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:

  1. Nonspecial relationships, of which there are:
    • Time/attention wasters2
      1. whose respect and obedience I don’t have; or
      2. who are worshipful/in awe of me
    • People with appropriate deference (very unusual)3
  2. Special relationships

For which there are correspondingly only 2 options for me:

  1. Withdraw (explaining what is happening if appropriate)4
  2. Forgive/complete

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:

  1. like and want8; or
  2. haven’t forgiven.
  1. at least, of the 20+ I’ve considered so far 

  2. If you want to avoid wasting my time/attention (and yours): do the reading (which at the very least should include The Disappearance of the Universe and Radical Honesty) before talking to me. 

  3. anyone with greater insight than me, with whom I don’t have a special relationship, would be in this category 

  4. except in the edge case where they do have appropriate deference 

  5. the error that leads to me to disguise light in me 

  6. 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 

  7. this is really fucking important and something I keep neglecting because so much socially meaningful stuff keeps happening 

  8. Marie Kondo would say only keep things that ‘spark joy’ 

Forgive, and you will see this differently.