About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Criticism and Hostility: Whose Feedback do I pay CLOSE !! attention to?

FaintOrbsJuly09, originally uploaded by Irish friend of Bill.

I read about some nasty feedback someone received, started a reply, which ended up so long I though I may as well do a post. :) Here it is.

If people 'do not have what I want' I consider their feedback (good, bad or indifferent) worthless. The blind cannot see. Why credit them with insight and wisdom if their vitriol and hostility communicates VERY clearly that they have NONE. ..Well none at that moment anyway. They are merely held hostage by the transient tide of resentment sweeping over them. We all suffer from this condition to SOME extent, so the comparison is always RELATIVE. Not 'he is BAD, and I am GOOD, ..type thing. That is just BS and an lame excuse to not PAY ATTENTION to what is REALLY happening.

We are by and large very similar. In terms of the component aspects within us. How we end up depends on WHAT WE FOCUS ON. Not whether we are 'good' or 'bad' people. But yes. Someone who habitually focuses on REVENGE, POWER DRIVEN ARGUMENT, self righteousness etc etc may eventually act in criminally violent ways. But it is their BEHAVIOUR that is 'wrong', not THEM as such.
Hate the sin not the sinner, as they say

This is why I am such a strong advocate of RESTRAINT OF TONGUE AND PEN
PRECISELY because we are ALL capable of great cruelty with words.

The people who behave in a HOSTILE way, or SPEAK in a cruel manner, are telling you EIGHT things about themselves VERY !!! CLEARLY.
Why? Because actions speak MUCH LOUDER than words. Every time.

They are telling you:
That they have ZERO self restraint. And probably have a pretty low level of restraint UNDER EMOTIONAL PRESSURE generally. Not !!! Nice people to be around when things do NOT go their way!!

That they are NOT WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTHS to 'Practice these principles in all their affairs.'

That they are INCAPABLE of being OPEN MINDED

That they have very poor levels of WILL POWER

That they are VERY INCONSIDERATE because they either:
Do TOO LITTLE service work,
Or the 'service work' they do contains significant SELF SERVING or EGO MASSAGING habitual tendencies. Therefore CANNOT deliver what the big book promises IF CONDUCTED IN THE MANNER SUGGESTED in the big book.

They really do not understand what 'acting out' means."

They PROBABLY have done a pretty shoddy step 8. Ie not even remotely ! thorough.

They are not very good at recognizing or dealing with their resentment. This is either because the step 4 method they used was ineffective, OR they used an effective method but have stopped maintaining it by using step 10, allowing the resentment to build up to dangerous and antisocial levels.

Right well I have a ton of stuff to do so I am OFF. Have a LOVELY weekend :)


Carol said...

First time on your blog, got here from Rapacious Creditor, I think. Not being an alcoholic, I'm really interested in the backdrop behind it, struggle of ego, that sort of stuff. Thanks for your post. (what is your other blog about?)

Syd said...

Irish, thanks for this. I am copying these things down. It helped me to read them because the one major negative and nasty comment I got really took me aback. Since then I realize the root was not the person but their thoughts, behavior, ego that got involved.

indistinct said...

On an entirely different topic:

Thank you.

Findon said...

Hello Irish. I have recently deleted two of your comments on my blog. Sadly I find that your comments can be aggressive and often misguided. They do not fit with any programme of recovery I am familiar with and as such prefer not to be subjected to their negativity. I blog for many reasons, much like sharing, it is often a way of working out my own thoughts and actions. I don't blog to be lectured to by anyone, particlularly people whom I have never met, and whilst I welcome comments I reserve the right to delete them.

Unknown said...

Wow this is such a great and true post, I have had quite a bit of negativity lobbed at me recently and acting out in that manner would never have solved a thing...it is just too much for me to understand, but your 8 steps have helped me greatly!

Much love to you and thank you for carrying the message in the manner you do!


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Well Findon, clearly you are having a bad reaction to what I say and ? What you have chosen to interpret as 'misguided' 'aggressive' and 'lecturing' in my comments and ? elsewhere, ..though you have not specified what it is ! exactly that you 'saw' as being misguided' 'aggressive' and 'lecturing' in what I have written. Unless you tell me what I have written that you see as being 'misguided' 'aggressive' and 'lecturing' I could not possibly respond to any great effect.

I would ! guess that you were feeling angry when you wrote this comment, and interestingly enough much of the post you inadvertently chose to post your comment on,(!) says a great deal about what I make of comments (or any other feedback for that matter) made in anger. So little or no additional response is required!

Just so you know, I am unable to see what is misguided' 'aggressive' and 'lecturing' about the comments I have made on your blog. Presuming ? that is all you are referring to. In my last comment, for instance, the authorities (for want of a better word) I referred to were the extremely ! un-contentious maxim 'this too shall pass' and the tendency when unwell, to lash out, take everyone else's inventories, and say things which one might later regret. I wrote this only because you made it very clear that you were feeling troubled and out of sorts. And knowing what I do about alcoholism, I anticipated that this might well become a difficult area for you. Little did I know that not only was my anticipatory comment more accurate than I realized, but that I (!) would become the target of your anger. Whatever. You are not the first person to be upset with what I say and do and I do not expect you will be the last. Many ! years of dealing with people who are going through various stages of emotional turbulence, like the one you describe in the post preceding the one about 'going fishing', have taught me that 'hurt people hurt people'. You were clearly feeling very uncomfortable about something, and I have become very accustomed to experiencing the peripheral ? Angst of other peoples 'turbulence' when I choose to present my view to them in their time of angst. Its an occupational hazard. Not one I particularly like, but something I accept.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Sorry , it didn't fit on one comment :)

I think it is a shame when people in AA take 'sides' of any kind. Clearly something in what I say has made you react. There is nothing I can do about that because I am powerless over how you feel and whether you like me or not, and what you do or say on any given day. Angry alcoholics are very prevalent! What is interesting is when you meet one that is not! Angry.
Like any suffering alcoholic, I know the 'storm' will die down, and you will see it differently later. We all do.
I was very fortunate to have been impressed with the wisdom of 'restraint of tongue and pen' at a very early stage of my recovery, and I can honestly say that I feel a great deal of compassion for people who (for whatever reason) are unable to adhere to that under emotional pressure. Mainly because I know how much damage can be inflicted in an incredibly short amount of time.
As I am not a significant person in your emotional life, the damage to you is negligent, but that would not be the case if I was a personal friend or a partner, significant other-type person.
All I know is that words spoken heedlessly in anger can literally destroy long term friendships and relationships in an instant, so I hope you are more successful in curtailing your reactions with the people who matter to you, than you were with me.

We all have adverse reactions to people places and things. Sometimes when we are under a lot of pressure elsewhere in our lives. Everybody has this. Alcoholics more so. Their internal environment can be whipped up into a whirlwind very quickly. This is why we need the act of restraint to stabilize and reduce harmful actions and the inevitable consequences they attract.
It is very hard to hold back sometimes. Any lengths! I'm a big believer in karma and cause and effect. I believe everything I do, good or bad, has consequences in my life.
Right well I'm just rambling now. I've got to head off and do stuff, so gotta go!