Defend Yourself With Emotional Martial Arts – Part 3

5. Cannibals
To be happy, each of us must create meaning and joy from the raw material of everyday life. This isn’t easy, so some people become cannibals, devouring the positive energy of others. Selma’s sister Eve is an example. She made a habit of calling Selma whenever she was miserable, off-loading her misery and draining Selma’s joy.

Emo-Do Defense: Don’t feed cannibals the patient, sorrowful consolation they expect. Selma eventually redefined her responsibilities as a supportive sister and began answering Eve’s complaints by saying, “You’re so resourceful—I know you can solve that problem!” Eve gagged on this response and went off to hunt tastier snacks.

6. Dementors

The woman who publicly shamed Pamela after her speech was the most destructive kind of emotional mugger, the equivalent of a rapist: someone who gets off on causing pain. In Harry Potter’s world, such beings are called dementors. They are endlessly unhappy, addicted to the sense of control they get from violating others. They don’t care whom they hurt, as long as they hurt someone.

Emo-Do Defense: If someone attacks with no provocation and seems intent on inflicting maximum harm, you may be dealing with a truly disturbed person. First, eat some chocolate (any Harry Potter fan can tell you that). Then distance yourself in any way you can. This wasn’t a problem for Pamela—she was easily able to avoid her attacker—but may be daunting if you’ve got a dementor in the family or at work. If you can’t remove yourself from the relationship, at least keep your emotional distance. Don’t trust a dementor with your private thoughts.

Staying away from dementors allows them to socially self-destruct—and they always do. Though onlookers may at first be too horror-stricken to come to your rescue, most people are appalled by dementors’ behavior. This is why cruel conversationalists ultimately end up friendless, and—on a much larger scale—why evils like prejudice and discrimination have slowly but surely become less acceptable in almost every human society.

After an Assault
No matter how well prepared you are, an emotional mugger may still catch you before you can defend yourself. In the short run, you’ll feel violated. In the long run, you can use the experience to become a stronger emo-do practitioner.

To start, dispense with any lingering nasty energy by recognizing that it probably belongs to the mugger, not you. If the negativity won’t dissipate, there are two possibilities: Either you really did provoke the attack, or you’re operating under the misconception that you deserved it. Return immediately to basic emo-do code: Stop causing suffering for yourself by thinking you deserved victimization; correct any behaviors that might have triggered the mugging; and, finally, forgive yourself for the whole misadventure.

The way of emo-do is rigorous—and hugely rewarding. The more you follow it, the more muggers will avoid you. Instead of a target, you’ll become a walking haven, a place where emotional criminals rarely strike—and if they do, are swiftly rendered harmless. Plan to welcome many of us to walk with you, because that’s just the kind of neighborhood where most people want to live.

<1> <2> <3>

(This was a bit of a long article by Martha Beck, but I’ll bet something in it rang true for you, right?)

 

Sonia Dabboussi is the founder of Gifted for Life, a groundbreaking community of empowered gifted adults who maximize their unique abilities, sensitivities, experiences and insights to make a remarkable world impact.

For over a decade and a half, her diverse experience in academic and personal development through positions in education, educational administration and success coaching has led her to conduct seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions  for exceptional people in local, national and international regions.

She is a gifted adult.

  • http://Giftedforlife (Ms) Carolyn K Davis

    It appears you do not publish comments on various grounds, which you do not declare to the commentator. I wonder why you didn’t publish the comment I made on this thread on 19 June. Perhaps because you disagreed with my view of the poor persons you and Martha Beck call “cannibals”? I say to you – if you find you lack compassion, then, of course, the solution to your lack, is to pray for compassion as a spiritual gift. CK Davis.

    • http://giftedforlife.com Sonia Dabboussi

      Ms. Davis, I read your comments here only today (June 20). Is there something else you submitted that I am unaware of?

  • Pingback: Defend Yourself With Emotional Martial Arts()