Thursday, August 04, 2016

Of the Achingly Self-Interested

Have you ever had to deal with self-centered VDPs? You know, Very Draining Persons? Of course, we all have and it’s never pretty. I was struck last night by Georgette Heyer’s description of one of those types in her 1951 mystery novel, Duplicate Death.

“He was neurotic, passionate, and easily influenced, spoilt by parents and circumstance, and morbidly self-conscious.  He would respond like a shy girl to flattery, but he was quick to imagine slights, and could fly in an instant from the extreme of affection to the opposite pole of wounded hatred.  As a child he had reveled in being the focal point of his mother’s life; and had never outgrown his desire of being petted and admired…He mistook his hostess’s indifference for dislike, and was at once hurt and ill-at-ease.  That he had no liking for her, and no particular desire to be invited to her house, weighed with him not at all: he could not be happy if he was not approved of.”

Let’s face it; with some people, you can never pet them, placate them, or puff them up enough…no matter what you do or how much time you invest. Therefore, in such cases, it’s best to bid them a courteous but quick farewell.

Here's a similar case. Remember?