Life coaching: He comes to your emotional rescue

An emotional terrorist has the ability to manipulate the emotions of others. Using only his voice, he can terrorize his victims into a near comatose state of despair.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit:)
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
Kevin Neil had the all the warning signs of a hijacker. Nervous affect, beady eyes, and uneven sideburns. But no airport security system in the world could detect his weapon. He was interrogated and searched by uniformed personnel and was allowed to board, even though he was indeed armed. His weapon was the uncanny ability to make everyone around him feel real bad. You see, Kevin was an emotional terrorist. An emotional terrorist is not to be confused with a terrorist who has frequent mood swings. An emotional terrorist has the ability to manipulate the emotions of others. Using only his voice, he can terrorize his victims into a near comatose state of despair. This is not a good state to be in if you are piloting a plane. However, Kevin picked a bad day to hijack flight 420 from San Francisco to LA. Justin Smythe, a counter emotional-terrorist expert, was on the flight. But Justin wouldn't be the one to subdue Kevin. Thirty minutes into the flight, Kevin stood up and grabbed the PA system from the flight attendant. "Don't worry. I'm not armed. I just want to make an announcement," Kevin said. The passengers were already starting to feel bad. Kevin had a droning voice which acted like a depression-inducing trance. "I need to go on Oprah, and I need to do it today," Kevin said. All of the passengers, except for Justin, who was immune to Kevin's manipulation, were feeling brow-beaten and passive. One of the passengers managed to say, "Why do you want to go on Oprah?" "Because I need a larger audience to share my pain with. I'm really sorry to inconvenience you. But I must fly to Chicago. She goes live in a few hours." Justin stood up. "And if we disagree?" "Who are you? And why are you smiling?" Kevin asked. "You don't intimidate me," Justin said. "I was just about to say the same thing to you. But you are too late, cowboy. Watch this." Kevin said. Kevin grabbed a flight attendant and began whispering something into her ear. She started crying and collapsed on the floor in a fit of desperation and misery. "You don't want me to do that to the pilot, do you?" Kevin asked. All of the passengers nodded their heads from left to right and were beginning to feel much worse. Justin said, "I bet you told the flight attendant about your high school prom, didn't you? Kevin answered, "Yes, but how did you know?" "Because most of you emotional terrorists have the same sad stories, and they usually revolve around prom night." "What's it to you?" Kevin asked. "Watch this buddy," Justin said, as he ran to the flight attendant. Justin whispered something in her ear, and she started laughing uncontrollably. She stood, up, took a deep breath of air, and resumed her duties. Kevin said, "So you told her about your silver medal in the Olympics, right? "How'd you know?" Justin asked. "All you counter emotional-terrorists are the same. Ex-athletes with nothing better to do than bully people like me" Kevin said. The passengers were on an emotional rollercoaster, first excited about Justin saving the day and then depressed at Kevin's caustic rebuttal. "Both of you are losers," a 17 year-old named Darren stood up and said. "Who are you?" Kevin asked. "My name is Darren. I might have tattoos all over my body, and colored hair, and spend most of my time surfing, but there's one thing I do know." "What's that?" Justin asked, fearing that he would be upstaged by Darren. "I don't let the Kevins of the world get me down, and I don't need Justins to cheer me up." Darren said. "But who makes you feel good or bad?" An elderly passenger asked. "I choose my own feelings," the surfer said. The passengers were in shock. Even Kevin seemed impressed. But he had to act quickly. If Darren's idea got popular, Kevin would be out of a job and he would never be on TV. "Think about it people," Darren said as he strolled up to the front of the plane. "Don't ask what kind of mood you are in. Don't rely on other people to choose your feelings for you. Ask yourself what mood you want to be in and then just do it." "But how?" Justin asked. They didn't teach that skill in his counter emotional-terrorist course. "It's hard to understand if you aren't a surfer. But trust me. It works. You just have to try," Justin explained. Kevin went back to his seat and started crying. Justin was a little depressed because he was made redundant by a kid. But most of the passengers were lost in thought, trying to figure out ways to choose their own emotions. The plane landed safely a few moments later. The passengers decided not to press charges against Kevin, nor to tell Justin's superiors that he was unable to sequester the airborne menace. But most of them did sign up with Darren for surfing lessons. Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the summer. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to ben@pdshiftcoaching.com © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb