If you have watched the show NCIS, you will understand what I mean by dinner download. If you have not, then let me explain. One of the main character Tim McGee is married to a woman name Delilah. In one of the episode you learn that Tim and Delilah have a policy they are given a certain amount of time where they can talk about work. Once the timer goes off, they can no longer discuss work. Now both character work primary within the digital world so it’s suiting that they called it dinner download.
My husband has been away for work for weeks and my best friend was out of communication for over a week. When my best friend and I are visiting family, we have an unspoken expectation we will be out of commission during this time. We typically talk every day and I often will message her throughout the day giving her a play-by-play of my day. 80% of the time it’s about things that are happening at the moment. I often will give her an update about the kids and the tasks I am working toward. I have this compulsion to tell her everything. I really hate it and I am evaluating why I need to download everything about my day.
Truth is no one needs a play-by-play of a person day. She need not to know I cleaned the toilet, or I have put off cleaning up after lunch until 3 in the afternoon. Our friendship will not improve if I tell her all the things I have checked off on my to do list. (Ha what is that? I haven’t done one of those is weeks) She really doesn’t care if my dog threw up again or I had to clean out the crate because he pooped in it AGAIN. Nor does she care about if the kids I’m watching are pushing each other and taking each other toys. I’m sure she is getting sick and tired of me talking about how my oldest isn’t listening AGAIN.
Now let me make this clear she “cares” on some level because I am her best friend and she cares about me. We have talked about this before and she told me she likes when I do it because she knows what is going on. I dislike it because she doesn’t do the same thing. When I get a message from her is typically the “How are you?” and/or she is venting about something but that is rare. She doesn’t message me to let me know she is having a second breakfast or that the neighbor across the street is working on his truck AGAIN. I know these things because we will spend too much time on the phone talking about nothing but when that doesn’t happen I do not know what she has done all day. Why do I have this need to give her a play-by-play? The thing is, I would do this with other people too if I had other people to talk too.
Could it be because I’m lonely? Could it be driven out of fear that no one would care about me if I didn’t tell them what I was doing? Could it be I am looking for approval? Could it be I’m fishing for complements? Could I really be a millennial and I need someone to path me on the back? Do I want an award?
Hey, you were an adult today! Go YOU!
I honestly do not believe I’m looking for complements because I rarely react appropriately when she tells me I’m doing a good job. I’m not looking for an attaboy but I just want someone to know what I did today. I am trying hard to not just download on her throughout the day. She is now back home and back to her normal routine. She got sick over the last week she spent with her family so we have not taken time to get caught up. Plus, it’s hard to have a conversation when the kids are awake. There is a child crying at some point. It is like they cannot handle being in the room without one of them crying about something. Now P3 is fake crying, and that is super annoying.
I think I need to take more time and figure out what drives my compulsion. I will continue to fight the urge to download on her all the time. I have experimented with an idea of using a notebook or a file on my computer to “download”. It will allow me to release what I want to share with other people but it keeps me from dumping. I haven’t started one but if I want to break this habit, maybe I should test it out for a week or two.