Wednesday, December 23, 2015

He's sort of got a point...

In my own life, right at this very second, I have a handful of regrets. In two cases that come to mind as I write this, I did something wrong to someone and later apologized and made efforts to right those wrongs. In both cases the people who I have wronged responded by trying to use my admission of wrongdoing as a way to leverage more guilt from me and to demand that I do more to compensate them. In both cases, they have not made any specific requests or have made requests they know I can’t fulfill, thus making it impossible to comply. I have to assume this is deliberate even if it’s being done unconsciously. This allows them to continue to feel I owe them something and to resent me for it.* 
I only understand this strategy because I have used it myself. Which is something else I regret. Whenever I see myself pursuing this strategy these days I immediately stop. Which is how I deal with that particular species of regret. 
In these specific cases, there’s simply nothing more I can do. At least nothing I can come up with. It’s clear that becoming further entangled in the drama these individuals are seeking to perpetuate won’t help anything. So my only strategy is to stay out of the drama.

It's excellent advice: Stay out of the drama.  There's been instances in my life where I've done wrong. Too often one's wrongdoing and one's admission of wrongdoing make for power-play dynamics - we see that in everything from the criminal justice system to failed relationships.  And yes, I've played that game too, and like Ven. Warner says, becoming further entangled, continuing to play the game - it never ends well. 

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