The Temptation of Stewing

This page is a special focus on one of the most virulent faces of dirty communication.
Dirty Communication Face #5 can manifest itself as an all-consuming mental/emotional dance, hence “Mambo #5”.
Toes Stepped On
When we are stuck stewing or bitching (complaining and ruminating in our heads or to others), we are playing the role of the Victim. We assume that the other person(s) in the situation (the Villain) acted maliciously against you, either intentionally or out of stupidity/negligence.  They did something (to me) and now I’m sad/frustrated/upset/angry/ the Victim etc. Your toes were stepped on. One might express this thought system like this:
“I’m the only one around here clean communicating, but that’s ok (fine), because everyone else is stupid and just can’t seem to get a hold of it . . . but that’s cause they’re stupid.” Or, “I disagree with ______, and I’m totally at peace with that disagreement, and I’m going to act how I want to, not how they want me to.” “I’m right and they’re wrong, and I can’t make them see it, so whatever, game over, I tried.” Demeaning, dismissing, or pitying the other satisfies hunger like artificial food . . . it fills the void, but does not nourish the body/soul.
But my toes hurt!
If they do, you’re focusing on what has happened (to you)while desiring some self or other empathy about your needs not being met. And, demanding that your needs must be met! Nothing wrong with that. Indeed, the pain is interpreted as the signal that something is amiss. It’s important to keep dancing though, and not get stuck in your pain.
I danced, and I’m still hurt
You cleanly communicated with the other(s) and are still not feeling at peace and resolved. This situation is akin to the proverbial falling off of the horse. What do you do? You get back on the horse and ride it again. After not approaching in the first place, this is where human beings can get lost in their pain.
Getting Seduced
“Clean communication is impossible.” “They’re impossible.” “There is no hope.” “It’s too hard.” “I don’t care (but you do).” “It’s not worth it.” “It doesn’t matter that much to me anyway; I’ll get over it (but you don’t with peace and grace).”
These are the seductive thoughts of the proverbial devil/villain on your shoulder. Whispering into your mind that the effort is too great, or the other is too _______, or the situation too hopeless. It can sound like “well, I was honest, and now John isn’t talking to me anymore. So screw honesty, I’m going back to making everyone happy with lies.” Or, “well, I asked for my 100% and didn’t get it, so screw 100%; I’m just going to do what I want without asking.” It might feel good, but you went to bed with the devil.
Line Dancing
You’re in pain, and dancing in pain with an amorphous “they,” or a group of people you’ve lumped together. “This sucks.” “This is stupid.” “I don’t see why it has to be this way.” “They’re not playing by the rules, so I don’t have to either.” “Yeah, well they didn’t use NVC so now I’m not going to either!” “If this is the way they’re going to be, then fine.” “That ___(country/political party)___ is crazy.”
Rarely is a group so homogenous that addressing them en masse is effective. Within a political party, there exists a wide spectrum. Within a country, multitudes of attitudes and opinions. Approaching a large or small group with assumptions about the reasons/causes for their actions will likely follow the trite sayings for “assume,” such as making an ASS out of U and ME. Harkening to your NVC knowledge, judgments & evaluations are tragic & suicidal as they engender defensiveness, counter-aggression, guilt, or another acidic response.

So What Do I Do?

Be the Creator/Coach/Challenger
Learn about the 3 Personas of Dirty Communication and BE the antidotes.



Seeking Empathy

Empathizing with other(s)

See NVC for more on that.
Asking for your 100%
Reflect on “Soul Nature”
Freedom From Suffering

“Strength of heart comes from knowing that the pain that we each must bear is part of the greater pain shared by all that lives. It is not just ‘our’ pain but ‘the’ pain, and realizing this awakens our universal compassion.”
-Jack Kornfield