– What causes some people to withdraw into oblivion?

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I was recently scanning the obituaries of the local newspaper and came upon a listing of someone I knew but hadn’t seen in awhile; it read:

83, of Safety Harbor, died September 12, 2020. No family has come forward at this time. Call 727-XXX-XXXX

(Out of respect for the deceased, I’ll call him “John Doe.”)

The obit was brief and, frankly, I thought rather sad. I had known this gentleman for about ten years as a friend of a friend. I called the funeral home to ask if they could tell me what happened. Frankly, they didn’t know much about the cause of death and declined to comment on it. They said if nobody from the family came forward, they would cremate the body and spread his ashes out at sea with the county picking up the tab.

It is sad nobody came forward but I really wasn’t surprised. This was a man who had been married and divorced three times, and had daughters and grandchildren living out West who frankly never wanted anything to do with him. I do not know what happened, but the fact he couldn’t make a single marriage work and his family avoided contact with him, speaks volumes about his character.

My personal observation of him was that he was self-centered. Whenever there was a social function, such as a dinner or party, he would come, eat and drink, and pretty much kept to himself. I cannot remember him ever having a kind word or compliment to someone else. If anything, he was jealous of the success of others and felt that life had dealt him a bad hand. I also cannot remember him telling any form of joke, clever anecdote, or witticism, just doom and gloom.

I also could not remember a time when he put himself out for others such as performing some volunteer work, unless there was something in it for him personally. He also didn’t belong to any clubs or group activities requiring socialization skills. The one exception was he performed some Bible readings at his church, but this came to an abrupt halt a couple of years ago. All I could make out was that he felt God and his church had deserted him.

His only passion towards the end was Scotch whiskey and cigarettes.

I have not known too many people like this over the years, except for one other I knew in Buffalo, New York who basically had the same mode of operation. He had a dark and cloudy outlook on life, hated to assume any responsibility, jealous of others, and his relation with his family had deteriorated to the point they didn’t want anything to do with him.

Perhaps you have run into such a person yourself. As for me, I do not understand why this occurs. I suspect they consider themselves failures and possess little self-respect. It may be their socialization skills prevented them from having any meaningful relationship with others, and as they grew older they withdrew into a world of self-pity where the only comfort they could find was in a bottle of alcohol. Their unhappiness only got worse with age. This brings up a point, it seems alcohol stokes the fire of their rage making them lash out at others as opposed to becoming happily tipsy.

I don’t see this as narcissism, just a very dark outlook on life. Whatever the reason, it is sad to watch someone go down this road into oblivion without anyone shedding a tear for them. It seems like such a waste of life. What a pity. Nonetheless, they’ve made their bed over a number of years and now must sleep in it. I do not believe it would come to this if they were just a little more positive and possessed some social skills. And now, with his demise, people treat him like a man who never was. Sad.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Zeen Subscribe
A customizable subscription slide-in box to promote your newsletter
[mc4wp_form id="314"]