Friday, March 27, 2009

How You Treat The Creation Is How You Feel About The Creator

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
~Charles Swindoll

Life is always going to throw you curve balls, always. People are going to like you, people are going to hate you, you can run yourself in circles trying to please everybody. It's never going to get you anywhere in life.

There have been countless times where people have hurt, disappointed, agitated, pissed me off etc. I used to worry about such things, eventually, and I don't know what happened. I think something in me snapped and I got tired of feeling like I was under the control of other people. Some people would say jump and I was plead with how high? I think it was in 2005 something began to snap and in 2006 I finally said, "To hell with these people. Wish them the best, but you're gonna run my dry trying to appease you."

What these people were doing to me was 10% of my problem, how I was allowing it to trigger reactions in me was 90% of my problem. As the old saying goes... we're our own worst enemy.

Once I learned this my sympathy meter began to dwindle towards certain things. I'm not heartless by any means. But if you've done something insanely stupid, knowing it was stupid don't cry/complain to me about it. I'll pat you on the back and tell you to suck it up and deal with it. Kinda like the whole "You made your bed, now sleep in it" kind of thing.

.... maybe I'm just not that nice of a person. I'm well aware of this. I'd do just about anything for my friends, but I'm not going to encourage destructive behavior.

Just venting... now I'm hungry... maybe I'll elaborate later. Any insight?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eh... it's a little rough around the edges, but it kinda points as to why I am the way I am around select people...

Eight Easy Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator -

Written by Fiona McColl

Emotional manipulators get extra marks for subtlety. A patronizing, mind-fucker can bend and twist and warp but somehow after a period of time they set off the ol’ bullshit meter. An emotional manipulator is smoother. You’ll have to adjust the sensitivity of your bullshit meter to escape unscathed. What is emotional manipulation? Well, emotional manipulation is a method of using words, body language and behavior for the purposes of provoking a particular reaction, getting a desired response or to just plain ol’ screw you over. If the emotional blackmailer is any good, he’ll having you offering to bend over and be fucked one more time, "anything you want dear." Lets talk about how an emotional manipulator works and how to recognize the game (because it very much IS a game) so you can reset that bullshit meter and safeguard against possible attack.

  1. There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - "It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment - but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry." Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all - but since they’ve said the words you’re pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!! Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played - don’t capitulate! Do not care take - do not accept an apology that feels like bullshit. If it feels like bullshit - it probably is. Rule number one - if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver - it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this shit.
  2. An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree - that is IF they didn’t volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, "ok thanks" - they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever - they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making - which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two - If an emotional manipulator said YES - make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties - if they don’t want to do it - make them tell you it up front - or just put on the walk-man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.
  3. Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it.If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so "forgetful" these days that you want to record their words for posterity’s sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you’re toting a notebook to safeguard yourself - that ol’ bullshit meter should be flashing steady by now!
  4. Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly - they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is "I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own" - check out the response and note the bullshit meter once again.
  5. Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off shit to undermine it. Example: "Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you." Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking - all the while "Sweetie" is sitting on their ass looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, "well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?" Cry, scream or choke ‘em - only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail.
  6. If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now - but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish - or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother - TRUST your gut and walk away!
  7. Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them. When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it - it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better - fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs - let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.
  8. Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.

Some would say it is possible with time, a great deal of honesty and communication to work through emotional manipulation. Personally I think life is short and precious - the only worthwhile thing to do when confronted with an emotionally manipulative person is to BROOM THEIR ASS TO THE CURB! A Relationship with emotionally manipulative person is similar to re-exposing yourself over and over and over to a highly toxic and potentially fatal virus. Each brush with it reduces your immunity and weakens your defenses. It can take more time for someone that has been in an emotionally manipulative relationship (READ: ABUSE) to recover than it does for someone that leaves a physically abusive one. At least you can name that punch that hit you. Emotional abuse is subtle. It is insidious. It is dangerous. If you are in it - walk away and never look back. Make it a rule!


So there you have it. While it does use, um, colorful language, I think this is something that most - oh... everybody - needs to hear. If anything, it saves you a lot of bending over backwards to please people. Especially people like the kind stated above. Ugh... makes my skin crawl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

There's No Easy Way To Say This

Many of you by now have heard of the huge scandal taking place in High Point concerning a youth pastor, a 14 year old and some not so great charges that continually seem to keep piling up. For a great part of this I have consciously remained silent for the mere fact of others feelings, I know some of the youth, I know many people who know this person, etc. etc.

But as time has passed and I have read and re-read comments, postings from news reporters across the nation (this story has hit CNN, MSN, etc. etc.) and since I am protected by amendment rights I am going to state my opinion now. If you don't like it, see the X button on the top right of your screen. Click it.

I am not going to stoop so low as to call this man a monster - maybe sincerely misguided, unaccounted for and sincerely stupid. But not a monster. I am well aware of the fact that people make mistakes, but here's the deal - he's 29, he married, TWO kids. She's 14, maybe in the 8/9th grade, she can't drive, JUST now probably going through puberty, and is no where near the emotional stability of handling relationships. More or less a relationship of this magnitude with an adult.

This dude, especially being a youth pastor should KNOW this. It should have crossed his mind, "HEY! I'm married and this isn't cool. Even if I wasn't married, this still isn't cool." There is a difference between a mistake and making the conscious decision to carry through something that one knows is wrong. This is something called pre-meditation. This is so many shades of wrong and it does make me sick to my stomach to think about it for so many reasons. For the girl, for the guy, for the families. It's just... the whole thing is so....... fucked.

It is sad. And I am very sure of God's grace and I'm sure it's in this and all that wonderful warm fuzzy feeling crap. Jesus had something to say about people who caused children to stumble: "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

The guy needs to bare his millstone. He NEEDS to take responsibility for his actions and I refuse to just dismiss it because he was a "great guy" I'm sure he was and still is; but that does not cover up for his actions. That does not give him a "get out of jail free" card. My heart breaks for the guy, the church, the guys family, the gal, the gal's family etc. It's a genuinely hard situation that quiet honestly shouldn't even be a reality, but it is.

The sad thing is I can count on 2 hands of the youth pastors that I know that have been caught up with getting too close to their teenagers - not neccessairly of this magnitude, but still. Guys, I swear on all that is holy, keep that damn thing in your pants. Keep your hands, your words and your mind off what IS NOT yours.

Again, I'm not saying these things in a spirit of hate or meanness; I am praying for all that is involved here. I know that it is much needed.