cajole- to persuade by flattery or promises; wheedle; coax.

Cajoling is one of my best things.  Got a tense situation?  I can cajole it away.  Angry drunk?  I can cajole him down from the brink of violence.  The silent treatment?  I can cajole him into conversation.  Depressed?  I can cajole him into laughter. Uncomfortable repartee?  I can cajole it into an easy exchange.

I used to look upon my ability to cajole as a gift.  It felt good to be able to diffuse situations; it gave me a sense of accomplishment.  I'd assess the problem and get to work; always wondering why no one else took up the charge.  I'd think, "It doesn't have to be this way.  Isn't anyone going to do anything?  I can fix this."  It never occurred to me that, quite possibly, no one else felt it was worth the effort -  or that maybe this was not a special skill at all, but more an act of desperation born of insecurity.  Why I always felt like it was my job is unclear, but I'm happy to report I eventually realized if cajoling was necessary, perhaps it wasn't a situation I wanted to be in.

I do a lot less cajoling these days.  First and foremost, if you need to do it all the time it is exhausting.  Anything that requires that much work should be avoided. Secondly, cajoling only goes so far.  You cannot cajole someone into being smart, you cannot cajole someone into being sober, and you cannot cajole someone into being present.  Trust me.

Now, I pretty much reserve my cajoling for myself.  I seem to need it a lot lately. But I still like to use it for others on special occasions - I'll admit, I like the challenge. If you ever need to talk someone off a ledge, I'm your man.

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