The Difference Between Being A Tool And Using One
“Sometimes you have to be a bitch to get things done.”
There’s a word for you to ponder. What do we even mean by it?
While catching up with a friend last night we talked about this.
The thought occurred to me while getting acupuncture. No, not because I lay there crying like a bitch, but because she mentioned the word.
That got me thinking about my friend who seemed to lament the fact that she might have to “be a bitch” towards people a while back.
I was curious to hear what she thought about the word and its connotations.
Well, usually we think about it in negative terms but when she talked about it words like “strength”, “integrity” and “courage” came to mind.
I got to thinking “What if these were characteristics of a man?”, so I asked her. All of a sudden they seemed like marriage material.
Then why the fuck don’t we view it as something positive when it comes to women?
Now, on the flip side when we’re talking about a man being a bitch we think of him as someone who’s “vulnerable”, “caring” and “dainty”.
Things we’d probably look for in a woman.
To be clear, these preferences of traits vary wildly from person to person. It’s also a very heterocentric view of things.
Caveat Lecter too.
I remember studying what could be called a “therapy session” with a couple.
It was clearly not your standard procedure. Then again, what is?
The wife felt stuck in a passionless marriage. She had suicidal thoughts because she didn’t want the identity of being a two-time divorcee.
In turn the husband didn’t know what to do because he’d been accused of acting just like her last husband who’d been abusive towards her. So, he walked on eggshells around her.
I almost got scared because the guy leading the session teased the wife about her suicidal thoughts. Also inquiring as to when the guy lost his dick.
They both laughed at the absurdity. It wasn’t the most delecate way of putting it but it cut straight to the heart of the matter.
The wife needed her husband to act like a man but also feel secure that he’d be gentle with her. The husband got mixed messages and put his manhood aside in favor of not provoking her.
Towards the end of the session the husband was encouraged to break a chair and show that it was OK for him to be physical. Both for his own sake and to show his wife that he was able to be in control of how he behaved and when.
You could see the change in both of them. She finally felt secure about him and he felt comfortable expressing both sides of himself.
There were some follow-ups and they were happier each time, looking passionately at each other.
Then about a year later they decided to go their seperate ways.
But the difference lasted, they’d both grown and realized that it’s OK. There was no resentment. It’s just what they needed to go through to get back to their true selves.
Which masks should we use today, honey?
You see what these people did? What everyone of us does all of the time?
We try to mold our personalities to handle life.
Sometimes it’s to fit in with a certain crowd. Maybe to seem professional. Perhaps to not seem stupid in room full of smart people.
What usually ends up happening is that we feel like we’ve compromised away something of ourselves or feel guilty for “lying” about who we are.
So, who are we? Really?
To me it seems we’re simply the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves most often.
I had this “Greatest Hits”-record playing over and over of me being an unemployed, bad boy, hard rocker that I played up to all the time.
I knew that I’d always get the same treatment so I made damn sure to live up to that role.
That way the bullets of rejection wouldn’t hurt as bad.
Then there were people who could see straight through the bullshit and see that underneath the veneer was actually a pretty decent dude who wanted to do some good in the world. He just hadn’t figured out how.
So, they helped me.
What did I do? At first I felt flattered and really happy. Then I got scared shitless.
All of a sudden I had people who believed in me. Crap. Now I actually have to live up to expectations? Fuck that.
So I lashed out.
What they did was to simply accept that as well. They waited for me to realize that whatever I was doing wasn’t the real me. It was only my habitual coping mechanisms firing off.
When I finally came asking for help, they just smiled and did whatever they could to help me get back up.
Something I’m eternally grateful for.
Jimmy’s got the right idea!
Then again, I can also be a real asshole.
Just a couple of days ago a person who’d been bugging to get a meeting with me contacted me again.
Despite me being very honest about not wanting that. I mean, can you be more explicit than: “No. Please don’t message me about this”?
So, I turned on the douche-juice (Eew!) and explained precisely how awkward that type of behavior is and threw in a few expletives.
They sent me a passive aggressive “I’ll be the bigger person”-mail and kindly fucked off.
I honestly feel like they could and would be better off working together with someone else whose values match theirs.
But when they’re taking up my time and theirs because I’m being “too nice”? I won’t hesitate to act like an asshole.
Notice the operating word: “act.”
This kind of gets at what I’m trying to say.
People can try to dominate you or manipulate your behavior. If you see that happening then you have a choice about what to do.
And let me tell you, it’s not dependent on the tape you’ve been playing about the virtues of always being kind or that you’re a certain type of person who conducts themselves in a certain way.
It’s not that you have to be a bitch to get shit done. But, you just might have to act like one.
We go hard or we go home? Actually, I’m kinda pooped so I’ma head.
If the person on the other end isn’t getting your message through kindness, then this might be precisely what you need to do.
And if someone thinks that you’re a bitch, so what? Deep inside you know who you really are.
All you’re doing is to use those personality traits as tools instead of being one.
Have you had problems by being too nice towards people?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!