I’ve read Matt’s posts and they have really resonated. Rather than put a lengthy reply on his blog, I thought it might be more polite to just post my thoughts/notes on his subject here, along with a link to his relevant post. The post I’m linking to is a follow-up to his original about the glass by the sink. I highly recommend reading it.
I’m new to this blogging thing, so if I’ve screwed up or violated some blogging etiquette, I apologize in advance.
When someone is hurt, it is real for them. THEY are the ones having the feelings and presenting them to you. You are not expected to have the same feelings, but to acknowledge the other person’s feelings as valid for them. And to deal with it accordingly. Apparently this is scary for a lot of people, which brings us to:
2. Being dismissed because the person doesn’t feel the same emotion and can’t relate to the validity of that emotion. It’s like someone slapping another person in the face and saying “Oh, I didn’t feel that, so you shouldn’t feel it.” Of course you didn’t feel it! The perpetrator NEVER feels as bad as the victim. Whatever affliction was incurred on the victim is what THEY felt, not what the perpetrator felt. It’s much easier to dismiss the other person’s feelings and stay in the cocoon of your own, rather than go into the black cosmos of how someone else feels. You would have to look at your own actions and why they affected the other person negatively.
3. Telling someone how they should or shouldn’t feel. Or manipulating the situation to favor how you feel vs how they feel. How could you possibly tell someone how they should feel? How freaking controlling is that? I’m not allowed to have my own feelings? I have to have the feelings and emotions that YOU want me to have? I have a two-letter response to that. F & U.
In my opinion emotions are an involuntary reflex. When something happens, be it good or bad, you instantly have a feeling about it. You may change that feeling after having time to think about it for a while, but the initial emotion is there. Do people fly off the handle immediately without thinking? Of course. Could it be that they misjudged the situation and the response was wrong? Entirely possible. But, the feeling that they instantly had was real, right or wrong. It’s THEIR feeling, not yours and you cannot dismiss it simply because it’s not the same as yours.
4. On the point about people not helping out physically around the house i.e. cleaning up after themselves, the kids, sharing the responsibilities. “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” So, you’re an infant. You can’t think for yourself. On top of doing everything else for you, I also have to think for you. How exhausting.
When I was growing up, we had chores to do. Mom would always say “I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do. You should see that it needs to be done and do it.” Now, as a child, I had to be told over & over before I learned. But as adults we should be way past that. It was in fact a part of maturity called responsibility. The fact that Person 2 can’t (won’t) see things that have to be done and do them without being told is a workaround for laziness. They are hoping that Person 1 will a) forget to tell them to do it b) will get tired of telling them to do it and just do it themselves c) after much procrastination on the part of Person 2, will forget entirely that it needed to be done (at least for now). I have a phrase for Person 2: Terminally lazy.
If you’re living with someone who is terminally lazy, good luck. Unless they want to grow up and be responsible for their part in the marriage, both emotionally and physically, you are in for a hard row to hoe.
I think what these problems all boil down to is respect and selfishness. Some people think only about themselves and are incapable of putting the other person first as needed. Notice I said “as needed” and not “at all times”. You don’t have to worship the other person and sacrifice yourself for them. That’s just as detrimental. But if Person 2 puts themselves first at all times, how can they have respect for Person 1? If someone doesn’t have respect for you, how long can you continue to have respect and love for them?
Definition of respect:
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment
5. the condition of being esteemed or honored
(Image/freewhd.com) I know it’s hard, guys.
I’ll never be confused for a genius or scholar, but I’m reasonably bright in a Get B+ and A- Grades Without Trying kind-of way. And I made all of the same arguments you’re making. I repeated them until I was blue in the face, sometimes in my best dickhead voice while my wife and I volleyed shots at each otherin another fight in which no winner would emerge.
I agreed with you so much that I unknowingly bet my entire family on it. Andlost.
Maybe some of you guys are really tough and stoic. Maybe when bad things happen to you, you brush it off like it’s no big deal and move on gracefully.
That’s not how it went for me.
I could barely breathe when my wife and littleson weren’t homeanymore. This isn’t some “evil monster entitled man-hating feminist” I’m talking about, raging…
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