Rumination, yet again

I don’t want to live another life unless…

I’m watching this YT video from melodysheep’s channel. It’s called “Timelapse of the Future: A Journey to the End of Time”. It’s an animation of how everything in our universe will eventually reach entropy, with narrations from different physicists, scientists, and others which I think are from science documentaries. Anyway, there is a part where someone says, intelligent lifeforms may escape entropy by tearing apart a fabric of the universe and look for baby universes. Or, they may also create baby universes themselves. It made me uncomfortable because personally, living one life is enough for me. While there are joys and wisdom in living, there is a lot of pain along the way, too. If I were given a chance to live again, I’d rather not. Thank you. I’m quite comfortable being in the void, sleeping and unaware. I don’t want to witness more wars, murders, psychological manipulation, corruption, power-hungry people hurting others along the way, facing another pandemic, etc. It baffles me how some still want to live, forever. I don’t have anything against it. It’s just not something that I’d do. Unless I’d be given a chance to live again but in a Utopian world where my only concern and motivation is discovering more about the universe. That would be fine.

I may have OC or I may be in a milder spectrum of Asperger’s for this

It makes me uncomfortable – that I can describe it as an itch that never goes away despite scratching it until it bleeds – when someone from an academic, scientific, or medical field hasn’t continued their responsibility to educate themselves and be updated about ideas and knowledge related to their field. I’ve come across a person in the medical field who isn’t practicing it for some time because they’ve been busy with their domestic activities. It felt uncomfortable when this person said, “I heard the delta variant comes with the air.” Like, ma’am. All COVID-19 variants are airborne. What do you mean? It makes me uncomfortable, sad, and uneasy. I wanted to say something about it before this person embarrasses themselves to strangers, but this person is the type who gets offended when corrected and throws ad hominems like, “whatever, know-it-all!” instead of tackling the main issue. I cannot fathom how, people who graduated with a thesis, who were educated on how to cite credible sources, cannot cite credible sources from the internet now. They instead easily believe anything that steers their emotions. I hope they realize that anything that steers emotions is propaganda and marketing techniques, and does not always lead to the fact.

Random Rumination

As much as I want to help people close to me ease their pain, they sometimes mindlessly cause me distress and push me away. I realized that if I too have too much on my plate, it’s best to stay away from them. The last thing I want to do is to clash with others who are troubled as I am. Hurt people hurt people. So sometimes, we need to be the bigger person to understand them. I am grateful, however, for troubled friends who are mindful and aware that others are distressed, too. They try to avoid causing them more pain. They’re the ones I find safe and healthy for my mental health.
For the people close to me who I can’t help right now, I’m sorry. But let’s meet again when we’re both better.

Everyone is miserable and that is fine

Everyone is miserable because of the pandemic – movements were restricted; lockdowns gave us cabin fever; some lost their jobs; others lost friends and loved ones to COVID; others who work from home suffer more domestic violence than they used to; some realized how unnatural it is to be stuck with their family and SO 24/7 because they’re so used to going to school or the office that they only see them after work and the weekends. Now everything about them annoys us. It’s very unnatural for us. But here we are nevertheless, thriving and trying our best to cope despite still feeling distressed.

What we’re used to

Remember when the only thing that keeps us sane is going out? Window shopping, clubbing, playing sports, hanging out in a cafe, restaurant, the countryside, and resort; others get out of town or the country – all of these keep our negative feelings at bay. These were our healthy coping mechanisms.

It’s unnatural to never be miserable in a crisis

To say one is never miserable in these times of crisis makes one seem pretentious. Only those who lack remorse – the psychopaths – never feel miserable in times of crisis. Of course, all the normal people are miserable! Everyone is struggling – others emotionally and mentally, some are still grieving from their loss; some financially.

Not admitting to our troubles is an unhealthy coping mechanism. It’s called repression and suppression in Psychology. They are known to be unhealthy because it forces us to avoid the real issues, forcing us to only focus on the positive side of things. While there is nothing wrong with looking on the positive side, not acknowledging our struggles and troubles will only cause feelings of bitterness and emptiness to the surface.

Have you met people who are angry, bitter, and resentful towards others who struggle? These are people who were never honest about their negative emotions. The troubled people they meet serves as a mirror to the unresolved conflicts they have about themselves. So, they approach it with anger and hatred. This may cause depression in the long run.

Acknowledging we are miserable paves the way to healing

Authentic healing paves the way to wisdom & empathy. Suppressing/repressing our troubles and negative emotions hinders us from understanding and helping others. Empathy comes from authentic healing. Authentic people empathize. Inauthentic ones approach troubled people with anger, bitterness, hate & resentment.

Privacy and suppressing or repressing our troubles are not the same thing

People often confuse suppression/repression of troubles with privacy. These are very different things. Suppression/repression is avoiding and denying one’s problems and negative emotions. Privacy is choosing to not make our troubles public, only admitting our troubles to ourselves, or only sharing them with people we trust. In privacy, we are still being honest with ourselves. In suppression/ repression, we deny that we feel negative emotions.

Negative Emotions are normal

Negative emotions are natural. It’s there to tell us something is wrong and we need to do something about it to keep us safe. It’s okay to acknowledge our negative emotions. It’s okay to let it out in a safe space with people who are trustworthy. Only then can we authentically be grateful.

If you’ve been in an emotional/mental bad place for too long and it’s affecting your relationships, your work, keeps you from doing the things you used to enjoy, it’s okay to go to therapy. You can also talk to trustworthy people who truly understands you. Therapy can be expensive so you may also reach out to mental health hotlines.

Coping is different for each individual and it’s very complex. There isn’t one universal rule to coping. Do what you need to heal, just don’t hurt others along the way.

I wish for all of us to find a healthy coping mechanism and to be mindful and empathic with others who struggle, too. We’re all miserable but not everything lasts forever. We will get out of this eventually. Faith and hope never hurts.

Some people seem to be only nice when they’re sad and helpless, but rude and cruel when they’re happy.

And I can’t help but notice how some people seem to find joy, despite acting sympathetic towards others suffering. But once others are in a good disposition, they seem to be resentful and bitter about it.

I dislike this kind of energy.

On Selling

I’ve been an ESL trainer to Japanese professionals for almost two years now. One of the things I’ve learned from my training and interacting with them is the concept of Tatemae and Hon-ne. So, what is this?

Tatemae is showing good behavior in public, especially when we interact with strangers, colleagues, acquaintances, or neighbors. The behavior is the same as being polite and avoiding behaviors or verbal responses that may bother, inconvenience, or offend others. This concept is related to another concept called Wa, which means harmony. For the Japanese, they avoid disrupting the Wa to avoid chaos and preserve order. Disrupting the Wa may be impractical as chaos may be inefficient & ineffective at work. It may also disrupt communal peace. Because of this, when they deal with clients or business partners, they try to practice Tatemae until the other is comfortable showing their Hon-ne.

Hon-ne is a person’s true feelings. They only show this to people who are close to them like family and close friends. They may also show this to business partners but it may take some time.

Applying this concept to sales, a Tatemae may sound like, “This is a nice product but I’ll think about it.” This answer may mean “No”, or it could also mean they’re studying other options. So, we may proceed to get them to show their Hon-ne. To do this, we may try to approach them twice or thrice to see if their response may change. The second or third approach may be an accepted invitation to lunch, dinner, or meeting. This could mean that they’re truly interested, especially if they’ve agreed to meet with you for another time. This is because there needs to be a building of relationship before a client will show their Hon-ne. Come to think of it, it is quite similar to courtship during the Victorian times – to prove your genuine intention towards a maiden, you may need to get their trust. But that’s another topic. Anyway…

I’m bringing this up because I’ve recently joined the sales force as my side-hustle. I needed another source of income to cover my plans for further studies. Also, my plans on getting another HMO and life/accident insurance hasn’t been ticked off the list yet. This pandemic has made me realized a lot of things so, here I am doing something I never thought I’d do. I’m bringing with me what I learned from the beauty of the Japanese concept of Tatemae and Hon-ne. Just like adopting Western management tools to help us execute our work effectively and efficiently, we can also learn a thing or two from other culture’s concepts.

Sometimes, I’d meet a few with values very different from mine. It irks me when I hear that they’re trying to manipulate people into buying by engaging in insincere petty flattery. Sure, we can bring up their interest, hobby, guilt-trip them, and so on. But if we bring it up for mere apple-polishing or kissing up, it may come off insincere or fake. Worse, we may be seen as money-leaching demons.

I think that, if we bring up a topic that may lead to us introducing our products or services to them, it’s wise to avoid sounding like jerks picking up women: our sleazy pickup lines are conversations about their interests, hobbies, or even guilt-tripping, and convincing them to subscribe to our products and services is sex. I think that if we are sincere in building good relationships with clients, we shouldn’t treat them as just a number. If it is our mission to help, it isn’t wise to manipulate them into buying despite their capacity and need for it. It’s wiser to involve them in conversations that will give them value not only for their money but for their mental and emotional well-being, too.

This approach may not always apply to every prospect we meet. Other prospects prefer to get to know us as professionals and as a person. Other prospects, especially if someone close to them referred us, may treat our meeting as transactional and will try to get it over with by just buying the product or services. I’ve learned from Psychology that people are complex. There is no one absolute way to approach everyone. Thus, I think it’s only practical to apply the concept of Tatemae and Hon-ne when prospecting. It’s always better to build relationships. Who knows, a prospect that may appear cold could be a very good friend in the future. Therefore, a win-win!

How to not forget yourself

As you thread on through life, you’ll go through different struggles. It could shape you for the better or break you. Never mind how it could shape you for the better, I am here to talk about how to avoid breaking.

Breaking may strip away all the better things you’ve acquired.
Your resiliency.
Your patience.
Your objectivity or rationality.
Your understanding.
And the rest.
So, I want to tell you to keep your feet firmly on the ground.
Keep your roots firmly from being plucked from the ground that is your foundation.
Resist the storm that is trying to break you.
If anything, let the storm break the parts that won’t help you – the parts that will bring out the bad in you that may worsen you.

Allow yourself to experience pain. Take time to move on – grieve about it! Cry.
Scream.
Break things.

Just don’t hurt people.
Just don’t do anything illegal.
Just don’t harm yourself.
You’ll eventually get tired of feeling the pain. I’ve been there.

Then, do something to fight it back.

Write a poem or a story, or just write your feelings out.
Work-out – jog, run, go to the gym, enroll in kickboxing.
Do art – draw, paint, sculpt.
Start learning something new – study entrepreneurship or marketing. Study a new language.
Do whatever makes you feel good. Just do it.
Once you convert your negative energy into something positive, you’ll feel rebirthed and alive again.

Because in existence, both pain and joy are constant. One cannot exist without the other. The goal is to not chase happiness but to be content and at peace.

May the universe be in your favor.

Be Obliterated!

Misogyny

Distraughtly let you be

By conforming to gender roles

and expectations

Misogyny

Distraughtly let you be

Drained soul by raging against

and peace, prioritized

Misogyny

Distraughtly let you be

Made peace with the society

but never within me

Misogyny

Distraughtly let you be

Shielded me by pretense agreement of the conventional

cost me a life devoid of wholesome freedom

Misogyny

My sisters & myself will revolt to cease you

At the right time

eventually, be obliterated!

Red-tagging

There have been speculations of the admin red-tagging individual dissenters. Anyone that criticizes is being grouped into one, labeling them as an enemy, despite their real political beliefs. I have been vocal about my political beliefs early on. As I always said, I am progressive in my belief of it – democratic liberal to be exact. A quick search from Google and you will immediately get a basic understanding of what this is. 

However, some fanatical supporters of the admin go as far as labeling people like us as someone who belongs to dangerous groups in our country, known to also be against the admin. It is hard to reason with these fanatics as they only see the issue in black and white. They fail to see the grey area of it – that political beliefs are not only two opposites, that it is more like a spectrum (think rainbow). They fail to see that people in different political beliefs, despite a lot of their differences in principles and values, may also share the same sentiments about certain issues without necessarily sympathizing with all of the group advocacies. 

They go as far as labeling private citizens airing their dissents, as criminals (despite being a good citizen), rebels (usually communists groups who have bad reputations for looting, extorting, even exploiting malleable-minded people to recruit them), and so on. 

There have also been rumors about dissenters being harassed simply because of their political beliefs. I am not sure of the veracity of this. I have only read instances in social media, therefore, I am not sure if they are made up or not. However, still, if this is true, it is wrong on so many levels. It takes away the very essence of democracy. It may lead to abuse as it may be used to harm someone directly or indirectly out of spite. We are all aware of how fanatics think and behave. They can be irrational sometimes. 

It is disappointing to live in a world where evil often manifests itself. Despite the pandemic, people who are obsessed with power and influence still has the energy to make sure their self-vested interests are prioritized, despite hurting others along the way. I am not sure when all of these will cease. I used to think that all I’ll ever worry about growing up are mundane things in life – romantic drama, friendship drama, family drama, financial issues, dealing with kids, etc. I never thought that simply speaking up, as a private citizen with no affiliation to evils, will also be an issue.

Until then, I’ll tread on. 

(All I want is a cozy cottage near a beach, with a dog and a cat, a kid or two, and a husband. We’d run a bed and breakfast, then have a tiny restaurant that is a cafe during the day, and a drinking pub in the night. We’d rest on the weekends and go bathing or swimming, or nature tripping. But why are power-thirsty people, who manipulate malleable-minded people trying to take that away from me? I pay taxes. I follow rules. Never did anything that will get me in trouble with the authorities. This world is sick. I am born in the wrong place.)

Good night.

Supplemental readings on this matter: 

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-why-red-tagging-dangerous

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/10/20/pnp-chief-says-red-tagging-not-a-police-policy

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/09/09/2041204/government-defends-surge-budget-red-tagging-task-force

Gaslighting

Gaslighting. This word has been talked a lot about for the past few years. I even think it has become overrated. However, its overratedness surely cannot take away its damaging effects. It still happens. 

So, what is gaslighting? According to the Cambridge dictionary, gaslighting is “the action of tricking or controlling someone by making them believe things that are not true, especially by suggesting that they may be mentally ill”. This word originated from the 1940 film, “Gaslight” where the husband intentionally hides things and blames the wife for losing them although she does not remember doing so. The wife would also complain that she hears footsteps from the attic and the gaslights flickering for no reason. Her husband told her she is only imagining things. He then convinced her that she is going crazy. Creepy, right?

Gaslighting is considered as a form of psychological abuse. Despite this, gaslighting is pretty common and is viewed as something “normal” in a society. I have seen others do this and experienced the same. I’ve never known a term for it until I stumbled upon the word in my mid-20s. I have even probably used this to get away with something petty in the past. Let me give you examples similar to what I’ve witnessed:

A parent tells his child to get some vegetables from a nearby vacant lot despite a sign saying, “no trespassing”. When the child was caught and the owner confronted the parent, the father tells the owner that his child is just a kid and isn’t aware of what he is doing. When the child confronts his father about this privately, the father tells him that he hasn’t told him to steal the vegetables and that he might have misinterpreted it.

Another example: 

A new employee, Becky, was oriented by her immediate supervisor, Christine, about how their company’s digital work manual is always updated. What Becky does not know was the updates are sent via email to every employee and takes time for new updates to be included in the manual. In Becky’s first two weeks, she had failed to follow the new report protocols because it wasn’t included in the manual yet. She had not received the email update because it was sent before she started working. The department manager, Rebecca, reprimanded Christine about this as it affected the deadline of the whole department’s report. To save face, Christine fired Becky and claimed that she did not follow her advice. Christine claimed that she had reminded Becky to check with her teammates about updates on reports first, before referring to the manual. Becky was sure Christine hadn’t told her but it was too late. (By the way, this happened in real life.)

Some people may laugh with friends about misdeeds like this. Others may feel guilty as it indirectly hurt others. No matter which angle you look at it, gaslighting is wrong and abusive. It is never right to step on others along the way to save face.

We may not be able to avoid getting ourselves in situations like this. However, we can always protect ourselves by documenting our communications and other events. When we receive professional instructions, we can make sure we document it by sending an email and asking for the recipient’s reply confirmation. If it happens within the comforts of our homes, installing CCTV or audio is wise to record abuses.

Why am I writing about something as common as this? This is not known in my country and culture. We do not have a word for it. In our culture, respecting older people and those in authority, despite them being abusive, is still practiced. Usually, it is embarrassing for an elder or an authority to commit mistakes, especially serious ones, as they are expected to be wiser and know better. To save face, they would deny or gaslight people. Some victims may just shrug it off to avoid confrontation and being labeled disrespectful of elders. Fortunately, I am not one of them. I call out everyone’s BS. 

Thank you for reading, and remember to look out for deceit! 

Stay safe, too COVID19 is still around.