Posted by: Judy | July 15, 2015

Name calling…

Back on Schema 8, observations were made about name calling. It started me thinking. From the comments:

Both Judith and TR mentioned being called “selfish brats.” In the past, I’ve mentioned I was called, “crabby appleton rotten to the core.”

ME: “I’ve wonder if name calling is a double-edged sword; it cuts both people. I mean, aren’t they, in a way, being a selfish brat? Now I’m going to be thinking carefully whenever a “name” comes to mind.”

TR: “Side note with regard to the name-calling. It is something I’ve started to notice a lot. We call someone a ‘jerk’ or another choice word and attribute something to his/her character when they do one thing we don’t like. It is like calling someone ‘generous’ b/c they gave you a gift one time. Then it becomes the way you see them all the time. So no matter what you do after that it seems you are ‘selfish’ or ‘generous’. Definition of someone else’s character like that is, in my FOO and dysfunctional friends, the strongest control tactic I’ve seen. Except I think it has been a common way to speak even in non-dysfunctional settings.”

ME: “I think you’re right about how it being a common way to speak. Perhaps it’s a simple way of filing people. Then again, we make judgments all day long, deciding where to focus our attention. It’s absolutely necessary. We can’t do everything that comes across our path. We have to choose. Labels make it easy. If I label them a jerk, then it’s easy to decide they aren’t worth my time. Isn’t that sort of giving them my power? (Thinking out loud.) How do I reclaim my power? Instead of thinking of them as a jerk, perhaps I need to accept I don’t like whatever it was they did… This has become really complicated… or maybe it’s becoming clearer and requires I accept responsibility for my choices, which is something N’s don’t do.”

Expanding my thoughts (free form thinking ahead):

Don’t the names we use on others sort of stick to us? I keep thinking of “that finger you’re pointing leaves three pointing back at you.”

If I call someone obnoxious, doesn’t the whole thing become larger? Maybe it’s only me. Instead of the incident being obnoxious, now the whole person is. I want to experiment with labeling behavior instead of people.

I can hear those who object to labels screaming already. Feel free, but it’s kind of silly. Sugar is sweet. Lemons are sour. I don’t like bitter flavors.

Herein lies the trouble with some of the programs created to promote what is generally believed to be better behavior. The program will always be flawed because it is dependent on a general consensus of what is agreed upon as good.

I have to admit that my faith comes in handy here because when all else fails, I go back to the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ declaration that the first great law is to love God, with all your heart, mind, and soul. The second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. Good starting points. I really am rambling…

Why?

The book due at the end of the month has a couple of totally unexpected plot twists. It rattles me when characters go rogue and throw stuff in from out of nowhere. Welcome to the world of a writer.

Back to the musing:

I still want to experiment with being aware of behavior. I made an attempt yesterday, with an interesting result.

I don’t like it when someone talks to me in a sing-song voice. I chose to label the behavior as obnoxious instead of the person. It didn’t make me like the person any better. However, the behavior didn’t bother me as much. Maybe it also helped that I focused on the single incident instead of suddenly remembering all the other times this has happened.

Maybe when I resort to name calling, which I never do to someone’s face but I think that’s just a bit self-righteous on my part because it’s still in my head, anyway, when I resort to name calling maybe it’s a signal I’m feeling stressed. Maybe I need to step back and do a little self inventory to find out why I’m resorting to something so unproductive.

Short note: I do have name-calling sessions I think are productive. I’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Gail a couple of times. However, I know much of the script from having listened to my brothers recite it. I had to learn it to keep up. My favorite is one that pops up when I’m driving and someone does something insanely dangerous. What pops out of my mouth? “She’s a witch! Burn ‘er!” I usually proceed through several more lines. It makes me laugh.

This is going to require self awareness, evaluating how I’m feeling. Am I frustrated and venting? Why? Especially when there are plenty of times when I simply let it all slide away without much notice.

My next thought is, “This is going to be hard work.”

Followed by, “Why can’t it be easier?”

And my conversation stopper, “The only easy day was yesterday.”

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Responses

  1. And yesterday wasn’t easy rather. .. Life isn’t easy. Especially not when you’re changing direction.
    I think you’re right when you say that name-calling says something about the the one who gives the names. It’s something about the attitude to others and maybe to myself. Jesus command us to love our neighbours as we love our selves, but there will be no love, no respect for others if we can’t love and respect our selves. Do I disrespect my self? Do I love my self or do I have to justify my self through name-calling and other disrespectful behaviours?
    Ha, you started some thoughts there.. 🙂

    • I appreciate knowing I’m not alone in this struggle to understand respect for myself and others. ((Lyckliga Lisa))

      • Yes that’s right. You’re not alone

  2. Lots of food for thought here. 🙂

    • 🙂


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