"Instructional People"

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by Crpdeth, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. user

    user Active Member

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    If I may say so with all respect, no doubt there are people like that, but to generalize to all "instructional people" is just plain hogwash.

    I'm one of those people. It's part of the reason I became an attorney, that way other people pay me to solve their problems for them. But in my experience, it's the people who are afraid they're not dominant and who see life as a tension between submission and dominance who want to characterize what I do as a dominance or control thing.

    But I have observed that there are lots of people who, because of their own psychological damage, can't help but see relationships in terms of dominance and control. And I have learned not to try to help people like that, because they're in victim mode and are like dogs that have been kicked once too often. Even when you try to be kind to them, they'll bite you. Or as Jesus put it, "cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample your pearls underfoot and turn to gore you."

    My suggestion is, think about what people tell you; if they're right, do what they say - it's not a surrender of control on your part, it's an acquisition of control. You gain control of yourself because you're deciding what to do on the basis of the information you have available. And if it seems to you that they're wrong, then ask them why they think their way is best. Such people are trying to be of service, and you might as well make use of the servants God gives you. Trying to protect yourself from feelings of submission is a symptom of self-importance. Why not focus on whatever it is you're supposed to be doing, and get it done the best way you can?

    The only thing anyone can learn to control, really, is himself; but if he can learn to do that, he can have influence. And that's the best any of us will ever do.
  2. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    User

    As an attorney, people pay you to tell them how to solve their problems in a troubled time and to fight along side them in court, not to tell them how to wash their hands, they've hired you to help them and asked for your help...See, that's what I'm afraid you are missing, you say that people are in "victim mode" because they cant accept your instructions, yet I contend that if your opinions were of an important nature, or even asked for, then they would be valued as pure gold. Indeed it is condescending and blatant loftiness to bark orders at those people in your life who you profess to care about as if they just could not exist without your help.

    I reiterate that I'm the type of person who will ask for help when needed...If I'm working on a new project that I have little to no experience in, I want to do things the right way and believe me, any real world help that I am given is valued and matched with a big fat steak dinner or something.

    Personally, I think you are protecting yourself when you say "it's the people who are afraid they're not dominant and who see life as a tension between submission and dominance who want to characterize what I do as a dominance or control thing"...It sounds to me that you are trying to justify how you are and debase anyone who is independent enough to live without those opinions that weren't asked for.

    I do think being instructional (in part) is a habit, I think these people start out with good intentions, they are smart (super smart in my two cases) and they realize that they can help their friends and family doing things and they enjoy it because after all it DOES feel good to be needed, however while going about their normal day to day, the feeling of being needed is not present...That's where I muse the trouble starts and before you know it they are telling grown men how to wash their hands or how to drive.


    Crpdeth
  3. BillP

    BillP New Member

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    I think what Crpdeth was talking about when he used the term "instructional people" was those people who often seem to be a pain in the butt, but don't mean any harm and their value to you far outweighs the irritation. You are correct when you say that some people are "damaged" and have an apparent need to dominate or control others. Trying to maintain a friendship or even a working relationship with these people is usually a mistake although there are ways to do so.

    Mentally healthy adults move easily from dealing with others in an "adult/child" role to an "adult/adult" role as it is appropriate. Sometimes it's not easy and one of the most common problems is between parents and their adult children. Some parents just can't move the relationship into an "adult/adult" one. I have found that it's best to assume an "adult/adult" posture unless the child clearly wants to slip back into "child/adult" posture and then to get back to "adult/adult" as soon as possible.

    The term "super adult" is one that depends greatly on the other person's voluntary assumption of a submissive role. Successful use of this role is often prevented if the other person perceives himself being cast into a "child" role. In our culture, the "super adult" role is often temporary. Others accept your role as a "super adult" when you are acting as their attorney and defer to your education and experience. If you insist on that same deference with friends and neighbors, you're just someone with an inappropriate need to dominate or control others and will lack healthy relationships with others.

    Good "mentors" are perhaps the most successful in moving in and out of these relationship roles. They can slip comfortably from being a friend (A/A) to an instructor (SA/A) and back to a friend (A/A). You will note that in the above illustration I used all capital letters. The connotation is one of equality despite the roles played. I think the people you dislike dealing with are the ones who wish a relationship that would be shown as (A/a).
  4. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    Exactly right... There is also the fear that given enough time, that the "irritation" will fester and become more of a problem.

    I think you misread User here... I think he is saying that persons who cannot accept random instruction (me being that token person in this thread) are the ones who are "psychologically damaged", although you bring up a good point by reversing that thought.

    User, It's not the "relationship that people view in terms of dominance and control", in my opinion, but the very act of speaking down to someone as if the person they are speaking to has no clue... If it were as you say, I would only befriend people who couldn't kick my ass in a fist fight, or beat me in a game of pool, or cook better than me, or hunt better than me...See what I mean?

    Crpdeth
  5. user

    user Active Member

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    I hear you, and you make good points. I do try not to "bark", though, and I don't give orders. But I do tell people what they need to do in order to get the legal system to give them what they say they want. And, yes, they pay me to do that, and then they ignore what I tell them. That's ok with me, because I don't have to live with the consequences.

    I think it's a natural process to try to justify how one is; that doesn't make it good, of course, and one should try to "die to self daily". But I don't see how debasing other people has anything to do with my rationalization of my own behavior. It is not my purpose to put anybody down - I really don't think I care about them that much, which I regard as another failure on my part. I'm too wrapped up in myself to find anyone else important enough to be worth the effort of debasing, self-centered, arrogant, fool that I am.

    But I'm getting better.
  6. user

    user Active Member

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    Good point. I was raised around people who assumed the submissive role as part of a "management technique". I developed a tendency to avoid getting sucked into that kind of relationship because of the deception and manipulation that it entails. As a result, I have absolutely no patience with people who try to engage me in what you describe as "(A/a)".

    Good way to illustrate the relationship dynamics. Did you invent that?
  7. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    User, I honestly think you are missing (purposely overlooking?) something that I have continuously reiterated in this thread. I'm not referring to people who hand out instructions upon being paid to do so, you keep coming back to your profession...Indeed I would EXPECT you to be instructional in your line of work, just as I would be if I noticed Crabgrass taking over one of my clients lawns, that's what we are paid for...Again, I am expressing my growing nausea regarding those who, can not, or will not differentiate the work place from their life with family and friends.


    Interesting...Just out of sheer curiosity, would you elaborate on how you feel that you would be deceived and manipulated by assuming a more submissive role?


    Crpdeth
  8. BillP

    BillP New Member

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    I wish I could take credit for it but I can't. I particularly like the concept of "super adult" SA. It gives you a way to illustrate a "superordinate" role. That's important because then the other person is cast in a "subordinate" role rather than a submissive one. A lot has to do with culture, in many an A/a dynamic is accepted but for us it smacks of an A/C dynamic and when you treat an adult as a child you are headed for trouble.

    As you have discovered an adult who voluntarily assumes the "a" role in a relationship with another adult is trying to create a a/A dynamic which is by it's very nature manipulative. The term often heard is "sucking up". On the other hand, casting the other in the SA role can be straightforward. Acknowledge the other's age or experience and you give him permission to take a leadership position without making him ultimately responsible for the outcome. You have no doubt found that if someone comes to you in your professional capacity in an A/SA dynamic he still accepts ultimate responsibility for the outcome. If he comes to you in an a/A dynamic what he really wants is a C/A dynamic which means that you are expected to make everything right.
  9. user

    user Active Member

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    Part of my thinking is that we get the line of work our own peculiar neuroses program us for. I have to apologize to people fairly often for "getting preachy". It's not just about work. I have the work I do because of my confrontational and aggressive personality (or the one I had twenty years ago, at least) as well as my superior attention to detail and ability to remember huge quantities of information, and my feeling that I am competent to tell you what you ought to be doing. I have learned not to place an implied, "you dummy" on the end of every sentence. Jesus has taught me that any idiot can be saved, and my abilities aren't worth spit unless I'm doing love.


    Sure, I was raised by women who were all victims of horrible sexual abuse that lasted for years. They had learned to "manage" the men in their lives, and since they married men whom they could fall in love with (i.e., abusive alcoholics), their principal management technique was the objectively observable submission-meekness role, while their only strength against such men was their ability to deceive and manipulate. Their other major tools were access to sexual gratification and access to prepared food. Theirs was a culture based on shame, fear, and guilt. The submissive role they assumed was a lot like the "undocumented immigrant's" unarmed invasion. If the people coming over the Arizona border were armed, it would be clearer what they're up to, and what we should do about it. But their assumption of a subordinate role of weakness disarms us in our resolve to repel invaders.

    Thing about me, though, is that I thought that was normal until I got much older - I didn't know those people were crazy. But I'd learned to manage THEM, which is why I use intellect and argument to get what I want and to beat other people down. Like I said, I'm getting better. Life is a process, not a goal.
  10. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    And after saying this, you still dont realize that in having to learn not to "place an implied you dummy" at the end of a sentance, that you are already 'speaking down' to your friends/family?

    Why "get preachy" to start with? If people want to be preached at, they go to church and if they want your opinions they will ask you for them.

    Crpdeth
  11. user

    user Active Member

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    I had some response to this, but encountered a problem posting the response, and by the time I'd gotten back to it, it was gone. And now I have no idea what I was going to say. Must have been important.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  12. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    I'm sure it'll come to you...We have nothing but time. :D


    Crpdeth
  13. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    A little more than a year has passed since the start of this thread and I have to re-visit it because things are working out really nicely.

    I suppose the only real thing I have done differently is to become more vocal, still always in a light hearted, joking manner, but instead of waiting until I've "had enough" or allowing things to "bottle up" I will simply reply to each and every "instructional comment" negatively.... For example, while helping my friend load something into a truck several months ago, as I approached the truck, he says "Okay now set your end on the tailgate and jump into the truck bed" I just laughed and responded "Hey %!#&!, I got this end, you just worry about your end or you can have 'em both!" .

    Somehow, I think this constant response has made them realize how often they bark orders and also perhaps get the idea that it is growing old.

    Anyway, I am proud to say that it is working well, because these guys mean a lot to me.

    :)
  14. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    Sorry to dredge up such a musty old thread, but felt the need, because I really feel a loss that was way too anticipated and predicted... Almost 6 1/2 years have passed since the introduction of this problem and I find that I have completely distanced myself from these two men... A damn shame is what it is. I have been married to my best friend for well over 1 1/2 years and she has never even met one of the Instructional People talked about in this thread, the other one, she has spoken with once... I bring this back up only to hopefully create a moment for my friends here to reflect on their own personalities... Ironically, I find myself occasionally barking opinions to my beautiful wife, only to back off and apologize, stating "I don't want to become one of those Instructional People". She laughs and say's that she never minds, but I wonder...

    I guess the bottom line is that some of us need to learn to bite our tongue and let our friends and family do the simple things their way and shut the hell up before we run some really good people out of our lives...
  15. jstgsn

    jstgsn Well-Known Member

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    Someone once told me, if you loan $20 to a good friend, and never see them again, it was worth it.

    Seems to me as we get older and our lives change, we tend to inch our way toward the most comfortable spot we can find.
    Crpdeth likes this.

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