This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
While on a trip to Scotland last month, I was taking a tour of Edinburgh, the capital. As the guide was waxing on about all the attractions, I noticed this duo: a statue of Dr. David Livingstone, the nineteenth century Scottish medical missionary and African explorer of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” fame, topped by an uninvited seagull. The statue graces a park in the center of the city. As you can see, the foul fowl has assumed the role of crappor with poor Livingstone as the crappee. I wonder how the renown doctor would have felt about that scenario if he were still alive.
How can we avoid being the crappee? I’ve written about this subject in previous blog posts, but it bears revisiting as it’s so important to our emotional well-being. The answer is: it’s not always easy with the various roles we play in our lives. We may be a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, an employee, a student, etc, or a combination of these at the same time. Many of our roles are hierarchal in nature, and it’s particularly hard to avoid being dumped on by someone who has power or authority over you.
So, what can you do? There are several tactics you can employ when another is castigating you. You can choose to verbally stand up for yourself and suffer the possible consequences. Be aware that they can be serious such as being fired from a job; losing a spouse or significant other; becoming estranged from a parent or child; being expelled from a school, club, or organization, etc. You must decide if such a potential outcome is worth it.
You can mentally turn off your receptors, choosing not to receive what the crappor is sending. To avoid extreme results, tune out but behave as though you are attendant. It’s a hard art to master, but with some practice, you can become adept.
You might try deflection. Interject something into the diatribe to turn your adversary’s attention in another direction. Example: “Oh, (insert crappor’s name), I heard that the (insert something significant to crappor) just got (insert negative outcome).” That should send him/her in another direction mentally or physically, long enough for you to regroup and escape, at least for the moment.
You can physically remove yourself from the field of battle. Create an emergency that requires you to exit immediately. It can be something like a just-remembered appointment, a bathroom call, a pot on the stove ready to boil over, whatever. You might even think of some excuses in advance to use when the situation requires it.
Don’t be a statue with bird droppings dripping down your face. Plan and execute tactical moves to protect yourself from the onslaught of others.
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