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Wheaton's Law of Reflective Douchebaggery

 
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Matu Collins wrote:Ooooh, enemabag is such a more appropriate insult! Enemacanoe?



Maybe there are levels, like the terroist threat levels. I.e.-

Level 1: Douchebag- A person with whom your veiwpoint on subject x does not mesh. "I see that guy shopping at Wal-Mart all the time. What a douche."
Level 2: Enemabag- A total douche, who has actively challenged and disagreed with your views on subject x. "That guy tried to tell me that the tomatoes he buys at Wal-Mart are just the same as the ones at the farmer's market. What an enemabag."
Level 3: Colostomybag- An absolute enemabag, who will rail on and on about his own views on subject x, but refuses outright to consider or even listen to other's views on subject x. "I know, right? He throws Wal-Mart into every conversation, and when I asked him why he drove two hours to buy tomatoes at Wal-Mart instead of growing them himself, he plugged his ears, shook his head, and kept sayin, 'la-la-la-la-al-gaba-gaba-gaba-I-can't-hear-you-la-la-la.'"

And so on and so forth.
 
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I've come to expect everyone to be an ass until proven otherwise........I'm seldom disappointed that way.....
 
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Does refusal to douche-ify another make one immune to douche-ification from another?

Is this moving into a discussion of 'karma'? Cause that would be... kindof douchey.

Im just surprised 'deucebag' hasn't caught on yet.
 
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It does not matter if you speak it or not. After all if you live your life to the fullest and you make a difference in this world, somebody thinks you are a douchebag. They might even say it out loud. Their standard set is different than yours.

If you can honestly and thoroughly not even think that the other person is a douchebag then this act falls into the tiny loophole "extremely high probability" which suggests that there is a possibility, although tiny, that this sentiment is a one way street. And I must tip my hat to you for being of greater strength of character than I.

If you think it, but don't say it, then the law still stands.
 
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@Paul W.: "If you think it, but don't say it, then the law still stands...."

What this implies is that the other person is thinking, and not saying, the same thing in direct reaction to your own thinking/not-saying. Thereby confirming the existence, still disputed within neurobiology, of mirror neurons in the higher primates. Drinks all around !.....
 
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LOL.  Thanks all I needed this thread this fine Monday morning.

Anyone remember the "Dunce Hats?"  I propose a douchebag hat.  Just be still when approaching a potential douchebag and silently think "ha ha nice hat douchebag!"
 
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Replace douchebag with arsehole, and it applies just as much.  Most of the people I have seen call others either, tend to be acting out and insulting someone who can't hear them.  Or begrudging some absent person, a perceived injustice or insult, which is usually petty.

Every time I have to sit there and listen to it, I try and remind myself that I don't want to be trapped in the pattern the person I'm having to listen to is.

I'm not religious, but I think some of the short expressions work for me.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged."
 
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LOL! We here in Western Canada often even drop the "bag" part and would just say, "That guy is such a douche." just in case this is in any way relevant I would personally define a douchebag as someone (usually a male) who thinks they're all that, but in reality, they really are not all that (not even close)

 I'm bumping this thread up, and adding a comment, because I'm nearly ready to quit my job because of a douche of this nature.

I'm not saying that the douche does not occasionally think I'm a douche too, because we don't see eye to eye on many things, and if Paul's ideas about value sets holds true, then that makes sense.  But I don't think I'm a douche, and I personally would take offense to this douche calling me a douche.  So there's that.    

Here's the situation:  I just went to welding school in the end of last winter, and the guy I work with has been to the same school three years, and has another three years of welding after that.  His welding sucks.  I know this because I paid attention in class, and I asked questions in class, and I made mistakes in class and was corrected.  I watch him weld and cringe.  It's not that his actual welds are that bad.  It's all the things that you are supposed to do to make sure the next weld is on clean material, that has not been distorted, that has not been heat damaged... et cetera.  But he thinks, like the quote above, that he is all that.  He actually told me that he could teach me all I needed to know and that the school would be a waste of the company's money (i was paid to go to school).

So I do all the welding and he does all the grinding out of the defective metal and the finish grinding.  He's also a terrible grinder, overgrinding creates problems with megatons of freight going over it.  He's my foreman and he gets our protection (on the railway we as workers get a protection permit to own the track so that no one can run us over with a train while we are welding).  He's also supposed to monitor the radio because even with protection, mistakes happen and trains run into worker's protection limits and people don't stand up well to getting run over by trains.  He doesn't monitor the radio, he paces around and micro manages me or, more often, he goes to look at other potential work sites in the area.  I have ear plugs in to keep welding slag out of my ears (but also so that it's easier to tune out his constant stream of bullshit) and there's a massive welder generator blaring on the truck nearby that cancels out me hearing most of what the external speaker manages to get through my earplugs.  He's also a total narcissist.  He's so in love with himself that he doesn't notice that I haven't been involved in a 45 minute conversation (while we are driving to our work location) that has branched on multiple tangents--- all about him.

So, anyway the other day I'm going to start welding a defective area that he has ground out and I notice that the area below my weld area and below what he just ground out was severely overground in the past, and it is very clear that this is the reason that the area that I am about to weld broke in the first place and has broken out in this place before, and caused other places where the trains transition over to break out as well.  I point this overground area out to him and he shrugs, saying that the surface "wants to run that way" .  This is Douchspeak meaning that the trains have caused the problem not his grinding.  I have to put a block of carbon against the area to use as a sort of outer form to weld my new beads of material against.  Unfortunately the lower area is so massively overground that it is impossible to get the carbon block to fit flush, and thus there is a good chance that molten metal will drip down or I have to put the block in multiple positions and build up with weld of shorter beads.  While I struggle with this, he continues to micromanage me.  He does this the entire time that I am welding, continuously telling me that I am taking way too long.  I get the weld done during our allotted permit time, and we cancel our permit.  Two trains run before we have the chance to get another permit so he can do the finishing grind to bring the piece back to true profile.  

He gets a block of time that is long enough to do a lot more than the finish grind, which is great; it's always nice to have more than enough time to do your job.  Instead of getting the grinder out, he gets out his own welding gear and sets up to weld up the gaping hole underneath the area that I had just welded.  I cringe the whole time that i watch him weld.  It's so painful to watch, I must be a masochist.  At one point he notices that I am watching his welds with my welding helmet on, hoping that I might glean some small morsel of a useful technique one day, and he has just finished violently chipping the slag off of his weld.  He flips up his lid, and says to me that a good hard chip is as good as a peen.  I nearly burst out laughing (hysterical maniacal...not funny ha ha laughing) at the extreme fallacy of his statement.  This is the great lesson of the day for his 'apprentice'.   I nearly hitch hiked home.  Clearly I was very right that the profile was ground way off from where it should be, but he wouldn't admit that when I brought it up, or even after he welded it up.  He didn't mention it, or the fact that he had given me a massive amount of grief and frustration for nothing.  I brought up that it was good that my weld was now well supported and that it would protect the two places that we have been having consistent trouble with.  He agreed, but there is no acknowledgement that he massively screwed up this piece of metal in the first place which had caused all it's problems this summer.

This is just one part of one day of last week, which was one of the worst weeks that I've had, but it is not completely unheard of; in fact many of my days have been much the same.

He is a douche.  Period.  If I'm a douche because I call him a douche then so be it.  

 
paul wheaton
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An email found its way to me a bit ago.  Somebody shared the kickstarter on a local permaculture mailing list.  A woman replied:

Sorry, I can't support Paul Wheaton.  Myself and many women had a VERY bad experience with he and his group years ago over their promoting their Rocket Stove Guide with an ad of a naked woman sprawled over the rocket stove bench.  I could have even let that slide, but when myself and many other women from around the U.S. and beyond gave feedback we were shamed, called ugly names and disregarded.  Even then, if he had stepped in and taken some responsibility or voiced anything about the whole debacle, you might give him some slack because he's knowledgeable.  But alas, no.  So, I can't support him and his group.  




Somebody on the list forwarded it to the next person saying

With my better judgement I did NOT reply to this email (doesn't affect the temp of my water), but I did make sure to back Paul's Kickstarter.




and then my response to the person that sent it to me was:

A woman posed.  A second woman took the pic.  A third woman mashed it
up into this image.  A fourth woman posted it to facebook.

I was called in when apparently somebody was super freaky angry.   I
saw a psycho commanding all of these women what they had to think.
And all of these women said "no thanks" and the psycho then really
lost it.   So I just deleted all the psycho crap and left the lovely
image and the comments of the lovely woman.

The delete button is my friend.





What I saw, when I got to the mess, was four women having a bit of a giggle and one super hostile woman telling them that they should be ashamed.

The fascinating thing is her word choice here.  

we were shamed, called ugly names and disregarded.



I didn't see that at all.  I saw a perfect reflection of what she claims.  She was doing the shaming.  She was calling the nice people ugly names.  She was disregarding their position.  


if he had stepped in and taken some responsibility



I did step in.   And deleted her hostile crap.


and many other women from around the U.S



I just remember her all by herself.


She's a douchebag.   And she is clearly pointing at me with the same word on her lips.


 
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This just goes to show that someone, somewhere, will be mad about anything.  We seem to live in a society where many people just walk around looking for something to be offended by.  All I see is a clever image that features a beautiful woman tastefully posed on rocket mass heater.  But that's just me.
 
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Hmm, this law seems to be about half accurate to me. I agree that mutual feelings of douchebaggery probably reflect differing value systems most of the time. I don’t think this necessarily implies that both value sets are equally valid or should be treated as such by society (not that Paul is claiming they should), although it does probably mean that we would derive value from considering the other person’s POV and what it says about us in most cases.

On the other hand, I don’t think the reflectivity really holds true. There are plenty of people out there who think I’m a douchebag whom I think are sincere people doing good work and trying their best. I might be angered or hurt by finding out that they think I’m a douche, but it doesn’t change my assessment of their entire character and personality. Also, there are people out there whom I think are the douchiest douches to ever douche, who really like me and want to hang out all the time. And there are plenty of people with similar values to mine whom I think are douchey, and people with differing values (dogmatically religious people, vegans, materialist atheists, techno-utopians, progressives, Republicans, Democrats, politically correct people, conventional farmers, and many more) whom I think are awesome.
 
pollinator
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> reflectivity...

I'm not sure what the original meaning was here, but:  Most times when somebody accuses me of various bad things it really appears to me that those are the very things _they_ do - all the time. They pile their habits onto me so nobody notices their own behavior. Verbal misdirection.

Reflectivity? I kind of wonder if it just _seems_ that their list of complaints and offenses matches what I see them doing or if there is some real connection there. I guess if I had to bet money I'd be on my take. <g>

Rufus
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Rufus,

What I meant by reflectivity was what Paul called reflective douchebaggery in the OP: if I point to someone and call him a douchebag, he is also pointing to me and calling me a douchebag, and this happens because we hold differing values.

What you are talking about is I think what I have seen called “projecting the shadow”: when the things that one hates most vehemently about another person are actually the things that are most hated about oneself and hidden from one’s own conscious self-image (one’s “shadow self”), projected onto that other person.
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote: “projecting the shadow”: when the things that one hates most vehemently about another person are actually the things that are most hated about oneself and hidden from one’s own conscious self-image (one’s “shadow self”), projected onto that other person.



I think this is very true, a lot of the time. Especially when the feelings are very strong, then I suspect this is what is behind it. An inconvenient truth but truth nevertheless.  I might add that feelings of hate are in themselves not "bad", they can be a good thing and give you the motivation to do something positive too. It's when those feelings of hate are not acknowledged & processesed internally, but thrown at other people instead, that they become a problem. I think. This is my current understanding at least In no expert in psychology, just a keen student.
 
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Rufus Laggren wrote: Most times when somebody accuses me of various bad things it really appears to me that those are the very things _they_ do - all the time. They pile their habits onto me so nobody notices their own behavior.



I believe you have just summed up the prerequisite attitude of every person who does wrong.

I define blame as: the angry unjust accusation of others

From what I've seen so far, every wrong action first begins with blame. For it is that angry unjust accusation which is used as a justification for subsequent action. It's revealing that in the Bible, Satan was also known as "The Accuser". Religious belief isn't necessary to understand this axiomatic principle of how people behave.  
 
Nina Jay
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Trace Oswald wrote: All I see is a clever image that features a beautiful woman tastefully posed on rocket mass heater.  But that's just me.



That is what I saw too, that was my first thought. The second was: wow, this picture illustrates really well how warm the mass can be, one can lie naked on it and not get cold. The third thought that ran through my mind was that this picture may motivate many men to build one so they can see their wife/ girlfriend naked more often

In no way did I think the photo was offensive.

There are many religions in which showing pictures like this would be offensive. So I get that somebody might find the image disrespectful of their beliefs. What they choose to do about this fact is another matter altogether. Expressing their feelings about how offended they are is okay in my opinion, if done politely. Claiming that Paul shamed them, called them ugly names and disregarded them, when he de facto* didn't, is not okay, in my view.

*edit for clarity: I wasn't there, but Paul said he didn't and I have zero reason to doubt it, because I haven't in all these years on Permies witnessed him do that to anyone. So that's a fact for me. Also, if I did feel Paul was the kind of person likely to shame people and call them ugly names, I wouldn't be hanging out here on this forum. I quite frankly couldn't deal with something like that, being the sensitive person that I am.
 
paul wheaton
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When I saw the hostility, I elected to say nothing.   This woman is clearly a tar baby:

https://permies.com/t/45441/tar-baby


 
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Rufus Laggren wrote: Most times when somebody accuses me of various bad things it really appears to me that those are the very things _they_ do - all the time. They pile their habits onto me so nobody notices their own behavior.



I believe you have just summed up the prerequisite attitude of every person who does wrong.

I define blame as: the angry unjust accusation of others

From what I've seen so far, every wrong action first begins with blame. For it is that angry unjust accusation which is used as a justification for subsequent action. It's revealing that in the Bible, Satan was also known as "The Accuser". Religious belief isn't necessary to understand this axiomatic principle of how people behave.  



Interesting. In a more recent case of using blame to highlight villainy, the bad guy in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie is named "Ronan the Accuser."

I don't know about it as a character-framing device. Most good movies these days actually seek to humanise the villain, to make them seem more relatable to the audience, who are, ostensibly, supposed to identify mostly with the "good guys." By casting them as "blamers," I think it negates that idea.

And I agree with Trace. A culture has grown up, probably with the litigative culture in the states, that seems to hold as its primary goal the finding of things by which to be offended, and then to externalise their emotion. The only thing better than finding some juicy slight to get riled up over is to have people ignore you, or better yet, laugh.

Of course, it goes off the rails when it's realised that the whiner has no audience, and that, instead, they are being laughed at by people who should respect them, because reasons.

Luckily, the worst we have to deal with, on the internet, at least, are issues that the publication standards take care of nicely. Also luckily, there's no angry blue alien with a shiny purple stone coming to avenge himself on us for our slight.

-CK
 
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Chris Kott wrote:Interesting. In a more recent case of using blame to highlight villainy, the bad guy in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie is named "Ronan the Accuser."



This highly durable archetype of bad behavior shows up again and again in religion, mythology, and today, in movies. In fact multiple disparate sources over time attest to its validity.

Becoming offended, resentful, or angered always figures into the unjust accusation of others, because emotional upset externally fixates the attention upon the object of offense and not upon the offended. The offended can only feel they are an innocent victim and that their anger is the other person's fault, when in reality the fault lies within themselves. Societies built upon perpetual emotional upset and the angry unjust accusation of others are unsustainable because people who don't look at themselves can only get worse and worse in their constant search over something... anything, over which to become upset.






 
John Weiland
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Personally, I was concerned about the imagery being employed in that kickstarter poster.  I mean, what kind of message is Wheaton Labs trying to send here?  Upon focusing on the composite, my eyes were *immediately* (..clears throat..) drawn to the positioning of the stove-pipe relative to the log timbers in the background.  Would that be considered a safe distance for most local codes?  And really, whether or not we are talking about wood, or *wood*, is it really EVER 'free' in the ecological, moral, and cosmic sense?

Other than that, the individual in repose appears to be enjoying the.....heat.



.... ;-)
 
Rufus Laggren
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Per Greg:
> Becoming offended, resentful, or angered always figures into the unjust accusation of others, because emotional upset externally fixates the attention upon the object of offense and not upon the offended. The offended can CAN ONLY FEEL THAT THEY ARE AN INNOCENT victim and that THEIR ANGER IS THE OTHER PERSON'S FAULT, when in reality the fault lies within themselves.
>

Bingo! Unfortunately I have had to live in close proximity the very archetype of such a person for a year and a half. One of my important goals is to remove the need for that situation. It's a _very_ important goal. I continually remind myself of that old chestnut: Don't wrestle with a Pig - the Pig enjoys it and you get dirty!

I think at one time this behavior may have been described as "passive aggressive"? But the person I'm unhappily familiar with goes far, far beyond that. Certainly he has a continuous powerful undertone of anger and aggression while never stating any personal position or feelings at all aside his deep offense over the failings of others  and his own superior morality. The "public" never sees this, at least not directly. He is a consummate charmer and sycophant.

Ah, well. Sorry to go OT. This one just hit a very sore button and the safety valve vented a little. <g> But one wonders a little just what created such a poisonous brew...


Regards,
Rufus
 
Greg Mamishian
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Rufus Laggren wrote:Bingo! Unfortunately I have had to live in close proximity the very archetype of such a person for a year and a half. One of my important goals is to remove the need for that situation. It's a _very_ important goal. I continually remind myself of that old chestnut: Don't wrestle with a Pig - the Pig enjoys it and you get dirty!

I think at one time this behavior may have been described as "passive aggressive"? But the person I'm unhappily familiar with goes far, far beyond that. Certainly he has a continuous powerful undertone of anger and aggression while never stating any personal position or feelings at all aside his deep offense over the failings of others  and his own superior morality. The "public" never sees this, at least not directly. He is a consummate charmer and sycophant.

Ah, well. Sorry to go OT. This one just hit a very sore button and the safety valve vented a little. <g> But one wonders a little just what created such a poisonous brew...


Regards,
Rufus



I came upon a solution from years of learning by personal experience how to properly interact with very difficult people in a convalescent hospital... and it is to change myself so that my behavior falls outside of the boundaries of difficult people's "script". You would not believe the unforeseen consequences this change sets into motion! They become my friends. But this change has to be genuine and not just posing in an attempt to manipulate. Everyone, no matter what their mental state, can spot fakers miles away and it only backfires.

I have no idea of your personal situation or how this may or may not apply to you. I'm only describing a general principle which has proven itself to be rock solid in real world situations.
 
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I used to get quite agitated when dealing with people who constantly level accusations. Now, I just let them go at it, telling me all the things that they think are wrong with me or what they think I've done wrong. When they are all done, exhausted their arsenal, I usually just say some quick little thing like, "I often have problems like this with people of your intelligence". Then, I move on and don't engage them on whatever it is they were bitching about. Non engagement is a winning strategy, whenever you're dealing with someone who wants to waste your time going over the litany of issues they have with you.

Another strategy I have, is agreeing with people. Or I like to call it mock agreement. They know that I don't agree with them, but I say  "Yes, I'm an asshole, and a slob, and ignorant, lazy, greedy and stupid." Sometimes I throw in some very extreme ones just for fun. "Murderer and molester of animals, don't forget those." If their jaw keeps moving, I just keep piling it on. This is much more fun if I have an audience.
 
paul wheaton
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Somewhere in all of this must be another law.   Something about if you publicly share something, you will be hated for it.  And that hate is somebody expressing their difference of value set.  And of course, with their hate comes a bit of a reflective package.  

But rather that cataloging the dumbfucks of the world ...   consider Sepp Holzer.  He has had some pretty serious nasty directed his way.   All because he publicly shared his philosophies - and there were people that hated him for those philosophies.   But here is the magic part ...   he waved it off as "jealousy."   In fact, Sepp and everybody on his team, for any kind of negative comment or awfulness, just universally wave it off as jealousy.  They don't care.  They authentically don't care.  Oh sure, the douchebaggery law is still reflective, but the degree is vastly diminished.   I think that within this "wave it off" space is the real power for moving forward.  

Surely there is a "law" out there somewhere that states that anything shared publicly will harvest hate from people with a different value set.  No matter how much the-shared-thing is admired by others.  Having such a law defined as a for-real-thing would probably help to encourage a lot of sharing.  


On that note, I came here to share a couple of old memes somebody made a long time ago:







 
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paul wheaton wrote: ... He has had some pretty serious nasty directed his way.   All because he publicly shared his philosophies - and there were people that hated him for those philosophies.  
...... I think that within this "wave it off" space is the real power for moving forward.  




And it doesn't hurt to recognize various ways nasty is presented, although it's also not really worth getting mired in the mud-slinging.  With 'shade' being the new 'nasty',  there are many more than "50 greys of shade" (to use an inversion of that popular title) used to downgrade and dismiss novel and forward-thinking ideas.  But as noted, within reason and keeping the eyes on the prize, waving off the detractors and demonstrating successes is the best defense of all.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I used to get quite agitated when dealing with people who constantly level accusations. Now, I just let them go at it, telling me all the things that they think are wrong with me or what they think I've done wrong. When they are all done, exhausted their arsenal, I usually just say some quick little thing like, "I often have problems like this with people of your intelligence". Then, I move on and don't engage them on whatever it is they were bitching about. Non engagement is a winning strategy, whenever you're dealing with someone who wants to waste your time going over the litany of issues they have with you.

Another strategy I have, is agreeing with people. Or I like to call it mock agreement. They know that I don't agree with them, but I say  "Yes, I'm an asshole, and a slob, and ignorant, lazy, greedy and stupid." Sometimes I throw in some very extreme ones just for fun. "Murderer and molester of animals, don't forget those." If their jaw keeps moving, I just keep piling it on. This is much more fun if I have an audience.



While your approaches can be effective, what they have in common is that they are adversarial. The approach I described is not adversarial because there is nothing there to push against.

Any conflict is actually a tacit agreement between two people to both be upset. I found that it is even more effective to decline to enter into that agreement by not being upset by the other person. It cannot work by pretending not to be upset. It only works when you are genuinely not upset. That's the secret. With no prior agreement there can be no subsequent conflict, because you are literally something else which cannot be found in the script of the drama.

By ordering yourself first... others graciously acquiesce to that order. It's actually a relief for them to be freed from their script and to leave it behind for something better.
 
Rufus Laggren
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> [dealing with hostile criticism and other forms of personal aggression]

I have done as Dale, the "wave it off" part, and Seth, and I'm sure many others, though much more mildly (so far). However, it was quite difficult.

Greg, I'm certain, has the right concept and approach. I absolutely agree with the warning that anything we say must be honest because people _know_. My problem may stem from the necessity, several times over the past year or so, to put a STOP to certain unacceptable behaviors right then and there - which I did. I felt that breaking the pattern was required any way possible. It was seriously not pretty. My impression is that this person had never been told "No" in any effective way. As far as I can tell, he has no regard for societal norms or any social contract except as tools  he can deploy. Anything goes. The result was, I guess, predictable, but what I saw going down was something that I felt had to stop, regardless. And I would again. I liken it to cleaning a sewer pump - when it has to be done, it HAS TO BE DONE and yes, it gets ugly.

I don't intend to remain this sewer much longer. There does not appear to be anything positive to hope for, unfortunately, although on the surface things have gotten much calmer. Perhaps being told no is taking some time to process. I'm sure the problem will resurface.

Thank you for your comments. Greg's  definitely reminded me there are better ways to deal. We can lose sight of that if we get too buried on one close environment.


Regards,
Rufus
 
Greg Mamishian
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Rufus, Your sewer metaphor is highly relevant to life. Our sewer is completely transformed... totally off the script.



Those giant Water Hyacinths are three feet tall. They flourish in our sewage.

I have no complaints about the world I live in just as it is right here and right now in this moment. Any problem I do have is with myself and only myself. It has absolutely nothing to do with others. The world around you will graciously conform to whatever order you can establish within yourself. You hold all the power... so don't waste it trying to control others. Instead use it wisely to govern yourself. For if you do, the kingdom of heaven will come to earth... always on the inside first... then to the outside.

 
Dale Hodgins
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I've been catching some negativity lately, over my choice to semi retire from demolition, salvage and house moving and move on to something brand new on a farm in the Philippines. People I barely know have chimed in on this. So rather than arguing with them, I give them the floor.

"Tell me everything you know about what I'm planning to do." They come up dry every time. A bunch of stuff about typhoons, tsunamis street gangs and any other little tidbits they've heard in the news concerning any part of the world that isn't right at their doorstep. It's never location-specific, just a list of bad things that can happen where brown people are in the majority. After they've had their CNN moment, I tell them that I will keep those things in mind.
 
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Rufus Laggren wrote: Don't wrestle with a Pig - the Pig enjoys it and you get dirty!

I think at one time this behavior may have been described as "passive aggressive"? But the person I'm unhappily familiar with goes far, far beyond that. Certainly he has a continuous powerful undertone of anger and aggression while never stating any personal position or feelings at all aside his deep offense over the failings of others  and his own superior morality. The "public" never sees this, at least not directly. He is a consummate charmer and sycophant.



This sounds like the person was a narcissist. It's a psychological condition. They think that they must always be right and always be in control. They usually look "so nice" to the general observer, but those that they are close to, they start to control and manipulate. Some do this purposefully, others without even realizing it. They gas light the person, make the person doubt his/her own abilities and reality, and make themselves (the narcissist) always seem right.

One way to work with a narcissist is to be extremely BORING, also called "grey rock." https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/6158/gray-rock-method-dealing-narcissist/

When you do have to talk to them, stick to tedious subjects like the weather. If they ask questions, give short, uninspiring answers that can’t possibly lead to further conversation.

They ask, “how are you?” and you respond “fine, thanks.”

They ask, “what did you do at the weekend?” and you respond “I did my laundry and mowed the lawn.”

If they respond with “you’ve become boring,” just nod and smile in agreement (they don’t have to know that you disagree wholeheartedly with that statement).

A simple yes and no will suffice where appropriate, but sometimes you won’t want to commit to an answer if it means giving an opinion. In these cases a non-binding “hmmmm,” “maybe,” or “we’ll see” will do.

Never talk about your personal life, even the smallest details. They will hook their claws into any morsel of information you provide and use it to try and further the conversation and extract narcissistic supply from you. They want to know what you value in your life now. They envy what you have (regardless of what it is), and if they can’t have it, they will seek to take it from you somehow. Don’t give them the chance; remain secretive about your new life without them.

Never tell them how well you are doing (as much as it might please you to rub their noses in it). Remember, they are driven by their egos, and any suggestion that you are better off without them or that they are in some way inferior to you will be seen as an affront to their identity. They see themselves as above everyone else in every regard, and if you imply that you are doing better than they are, it will enrage them.

Do not ask them questions. Even if it seems like harmless small talk, as soon as you engage with them and ask them about their life, it gives them the green light to reel off a list of their recent accomplishments (whether true or fabricated) to belittle you. Or they might rant about a mutual acquaintance to see if you’ll react in any way. Don’t give them a platform. Don’t pander to their need for attention.

Try to stick to facts wherever possible. Parents’ evening is at 7pm on Wednesday. The doctor has given them (your son/daughter) antibiotics to take every 8 hours. We have 5 new clients this month. Statements that the narcissist will struggle to challenge because they are not subject to interpretation. The last thing you want to do is get into a debate with them.

Avoid mention of the past at all costs. You don’t want to revisit those dark times even if they do. By bringing up your history, you risk the resurfacing of old wounds and arguments. You’ll also be faced with the blame game which is never a game you can win.



Why Does Going Gray Rock Work?
Your narcissist is an actor; one who wears many masks and plays many roles. The people in their life – including YOU – are the supporting cast in their own, personal soap opera.

It’s part romance, part drama, part action, part thriller, part comedy (the joke’s always on you), and even part horror (in which they are the scary monster and you are their terrified victim).

Every scene in this live action soap opera must keep the narcissist interested and engaged. They will write the storylines and direct the other actors via manipulation and coercion so that they are thoroughly entertained.

They will ensure that they – the star of the show – receive their fix of attention, adoration, or praise from the other characters.

Whether you play a big role such as a partner or family member, or a smaller part such as an occasional acquaintance, adopting the Gray Rock method is an effective way to get yourself written out of the series altogether.

Just imagine watching a scene from a show or film in which one character gives nothing in the way of emotion or interesting dialogue. How boring would that be? You’d probably switch over to something else, right?

Well, the narcissist is the same. If your scenes together can’t provide them with that level of excitement, they will be forced to look elsewhere for it.

 
Greg Mamishian
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Nicole Alderman wrote:If your scenes together can’t provide them with that level of excitement, they will be forced to look elsewhere for it.



Nicole, your approach is similar to mine. One difference is that I don't plan what I'm going to say in advance or even try to be off the drama script. Over time I simply let change settle in to become a natural part of me so I'm just being myself without any effort. When others see you are naturally relaxed defenseless and amiable without being phony, your own established inner propriety automatically sets them free to give up their drama script because they innately know it won't work.
 
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Lol. Forgive us our douchebaggery as we forgive those who were douchebags against us.
 
Chris Kott
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Hey, man.

-CK
 
Nicole Alderman
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I actually have never used a script, either, but I've also never dealt with a narcissist that really latched on to me...because I've always been boring. I've never been interested in terribly exciting things (sewing, drawing, gardening, knitting, etc), and my social graces aren't the best, so I often don't pick up on passive aggressive clues, and so the narcissist doesn't get much of a reaction out of me. it was nothing I purposefully did, either--it's just how I've always been. I was actually just talking with my husband about this, and how I somehow managed to make it through public school and life without ever really having many leeches latch on to me. Those that did try to use me, were actually only interested in me because of someone else I knew. It's good to be boring!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I actually have never used a script, either, but I've also never dealt with a narcissist that really latched on to me...because I've always been boring. I've never been interested in terribly exciting things (sewing, drawing, gardening, knitting, etc), and my social graces aren't the best, so I often don't pick up on passive aggressive clues, and so the narcissist doesn't get much of a reaction out of me. it was nothing I purposefully did, either--it's just how I've always been. I was actually just talking with my husband about this, and how I somehow managed to make it through public school and life without ever really having many leeches latch on to me. Those that did try to use me, were actually only interested in me because of someone else I knew. It's good to be boring!



Ah, this is because people naturally gravitate to others who share their values... for better or for worse... as every principle cuts both ways.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Jeff Hodgins wrote:Lol. Forgive us our douchebaggery as we forgive those who were douchebags against us.



Jeff, this moral principle holds so true you can even substitute the terms!

It is a self inflicted equation:  We are forgiven to the extent that we forgive others, just as we are condemned to the extent that we condemn others. This is because we are held accountable to the same standards as we hold others accountable.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Nicole

Thanks for that reference quoted. It sounds like an solid ID... <g>  Oh well. I guess if I had to deal w/this, this guy is not the worst. Just the worst I've run into.

> "... I'll keep those things in mind." (Dale)

<GG> Yup. Just like that. <g>

Forget where I saw it, but I remember reading that one's friends/family can be the worst problem because changes one embarks on can rock _their_ boat and a normal first reaction is to try to stop the rocking...

Greg, that looks like a real BOSS plant. <g>


Rufus
 
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