Posts Tagged ‘being the better person is bullshit’

dys  Forgive and forget…

You need to let it go…

Put your pride aside…

Be the better/bigger person…

You’re better than that…

Don’t let it bother you…

All this advice is a big, steaming crock of shit!

For those just tuning in, I’ve chosen to go no contact with a specific family member. This means no talking, visiting, phone calls, text messages, nothing. When some people hear this, they jump straight from their soapbox onto their high horse and proceed to lecture me about how I need to “be the better person” and let this family member back into my life because, well… it’s just something I have to do.

The people that give me this advice either don’t know shit about dysfunctional families, or they don’t give a shit about my emotional well being. Either way, I don’t have time for their namby-pamby bullshit.

Newsflash for the armchair relationship counselors: I come from a dysfunctional family… highly fucking dysfunctional, in my opinion. And like all dysfunctional families, I’ve been cast in a certain role, one that I cannot get out of no matter how hard I try. In my family, I’m the “scapegoat” or “rebel,” the one who was blamed for most of my family’s problems, even though it was rarely, if ever, my fault.

By contrast, the family member I’m at odds with also has a role, and that’s the Mastermind. True to the role, this person is an opportunist who manipulates other family members to get what he wants by appealing to their vanities and insecurities. Unlike the way I was treated, this person was always appeased by other family members, and still is to this day.

Here’s what happens when the Mastermind picks a fight with the Scapegoat: the Mastermind very quietly yet quite viciously insults the Scapegoat. In his anger, the Scapegoat lashes back in equally insulting tone and terms. The Mastermind then makes the round with other family members, telling them only what the Scapegoat says, and cleverly omitting the fact what he, the Mastermind, did to start the fight.

The result is equally predictable: the family kicks into high gear, rallying ’round the “wounded” Mastermind. They all curse, shout, and damn the Scapegoat for doing what he’s “always done,” which is “not being a good family member.” The Scapegoat tries to plead his case, but it fall upon deaf ears because, well… he’s the Scapegoat, so he always lies, cheats, steals, and hurts people.

The aftermath: on the advice of his therapist and everything he’s read about narcissism and dysfunction, the Scapegoat goes no contact with the Mastermind. The family’s reaction is much the same as those of the meddlesome, half-ass relationship counselors watching from the sidelines: forgive and forget, be the bigger person, blah blah blah blah fucking blah.

(Did you catch that, genius? My decision to go no contact has nothing to do with something that happened way back when; it’s based in the fact that the dysfunctional family element that blames, shames, and alienates me will. never. change. Got it?)

So back to the present: when you give me your bullshit advice, you’re sending the lamb right back to the slaughter. You’re telling me to quietly and dutifully allow myself to be insulted, ridiculed, and criticized over and over and over again by a family member who has no consequences for his behavior. My family isn’t going to stop him, and neither will you… You’re too busy telling me to “be the better person.”

Since you like advice so much, let me share some with you: keep your bullshit morality to yourself, because it adds nothing to my long-term happiness.

About J.P. Ribner
J.P. Ribner is the author of Viking fantasy adventure series “The Berserker’s Saga.” Currently, the saga features two novels – “Legacy of the Bear” and “Prophecy of the Bear.” For more about his written work, check out his website.

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