to be passive is to let others decide for you
Some of you may know that I have been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually sick for quite a while, but that over the last few days I have been recovering from the personality disorder that ails me. I had another sign of that recovery today when I had a couple of very unpleasant situations to deal with, and I dealt with them effectively and assertively.
What I’m going to tell you isn’t something I’ve picked up off the web, or read in a book ~ I guess it harks back to when I operated at the highest levels in the fields of international banking and finance. Today I used that accumulated knowledge, with a little something extra added from my recent life experiences. In short I was extremely assertive and sorted things out without being aggressive.
To be assertive you must first of all make damn certain there is something wrong. To be assertive when there’s nothing actually wrong, or about to go wrong, is just to make yourself look like a jerk.
Then figure out exactly what is is that went wrong, is wrong, is about to go wrong, or just isn’t happening at all.
Find the most senior appropriate person you have access to who might just be able to do something about your issue.
Tell that person succinctly, but with enough detail for them to fully understand, exactly what the problem is.
Tell them exactly what you want them to do about it; just saying ‘I want you to do something about it…..’ is being passive aggressive and not assertive.
Tell them when you expect the appropriate action to have been taken and the results you want to see. Give them a time limit.
Tell them what will happen if they don’t do what you want them to do ~ but don’t threaten violence, that’s just being aggressive.
Tell them again what you’ve just told them, but this time summarise the whole thing in as few words as possible.
To be assertive requires intelligence, energy, determination, and a willingness to go out on a limb. Being assertive does not require aggression, machismo, raised voices, or female seductiveness. Maybe a little charm helps in the right situations.
Assertiveness works to help you get what you want, need, and desire in every single situation you can think of.
I also know how to utterly and completely deflect assertiveness when it’s used on me, but maybe I’ll tell you that another day.
Some say that assertiveness means carrying a big stick. And that assertive people say no to almost everything. All I know is that if I want it enough, true assertiveness will get me everything I desire.
this is not assertiveness
just violence and aggression
there is no in-between, it is either all or nothing
sometimes you just explode
Our personalities stem from deep within our subconscious and are everything about the way we feel, react, and act. A personality disorder is when parts of our personality cause problems in our lives. A personality disorder will adversely affect how you cope with life, deal with relationships, how you behave every second of every day, and how you feel. There is no cure.
The symptoms of a personality disorder may be treatable, but the underlying damage to your personality is not. Because there is no cure, any treatment has to be long-term and specific to the individual concerned. For example, some personality disorders respond well to medication, (Bi-Polar Disorder), while for others medication is both useless and probably dangerous, (Borderline Personality Disorder).
The men in white coats now believe that personality disorders are hard-wired into whoever is unfortunate enough to suffer one of the 10 different disorders, and they say that’s about one in twenty of the population. (Personally I believe that far more than 5% of people are living with a serious personality disorder.) The theory is that is you have a personality disorder you will never be able to shake off its symptoms. This is not true.
Personality Disorders are most likely incurable, but the symptoms can be managed.
- Crisis management. Self-harm and suicide is common among sufferers of a personality disorder. I have Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and about 10% of all those who suffer from BPD kill themselves. At times you may be hospitalised for your own safety and because you are a danger to others.
- Medication. There are some drugs to help sufferers of depression, anxiety, mood-swings, and psychosis. Medication does not treat the underlying personality disorder, merely the symptoms. Mostly antipsychotic medication is no more effective than a placebo, and has horrible side-effects.
- Talking Therapy. Depending on where you live there may be a few talking treatments that just might help suffers of a personality disorder. These include art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy.
- Sheltered living. Some suffers of personality disorders have such difficulty in dealing with everyday life that spending a long period in a therapeutic community is the only way they are able to cope at all.
- Learning about your illness. The likelihood is that anyone suffering from a personality disorder spends a lot of time in the confusion of not knowing WTF is happening to them. If you learn, then you know, you may understand, and then you may be able to recover.
- Self-Directed therapy. The chances of me receiving any suitable treatment in my lifetime are just about zero. Therefore my only recourse is to use self-help. Luckily self-help treatment for personality disorders does work ~ if you do the hard work, every single
fuckingday of your life.
- Avoidance behaviours. Most sufferers of a personality disorder are / or have been into alcohol abuse, drug misuse, gambling, compulsive shopping, unsafe casual sex, never leaving home…..
Some say that if you have a personality disorder you may as well just curl up and die. And that extreme avoidance behaviour is the way to go. All I know is that if you do the hard work you can get over the sh*t and be happier.
never leaving home is one solution
it is NOT a viable long-term solution
the heart is a strange beast and not ruled by logic
if all you have is a lonely beach…..
Nobody is rational about emotions ~ that’s why they’re called emotions. And yet, I am handling my extreme and chaotic emotions quite rationally.
Feelings cannot be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem. ~ Anne Frank
Feelings cannot be ignored, and yet I am ignoring some incredibly powerful feelings that boil like black lava with in me.
I suffer from a very serious mental malady which creates wild, extreme, and powerful mood swings, and yet outwardly I am calm and grounded.
I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in-between. ~ Sylvia Path.
The Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), that torments me creates extreme and instant feelings; anger, bitterness, disconnectedness, fear, guilt, insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, lust, paranoia, rejection, resentment….. and a kaleidoscope of all of those and more. Yet, through putting in the hard work I do not now often react to these negative feelings, nor act upon my intricately-constructed negative thoughts.
Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~ James Thurber
In the very recent past I would oft give my negative feelings and darkest thoughts free rein, and that never ever made things better, reacting to negative feelings and acting upon my darkest thoughts always, always, made everything in my life much worse. About 10% of everyone who has suffered from BPD commits suicide, and a greater number die from the near-suicides of such things as alcoholism, drug addiction, and risky, impulsive behaviors like promiscuous casual sex with strangers and insane driving. Those with personality disorders also have a higher than average risk of ‘lifestyle illnesses’ such as cancers, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
For me, when the inner emotional pain got bad I would retreat into the self-destructive oblivion of alcohol ~ which is very akin to temporary suicide.
In my lowest moments, the only reason I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink any more if I was dead. ~ Eric Clapton
Three very simple stratagems have relieved me of the torture and torment I have suffered for as long as I can remember.
- Learning and understanding everything I could about my personal personality disorder.
- Delaying my reaction to negative feelings, and delaying taking any action following my darkest and most evil nightmare thoughts. If I delay long enough the darkness passes.
- Keeping busy and avoiding idleness, even if doing something was outside of my comfort-zones.
To recover from Borderline Personality Disorder I have had to embrace change.
We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone. ~ Roy T. Bennett.
Some say that the emotion that can break your heart is the one that heals it. And that there is nothing they can do but to follow their heart. All I know is that it’s a good thing that I’ve finally found a way to control myself.
eventually the night comes
and with the night come the nightmares
the only way our problems will go away is if we solve them
Most of us, myself included, tend to ignore problems unless and until they step up and smack us in the face. If something bothersome, or a bit irritating, or mildly inconveniencing is going on in our lives it is very much easier to close our eyes and ears and ignore it, rather than deal with yet another piece of crap.
So; the check engine light has come on in our car….. and how many people will just ignore that for days or weeks until the next regular service is due? Or, we are fed up with opening the mail, which is always just bills and junk anyhow, so we stop opening our mail altogether. Or, in my own case, sometimes I would feel so bad that I would get blind drunk for days and days just to escape the emotional pain, rather than work on the causes of my torment.
I can absolutely guarantee that if there is a problem, no matter how slight, then unless we accept that there’s a problem and do something about it, that problem will grow and grow until a minor issue becomes something
fucking extremely serious. In my own case, my getting drunk and insensible was nothing to do with alcoholism, or liking the party life, it was because I have a very serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD). I’d, (sort of), known that for a few years, and so had my doctors, but did anyone actually do anything about it? Hell no. The easiest thing to do was ignore the real problem and get me some easy alcohol counselling instead. Controlled Drinking is an oxymoron.
About 10% of people suffering from BPD commit suicide, which is about a thousand times higher than the norm across the whole population. Booze was never my real problem, Borderline Personality Disorder was.
Same with car problems, the easiest thing to do is ignore them and assume they will all get sorted out at the next annual service….. whenever that is. That check engine light could just be a little electrical fault. Of course some real problems with your car might leave you stranded on the interstate in the middle of the night. Or kill you.
If you notice a small problem, or you’re unhappy about something, then you could just ignore it and assume it will go away of its own accord. And it might. But it’s more likely that in a while a small problem, that would have been so easy to fix back then, has turned into a very serious issue indeed.
I have learned that there are no shortcuts in life. That all the bad things that we feel, all the suffering we go though, and all the shit that happens to us are usually not the real problem ~ rather these are merely the symptoms of some deeper and more serious issue. Unless we put in the hard work, dig deeper until we understand our problems, then every now and again something fucking frightening is going to happen.
smoking and drinking in a bar alone solves no problems, and neither does casual sex
nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished~ Lao Tzu
the evening always happens in its own good time
What if all behaviour has a probability of both success and failure? How would we increase the chances of our being successful, and decrease the probability of our failing? Well the first thing we have to do is stop seeing everything in terms of Yes / No, Black / White, Angels / Demons, and instead begin to accept that the world and the people we meet exist in shades of grey. Instead of our totally failing at something, we need to accept the premise that it is possible to be moderately successful.
This goes against everything I believe and live by. I have a personality disorder, and one of the traits of this illness is called Splitting ~ seeing everything in black and white, being completely successful, or a total failure ~ with nothing in between. Everything in me says there should be no shades of grey.
Real life is not like that. You may have a pretty good marriage without it being perfect. Or, you might have a decent job without it being your ideal career. And, you might be reasonably healthy without looking like a Greek God with a hell of an adonis belt. To be more successful we need to accept that life is what it is, and then work
fucking very hard to get more of what we like, want, need, and desire, and less of the things that annoy us, make us angry, depress us, and make us feel like crap.
One way to do the hard work to achieve greater success is to get away from our black and white thinking need to make immediate changes, our need for instant gratification, our need to make things happen Now! Instead we should learn to use patience and time in our favour.
I do things fast. I think fast, I read fast, I solve problems quickly, I jump to conclusions, I am impulsive, I have vicious mood swings, and they happen Fast! This is all part of the borderline personality disorder I suffer from, and I know I need to control this. The wiser man takes his time to think before he acts.
A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. ~ George Savile
Charging off at the far horizon is all very well ~ it’s exhilarating and exciting. But what if it’s the wrong horizon, what if you’re going in the wrong direction? The wiser man takes time to prepare, to make certain he is ready, to ensure that he’s going in the right direction.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln
When there is time, the wise man uses that time to his best advantage. Only when there is something truly urgent and immediate does a wise man act fast. And, in an emergency all the good stuff he has done in the past, because he was patient enough to always do the very best he could, all that good stuff will come to his aid and strengthen his arm to help him to do the right thing, even when he has to do it fast.
In the long run we shall do more by sometimes doing less. ~ Charles Spurgeon
you just know who is going to win this one
Happiness will not come to you. Happiness can only come from you.
There are lots of books, TV shows, podcasts, and blog posts that purport to tell us how to be happy. Some focus on the practical aspects, some on emotional states, some are spiritual, and some others are religious. Personally, I wouldn’t give much weight to anyone with religion telling me how to be happy, because it will always involve God, (in one way, shape, or form).
God and I went in different directions some time ago.
There are also lots of pithy inspirational sayings about happiness.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Not everyone would agree with Roosevelt.
Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, priests, and inspirational speakers can most likely give us a host of things we can do to improve our happiness. From; building a growth mindset for happiness, to being optimistic, to ending negative thinking, to taking breaks from social media, to trusting in your higher power, and having a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle sounds like a good start to me.
Another good start to greater happiness, that comes both before and after having a healthy lifestyle, is dealing with your addictions. I have yet to meet an alcoholic, problem drinker, drug addict, casual drug user, chronic gambler, someone who often has casual sex, or anyone with an eating disorder who was happy in any way shape or form. Addicts and people who go against their inner beliefs always live with inner misery.
In fact the list of people who live in utter misery is both long and heartbreaking. The very sick, the starving, the poor, people living on the streets, those who have recently lost a loved one, refugees, and anyone who abuses their body, mind, and spirit are likely to enjoy little real happiness.
However, some say that you only need 3 big things to be happier;
- Work. Most people don’t like or enjoy their work, which is sad and bad. Those people should bite the bullet and find a better job for them. But being out of work means you’re going to be broke and miserable, and work gives you money.
- Money. Money can’t buy happiness, but try living flat broke in modern society to know what misery is. Having just enough money will make you happier than being broke.
- Marriage ~ or a stable long-term relationship. This gives you things like friendship, security, and sex. People who live alone for too long are usually miserable and can become mentally ill.
It’s much more complicated than that, but I guarantee that if you don’t have all of those three things you will be very unhappy, probably depressed, and perhaps even suicidal.
Some say that money can’t buy you love. And that sex without love is just a meaningless mechanical act. All I know is that for a healthy person to live without sex and companionship is almost the definition of misery.
friendship, companionship, and sex may come in many different forms
If you believe in yourself and feel confident in yourself, you can do just about anything.
acting utterly self-confident
Self-confidence is all about being comfortable and happy with who you are ~ trusting in one’s own abilities, qualities, and judgement. It’s about being OK with what you are doing and where you are heading. It’s not about going into a room full of people and wondering if they will like you, its about going into a room full of people and wondering if you like them. True self-confidence is about being completely at peace with yourself.
I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), which is a clinical condition, and this means I do not know who I am, people scare me for no good reason, and my emotions are all over the place, all the damn time. It’s very difficult to have true and profound self-confidence when you also suffer from a morbid fear of abandonment. Borderline Personality disorder is considered the most unstable and deadly of all mental health conditions ~ the death rate from suicide alone among sufferers from BPD is around 10%.
My confidence can be destroyed by minor setbacks, when people criticise me or put me down, or when my personality disorder creates anger, paranoia, jealousy, fear, and a complete inability to sustain a relationship.
Beware of those around you who subtly sow the seeds of doubt. ~ Wayne G. Trotman
Back in the day, when I was in International Banking, I needed to appear to be totally self-confident ~ and I developed a set of coping mechanisms, techniques, and tricks that allowed me to give the appearance of inner certainty, complete belief in myself, and that I was totally at ease. Basically I was faking it.
However, nobody is perfect. Nobody has all the answers. The odd thing is that, because I know exactly what my faults are I can deal with my imperfections. And, I am so
fucking damn smart I know almost all the answers to all the questions. I should be filled with self-confidence, and I’m not.
So what do I do? I fake self-confidence ~ and when I fake self-confidence well enough, then I come to feel confident and empowered. Most people have no idea that I’m putting on an act. By appearing confident other people are happy to know me, to work with me, to rely upon me, to date me, and to be with me. As they say in 12-step recovery programs; fake it to make it.
Some say that we don’t know who we are because we don’t believe in ourselves. And that being a control freak is a weakness, not a strength. All I know is that true confidence comes from inner peace.
looking good builds self-confidence
and uses up a lot of time in the gym
mindfulness is a way of non-judgmentally connecting with your life
some things are in the wrong place, but none can know the future
Until pretty recently I had never heard the words mindful nor mindfully and to be honest, for a man of my generation, background, and upbringing, the concepts and processes of mindfulness are fairly alien and unknowable.
However, to each of us there comes a time when we need to look outside of our everyday wants, needs, struggles, and conflicts to find something we can trust to lift the pain and distress from our shoulders. There may come a time when we sink as low as to destroy the relationship we hold most precious, to harm ourselves with booze, drugs, gambling, casual sex, lies and deceptions, and to have thoughts of suicide. Just a few short days ago I had sunk that low. I had arrived at a rock bottom, and I knew there was yet another rock bottom even lower and worse than the one I was suffering.
Now I know that mindfulness is a way for me to live fully in the moment, and by being totally in the now, cutting off worries about the past and stress about all possible futures.
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. ~ James Baraz
Mindfulness is a way for me to calmly pay full attention to what is happening to me right now, how I am feeling right now, and how I am reacting to those feelings. Deep down there is a need for me to be calm and at peace with what is happening in the now, instead of worrying and being resentful about what has happened, what could happen, what was and could be bad, what went wrong, what could go wrong, and what is missing in my life. No matter the chaos that is troubling me in my heart and mind, outwardly I need to radiate inner peace.
Being mindful is about me letting the past stay in the past and leaving the future as something that is yet to come about, it’s about being in the now without being hurt, disturbed, and distressed by what might happen, or what has already happened, or what my twisted mind thinks has already happened.
I may never be able to silence the thousands of negative thoughts and feelings that uninvited pass through my mind each day, but I have learned how to slow down my mind, and allow my feelings to come and go without reacting badly to them.
Some say that they don’t need to feel bad about anything they have ever done. And that they have no regrets about the past nor worries about the future. All I know is that I can stop being afraid, I am the master of my fate.
how the disconnect inside my mind feels
even when I feel nothing, I feel it totally and intensely
Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours cause longstanding difficulties in your life. Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), is a serious mental illness characterised by extreme emotional instability, rapid and violent mood swings, and a terrible fear of abandonment.
There is no shortage of deception, abandonment, and betrayal out there. The world is full of lying, uncaring, unstable people. We may give our hearts, time, and spend our money to and for those who do not care for us as much as we would like them to, our expectations are not met, and this causes us much pain. For those who have Borderline Personality Disorder any failure to meet their expectations creates immense suffering because it magnifies their extreme behavioral traits.
Sufferers of Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), can exhibit 9 extreme behavioral traits or symptoms;
- Chronic and morbid fear of abandonment. You would do anything to stop people from leaving you, yet you will make it happen.
- Intense, chaotic, and unstable interpersonal relationships; from intimate, to family members, to coworkers….. People around suffers of BPD often feel as though they are on an extreme rollercoaster.
- Unstable or no self-image, or sense of self. Who am I? Why am I here?
- Damaging impulsivity, self-destructive behaviour, behaving without thinking, taking risks; such as reckless driving, drink driving, problem drinking, casual sex, gambling, impulsive spending.
- Melancholia and depression leading towards self harm, thoughts of suicide, threats of suicide, attempted suicide. Sometimes the attempted suicide works and people die.
- Inappropriate, rapid, intense, and extreme mood swings; anxiety and depression, anger, euphoria…..
- A feeling of emptiness, pointlessness, ennui.
- Intense, immediate, inappropriate explosive anger that is difficult to control, followed by almost immediate remorse. People walk on eggshells around someone with BPD.
- Severe paranoia, suspicion, disassociation, feeling spaced-out, out of body experiences.
to be diagnosed with BPD you suffer from 5 or more of the nasty things listed above.
People who have BPD do not handle stress or unexpected events well ~ the extreme behavioural traits listed above will get worse if the sufferer is under external or internal stress, or if something unexpected happens, or if they are told something they don’t expect.
I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, and from time to time I have exhibited all 9 of the traits listed above. Like most people with BPD I cope very badly with stress and the unexpected. I am also very prone to what is called Splitting, which is black and white thinking, complete focus; which means that people, places, and things are either all good, or all bad ~ but this judgement can change very rapidly.
Some say that I am too sensitive, that I feel too much. And, that I always seem to destroy everything. All I know is that I’m so happy that I can’t stop crying.
sometimes pain is good
the thorns are as beautiful as the rose
Putting your happiness in the hands of others is a short road to misery
Far too many men beat their brains out trying to change the world so that things are the way they want them to be. In particular far too many men try to get a particular woman to love them, like them, want them, fuck them ~ and one thing men should learn is that you can never, ever, get a woman to do anything she doesn’t already want to do. If a particular woman friend of yours is just a friend, then that’s probably what she is always going to be, and the chances of you getting her to be anything else are exactly zero.
Men should stop worrying about things they cannot control. It’s a total and utter waste of energy, effort, and probably money. Men should focus their energies, effort, and cash on things they can influence ~ and they should learn what it is they can change, and what they have absolutely no control over. It’s astonishing how much time guys spend trying to change what they cannot change, and they then waste more time complaining about their woes, probably over a drink or two.
The answer is obvious, guys should simply focus on what is under their control and influence.
It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilised. ~ Wayne Dyer
Deciding what is, and what is not controllable is difficult. Harder still when you have strong feelings about what isn’t happening to your liking. Even harder when a woman is involved. But, do guys really want to waste their precious time focusing on the wrong things? Trying to change something, or someone you have no influence over whatsoever is a long downhill road to unhappiness.
The big problem is that to decide what you can and cannot do means first of all taking a long, hard, and honest look at yourself. Few guys want to go there. But, if you want to be happy then first of all start with yourself. If you can’t get a date, stop complaining about it and take a look in the mirror. Almost every single man on this planet can improve his look, his manners, his conversation, and his charm.
True happiness comes first of all from within. Change yourself for the better and the world will change around you.
Some say that they just never get a break. And that if only people would do what I wanted, then I could be happy. All I know is that I’ve stopped worrying about things I cannot control.
real men have the courage to take a long, hard, and honest look at themselves