Saturday, December 3, 2011

Snubbed Prime Ministers, Siblings, Manipulative People, and Hypocritical Judgements

1. Found more old dreams about Australia.  They're from October 19, 2007.

The first one: Someone has bought a bunch of flags. I'm hoping to get the Australian one.  The flag person names a bunch of countries/flags she likes.  I have hope that I can have the Australian one, but then she says she likes the Australian flag. I jokingly act disappointed, although I think I'm partly serious. I get the sense that the woman doesn't like me. 

The other:  I have earrings. A giant koala and kangaroo. Then there's a third earring for an extra earring hole. It's giant, as big as my head. 

2. Read article that says Kevin Rudd was snubbed by Julia Gillard.

At the Labor event thing, Gillard and Wayne Swan paid tribute to their favorite Labor Prime Ministers. Kevin Rudd wasn't one of them.

This totally reminds me of something that would happen to me.  I'd be snubbed.  If I spoke up about it, I would be told it was an honest mistake; I'm too sensitive; I've done the same thing, blah, blah, blah.

The article is saying Rudd may fight to get the Prime Minister position back. I hope he does that, and I hope he wins.

3. Tried to argue with myself.  Well, maybe Gillard was just being honest.  Maybe she doesn't think Rudd was a good Prime Minister.  Why should she lie and be fake?

Well, if your attempt to honor others is going to hurtfully exclude someone else, it's probably best to not do the honoring.

I'd venture to say that they listed these favorite Prime Ministers SO they could exclude Rudd.

Yeah. I'm getting all this because I've been reading the manipulativeness stuff.  It's very insightful, but probably leads to a fair amount of paranoia.  That's not to say, though, that the paranoia isn't warranted.

It's all the little things these people throw at you.   They SOUND innocent.  But you end up feeling awful when it hits you.  You wonder if they're deliberately saying these things to get at you.  Then you say, No, how ridiculous.  I'm being paranoid.  I'm being too sensitive.   I'm the one with the problem, not them.  

4. Thought about the times that I've been covertly-aggressive.  I feel bad about it.

I think it's great that I've learned this stuff, and I feel validated. I understand what's been happening in my life, and I have some ideas how to protect myself from people who use excessive manipulation.
That's all important.  But I also think it's equally important to recognize the manipulative behaviors in myself and put a stop to them.  

Some of it's confusing, though.   One of the ways I've learned to deal with my life and the people in my life is to hold back.   I'm very guarded. I do that to protect myself.   But then I'm all insecure about it now.  Is holding back being manipulative, or is it a reasonable self-defense mechanism?

The interesting thing is there's really only one person who's been openly annoyed about my distantness.  

This same person is also one of the people who's very manipulative in my life. 

What does that mean?

I have no idea.  

Well....

I don't think it's because they really care what's going on in my life.  I think it's because they feel insulted.

That's my guess.  

Do I want them to feel insulted?  Maybe...a little.   But mostly I want to protect MYSELF from feeling insulted by them.  And that's why I do what I need to do to protect myself.

5. Read article about the over-labeling of mental health disorders.  

It sounds like soon we'll all be able to classify ourselves as mentally ill.

The article has some examples.  If your child has temper tantrums, they might be diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.  If a widow grieves a bit too long, she might have a major depressive illness.

I think this quote here summarizes the subject very well.  They fear it is so inclusive it risks mislabelling millions of healthy people as mentally ill, potentially leading to increased stigma and medication.

Mental illness DOES happen, but it doesn't happen to everyone. Sometimes people are just hyper, weird, nervous, sad, mournful, imaginative, careful, shy, etc.  But they're not ill.

We weren't meant to feel happy, calm, and rational all the time.

We all have our crazy and depressing moments. That doesn't mean we're sick.

6. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story called The Last Straw.  

The stars of this one are Wynne Blackbury and Alessia Blackbury-Tremaine.

They're part of the family with the octuplets. I think Wynne is one of the octuplets, and Alessia is the stepsister.

The story takes place in the Eastern Suburbs in Melbourne.

7. Started to read.

It's the evening of Saturday, November 24.

Wynne is annoyed by Alessia for some reason.

8. Found out the reason.  He knows Alessia is planning to sneak out of the house and he's worried about that.  Wynne feels protective of her.  He worries about her because she was so sick in the past.

Are his worries warranted?   Is he being a sweet older brother, or is he being overbearing?

I'm not sure.

9. Learned that Alessia is planning to go to a pool party.  

10. Saw that Alessia made it to the party.  She's enjoying it and doesn't realize her brother has followed her.

Wynne sees her drinking and being noticed by teenage boys.  He comes out of hiding and scolds Alessia.

11. Wondered about this line in Wynne's post.  All he could ever see when he looked at Lessa was the little sick sister that he had to protect since he did such a rubbish job of it as a kid.

Did he really do a bad job with it?  Or does he wrongfully blame himself for his sister being sick?

12. Saw that Wynne accidentally made Alessia fall into the pool.  Now he feels guilty for that as well.

13. Continued to read.  Some of the other party people locked Alessia and Wynne into a cellar.  The idea is they can't get out until they make up.

That's kind of sweet.   I guess.

I wonder how often things like that are done in real life.   And does it really work?   People might do enough talking to overcome the surface problems, but will they work out any deep problems between them?

That's how I usually feel about fights. There's yelling. There's talking. There's explaining. There's manipulating. There's crying. There's hugging.  There's bonding.  But for the most part, the problems don't disappear. Or they disappear only temporarily.

14. Wondered about this line from Alessia's post. Urgh, they only shut us down here because they think you're a jealous boyfriend or something -- you sure acted like one.

Why would friends lock someone up with their jealous boyfriend? It sounds a bit dangerous. What if he was the violent type?

Then again, why does locking someone up with their sibling seem more benign?  That could be presumptuous and dangerous too.  

That's the thing about getting in the middle of other people's relationships.  We don't know the whole story. We don't know the true story.  

15. Started to read the biography of Wynne Blackbury.  

His face claim is Eric Saade.

It turns out I've already looked up Eric Saade.  He's the Swedish pop singer guy.   I must have looked at him the day I wrote about another Blackbury octuplet. 

He did look kind of familiar.

So I guess the same face claim is being used for all or some of the octuplets. Maybe some are identical? 

16. Learned that Wynne's Patronus is a lion.

There was a lion in my dream last night...and a bear.

17. Got the idea from Wynne's description appearance that he and his brothers ARE identical.

18. Learned that Wynne doesn't care much about his appearance.  He's more casual than his brother that I've read about.

19.  Reminded by my own family when I read this.  He is blinded sometimes by his need for his family to stay together that he misses things going on right in front of his face.

20.  Saw that Wynne might be supportive of the kids who locked Alessia and him in the closet.   It says here: Wynne may be slightly gullible but he's no idiot, he knows when's something is wrong in his family usually by the atmosphere around his siblings and if he finds out two of the brothers are fighting he is quick to smack them (all but Yves who could probably kill him if he really wanted to) on the back of their heads and lock them in a closet and leave them there until they work things out.

It turns out he does the same thing to people that was done to him at the party.

21. Thought this bit here kind of contradicted what I quoted in 19.  Just because he is gullible doesn't mean he's an idiot and given the chance to watch his siblings for even a moment he can notice changes between their interactions that tips him off.  

In the other description, he DOES sound a bit gullible. Well, he sounds like he's the type who has his head in the sand.   But in the quote right above he seems pretty perceptive. I guess he just needs that one moment to figure things out.

I think most people would. Not many people would notice tension instantaneously...unless they were psychic.

22. Learned that Wynne has trouble with magic. He's not very good at it.  He secretly blames his brothers for stealing his magic.

I'm assuming he means accidentally?  How does he think that occurred?  Was it in the womb?  Is it a matter of them taking his magic and now they're more magic?  Or is it more of a case that the magic had to be distributed between the eight of them; and all of them have diminished skills?

Wynne has the most trouble of his siblings.  But if the magic was distributed between the eight of them, there's no guarantee that it would have been distributed evenly.

That being said, I'm guessing Wynne is probably wrong, and his brothers did NOT steal his magic—purposely or accidentally.

It's kind of like me imagining that Jack stole my memory.  Here he has this fantastic memory and I have a horrible one.  I'm sometimes tempted to believe he stole some of my memory abilities when he was in my uterus.  

23. Read more and thought more about the manipulation stuff. Mostly I'm reading work from a guy named George Simon.  

I recognize the tactics he describes.  I've experienced them.  I agree that they can cause emotional harm, and that they're really hard to deal with.

Where I disagree with him is that (from what I read) he seems to think chronic manipulators are bad people.  They're missing a conscience.  They feel no guilt. They feel no shame.  There's no hope for them.  In other words, I guess they'd be psychopaths.   

I think Simon's basic message is to not feel compassion for these manipulators because they'll use that compassion against you.

Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but like Anne Frank I'd like to believe that MOST people are good at heart.  I can't believe all of them are.  I think there are evil people. But I don't think all manipulative people are evil.  I think that some of them are just a bit desperate.  They want something or they don't want to lose something.   Instead of going about it honestly, they go about it in a covert fashion.

I don't think the highly manipulative people in my life are evil. I think they just want to avoid blame and responsibility.  They want love and attention. They want people to think highly of them.  

And guess what? That's pretty much what I want...well, maybe not so much avoiding blame and responsibility.  But I do want love and attention.  I do want people to think highly of me. I tend to go about it usually in an honest way.  Does it get me that far?

Nope.

I think our society, us as a people, we reward manipulation more than honesty.

So then can we blame people for being manipulative?   Yes we can...a little bit.   But I do think it's okay to have compassion for them.   I think there are probably ways to not fall prey to their wicked techniques, but still have faith that deep inside they're good people.  

To tie this back to Australia.

If Julia Gillard purposely snubbed Kevin Rudd an an act of manipulation, I don't think it means she's a cold and ruthless person.   Maybe she was hurt by something Rudd did and was getting back at him.  Maybe Rudd didn't do anything, but she just feels animosity towards him because they have job competition in their relationship?    It could be like a sibling rivalry thing.   Sisters and brothers do things to hurt each other. It's usually not because they're evil.  It's because they're angry and jealous.   They want to be the winners in the family, and sometimes it seems the best way to do this is to make the other sibling the losers.

I received a very manipulative email this week.   I think it could go into a psychology book as an example of manipulative behavior.   But I don't think the person who wrote it is evil.   I don't think she's lacking a conscience.  I don't think she's lacking shame and guilt.  I think she has the same deep feelings I do. I think it's just a matter of her lacking emotional maturity. 

24. Saw that my Australian of the day is Peret Arkwookerum.

He was an Aboriginal Dancer.

He was born in Queensland in 1924.

25. Learned that Arkwookerum's totem was a possum.

The only thing I know about totems is that you're not supposed to eat yours.

26. Found a website that talks about totems.  It's something that's adopted by a group. I guess it's kind of like they're symbol.

A school mascot might be a sort of totem.

The website says that although people can't usually eat their totem, sometimes exceptions will be made for special ceremonies.

27. Learned that Arkwookerum was an excellent hunter.

28. Learned that Arkwookerum fought for land claims.    I'm not sure if he won the battle or not.   The Australian Dictionary of Biography says, By the late 1970s, with aid from the Federal government, he was moving steadily towards his objective—an outstation at a coastal site in his mother's country, with permanent drinking water and the possibility of access by aircraft.

He moved steadily, but did he ever reach his destination?


Maybe he didn't, but he got pretty far?

We can't always win completely.  But sometimes we can win a little bit and be temporarily happy with that.

29. Decided that even though the world often seems better suited for manipulative people, I'm going to try to continue being honest.

Even if it makes me seem pathetic and desperate at times.

That's not to say I'm going to tell everybody everything. These blog posts are long enough as it is.

But I'm going to try to avoid trying to guilt or trick people into doing what I want.

I'm going to try to be direct.

I'm going to try to stop hinting if I want something from someone.  And I'm going to stop hinting in hopes that someone will realize I'm mad at them.   If I want something and I feel it's not unreasonable, I'll ask for it.   If someone hurts me, I'll either directly tell them about it or I'll tell myself it's them being a bitch.  And I'll try not to reinforce the behavior by giving it attention.  My reaction will depend on the person.   If they're manipulative, I now fully understand that there's no point in hoping they'll admit they're mistake.   I can't say whether or not they'll FEEL sorry.  But from experience, I can be fairly certain that they won't act sorry. They'll end up making me feel that I'm the one with the problem and I'm the one who should be sorry.   

30. Started to look at more of Fredweng's day 9 in Australia Flickr set.

31. Wondered who's this a statue of.

32. Wondered about this mural.  It looks three-dimensional.   Is it?   Or is it just an illusion?   If it's two-dimensional and looks three-dimensional, I'm very impressed. 

33. Saw the same mural from a different angle.   From this angle, it looks entirely two-dimensional.   So the three-dimensional appearance was an illusion.

I AM impressed. 

34. Thought of The World Beneath when I saw this Ranger station. 

35. Just read one of my old posts and am shocked at how hypocritical I was.  

I wrote: There are plenty of down to earth Americans, but maybe not in the crowd he hangs out with. When you're a successful actor living in Los Angeles, it might be challenging to find people who are genuine. If you use stereotyped judgments as excuses for your dating status, I say you stand WITH the fake crowd, and not outside of it. 

Yeah.  It's a bad thing to stereotype people; but it's okay to stereotype actors and people living in Los Angeles.


I'm laughing at myself here...and hanging my head in shame.  

That was so BAD of me.

I apologize to actors and Los Angeles people.   

36.  Went to the Funtrivia site to take another quiz.

Today I'm doing a Christmas one.   I skipped over that one before, because I figured it would be better to do it closer to Christmas time.  

Speaking of Christmas, Fruitcake has a lovely post about Christmas.   I enjoyed reading it and agreed with some of the stuff she said.  She lists things she likes about Christmas and things she doesn't like about Christmas.  Then she also lists stupid things people do at Christmas.  

37. Started the quiz.

38. Got question #6 wrong and learned that Melbourne has a Boxing Day cricket match.

39. Got question #7 wrong and learned there's something in Australia called Christmas Bush.   It's some kind of native plant, and people use it in their holiday decorations.

Lord Wiki says the flowers of the plant turn bright red around Christmas time.

That's pretty cool.

40. Finished the quiz.   I got 8/10 and the average is 7/10.

I got to say, for an American Jew, I know a fair amount about Australia's Christmas.  

41. Started to watch another Kensington25 video.

This one is about Sydney.




The video seems to have two introductions.

42. Thought that Kensignton25's friend or partner (shown at 2:30) looks a bit like Tim's best friend in Texas. 

I think the guy in the video is the one who designed the t-shirts in the video I watched yesterday.

43. Agreed with Kensington25's positive reviews of the David Jones food court.

We like it too.

44.  Thought the editing was a bit off in that particular video, but it was still charming.

I love Kensington25's enthusiasm for Australia.   I think he's a fan like me.