stitchwhich: (Default)
I have a question for those reading this who are also in the SCA.

What would you feel about a woman who mooned (dropped her drawers and presented her bare bottom to others) a performer she knew well during a bardic circle in her baronial encampment while children were present? Would you find this amusing? Would your feelings be different if the woman was a newcomer, or a mid-level award holder, or a Peer? Would you have differing views depending upon circumstances?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have a difficult time with the concept. Or at least, with defining the point at which a slippery slope becomes an insulting one. Perhaps this is because of my faith-path, in that there is a strong tenet of 'if that is what creates a relationship between you and Divinity, then it is a valid thing for you to do/use'. 'Valid' being a not-very-exact word for what I mean.

I have no difficulty understanding that there is an ignorant offensiveness about sexpot 'Indian Maiden' Halloween costumes or the team name "Washington Redskins". Where I bog down is at things I consider to be extremes but are apparently not; practicing yoga if one is not from India, dreadlocks when one is not a native of the Caribbean, hanging a dream-catcher in one's bedroom when one is not of the Ojibwe/Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribe.

I grew up celebrating the American ideal of the 'melting pot', the concept that each culture which contributed to the mass which is the population of the USA had aspects to be respected, valued, and incorporated into an American lifestyle as desired, that in this way we as a population were strengthened and drawn together rather than held separated and small in our collective identity. That does not seem to be a valued view any longer. And I, as a child of an older cultural generation, am saddened as well as confused, because now I do not know where I may give offense rather than inspire camaraderie. If I say, "te nada" to an individual who thanks me in Spanish, am I being offensive because I am not Hispanic? (You may snort but in a facebook conversation that was exactly an example which was given.) If I have, as I do, a statue of Quan Yin on my altar because that is the aspect of the Goddess who most inspires and speaks to me and through which I channel my dialogue with the Lady, am I an insensitive cultural thief?

Once I had a neurosurgeon who was Brahmin. He'd grown up in his native land but came to the US later and trained in medicine here,then got a cmmission in the Navy. I, reading his diplomas on the wall, caught on immediately to his cultural background because of his full name, so was not surprised when he addressed his statements and questions to my husband and rarely looked me in the face. After my surgery, however, my ward nurses were appalled by his 'rudeness'. I'd been placed in a ward which was not the neurosurgical recovery ward else I think there would have been no problem as the staff there were probably already used to his behaviour. But the staff in the Women's Surgical ward were indignant on my behalf and astonished when I explained that to the contrary, he was showing me courtesy by not looking me in the face, as he was treating me as a respectable woman would have been treated in his own culture. (This is likely because I had asked him, upon our first meeting, if he was Hindu.)

I wonder nowadays which of us would be considered the rude person - him for treating me with his cultural-based respect, or me for not demanding that he behave as we'd consider the American Medical Norm?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The weekend has been lovely. Busy, of course, given the holiday, but lovely. I slept my weird schedule and am tired now after getting up only eight hours ago - but I JUST found the PIN for my online library account so I can't go to bed yet, right? And I've got fabric in the washing machine shrinking before I turn it into a 12thNight gift. Sports cloth - it is so tricky. After two hot washings and dryings, it may come out with a decent hand. Luckily, it is for a surcote so a little stiffness won't hurt. (Heh. autocorrect flipped over 'surcote'. I've had this computer for five years and I never got around to adding that word to the dictionary? Shame on me!) It is a perfect 'Atlantian Blue' so I hope the recipient will be happy with it.

We had friends over yesterday and today. I think that is why I'm tired; peopled out. But it was fun. We need new games to play though. We have six we play regularly and that isn't enough. The hard part is finding ones that will appeal across the board. A couple of our 'regulars' are anything but intellectual - media-stream action movies are their candy so games which require more than a superficial knowledge, strategy, or words leave them cold ("Quiddler" is rarely approved for playing, and then mostly to make Bossman and I feel good). I'm thinking of "Uno". I'd like to come up with something else that would work for a group of 5 or 6 players.

We will have two different card-playing groups in the future. One person, who brings a friend, has decided that they do not wish to be around another person... it isn't a case of emo-crud but rather the hygiene and manners of the shunned one. I understand the motivation of the shunner and cannot fault them for putting their comfort-level in the fore, but it doesn't simplify things for me. I swear to the Gods I am about ready to start a 'new' group and only keep two of the original players! So There! (Huff!)

Nah, I wouldn't do that. This will pass or be resolved in time.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I've been struggling with a sense of resentment and guilt while dealing with facing a particular behavior but have not found an effective way to let go of the guilt or resentment (actually, in the opposite order). I finally googled a phrase I've been using to describe this behavior to myself and found a few helpful webpages. I'm going to make a stockpile of quotes from those pages here so I will have a one-stop place to re-read them as I need to.

From In Sheep’s Clothing, By George K. Simon
"Manipulators are often skilled at using what they know to be the greater conscientiousness of their victims as a means of keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, and submissive position. The more conscientious the potential victim, the more effective guilt is as a weapon. Aggressive personalities of all types use guilt-tripping so frequently and effectively as a manipulative tactic, that I believe it illustrates how fundamentally different in character they are compared to other (especially neurotic) personalities. All a manipulator has to do is suggest to the conscientious person that they don’t care enough, are too selfish, etc., and that person immediately starts to feel bad. On the contrary, a conscientious person might try until they’re blue in the face to get a manipulator (or any other aggressive personality) to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, to absolutely no avail."

"Playing the Victim Role – This tactic involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstances or someone else’s behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities usually can’t stand to see anyone suffering. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Convince your victim you’re suffering in some way, and they’ll try to relieve your distress".

From Yahoo answers (of all places)
" I once read a book called "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty". I can't remember for sure who the author was, but I believe his last name was "Smith".
. . . Anyhow, this book really helped me. One of the techniques he has for pushy people like your so-called "friends" is called "broken record". You just repeat the same phrase over and over again. . . don't give excuses. They don't give a darn about your feelings and will only try to manipulate you in order to get their way. They don't even care that they are forcing you to let them stay and that you really don't want them there. So, reasoning with them is out of the question. Your answer should be "I am sorry, but that just won't work for us". They'll say something like "Oh, we just need a place to sleep, you won't even know we are there." Your answer "I am sorry but that just won't work for us." You don't give them any answer but that, thus the "broken record".

From Hey Sigmund, "Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful, Ways to Deal with Them"
"Co-existing with toxics means going around them to set your own rules, then accepting that you don’t need them to respect those rules to claim your power."

Be empowered by your motives.
. . . Sometimes toxic people will trap you like a hunted thing – you know you don’t have to give in to them but you also know that there will be consequences if you don’t. The secret is to make your decision from a position of power, rather than feeling controlled. In the same way there is something they want from you, there will always be something you want from them (even if it is to avoid more of their toxicity). Decide that you’re doing what you’re doing to control them and their behaviour – not because you’re a victim of their manipulation. Personal power is everything to do with what you believe and nothing to do with what they think.

They might get worse before they leave you alone.
. . . Think of it like this. Take a little human who is throwing a tantrum. When you stand strong and don’t give in, they’ll go harder for a while. We all have a tendency to do that – when something we’re doing stops working, we’ll do it more before we stop. Toxic people are no different. If they’ve found a way to control and manipulate you and it stops working, they’ll do more of whatever used to work before they back off and find themselves another target. Don’t take their escalation as a stop sign. Take it as a sign that what you’re doing is teaching them that they’re old behaviour won’t work anymore. Keep going and give them time to be convinced that you’re not going around on that decision you’ve made to shut them down.

Be clear about your boundaries.
. . . You can’t please everyone, but toxic people will have you believing that you can’t please anyone – so you try harder, work harder, compromise more. It’s exhausting. Toxic people will have your boundary torn down and buried before you even realise you had one there. By knowing exactly what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t – and why – you can decide how far you’re willing to let someone encroach on your boundaries before it’s just not worth it any more. Be ready to listen to that voice inside you that lets you know when something isn’t right. It’s powerful and rarely wrong (if ever). Whether someone else thinks it’s right or wrong doesn’t matter. What matters is whether it’s right or wrong for you. Let that guide your response and when you can, who’s in and who’s out.

You don’t have to help them through every crisis.
. . . The reason that toxic people are often in crisis is because they are masterful at creating them. It’s what they do – draw breath and create drama. Don’t ask questions and don’t offer help. It might feel bad because it’s not your normal way, but remember that you’re not dealing with a normal person.

You don’t need to explain.
. . . No is a complete sentence and one of the most powerful words in any language. You don’t need to explain, justify or make excuses. ‘No’ is the guardian at your front gate that makes sure the contamination from toxic people doesn’t get through to you.

From "friendship blog"
"There’s no magic solution that lets you say no without possibly hurting someone else’s feelings. I really struggle with this also, but I’m getting better. I find it helpful to remind myself that the other person isn’t really being considerate of *my* needs."

Those last two there, those help a lot.
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