Sunday, December 4, 2016

Smartest person in the room

Sorry for the particularly slow posting and comment moderation, I've been out of the country.

I stumbled upon this video, I have forgotten where. It's from personal financial guru Dave Ramsay, but it takes an interesting turn from the personal as the woman seeks what she believes is financial advice and instead he gives her marital advice.

Dave Ramsay says that they're at an impasse not because of the consumer debt that the couple has, but because their world views are colliding. He talks about there being a respect meltdown where "he is the king of everything and your opinion doesn't matter." He says it's debilitating. "How do we get your husband on board, uh, we don't, until he decides he's on board with being your husband." "He's just doing whatever the flip he wants to do and the rest of you just exist around him." "You're trying to work around this elephant that's in the middle of your living room . . .  and you can't work around it."

I feel like this must be the experience of a lot of people who are in a relationship with someone with certain types of mental health issues (including a lot of people with personality disorders) who have difficulty validating or acknowledging the personhood of others. I know in dealing with some lower functioning people with personality disorders, they will insist on absolute autonomy -- the right to do and say what they want, when they want and not to be accountable to other people for their choices. Often there is a double standard because they expect other people to consider them and their preferences in making choices. They can be hyper sensitive to anyone having an expectation of them, that they show up on time or do what they say they're going to do or fix the problems that they've created for other people. They'll whine about how people are trying to manipulate them or control them, trying to micromanage their life.

Unfortunately I think that Dave Ramsay is right -- when someone believes that he or she is the king of everything and the rest of people just exist around him/her, a healthy, functional relationship would be impossible. Trying to help a relationship that is already there is also impossible unless the other person is really willing to start acknowledging the personhood and role of others in his or her life. 

Monday, November 14, 2016


One of my favorite comedy skits is this SNL version of the old Iconoclasts show with Bjork and Charles Barkley:

Perhaps the thing that people are most often jealous of, regarding a sociopath's life, is the way a sociopath doesn't care about so many things other people in the world care about. Or I should say more accurately, doesn't care about things in the same way that others care about them. Like I guess I care about money and power and things to a certain extent, but not in the same way that I see others caring about them. I don't identify with them, or feel like I need them to be happy, or get really worried about not having them. I have no emotional attachment to them at all. Of course this distance from the status quo rat race life that most people are so deeply embedded in they're not even aware there is an alternative, this distance comes with costs. Costs like not understanding why everyone else in the world is so stressed out or unhappy about certain things. Or maybe not being able to care enough to actually do something in certain situations (although I have such a low threshold for impulsively doing stuff, that I hardly need a reason at all to do something, much less to have an emotionally compelling reason to do it.)

I've been thinking about that a lot this past week or so, my ability to not care and what a relief that is as the world seems to get more and more farcical.

Also this poem:

she was not 
like everyone else,
simply because 
she didn't care
about things. 
instead, her heart
yearned for new places,
people, and experiences 
that would inspire her
to become greater 
in spirit, 
and live as freely,
as her heart loved.

Jose Chavez (?)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why bullies are bad for everyone

"In Germany, the Nazis came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant so I didn't speak up. Then they came for me … By that time there was no one to speak up for anyone."

 Martin Niemöller
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