Wednesday, June 18

Drama, Part II ......... 6/18/14

       Good evening.  Drama happened tonight. And how.  It was fascinating.  I can stare at it forever.  :-> There was no need to watch TV this evening.   I did something about today's dustup.

       It is one thing talking a good game.  It is another, living our principles.

       The same person who last week spoke at length----twenty minutes----tried doing the same this. Didn't let it happen.  Am I glad.  Emotional fireworks ensued, however.  That's okay, it allowed
everyone there to know this individual's values and worldview. I don't care for them; I am not in agreement with them.

       As this person attacked me in front of others.  I was fine.  He used faux feelings. He said he felt attacked. That is not a feeling. That is more about a statement about how he felt others, including myself, treated him---a judgment---than a statement of his emotions.

        I was sad with his performance. That is what it was. He first used the card stating his feelings were hurt, that he was shut down.  It is disappointing watching someone not take responsibility for his behavior. Such as it was. When we play the victim card we are not acknowledging our part.

        It is not my job setting someone right.  Nope. But I am responsible to adhere to my boundaries.  I was not going to let this person dominate a meeting.  I was not going to let him be oblivious, like last week, taking up much of the time assigned to group discussion.

        He laid into my personality.  In Al-Anon, we place principles above them.  He tried judging me.  I didn't brook that.  I let him know clearly that he is to clean his side of the street, only, not mine. My side of the street is my responsibility. To permit him to judge me or anyone else would make this meeting unsafe.  Who would be his next target?

        Fortunately, each person attending spoke up.  Agreeing that five minutes was enough for each person's share, not twenty minutes.  (This is when he said he felt attacked.)  It is a tremendous release when we do not operate by feelings, ours or others, but by healthy principles.

       When he persisted. I told him that was enough. What he was saying was not consistent with Al-Anon Family Group Steps and Traditions.  I invoked that we say the Serenity Prayer, to calm things down.  It worked.

       It is thrilling, I don't let others trigger my feelings.  Tonight, I was calm.  My feelings are my property.  Other people's feelings are theirs.  I am not responsible for other people's feelings.  If we were to buy into this fallacy, we would walk on  eggshells, always susceptible to the whims and feelings of others, rather than living by principles. There is a word for acting in this way.

       Codependency. (See also this for more about that.)

      In this post I wrote about the difference between being unaware and being in denial. Tonight's agitated person was in the latter, making him an unsafe person for the group and anyone who relates with him.  The lack of character discernment---and not applying boundaries---is why we find ourselves immersed with unhealthy people.

      No thanks. I'll stick with my lifestyle, placing principles above personalities, even those who judge me, wanting me to surrender my values because of their displeasure.  Can't do.  I respect myself too much and:
"There is one price too high to pay for peace. One can not pay the price of self-respect."  Woodrow Wilson 
My Gratitudes: 
1. Seeing each person in tonight's group stand up to someone who bullied the group.
2. Seeing each individual's personality reflected in their comments as they spoke up about the emotional boxing match that happened and should not have occurred tonight.

      I loved their tactfulness, sensitivity. I was happy observing that no one tried placating the angry person in the group. Personal growth is learning how to adhere to our values while at the same time being courteous and kind towards those with whom we differ. That happened tonight. Kudos to everyone who was there!
3. The group addressed the situation. Each individual---who had grown up in dysfunctional homes, welcome to the human race---spoke.  They expressed what troubled them.  The meeting provided a safe environment, allowing them to express their voice and their need for fairness, mutuality, respect and especially balance.
4. Character discernment.  I don't cater to angry people or those who try labelling me.  They are not my daddy.  I don't have a need to please unpleasant people.
5. For knowing maturity. It is moving from having a thin skin and a hard heart to having a thick skin and a soft heart.
6.  I'm in love.  I am swimming in the loving, intelligent river of an amazing person's presence. I'm a happy man.  Tomorrow, I look forward to a long-sought conversation with the most important person in my life.
7.  I love life, even though, as I type, my arm and legs continue to sting due to open wounds and my leg hurts me because it got torn up on Sunday. I can not move my knee without experiencing strong moments of pain.

How About You? 
a.  What are your three gratitudes for today?
b.  How do you handle angry people? 

1 comment:

Syd said...

Good post, Pablo. I like how you handled the situation. There is a dominator in my Friday morning group. He seems to not know when to shut up. I believe that having a group conscience and bringing up limiting sharing to 5 minutes is a good way to handle the situation for that meeting. Character defects abound in all of us, but taking my own inventory and also not being afraid to be the minority voice helps to keep relationships and meetings going.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

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From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.