A Tale of Two Jon’s

I recently took a vacation (which I call “a trip” since the addition of two young children can never truly be a vacation) and I came back a changed person.

All of my afflictions suddenly went away.

Certainly there was some sort of “subconscious processing” that happened whereby things that bothered me no longer bother me. The incessant trolling, which I have been vocal about as having caused me immense psychological harm, no longer bothers me. At all. A seven month long battle with the harm and hate ended with me victorious, able to brush off the inane accusations with humor and grace.

Can I say why this change of heart happened? Nope. I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that I’ve been using the phrase “my cup is overfilled” quite often lately. I’ve left my narcissistic self bubble and moved into a “I can help you” connectedness with others, giving happily without any expectations of receiving.

We shall call this happy, inclusive, compassionate Jon “Big Jon.”

When I’m going through something, I become Small Jon. My world consists of Me and My Problems. I become needy, complaining to whoever will listen, and blaming others for “not being there for me.” I take offense at the slightest insinuation that I “did something wrong” and loudly let others know that they have wronged me. I’m hoping that people will handle my outbursts and childish behavior with grace and humility, much like a parent has compassion for their tantruming child.

Not surprisingly, my wish doesn’t come true. Instead of getting what I want, I push people away. Who wants to deal with a negative nelly when they have their own problems to deal with? The needy self centered version of me admittedly isn’t much fun to be around, and just like a pesky gnat people swat it away.

But this new version of Jon is welcomed by all. He’s fun, supportive, kind, and helpful. He understands that your actions and words don’t really have much to do with him at all, which gives him the space to respond with maximum compassion for your predicament. He’s making jokes and letting you in on the fun, inviting you to escape your mundane world and join him on an adventure. He’s able to take in differing sides of issues rather than digging in that he knows best.

In other words, I’m being my ideal Me. Radiating positivity and a can do attitude. Admittedly if you’re not in the best mood this version of Jon can be kind of annoying. But most people like being around this person, probably because I like being around myself. Funny how that works.

And the trolls? Well, believe it or not, I have compassion for them. They must be quite hurt to have to say mean things about people. Same goes for the annoying commenters in my LinkedIn posts who take offense at my words. They’re going through something and I make a perfect punching bag. If that’s what it takes for someone to have an emotional release and come to some sort of healing, then so be it. I don’t need to get caught up in their personal drama, but I can certainly wish that they heal from their hurt.

In other words, Big Jon is able to have a balanced, realistic world perspective that doesn’t place himself at the center of things. Rather, he understands that we are all connected, we all affect each other, and he only has a small role in our interconnectedness.

I do hope Big Jon is here to stay. I love helping others, making them happy, and feeling great about who I am. It’s been about a week in which Big Jon has shown up, and he hasn’t gone anywhere. Inevitably Small Jon will come back, and he deserves compassion for feeling the way he does. But feeling great is way fun. So I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.


I use data to understand people. I also help early career professionals find career happiness.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jon Tesser

I use data to understand people. I also help early career professionals find career happiness.