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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Speaking Their Language

Hey All.  It's another relaxing Sunday, and that means it's time for another post.

In our challenge to obtain Emotional Maturity, we are often confronted with manipulators, beyess artists, and posers who have developed talents that don't deserve respect.  Instead of owning up to their misdeeds, (or not even doing them in the first place - what a concept), they do everything they can to excuse, confuse, distract, or just babble incessantly in hopes of avoiding consequences.

It's very easy to become angry at them for being this way - and their apologists will not hesitate to remind us that it's a talent we lack - until we remember that this is their only talent.

However, when we are able to easily decipher what they say, we can avoid being manipulated by them.  Some prime examples:

(1)  "No offense, but . . ."  - I'm going to bash you, but instead of admitting that, I'm going to add this disclaimer so I end up looking like the good guy.

(2) "I have no idea what you're talking about."  You're right, but I'm too full of myself to admit it.

(3) "I see the good in all people" - I know my friends are assholes, but if they do/say things wrong to you, I'm going to defend them, because I need popularity more than respect.

(4) "You might learn something/Be open minded" - I'm better than you, so you have to let me interrupt and talk all over you.

(5) "I'm not putting one over on you" - Now that I disarmed you, you're going to fall for my BS just like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.

This by no means an endorsement of the brutally honest - there is such a thing as respect - but there are way too many bullies, abusers, and narcissists who victimize people by beyessing them so hard it comes out their ears!

There are way too many people who get bullied and disrespected when young, used and abused by employers when grown, and made mincemeat out of by spouses and significant others with no morals to speak of.  Contrary to popular opinion, the answer to that problem is not a left hook or a leg sweep.  It's preparation and maturity.

Once you know their language, you can provide responses that clearly indicate that we're not getting fooled.  Here are some examples.

(1) "No offense, but -" Why would I get offended if I wasn't even listening?

(2) "I have no idea what you're talking about."  That's OK, your six-year-old nephew will explain it to you.

(3) "I see the good in all people" - I'm impressed.  I didn't know they made microscopes for that.

(4) "You might learn something."  Mission accomplished.  Bye.

(5) "I'm not putting one over on you."  I didn't say you were.

Don't get it twisted, we're not looking to find the best comebacks, or to have the Hollywood ending.  We're also not looking to get the most hoots and hollers from the spectators and bystanders.  What we are looking to do is set boundaries, and let our egocentric cousins understand that they don't own us, that we are not their followers, and that if they want more tools, they can go to Home Depot.  One of the best ways to do this is to learn their language, instead of being misled by it.  Aside from this, we can leave people like this behind, and (if we choose) replace them with less predatory and more empathetic counterparts.

And even if you don't have a ready response to these meritless, untruthful, and deceptive statements, don't worry.  Our Mother Lady Karma has even better ones.  Maybe She thinks a good comeback might be a ride in handcuffs, an unexpected pregnancy test, or having those very words proven false.  Let Her handle that.  We'll handle our own development, our own happiness, and our own choices of whom we choose to include in our lives.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Deadly Trap of Demonization

Hey All - believe it or not, it's really spring!

Through my travels through social networking, I've joined a few groups that provide support to people recovering from abusive relationships.  Out of respect for those members, I won't reveal their names, but they are there, and hopefully some of their members will decide to like the Facebook page.

As I read the entries on this new page, I empathize wholeheartedly with what these folks have seen.  My heart goes out to how they have suffered, or continue to suffer.  However, it seems that telling the tales of woe is only one part of what's needed.  The other part is to heal and move forward.

At the beginning of this year, when I found Emotional Maturity and incorporated it into this blog, I started to realize that just bashing, crashing, and demonizing is not enough.  No, we can't pretend this didn't happen.  No, we can't pretend that what they've done is all our fault.  And no, we can't say that it was all our imagination when they've hurt us.

However, we can't just make their fault and misdeeds a crutch for everything.  At some point, we've got to stop the anger, end the grudges, and dispose of our ill will.

Many of those who do us wrong will not be apologetic or own up to their actions.  As Isaiah Hankel says, we cannot expect a confession from such people - all we'll get is an excuse, a denial, a reminder that we're not perfect either, or maybe a half-assed apology.  Accordingly, expecting to squeeze blood from a stone, or resorting to any other type of violence, is a waste.

Once we accept that they will not grow halos and wings, we have to stop cursing them for their horns and pitchforks.  We don't have to call it forgiveness - they may have caused harm that forgiveness won't resolve.  But we can call it dismissal or release.

We can censor them from our thoughts and conversations.  We can leave their scenes on the cutting room floor.  We can remove their likenesses from our internal Hall of Fame, and extend provide them with one of those tiny memorial plaques people screw onto park benches that nobody else notices.

For any of those group members who can read this, I feel you.  I've been done to, done wrong, rejected, dejected, and neglected almost as much as you have, though I won't minimize your pain or make it a competition.  I've also committed the erroneous error of holding onto those past wrongs for longer than necessary.  No matter how wrong they were, or how evil they may still be, believe me when I say that holding grudges against them doesn't cure it.  Instead, it eats away at you!

Even worse than that?  It lets them off the hook.  Yes, I know, that's shocking, but you're making something happen that's the exact opposite of what you want - you are letting them off the hook when you hold grudges against them.  There comes a time when our feelings about them stop being their fault and start becoming ours.  We are assuming liability for their fault!  We are bailing them out!  We are becoming just as bad as they are, because we emulate what we hate!!!!!!

You sure you want to give them that gift?  Or would you rather reduce them to the unpleasantness of a bad dream?

That's what I thought.

For those who prefer spiritual comfort for this effort, rest assured:  There's a Lady Named Karma.  She's not impressed with bad boys, and She's not friendly with mean girls.  She has the authority to pass judgment that we lack, and She has much better tools at Her disposal than we do.

Stop holding on to anger at our tormentors, and seeking revenge against our rivals.  Instead, direct that energy towards continuous life improvement, as expected by Our Father G-D.  Let Our Mother G-S Karma handle what the rest of them deserve.




Questions, comments, concerns?  Feel free to private message me.