It is axiomatic…

…among a certain personality type, that when faced with some problem serious enough to cause anxiety or other symptoms…how do I say this? The last place that person will go for help or advice is to those who are dealing with the same exact situation successfully and without stress.

Progressives, for example, behave that way all the time. They will not look to the more successful cities and states, to their policies and culture, seeking the path to the same success. Instead they’ll group up with other problem cities or states and impugn, malign and attack the successful ones.

This happens on a personal level, exactly the same way, because it is the same phenomenon.

I have two such people very close to me in my life, and it is getting to the point that something major (majorly bad, and expensive, and possibly worse) is going to happen. Things simply cannot continue as they are. It’s come to a head, as the personality type is always pushing for it. There is no talking to them about it either, because it causes a Ferguson/Baltimore type response. The resemblances are uncanny, actually.

It’s to the point where I’ll very likely be facing having my business (which I started) and my house (which I bought) taken away from me, or completely hijacked, which amounts to the same thing.

Beyond giving up the capital assets as the ransom my precious freedom I’m at a loss (and again, just like dealing with Progressives – such people are VERY dangerous). Maybe an answer will come along which, at the moment, I cannot see.


11 thoughts on “It is axiomatic…

  1. For once a problem that judicious application of high explosives will NOT solve.

    Damn, Joe. I’m very sorry to hear this.

    • Well it might solve one problem while creating another, far worse one.

      I’ve been advised to apologize. Something along the lines of;
      “I can see why you hate me. I’ve been boastful, arrogant, proud, smug, demeaning, hurtful, and often dismissive…”

      I have in fact been all of those things, for as I now see it I’ve always wanted to be right, which is fine, but I’ve always wanted to be right for the wrong reasons. So I would tend to rub it in when I was right, and defend myself foolishly and stubbornly when I was wrong.

      That’s bad enough, but it did all those things to people who were (I’m just going to come right out and say this) weaker than me. In other words, I took advantage of the weak for my own satisfaction, and there’s not much worse you can do than that. I didn’t rob, cheat, lie or steal in the normal, legalistic sense, but probably in a worse way, even.

      It’s hard to explain. I’ve always been generally pretty good at things, and no one will deny it, but I USED that in cruel, subtle ways, and in other ways not so subtle.

      That will drive someone, who started out looking up to you, and who then became jealous of you, completely and utterly crazy.

      What I’ve lacked in near totality is…what’s the word? Grace? Tact? Honor? Things our culture no longer seems to value openly, but which make all the difference.

      Blistering sarcasm. I was actually proud of my ability to display blistering sarcasm. I even thought of it in those words. You know, the classic, well-worded, killer rant with all the posturing to go with it? It’s an art form, and I sometimes turned it toward those close to me.

      Well that’s part of the problem, anyway. It’s highly regarded in the blogosphere of course, but what it actually accomplishes is probably never, or hardly ever, good. You get two or three people together with similar, and various other, defects, and it’s all over from the get go, even though you’re having a rollicking good time at first.

      Don’t mean to go all soap opera on you, but our societal, national and global problems do in fact stem from the same sorts of little, individual pathologies, which are then reinforced socially when social interaction should have been correcting them instead. Eventually we go to war, (or get divorced, or close the business, etc., or vote in a different scumbag) then we start all over again, but it’s the same things over and over.

      • I used to cultivate that attitude myself. Back in high school (sometime in the Triassic period) I was on the debate team. I was damned good, too. I’d debate anyone, anytime, for any reason at the drop of a hat. It took me a couple of years to figure out that sure, it’s possible to be “right” and to win arguments, but you seldom win friends that way, and generally just gain a reputation as an asshole.

        I’m in my early 60’s now. About a decade ago I learned to pick my battles, and let folks win (or just not play) where it doesn’t really matter. I can be passionate and persuasive about things that matter to me, but if my OCD friend wants to rant about how the specs on THIS gun are SO much better than those on THAT gun (or knife, or motorcycle) I just don’t engage, because I don’t care and it doesn’t matter. Sometime (and I know this is hard for folks like you and Joe to swallow) the facts are of much less significance than the situation surrounding them. I think you’re bumping up against that, hard, now.

  2. As a noxious, sarcastic asshole by nature, I can relate to what you’re describing. I have experienced almost physical pain when I resist the urge to say “I told you so,” or spit out a really cutting remark I think is hilarious. Being married has been educational for me. Try apologizing, complete with emotional display and promises to do better. It seems that you’ve identified the problem, so if you can weather this storm you have a great chance of getting it right and going the distance.

  3. Crow doesn’t taste as bad as you might think. Grendel’s advice is sound. Take it from an @sshole like me, an apology might not solve the problem, but the relief you get from it is a blessing.

  4. Well it seems we’re a pack of sorry a-holes then, but if we see it then it can change.


      Look, I’m sorry but sometimes being *outspoken* when you are right isn’t a bad thing.

      Sometimes telling someone who is a perpetual fuckup that they are, in fact, wrong isn’t a bad thing. It’s probably a waste of time, but that doesn’t make you wrong.

      Since this sounds like a family/marital issue you are undoubtedly boned no matter what you try to do at this point. Proclaiming up is down, black is white won’t save you.

      • I totally get all of that. I really do. And there are those who will become all the more extreme in the face of the gracefully spoken truth, as they see grace as contemptible weakness.

        There is a difference though, between being right, and being right so as to get a good felling, or a little thrill, or anything from some other person, out of it. Being right and not feeling anything about it is the way to be. Being right and rubbing it other people’s faces for the sake of “the win” is the wrong way to be, except perhaps in politics and the court room, and even that can backfire.

        I had my tentacles in other people, and they had theirs in me. Instead there should be a kind of emotional space (lack of feelings) between people, which is just the opposite of what our eff’ed up culture tries to teach us.

        It’s sort of like the difference between the Vulcan, Spock, who coolly speaks the truth for its own sake, and Bones who occasionally gets a bit hysterical and goes on rants. They both may be right in their assessments, but the difference is in the reaction. Emotional entanglement verses cool, or detached, discernment. One can kill, and the other tends to heal.

        Malcolm-X verses MLK Jr. It can’t be faked either. Cool discernment will work most of the time (if it doesn’t, nothing will), while the emotional reactions, back and forth, will fail practically every time, regardless of how “right” one may be. So I was being right for all the wrong reasons. “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places…” so to speak.

        • Not so sure on the “cool discernment” part, either. There are plenty of times when a simple, unemotional observation about the cause of some tantrum will as likely get a frying pan thrown at you as, “You fvked up, you ignorant lout!”

          • Ah! but it requires cool discernment to know what is the correct response. It may be that you have to draw your pistol and fire, even, but cool discernment is the only way to know, eh?

            In other words, it is the spirit in which something is done. If it’s done out of hate, or out of some overpowering emotion or other, even an overpowering feeling of “love”, or if it’s the result of pent up feelings of any kind whatsoever, then regardless of what you do, it won’t turn out well. If it’s done out of more detatched discernment, in the this moment not influenced by feelings, even if it means yelling, punching someone in the face or killing someone it’s vastly more likely to be the right thing for the right reasons.

            It seems like a subtle difference, but it is all the difference between peace and war. War will try to find you though, one way or the other, and then it is the difference between being destroyed by it (even if you survive) or coming out whole.

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