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Being Told What's Best - How do YOU Take It?

Discussion in 'General' started by piglet, Sep 16, 2006.

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  1. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    Been thinking about this a lot today. I'm often told by people (who are usually asking me to do something I don't agree with) that I'm difficult, rebellious, non-compliant. I do agree with them, but it's the reason why that interests me.

    It seems to me that in the past, my decisions were made for me - these phrases spring to mind:
    "it's in your best interests",
    "I'm only thinking of you/your future",
    "you're not old enough to understand",
    "you're just not seeing the bigger picture"
    "you're only seeing it from your point of view"

    It's precisely this type of thing that led to the life experiences that gave me ptsd in the first place. Decisions were made, supposedly in my best interests, which caused me a whole lot of unpleasantness.

    Thinking about it, it's not hugely surprising that I question the motives of other people. If someone tells me to do something and I don't see a logical reason to do it, I ask why? I am not content with the answers saying "because I say so" or "that's just the way it is". I will persist until I am satified with the reasoning behind something.

    In other words, if you want me to do something that I find illogical, you'll have to provide justification. Threats just won't work on me - let's face it, I've stood my ground when the stakes have been as high as they get, so I'm not particularly fazed with your everyday bully tactics. I just get irritated.

    While there is nothing wrong with standing my ground, I do think this habit of mine causes me a lot of problems - particularly when being given orders.

    I just can't take what someone says on faith and trust - particularly not someone who is an "authority" figure. Too cynical I guess.

    I don't know what (or even if) I should or can do about this aspect of me, other than being aware of it when I'm dealing with people. :dontknow:
    Caterpillar and Laura 2 like this.
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  3. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

    Hi Piglet! Hope things are looking up for you today.

    In response to your questions, I HATE it when I'm told those things...because I am an adult and can think for myself. I prefer to screw up on my own, not with the help of others who "think" they have my best interests at heart.

    You and I are very much alike...I swear I could've written this post! For me, if it doesn't make sense, I won't do it until or unless it does. I do have to have things explained to me in a rational sense because, well, I just do. And part of it is a sense, feeling, aura, whatever you want to call it, that I get when something's not right; usually that happens when someone wants me to do something I don't understand. I think it's kinda like a sixth sense.

    And yes, I, too, get irritated and upset - sometimes angry - when I don't understand. Those who have known me for a few years know they have to explain, explain, explain or else I'll let them have it! :hit-boss:
    Caterpillar likes this.
  4. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    Thanks Kim - it's great to know it's not just me!! I wonder how many times that sentence has been posted here? Why is it we understand, but others don't? Lucky them!
    Laura 2 likes this.
  5. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

    Hi All

    This really strikes a cord with me...basically as a consequence of PTS, during its worst and as I get better, I realise that there are things that needed to change. There are many who put others first before themselves, and this can be for many reasons, and many with PTS may have done this. We have often been supportive of others, or vitims of others but held back and not wanted to talk badly of them.

    Some advice is valid, but the advice that I tend to give and want to listen to is not of the 'You are wrong, I am right' variety. That is simply a contrast in opinion...the best advice what we recieve in terms of questions. Why do you think that is best? What do you think you want to do? Do you prefer to leave it as it is and come back to it later?

    Very often, those coming from environments that have been controlling and/or abusive become compliant, as people, in the majority of situations. When this aspect changes those around us do not immediately understand the change, particularly those that have been needy, require self approval or emotional support in the first place.

    The things that stand out were these phrases:

    "It seems to me that in the past, my decisions were made for me - these phrases spring to mind"

    This may well be the case, so those around you will have problems you making your own decisions. It is their issue. They will say you are being obstinate, unfair, not being yourself...really you are not being as they recognise you and this may be difficult for them to deal with. There is however, a large difference between rudeness and expressing an opinion. I know I now express my opinion differently and when someone in particular tries to push theirs onto me, and I do not agree I simply tell them that that conversation is now finished as we do not agree...they do not accept this most times, so I then have to tell them that if they don't change the subject the only thing that can develop is an arguement. Over time they are learning that they cannot change me...but they call it me being sick...however, I am not being sick if I follow my best interests and not their own agenda. It is me that needs to recover, not them, and they have almost no knowledge of what PTS is. If they were truly interested they would have informed themselves and not be focusing on what they have lost as a result of changes. Rather, they would concentrate on what the person in losing and how to address their needs as best as possible, rather than on their own needs which I currently am not able to support. There is a difference between support and being leaned on emotionally, and that has changed for me.

    "it's in your best interests" I have heard this mainly from people who like to give advice but recieve it like a child being force fed medecine.

    "I'm only thinking of you/your future", Hmmm, has this person got an agenda for their own needs. It is such an uneccessary and condescending way of putting something across. I have recieved the most ridiculous advice from some over the last year. It was the non judgemental people who supported and asked what they could do that made the difference. Anyone who thinks they can know my best interests without discussing it has delusions of grandeur...the only person that can know their own mind is the person living in it.

    "you're not old enough to understand" If you have left school, held a job, experienced some life, the person saying this is most likely clinging to apron strings, and not wanting to let go or emotionally needy. A child can understand almost anything, and there are no children here anyway...it is condescending. If you are not old enough to understand, it would appear they are not mature enough to explain.

    "you're just not seeing the bigger picture" Generally translates as you are not seeing the picture I want or they are not seeing the picture of what you are currently able to do

    "you're only seeing it from your point of view" Can be translated as I cannot see beyond my point of view, so you are wrong and I am right. I would hope to see things from my point of view, it means that I have one, and it gives me direction in my life rather than navigating around others opinions.

    As I come out of this, I have some anger issues, perhaps, but at the same time it could run more deeply. Before my anger was held inside, now I express it as others do. It is not excessive, but the change is surprising to those that leaned on me. I was always caring, always there for everyone, always forgiving, always placating situations. Now I don't waste my time. I have to resolve my problems and others should do the same. I will support anyone who supports me. But where there are one way streets of support I save some of my energy.

    I have to work at creating my way to recovery and noone can wave a magic wand. I find much advice is of the supposed quick fix remedy from people who really do not want to face up to what has happened and prefer to pretend it does not exist, especially where there are potential guilt issues thrown in. Many prefer to have the approach of closing the eyes and covering their ears when some issues are raised. There is no point labouring it. They simply don't want to know.
    Rain and Laura 2 like this.
  6. Laura 2

    Laura 2 Well-Known Member

    Hello Piglet

    Good question...you sound like a very thoughtful person.

    It seems to me that the one good thing, if that's possible, about PTSD is that it forces you to rethink your whole view of the world. I suppose it could be said that you become an independent thinker.

    As most people don't seem to stop and question the consensus thinking/'received wisdom' then independent thoughts can clash.

    FWIW, in the 8+ years that I've had PTSD, I've learned that no one has your best interests at heart, literally no one - unless they are your good and skilled parents. They cannot because, even with the best will in the world, they simply do not have all the information on which to base reasonable opinion.

    I've also learned that you definitely have to reality-test your independent thinking. This is where forums like this are invaluable - you find that others with PTSD have bumped up against the same issues and feel just the same as you! Face to face talking to others who have similar experience is also very useful. Personally, I also have a sort of 'court' in my head when it comes to testing out my thoughts - a sort of rational argumentation that asks 'would this stand up to a judge and jury as reasonable?'

    When all's said and done, it feels to me like you have to develop a strong core confidence in very firmly but politely saying things like 'I see where you're coming from but I've spent a lot of time thinking about my choice/decision/needs etc and your solution wouldn't work in my situation'. And leaving it there (as Carpe Diem says). It's about trusting your deeper wisdom I guess and not allowing others' poorly-informed advice to get under your skin.

    KimG has a good point about this deeper wisdom= 'sixth sense' and insisting that people explain rationally their advice to you. You see, from all my experience I've found that many people will offer advice etc because they too are worried/scared/angry or following a target-driven public services agenda - so really, a lot of what they'll tell you is coming from an emotional bias or based on their organisation's rules. All of which is unconsciously designed to make them feel better or consciously 'right'. CarpeDiem puts it very well.
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
    Rain likes this.
  7. Caterpillar

    Caterpillar Active Member

    I could've written your post, piglet. I do NOT react well to authority of any kind or being told what to do. I'll do the opposite of what I'm told or ignore the order just to prove I can and that they have no power over me, even when doing so is detrimental to me. Anyone who tries to give advice in an authoritative tone is going to be at best ignored or at worst angrily confronted. The behavior makes perfect sense when you consider that my PTSD stems from a series of situations in which I truly had no power over what was happening, combined with repeated betrayals by authority figures. Of course I'm not going to trust an order which seems illogical. Of course I'm going to take up a fighting stance preemptively.

    I don't know how many times in my life I've heard things like "why can't you just go along with it?" or "why do you have to be so difficult?". A lot of times they're probably right and I really am being difficult for no good reason, but I lack the ability to emotionally discern between a minor situation where no harm will come from "going along" and a serious situation where terrible things will happen if I don't fight. All I can think is that the last time I went along with what others wanted against my better judgement someone I love almost died.
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