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When An Immovable Object Like You Can Not Be Challenged, It Is Difficult For You Or Possibly Them To Get Upset As There Is No Emotional Payoff And You Can Keep Your Cool

People count on the fact that you can be upset, that you will buy their spiel, that you can be made to leave them alone, or anything else that they want you to do or feel. Have you ever just observed what a person looks like they are feeling, what they are trying to get across and then decided that you are not going to fall for their ploy. Can you anticipate what they are going to do from what they look like, for example, a dark rolling thunder cloud? I once saw a woman who looked like she was dressed to impress and because of this, she was wanting to make the impression that she was upper class and expected to get her way. It was clear that she was going to get angry. You know what I did I quickly pushed my cart down another aisle in the farm store where I could avoid her and not become a part of her drama which she was intending to play out and win the upset of another person, mostly a clerk, but if not a clerk than another shopper like me. Ouch. She appeared to be extremely self-righteous, stately, and ready to blow up as soon as she ran into a ready victim, someone who would easily feel to blame for her upset and grant her desire to feel self-righteous.

Surprise, surprise, I do not always have to play the victim of someone else’s desires. I can be calm, I can leave the scene, and I cannot provide such a person with their reward by being a willing victim in their desired vignette. Another scene that I can sense coming is when my spouse is ready to judge me is when I know I have done something that he could accuse me of like eating the last piece of cake, of course, the smallest piece of cake, or not knowing where the car keys are or putting them up somewhere that I am not sure where I placed them. It is easier to admit what I am guilty of by confirming that I did it in a matter of fact way. Then the desired upset is difficult for him to carry out when I admit I am guilty in a matter of fact way. Then the desired drama is difficult for him to carry out. I, at the beginning, tell him I did the thing that he is anticipating that I did wrong without getting upset, feeling guilty, or getting mad at him for finding me out.

Meditation is a habit that can reinforce one’s ability to keep their cool. As in meditation, you can relax while letting your thoughts pass by while not attending to them. Also, you can develop the habit of choosing not to feel guilty or emotionally upset by letting your thoughts plague you til you begin to suffer. Focusing on a situation often does not do any good especially when you know what you should have done or what you ought to do in the future. Manipulators are good at predicting what people will do or feel and can accomplish their own selfish ends this way. For example, they can usually count on people doing the “polite” thing.

Count on developing your blank face as one form of defense with such people. “Oh, you were speaking to me.” Is another good line and form of defense and usually catches such people off guard. People like these count on getting another person’s or at least some person’s attention or (God Forbid) everyone’s attention. Who knows what potentially they have to sound off about and why they think they can count on having a willing victim or willing victims.

Practice being calm and being like a duck who can let the water run off of his back and being undisturbed. Potentially you can put off with dealing with some things later when you have more time to think and you are not being pressured to come up with a solution. Manipulators count on you to be bumfuzzled and unable to come up with an appropriated response. My poor deceased half sister-in-law counted on this to happen when in front of a crowd of people, she asked me, “Who cut your hair?” in a very critical voice and I was able to come up with an appropriate comeback, “Who asked you?” She counted on catching me off guard and she had a reputation for doing this kind of thing and getting away with it. Fortunately, I was able to come up with immediately an appropriate comeback. She always counted on her victim to not have a chance to think of something appropriate to say. Another way to have short-circuited her would to have sought out someone appropriate in the crowd and asked them what they thought of what she said or what they thought about how I looked. As mean as my sister-in-law could be and everybody knew it, surely some most would have come up something in my defense.

You do not have to accept being manipulated by such people; you just have to plan ahead to control your feelings and not become a victim. Sometimes you just have to leave and say to yourself or them, “I don’t have time for this”. If you feel you have to have an excuse to leave, say you are busy or say you are tired and have dealt with enough that day or you might have to be rude (think about how rude they are being) and say that the person is being rude or is trying to manipulate you or that they should get the h-ll out of your face; you don’t want to tolerate any more of their sh-tt that day.”

You can do the same thing with your own inner feelings and thoughts. Say, “I don’t want to feel that way anymore,” to yourself and/or, “I don’t need to feel guilty about that as I have already done that enough” and/or say to yourself “I am sorry for what I have done and have made my own personal spiritual or practical amends.” and/or “I realize I need to do something about that but it is not now time to do it” and/or “I have thought enough about it for this day or week or whatever and it is not helping me make any progress in my life to obsess about this now.”

Realize manipulators do not do this. They get their reward and do not waste time feeling bad about what they did. Don’t think a lot about being manipulated except for long enough to realize you what was done to you and do some to limit the damage if possible and momentarily if necessary. That is something practical that any victim would do especially if there are necessarily like any tie limits to do something like stopping a check from being cashed. Choke the lesson up to experience with your mistake as being an experience.

Some people do things that indirectly that hurts and they don’t understand that they are hurting themselves and others too. Indirectly it results in the angry dissolution of the relationship with the other person being blamed and the person who is mad at them does not understand that they did something themselves to harm the relationship too. It frequently seems to involve being able to read minds. If I do something for someone else who may need my help and they don’t realize that it is ultimately an imposition on me and they ask me to do it again without them realizing that was an imposition on me and I feel that they should not have asked me to do it again but they did not know that I was thinking that.

This set of behaviors seems to involves mindreading as a sport. I’ll do something really nice for you, but I want you to understand that you should never ask me to do it again because it was an imposition on me. Complicated, isn’t it. The only counteraction would be to call the person on it who did the favor if you get a chance to talk to the person again and suggest that they should have said, “No,” the first time or said, “I can do it for you this one time; but don’t count on me to do it for you, the next time you have that problem.” However, it may lead to a whole bunch of “shoulds” like who should be doing it for you instead of them, etc., etc.

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

FINALLY I AM FREE TO BE ME!

My happy face anyway!.

Finally I am free to be me.  Are you free to be you?

I just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

Would you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions can offend me.   (Am I right or wrong? )  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

You probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Things Usually Are the Most Productive When They Are Painful

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the "Devil" in You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the “Devil” in You

Progress in my life has often been scary and painful and I often did not work on solving problems because I didn’t want to face the pain involved.  This is especially true in interpersonal situations.  Do you think that the most progress is made when something is easy to do?  Be honest with yourself….

Progress can not always be assured even when we face something painful and that is potentially painful too.  Could we learn something?  This is something that could realistically happen.  Learning can be painful too especially when you have to give up all or part of a long-held belief system.

When confronted with new conflicting information about a belief that a person has long held, people can either reject the new information in some way or change it so it fits their paradigm.  The other option is to change their belief system to fit the new information.  This is what learning is all about.

Some people are not really looking for conflicting information as it makes them uncomfortable so they back away from confrontations.  They think there always has to be a winner or a loser in a disagreement and they are programmed not to lose because it hurts too.  Compromise is sometimes a new thing to some people because of this.

When people come to new understandings about things, they can both be winners.  They understand each other better and can anticipate making better decisions without out so much potential “flack” from the other partner.

Acknowledge Your Feelings But Don’t Let Them Control You

amygdalaFeelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times.  Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later.  It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared.  When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails.  When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way.  I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat.  You probably could name more.

Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later.  They are out of control but it is not their fault.  For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.

Are we responsible for our feelings?  Well, “Yes,” and “No”.   We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things.   We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.

How do we resist all that conditioning?  It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it.   It is often difficult to undo.   How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors.  Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?

What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations.  Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?

 

Never Stop Learning New Things. Don’t give up!

rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpgOnce you’ve met your peak.  Once you have met your goals.  Don’t give up.   Learning is a life long process and it doesn’t end until you are at “Heaven’s” door.  Once you have the motivation, you will never give up.  Life continues to unfold as you know more and more.  This way you’ll never be a bore.  I have not stopped and I never will.

Many people once they reach the “mountain top” begin to slide down the slippery slope toward life’s ending.  Whatever goal they achieve, they may say to themselves, “Is that all that there is?”  and if they get back the answer, “Yes,” they give up and tread water for the rest of their lives until they get tired of doing it and sink into the throws of life’s end.

rp_Machine-Doest-Have-Brain-Sign-S-8429.gifFor me death is not an ending, it is a transition.  I prefer to call it that because I believe that life goes on in another way when you reach it.   I realize that transitioning can happen at anytime and for many it comes too early and for others, too late.  I don’t like to keep my brain busy with thinking about  it.

Sometimes it is better to focus on the present moment and enjoy what happens.  For example, a person with early memory problems may enjoy a phone call or reading a card; but then not remember everything that was talked about.    Should family and friends stop communicating with this person because they will not remember all of what is said?  My answer is, “No.”  There is still pleasure in the moment.  Why deny them that?

rp_5238574678_75a3ca1b14_m.jpgFor the person above the pleasure of learning “new” things happens over and over.  Why deny them that pleasure.  Why deny yourself the pleasure of learning new things or of seeing things in a new way?  Holding too strongly onto the “old” can deny yourself the pleasure of the “new”.  Who knows what is left to learn?  Learning new things is known to keep your brain young.  Sharing the joy of learning can bond people of any age.  Why be a “bore” or a “stick in the mud”. Especially to yourself!

Take A Trip This Christmas And Leave Your Worries Behind

Take a trip this Christmas.  It doesn’t matter where you go  if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride.  That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow.  Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space.  We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.  The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner.  I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to.  It is out of my hands and I like it that way.  There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.

rp_300px-Face-smile.svg_.pngI leaving my worries and bills at home.  My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”;  and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home.    I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present.  I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers.   I won’t be rude or crude.  I don’t care which seat I get in the bus.  I won’t fight over a window seat .  I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing

I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously  happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough  and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind.  Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway.  Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen.  Give yourself a break.  If  possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can.  You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.

Risky Business!

Do you do things everyday that could cost you your life or someone else’s life?  Do you do things daily that would or could cost you a lot of money?  Why do we take these risks?  Are we more moved by the possibility of instant satisfaction instead of safely curbing these impulses to avoid  future penalties?

Is it our inner voice that encourages or discourages this?  Do we listen to others and not our own common sense? Do we have a set of defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization in place to prevent our listening to warnings in our own head, in the media, or from our family?denialquote,Egypt

How few of the life promoting resolutions that get made at New Years ever come to fruition such as driving safely or living a more healthy lifestyle?

Also do we put our own lives first or do we satisfy everybody else’s needs and neglect our own which then justifies our breeches of safety when we do have a chance to do  something impulsive and costly when we feel that we have a chance to satisfy our own needs versus those of others.

 

 

Celebrate Yourself?

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?