I've read this post on this lady's thread several times now. I like it. I don't always like how she writes/talks. But I do like the points she makes a lot.
It's probably all been said before-but it touched me again tonight-so I figured "what the hell, I'll share".
This post of hers, from December actually explains WHY I was SO upset about Maca and GG not even TRYING to be friends or "friendly". It gets right to the heart of what I was trying to say-but wasn't doing such a great job at.
Monday, December 28, 2009
It’s been a while. Life has been hitting hard these days with many, many changes and a few terrible illnesses hitting the family. We will survive it.
Anyway, below is my entry. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and hopefully your Christmas’s gave you a moments of happiness.
More than one…
That’s the basis for polyamory right? Right? This means polyamory is a group dynamic correct? This means in order for it to work you have to be a part of the group or at least allow yourself to be open enough to communicate needs, desires, and hurts. Right?
This also means that your actions mean something. Right?
I guess I can stop adding “right?” to everything and just get to the fucking point.
You have to allow yourself to be apart of a group dynamic if you are going to be poly even if your intention is only to have intimate sexual relations with just one person in the group.
You have to take responsibility for your actions at all times. You can’t assume that what you say or do has no repercussions to the group. You cannot pretend “it’s their problem” and walk away from what you have done.
You have to communicate. Period. If you cannot do this you cannot build the trust needed to make polyamory work. PERIOD.
If you cannot do these things then you need to get the fuck out. PERIOD.
So let’s take a look at things:
What does it mean being a part of a group? Basically it means that you interact with everyone in the group, consider their feelings and make a conscious effort to keep the machine, the group, moving in the direction of the common goal, happiness.
This is such a broad concept with so many details that we tend to skip over them because like I said, it’s a broad concept. But don’t let that stop you from trying to figure things out.
One of the things everyone in a poly relationship should be doing is figuring out what drives the machine, what interactions are required and what keeps everyone happy most of the time.
This basically means you have to get to know everyone in the group on a one on one basis. Everyone should have a minimal comradely relationship. You don’t need to fuck, but you need to like each other beyond tolerance.
If you are just “tolerating” anyone in the group, shit is going to fly and you’re never going to know in what direction.
The ideal in a poly dynamic is a sense of family, being on the same team, of everyone having your back, standing by your side, basically everyone should be able to trust the entire group.
Levels of trust will differ depending on the type of interaction, lovers, friends and the level of need required by each individual. You may need tons of proof for trust. Another member may need nothing more than your word. (Neither is more noble than the other.)
How do you get trust? Well hell, you know the answer to that.
Communication is always the answer and if you can’t dive into the sense of group enough to give that then things are doomed.
Okay so taking responsibility for your actions and words….
I’ve talked about this one before. Basically most, if not everything, you do or say in the group means something to someone. And if those things are taken wrong, it doesn’t absolve you from having done them. Does it make you a prick or a bitch? Depends.
Sometimes we say thoughtless things.
“She looked better yesterday.”
Is this necessarily a bad statement?
No, it’s not. It might mean she looks good today, but not as good as she did yesterday. Someone might see the meaning as “ She looks bad today.”
Something like that is in the ear of the listener. One can explain what they mean and it never be heard. The original speaker just needs to apologize even if they didn’t mean harm. It doesn’t cost anyone anything and everyone can move on.
That’s taking responsibility for the group dynamic and allowing it to function beyond personal pride. Every one in the group should be doing this.
Now if that statement was made with a snide tone an apology is needed. Things may have to be discussed further depending on the matter and also the frequency of such tonalities.
Tone means everything and if a speaker is consistent in offensive tones the speaker needs to change the habit even if they don’t mean it. Why?
For one, offensive tones can cause trouble. It can make a neutral statement sound combative. This would require constant explanation and apology by the speaker. Over time, the explanations and apologies would mean nothing because repeat apologies now sound like bullshit. It now sounds like the speaker intends insult.
Repeat offenses, even if unintentional, stop being unintentional.
It now becomes thoughtless and negligent regardless of what the speaker thinks. For the speaker to continuously state “it’s their problem” is a clear statement to everyone in the group:
The speaker does not care enough to change an offensive habit and does not care about group stability. The speaker is more concerned about themselves because a repetition of this action WILL cause resentment. Resentment causes the dynamic to lose focus from its common goal,
If the speaker can’t drop the ego on the matter or continues not to see that they are now the problem then that person can kiss their involvement in the group goodbye or in some cases, the entire group will dissolve. Basically, bye bye love fest.
So what needs to happen? Well, it all revolves around the dreaded word “Communication”.
I think people forget that communication is a complicated thing. They forget it’s not just hearing the words, but understanding the words and going beyond understanding and taking action.
“You hurt me because (XXXXXX)”
“Ok, I’m sorry.”
“You hurt me again because (XXXXXX).”
“Ok, I’m sorry.”
“You hurt….” You get the idea right?
Either A, communication hasn’t occurred or B, the person doing the hurting doesn’t give a fuck. If they don’t give a fuck, we need to find out why and work that kink out. Is it a communication problem or something else? Is this retaliation from some pervious incident?
In ANY scenario, people need to talk. They need to express pain, hurt, reasons, etc. Everyone one needs to be heard. Everyone needs the catharsis. EVERYONE needs to be ready to dish it and take it.
It sucks ass sometimes, but it’s needed. If the group cannot withstand effective communication then it’s not strong enough to bare the weight of itself. Essentially, it will fail and people will get hurt.
If two people, lovers, friends, family cannot talk to each other, listen to each other and hear the good as well as the bad then they aren’t what they think they are. Lovers listen and take it. Friends fight and come back to each other. Family stands by you no matter what.
This doesn’t mean you get to shit on people. It doesn’t mean “It’s their problem and if they turn their backs on me then they don’t love me.”
What it means is that everyone, EVERYONE, has to take responsibility for what they say and do. They have to modify their behavior if that behavior consistently causes pain or stress to one or more of the group. If they don’t that person isn’t a part of the group and doesn’t have the group in mind. They only have themselves and if this is the case then they need to drop out.
(And remember, polyamory is a group of one on one interactions interplaying with one of two, two on one, three on one, etc, etc. In the end it’s the group, but you are a piece of the group.)
Posted by ~ I at 9:35 AM 2 comments
communication has never been a strong suit for me. Especially if I feel defensive. One of my faults is that I take things personally. The other day LR told me that one of the things she wants to wrk on in our relationship is better communication. Well we all know that she is great at communicating her thoughts,desires, needs. So of course that only leaves me as being the problem.
Now Im on the defensive, trying to defend and protect myself. I shut up and retreat into myself. I havent spoken more then nessecary in a day now. Every time I open my mouth ........... Well lets just say that the fight gets bigger.
Communication should be a easy thing right? You get to tell people how you feel and what you need. Then why is it so fucking hard for me to do?
Im not a quitter but I have to wonder......Whats the best thing for everyone involved?...........
Well, don't apologize for who you are. As much as 'communication' is important, it's equally important to feel free to be yourself. When we are trying to do the best we can (and that has to be genuine) that too needs acknowledgment. There's nothing that can sink someone's efforts any quicker than feeling constant pressure to achieve some loosely defined level of anything when you are really breaking a sweat doing what you can already !
This can even slide in under the heading we talk so much about - a desire to minimize competition while working towards a common best solution for everyone.
Maybe you are a little insecure about communication stuff - where you've already tagged yourself as a poor communicator ? Maybe it's an unjustified label ? Just like there's little black & white in other stuff in life, there's not just good & bad at communicating. There's a zillion levels of gray in between.
The key to good friendships/relationships etc is to allow space for everyone's strengths and weaknesses. You try to boost someone where you can, but can't (or shouldn't) turn a little assistance into a project to make someone into something they aren't - UNLESS they are requesting it.
Maybe if you all just take a deep breath and clear the air about what may be misconceptions you'll discover that you're concern is unjustified.
But she's not. This is from her own personal blog, where it's all about HER. :)
As I've pointed out before on here, it's COMMON practice to put on the front page of a blog the disclaimers about this being about "me" and not "everyone".
But it's not something that needs to be repeated in each post. It would waste a lot of space for me to copy ALL of that stuff instead of just the post that I was interested in; so I don't.
I like the fact that she really holds herself accountable for these responsibilities in a relationship.
I like that she's forthright also in the fact that not doing so has consequences-and those consequences affect everyone, not just the person whose not holding themself accountable.
arg, the tone of this post annoys me slightly. The implied communication request is to always communicate based on the person who is offended the easiest.
I think you could simplify this by simply saying everyone needs to communicate to the other in the group understanding other peoples communication style.
Why is the onus put almost exclusively on the talker.
Expanding on Ariakas's point
I'm with Ari on this one, without being against LR/PolyGrrl (the author of the post being referenced). I've been in situations like Ari's concerned about, where the person who is the most sensitive drives the group and makes the majority uncomfortable, and won't compromise or even acknowledge that everyone else is bending over backwards. It's rough stuff for everyone (except perhaps the person who's stopped up the works), and it's what keeps me from supporting the "go at the pace of the weakest member" strategy in general.
The poly community, at least in its talk (if not its walk), tends to be better than most about acknowledging that the person with an issue needs to own up to it: "Here's the context for why that triggered me. I want you to hear that I feel this way, and then when I'm calm I want to talk about next steps." I think that makes us awesome!
Also, Autumnal: I'm curious to hear more about your issue with the blog poster. What about it don't you think will work for everyone? (I've already admitted that I'm with Ariakas that it's not a perfect post, so the concern is largely philosophical.) I'd love to hear specifics, if you're willing to share. :)
Edit: This is my hundredth post on here! ::throws confetti::
I agree with Autumnal and Ariakas on this one LR, she bugs.... this is what got me going....
"The ideal in a poly dynamic is a sense of family, being on the same team, of everyone having your back, standing by your side, basically everyone should be able to trust the entire group."
I understand that this is her blog, but perhaps it may be best on a forum, when posting something from someones blog, to add that this is her opinion at the beginning of the post and remind the readers that this is the way with blogs? Just a thought, it would of helped me to be reminded of that anyway.
As for you Maca, you are much more communicative than a lot of poly folks I have met in complicated relationship dynamics. I applaud you for how much you actually do communicate on here actually!
So, what I find it interesting about what she says is this....
First of all I find it uncanny that you should post this thread LR and be thinking of this at the same time I posted my thread on "cowboys/girls."
Here is the link.... http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2894
I see so many similarities to my thought process on this, yet different at the same time. I hadn't thought of it in light of your situation. I am not trying to say that anyone in your family is a cowboy/girl but hope you will be interested in how it relates just the same.
I like the points she makes about people not dropping their ego and saying that it's someone else's problem... I wonder if cowboys/girls have this attitude to.
Also the bits about "tolerating" people in a tribe... oh so interesting. I have not come across this, but would have such a hard time with someone like this phantom person. I wonder sometimes what I would do about it. I really don't know. Again, would a cowboy/girl be tolerated and to what point?
I wholeheartedly agree, in a poly tribe/constellation types of poly, it is completely necessary to be not only tolerant but be a team player in terms of the harmony and happiness of the group (synergy). Otherwise, like she says, "it’s not strong enough to bare the weight of itself"
I think I might cut and paste some thoughts from here to there... hope you don't mind, they will all be my own.
a bit late, but who cares
I don't think anybody would be surprised that my opinion of the author is low, and here's why, while everything may sound fine and it sounds like good theory, that is assuming that everyone has the same belief system on what constitutes being a person who strives to do the right thing, a fair person, a honest person, a person who cares about others and would at least think twice before fucking over someone just because they don't identify as poly.
Of course people would have no problem saying "NO I will stand behind a family member no matter what"
as in when it becomes clear someone is gaslighting another and yet denies he is even doing it, or even if it is so subtle that it cannot be proven (however when someone not "in on it" picks up on whats going on, it pretty much is the judge and jury's verdict that it ain't being subtle enough) and so NO, I would not continue to back such a person no matter what.
Yes definitely no matter at the first sign of an emergency, but only because I would always give family the benefit of doubt. Yes I would have their back , but upon realizing that abuse was happening and after repeatly using the family's good name, and the safety that a family brings and taking that for granted and advantage to do fucked up things simply because I had different views on what is a matter of opinion?
when that becomes a pattern, fuck no I would not continue to back up a person who continuously abuses a position within the family or one's work.
What if the supposedly cowboy/cowgirl is not, but rather an innocent bystander who unbeknownst to them got involved with a "poly" person who not only neglected to tell them, but essentially denied that would even be a possibility
and further more, I have witnessed some pretty fucked up shit that I would not condone if it the person was a full on family wrecking cowperson as I don't believe in stooping becoming an abuser to deal with an abuser, the same way I don't believe in becoming a criminal in order to fight crime.
sure, when all else fails and it comes down to that or nothing and doing nothing will mean death of someone and it is either you or him, but how many times are people willing to let the same person kill again claiming to be completely innocent and acting purely in self-defense?
what it comes down to, is the your beliefs in regards to equality. If they tables were turned do you suddenly not think your beliefs on the what is right and what's wrong suddenly change?
Do you not believe everyone deserves a safe place wherein they do not have to give up there privacy and if you don't believe in privacy how honest would you believe you are ethically required to divulge such info.
We all know the difference between right and wrong, and anyone who says they don't is not only lying to themselves, but they are lying to you too. And they can't be honest with themselves about when they are doing wrong that is bullshit that you should feel imposed upon by them daring to imply that you need to back them up because of they are family.
That is the whole point of being able to choose your family as opposed to the one you are born into. Which is why it is so wrong to have these bullshit rules about who you are allowed to offer to share your love and life with should they choose to accept it
Yeah some things aren't always black and white, but most people whether they admit it or not know damn well when they are closer to the wrong side than the right side, and if your are closer to the wrong you better have some fucking explicit consent from the person you are wronging or else I will tell you myself to fuck off
so all those words are just fine and dandy, but only when you share at least similar beliefs of what is ethical, fair, wrong, right, and the lines that if crossed without consent constitutes abuse, what it means to practice honesty because the "truth" is not something that is debatable
then yes, everything is right on the money
it could also be the case that those beliefs allow for a predator, maniupulator, and an uncaring cold hearted person has involved you in destroying the life of someone you loved under the impression you were helping, it's too bad you weren't given all of the details because you never would have been a part of that destruction, but because of your upbringing you were taught that being homosexual is a sin, so you are just looking out for there best interest because you care
no you were lied to, and bought all those lies as truth
no you were lied to and you mistook all the hatred for love, and even a two year old could see right through that major fuck up
but we are human and we make mistakes, so now that it is more clear does the offender fall to knees and weep for all the destructions and completely unnecessary damage afflicted to innocent peoples lives?
or does the guilt cause them to become even more vicious and ravenous to do more harm
it's not the first mistake that counts, it is what you do afterword, and in the case of the most fuct of the fucked up, yes a person's ability to agree to matters of ethics which is what is essentially deemed a matter of honesty and respect, if they refuse to even see those lines are crossed, they need to be detained and I am sorry but after a certain point when it becomes clear they cannot even at the very least respect truth, they willing choose hell, and if you all do too, then I will go somewhere else, as I know what I know, and these things I do know
I re-read the whole thread twice.
I don't get what made you think anyone was suggesting that anyone should put up with abuses or that anyone should blindly trust?
In fact-the original post was arguing that we shouldn't blindly trust-but that we should be proactive in finding out if trust is warranted and in earning it.....
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