How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

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Scott
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How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Scott »

Topics: #Presence #SelfDiscipline #SpiritualFreedom #FreedomOfSpirit #FreeSpirit #SelfDetermination #SelfResponsibility #Assertiveness #Determination #Acceptance #NonViolence #NonAggression #InnerPeace



If you are thirsty and want to drink water, ask for a cup of water. Or grab a glass, and pour yourself a cup.

Don't sit around thirsty, blaming others for your misery, hating them for not reading your mind, for not somehow luckily giving you what you want without you assertively asking for it.

Unassertive communication comes in many forms but generally all are toxic, unfair, and unhealthy.

Assertiveness is not aggressiveness.

And aggression is generally a symptom of unassertiveness.

Whether it comes out as passive-aggressiveness or flat-out aggression, or even violence, if you sit there long enough thirsty, wrongfully blaming others for your own failure to take assertive self-responsibility, you will almost certainly ultimately lash out in one way or another.

And it's easy to overlook how we enable this unhealthy toxic behavior in others, to be an enabler. You can run around exhausting yourself giving people water they didn't ask for, many of whom probably aren't even thirsty and secretly have other desires regarding which they resent you because you didn't mind-read it out of their heads. Many of those that you would bend over backwards attempting to please will resent you for giving them useless water that they don't want and didn't ask for. By enabling their toxic unassertiveness, you will often also thereby make the same mistake they did. You'll expect gratitude that you won't get. In fact, you'll almost certainly often eventually get the exact opposite of gratitude, because most of us, including myself, are not nearly as good at mind-reading as we typically think. And frankly your enabling will do the exact opposite of helping them. Instead of quenching their thirst with water, you will drown them with your toxic enabling of their toxic unassertiveness. Don't force yourself to say "no" to people asking for something because you are too busy shoving it down throat of someone who didn't ask for it.

If you are truly giving out of unconditional love, it isn't done with the condition or expectation of gratitude, or any future-oriented condition or expectation. It is done because it makes you feel good in the present when it is done. It's done because it's what you want and what you choose to do. Love is not sacrificing your own happiness for someone else; love is being happy to sacrifice. In that beautiful but rare case, you become like the nurturing love-filled little child who gives her toy doll imaginary tea, and rocks the doll to bed at night, with no expectation of rewards for yourself outside the present, no expectation that the doll will give you gratitude now or ever. No expectation that the doll will return the favor. I'm not saying love people in all their complex conscious glory only as much as you love lifeless dolls, but I am saying love people at least as much as you love dolls because sadly many of us don't seem to.

If you don't get the gratitude you are looking for, it would be your fault much more than theirs, insofar as fault or blame have any real meaning, insofar as anyone is to blame or at fault at all for anything.

Indeed, as my upcoming book, "In It Together", will explain much better than a single little forum could (and even a relatively long forum post is short compared to a book that I literally spent years working on), when we fully understand and accept what I am getting at with this post and line of reasoning, there is no real meaning in blame or fault. When it comes to our choices, we each get exactly what we want, meaning what we choose.

The irony of self-responsibility and spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) is that really it is there whether you accept it or not. You are always responsible for yourself. You are always in complete and total control of your choices, even if we use the illusion of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' to distract ourselves from our own present cans and cannots, and our present dos and do nots, meaning our choices in the present.

We can sit around claiming we want to drink the water that is available to drink while not drinking it and resentfully blaming others for not magically reading our minds and shoving it down our throat for us, while saying, "they should be doing such and such instead of what they are actually doing".

Yes, we can sit around claiming we want it, while blabbering silently in our own heads about imaginary 'shoulds' and 'oughts', words that are at best meaningless. "We should be doing this; they should be doing that…"

Yes, we can claim we want it.

But actions speak infinitely louder than words.




---
they-will-be-right.jpg
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Just Jacki
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Just Jacki »

OMG I just got out of a relationship that you described to a "T". I was the enabler, and I've always been a "caretaker." I feel irresponsible if I don't try to help someone who needs it, and sometimes there are those who need it and don't realize it. But one thing I did learn in that relationship was, like you said, that it's NOT okay to run around forcing water on those that didn't ask for it. A much better approach, which can actually satisfy the needs of both, is to ask if they're thirsty, and if so, would they like a glass of water. Then the ball's in their court, so resentment probably won't be at issue, and the "caretaker" feels like they, too, have done what's needed without being aggressive, or unwanted (in most cases.)
Even at my age, I know I still have a lot to learn, but I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that much out by myself, so please don't steal my thunder. At least not right off the bat, anyway! :wink: Besides, I agree with [almost] everything you said! :D

Awesome club Scott, and I knew you were the creator, because your style is all over this site! I just hope I can find enough time to be a worthwhile contributor without taking away from OBC.
(Is it okay to invite people here?)

Thanks, and great job!
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JackDaydream
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by JackDaydream »

Scott wrote: September 21st, 2022, 3:33 pm Topics: #Presence #SelfDiscipline #SpiritualFreedom #FreedomOfSpirit #FreeSpirit #SelfDetermination #SelfResponsibility #Assertiveness #Determination #Acceptance #NonViolence #NonAggression #InnerPeace



If you are thirsty and want to drink water, ask for a cup of water. Or grab a glass, and pour yourself a cup.

Don't sit around thirsty, blaming others for your misery, hating them for not reading your mind, for not somehow luckily giving you what you want without you assertively asking for it.

Unassertive communication comes in many forms but generally all are toxic, unfair, and unhealthy.

Assertiveness is not aggressiveness.

And aggression is generally a symptom of unassertiveness.

Whether it comes out as passive-aggressiveness or flat-out aggression, or even violence, if you sit there long enough thirsty, wrongfully blaming others for your own failure to take assertive self-responsibility, you will almost certainly ultimately lash out in one way or another.

And it's easy to overlook how we enable this unhealthy toxic behavior in others, to be an enabler. You can run around exhausting yourself giving people water they didn't ask for, many of whom probably aren't even thirsty and secretly have other desires regarding which they resent you because you didn't mind-read it out of their heads. Many of those that you would bend over backwards attempting to please will resent you for giving them useless water that they don't want and didn't ask for. By enabling their toxic unassertiveness, you will often also thereby make the same mistake they did. You'll expect gratitude that you won't get. In fact, you'll almost certainly often eventually get the exact opposite of gratitude, because most of us, including myself, are not nearly as good at mind-reading as we typically think. And frankly your enabling will do the exact opposite of helping them. Instead of quenching their thirst with water, you will drown them with your toxic enabling of their toxic unassertiveness. Don't force yourself to say "no" to people asking for something because you are too busy shoving it down throat of someone who didn't ask for it.

If you are truly giving out of unconditional love, it isn't done with the condition or expectation of gratitude, or any future-oriented condition or expectation. It is done because it makes you feel good in the present when it is done. It's done because it's what you want and what you choose to do. Love is not sacrificing your own happiness for someone else; love is being happy to sacrifice. In that beautiful but rare case, you become like the nurturing love-filled little child who gives her toy doll imaginary tea, and rocks the doll to bed at night, with no expectation of rewards for yourself outside the present, no expectation that the doll will give you gratitude now or ever. No expectation that the doll will return the favor. I'm not saying love people in all their complex conscious glory only as much as you love lifeless dolls, but I am saying love people at least as much as you love dolls because sadly many of us don't seem to.

If you don't get the gratitude you are looking for, it would be your fault much more than theirs, insofar as fault or blame have any real meaning, insofar as anyone is to blame or at fault at all for anything.

Indeed, as my upcoming book, "In It Together", will explain much better than a single little forum could (and even a relatively long forum post is short compared to a book that I literally spent years working on), when we fully understand and accept what I am getting at with this post and line of reasoning, there is no real meaning in blame or fault. When it comes to our choices, we each get exactly what we want, meaning what we choose.

The irony of self-responsibility and spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) is that really it is there whether you accept it or not. You are always responsible for yourself. You are always in complete and total control of your choices, even if we use the illusion of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' to distract ourselves from our own present cans and cannots, and our present dos and do nots, meaning our choices in the present.

We can sit around claiming we want to drink the water that is available to drink while not drinking it and resentfully blaming others for not magically reading our minds and shoving it down our throat for us, while saying, "they should be doing such and such instead of what they are actually doing".

Yes, we can sit around claiming we want it, while blabbering silently in our own heads about imaginary 'shoulds' and 'oughts', words that are at best meaningless. "We should be doing this; they should be doing that…"

Yes, we can claim we want it.

But actions speak infinitely louder than words.




---
they-will-be-right.jpg
I found the outpost interesting to read and think that the issues are often not paid attention to enough within philosophy. Often in life people pride themselves on their 'goodness' in making sacrifices and putting others first. It goes back to the idea of love your neighbour as yourself and the golden rule. However, the 'yourself' aspect can get left out or distorted in some ways. It is possible to go to the complete extremes of selflessness, as a form of martyrdom, or to an aggressive pursuit of one's personal goals and pleasures.

It is an area which I have experienced difficulties with and struggled to find the a right balance. As a teenager I used to always try to think of others first. I came to the realisation that in social life if one tries to sacrifice personal needs it can give rise to bitterness. Also, it can able others to take advantage, especially in the context of an individualistic and competitive cultural climate.

I have come to value the idea of assertiveness and think that many misunderstand it. It sometimes is imagined as being some self-centred attempt to focus on one's goals. On the contrary, assertiveness is best understood as being about making one's own needs clear and understanding and respecting those of others, as a win-win approach. It involves a careful negotiation of boundaries and respect for one's own needs and those of others.
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Scott
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Scott »

Just Jacki wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 1:20 am Awesome club Scott, and I knew you were the creator, because your style is all over this site! I just hope I can find enough time to be a worthwhile contributor without taking away from OBC.
(Is it okay to invite people here?)
Yes, please do!

And thank you for you kind words! I am glad you liked my post. :D
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Good_Egg
Posts: 234
Joined: January 27th, 2022, 5:12 am

Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Good_Egg »

Yes, assertiveness is important to relationships.

I think it's tied up with ego boundaries - knowing what is your area of responsibility and what isn't.

Some of your words suggest that you may be extrapolating from the existence of illusory "shoulds and oughts" to the rejection of real "shoulds and oughts".

But I hope you're far too experienced a philosopher to make such a mistake...
"For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God" - James 1:20
EricPH
Posts: 297
Joined: October 22nd, 2021, 11:26 am

Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by EricPH »

Scott wrote: September 21st, 2022, 3:33 pm If you are thirsty and want to drink water, ask for a cup of water. Or grab a glass, and pour yourself a cup.

Don't sit around thirsty, blaming others for your misery, hating them for not reading your mind, for not somehow luckily giving you what you want without you assertively asking for it.
Possibly if you are suffering an injustice, you can be assertive to demand your rights. Assertiveness assumes you have the right to make demands. You probably have rights in the UK to have clean water, but you don't have those same rights in third world countries. If you asserted yourself demanding water in the third world, they might be justified in saying, no, you walk five miles and get your own.

You could be assertive and demand not to be kept waiting, but if that ignores the ten people in the queue in front, how can you justify assertiveness? At what point do our rights infringe on others?
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LuckyR
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by LuckyR »

If you are in a small group, say a family or a relationship or perhaps some work groups, if everyone looks out for one another when they are in need, merely pointing out your problem (without demanding the solution) will at minimum lead to a discussion and commonly to the solution (or at least a solution) being proffered.

So long story short, consider your audience.
"As usual... it depends."
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