Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I am what I am

Here are some common statements people make, specially on those days when you feel down and out, statements that do nothing to change/help you, but instead are designed to keep you hostage in the land of confusion, hurt and stagnation. These are some pretty harmless statements actually, that might even seem like an assessment of your character and a way of helping you out, but beware, unless you know the correct intentions of the person, take these statements. And one final word, the interpretations are based on my experience and understanding, could vary for you.

1. Its for your own good – means that this is what I think is right or this is what I can concede to you. It has got nothing to do with either your good or your bad, its all about the other person.

2. You think too much – unless you are a person who has some sort of an OCD, this just means one thing, you have probably put the other person in a spot, where he/she might have to take some action. This is a techinique of abuse known as minimising or even denying your feelings. By saying you think too much, your abuser is trying to again point out that the problem is with you and that he/she is on the right track and has done everything possible. But has he/she really done everything possible? At the end of this talk you will probably question yourself and the validity of your feelings/reactions, well its their mission accomplished.

3. You are too sensitive – means that you are asking for something the other person is not ready to give. If you are asking your boyfriend to give you more time, he says he has a lot of work (while you find him on facebook or out with friends) and when you confront him, he stays adamant. You break down and he says, you are too sensitive, in that patronising, come-on-calm-down-girl voice, you have to understand that this is not about your sensitivity, but about his lack of it. If you ask your boss why you didn’t get a particular assignment and he/she runs you down similarly, even then realise that you are sane here. Its human to get upset, its human to feel bad if something doesn’t go well, its human to cry over unfairness, so don’t think you are wrong.

4. You are too small/large/brown/pink/blue – any statement that starts with you are too…is 90% of the time patented untruth or a statement of uncontrollable truths. You cant help it if you are tall, you cant help it if your color is brown, you cant help it if you have a muscular figure, its what God gave you. So if you have learnt to live with 6.7 feet of height or 300 pounds of mass, its time the ones who told you this start living with it too. If they don’t, then they always have other options, just like you have others who wont mind these attributes of yours. Never let anyone victimise you about the body God gave you. While its nice to be fit and try to achieve some of that too, its certainly not worth it to get anorexic or bulimic or even fat just to please someone.

5. You are the only person who can do this for me – this is a statement a manipulator uses so that he can get his work done, so what if its your first PTA meeting, so what if its your mom’s birthday, the manipulator will make you do the work with this backhanded praise. Don’t fall for it.

6. I cant because – like I said in a previous post, there is NO cant. There is only WILL NOT because of such and such.

7. Don’t you trust me – classic case of throwing you off by confusing you. And yes, they are probably cheating on you.

8. Do we have to talk about this now – and they sound hurt, stressed out even though you are the one who is hurt, suddenly you are apologising for your lack of consideration. This is just a way of guilt tripping you and avoiding the conversation. The fault is all yours after all, you just are not adept to know that they don’t ever want to talk/change/take responsibility. Normal people, sensitive people believe in solutions, unempathetic people or those who live in denial avoid talking about it.

9. Why cant you just forget/get over it – everyone takes their own time to get over things, and your feelings are your own, there is no fixed time limit or no specific way in which your feelings should be. As someone I admire says, feelings are not right or wrong, they are just there. If you hear this statement, it only means one thing, the person who told you this, doesn’t have the time or sensitivity for your feelings. If they are really caught up in something, you can be understanding, if not, then just learn that this is not the person who can offer you empathy, so look to others for that.

10. You have a victim syndrome – of all the examples, this takes the cake. It puts all the responsibility of all that’s wrong squarely on YOU. While it is true that thinking like a victim makes you powerless and wont help you change, its also important that when someone says you have a victim syndrome, you don’t minimise what the other person has done and look only at whats wrong with you. Own only what is yours, don’t make this about how you need to try more and more, try what you know is reasonable, anything else is unnecessary. I agree with those people who say that victims syndromes were invented by intelligent psychiatrists because they figured that manipulators/abusers don’t come to shrinks to get cured, its always the victims who come and well what better way to keep them and the fees coming rather than say that it’s the victim who is the problem.

Finally one word, everyone owns their perceptions and you can only own your own actions and the perceptions that caused those actions. You cannot and will not succeed in changing anyone else, so quit trying hard. You need to know what is within your control and what is outside yours and once you know that, quit worrying about what is not in your control. Let whoever is in control of that deal with it. You are what you are and if others demand you to be something else, you have an equal right to demand them to be something else. Acceptance is mutual, if you want to be accepted unconditionally, you should accept unconditionally too. Be what you are, no one is perfect and in the end we all do die, so it doesn’t really matter (wink).


Joe Pinto said...

My dear Kajal,

I am happy for the enormous introspection and hard work you have put into this note. Sadly, few of the trouble-makers and tormentors, who need to read this note, will get to see it (let us devise some way so that it gets to them).

For those who have been afflicted, I find some sound advice here: build your self-esteem. Love yourself. You are not as bad as they try to paint you. Believe in yourself. Seek the company of people who make you feel valued and wonderful.

Peace and love,
- Joe.

Indian Home Maker said...

Most of this is emotional abuse and should be dealt with firmly.

Victims of Domestic Violence also hear similar lines and it's easy to lose track of where one stopped being a victim and started feeling guilty for causing inconvenience to the offender. This is like trying to control a person.

Do submit this post for Indiblogger's Emotional Atyachaar Contest.