What is… a Bad Conversation?

Yes, this does appear to be a companion post to – What is… a Good Conversation? – but is it?

I have no idea yet since I’ve only just started writing it.

I thought that I wouldn’t write a post today, but there’s often a difference between what I think I’m going to do and what I do. That used to frustrate me, but now it’s part of the adventure of being.

What prompted me to write a post instead of not writing one, was reading the selected transit which Astrodienst chose for me today when I checked out my Daily Astro:

No chance

At this time feelings, desires and moods pull you in a direction which is not very beneficial for you and could easily undermine your self-confidence. It is hard to say what form this actually takes. Maybe you buy some clothes in which you look a bit strange, or you challenge someone to a game which you have absolutely no chance of winning. One way or another you could be subconsciously determined to make yourself a laughing stock or show yourself up. It is possible that you do this not to yourself but, unintentionally, to someone else – particularly women and children who are close to you are potential victims. Fortunately, this influence is very weak and lasts at most half a day.”

interpretation for transiting Moon opposition natal Chiron

The transiting Moon in making that aspect, joins up (is conjunct) with my natal Pluto.

The interpretation for that includes this – “it tends to bring energies to the surface from the deepest part of your psyche. It is the sort of transit that could make for a very fruitful session with one’s analyst.

Since I’m my own analyst and my sessions tend to be posts on my blog…

You’re welcome to join me, eavesdrop on my conversation with myself, but this will be a long read, it’ll probably get intense and this may be too uncomfortable for you…

As it’s also Scorpio season and all the planets transiting Scorpio are in my natal 3rd house of communication style, wherein my natal Mars and Neptune reside – I am comfortable in the uncomfortable depths.

I wasn’t always comfortable there, so I can understand those who aren’t comfortable with it.

Going there into shadow and darkness can be scary… not going there is scarier for me now. The shallows are more uncomfortable now… because the depths are so rich.

When I notice a discomfort zone within my self… that’s my cue to go there and explore further.

Several things struck me in that interpretation for the Moon opposition Chiron:

1 – “At this time feelings, desires and moods pull you in a direction which is not very beneficial for you and could easily undermine your self-confidence.”

That could describe my entire life experience… until recently.

Feeling, desiring, having moods… were to be feared, avoided, just in case they led me somewhere which turned out to be bad for me.

It was hard to tell what was bad and what was good… for me… sometimes what was good for me felt bad for me and what was bad for me felt good for me, and many other variations on the theme. Such as if something good happened to me… I sometimes lived to regret it because I had people around me who didn’t like that at all, so they took it away or made me… never let myself have it.

What I discovered much later in life was that it’s more beneficial to go with the inner flow, let everything happen: the beauty and terror [paraphrasing Rilke’s Go To The Limits of Your Longing].

Go To The Limits of Your Longing by Rainer Maria Rilke via On Being

Undermined self-confidence… was something I mainly experienced thanks to other people and their feelings, desires, and moods rather than because of feeling, desiring, moods of my own.

In fact my self-confidence increased once I allowed myself to get pulled in by my inner world, my feelings, my desires, my moods, go in that direction instead of being pulled and pushed to go in the direction of others, the way they wanted me to go because of their feelings, their desires, their moods, which didn’t suit me at all, and it never suited them either that I went their way but they still insisted their way was the only way to go.

I always thought everyone else was right and I was wrong, partly because everyone else was always telling me that.

Then one day I wondered how it would feel for me to be right and for everyone else to be wrong instead. That was very uncomfortable…

and yet…

Years later I’ve reached a level of “virtue of the mean between extremes” – that’s something I read while exploring a word to understand its meaning.

Here – Strength Under Control: How To Lead Like A Meek War Horse by Matt Norman

What is right for me may be wrong for you, what is right for you may be wrong for me.

For instance…

I read some blogging advice last night which the blogger who shared it was using (it’s a good sign when someone is actively using the advice they’re offering). It was right for them and what they wanted to achieve through their blogging, and they recommended it to others because they experienced it as a successful method and were sharing their formula for success (which was very generous, and also a good sign).

Bloggers reading the above probably want to know what it is, right?

Go to – Millennial Life Crisis – and check out Vee’s recent Blogging 104: Turn ‘Me’ and ‘I’ into ‘You’ post.

Vee suggested using “You” instead of “I” and “Me” when writing.

It may well be very good advice, but it’s not for me.


Because it reminds me of something which narcissists do which bleeps with your mind – you don’t know whether they’re talking about themselves or you.

Yes, narcissists are always talking about themselves regardless of who they’re using as the vessel of self-talk, but it takes a while to realise someone is a narcissist, it can take years with a lot of self-doubt about it, and then figure out that’s what they’re doing, and during that time your mind becomes a tangled mess, and your sense of self is caught up in the knots.

Since the main narcissists in my life were my parents, and thus were doing that whole “You” instead of “I” and “Me” during my formative years as I traveled through development of self phases… I ended up very bleeped up as to who I was, where I began and ended and others began and ended.

Boundaries are something I’ve had to teach myself because they didn’t exist in my childhood. Not for me anyway… I could be used and invaded, trespassed upon and into, but the narcissists had a different set of boundary rules for themselves, a high wall to keep everyone out which must never be approached or death would ensue.

So the advice takes me to a bad place, an old place of stuck, trapped.

I also developed the habit too of talking about myself as “You” which confused the bleep out of people (except for narcissists) and myself too. It took me ages to replace the “You” with “Me” and “I”, and finally communicate more clearly with others.

Talk about myself openly rather than in code. Share myself rather than make it all about the other person.

Writing in first person for me is therapeutic. It keeps the boundaries clear.

This is me, I’m a mistake-making mess and all of my posts are about me making mistakes and mess – which I enjoy sharing in my posts.

You’re you which is not me, which is something to be relieved about, and perhaps rejoice about. Yay you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes we share a moment of crossing over, you and me become merged, blended, one… but it’s temporary and we can step back, out, and return to our respective selves and places.

I still sometimes fall back into the habit, sometimes expressing myself using “You” is therapeutic too.

Sometimes it’s just how the writing flows… I let it flow as it wants to flow – trying to control it tends to block it.

one of my favourite pieces of advice about writing

Many of my problems with self-confidence before were due to not having a personal point of reference for what self-confidence was… I looked to others for its meaning, which is not a good idea because they tell tales of what it means for them rather than telling your tale of what it means for you.

For me self-confidence is about being comfortable just being me, myself and I.

Feeling in my skin, and liking my skin as it is, with all its freckles, moles, bumps, warts, rashes, bruises, scratches, cuts, scars, lines, wrinkles, hairs, and occasional weird wtbleep is that!?!

It’s normal and natural for self-confidence levels to fluctuate, self-doubt is a useful companion to self-confidence, and helps to regulate self-confidence when it gets too much and may lead somewhere not beneficial.

2 – “Maybe you buy some clothes in which you look a bit strange, or you challenge someone to a game which you have absolutely no chance of winning.”

The bit about clothes looking strange caught my eye because of a thought I had and discussed with myself upon waking.

In some ways it’s connected to using first person or not when talking about yourself and your life.

What are you wearing? Is it the “you” or the “me” and “I”? Perhaps it’s a “she” or “he”, another name, gender, race, culture, throwing yourself into another or another over yourself?

The thought was mainly inspired by watching season 2 of a cleverly silly TV show – Workin’ Moms.

The last two episodes have been slightly agonising to view because they’re designed to be that way.

The main characters have been placed in situations which are relatable even if you’re not a workin’ mom, which many of us end up in for similar reasons, which often happen when you’re trying to be someone different, change yourself to change your life, your narrative, not-be-yourself because you’re going through one of those yourself-always-gets-you-into-trouble so maybe not-being-yourself will get you into not-trouble.

I used to view myself as a failure. A positive spin on that would be – I was one of those people who succeeds really well when it comes to failing everything they do.

I didn’t want to be a failure, I wanted to be a success… so I followed that seemingly logical path of problem solving to the conclusion of if Me = Failure then Not-me = Success.

It was easy to reach that solution because loads of life coaches, lifestyle gurus, pop psychologists and other professional advice givers help you out, point the way – if you as you are isn’t working out for you then be someone else in 7 simple steps. Buy the book, buy the program, buy the ticket to the workshop where you will be dismantled and rebuilt into a bionic six million dollar making man/woman.

What few of those advice-giving people tell you is that Not-me = misery… because then you wouldn’t buy what they’re selling and then they wouldn’t be successful, their business would fail. A negative spin on what they do is – they encourage you to view yourself as a failure because their success relies on you viewing yourself that way and then needing them to turn you around into viewing yourself as a success.

And yes, I do realise that I’m being unfair to all those good advice givers who help people achieve their dreams… but remember the title of this post, it’s about bad conversations.

One of the characters in Workin’ Moms is a successful career woman who gets punished by another successful career woman, her superior, because she put her family first and her boss wanted her to put the business first and forget the family. Her punishment includes being put in career limbo at her company… so she decides to use the limbo time to find another job, and work at two companies at the same time without telling either company what she is doing.

She gets the second job by pretending to be who she is not, even though the boss of that company tells her to be herself because that’s part of the ethos of that company – hiring individuals for their individuality. But she’s decided that they won’t hire her as she is – a wearer of business suits, married with a baby, unconventionally conventional, drives a car to work – and will only hire her if she’s who she is not – jeans and a T-shirt, single and childless, conventionally unconventional, rides a bike to work.

It’s been agony watching her juggling the two jobs, the two identities, lying to everyone including her husband who doesn’t know she’s doing this and herself since she’s convinced herself that it’s a great idea, she can do this and get away with it, and waiting for the whole thing to come crashing down on top of her – which happened at the end of last night’s episode.

For some reason it was the change of clothes which stuck with me long afterwards.

Wearing clothes then connected with other ideas of “clothing” we wear – wearing expressions, wearing make up, wearing masks, wearing the skin you’re in, wearing personas/facades/roles, wearing yourself out…

Maybe you buy some clothes in which you look a bit strange… not all the clothes we buy and wear are actual clothes, maybe we put on an attitude which doesn’t really fit us, suit us, and we end up looking a bit strange while wearing it even though we hoped it would make us perhaps appear less strange, attractive, interesting… successful?

For the record I look strange in all clothing because I look strange. People are always playing the figure-out-where-I’m-from game and the answer Planet Earth doesn’t seem to satisfy their curiosity. That’s exactly what an extraterrestrial would say!

It’s a look which suits me… took me ages to be okay with that.

I also look strange when buying clothing – I think I might appear to be laying an egg or trying to solve the hard problem of consciousness because those who work in shops come up to me to ask if I’m alright and need some help.

or you challenge someone to a game which you have absolutely no chance of winning… those are the best games to play! They’re fun, challenging, and you learn far more from them than you do by playing games you can win. The fact that you can win a game means you’ve already learned how to play it so… it’s done, time to move on to one you can’t win.

Of course some games are won by losing them.

“In our small chess community in Marylebone it would be mock modesty on my part to deny that I have built up for myself a considerable name without ever actually having won a single game. Even the best players are sometimes beaten, and that is precisely what happens to me.”

Stephen Potter, The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship (1947)

3 – “One way or another you could be subconsciously determined to make yourself a laughing stock or show yourself up.”

Subconsciously and consciously this is my purpose in life, my reason for living and being, my mission, my vocation – to show myself up and have a pathos/bathos laugh about it – and frankly it’s a lot of fun to do it.

Sorry, was I supposed to go “Oh noes, I must avoid doing that at all costs!!!” when I read that?

I used to live in constant fear of saying or doing something stupid, making a fool of myself, being mocked, laughed at, embarrassing myself and being humiliated… partly because that’s a regular experience for you when you live with narcissists. They spend huge amounts of time and attention focused on showing you up for being all sorts of ridiculous, awkward, assassinating you with contempt and it is unrelenting.

Everything you do and say and are is tarred, feathered, shoved in the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit, vegetables, eggs and poo.

You could embrace it and go with it – which I did do at times, especially when I could sense a narcissist people-bomb tik tok tik tok faster heading towards explosion, and making a complete fool of myself for my parents to laugh at and mock was one way to defuse it.

But they also make that a “not-an-option” you can embrace on a permanent basis because they need you to want for that not to happen to you, they need you to fear it…

I could say that’s because they’re master manipulators, which they are but a lot of what they do is not so much about manipulating you as it is about manipulating themselves. They’re trying to be someone else, someone other than who they are – they’re not really sure who they truly are and that frightens them.

Narcissists are the epitome of those who prefer the shallows to the depths… but they sometimes appear to be the other way around if that’s the way you’re supposed to appear to get some form of success.

They confuse you about who you are because they’re confused about who they are.

They’re frightened of being human, they don’t really understand what being human is… whatever it is there’s something bad about it for them. It’s weak… and the concept of weakness, of being weak, of having a weakness, of being exploited because of a weakness, scares the bleep out of them.

They do to others what they’re afraid others will do to them…

They’re the ones who are terrified of being mocked, humiliated and made to feel foolish.

In essence they pass their wound onto you and… maybe you’ll heal it for them because they don’t know how.

If you had a disease for which you couldn’t find a cure, which caused you pain and suffering without respite, and you could pass it onto someone else… perhaps they’d find a cure for it? At least you’d be free of it… for a while anyway. It’s sort of that.

For a long time I lived in fear of being a fool… but then, bit by bit, glimpses here and there of another way, I eventually found there was freedom in taking the path which is sometimes called “crazy wisdom”.

For instance…

Something else happened while watching Workin’ Moms.

Because I found it so agonising to view these characters heading to a big mess of trouble because of the decisions they were making which went against who they naturally were, I had two options – I could either stop watching, turn the show off or…

Part of the reason I found it agonising to watch was because I liked the characters. I wanted to see them succeed, do well, be happy.

But what if I hated them, wanted to see them fail, do badly, be unhappy!?

I like to experiment for myself to see how things work out…

So I tested it out… out loud – which I think shocked my partner even though he’s used to my crazy – and shouted at the TV: I hate these bitches*

[* I’m using the version of “bitches” which I got from watching Kdrama. Not dubbed but subbed (subtitles). Some of the shows have funny translations of terms which don’t seem to have an equivalent word in English. Every show seems to have a different translator, so it varies, some of the subtitles are taken from the work of fans who have fun with it. They sometimes translate what a character says about another character who is being a jerk or worse as “brats” and “bitches”.

It’s weirdly amusing to hear a sociopathic male CEO, who is killing people off left right and centre due to ambition and greed and general sociopathic stuff, being called a “bitch” or a “brat”, and if he has evil cronies working with him it becomes “these bitches” or “those brats”.

I’ve taken to doing that with non-Kdrama, just calling villains in films and TV shows – these bitches, that brat. Eg. Darth Vader, that brat! The Borg, those bitches!]

And for the experimental moment, as I immersed myself in hating those bitches*… all the agony of watching them heading towards a relatable life mini-disaster was gone. I could enjoy the show and the bleep hitting the fan for those characters.

It was an interesting experience and the information I collected from my experiment where no one else was harmed (except maybe my partner briefly as his mind tried to figure out if this time I’d really lost it… although I did warn him about what I was going to do before I did it, but didn’t leave enough time for the warning to sink in, but he seemed to recover quickly from the shock of my actually doing it) may be useful in other ways for other stuff.

When something works one way, it often works the other way around too – in other words those characters whom we find to be bitches and brats can be viewed as the opposite.

I have once or twice while watching a film or TV show decided to side with the villain, root for him/her, and see them as the hero of the story because otherwise the whole thing was unwatchable. And sometimes that’s made easy because that’s exactly what the manipulative creators of the story want the viewer to do – ie. Hannibal Lecter in the films and the TV show.

Or like when you play a video game where the main character whom you’re playing as is basically a serial killer even if their serial killing is heroically exterminating evil beings. You’re/they’re the hero and so everyone you/they kill is a bitch or brat who deserves it – you’re/they’re protecting the innocents! But you’re/they’re still a psychopathic killer… a friendly neighbourhood one.

I have experimented with turning villains into heroes in RL too – I had to, to get through my childhood.

From an early age I knew that I disliked my parents. They disliked me too, and I knew that too because they told me so, not just with words but in all the other ways people tell you how they think and feel about you.

They weren’t nice people even though they were very adept at playing the part of nice people in public…

Which reminds me of that small bit in that fascinating Netflix Documentary based on a book of a true story – Tell Me Who I Am – when the twin with amnesia finally meets up with his friends who haven’t been told about his amnesia, and not one, not even his girlfriend, noticed anything different about him. Basically no one knew him well enough before-amnesia to notice he was different after-amnesia and had amnesia. Or at least that’s how the documentary showed it… as though no one really ever bothers to get to know anyone, not truly or deeply enough to notice small things like someone not knowing who they are anymore and winging it, faking it.

…and when seducing a new person the nice levels would be turned up to 11. Once seduced and part of the fold, nice levels would return to normal – treat them mean and keep them keen, is a typical narcissist tactic which works more often than it should.

Admitting openly that I disliked my parents was a big NO-NO – society will not support you in this, and will bully, badger, excommunicate, lecture you until you toe the party line of all children must love their parents… doesn’t matter if the parents are total bleeps.

Society aside, it’s difficult to dislike your parents as a child for a variety of reasons, all of which can bleep you up. So I bleeped myself up in a different manner which was more acceptable for me and for society (although society never truly finds anything about you acceptable even when you’re bending over backwards to meet its constantly changing standards).

I simply turned my parents into good people by focusing on the few good things they did, and blocked, censored, black-penned out the rest.

It was made easier by the fact that narcissists do that with themselves, and encourage, manipulate, others to do that with them too – they control the narrative and all you have to do is get with the program they’ve created.

That’s it…?

Yes and no… does it matter?

Over to you!


  1. Deep. And given I can’t swim well at all (maybe I can’t swim full stop), I’m not comfortable in the depths. Odd that because my sign is Pisces, perhaps THE water sign supreme. I found your words absorbing all the same. Because that’s how I find YOU. You have a lot of wisdom, I’m glad you share it, even when the planet’s alignment and the stars are telling you NO! Go back and sit down now, you have nothing to say. Phooey. Put it out there, we’re reading and best of all Learning from what you share! Brava!


  2. I know what you mean about it being agonizing to watch certain characters in shows. I mentioned to you before how I watched the TV show Madmen hoping that the emotionally disturbed narcissists in the story would somehow learn and grow. Sorry to give away a spoiler, but umm, nope.

    Watching a show using a different perspective, as you’ve suggested here, would certainly be a challenge for me. But of course, everyone thinks they’re the protagonist of their own life, and those that hurt or annoy us are the antagonists. So, watching something from the perspective of a character who is screwing up, would mean you’d be seeing them as the “good guy” of the story.

    Sorry if I’m repeating myself, but this reminds me of a situation with my mother-in-law (MIL). We both loved the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond (ELR). For the first 20 years of my marriage, my life truly mirrored the character Debra in the show. I felt like she was me (except without kids, and I know how to cook), and that the antagonist of the story was my MIL, only she was Marie in the show. One day, my MIL told me she felt sorry for Marie, because she only wanted to take care of her family. She saw Marie as HER and thought Marie was the protagonist/good guy. She thought Debra was the bad guy.

    Then one day I was reading reviews for ELR, and a couple of people said they hated Debra! I was shocked. Could I be fooling myself? Could the character I most related to be the antagonist? Was I an antagonist…the “bad guy?” I certainly always felt like I was the bad guy, because everyone always took my MIL’s side, including my husband. Not to mention, my mom making me to blame for so many of her hurts.

    I found myself researching the show, because many of the episodes were about things that actually happened to me personally. How did the writers know my married-life story? I found several interviews with the creator/writer of the show, and I was so relieved to hear him clearly say that Marie was the antagonist. I know it sounds crazy over a TV show, but I felt so validated and vindicated.

    This is long enough for a topic on my own blog, but I did write about this before, just can’t remember when.

    I’ll shut up now.

    Oh no, wait. One more thing. Maybe others might need an explanation about the word “bitches,” but I understand it’s just an expression. I tend to explain why I say certain things too, because I’ve felt so misunderstood for most of my life. Plus, people get easily offended these days.


    • Thank you for sharing, Lori ๐Ÿ™‚

      I write posts for myself, as conversations with myself, so if I put an explanation in, that’s for me. I might forget about the Kdrama bitches/brats thing even though it’s added a fun spin to watching shows, so I jotted it down. And I never know… maybe someone else will find it interesting. Or maybe they have an interesting thing like that too which they’ll share with me because I shared mine.

      Like you shared your stories about Mad Men and ELR because I shared my stories of watching shows ๐Ÿ™‚

      What you said about the characters in ELR and the different perspectives you explored, reminded me of a sketch by Mitchell and Webb:

      I’ve found that sometimes films and TV shows, what we notice, what strikes us in them and makes us uncomfortable, or comfortable, which gives us a new perspective, makes us think, often gives insight into our own life story, and the life stories of those in our life.

      Narcissists tend to see themselves as the heroes and everyone else is either a villain, an ally of the villain, or an ally of the hero. One of the most intriguing pauses is when you realise that while the narcissist in your life is the villain to you as hero, for them it’s the other way around. That pause for thought can shift the dynamic, change the experience, give a whole new perspective and approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Howdy Ursula ๐Ÿค 

    I got the same No Chance. I have learned that sometimes things are just going to go “wrong”. But is it really wrong?

    I love the linky link about the word meek. He takes it a lot further than I have. I usually associate meek with humble, and humble to me is kind of neutral, neither strong nor weak.

    The whole I, me, you thing reminds me of a conversation I had with myselves๐Ÿ˜‰ I noticed that I tended to you “you” a lot in comments when I really should have been using “one”. I thought I might be coming across as preachy, giving unasked for, unwanted advice, when I was sharing a thought. I’m working on using I, or “we” and occasionally “one” (one is weird for me. I think it’s weird for a lot of Americans, we aren’t really taught to use it)

    I cant watch foriegn films or shows that have been dubbed. It’s too bizarre for me. I unconsciously watch mouths because of my hearing loss and it bugs me when it doesnt match. Subtitles for me please.

    I dont think I’ve ever consciously, purposefully changed my perspective but I do it in my head about nearly everything most of the time. It’s part of being me, I see many sides. I’d probably be a terrible juror or judge.

    I’m still working my way through the links on the other post. LOTS of very interesting things!



    • Thank you, Angie ๐Ÿ™‚

      One does not simply walk into Mordor…

      “One” is weird in the UK too. If one were to use one to refer to oneself or others, one might come across as being a rather posh toff putting on airs as though one thought one was queen, does one want to give one such a thusly impression?

      That was exhausting just writing that bit using one, one needs a nap now.

      This is how we talk over here:

      If the Youtube won’t play for you, just search for “Psychobitches” – it’s a spiffing very British show!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just watched โ€œTell Me Who I Amโ€ last night and yes, I was also amazed that no one noticed anything odd or different about Alex. I also wondered whether it might be his group of friends; maybe they sensed that there were secrets about him and that it was wise not to ask questions, so when he started to be different from before, perhaps they put it down to that something else that Alex and Marcus donโ€™t discuss? One thing I noticed about my UK relatives was a reluctance to ask questions – could this also be cultural? That whole stiff upper lip bit? Or, another interpretation is that they just accepted Alex however he appeared, and in whatever configuration.
    I have been meaning to watch โ€œWorkinโ€™ Moms;โ€ there was a time when that was me.
    Great post series. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Thank you, Lynette ๐Ÿ™‚

      They left a lot of the story out of the documentary. When I did a search for the book upon which it was based, I found one of those sites (might have been Google books) which excerpts large portions of chapters and read some of it. There’s much more detail in it which was edited out of the docu-film. So they probably simplified the whole interaction with friends to be more stark and create a sharper contrast, to accentuate the isolating experience of amnesia and secrecy. There was a strong sense of manipulating the audience to get viewers to have a virtual experience of the story.

      There is definitely a cultural factor. There are certain things which you just don’t discuss when socialising, especially with family. You can go deeper with friends, but there are a lot of “Don’t go there” zones and topics. If you try to go there you meet the Black Knight. The stereotype of British people only talking about the weather is rather true. Difficult issues tend to be shelved permanently, and questions are kept to a shallow minimum. If you haven’t seen Fleabag, I highly recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wondered if there were parts left out. It did seem a bit gappy at times.

        I would really like to watch Fleabag. Iโ€™ve heard lots of good things about it. Itโ€™s not available on our service or Netflix yet though.

        Liked by 1 person

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