Wednesday, September 19, 2007

About Your Feelings

I was just trying to Google for a psychiatrist whose site talks sense about the harm in repressing your feelings. He even points out that we have a moral obligation to become angry over cruelty and injustice and abuse. Indeed, St. Paul rightly identifies the failure to do so as the indifference of the damned, who look the other way in consenting to the wrongdoing. Not the kind of thing good people do - just hypocrites who won't lift a finger to help those in need of protection.

But all I found is garbage about how angry people must "take responsibility" for their anger.

Do these parrots ever run a logic on anything before they start repeating it?

Then you must take responsibility for feeling cold. Or hot. Or in pain. Or happy. Or burnt. Or lonely. Or sad. For, according to these parrots, it's all in your head.

You aren't cold because it's cold. You aren't hot because it's hot. You aren't in pain because you are injured. You aren't happy because something good happened. You aren't lonely because you are alone. Or sad because something sad happened.

No! Your feelings are YOUR fault.

I am sorry, but they are being incredibly stupid. Obviously, they can't distinguish between a FEELING and an ACT. Yikes.

Maybe that's because all their "feelings" are just put-on acts. Do you suppose? I guess that if you are a phony, you get confused about the nature of true feelings.

But I say, if you get burnt, you should feel burnt. If you don't there's something wrong with you. If someone punches you, he is responsible for your pain, not you. Anger is emotional pain. So, if someone abuses you, he is responsible for your anger, not you.

That's just common sense.

You are responsible for your CONDUCT. Not your feelings.

And as for narcissistic ragers and their so-called "feelings," I have given numerous examples of how they are acting jobs, not genuine. (See Conceptual Clarity.) At least not until their huffing and puffing has whipped them up into a self-inflicted fury. So, when they throw one of their temper tantrums, nobody else is to blame for it - just them.

But real people have real feelings that are caused by outside sources. And blaming people for their feelings is just a sneaky way to blame the victim.

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At 1:13 PM, Blogger Educator-To-Be said...

A great post. Thanks. A great blog, too. Amy

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post comes at a good time. A dear friend of mine is involved in a custody battle. It has now been going on a year---a year of torment, a year of hell. Friday he was reported for molesting his own daughter. He, of course, did no such thing. However he may now lose his business, his reputation, is being refused visitation with his daughter. His 3 year old and his 9 year old are being put through all kinds of torment. The mother has shopped for doctors and couselors and could find no one to report the so-called "abuse." So she reported it herself. Now the girls have to go through it all again. I am so angry and filled with hatred right now. There is a custody evaluation in progress since January. The mother won't co-operate with that. Even though my friend will be cleared, the mother will get away with destroying his life because no one will punish her. Yes, we have a right to be angry.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Reminds me of some place in Revelations where the author rants at those who are "lukewarm" toward evil. Though I don't buy that book, I find stuff like this in it true. If you don't hate evil, you don't love good. It's one of those things hypocrites don't realize and hence one of the ways they give themselves away to the sincere.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

MARVELOUS - as always!

You might enjoy This piece by Alice Miller, Kathy

At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, even Jesus had righteous anger. I don't buy every word in the book either but, there are some good insights. I actually pointed this out to N once about the difference between righteous anger and abuse..something which is glaringly obvious to anyone ...of course they only PRETEND to not know there is a difference.

You get a funny reaction of a second of acknowledgment when you point this out to an N. It's only a split second usually but, it's enough to let you see they know what they are doing. My N would sound almost if he didn't know I had it in me to actually see through what he was, to know what he was doing...but, oddly he would go immediately back into the "act" as if it was o.k. that I KNEW as long as I kept up playing my part! *shudder* This is when you KNOW how much of an object you are to them.

Look at how Jesus behaved towards the money changers in the temple. That wasn't some namby pamby response to injustice! I often wonder what his response would have been given that story to someone like my N!!?!!

Casual discussion with my N:

Me: "There IS such a thing as righteous anger you know. When someone has been abusive to you, it's more than o.k. to have anger at them and if you don't then there is something wrong with THAT. You will get sick swallowing that anger. So, stop trying to turn my righteous anger at what you have done to me into the same thing you are doing when you are abusive to me."

N: "I know, you are right. Do you think I'm stupid? I expect more of you than that though! You HAVE to know better so therefore you are doing this on PURPOSE when you have to know that I am messed up and that when you tell me these things I am going to lose control of my anger!!"

Clever huh? Acknowledge that I have right to be angry and tell the truth but, then say that IF I tell him that since I ought to "know better" it's my fault he gets abusive! LOL! He's effectively let himself off the hook not only for being abusive but, blamed me for any reaction to that abuse. This is an example of an exchange that took all of two minutes and look how slick they are at twisting things so fast!

He then proceeded to tell me all the things that were WRONG with me being angry with the most ridiculous arguments "It's not going to be good for us if you don't get over it." said in a low tone that was a veiled threat! So being abusive WHILE telling me, not to react to it.

In N speak? It meant this. I know you and I both know what the truth is, but you have deviated from the script and forced me even for a second to acknowledge reality, therefore if you don't stop doing this, I will either leave you or abuse you further till you do and when I do that since you should know better it's going to be all your fault.

That is exactly what happened too and he full well knew that was the message he sent and simply did not care.

My mistake was trying to get an N to acknowledge any truth or any rights that I might have had with regard to my feelings or anything else. Your real feelings of anger, love or anything else do not matter if they aren't in keeping with the N's storyline.You have committed the grave mistake of ad libbing your lines when the N worked so hard to set up the scenes in just the way he needs them to go.

This stuff is too bizarre and hilarious once you are out. No wonder the best response to them is to laugh in their face and walk away.

The more you stop letting them get away with, the sooner they are out the door for good.

Like a vampire can't stand the light of day. No N can face the truth of our feelings much less do the responsible work of fixing what they broke.

They babble magic and smoke into a fine art form. And the truth is that they attempt to make the real you disappear the second you begin interacting with them at all.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog, Kathy, it is so thought-provoking and interesting. I feel you have a very good understanding of human nature and what "makes people tick". But I feel I must take issue with some of your views, in particular the statement that "outside sources made you angry".I would rather construe this as "you are angry in response to outside sources". This acknowledges the anger is there, usually very justifiably. You are then a person with angry feelings. However, when you take responsibility for your own anger, what you DO with that anger becomes up to you to decide. THIS is where responsibility comes in. If you take responsibility for your anger, YOU will decide what to do with it and how to deal with it - and you will NOT use it to abuse others. Dealing with anger is universally acknowledged as very difficult and is different and personal for everyone, but it can be done. If you were to say, outside sources made you angry - you would then be giving away your power, and accepting that you have no choices, and that you are emotionally at the mercy of any Tom, Dick or Walt who wants to wind you up, when in fact you do have a choice - you ALWAYS have a choice.

Thank you for your wisdom.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Maggie, you are making a logical error - confusing feelings with conduct. I have pointed out the difference many times, so I am at a loss to understand why this even comes up.

"However, when you take responsibility for your own anger, what you DO with that anger becomes up to you to decide."

No. That's a non sequitur. What you do with that anger is up to you, period. Whether you "accept responsibility for your anger" or not.

"THIS is where responsibility comes in."

No, it doesn't. It doesn't come in anywhere.

"If you take responsibility for your anger, YOU will decide what to do with it and how to deal with it - and you will NOT use it to abuse others."

Another non sequitur. I deny responsibility for my anger and yet I do own responsibility for deciding what I do with that anger. What? are you saying that I am an automaton who can't do that?

I know that one must be humble to admit that he or she can be hurt. It's much grander to pretend to that you are flexing your moral muscles and saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Some people just find it too hard to admit that someone can make them feel bad against their will. Like narcissists they must then view feelings as a weakness or some sort of disease.

Feelings do not cause conduct. More often than not we act, or refrain from acting, in spite of our feelings.

The very belief that you can control your feelings is unhealthy. All you can do is repress them = act like what hurts doesn't hurt.

No one is saying that you need to act on your anger, and I don't appreciate the implication.

I am baffled by the claim that people are controlled by their feelings and yet can control their feelings. Circular logic.

People can control their conduct, not their feelings.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

PS I forgot to mention: If the problem is our failure to unfeel angry, then what the $#&% are we whinin' about all these narcissists for?


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