May 19th 2006

copyright© don oddy

~ Bullies Fuck 'Em ~

ďThe basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviour affect the rights and well being of others.Ē

Our behaviour, our responsibility and how we impact on other people. This really is difficult, sometimes to sort out how we are acting and being with others. This distinction between assertive and aggressive, for the ordinary person, its not an issue, for the ordinary person it becomes an issue when people are behaving badly towards them.

Some of us are somehow left feeling like doormats when we are working and being with others. It happens in relationships of every hue. We can be partners, couples, sons and daughters, parents, you name it we feel it. We feel like we are being used by others. And worse this feeling of loss of our rights, our right to live harmoniously is undermined by others who would control and keep us down unfairly, doing things we donít want.

Aggressive behaviour comes in all sorts of wrappings, outright and nasty through to highly manipulative behaviour using emotional blackmail to keep us in check, or put down and under the thumb of others.

Ever been the focus of jokes and fun remarks, which you and I laugh at as others are laughing at us and not with us. And we put up with it, because we feel the person who is making this happen must like us really and they are unaware of the distress they cause.

These fuckers who do this, they do know, they donít care and they want their way. Make no mistake, their behaviour is nasty and unacceptable and they use every device to make us feel bad, when all we do is good. And we never realise till too late we have been set up and abused and our trust has been taken from us.

Assertive types, who want a resolution donít play these games and we know when we are part of something ongoing, that we can trust to their best practice, that when we are out of line and need to be reigned in, we keep our dignity and we keep faith with ourselves and them.

Nasty fuckers donít give us that option, they put us down and aggressively pursue unpleasant tactics to keep pushing us lower and lower, and making us doormats and making us feel bad about ourselves. We know these people and worse because we might want and need to like or love them, as they can be our nearest and dearest, we have great tolerance for their behaviour especially when they hurts us.

I am no pushover when it comes to aggression towards me, and yet I have been bullied and tormented for many a year by people I would prefer not to like or love. And we let them get away with their bad behaviour in case we might break them in some way, and at that moment to let them get away with it, they are surely breaking you and me.

And we think we are big enough to let it go and let them have their win. As we donít see winning as the issue, or the thing we wish for. We wish for respect and mutuality in feelings. And we are mistaken if we feel they will change with our love and affection or just plain friendship. They will not until the pain is to great and they have lost love, affection and respect. And even then entrenched they hold to their belief in the right to be as nasty as they can, to get what they want and not what we desire.

When we are gifted with a good outlook and good intent we can be mistaken that others are operating just that way.

We forget that the world does not operate to our rules of fair play, we forget that the rules are just what they are on a day to day basis and they can change alarmingly quickly. And worse we can make situations difficult simply by trying to be fair.

We can make others uncomfortable by equanimity and honestly, and we might find our behaviour is being changed over time as we adjust to the abuse we tolerate. For without doubt those aggressive in our society prefer us to play the game their way. And we can do this a number of ways. First we may choose to accept and let them dominate us. Second, and more frightful for someone like me, I adopt their way of living. itís a win win for the aggressors. They are good at aggression, and if others join in, it endorses their view and outlook.

What on earth can we do with nasty aggressive types? And if we choose to be ourselves and not like them. Ultimately, we may be unable to persuade them to our view, and we may never be reconciled. Or we may feel that our will prevail and that right will win through, and be under intense and intolerable strain trying to cope, and never persuade them otherwise. Or we do the best we can to mitigate and separate ourselves as we must to preserve our way of living. And worse we carry on against our nature because we are resilient types, and push ourselves beyond our endurance, with dire personal consequences.

The last option taken too often as a measure of last resort, is the most damaging position and yet most appealing one to adopt. Because it will break us as surely as the aggressor who maintains power over us, is in power.

This bleakness, is something pertinent to me. And I confess a failure to recognise such a situation and its repetition over the years. When tortured unmercifully I tolerated beyond the pale. And as a consequence my life was changed forever and not for the good for many years. This I know with hindsight, that wonderful device where wisdom is gained through experience. Never can we be taught, but we can be informed what to look for and make our own judgment what we can do. In fact the most sensible action to preserve our good outlook and in my case my sanity would have been to walk away at whatever personal cost. I lost my sanity for years as a consequence and failure to recognise that crushing aggressive behaviour of another. And paid in full measure to the consequence and misery endured as a result. We donít get taught this, we learn it and realise our folly at later stages if we survive it.

Assertiveness is a different ball game, where we honour the rights and value the people we challenge in an equal manner. Where we challenge and offer our view, our intent and our proposals, our work and our friendship with assertiveness as we go, we lead a better life.

This means we can compromise and develop common outlooks with people we value and learn to trust. We donít give others our trust as a given, and we donít hang on for grim death to situations without good reasoning. We need recognise when we must leave others to their own situation and ways of living, even when we feel its unjust, for the fight against aggressors is never usually a good outcome.

This philosophy makes for change in others as their sphere of influence diminishes or we are certainly in the wrong situation, and no amount of right will prevail. This lesson was of enormous cost to me, and would have been much less if I had recognised and not failed to see realistically that others in power over me are not necessarily working in my best or the situations best interest. What can I say?

I would urge anyone who finds themselves in unsavoury company wherever it may be, to move at all costs and be a refugee if the situation requires, or we might live forever in shadow and not ever experience happy times again.

And where we feel strong and right in our view. And where others have more power and an outlook so profoundly intolerable, it is us who must move on, and risk every material asset in doing so. It is better to be a bankrupt in the material world than lose ones sanity and so be blighted for life.

I shall never forget these lessons learned and my failure to recognise the truth. I will always be marked by those times and be damaged as a result. I do not feel compelled to hide these sad facts as my life has moved on, but the downside and intransigence and right of my case kept me too long doing the right thing in the wrong place. There is no simple justice in this world, and we move better if we are fleet of foot and well enough to see our situation. All too often we are impaired and find our lives have been cut down and lost to time when we tolerate the intolerance and aggression of others.

Terror is no way to live, better to be a refugee, nothing in this world will ever make my life good in some respects through my endeavour and resilience. Resilience near killed me, as if a bullet had been fired. The death was lingering and prolonged. And my new life, unlike the old is different, at least I made it this far. Denial will keep us busy in unproductive tortures. As does the denial of the aggressors, justified and tolerated and powerful still? Quite frankly I donít care, they are gone from this life as surely as I am from theirs.

Copyright © Don Oddy

fuck 'em