Stubborn Pride

One of the malcontents within myself, who I call “stubborn pride”, is, as you might expect, hard to change in a fundamental way, although he deeply considers everything that you might say when you reason with him. A few things are clear with this guy:

  1. His job is based on the fear of tragedies, so he does his best to create an
    Stubborn Pride, one of the Malcontents

    atmosphere of joy within

  2. He himself is not joyful, mostly because he doesn’t like his job. Who would like a job that’s totally based on fear?
  3. He’s unwilling to abandon his post, because he has seen the effect of tragedy first hand and wants to do what he can to prevent it.
  4. He doesn’t really enjoy that job because it’s hard to see the results, and any news (a potential or active danger) is bad news. In such a position, it’s easy to get grumpy.
  5. While he’s willing to consider new things (such as letting go of inhibitions, or emotional healing), if they don’t have a clear, practical benefit after being tested, he’ll shut it down.
  6. If you can help this part of yourself to see their reason for living as they are in the first place (the purpose behind their actions), then they will become much less grumpy, if not downright glad. For me, it was because this guy had seen tragedy, and seen how upset those who went through things could get – so he wanted to make the world better so he could help those he cared about to not experience that stuff as much.

However, it’s clear that this part of myself can be dangerous. If he is ever too short-sighted to see the effect of different actions, or if he misjudges certain situations, he could apply a backwards solution to the problem without really taking the time to investigate it. Fear does that – it incites quick reactions that may not be well-thought out, or even based in cowardice. If the fearless, emotionally vital parts of yourself, who bear the brunt of this kind of misjudgment, keep watch, it could reduce the number of damaging mistakes this malcontent can make. That’s what I decided to do – I will see if it works.

Tragedy and the Emotional Vampire

The tragedy of losing friends and those you hold dear is connected to clinging on to others (who you also hold dear) in unhealthy, unfriendly ways. Maybe the true culprit is abandoning yourself during times of pain, when you need comforting the most. I will find out.

EDIT: Why does this post include something about the “Emotional Vampire?”

There is a side of one’s self who wants to keep others close to it because of the benefits it gains. I call this The Emotional Vampire. Why? Because he wants to prey off of the joy of friendship, but complains with those others want to be free, and do their own thing.

After talking with this guy, I realized he acted this way because he himself had lost friends, and, not wanting to deal with that kind of pain anymore, he now did what he could to keep current friends close.

He only seems to come out when a friendship or relationship is in danger. It’s that grasping feeling, saying, “How dare they! I am their friend!” However, as you can see, the Emotional Vampire isn’t invested in what their friend wants.

The reason why, in the original post, I suggested this compulsion might have to do with abandoning yourself in times of pain is because when you lose a friend, it’s painful – and if you can’t be your own friend at those times, you might try to get other people to alleviate your pain for you. I have not proven or disproven this at this time.

All I can say it was extremely disturbing the first time I saw this in myself, because I want to be a good friend, and this side of myself is decidedly not.

Just be careful not to let this side of yourself be the dominating way you relate with other people, or those who wise up to it will flee from you. Instead, challenge your own neediness, and become a more true friend, one who can stand on his or her own, but enjoys giving and receiving nonetheless.

Helping others to Accept Tragedy and Loss

Random thought: At any time all our hopes and carefully laid out plans for the future could come crashing down, and our refusal to accept that reality does not need to be foisted on others, because in times of trial, people NEED acceptance, rather than the temptation to ignore, escape, or refuse the reality around and within them.

What I mean is, when someone is going through something tough, if they have trouble accepting things, saying, “I can’t believe this happened…”, then rather than just agreeing with them it’s important to emphasize, when they’re ready, with kindness, that they will need to accept it in order to move forward. If they can’t, it’s important to ask why. Maybe they have a need that’s not being met anymore, and you can work with them at that point to help them meet that need in new ways, as life changes.

Just remember to be patient. Give people the time to let their fear of the new situation calm down. And most of all, make sure they know it’s ok to be afraid, it’s ok to feel lost. This is a sensitive time, and if they run away from their feelings, things will only get worse. With a space to heal and feel the feelings, the ones that are hard to take, they’ll get better.

And as with anything for others, you can give yourself this space to heal too.