How Do You Use People?

How do you use people?

Does that question bother you, make you uncomfortable, make you want to perhaps vent in my general direction and say something along the lines of – I never use people!

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How to get Users hooked

Having trouble reading the smallprint? Find this article and others like it in Wired magazine (this is from the previous issue).

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Is it really true that you never use people.

You’ve never turned to a friend when you needed a shoulder to cry on. You’ve never asked a colleague for help. You’ve never requested a favour from anyone. Never asked for an opinion, for advice, to borrow something, fished for a compliment, wanted a ‘Like’ to make you feel loved, needed support or encouragement. You’ve never compared yourself to someone else favourably or unfavourably. You’ve never needed support or encouragement and perhaps used others to get it.

You’ve never ordered anything in a restaurant, not even a coffee in a coffee shop. No one picks up your trash. You don’t need a postman or delivery guy to bring you anything as you never communicate with anyone or need them to communicate with you. You don’t have a computer, you never order anything online, so it doesn’t need a team of interconnected people to do stuff to get stuff to you. You’ve never been ill and needed someone to diagnose you, look after you or make you better. You don’t wear ready-made clothes, or buy materials to make your own. You don’t need electricity or running water, heating or air-conditioning, or a roof over your head. You don’t have gadgets or tools, never watch TV. You don’t work in business and don’t need anyone to buy your product. You don’t buy products… ever… so you don’t need businesses or their support team, or complaints department, or anything.

And you never go online to look things up and search for answers to your questions.

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“The deadline for this article was fast approaching and I found myself bereft of ideas. Bewildered, I searched the TMZ headlines for some story – any story – that could be ripe for pop psychoanalytic scrutiny:

What might Renee Zellweger’s astonishing new look say about the state of women in society today? What does Chris Brown’s string of tragic break-ups reveal about the human psyche? Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger – are they driving the party bus or is the party bus driving them?!” – Treyvon Martin or Miley Cyrus: The Psychology of Denial by Tiffany McLain via PsychedinSanFrancisco.

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You’ve never quoted anyone else’s words. Repeated a story which someone else has told you or ever listened to anyone and absorbed their words. You don’t read. You’ve never learned anything from anyone in person or through any other medium. You don’t write and therefore don’t need anyone to else to read your writing. You’ve never needed anyone to listen to you or absorb your words. You don’t give understanding and certainly don’t want it. Sympathy is for others, as is empathy and everything else.

You don’t participate in social media, thus you don’t need anyone else to participate with you in social media or any social setting. You’re fine with others ignoring you as you ignore them.

You were never born, or needed your diaper changing.

You do this whole experience of living from start to finish by going it solo.

Okay, so you never use people, but do people ever use you?

Did you read that question and immediately jump to a conclusion about it. Was that conclusion positive or negative. If it was negative, did a positive come out of it.

Did it make you stop and consider the way that people use you, and did considering that make you wonder about how you use people.

When you think about it without focusing on just one aspect of it, the negative aspect, you realise the extent to which we are all intricately connected. How much we all use and need each other and a lot of that is okay because we’re all doing it mutually one way or another.

Even that person who is adamant that they don’t need anyone, still needs people for them to be someone who does not need people.

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“You’re using me right now. You’ve been using people all of your life. And, in most cases, that’s okay.” – When It’s Okay To Use People by Charlie Gilkey via Productive Flourishing

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The problem with the word ‘use’ is that we often give it a negative connotation. Associate it with manipulation.

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9 more words...Those 9 more words include – Capricorn: “I use”

Now many other signs “use” Capricorn as a “bad” guy but only Capricorn is “bad” for “using” even when the other signs benefit from the “uses” of Capricorn.

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It can indeed be a negative experience, one which leaves us with the feeling that someone else has tipped the balance of give and take unfairly (in favour of themselves and not us, if it was the other way around….?) and taken advantage of us and our inclination to give and to be useful. We all like to feel useful, needed, of service and help to a degree… which is why we are all vulnerable to be used by those who aren’t so humanitarian as we would like everyone one to be (at least towards us). If you’re human and have interacted with other humans, chances are at least a few of those interactions have left you feeling used and useful in a way which makes you want to become a Grinch and a Scrooge before his epiphany.

When I was a child my mother would regularly recite the words which had been recited to her as a child growing up during WWII and rationing times – Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without. In other words, stop being wasteful, whiny, and other such things and learn to appreciate what you have rather than squander it and focusing on what you don’t have and want because you don’t have it. Eat your vegetables as there are starving children in the world who would kill to eat them. Of course my mother’s messages to me were always a bit contradictory as they often included funny anecdotes of her child self offering to put her rejected peas into an envelope to mail them to a starving child, then being punished for smart-mouthing an adult who was trying to teach her a lesson. She did this while trying to teach me a lesson… I was confused by which lesson I was supposed to learn. Which became even more confusing as I got older because I realised that the lessons which she had been taught as a child which she was sort of passing on to me had seriously confused her.

She used me up, wore me out, made me do and then when I wouldn’t do… she did without. She’s one of those people who forgets you exist or denies your existence when you’re not useful or refusing to be used in the way she wants to use you. However if you accuse her of being a manipulator she would adamantly deny it, and proceed to lecture you on her endless generosity and how other people are the users and abusers in this world, but not her. She is polite to a fault.

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“Speaking out against others’ verbal mistreatment isn’t easy for people who are used to being polite. Walking or running away in a situation where you’re clearly trying to avoid someone feels like delivering a horrible insult. Yet, obeying social norms in these situations could make us vulnerable to verbal abuse or worse.

I don’t want to live in a society without please and thank you, but I sure as hell don’t want to live in one where women and minorities come in harm’s way because proactive self-defense is too uncomfortable. We can all practice better boundaries and assertiveness, and help reinforce them for each other. It’s ok to violate social norms when safety and happiness are at stake.”The Perils of Social Norms by Amy Bucher, Ph.D.

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The above extract reminded me of something which I read in – The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker. It also brought to mind an issue which does not only concerns ‘women and minorities‘ but all of us, of whatever gender be it the one we were born with or the one with which we most identify, wherever we live, country, culture society, etc. and so much more.

Like this compelling project – 25 Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them – points out:

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Men can't get raped - buzzfeed abuse photo series

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Now… I ‘used’ my mother as an example. She is not benefiting from my use of her, just as I often did not benefit from her ‘use’ of me. And am still not benefiting from the way she still ‘uses’ me, whether I participate in it or not, whether I am part of her life or not, whether she thinks I benefit from it or not and tells others that I do or not, or pretends I don’t exist and others think she is without child or whatever… while feeling that I don’t appreciate and am not grateful enough of the way that she ‘uses’ me – and so she ‘uses’ me in another way due to feeling shafted by my ingratitude and attitude.

We can use people without their consent, and feel justified in doing so because they have become a part of us in some way and so in theory we’re not using them we’re… what? What are we doing? What am I doing?

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“Many people think the Principle boils down to a version of the consent rule, i.e. that it’s okay to treat people however you wish as long as they consent to being treated that way. It’s actually more stringent than that, though, because it might still be wrong to do something to people if they consent to it. For instance, some people might consent to being in abusive relationships, but it doesn’t make it morally permissible for their abusers to abuse them. The abuse violates the Mere Means Principle, but not the principle of consent.” – When It’s Okay To Use People by Charlie Gilkey via Productive Flourishing

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I could justify, excuse, explain, expand upon what I am doing until I come out of it like a good guy, but is that true? Am I not just doing what was done to me and is still being done to me which I don’t like?

Is saying something like – my mother is a narcissist and I suffered years of abuse due to her disorder, and what I write about her is me figuring things out, redressing an imbalance, so it’s okay… is it okay?

Is it okay to spew venom (online and publicly or offline and privately) at someone who spewed venom at you? What a moral and many other things quandary… my mind may have to deny some stuff just to keep functioning.

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“I stood up abruptly from my seat and poured a deliciously hearty dose of brandy and Coconut Nog and retired to read my novel by the heater. I found myself imagining that, perhaps I could, just this once, make up an excuse as to why I could not fulfill my deadline… just this once.

Fortunately, or un, the seed had already been planted. I became irritatingly aware that all of my energetic efforts to act Act ACT by devouring topics that were shallow, yet filled with dramatic conclusions, were all in efforts to avoid my own anxiety and overwhelm…

Our manic defenses, a frenzied, slightly hysteric feeling of action, occur when two parts of our selves feel like they cannot co-exist in one mind and body.”Treyvon Martin or Miley Cyrus: The Psychology of Denial by Tiffany McLain via PsychedinSanFrancisco.

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The articles which I’ve quoted and linked to all use people in different ways, both positively and negatively, and in the shades of grey in between, and the authors are also using themselves. This concept of ‘use’ has many uses.

Except for the article – When It’s Okay To Use People by Charlie Gilkey via Productive Flourishing – for which I deliberately searched, the other articles were ones which I came across through random browsing.

While randomly browsing I also came across this – The Four “Dark Personality” Traits by Douglas T. Kenrick, Ph.D. via Psychology Today – which I found rather disturbing. It wasn’t the subject matter which was disturbing to me, but the way it was presented.

The intro states:

“In the last few years, the “Positive Psychology” movement is all the rage – let’s stop fretting about the underside of human nature, and study people who are happy, courageous, productive, and self-actualized! 🙂  🙂 🙂

But Del Paulhus has bucked the trend, with a series of studies delving into the Dark Side of human personality.  As he notes in a paper released today in Current Directions in Psychological Science:

    Our work on the “dark side” stands in stark contrast to the popular work on positive personality traits. In our view, dark personalities are more fascinating than shiny, happy folks.”

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I had one of those moments when I read this whereby I wondered if I’d crossed a boundary line into an alternate reality and didn’t notice. But I reasoned it away by concluding that those (at least these of those) in the Psychological fields have little awareness of what is going on in the rest of the world. They don’t read blogs written by regular people who have had relationships with other regular people whom they experienced as irregular and perhaps even very much on the ‘Dark side’ of personality. They also probably don’t read the regular news or regular history. Or watch regular films, TV, or are fans of comics. Or read any of the studies done by those in criminal psychology who have been studying this subject of ‘The Dark Side of Personality” for several decades. Apparently those in the psyche world have all been chasing leprechauns and rainbows, while the rest of us have been… what… in a dark ages limbo waiting for them to enlighten us.

There was a whole thing about Machiavellians in this article:

“Machiavellians, according to Paulhus, are “Master manipulators… one of them has cheated you out of something valuable—a fact that you may not have realized until it was too late.”  They differ from narcissists in their especially high scores on tests of manipulativeness, and their inclination to be involved in white collar crime.  The stock swindler Bernard Madoff, who worked his way up to the leadership of the New York Stock Exchange, only to use his position to bilk his investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, is the classic Macchiavellian.”

Did he coin the term ‘Machiavellian’ himself while ‘bucking a trend’ like Buck Rogers or… did someone do that a century or more ago? Something about that term is familiar… hmmmm…

Okay, I’m using them, them as viewed through the eye of this article and my eye reading it (the other eye was chasing an unicorn) and being sarcastic while doing it. That could probably be explained away by a personality disorder of a…. Damn… hard to stop doing something addictive once you’ve started and it has tapped into your dark side kind. Darth Vadar would probably kick me out of his academy though due to – Not participating enough while day-dreaming.

Actually the article is very informative and interesting… although perhaps not in the way which it was intended to be. Which is why I included it in my post. I usually don’t like using things I read this way, at least not publicly doing it, privately I do it all the time because it is one of the ways that I have learned that I learn.

Perhaps I learn that way because I grew up with people who thought they were not just the smartest guy in the room, but on the whole planet… and I believed that until I started to question it. And once you begin to question…you open your eyes to many things which short-fuse your brain at times… all the time.

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Rebel's manifesto - KeriThis Rebel’s Manifesto by Keri Smith (this manifesto is copyrighted… perhaps ironically, perhaps not…).

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I like to test people… which often involves using their words as a template for their actions. I do this with myself too, so I’m not exempt and don’t benefit as much as I would like to from personal bias. When I say something it triggers a whole load of stuff which I wish it wouldn’t activate… but I’m a Capricorn Sun and ‘I use’… whatever is at hand to learn by doing and not just sit back in the comfort of saying.

Ugh! But even ugh has a positive side to it.

Enough of my cracked bookcase blah blah…here’s a song which sums it (me) up:

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David Byrne – Psycho Killer

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… over to you.

What do you think?

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26 thoughts on “How Do You Use People?

  1. Hi! Back again after a very busy Christmas season. I decided to take a hiatus since I am also still recovering from surgery. As aways, a very thought-provoking piece. Since I am a muller I sometimes feel that I need to sit with what you’ve written before responding. But when I do that I inevitably start to fall behind with my reading (that would be me – always trying to catch up 🙂 ). Nevertheless, I see “using” as quite a normal part of our evolution – completely necessary to our survival. However, I believe it’s really about the how. My ex-narcissist simply saw me as a means to an end – a bank account and retirement plan. When I really cast a cold eye on my behaviour, it came down to the fact that I was only willing to let him go so far. If he had figured that out, I might have been stuck with him for a very long time (I filed for divorce after only 20 months of marriage). In other words, I was only willing to let him “use” me on my terms. Interesting. I definitely have to mull that one!

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    1. Hi Lynette, welcome back, hope the recovery process is relaxing and going well 🙂

      Sometimes a hiatus is a wonderful way to pause and reflect. ‘Using’ people can also apply to us using ourselves up and wearing ourselves out, it’s nice to take a break, give ourselves some space and time to just be.

      I agree it’s a normal part of being human, living life, relationships and interactions, learning, growing, etc, which I think is why we sometimes don’t notice when we’re being used in a way which isn’t healthy until we start to feel used and it doesn’t feel good.

      Narcissists tend to use people at first in a way which makes us feel needed, useful, helpful, so we’re happy to help out, and we sometimes feel energised by how much they need from us because we get something out of it, but later we begin to feel drained by it, they need more and more and become more demanding of our time, effort, and everything else. Most narcissists don’t understand the subtleties of interaction, the balancing of give and take required to keep a healthy flow within a relationship, perhaps because they have a fear of lack, so when they receive it’s never enough and they’re afraid of losing, of being without something or someone. And it has to be on their terms, they don’t know how to share, and that includes power in a relationship.

      I was going to say that you were lucky to have figured things out as quickly as you did and deal with it intelligently, however I don’t think it’s luck, you have a naturally strong self-trust, great instincts and a respect for yourself which is inspiring.

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      1. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence – actually, I have struggled over the years with self-esteem and learning to trust my own abilities. My mom was very controlling (perhaps even narcissistic) and my dad uninvolved – really left me feeling like a child in an adult’s body. Took a long time for me to consciously recognise that.

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        1. I think that’s the way self-esteem becomes a part of us naturally, through the challenges which makes us rely on ourselves, even if we’re not so sure of what we’re doing or where we’re going. We figure it out as we go along, and learn to trust ourselves bit by bit 🙂 you do it with a natural flair, so perhaps it may be something you do without knowing it as much as others know it about you?

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            1. Always listen when someone says that to you about yourself, especially when you know where they are coming from. It may be hard to accept, but sometimes those kind of challenges are needed 🙂

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    1. Hi you!!! 😀 Happy Holidays and best wishes and blessings to you and your loved ones ❤

      I think we all struggle with this in some form or another, it's figuring out what our personal struggle is telling us which can free us from some of the exertion of the tussle. Figuring out what others are doing can help too, if it can be figured out.

      It's always going to be a bit of a struggle as that's an exercise for certain muscles which quite like doing things that way.

      Listening to self with love… sometimes difficult when our ears are on fire from all the voices swirling inside and out…. but worth it for those private moments of peaceful pause.

      Take care, Beautiful!

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  2. Hey Girl ❤ "….is it okay?"…. and Luv # 10 ..no limits on playtime, the best stuff comes out of it… yeah ..:) ~~~~ great tune 😉

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  3. Happy holiday….can’t figure out how to respond on your last about human usage on this phone; but just have to say wonderful article for sure as it made me peel my monkey brain back a little…thank you for making think about dependent arising and the biological “moss” about which we are are…all the sane and all dependent on each other! Bravo! But that other self is the the problem, the “me” and “you” paradox. And what about oxygen usage and photosynthesis, (or trusts and wills) holy smokes we’re using them then too…I like poetry and have faith you can be more concise…half the story as you know, awareness also comes from trauma…love and peace

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Happy holiday to you too 🙂

      That’s an intriguing point, about nature and how we use it and it uses us. Observing the symbiosis in nature is a good way to get perspective of positive ‘use’. Not all ‘use’ is bad at all, in fact most traits and behaviours which have a negative connotation also have a positive one, it all depends on degrees and degrees of experience. On our personal slider scale.

      Yes, we use oxygen… but oxygen uses us too and for the most part the relationship is a positive mutual use. A symbiotic synthesis. For all we know humans were created simply as a means to an end for nature to turn one thing into another. We think we’re important, and perhaps we are, but not the way that we think we are – we’re not at the top of the food chain or anything else, we’re just a link in an universal chain. A necessary link… just not the way we want to be. And maybe our thoughts about ourselves are a part of that, after all… what is thought? What is consciousness? Maybe it’s how oxygen and other things flow.

      We are atoms made manifest in one of many forms and we’re a school for atoms to learn whatever it is they need and want to learn…?

      Sometimes it’s fun to think about it… and sometimes it’s best not to think about it. Who are we… we are just we and best to just be and see 🙂

      Thank you very much for sharing! Best wishes for a whole new year to come!

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  4. I’m really bad at pigeonholing concepts, but the post brings to mind the distinction between agenda and hidden agenda. Sometimes just saying ‘agenda’ points to ‘hidden agenda’, but both expressions exist. So, if there was to be made a distinction between both terms, If I need sugar and I ‘use’ my neighbor to get some, that’d then be ‘I have an agenda’ (= I want/need something). If I ‘use’ my neighbor surreptitiously, that’d be a dishonest ‘use’, a manipulative one. I understand abuse as when there is a hidden agenda that effects the other person negatively, or not caring whether it does. I also think that a hidden agenda can sometimes be unconscious.

    I have ‘used’ people -and people have ‘used’ me, but if there ever had been a hidden agenda on their part, I never considered it my problem. Even if I got hurt, whatever I did for them I did because I wanted to. My problem was realizing whether I myself was having a hidden agenda, because that really was what was making me feel lousy.

    How come the libra sign is the only one in past tense?! I balanced? what does that mean? I had it but lost it? 😀

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    1. I didn’t notice that – Libra’s balance in past tense – thanks for pointing it out. I think usually it is “I balance” and the poster of that post made a slip…. perhaps a Freudian one. Although Libra is often considered a sign which waivers where balance is concerned and is constantly trying to balance things while in a state of imbalance (I read that somewhere), often opposing things.

      I do sometimes refer to Libras as ‘Looney Libra’ because the ones I’ve known are batshit crazy.. but in a lovely Venusian way rather than otherwise. There’s a Libra comedian who occasionally uses his sign as a reason for his OCD. Most of the neat-freaks I know are Librans – and usually in astrology Virgo gets that crown, but the Virgos I know aren’t the kind of neat-freaks that the Libras I know are – as in forcing others to adopt their neat-freakery for the sake of the neat-freak. Virgos try not to impose on others, whereas Libras sometimes transfer because the sign is one which deals with relationships.

      Looking at things from an astro viewpoint is intriguing. It’s best to keep in mind that we all have all of the signs within us. I happen to have the craziest planet (Uranus) in Libra in my natal chart… so that could explain my view of Libra’s being looney, nothing to do with the Libra in others, more about the Libra in me 😉

      I loved exploring that article which explored Kant’s view of ‘use’ in interactions. Lots of food for thought. Theory versus Practice is always a quandary. We all use each other, most of this ‘use’ is beneficial because we like to feel and be useful. So someone borrowing a cup of sugar is not a problem, and may be a way we form a connection with a neighbour which may break the ice and lead to a friendship. It’s really, like you said, when things become unbalanced and one person becomes a constant ‘user’ or another, and the other gets nothing out of the interaction other than a tough lesson.

      We all have hidden agendas here and there… they may be hidden from us too until we bring them out of the dark into the light. And sometimes they’re not as bad as they may seem, depends on the context. It’s important to keep things in perspective. Try not to be hard on yourself and/or others. We need to be symbiotically linked or otherwise the human condition would become redundant. 🙂

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      1. Hahaha loonies, huh..!? 😀 Well I won’t be the one to argue with that, it would explain the ‘I lost it’ :))) About the balance, yes, looking for balance is a very different thing from having it, -but looking we are! (maybe precisely because we’re loonies, haha). I know nothing about astrology but it is indeed intriguing to look at the patterns and see yourself and others reflected. I believe though that despite its accuracy, one can transcend what the stars say about you.

        I don’t think I’m hard on myself (I used to tho, I don’t know if more or less than we all tend to be – I’m currently reading a very interesting book, The heart’s Code, that offers a very good insight as why we do that ). I do acknowledge some things/facts about myself but don’t really put a ‘bad’ label on them. l tend to keep it as ‘that’s the way it is whatever that means’, that is, I lovingly accept it (as long as it doesn’t hurt me or others of course). I have noticed that don’t interpret very much, or at least much less than I used to. And the same goes for other people, -if anything, I’m biased the other way: I tend to see the good in everyone unless they give me a very good reason not to (here comes to mind Maya Angelou’s famous quote “when someone shows you who they are believe them the first time”, which I’m now for the first time being able to put into practice, before it was the more like the 12th time)

        Thank you for all your feedback, and happy holidays!

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        1. Thank you and happy holidays to you too 😀 May the new year be full of blessings for you!

          That’s an intriguing thing – seeing the good in others – I do that too and I began to question it, the workings of it rather than other aspects of it. When you see good in others… what are you really seeing, is it the good in them or the good in you projected onto them, or a bit of both which is a form of positive ‘use’ of projection because it inspires in a way that can be loud but also subtle.

          Next time you’re looking at someone seeing the good in them, turn the mirror around a bit and see that good you see in them shining from you, then let me know what you see 🙂

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  5. I love where you said your Mom would say that the other people were “the users and abusers, but not her.” It reminded of me hanging with my ex narc friend and our husbands before heading to a concert. I mentioned that someone I knew was a user. This was nearing the end of our friendship and she was devaluing me more and more (covert narc style-sneaky) but she immediately upon me saying this, said “oh that’s good you don’t think I’m a user.”(pretty overt, looking back on it) I didn’t say anything but her husband knew what she meant- and the conversation switched quickly with her boisterous gestures and distractions. I wasn’t able to really process it- but later I did and felt “had.” I think we all use each other- I think in general that it is normal & how we navigate through our feelings & life. Like you said, it does naturally have a negative implication and I do mean it negatively if I say someone is a user, just like anyone else. I think most of us are OK with being used or using if we feel that we know the deal, are aware of it and the agenda is just that-we are doing something that maybe we don’t really care to do but just do it anyways or someone is using us for something that needs to be done etc. We sort of know our role basically but have a sense of control in where it begins and ends. An abuser on the other hand has the control-but this may be hidden or apparent (depending) and the person being asked to do things is not maybe fully aware of the deal-the power is not equal between the people interacting. I think this is where use becomes abuse. It all of a sudden changes but that doesn’t happen until the dynamic is uncovered. So you mentioned your Mom used you but I think she actually abused you, all along. It was never use, it was abuse.

    On a side note, my neighbor friend was telling me about her mom the other day. They have a tumultuous relationship and she was telling me how her mom would tell her that she was a slut when she was in her 20’s and that’s why no man would want her. My neighbor friend is one of the kindest people I know and my response was “your mom was abusive to you.” She kind of looked shocked but agreed. If I would have said “your mom is a user” her reaction would have been different. Being a user is a part of life, but when you cross the line to being an abuser-the game changes. Where the line is, is different for everyone & sometimes hard to see, as it is blurred and crooked by design.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      What you noticed about your neighbour is very insightful and highlights the intricacies of human relationships especially where family is concerned. You’re spot on about the phrasing of what you pointed out to her about her mother’s behaviour towards her, being sensitive and kind she would have defended her abusive parent to the max if she had thought you were attacking her mother even if what you said was true. It’s the subtle side of abuse when abuse is that personal and intimate. It’s how abusers get away with what they do more often than being confronted, because the abused is not like the abuser and doesn’t use people that way… and because they’ve been used that way, they tend to be gentler about the way they use others, often they can be so self-effacing that they disappear. Refusing to use even when they need to do so in a non-detrimental manner.

      Most narcs, even the covert ones, tell you who they are – the unconscious/subconscious always reveals itself but doesn’t always know that is what is happening and what it is doing.

      In hindsight it’s easier to see the revelations made by narcs. I’ve done so many gasps of – OMG they told me! – that it’s getting a bit annoying that I don’t see it there and then. But we don’t because there is just so much going on, so many distractions. And even if you do spot it… most humans are kind and usually good, even the ones who put on a rough and hard front, so we make excuses for each other, cut each other masses of slack. Only narcs don’t cut anyone slack… which should be a red flag but we cut slack for those who don’t do it too, because… shrug… that’s a human thing and we all have our stiff righteous moments. It’s when they accumulate and become the norm for someone that we begin to ask questions which then expose a narc as a narc rather than just a regular Joe who may be a bit narc-y sometimes.

      Things take time to notice sometimes… and getting to know who a person is can take ages. We live in fast times where everyone is a flicker on the screen, so putting those flickers together to form an image may take a while. And then we have to consider our own perspective and so on… being human, especially these days… it’s a weird experience but worth having 🙂

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      1. Thanks…that is so true 🙂 They do tell you who they are-it slips but they are good at covering it up and they hope you forget. She would tell me all the time that her husband thought she was crazy and a mess and she was happy that I didn’t think so. I have to say, I don’t like that word crazy. I’m crazy and a mess like most humans but that does not make me abusive. Crazy is a cop-out for a person with NPD- “I’m just crazy.” No, you are abusive- I used that word when I told her husband why I went no contact. The word abuse. I’m glad I did. It’s the small things-probably did make a shit of a difference but I like to think it did.
        Hope you are having a good holiday season…2014 has been a big year for me in regards to growth. Thanks for letting me comment and be apart of your blog. It’s been a hell of a ride girl ❤

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        1. Thank you ❤

          Best wishes to you and your loved ones!

          I hope 2015 will be a year of harvest for all the work down and all the seeds sown in 2014 (it certainly had masses of fertiliser so it should be a bumper crop!)

          The 'crazy' thing reminds me of one of my mother's pet peeves about my father. Because he was an artist everything he said and did was explained away and excused by the 'artist' label. He took full advantage of it. Other people in particular used "…but, he's an artist!" as though it was a miracle cure-all for any complaints and issues, an explain away the stains product. Artists are as exempt as Crazy is, because all artists are crazy, so it's okay. In typical covert narc style my mother couldn't see how often she used similar excuses to explain away what she said and did. Narcs are very adept at pointing out their own flaws in others, in fact it's their main way of communicating. Sometimes they are spot on and the other person is doing exactly what the narc is accusing them of doing. When two narcs get into a pointing finger fight, those fingers are like boomerangs.

          It is indeed the small things which can make all the difference 🙂

          Have a lovely holiday season! Thank you very much for sharing yourself with me, I love knowing you ❤

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          1. My friend was an “artist” also…like your dad but I have decided she is actually a “con artist”…seems more appropriate, ha ha. Its fun turning the tables and twisting things and I’ve learned that sometimes I gotta just laugh at it all. Took me awhile to get to that place. I love knowing you too. Thanks foe sharing yourself- a tough feat for someone who was taught to stay silent and invisible. You are a bright shining light and I rather enjoy wearing those rose colored glasses of mine around you. Bless you ❤

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            1. That’s lovely, thank you ❤

              Laughter is a wonderful elixir of healing. You know that once you can laugh at what happened, see the funny in the serious, you're on the mend and moving on to somewhere better. It's a great gauge and it is also a way to know yourself with a smile 🙂

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  6. Using people is deliberately deciding that you will take someone’s trust in you and turn the connection to your advantage. Often at the expense of the other person. They gain next to nothing from you taking advantage of them while you gain everything. On the other hand, being dependent on others, whether they have changed your diaper or taken out your trash, is different. The other person is fully aware of their role in your life and they gain something from the interaction. Dependency is transparent while using people involves duplicity.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It’s a complex issue, isn’t it, to define one thing versus another. The more I explored this… I experienced brain freeze as though I’d eaten an ice cream on a cold day.

      Where is the line between positive and consenting use and other versions of use which connect it eventually to negative and non-consensual use? Is the person who takes out our trash happy about the dynamic? We may think they are, they may even say that they are (perhaps because they’re being polite or because someone else somewhere else has given them no choice in the matter), but are they? Investigating where our garbage ends up and other ramifications of garbage issues really tests this question. Is our awareness of a role the end of a matter? How transparent is transparency? Is dependency something agreed to or forced due to circumstances?

      Sorry, I’m getting in the deep end of heavy. I should stay away from politics sometimes…

      You’re right about the handling of trust… if only trust was less abstract and more physical. Like a glass ball or an egg which we had to care for when it was given to us or when we gave it to another.

      TY!

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