Monday, 1 December 2014

Why are we all such bullies?

The title of this article makes for uncomfortable reading, but it is true. We are all bullies and we are also all guilty of the abuse of neglect because to date there is no known human being that is or has been perfect 24 hours a day, seven days a week their entire lives. We get frustrated by everything that doesn’t go our way or that isn’t done in a way that we understand. We automatically get annoyed at the very least by anything that seems unfair or that simply does not suit us.

Like all species on our planet we are all bullies when we want something done our way. We justify that behaviour with an endless stream of ethical reasons which are do not hide the truth at all and throughout it all we snap at each other. We get vicious with others when they won’t stop and think about what they doing to us that upsets us. Worse still, we do these things as part of our daily routine to establish who is in charge and we do it most to those who have helped and supported us the most too.

To psychologists this highlights two unshakeable truths. We are an animal species which, in common with all species on our beautiful planet, fight for our own survival. In the small scale of things the bickers and squabbles over minor things like who’s turn is it to do the washing up do not matter. We are merely establishing who is taking responsibility for what for that hour, day or week. We’re for the most part, more often than not brilliant at doing that in our own homes without too much fuss... most of the time.

In our working lives it becomes a bit more frustrating if you are never given the opportunity to do anything else but make the tea and wash up for everyone else unless you happen to enjoy those roles most of all and some do as they usually get more thank-yous for doing that than anyone else gets for anything else. We argue to establish a hierarchy just like all other animals on the planet, except that they are far more accepting of where they fit best and we do all manner of things to prevent our fellow human beings from ever finding out where they fit best or what they are or could be good at.

This is very silly of us indeed because we also know that those who take on the responsibilities of vast numbers of people suffer from stress, a known cause of mental illness. Luckily most of them do not stay in their lofty positions for more than a few years before they have a change of scene to rest up from all the pressure placed upon them – some though are gluttons for punishment in that they are addicted to fixing things for everyone else... a bit like medical teams really.

It is fortunate that most people do not want and do not enjoy that level of responsibility so why bicker about it at all? Why not share the load instead and work together instead of against each other so that everyone does have the role (or rather roles) that they love or come to love best?

Leaders often want a rest from leading so, doesn’t that imply that everyone could get a chance to try for leadership if they want to enough and work hard enough for people to want them above all others to lead? And it’s the same with fame for just about any human activity... be imaginative, you don’t have to be famous for being a singer, good or bad. Nor though do you have to be famous for being a prat or a dangerous person to others. Choose you ambition according to what will make you happy without causing distress to others.

Primary Schooling

We can never entirely escape our most basic primary instinct which is to succeed and survive as the fittest of all. Therefore the process of bickering (not back stabbing) is set to repeat until the end of time itself. This may sound very grim until you step back from things a see that as a species we do survive and do it rather well overall, except for a few wars and long standing habits of abuse to taint our otherwise very good record.

Perhaps we cause the most damage by becoming envious of others around us which is a foolish thing to do as we actually know so little about what their lives are really like now or have been like as we are not with them every minute of every day. We are even less equipped to know what others make of the same things we are witnessing or experiencing. We resent people who are successful and seem determined to bide our time waiting for the day when they are feeling ill, or have been injured or abused or just not on top form to pounce and push the proverbial (and sometimes actual) knife in, just so that we as individuals get our share of revenge for our own perceived suffering and, if lucky an opportunity to become top dog or - in medical terms - the Alpha leader for a bit.

The irony is that we each stand a much better chance of running things  to lead others by working together and most of all by actually helping those we dislike the most! Psychologists across the globe have also realised that the most successful people in the world have often suffered abuse themselves. Think of Nelson Mandela, Ghandi or Rosa Parks as examples. It is their life stories that inspire us most because they work through their troubles by using their heads to rule their emotions, but they do so without ever losing their sense of compassion for anyone else.

We are not just bullies or abusers - that is only part of what it is to be human. We are diverse, wonderful and full of creative, compassionate intentions too. We are nurturers, builders and healers; developers, teachers and inventors. It is our species alone that has the guardianship of the whole planet and in order to understand that role we have had to break virtually every rule Mother Nature sets out. In order to save life we’ve learned along the way how we can destroy it, in order to extend life, we learned how to shorten it because if we didn’t know how to kill how would we learn how not to kill?

To safeguard the planet from something bigger than us hitting it that could kill us, we have had to learn how to destroy things. We have learned so much about the building blocks of life itself but have learned the hard way as far  too with many brave souls have died in that endeavour simply by not realising the level of danger they were entering into e.g. Marie Curie who died from cancer in her research to find cures for it. We have risked everything for life itself in the past by not being vigilant enough and through letting our passions and emotions rule our heads. We also kill others who are merely doing their bit to help humanity by never letting them rest enough to think straight, even when they are the only ones who understand enough to help fix things! Talk about jack ass thinking – we have been very good at it, but it’s not anything to be proud of.

Taking up the challenge

So how do any of us stop the worst of our behaviours? The answer should be obvious to all by now... by giving ourselves a chance to think first and act only when we have thought everything through thoroughly we stand a much better chance of improving everything that currently troubles us. From  those who are on the frontline saving lives in one role or another to those right at the top trying to decide what’s best for the largest number of human beings possible and of course the rest of us somewhere in the middle – we all need to play a positive role in order to get things fixed according to where our skills and knowledge best fit.  A house won’t get mended if no one knows how to fix it. Nor can it be mended if people don’t know how to make repairs and it can’t ever be repaired if the family that lives there doesn’t tell anyone it needs help if they don’t know how to do it themselves.

It is not just silly to criticise such people. It is dangerous too and risks not only their health but our own lives to do so. Would you want to be treated by a doctor too tired to know what they are prescribing or too confused by what you or others think is wrong with you? Would you like to be talking to a person about abuse or report any crime to someone who has no training in dealing with them, or who will ignore you? Is it fair though on someone who tries to take you seriously if you are lying or are mistaken in what you think happened or is happening and will not listen to them?

The majority of people strive to be honest and law-abiding most of the time, but as stated in the very first paragraph of this article, no one can be on top form for everyone else 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give each other time to think and rest to be able to make the right decisions and above all else, never take out your frustrations on anyone you see as being weaker or just wrong. You don’t know what they have been through enough to make such judgements, unless you happen to be part of a mental health team who is finding out or have experienced high levels of trauma in your own life AND worked through them with a mental health team.

Mental health teams, in common with all other medical, social service and community care teams can only ever be as good as the amount of work put in by those they try to help. If you as a patient insist on being lazy about putting any work in to get yourself well then you are not likely to ever get better, are you. In a way, health and happiness come down to if you want them more than the attention you get from being ill. Such attention really is a sad and poor substitute for the real thing but to date there are still many too ill to get very far at all as it can all to easily take a whole life to recover from any serious traumatic event. Some such sufferers over the years have shared their sufferings with us. It is high time we acknowledged a few of them for their sheer courage in just being with us still. We are so very glad and honoured to know you most of all. We think you are awesome.

Introducing the Mindwalking contributors

Time to introduce a few people in the Mindwalking team by initials only to safeguard their well deserved privacy and in the case of medics their off-duty time...

AA, AB, AC, AD, AE...

Get the idea? There is barely a two letter initials-only combination that we in Mindwalking haven’t supported either directly or indirectly as we’ll explain later.  More specifically, our most active contributors include...

AG, SC, AM, AW, JH, EE and an interesting pair sharing the same initials KB. One is someone who cannot move, while the other is a fully qualified doctor in psychology not even in the UK! Then there’s numerous MDs of one description or another, mostly doctors with initials such as DI (who probably fancies themselves as a detective as most physicians do), HI (who is always welcoming), LF (who is always up for laugh), PH (a litmus test, we think), PR (who is bound to enjoy marketing), RM (possibly a doctor in the Royal Marines? We’re not sure but it amuses us all to think so) and counsellors JB, PM (er no, not the UK prime minister... as far as we know, but an interesting idea!), SM, TW and VD!!!?  Moving on swiftly...

Back to the really important people - patients... AG (a different one) AP, AR, BW, CE, CL, DD, FC, HB, HS, JB, KT,  VK, MR, M (and just about any other letter actually), NC, NS, PD, PS, SE, SF, SW,  TC, TJ, TK, TP and even a ZE (to name but a few).

It’s been mathematically proven that it takes just six connections from you to be connected with just about anyone on the planet including... ALL world leaders. It has also been scientifically proven that we are all related to each other too. Er yeah, we’re not always comfortable with those facts either! However, from any and every angle it does prove one thing... it’s the height of human stupidity to be mean and nasty, vicious, vile, greedy or jealous of anyone as those very people might well be helping you to stay alive.

“We can never know who anyone else knows or may come to know. Therefore it makes no sense to be nasty to anyone.”

If you can’t be nice, either stay silent and do nothing at all, or book an appointment with someone who is trained to help even the most violent of people but in that event it’s best try not to attack them if you truly want to be happy and well. If you just want to be violent toward others, you might try phoning the police instead as it’s quicker for you to do it than it would be for anyone else. Professionals will never turn away someone that desperate to NOT be violent and NOT cause harm to others – FACT.

So from all at Mindwalking and beyond... have a safe and healthy December and rest of your life.
We have two more posts for you this month but we’ll see how we all feel in the New Year as it occurs to us that people are rather swamped with theories and medical concerns at the moment. Perhaps everyone needs a rest from even more information about mental health too, not least sufferers from those illnesses.  That is what we at Mindwalking collectively think and believe right now. There are plenty of brilliant sites on the internet though if you feel the need to know more.

Take very good care of YOUR health. Nothing is ever as precious to you than YOUR health unless it is the health of your loved ones. Remember to ask your nearest and dearest what they need rather than what they’d like best, won’t you – there is a huge difference.

We’ll be back on Christmas Eve with a remembrance post. If you are not in the mood for that... well you don’t have to read it, do you?  Stay calm, relax and be well and chat to your GP when you need to and anyone else you come to trust.

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