Appropriate Deference or Special Relationship
I’ve noticed that all1 my relationships (whether with individuals or groups) fall neatly into only one of two categories:
- Nonspecial relationships, of which there are:
- Special relationships
For which there are correspondingly only 2 options for me:
- Withdraw (explaining what is happening if appropriate)4
This is fantastic because if there are no other options, there is nowhere for my masking5 or specialness to hide. If I am unwilling to say “I am entitled to your respect and obedience”6 or to withdraw, then I know it must be a special relationship: there is work for me to do; truth to tell; grievances to forgive. On the other hand if I can’t find any work to do; the relationship seems complete; nothing to say; I could leave now in peace, then I know what must be done: either insist on appropriate deference or simply withdraw.
So now I will be paying far less attention to those who would waste it, and devoting that attention to:
- completion and forgiveness of my special relationships - generally family, old friends and people I have to interact with in my daily life because of bodily needs.
- leisure activities alone7
- fellow travellers who respect and obey (but do not worship) me.
The same applies to inanimate objects in a way. All my possessions I either:
- like and want8; or
- haven’t forgiven.
at least, of the 20+ I’ve considered so far ↩
anyone with greater insight than me, with whom I don’t have a special relationship, would be in this category ↩
except in the edge case where they do have appropriate deference ↩
the error that leads to me to disguise light in me ↩
or in the less common case of error 2: expose all my flaws to them so that they can see I’m as human as them - or some other approach I haven’t figured out yet ↩
this is really fucking important and something I keep neglecting because so much socially meaningful stuff keeps happening ↩
Marie Kondo would say only keep things that ‘spark joy’ ↩