Stimulus and response

September 21, 2012

I know a few people who want to substitute being told exactly what to do for developing their own way of figuring out an appropriate response through understanding the impact of their behavior on others (the self-awareness and walk-a-mile-in-your-moccasins tools).  “Just tell me what to do, I want to be a good person,” one of them said to me a couple of weeks ago.

I actually can’t see what they’re supposed to do;  I can discern what I am supposed to do at such a point as they’re at if I pick up their stuff through my experience of them as an empath.  I can also mirror back to them their own behavior.

In one case what I could see I was being called upon to do with their stuff in my place was to locate and shower on them a deep and charitable love, so I suspect that’s what they were supposed to do for me, but maybe not.  In any case, I got coldness, literally (the room became inexplicably very cold — it was a topic of discussion in the ladies room afterwards) and socially.  I was surprised.  The person didn’t recognize me from previous communication (or lives), didn’t want to get to know me based on what I presented, either, and I accepted that.  I accepted that the coldness was the best they could do and I found myself doing my mirroring thing and leaving and then afterwards pursuing what looked like unvirtuous professional conduct (I’m going to guess that’s one of their m.o.’s).  I reflected back to them their own conduct so they could experience its impact, but then it’s up to them to decide what to do next, I don’t furnish a set of follow-up directions — they need to analyze their reaction to the experience and go from there.  If there’s a different reaction going on within them from what they presented to me, maybe part of the issue for them is to connect the inner and outer selves in a different way.  I suspect, though, that it’s really that they want to act one way but want to incur a set of responses from others as if they had engaged in different behavior.

In another case I found myself eventually actually telling the person that becoming the “good person” they claim they want to be is developed by the person themselves through a process involving increasing self-awareness.  This person seems to prefer asking for detailed instructions from others and then finding fault with them and rationalizations for not following them — of course, thus they do their part to demonstrate the limits of what another person can do for somebody else, which is helpful for me to learn from.

I know that some of these “I want to be a good person but I don’t actually want to do what it takes” sometimes resort to shattering the mirror (that would be me) either intentionally or inadvertently.  I have helped restore shattered mirrors — if I hadn’t learned myself from them, I’d probably be one myself.


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