Sex, drugs, and mental health are sometimes difficult topics for people to discuss to any depth. Only, not everyone will tell you this. Sometimes people don't even know themselves that they aren't open to conversation. We have a lot of taboos in this culture. Some are helpful thoughts and others are hurtful. Like, the taboo against delight in someone's murder. I'm ok with that taboo. It can stay. It's the other less-distinct taboos, these are the ones about which I sometimes feel hesitance. Like, is it ok for another Asian-looking person to make fun of an Asian accent with English? Or is it funny when a fellow female coworker emails a mostly male department with a comic that jokes about hairy female legs at the end of winter? (Wait - misogyny is hilarious?) Ack. So we go through early life and people or myths may guide us to be the bigger person, grow with care, plan, blah blah. Then life varies and we see sometimes that others don't follow their own advice, that even we fail our own expectations from time to time. Or we might get into the workplace and realize sexism is alive and well, racism is livin' it up. It can so dishearten to experience ideals crack or dissolve. Rape, self-harm, eating disorders, suicide attempts... these are control mechanisms, ways in which we wish to control another person or life or ourselves or anything at all because ...maybe... everything seems so f'n crazy or unfair sometimes. Absolute power is a delight for a mind not right. (Right as in “leading to happiness for oneself and others” rather than "a moral judgment to be contrasted with right and wrong," as Beth Roth states in a tricycle.com article.) Cooperation and partnership compose deep power.
When I feel restriction after someone else's comments, I notice that my breath changes. A control play can feel like a thwack against my chest. Often, I feel uncertain about whether to voice my opinion. I don't want to come across as critical and yet when I speak any words, I open myself to possibility that another will perceive my stance as critique. In effect, I feel concern that others will find my words critical and the only way in which they would do so is if they are, themselves, critical. So I fear that others may perceive their own identity traits and then project them onto me. Hm. That's one possibility for what happened with Blue Sky, methinks, and perhaps with others. Often, humans don't want to embody anger, offense, or pain because it's uncomfortable. Not all of us learn how to channel this distress, so we may describe it as the fault of someone else rather than view it as our own self-perpetuated struggle. I don't feel a particular need to vie for power these days. I connect with and nurture an internal power. So when others express vicious, I breathe deeply with my internal power. I think others can start to feel uncomfortable with me because I get to a point where I talk freely or not at all, and others seem to want to control actions or silence. When they're unable to change the situation, they may act bonkers. Maybe they don't know how to exist in friendship without being in some kind of control position. I don't know. Perhaps the connections reach a natural end and rather than talk it out, arguments create full stops.
My version of a perfect world is one in which we openly discuss offense. All of us are bound to say something that prefaces indignance in another party at some point. Let's be able and willing to talk about it. All of this said, to be open when I feel offense is one of the bigger challenges I face today. I silenced offense in earlier times because people didn't change their behavior when I expressed it. This facet of learned helplessness is gruesome yet surmountable. (The linked article describes learned helplessness really well. Beware the last sentence of paragraph seven. It present parenthood as a goal toward which all of us should naturally gravitate.) Let's connect with each other through awkward or uncomfortable experiences. We're capable to learn and process different communication methods at all stages of life. Check out a great film named Harry and Tonto for a funny look at this idea through the story of a man who travels across the country with his cat. The stereotypes are blatant yet presented gently, and the messages are clear with supportive outlooks.
Well hello there.