From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

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Counseling for couples : “Please become someone else”

Yes, yes, it’s a mess. It hurts. Toxicity and boredom alert! She wants to find the “second wind” of your marriage, le “second souffle”. “Counseling?”, she says? Your answer is YES. You’d better!

Then you have to “tell your story”, then listen to huge bullshbleep from a “professional”, many times.

Then, home, you try to do “as if” – at least for a few exhausting months. You know your flaws, right? You’ll “work” on them. Be ready. You’re on a mission now.

Let’s make it short :

“Please become someone else”

So here you are, with a list of “things to change” for your wife. “People can evolve!”, she says! You have four choices :

  1. You obey. Beck and call. Do that, and this too. Bravo! Your flaws vanished into magic. You will get tears of joy from her eyes, great hashtags on her social medias (#bestmoment #happymarriage), and a little more hanky-twalala-panky, probably. Reward it is.
  2. You really do “as if”. It’s about acting, now. It’s impossible to change really, because of course nobody changes, ever, but you can really do “as if”. You want to keep her, right? It’ll last the necessary length of time… until she sees it. Then you’re on you own.
  3. You say firmly “no”, and you’re done. Conflict and drama. Hold the wheel, buddy! Maybe find another therapist, later. A better one, OK?
  4. You run away and find an easier companion. Breathe. Life is made of dotted lines, after all. Next!
  5. Alcohol, accident, heart attack (or other self-sabotage), or any other boring “I go out” : anything DIY in the garage, work-out, biking, duck hunting. Some people even have two bedrooms!

Your choice?

Tools :

This was of course a sarcastic text. There are good professionals. Most of them are good listeners. They take big money to do that and that’s normal. Then, they will probably try to make you understand this : Your spouse won’t change, you have to accept your couple-dynamics.

“But wait, this means I should change myself ? You just said it’s impossible!”

Well : welcome into marriage!

In French we say :

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop – “Shoo away your nature, it comes back at full tilt”

Well, I think you say “The leopard can’t change its spots”.

Can he?

 

Have a nice day!

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<< Please become what I want you to be >>

“Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon”. #Cioran #Quote

Emil Cioran (1911-1995), De l’inconvénient d’être né, part VIII :

Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon.

Typically Cioranesque : Two lines, irrevocable, interesting.

This quote contains two things, right? Today I’ll let got the second one, to focus on this :

Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian

I think it’s true. I think also it’s a pattern, a dial you can apply on other fields : couple and marriage, companies, partnership.

When this “structure” is done, tired, exhausted, rotten or worn out, many things can happen. The simplest one is to decide to destroy it. But many times – it’s so human – nobody can decide. It just goes wrong, more and more.

Awaiting a barbarian is awaiting an external element, who is new, and has this barbaric quality : he dares, he brings some chaos, or at least some fracture. He disturbs.

Then you extend the possibilities : rebuild Rome or not. Some windows were opened, some doors. You can mutate. You can be lost, cut from the rest, you can dance with the barbarian, you can kill him and insist on the past.

Awaiting another revealer?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : littlemessofpetals

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a “You’re crazy” point in almost every #argument

The “You’re crazy” point in an argument, everybody knows that.

It’s very similar to the Godwin’s Law, an Internet adage which asserts that “If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler“.

It’s almost a law for “violent communication”. Instead of talking, telling your truth, have “impeccable words”, you just say to the other one “You’re crazy!”, “You should see a therapist”. Or worse : “I’ll put you in a mental institution”. That’s it.

I do think that, at this point, you should stop arguing and take a deep breathe. If you think it’s possible, try to make the other person to talk about himself instead of putting labels on you.

Yes yes, that’s the door to go outside of this.

But… Does the other person want it?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski

 

 

Fly off the handle and consequences

In France we have a different expression for “Fly off the handle” or “Blow his top” : Sortir de ses gonds

The “gonds” are the “door hinges” in French. So when someone is very angry we say “He’s out of his hinges”. In a way, I like this idiom. It means… “Ho ho…”. What can happen to a door out of its hinges, after all? It could be noisy, right?

So when someone blows his top, if there’s no plates flying, he or she SAYS things. And if you have a little common sense, you just don’t listen, or if you listen, you don’t answer. Because top blowing words fly off the handle over the roof, right?

Don’t pay attention. It’s a steam thing. Smile, but don’t show it : inside your belly.

But

If you need it, smash it back. Be angry. Scream louder. You are badly offended! Your feelings are hurt!

You can take seriously what shouldn’t been taken seriously, just because

  1. you need it for a purpose
  2. you’re a dramatic person
  3. you’re stupid

Nooo : let it fly. It’s a steam thing…

Thanks for reading!

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Light a fire under my fantasy flaw : Words VS Action

This article was triggered by a friend in the USA, telling me that many men from other countries asked her to visit (all this linked to love and attraction, etc…), but… “Who takes a plane to visit ME?”.

I read many interviews of filmmakers, who love to write stories and scenarios, and like to work for days on the editing process, but these directors hate shooting because it’s a compromise of their script – or at least they find it boring and complicated. You’re surrounded by a huge team who spend their time to fix problems, right? With actors who are fragile, lost, or complicated. They know they HAVE TO do it, though.

I think I’m this kind of guy. This is a flaw, and this is bad. I tend to live in a fantasy world. I like ideas, books, and metaphors. I like to say “Let’s keep it a dance”, but I don’t propose real tango lessons. I fantasize about traveling but I don’t even have a passport! I’d love to visit Luca (Italy), Yalta (Ukraine), or Petaluma (California)… and I don’t even have a car.

I’m not a doer, I’m not a strong person, I’m a dreamer and we dreamers tend to overthink instead of moving our asses. I know it can be felt as a betrayal by action people…

I should light a fire under my ass (ohh these American idioms with the word “ass”) but I don’t and won’t. Somebody could light it for me, but that’s lazy to easy to say that, right? And if I don’t move it could hurtburn my bottom, poor me! Condemned to stand up for the rest of my life…

Nevertheless, I think that you could find a sidekick lover, a partner who likes your conversation and dreaming capacities (fair’s fair), who settles in, takes their place next to you, not to become an engine or a pusher, which would be exhausting, but who knows you well enough to guess when to trigger this lever they know about. A single well placed sentence and a dreamer can become a strong action happy man. Tadaaaa.

OK, too easy, and lazy, right? It was probably…

…a dream 🙂

Have a nice day!

(Fair’s fair… I like this one!)

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Stalking Curses & Sisyphus’s like Loneliness : Chronicle 5

I already wrote a little article about this question : Why do people blog? Why do people post on Instagram? It was a long list of hypothesis, but at the end, I bet that people post to be loved. I read this week that the worse thing for depression is Instagram (because, as I guessed well, people often want to show to the world that they are “very happy, blessed by life and in love”, which makes the viewers jealous or at least a bit depressed because themselves are obviously NOT that happy, right?).

You click a hashtag, randomly, and you see billions of pictures. Why do people post on Instagram? The key word is “motivation”. Some take pictures and post them to :

  • Get followers
  • Share their work
  • Meet people with same interests
  • Indicate to others how happy and blessed they are
  • Show how interesting they are
  • Make people laugh
  • Show their “beauty”
  • Reveal beautiful places they visit
  • Indicate they are in couple, in love
  • Indicate they are sad, alone, or tired
  • Put a stalker in pain
  • Show their artistic talent
  • Show their project

Etc! One good question is :

When you post something somewhere, are you aware of your audience, or do you work only for yourself, your happiness?

I watched Paterson and I immediatly thought about another movie : Dead Zone : Christopher Walken is in coma for many years after a car accident. His wife remarry. Then he wakes up. His loneliness is then unbelievable (and the actor fantastic at it). It’s a world of ice. And he has a power to see the future…

Paterson (Adam Driver) is terrible alone too, but it’s VERY different. He has a beautiful young wife, a job (he’s a bus driver), some friends in a bar, and he writes poems. He’s quiet, modest in a modest life – he doesn’t talk much about his poems (though he continuously meets other people – a rapper, a little girl, a japanese man – interested in poetry). He writes in his bus, while he has lunch, in his basement. Nobody reads his poems. He sees struggling people around him (two young men lost with flirting, a colleague and his numerous family problems, a broken-hearted black man in the bar) and stays impassive and calm, benevolent. Idem with his girlfriend (who is a sweet dreamer, a dabbler artist). We all see he is not really connected, to anybody. He just goes on with his life, quietly putting words in his little booklet…

Walken and Driver are standing up. They are the loneliest characters I’ve seen ever (well, apart from Tennessee Williams’ plays). Both find something to do, though. They find their “mission”. The first one leads to drama (it’s from a Stephen King novel, after all). The second one is revealing a “way of being in the world” : being there without being very concerned (cf Inside Sidestepping) or affected. It talks about Sisyphus and about the Waldgänger, too…

It broke me heart, yesterday night, like a Chekhov or a Carver short story can do…

Slide, mortals, don’t bear down

 

Thanks for reading! Have a great week-end!

 

(I love this little dances of words too : Walken and Driver/Driver plays a bus driver/Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey/etc)