Monday, September 20, 2021

Comments by lrduff

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • “No one can make you feel anything” – This shallow saying came up in a 12 step group setting (by a member in a ACA meeting, and again in a private ACA Facebook group in which he does most of the posting, once about Marshall Rosenberg, another quoting Byron Katie):

    I wrote this comment on a Marshall Rosenberg youtube video about Nonviolent Communication:

    “No one can make you feel anything” – Marshall Rosenberg

    Rosenberg is mistaken, that other people can’t make you feel anything. Sometimes it is true, that a person may have no ill intentions and an interaction can be misread and overreacted to, maybe a complete projection. It is true that we can react out of our own history, trauma history, that the other person we’re reacting to had nothing to do with, is not responsible for.

    But it is also true that we, being humans are affected by each other, on a feeling level, and quite appropriately have a truthful reaction to another person’s aggression, or insult, or especially actual physical threat to us, if we are human, we have an appropriate human reaction and feel fear, maybe anger, and a need to defend ourselves.

    Or, if we are emotionally connected, bonded with someone, establish trust over time, and they betray us in some way, to say they have no power to make us feel anything is ridiculous. It is complicated by each person’s trauma history, something incredibly relevant Rosenberg ignores.

    To quote a humorous friend who was relating to me what he felt like replying to another member of a 12 step group, going around spouting this idea as simple truth, needing no qualifications, “I’ll bet if I came over and kicked you in the balls, I could make you feel something”. The person who used this simplistic saying/meme I found out later, is a NVC/Rosenberg advocate, and also at times had a tendency to act out in hurtful ways on others (cause them to feel something they didn’t want to feel, wouldn’t have felt if he hadn’t interacted with them), and if they protested, like a true gaslighter, would tell them, “You create your feelings, no one can make you feel anything”. Very convenient, for gaslighting someone.

    The reality of our interactions, on a feeling level, is complex. Usually if we have a huge reaction to someone, they probably did something inappropriate, hurtful, and maybe it touched off some unhealed trauma in ourselves. It’s usually a mix. It takes being willing to process through the feelings to get to the truth.

    Rosenberg’s example of the Africans who had relatives murdered, and some who were able to forgive, and some who weren’t was seriously faulty. If someone brutally murders a loved one and you don’t feel anything like anger, you are not human. It’s a question of being willing to process through the real rage and pain (that their actions realistically caused you to feel), to somehow find the inner strength to resist the urge to act out vengeance that is the thing needed, not someone telling you the idiotic idea that no one can make you feel anything.