectations for the ice breaker, "Share a funny story from ... etc." That won't completely stem the tide, of course. But it should keep these incidents to a minimum.
It was a she.
It's today's therapy culture.
Sure, some people have legitimate psychological issues that might be helped by competent professional counseling. That doesn't mean they have to stick their problems in everyone else's faces.
Sounds like a plot from "The Office."
You would think that these people would use a little common sense and realize that they aren't in group therapy and to keep it light.
^ Certainly not an unreasonable expectation. Especially where adults are concerned. But it's been my experience, however, that if there's a certain kind of behavior you expect (or would like to elicit) from an activity, then it's best to provide a very clear expectation for what that behavior is ... including explicitly modeling that behavior.
I dunno, you look at a year and you're asked to think of what happened to you in that year what's first going to spring to mind, your battle with cancer or that new couch?
But it's a light icebreaker, no one wants a 15 minute sob story about how you were so depressed that year that you tried to kill yourself twice. It's not "say the first thing that comes to mind', they were asked to give a quick example, in a work environment, to co-workers. You're allowed (and expected) to self-edit a bit. As 'dark' as you really want to go there is that maybe you were having a bad year, and then X happend that was nice to turn it around. You don't talk about the time you took all those pills or climbed up on the roof.
As someone mentioned, it seems that if you don't have a good story, a lot of people decide to go straight to the pity party routine and see if they can out-suffer you instead.
How about a little awareness of the situation? Maybe next time, just talk about your trip to the grand canyon, and skip the part about going there because you thought you were dying of cancer (and the 20 minute follow-on about all the chemo)?
It's how it's done. If you are going to break down and take everyone with you, best leave the really confrontational stuff unsaid. If you can simply say, "that was a bad year for me, I had X happen, but I'm in a better place now" that's fine.
2013 was a great year for me. I learnt the coin game from this topic. Can't wait to try it in a staff meeting.
The best thing to do when forced to answer random personal questions is to make shit up.
Now that is a fun game.
Do you live in a Todd Solondz movie?
In my office (a bunch of engineers), that wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings, since it would be taken (and intended) as good-natured ribbing. Happens quite a bit in our meetings, actually!
Here's the part I am going to hell for. The first girl is Cambodian and through her broken English her exact quote was "twice I tried to suicide myself."
god I'd hate that. Probably invent a story about fending off angry bears using only my karate skills.
"When I was twelve I had my scrotum ritually shaved by a Buddhist monk...."
Yeah, it really does sound like something they would have done. Holy crap, that's awkward. Seriously, there's a time and place and that can't possibly be it.
However, that's what the boss gets for picking a slightly more complicated ice breaker. Just do the name, where you're from, and random fact formula that everyone hates and get it over quickly (or, as pointed out before, don't do icebreakers).
Separate names with a comma.