Things Gone and Things Still Here (jette) wrote,
Things Gone and Things Still Here
jette

More on Last Night's Post

Since I quit my job, I have been thinking a lot about the classic Psych 101 teachings about defense mechanisms. In particular, what happens when you remove a major life stressor (in my case, a rather dysfunctional organizational culture) - you usually find the true, hidden problems underneath, and many times these are much harder to deal with than what was originally considered to be the problem.

A good example would be a phenonmeon described by the founder of FLYlady.net (A system and online community designed to help harried housewives organize their homes and streamline housework.) Many of the members found that once they (and their husbands and friends and families) could no longer complain about their hideously cluttered and filthy houses (because they turned them into beautiful, clean and well functioning homes) the real problems in their lives and relationships were suddenly pushed to the forefront. Many women who have used the program and cleaned up their acts (and after the house was clean, they found they had time to exercise, eat right, and pursue their own interests) found themselves getting divorced (including the founder herself). Their husbands found there was no longer anything to bitch about when their slovenly, lazy, depressed mates were replaced by glowing, organized, happy women - and the walls of their relationship came suddenly crashing down.

Similarily, I am constantly telling people who come to me for love advice to accept their mates as they are or leave them. "But Jette, I love her but I can't stand that she [farts like a baboon] [wears teal toenail polish] [won't keep her roots up]* how do I tell her?" I always say that they first need to accept the farting, the toenail polish and 4 inch long roots and deal with the relationship as if it would never go away. You can't change people, they have to change themselves. People need to change from within, in order to protect their defense mechanisms. It's a slow process. Start taking the girl to the hair dresser every six weeks and she might go stunningly mad and take a pair of scissors to your abdomen. Or she might decide your hair isn't that great either. Or she might just always duck out of the salon and resent you, forever.

I think that this extends to society at large - the need for scapegoats to avoid having to do the dirty work of looking at our real problems as a culture. It seems like a scapegoat heavy time in history right now, but I'm sure that it's always been so. Gets me down some anyway.

I had some more eloquent things to say about this last bit, but it will have to wait for another time. I need to shower, exercise, fold laundry, scrub my sink, and find a job.

I will say that I have never worked in any sort of group or committee or collective creative endeavor that actually got better once "that one guy who ruins it for everyone" was finally forced out. On the contrary, they have always disinigrated almost immediately afterwards.


*Details have been changed to protect anonymity.
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