A Quick Note About Stuff and Things 5-31-2016

stuff and things

(Image/samantharosling.tumblr.com)

Hey guys.

I had an unusually busy and not-super-fun weekend at a car dealership. I’ve decided that buying cars is one of my least favorite things.

I wanted to write a post today, but Time is being an inconsiderate jerkface, so I’m unable to. I’m writing this fake post instead just to say hi, and tell you random things you might not care about.

1. Read ‘Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person’

Alain de Botton wrote this extremely thought-provoking piece which ran in the New York Times Sunday, and I thought it was really interesting. Also, several people I know in real life or through the blog shared it with me, so it clearly has appeal with the kinds of people who read things here.

British author de Botton is the founder of the London-based School of Life which is dedicated to All The Things we discuss here, and is geared toward helping people “Develop Emotional Intelligence.” Frankly, I’m embarrassed I didn’t know about The School of Life before this past weekend, because it only took watching the 90-second intro video for me to realize their mission to help people with all the life stuff we don’t learn formally or informally as children is something easy for me to get behind.

2. Reader Lynda asks: ‘What Are You Going to Say to Your Son?’

What we teach our children about healthy relationships is THE key to changing the world RE: How to stop having crappy, dysfunctional relationships, and keep couples and families together.

Her specific question was this: “My question for you is what are you going to say to your son to teach him how to have a healthy relationship as he grows up? What seeds are you going to plant to help break the cycle? I have only a few years left with my boys under my roof to teach them what they need to know, and I don’t want to feel like they are doomed, given the family history. What are your thoughts?”

It’s a great question, and will be a post in the near future.

3. How Do We Rank Living Things?

You probably heard about the gorilla that was shot and killed by zoo workers this past weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo while rescuing a 4-year-old boy who crawled under a fence and fell into the gorilla exhibit while his mother’s back was turned.

The internet lost its mind, and after watching a minute or two of video on Facebook, everyone suddenly became experts on gorilla behavior with small human children.

Harambe, a 17-year-old, 419-pound male western lowland silverback gorilla died tragically having done no wrong. You’ll read no heartless commentary from me on his passing.

Animal lovers globally were weighing in on whether the gorilla should have been shot or tranquilized, and questioned whether the life of one human of which there are 7.4 billion should be valued over the life of a rare and endangered silverback gorilla.

I have a variety of thoughts on the matter, but there’s really just ONE question I’m most interested in exploring: How do we rank the value of life?

Are we wrong to automatically rank humans over animals? What about certain animals over others? What about certain people over others?

We must, and will, discuss.

4. Do Women Complain More Than Men?

I might be misremembering, but I think I read MBTTTR commenter Linbo ask this over the weekend, in the spirit of: “Are wives sometimes too demanding of their husbands? Are women more likely to complain about something than men? If so, why?”

I think that’s another post and discussion to be had.

5. Try Brain Surfing. It’s Fun.

This month, I had the good fortune to cross digital paths with author and brand strategist Heather LeFevre. She wrote a kick-ass marketing strategy-travelogue hybrid book called Brain Surfing The Top Marketing Strategy Minds in the World” which I’m in the middle of and liking very much. If you’re in the marketing world and/or are passionate about international travel, you’ll like it because it’s exceptionally creative and offers crucial insight to business owners and marketers about brand empathy, community building and storytelling. 

6. Please Root for the Cleveland Cavaliers to Win the NBA Finals

Pretty please, and thank you.

7. Watch ‘Bloodline’ if You Have Netflix

I’m serious. Season 2 just recently released. That’s just a good life tip you can thank me for later. Check it out here.

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118 thoughts on “A Quick Note About Stuff and Things 5-31-2016

  1. shannon says:

    What are you going to say to your son? Mine was a teenager and a stepson and I was his confidant as his heart was being broken for the first time. I told him this “You have a choice. You can avoid pain for as long as possible and probably keep an unhealthy relationship for awhile, or you can feel pain now and learn how to either let go of or create a healthy relationship”. Then we both went to bed in tears. Amazing how different people turn out when they learn things when they are young.

    Like

  2. I am a big animal lover so will be curious to read that discussion. Of course I find the alarm over one orang very imbalanced considering so many eat meat each day and those animals are far more abused than zoo animals.

    And thanks for alerting me to the School of Life. I will definitely be looking into that and sharing it around! What a great idea.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      We are humans, so it makes sense that we’ll prioritize human life in this situation. That I don’t have much issue with. But frankly, I find it so very arrogant and gross that we capture, enclose and breed wild animals so that we can amuse ourselves. That I take issue with. Ok, maybe the Zoo is doing good preservation work, maybe they do treat the animals well, I don’t know, but still, as a general thing I do not like it at all.

      I say, let’s limit our human population (1 or 2 child policy world wide, I’m not kidding), preserve natural habitats and just leave these animals alone. This gorilla didn’t ask to be in the Zoo, he’s there because of human choices, and now he’s dead. No one is at fault but humans. Eating animals (who are treated decently!) is one thing, but just having them to look and point at as quite another in my mind. We can live rich lives without having wild animals in captivity to entertain us. I live in a city, and I see so much beautiful animal life. Little birdies, squirrels, ducks… No need for a Zoo in my mind.

      Like

  3. anitvan says:

    Ha! Real-time blogging. I like it. I’ve always wondered What Matt Thinks About while killing time at the car dealership. Next up, real-time blogging from the laundromat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linbo says:

      Anitavan!
      Pop quiz! Name this tune:
      “30 dirty birds, sitting on the curb, chirping and burping,eating dirty bird worms. Along comes Herbie from 33rd and 3rd…boy, was he disturbed. ”
      Think Waaaayyyyy back..:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • anitvan says:

        Whoa! That IS way back! I know my Chilis when I hear ’em

        Like

      • 'Becca says:

        Red Hot Chili Peppers used those words in a song, but they didn’t make them up. It’s a traditional chant for demonstrating a Brooklyn accent. My grandfather knew it from his childhood–he was born in 1917, so waaaayyyy back indeed! Here are several variations.

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        • Linbo says:

          ‘Becca
          Ha! That’s great. I didnt realize that, but it makes a heck of a lot of sense. :) Its said in a very heavy Brooklyn accent.

          Like

        • Linbo says:

          ‘Becca,
          Wait a second…it’s just now dawning on me…they had a chant to make their accent more Brooklyn-ized? (not a real word : P)
          Now that is interesting. I wonder why they wanted to do that?

          Like

          • 'Becca says:

            Well, having grown up in Oklahoma happily singing “If I Had the Wings of a Pioneer” with the most Okie accent possible (“Eef Ah haid thuh wangs uv uh pahhnair”), I think that kind of thing serves a number of functions for people whose normal speaking style is not the local accent or is a weak accent: It’s a way to get in gear when you’re going to be with people who have stronger accents and you want to fit in. It’s a way to make fun of the accent. And it’s just fun to do. :-) My grandpa did have a noticeable NYC accent but not so much Brooklyn; he would turn on the Brooklynese more when selling things to people who had strong Brooklyn accents because the fellow-feeling made them more likely to buy.

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  4. Lisa Gottman says:

    The research reveals that women do complain more.
    Why?

    1. Because they have more legitimate things to complain about. Far less husbands are willing to accept the wife’s influence than the other way around so she has to keep requesting change to restore balance to the Force.

    2. Because they are usually more adept at identifying relationship issues that need to be addressed.

    Happily married women do not adapt but effectively set boundaries part of which is “complaining” (as opposed to criticism which is about blaming him as a person not asking for behavioral change).

    Like

    • Lisa Gottman says:

      By the way, women are more adept at relationship identifying issues mostly because they have been TAUGHT which gets back to your point about teaching your son.

      Like

    • Linbo says:

      Lisa,
      I thought your previous answer held a lot of validity, although I don’t know if there is actual research to prove it.
      You said “Gottman frames it mostly in power terms. Women are looking to share decision making power that is often unilaterally, often unconsciously, given or taken by her husband. He will often just do what he wants without the considering how it impacts her. So she has to “discuss it.”

      This is really something I didn’t consider, since I don’t run into it at home (other environments, yes- but for the most part, I thought we were living in the 21st century..lol :)
      But, thinking about it – I know its true.
      An example is from my bff and her hubby. They tend to be really well balanced – she is good at boundaries, and he is good at empathy (for the most part). But a few years ago- he sold their house without discussing it with her.
      That is a BIG decision. He did it because he it was part of his “plan” to move them forward and he knew she would be really reluctant, so- he didn’t talk about it. He just did it.

      That is not a good example of how partnerships work. It ended up ok, but yeah- for a minute there it could have been a complete disaster. I don’t think that it still bothers her, but it could be one of those wounds that is reopened later.

      Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo you said: “An example is from my bff and her hubby. They tend to be really well balanced – she is good at boundaries, and he is good at empathy (for the most part). But a few years ago- he sold their house without discussing it with her.
        That is a BIG decision. He did it because he it was part of his “plan” to move them forward and he knew she would be really reluctant, so- he didn’t talk about it. He just did it.”

        Yeah that’s pretty friggin disrespectful in a big way. How is that even possible unless the house was not in her name as well as his? This is part of the “not accepting influence” research I am always talking about.

        Are you sure she’s good at boundaries and he’s good at empathy? It doesn’t sound like an empathetic point of view to just push his agenda knowing she wouldn’t like it.

        And If my husband sold a house without my agreement, there would be some serious serious issues to discuss before I “moved forward” with him.

        But everyone’s marriage is different. Perhaps they found a way to heal it and develop better patterns that you see now.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Lisa,
          I should clarify- He brought it up, she said no. He signed a contract with a buyer anyway, which is still binding, but they hadn’t sold it yet. She finally did concede, but still- he made a really big decision without her.
          It was incredibly disrespectful, believe me it was a huge issue.
          She didn’t just lie down. She was very clear how she took this.
          But the extenuating circumstances where this-
          She loved the house (And it was very pretty, with land and huge windows and everything.)
          However-
          She was pregnant with a 2nd child, and the house wasn’t big enough
          He was 1 year in to owning his own business
          They could get almost double what they paid for the home
          There were a few things that would have cost $$ to fix, and it wasn’t worth the investment.
          It made more financial sense to sale the house.
          He felt they needed to take action while they could, and she needed to get used to the idea.

          I am pretty sure this was the first infraction of this kind.

          2 years later, I am pretty sure she thinks it was the right decision, even if It was done the wrong way. She told me a while ago she was feeling better about it.

          She now lives about 4.5 minutes away from me (Bonus!!)
          They are closer to other things that are important to them,
          they have extra cash, ect. ect.

          It was kind of like he just didn’t give her time to accept it.

          I know this is an example of “not accepting influence”, that is why I brought it up.
          But yes, I know for the most part he listens, and accepts influence. I have seen him do it!!
          I’m not saying its not work. She has to be very clear about things.
          Recently he was re-modeling their bathroom, among about a dozen other projects, and the bathroom was not at the top of the list.
          She had to set down boundaries. He had to listen. The bathroom was completed.
          (I am going to stop giving real life examples at this point, because I feel like I am telling too much of their life!!)

          There are issues, even within good marriages.
          But they are both willing to work on it. I think that is what counts.
          And, they do still enjoy being with each other- which counts even more!

          Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo,

        I think your friends story reminded me of someone I know whose husband buys and sells houses without her consent. And then tells her it’s for her own benefit.

        As I’m sure you’ll agree that doesn’t matter at all. It is unilaterally taking decisions without the other person’s consent. That is the problem.

        Then if the finances are beneficial, it is “proof” that the betrayal was a good idea. Uh no, as I tell my friend all the time. Betrayal is never a good idea. Even if it makes a billion dollars in the transaction.

        Two different things are going on. One is the betrayal of trust, secondarily is whatever the actual decision was about.

        I am not thinking here of your friend but mine who doesn’t allow herself to see or acknowledge the betrayal.

        It is part of her acceptance of gaslighting that she sees it as his trying to financially provide. I get weary of hearing it.

        It’s none of my business how people choose to live (as I continually try to convince myself) but it is part of women allowing men to treat them as less than full autonomous adults in my opinion.

        It does not make it better in my view if it is done “for their benefit”. It actually makes it worse than if the guy owned his shit and boldly declared he did it because he wanted to. At least that would eliminate the gaslighting.

        Again, I am not thinking of your friend but my experiences with these situations. I get so, so weary of hearing her describe how wrong she is to feel unhappy with his unilateral decisions. Sigh.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Lisa,
          I agree how the decision was made was wrong. I know that she agrees that how the decision was made was wrong. And I think he gets why the how making the decision that way was wrong.
          Maybe there was some unintentional gaslighting, but I do believe he was looking at the next 3 steps on “The plan” and she wasn’t. I can empathize.
          I am a planner, too- so I know how that goes. It is easy and clear cut in my mind, and those darn emotions and wants of anyone else get in the way. It’s easier to just override them.

          What he did was absolutely wrong.
          I think everyone is on the same page with that- but it took the conflict and confrontation to establish just what happened, so that it could be established that “this wont happen again.”

          My lingering thought, though, goes to the emotional labor of it all.
          He is a good guy. I am his friend, too. We don’t talk as much as she and I do, but we do have our own relationship. He, I and the ukulele have had some really good conversations.
          But, I think living with someone, being married to someone, its like being in a 3 legged race.
          You really have to coordinate your steps, you really have to intentionally be in step with one another in order to get to the finish line without tripping over each other and falling down.
          & You can almost always anticipate falling down.
          I’m wondering how much does the emotional labor of getting up and continuing weigh on marriage happiness and contentment.
          Without casting blame on he or she, how much does the wear and tear of life diminish the will to keep going.
          They have been married a little over 10 years. I tend to think they will make it. I hate it when they argue. Seriously, I am invested in their relationship to a significant extent.
          Do men need to be more proactive to reduce the emotional labor of women standing up for themselves?
          Has Gottman done any research to that end?

          Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo,

        I said the accepting influence research not to say that you didn’t understand that selling the house was in that definition.

        It was an attempt to answer your wondering if there was research to support my paragraph about the power differential necessitating women “discussing” their husband’s unilateral decisions.

        I should have been less lazy and made it clear what I was trying to say with an extra sentence or two. ;).

        That the unilateral decision making is part of the definition of not accepting influence that is far, far more common is husbands. And there is research to confirm that.

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        Lisa,
        I think I was writing my last post as you were posting yours.
        – I actually wrote the question about research before going back and looking at your entire response (Speaking of laziness!!) Which did include your comment that Gottman did talk about power differentials.
        That’s why it clicked.
        Even with my very “progressive” friends, some of the old male dominance prevails.
        There is no denying it.

        On a different subject. Again about laziness, I have been being a huge perpetrator of this, I apologize.
        I wrote a comment about the Proverbs 31 woman that said there could be several different characteristics of the women. I wrote this by memory, too.
        I did go look it up and it is a poem (And blessing) read to the women (whether they are present or not) every Friday evening for Sabbath. It is always the same poem, though.
        The point I was trying to make, though, was that it was a celebration by the husband to the wife. It wasn’t a list of demands that the woman had to live up to in order be viewed as worthy, which is what many take it as.

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo,

        I did appreciate very much your comment about Proverbs 31 being misinterpreted and misused often today in many church environments. I always questioned the way it was used. It didn’t even sense to me on the surface level of reading it because she is a “businesswoman” etc.

        But I was exposed to the Jewish use of it as a blessing through Jewish friends and later also read many other books that confirmed to me that the common understanding is misguided at best.

        I have recommended Rachel Held Evan’s book A Year Of Biblical Womanhood to friebds who have been taught this as a way to understand that they don’t have to live under that distorted definition of “womanhood”. Have you encountered it?

        Because I have always been a little outside the feminine norm (there are advantages to being weird ;) )I don’t struggle as much with this but I have seen many who do. It always makes me sad.

        I am always perplexed by people who think that “theories” don’t matter. Here is a case in point. If you start from a wrong beginning you will end up in the wrong place. Always good in my view to question the theoretical framing to see if the beginning is valid.

        Because of wrong theological interpretations that then get further distorted by cultural specific applications, women get fed a regular diet of guilt and shame (using Brene Brown definitions :) ) that are the opposite of the original meaning.

        I can imagine in Texas you hear the Proverbs 31 thing a lot.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Lisa,
          You asked “I have recommended Rachel Held Evan’s book ‘Year of Biblical Womanhood’ to friends who have been taught this as a way to understand that they don’t have to live under that distorted definition of “womanhood”. Have you ever encountered it?”
          Have I ever encountered Rachel Held Evans’s book, or the distorted definition of womanhood?…Yes to both. :)
          There are also a few Jewish websites that talk about “The Woman of Valor”.

          I never adopted the “Emphasized feminine” view of women and femininity. Docile, dependent, demure- I have never been those things. Largely because my mom taught me to never depend on anyone. (Which I don’t think is right either, I think interdependence is essential, but…)

          Growing up in Houston, I never thought much about it. But, living in, but not quite fitting in, to a small conservative town I can see the marked differentiation between what is considered masculine and feminine.
          The last few years it has become more apparent to me that me being a single woman really means I don’t have a say in things in my church, and that I am actually considered a second rate citizen. I am not treated with respect by some.

          I know a girl who recently got married, and the next time I saw her she was wearing a shirt that said “Wifey” on it. I don’t know, but that just hit me all wrong. Ugh!
          I guess if that is your aspiration, then great. But it did seem somehow demeaning and sexist.

          You mentioned theories. I agree theories are important. You can end up in the wrong place. For instance (and there may be some rock throwing with me saying this…)
          I think maybe the hierarchal view of “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” isnt exactly accurate.
          That sets us up for a hierarchal view of men and women.
          I know there are scriptures that talk about a man being the head of a woman, I need to go look that up and review-
          but, the point is NO- a man is not more important or more right.
          Decisions that effect both people need to be discussed by both people.

          I have no doubt that this is true.

          Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo You said: I’m wondering how much does the emotional labor of getting up and continuing weigh on marriage happiness and contentment.

        Without casting blame on he or she, how much does the wear and tear of life diminish the will to keep going….

        Do men need to be more proactive to reduce the emotional labor of women standing up for themselves?”

        I believe you have summed it up. The absolute exhaustion at running a three legged race with someone who constantly pulls you in their direction.

        You have to spend so much of your energy trying to stay on an even path not to constantly live his preferred life with his preferred choices. Often nor having your needs even acknowledged as valid.

        I say this as a woman who is married to a really good guy who does not easily accept my influence. I certainly have my problem areas too but I am accustomed to accommodating others needs. I know how to do it and expect others to do the same.

        He, like many men, doesn’t know how to do it and finds it “controlling” to be asked to in many cases. Most especially if not done with “words of affirmation” acknowledging his many sacrifices to date. And how grateful I am for him to consider my request.

        That is what has been so shocking to me as a married woman. I experienced sexism in my childhood and in my work life but I dealt with those just fine.

        But when I became a wife, it absolutely shocked me how dehumanizing it often was. How many people thought my needs shouldn’t matter as much as my husband.

        And how much this good man was willing to ignore my requests or needs. Even when I was in the hospital. It was something I couldn’t relate to as a single woman ( this is not a commentary on you in any way but just my story)

        It is not that I could not take care of myself. I absolutely can not is the dehumanizing disrespect of it all that is hard to deal with.

        Like being asked to sit at the back of the bus. My needs ride in the back while his ride in the front.

        I understand why women file for divorce at a much higher rate. I understand it in a way now I didn’t then.

        For many women, it is to get your humanity back. Your mental and physical health back. Your dignity back.

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        “I understand why women file for divorce at a much higher rate. I understand it in a way now I didn’t then.

        For many women, it is to get your humanity back. Your mental and physical health back. Your dignity back.”

        I am wondering if there are other women who relate to this or if they have a different experience. Any feedback would be appreciated.

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        Lisa,
        I am going to let others pipe in on your question about regaining your sense of humanity.
        You’re right, as a single person it is difficult for me to understand what the actual experience is of being discounted by someone you married, who is supposed to bring you all this happiness and joy, who is supposed to love you, and this being done on a continuous basis.
        But, I do know how it feels to be dehumanized. My early 20’s was a practice in this.
        I had no family, my only contact with people was being a “servant”- in the service industry. It was a very dehumanizing experience.
        I just say that to let you know I know the extent of the damage that can occur when you are not viewed as unimportant.
        And I don’t mean that in an egotistical way. Its not that we have to be important “big shots”, but important in that we matter in the least.
        I think it is a human need to know that we matter, our voice matters, our feelings matter, what we do and who we are matters.
        When that gets squashed, so does our humanity.

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        *viewed as unimportant
        or not viewed as important…

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        “I understand why women file for divorce at a much higher rate. I understand it in a way now I didn’t then.

        For many women, it is to get your humanity back. Your mental and physical health back. Your dignity back”

        I believe many many women can relate to this Lisa.

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo and Donkey,

        I appreciate your responses. Linbo I want to emphasize that I was not saying that you could not understand because you are single.

        It is just my story. I did not understand when I was single because I did not understand that many, many “good men” treat their wives this way by default.

        I think other people because of being marginalized in other ways can understand that dehumanizing feeling. You mentioned your server experience made you feel this way.

        I think many different lack of privilege positions can make you feel like you are begging for your humanity.

        I don’t think men understand how much they do this to their wives. If they are a middle class white male frankly they haven’t had to spend their life begging for their humanity.

        It is just given to them by default.

        You know I always try to be empathetic to men and their often disadvantaged positions in many man card fail ways. I really am empathetic. I have a son and I see how it impacts him.

        But today I am just tired and sad and exhausted from fighting for my humanity and dignity in my marriage to a good man.

        I don’t care if he intends it or not. It is his privilege not to intend it. Part of the problem in my opinion.

        To have my needs ride in the damn front of the bus. I am Rosa Parks today in my delusional mind. ;) thinking of myself like her gives me a little dignity back.

        I am trying to change my pattern. It will change the system. I don’t pursue with ideas or apologies or fixes anymore.

        He’s up at bat.

        He’s still withdraws and defends and doesn’t apologize or accept influence in conflicts. I have my problems too of course. It’s a dysfunctional system.

        But is shocking to me even today, how much he is willing to just take care of himself. Shouldn’t be shocking because the research shows that’s what most men default to.

        But it still shocks me. Atkinson’s material says that shock is not helpful. That mature people view these things through the lens of people want what they want by default and that’s normal. You just have to stand up for yourself without making a big deal of it.

        And that’s my problem, it feels like a big deal and I lean towards contempt because of that. Contempt is not good. Worse.

        But hey I’m fricking Rosa Parks today so boundaries are in place and my own needs are my priority now.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Rosa,
          Sorry you’re tired. Take the front seat,Lady. Rest. Go treat yourself to something that gives you life. Thank God/the universe/ whatever for it. Hopefully the shitty stuff won’t be there forever, but it’s a long haul journey. Remember tbe good stuff.
          I’ve got to go break my lazy bone habit before it breaks me! Ttyl.
          ❤️✌️💃
          (Love, peace and cha-cha..:)

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        Linbo,

        You have given several very clear examples of lack of influence and dehumanization. Useful stuff. Kudos! I must say, I’m quite appalled that your church treats singles this way. Is there somewhere else you can go? I’m sure you’ve already considered this though. I hope this blog can at least provide a kind of shower to help cleanse you of the gaslighting/dehumanization.

        Lisa:

        “You have to spend so much of your energy trying to stay on an even path not to constantly live his preferred life with his preferred choices. Often nor having your needs even acknowledged as valid.”

        “He, like many men, doesn’t know how to do it [accept influence] and finds it “controlling” to be asked to in many cases. Most especially if not done with “words of affirmation” acknowledging his many sacrifices to date. And how grateful I am for him to consider my request.”

        “I don’t care if he intends it or not. It is his privilege not to intend it. Part of the problem in my opinion.”

        Painfully true words for many marriages.

        Thank you for calling out bullshit excuses like he was trying to provide by selling their house (to be clear, this is not a criticism of you Linbo, it’s a criticism of the thought process). And I don’t know what was going on with your friends Linbo, so I’m not really talking about them specifically anymore. To use your flowcharts Lisa, it could very well be that his top flowchart question was “what do I think will be best for the family financially”. But the fact that this is the flowchart that’s operating, and not “my wife and I are of equal importance so we must agree on big life decisions” shows that he was dehumanizing her. Like she’s not fully real, like she doesn’t have her own opinions that can be equally valid, or that it’s not as important for her to get her way as it is for him. I know that this is hard for everyone, totally including me, but just because someone disagrees doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

        And I would also like to say, that he might have thought the top question at his flowchart was “what do I think is best for the family financially”, but that could be a cover for (not only the dehumanizing aspect of having that as the top question that I already covered) “what will I be most comfortable with”. And then he somehow convinces himself that his comfort = the best financial desicion. If that’s the case (and again, I’m not talkin about Linbo’s friends anymore, I’m just thinking out loud) that would also show a lot of internalized privilige. Not only does he decide based on what he thinks is best, he equates his comfort as necessarily being the wisest desicion. Wtf.

        You’re preaching to the choir when it comes to not caring that much about intentions (of course it matters sometimes, to some extent). ;). Many men in the Western world, maybe even most men, would fervently deny they’re sexist. “Of course wives should have as much power and influence as husbands in marriage! Of course! It’s just that when my wife wants something different than I want, she’s wrong, so it’s not a sacrifize when she does what I want. She just came to see that I was right”.

        Ugh ugh ugh. Same shit, different package. I agree, it’s better if someone just straight up tells you that they did what they wanted (a Bill). At least they know they’re being selfish, and in that recognition lies the recognition of the other person’s humanity. They understand that two people are of equal value and fairness demands that they should be equally regarded in a relationship, so when you just do what you want without having compromised/negotiated with the other person, you’re being selfish.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          Regarding the church and singles…I don’t think it will change if I go to a different church. Most of them have the same basic rhetoric about women. Especially in this area- it is socially conservative. They aren’t bad people, but they don’t see what they are doing.
          The friend who I mentioned to Marilyn (I don’t know if you read that) was a pastor for 26 years, now he mentors
          Pastors but he also does a lot of work on healing systems- like families, and communities. A big part of that is really viewing women as equal. I look at the work they are doing and applaud it because it really does speak to some of my own struggles. He , and his work partner (Trisha) are pretty influential in a big pond like Houston- but it is still slow moving. It’s the same default male control mindset as with my previous example that they are bringing awareness to. It’s a whole different thing to have others agree, and even if they agree theorhetically, to have it understood at a level that changes behavior is something a long,long way off. But you can find pockets of people- and more than that, you can exert your life and love outside of the traditional church confines. So you can still live out your function,even if who you meet with on Sunday don’t recognize it.

          Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          You said “I hope this blog can at least provide a kind of shower to cleanse you of the gaslighting and dehumanization.”
          Why yes Donkey! It has. I really enjoy talking to you guys. The blog definitely gives me insight- naming things I had no name for (Gaslighting for example.) , and it also gives me courage and hope. It encourages me a lot.
          And, I love making new friends, so that is good too.
          Just want to express gratitude to you guys. <3, <3, <3. :)

          Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Donkey,

        Thank you so much for your comment. You have no idea how much they somehow felt comforting. Maybe the flowchart framing. You know I love that stuff!

        I am just sick of men’s shit today. You know?

        Sick of being offered shit sandwiches. I do love that my husband is very Bill like now and just presents stuff straightforwardly. Yes! Always much better than attempted gaslighting.

        You know how many counselors try to give me the “provider” and “gratitude” shit? A lot, virtually every one has some version of it for me (not him).

        I always say to them that gratitude and providing has nothing to do with this. This is about accepting influence. Simple. See why moral flow charts are so helpful to me when so many people want to feed you sexist shit?

        Hard to give em up cause they’re so helpful to see shit sandwiches.

        I hate people who tell women to be grateful. It’s a sure fire way to guarantee most women remain eating shit.

        Preach gratitude to men all you want, probably quite helpful there. But just not women. Wrong thing to emphasize when so many are treated like shit and then told to be grateful for the less shitty parts of the sandwich.

        Like you said, many men use “providing” as a cover to do what they want. This is true in my friend’s case and others I know.

        Again I’m happy my husband has never tried to feed me that shit. He loves his career and it has very little to do with providing for his family. I’m “grateful” he doesn’t pretend otherwise.

        But I’m tired if his shit. All men’s shit. All of their not accepting influence big pile of shit.

        Since I’ve changed my patterns and I have read the research, it’s actually harder in some ways for me. Because now it is so crystal clear.

        I see how it he escalates conflicts in ways I do not. I see how he seldom apologizes. I see how he withdraws like a little child taking his ball home.

        I’ve got my shit too. Don’t get me wrong. But I accept influence much much more than he does. Especially now that I recognize my reluctance on thinking issues. Now I accept influence there much more than I used to.

        So it’s his choice. But it’s a big load of shit that he hasn’t adjusted more already. And I don’t tolerate it any more. That’s my boundary.

        I don’t give him inspiring speeches, I don’t apologize. I don’t give him ideas. I don’t read books and summarize their ideas because he won’t read them. It’s on him to figure out how to provide energy for the relationship.

        I’m not giving him any more of my energy to feed off of. And I will tell you, it feels damn good to have more energy for myself again.

        Passive people are used to intense people providing the energy. What will they do when they don’t have that choice anymore?

        We shall see. But this I do know. It must change because the system has changed. I have changed my pattern.

        But I’m sick of men’s shit. And I’m sick of the many women I have heard over the years who tell you that shit is just part of their wiring.

        Women need to be grateful for men’s shit because men need respect for their shitty ways. And women need to give them this so she will get the love she needs.

        That’s a load of shit too.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Wow Lisa. You sound really P.O.’d.
          I’m sorry if anything I said made it worse. My thing about gratitude was really aimed at whatever “brought you life”- not necessarily anything related to the marriage or relationship.
          I’m sorry it is sucking so bad, really.

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        Lisa, I’m so glad it was comforting (I worried a bit I was just adding fuel to the fire).

        I have to go now, but a quick thing though, Schnarch talks about borrowed functioning (we all do it to some extent), and I thought about that when you said you weren’t willing to feed him your energy anymore, and that it felt good to have it for yourself.

        By the way, I sent a message to your Lisa Gottman Facebook account a while back (the message isn’t really relevant anymore though, so no need really to comment on it). I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not. And if you just don’t feel like replying for whatever reason, that’s totally your choice of course, I’ll respect that, no worries. But if you do feel like it and just haven’t seen it, it’s there. :)

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo,

        I am mad today. It’s been a long time coming. Things are just much clearer now. Easier to see which part is mine, which part is his.

        You didn’t say anything at all to upset me. I appreciated your encouragement.

        The gratitude crap I am railing against is of a different nature.

        Gratitude is important. Research backs it up and you know I respect the research ;)

        What I am talking about is telling people who are being treated unfairly to be grateful it’s not worse. No. That is not the right advice.

        It is not the right advice to tell people told to sit at the back of the bus to be grateful they are allowed on the bus. Gratitude is not the right advice. Honest outrage at the injustice is the right advice.

        That’s what I am railing against. So many wives are told to be grateful when they should be told to be outraged at the injustice of her husband not accepting influence.

        That is the advice that will save their marriage. Because that is the advice that will cause her to set boundaries to require him to do it it to get counseling before the average of 6 years.

        Telling women to be grateful is part of the reason we have stupid divorces.

        To be fully human is to not be grateful for being treated like shit. Are women human? Do we allow them to be?

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          You’re allowed to be pissed.
          You’re right, telling people they should be grateful while not addressing real issues is pretty much saying that what they are feeling doesn’t count.
          And women do count- whether we are allowed to or not ..:)

          Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        By the way, I sent a message to your Lisa Gottman Facebook account a while back (the message isn’t really relevant anymore though, so no need really to comment on it). I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not. And if you just don’t feel like replying for whatever reason, that’s totally your choice of course, I’ll respect that, no worries. But if you do feel like it and just haven’t seen it, it’s there. :)

        Donkey,

        I will check it and let you know if it’s there. I have to log in separately and it’s a pain on my phone so I don’t do that unless I know someone has left me a message.

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Donkey,

        I found your message and responded! I don’t know why it was in a different folder than my others. Messenger on my Gottman account is weird. I don’t have the energy to figure out why.

        I have to spend all my technonolgy energy keeping my remote controls and tvs and computers halfway working. ;)

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Donkey, You said: ” Schnarch talks about borrowed functioning (we all do it to some extent), and I thought about that when you said you weren’t willing to feed him your energy anymore, and that it felt good to have it for yourself.”

        I want to borrow someone’s functioning for a while myself ;). I’ll take a rest and catch up on Netflix.

        I really like to think of things as systems. It helps me not be so contemptuous and self righteous, which is one of my flaws. Cause you know I’m just right about everything all the time. Flow charts and all. ;)

        I really like Harrriet Lerner’s over functioning and underfunctioning system. Maybe it’s similar to Schnarch’s borrowed functioning.

        One person to sooth anxiety or to feel in control or that they will be judged or whatever becomes the overfunctioner and the other person is left to underfunction.

        It can vary by topic. Many wives over function as primary parent or housekeeper, many husband under function to balance the system.

        The more you overfunction to correct the problem the worse the imbalance becomes. It only changes when someone changes the pattern.

        The overfunctioner stops over functioning, the under functioner stops underfunctioning. Someone sets boundaries to rebalance.

        Many men overfunction at work. Often these smaller systems interrelate as the bigger system adjusts. Just thinking out loud here.

        The system always recalibrates to balance. Only one side has to change for the whole thing to change. Often in unpredictable ways until the balance is restored with new patterns.

        That’s what is happening with my marriage. I overfunctioned in some areas to improve our marriage because that sooths my anxiety.

        I am a problem solver who attacks problems with multiple solutions and volumes of research. I mean I beat the problem until it begs for mercy. Then I beat it some more. And then set it on fire as I walk away with a satisfied smile.

        He does the opposite to sooth his anxiety. Avoids the problem unless absolutely necessary.

        So there’s our dysfunctional system based on different methods to sooth anxiety. I overfunction, he underfunctions. I want him to do more, he wants me to do less or at least ask him to do less.

        So I learned the healthier way instead of trying to control him to just change the system by not over functioning any more.

        It’s hard because it jacks up my anxiety. But that needs to be dealt with in healthier ways.

        I had hoped he would respond to my new pattern with a wonderful new accepting influence pattern. But what I am getting is a much less passive aggressive but more directly irritable guy.

        It’s an improvement frankly because there is nothing on earth I hate more than a passive aggressive under functioner. Yeah not sexy.

        But irritable new guy doesn’t accept my influence either. Sigh. But he’s dealing with his own anxiety being triggered by not borrowing my functioning anymore.

        And having to figure out new patterns for how he cannot put up with my shit while changing his own to be healthier.

        I do like the new pattern better even though it’s not totally healthy. This version of Lisa doesn’t care if he wants to withdraw. That’s his shit not mine.

        I just have to worry about fixing my shit. Not worry about his shit. Much better. Much easier to not overfunction.

        He is adjusting to not under functioning. I’ve got to let him do it his way. Not try and control his pattern as long as he is not disrespectful.

        Set boundaries but not control. That’s my shit to learn. He’s got to do the same but it will look different because he is not me and his is more set boundaries but not avoid.

        Lisa’s not over functioning anymore. The system has changed so he has to change. Should have friggin done it years ago. Wish I knew then what I know now…

        Thanks for letting me externally process this. It makes more sense to me now.

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        I saw the message, I replied, hope you find it. :)

        Yes, underfunctioning and overfunctioning is very interesting. It sounds like you have a lot of clarity about what’s your suff and what’s his, Lisa. That’s good news. I know that that kind of clarity often comes after a very long and painful learning process.

        What I don’t get though, is that sometimes, when an overfunctioner stops overfunctioning, the underfunctioner doesn’t step up. They just keep underfunctioning, maybe in a different way. Maybe they didn’t get enough time? I don’t get it.

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Donkey,

        You ask good questions and it’s not like I’ve got the answers since I’m trying to figure out this stuff applying random theories I’ve read to my own convoluted brain. ;)

        But now that I think about it, it’s the energy that is balanced when the patterns are changed.

        If I quit over functioning by worrying about a topic as “my responsibility to fix” I get that energy back in my head to spend on other my own issues or contemplating world peace.

        That is what I have control over. And it often does change the external problem because I am giving the under functioner a chance to do something different within a new environment. Without feeling controlled.

        They may still underfunction by my standards but they may do more or at least a step towards something different from the old pattern.

        Here’s a small example. My daughter underfunctions in cleaning her room. I used to overfunction thinking it was my job to not allow her to underfunction. To teach her responsibility and organization etc.

        Nothing’s wrong with those goals but she is not me. She doesn’t care about clutter and organization. She doesn’t mind her messy room or that her friends see it.

        So I overfunctioned. I would get mad or clean it myself and it took my brain energy to worry about her not doing it herself.

        She under functioned because she didn’t like how I was trying to get her to care about something she doesn’t care about so she did even less in response. Which made me overfunction more.

        So I just stopped.

        1. I had to accept it was ok for her to not be like me (accepting influence).

        2. I had to decide what my boundaries were. Not having food left in there and cleaning up when we have guests.

        3. Letting her decide how she wanted to keep her room otherwise without making it mean something to me about my character or hers.

        As a result, mental space was available in my brain. Over functioning frees up mental and physical energy even if the externals don’t change that much. Though often the externals do change at least somewhat.

        Because the under functioner has more free mental space too instead of fighting being controlled or feeling judged for underfunctioning.

        My daughter did clean her room up a little more once I stopped over functioning. Not nearly as much as I would like but the pattern did change. And it was coming from her functioning and not my borrowed functioning.

        And we both are much happier with more free mental space available for other stuff.

        Just some thoughts. Like everything else it’s all about accepting influence, boundaries and owning my shit without trying to control things by over functioning. And dealing with anxiety directly instead of soothing anxiety through these methods.

        In other areas, I underfunction so it all depends on the topic and environment.

        What do you think?

        Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Linbo,
        You said:”Regarding the church and singles…I don’t think it will change if I go to a different church. Most of them have the same basic rhetoric about women. Especially in this area- it is socially conservative. They aren’t bad people, but they don’t see what they are doing.
        The friend who I mentioned to Marilyn (I don’t know if you read that) was a pastor for 26 years, now he mentors
        Pastors but he also does a lot of work on healing systems- like families, and communities. A big part of that is really viewing women as equal. I look at the work they are doing and applaud it because it really does speak to some of my own struggles. He , and his work partner (Trisha) are pretty influential in a big pond like Houston- but it is still slow moving. It’s the same default male control mindset as with my previous example that they are bringing awareness to. It’s a whole different thing to have others agree, and even if they agree theorhetically, to have it understood at a level that changes behavior is something a long,long way off. But you can find pockets of people- and more than that, you can exert your life and love outside of the traditional church confines. So you can still live out your function,even if who you meet with on Sunday don’t recognize it.”

        I really feel you there. I’ve spent many years in various Protestant environments. In my experience, Catholics have a far healthier view of gender roles for laypeople and singles than the vast majority of Protestants. Have you found that?

        I think it has a lot to do with theology going back hundreds of years. Theology of marriage and singleness that are still seen today in Protestant (conservative anyway) overemphasis of marriage that leaves singles on the outside.

        And a view of the Bible that insists on interpretation based on the “clear meaning” of words written thousands of years ago to a vastly different culture.

        That’s how you get wrong interpretation and application of Proverbs 31 and the “headship” of the husband that is literally the opposite of the original message. Sigh. And they insist it is the only true way to read it. Anything else is heretical. Sigh.

        I’ve also found it depends a lot on where you live.

        As you said, if you live in a socially conservative place, traditional (and sometimes sexist) views of gender roles permeate a lot of thinking in subtle ways and sometimes in overt ways.

        And often these are very nice, well meaning people. It’s not a question of that. But nice, well meaning people like my ancestors owned slaves and used the Bible to justify it. (Mark Noll’s book The Civil War as a Theological Crisis is both fascinating and horrifying).

        And many did the same thing in Civil Rights more recently. Sigh. So I am very suspect when people claim they use the “clear meaning” of the scripture to justify something.

        I did a lot of research a while back on gender stuff that is taught today. Most of it is just flat out wrong. Wrong. Like the Proverbs 31 thing you pointed out.

        You mentioned the hierarchical view of the Trinity. That is a very new thing used to justify their gender role hierarchy stuff. It comes out of the Biblical Manhood and Womanhood stuff from Piper and Grudem about 25 years ago. Most people don’t know that it is new or why it was developed.

        That view was heretical until recently. I say all this only to say that the clear meaning of things is often wrong or used to support other agendas.

        But most people just go with the flow and say theology is boring. Many people fit into the averages enough that it doesn’t bother them enough to question it.

        If you don’t fit into the averages, it’s easier to see how flawed it all is. Like being a single woman over 30. No place for you in their gender system except to babysit in the nursery. Stay away from the husbands!

        You think for yourself. I love that about you! I am so sad that being single and female is often seen as less than in so many Protestant churches where “wifey” stuff abounds. That is so wrong!!!!! The opposite really of what should happen.

        I am glad there are people like the couple you mentioned in Houston trying to change things. It needs changing.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Yep, yep and yep…with a couple of head nods and ummm…hmmmm’s….:)
          You mentioned Catholicism. My favorite professor was Catholic. He taught philosophy. I really enjoyed that man. I even painted a very stylized painting of him and the things he taught in class. I think he and I were really the only ones who liked the painting, but I know he authentically did like it. I went to Mass with him and his family once. I don’t know enough about it to say if there is a difference in how woman and singles are treated. I know that they believe in literal transubstantiation of body and blood. I know they pray to Mary and the saints. I did have a recent conversation about the plausibility of praying to the saints, in the context of talking via prayer to a mutual friend who recently died. I have also had a recent conversation about a draw towards liturgy. A friend and I noted that for some reason we have always been told that having the liturgical prayers was an indication of an absence of true spirituality. I don’t believe that anymore, but I did at one point. Recently though, as I’ve said, there has been a draw. I love our local Catholic radio (the actually play really good Christian music), and they had an Easter prayer. It brought a lot of peace and a definite sense of the spiritual. Catholicism, however, isn’t something you just “check out”. It is a pretty significant commitment, and like I said- I don’t think I know enough to take that step. Maybe He’ll make something clear in that regard, but it’s not a brand new thought.

          Religion in general can be really confusing. Everyone is peddling their agenda’s, calling it the truth and using fear to corral you into their gates.
          Me “Coming to Jesus” wasn’t something I went looking for, it just kind of happened. For the first few years I completely soaked up the bible. So much made sense. I could say that what I read and what I understood was absolute Truth. But, I believe that Truth came from Him, and not from anyone else’s interpretation of it. I did end up buying into a particular brand of Christianity- Southern Baptist with a strong flavor of fundamentalism which I backed away from in the end and chose the more non-denominational route. But, I still mostly just lean on him- except when I’m not…:)

          I think I would be interested in reading the Mark Noll book you mentioned. I know we can justify some of the most heinous things with our religion. :P. It’s so wrong. I think it is our need to be “Right”, and then we read our own biased beliefs into the bible, and since it is an “authority” we have all the justification we need.
          If you want a good book about religion doing good- read Tattoos on the Heart. It is one of the best.
          And just as a funny aside, It did dawn on me a few years ago that you can tell a lot about your community by visiting the Half-Priced Bookstore, since all the books are recycled, you know exactly what everyone is reading.
          There were like 2 solid rows of John Piper. Uh-huh. ..

          Thank you for your kind words about me thinking for myself. I can say I do, do that on occasion. Sometimes its good, a lot of times it just gets me into trouble :).

          Like

          • gottmanfan says:

            Tattoos of the Heart looks really interesting
            Thanks for the recommendation.

            2 solid rows of John Piper wow! That does say a lot. Lol.

            I don’t like when non-religious people assume that religious people are idiots or bigots. I encounter that all the time and try to speak up for them. I just did it on another blog today. People of faith must be respected.

            But on the other extreme I am amazed at religious people who think that everyone that disagrees with them is morally bankrupt. Most especially atheists. I have friends who are atheists so I find that laughable both theoretically and anecdotally.

            I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered the idea that you must be religious to be a good parent or have a good marriage or whatever. Uh no.

            Like

            • Linbo says:

              Did we change our name?
              The cool thing is, I could totally tell it was you. Lol :)
              Mark Manson just wrote about how technology has changed how we talk about things. Really, how we chose to get information and how we interact with people who disagree with us.
              A lot of times it is presented as “either you see it my way or your wrong.” That never gets anywhere. That’s fine if no-where is where you want to go…

              Here’s my thing though- as hard as it is to actually endure, – No, people of faith don’t need to be respected. I mean, look at our God. We should be the ones to listen first, not the ones quickest on the draw.
              I’m not saying I can exercise this on a regular basis, but I think that is part of what it means for us to represent Christ here on earth. Not to be a push over, but to be ok with not getting our way. To try to establish connection and understanding instead of division between right and wrong.
              I don’t think there is anyone God doesn’t love. If I’m wrong about something- maybe this person can show me something different. If they’re wrong about something maybe through having a real understanding of the person and genuine care for the person I can help show them something different.
              If someone doesn’t respect me because of my religious beliefs, I can guarantee you that wont change with me trying to argue them.
              I can always remove myself from abuse if it goes that far.

              Like

              • gottmanfan says:

                I admire your talking to people who don’t respect your beliefs.

                I’m thinking more about bending the arc (remember the quote?) wherever you are to speak up for those not being treated respectfully. For whatever reason.

                In the same way I would speak up to a person saying racist things or homophobic or sexist or whatever. To not allow those disrespectful things to stand uncontested.

                Like

                • Linbo says:

                  I can get that. Offering a voice of reason to someone who is willing to listen cant hurt.

                  Like

                  • gottmanfan says:

                    Oh I offer it even if they’re not willing to listen. 😀

                    I think of it like this, I am in charge of speaking up against people being treated or spoken of disrespectfully.

                    I am not in charge of forcing them to change their opinions. (That’s a new rule for me. lol) but of course I’m always happy to share my opinions and research to anyone slightly interested in listening.

                    And I try to understand what has caused then to hold their opinion so I don’t treat them disrespectfully. And I try to not make big scenes over small comments.

                    It’s a hard thing to get the balance right especially with family. Still working on it.

                    Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Maybe responsible is a better word than “in charge”

                      Like

                    • Linbo says:

                      Nice clarification : )
                      Youre so funny Lisa! Wish I had that super power!!
                      That’s awesome :)

                      Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      I have strong opinions, no filter, and I don’t like bullies or people who say incorrect things

                      Usually that combination gets me into a lot of trouble but once in a while it’s used for good😀

                      Like

                    • linbo says:

                      There’s a cute little quote that says “Nice women rarely make history” , but on a more researched side of things – and I can’t tell you who did the original research but Malcome Gladwell talked about agreeableness, and the lack thereof that is needed to really provoke change. I think it was in David and Goliath. That may or may not always be called for, but it is a part of making change happen.

                      Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      I haven’t read that book but I like the idea of lacking agreeableness as necessary for change. Makes sense.

                      Maybe that why so many “great” people are egotistical or rude or whatever. You have to believe you can effect change and be enough of an ahole to not care what people think.

                      Sadly you do need agreeableness to be happily married. So I’m trying to get me some more of that agreeable stuff. 😀 Wish Amazon sold some it would be here in two days.

                      Like

                    • Linbo says:

                      Lol! …2 days :)…
                      Yeah, I was saying that with the thought that it can be “used for good”, but maybe not that great in personal relationships. We’re not trying to find the cure for cancer here, were just trying to learn how to love each other better.
                      Being disagreeable about own shit may be the way to go with that :)

                      Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Yeah I agree. But I’m still gonna disagreeable if I ever meet John Piper 😀

                      Like

                    • Linbo says:

                      Wouldn’t blame you in the least. :)
                      I think I’d be disagreeable right along with you.
                      It would be a veritable uprising, may be a sign of the end times…:)

                      Like

      • Donkey says:

        Linbo:

        It sounds like you’re pretty clear about all of this, and I hope that clarity is so strong that the less-than views in your church don’t affect you negatively. Like you say, you can definitely do your own thing and think your own thoughts outside of your church, while still going there (if/since/as long as it benefits you). :) It’s a good thing that there are positive counter influences aswell, like the pastor you mentioned, the general vibe in bigger cities…

        I see the protestant vs catholic thing differently. In general, Northern Europe is more protestant (or at least has been in recent history), southern Europe is more catholic. And in general, Northern Europe has more gender equality, and the main churches there seem more open minded about women’s equality and so on. But for sure, could be a different thing in the States.

        I don’t consider myself Christian, I’m more the spiritual type of the tree hugging kind. 8) But anyway, I saw a very interesting discussion about how different christians approached finances. I can’t find it now, sorry, I think it was at the Fruclassity blog. And someone said that you can find a Bible verse to support or contradict almost anything (this is said respectfully by me, no offense intended). And then someone (possible that same person or someone else) quoted Augustine: “Love God and do what you will.” I find that very beautiful. In line with full respect living, in my mind. :)

        Lisa:

        Yeah, the mental space thing makes sense for sure, thanks for writing about that. And then the underfunctioner won’t feel controlled so it’s easier for them to deal with their life in a way that makes sense to them, even if that will look very different to the previous overfunctioner. Or they will no longer be overly propped up by someone else, so they have to start standing or their own two feet or… just fall down and keep lying there (of course I’m not talking about abondoning people who’re sick or something, I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say. :)) If you keep bailing someone out of jail and then you stop, they won’t necessarily stop doing stuff that’ll land them in jail! But then they’ll just have to stay there, since the overfunctioner isn’t bailing them out anymore.

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          I LOVE TREE HUGGERS!! :)
          And, I promise I wont take offense to any inconsistencies you point out- like the fact that you can make an argument for two opposite things using the same text.
          I shake my head at that.
          For me my relationship to Christ, or your relationship to Christ, shouldn’t be used as a way for me to get you to do something, or believe something. That is where we have gone so wrong.
          It shouldn’t be used for arguments sake. It should be for me to read, contemplate, question if I must and act on. All the while knowing I DONT have the full, or “right” answer to anything.
          That’s my view at least.

          Like

  5. Lisa Gottman says:

    Matt,

    I’d love to read a post about how being trapped in a car dealership is similar to a shitty marriage.

    A lot of similarities there in me experience. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. TANSTAAFL2 says:

    For me, there is no question over which life takes precedent – human (especially a child) beats gorilla (or anything else) every time. I will also note the zoo staff and management (the people most trained and knowledgeable in animal behavior, in general, and THIS animal’s behavior, in particular) where the ones who decided the gorilla’s behavior was a threat to the child’s life, and that the best choice available was to shoot him rather than hit him with a tranq dart. I don’t know about other folks, but I not in the habit of arguing with experts in a field about which I know nothing.

    As to HOW a child was able to get into the gorilla enclosure so the above decision had to be made – that’s another matter entirely. Could be one person’s fault, several people’s fault, or just some combination no one could be reasonably expected to anticipate. We’ll see what the investigation turns up.

    Like

  7. Lot’s of good stuff there Matt. Regarding Harambe the gorilla, the intertoobz descended upon that mother with total hostility. I’m not saying she was blameless, I just think it provides a good example of what women deal with out in the world, how we are perceived in all areas of our lives. That takes a toll on wives, mothers, women in general, we are guilty before charged, the root of all evil. The fact that a few good men may not perceive us that way, does not change the narrative that has been spoken over us most of our lives. So when it comes to raising sons, one thing we can do is try to help them understand what girls often go through as a matter of routine, how to empathize and counter act those messages. While boys struggle with assorted issues, they seldom grow up with so much emotional responsibility being thrust on them culturally. Boys will be boys, the mistakes they can make are downright phenomenal and people will rush to their defense. Women are simply not allowed to fail, not in anyway,for any reason.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      I agree. I think that’s part of the reason why men are more willing to take risks of all kinds. If he messes up, he won’t be shamed the same way a woman often would. (Men and boys are shamed for other things though, as we know).

      Part of the reason why I’m very ambivalent about having kids (should I have the choice), are the enormous expectations placed on mothers, and that I know I’ve internalized to a large degree. Sometimes it seems like you must be approaching sainthood to be considered a good mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Gotrman says:

        It would be interesting to see what the response would have been if his father had been there when he climbed into the gorilla enclosure instead of his mother. Maybe that he should have climbed down into the water to try and rescue his son?

        I agree with you that we have societal expectations for men tha women. They are equally difficult in my opinion but tend to be in different areas.

        I think some of the reasons we tend to blame people for not doing the “right thing” is that it makes us feel safer than random tragic stuff can’t happen to us.

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        Lisa, you said “I think the reason we tend to blame people for not doing “the right thing” is that it makes us feel safer than random, tragic stuff cant happen to us.”

        I think you are right on target here.

        I had a weird moment a few days ago. We had a few tornados and a flash flood that did take a few lives. One man who drowned took a picture from inside his car and posted it on social media. That has to be a moment of terror, or maybe there was still belief that he wont die, that there will be a rescue at the last minute. I think I still sometimes approach life that way- that I will survive it no matter what. That moment a few days ago it really sunk in how fragile life is. How long does it take someone to drown? One breath in, and that’s it.
        Don’t mean to be morbid, but yes- I think that we tend to blame because we don’t think bad things can happen.
        I felt a little more grateful for the time I have.

        Like

  8. nights7 says:

    Time and anything related to car trouble, two of my least favorite things. Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Donkey says:

    Matt, often I just dive straight into the conversations, so I just want to take a moment to thank you for all the time and effort and wisdom you share with us here on your blog. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. eawaggoner says:

    If another human was endangering a child through unpredictable behavior, police probably would be justified in shooting that person. So perhaps the child’s life is no more valuable than the gorilla’s life, but we can’t allow one to kill another.

    Like

    • ELIZABETH WAGGONER says:

      Wait, that is oversimplifying, especially since I’m not a vegetarian. But it seems that when an animal or person begins to be perceived as a threat to a person, his or her value ranking drops.

      Like

      • Linbo says:

        Elizabeth,
        I get where you are coming from. The value of the individual (Gorilla, rabid dog, or rabid human..:) ) becomes less of a value than “peace”, or at least reduction of damage.
        In some cases it would be a question of what is better for the whole over the individual. If the individual is causing harm to the whole (of society) , their individual rights are usually minimized or taken away all together.
        The threat of a human childs life and the effects of the childs death, if that would have occurred, would likely have a really long reaching effects. While the gorilla’s life kind of ends with the gorilla. ?
        Not saying it’s “Right”, but I think that is kind of how it is.

        Like

  11. Linbo says:

    Ha! I love fake posts that say hi and tell us random things we probably don’t care about! :)
    Thank you for sharing the school of life video. Yay! to whoever thought that up and did something about it!!!
    I am a little sad and unsure why there isn’t a physical presence of “The School of Life” in the U.S. Guess that means I’m moving to Melbourne, or maybe Amsterdam :) …

    I don’t have a really impassioned view on the issue that happened with Harambe. I don’t think they had to use lethal force, and I bet the zoo is going to be investigated and fined for #1.) Not having a safe enclosure, and #2) Not having the necessary tools to restrain the animal non-violently (IE- A sedative) .
    I don’t really know if there are laws/rules about these things, but maybe there should be
    BUT – you asked “How do we rank the value of life.?”
    Whoa. Good question. And far reaching. If I had the choice between saving my dog from drowning, or a stranger…I’m not sure who I’d choose…
    But, what that really makes me think about is how do we rank life even among the human race.
    What is the value of a homeless man vs. a state senator?
    I read a New York times article last night about how the wealthiest 20% of Americans are segregating themselves in an environment that is not in touch with the common struggles of the middle class. They insulate themselves and their children from hardship (And who wouldn’t if they could).But, the result is less empathy for another persons struggle, and almost by default less value of the person.
    This is something I DO feel impassioned about.

    I am really curious about the answer to Lynda’s question of “what will you tell your son?” I have wondered a version of that question, myself. What do you do to teach your son the value of relationship, and marriage?

    I am also really curious- what kind of car did you get???
    I hate buying new cars, but I like driving them :).

    Like

    • Linbo says:

      Just to add to the empathy for another persons struggles…I don’t know how I managed it, but I have some really smart friends. Not only are they smart, they are socially aware and incredibly tender hearted.
      These people have taught me a lot. One of them is about being involved in issues that dont affect your own neighborhood. Learn about and be involved in what is happening to the neighboring poorer and richer districts. We tend to only get involved when it directly affects us, and that keeps us largely unaffected to a lot of issues that are real life for people just don’t the street. It keeps us human. :)

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        I read something very interesting once (can’t find the source, sorry), about how when we compare ourselves to people who are worse off than us, we tend to mostly see how they made poor choices, But when we look at people who are better off than us, it’s easy for us to see the priviliges they have/had, that we didn’t have, that helped them get ahead.

        So a good way to get a reality check on this should we need it, is to remind ourselves that just as those who are better off usually have priviliges that helped them get there, so do we have priviliges relative to people worse off than us that helped us get where we are.

        (Nothing is meant to discount the importance of personal responsibility, but still.)

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          Hey! You said “I read something very interesting once (Cant find the source, sorry), about how when we compare ourselves to people who are worse off than us, we tend to mostly see how they made poor choices, But when we look at people who are better off than us, its easy for us to see the priviliges they have/had, that we didnt have, that helped them get ahead.
          So a good way to get a reality check on this should we need it, is to remind ourselves that just as those who are better off usually have privileges that helped them get there, so do we have privileges relative to people worse off than us that helped us get where we are.
          (Nothing is meant to discount the importance of personal responsibility, but still.)”

          Yeah, I am probably guilty of this. Pointing the finger both ways..:)
          What I would rather see is not feeling like we have to justify ourselves at all.
          Can it be ok to be “poor”? Do we have to say this person made bad decisions and it got him/her here? What if it was just “I didn’t want to spend my time working in a job I hated, when I really just wanted to paint?”…Stuff like that happens all the time.
          But we have a lot of presumptions of the character of the person because of how nice they look, or how wealthy they are.
          And, that can be really misleading.

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        “Can it be ok to be “poor”? Do we have to say this person made bad decisions and it got him/her here? What if it was just “I didn’t want to spend my time working in a job I hated, when I really just wanted to paint?””

        I think this should be perfectly legit. :)

        My point was more that (and I got the impression that you agreed, so this is just to clarify in case it’s necessary), even if people ended up poor who didn’t want to and someone else hasn’t, it’s probably not just the first person’s unwise choices relative to a better off person’s choices that landed them in that situation. Generally speaking, they probably also lacked some privilige that the better off person had access to. Plenty of exceptions of course, though as a general thing, I think privilge plays a large part.

        Like

  12. Lisa says:

    Why did being at a car dealership suck? You were obviously not at the one I work for. We would be happy to show you that it doesn’t have to suck to buy a car. It should be fun and exciting.

    Like

  13. Where fingers meet keys.
    My six year old son was trying to bargain for brownies at what is now nearly 10pm. I didn’t give in…but only because I wanted the last of them. Though I’m sure I’ll cave just after eggs and toast tomorrow. No particular reason to share that thought, but still, one parent to another…there’s always a way to make time for brownies.
    I can’t wait to see what future posts come from this one. Have a good night!

    Like

  14. christopher hart says:

    That was from MBTTR. Check out the 90 second video in the first section.

    On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 11:44 AM, Must Be This Tall To Ride wrote:

    > Matt posted: ” Hey guys. I had an usually busy and not-super-fun weekend > at a car dealership. I’ve decided that buying cars is one of my least > favorite things. I wanted to write a post today, but Time is being an > inconsiderate jerkface, so I’m unable to. I’m w” >

    Like

  15. gottmanfan says:

    Donkey,

    Yes I think the Catholic vs Protestant differences are significantly different in the US.

    I am showing my ignorance of history here but many Europeon countries had state sponsored churches? And that impacted a lot of choices? I may not understand it right. But my understanding is that most Europeans are increasingly non religious or “spiritual” more in the way you described.

    Of course we haven’t had that here and so there are a LOT of different options. And Protestant denominations vary from main line more “liberal” progressive ones like Episcopalians to different branches of Lutheran and Presbyterian that have split into two choices one more liberal the other more conservative.

    And there are Methodists and non-denominational churches that are sometimes in the middle with Northern Baptists.

    Southern Baptists and Assembly of God are more conservative. I am sure I am forgetting some.

    The Protestant ones that are growing tend to be the more conservative ones for a variety of reasons. And the more conservative place you live, even the “liberal” ones will be somewhat conservative.

    I don’t want to write a lot here and these are just my observations. I have a lot of history and a lot of complicated thoughts on it all.

    But in my observation, just as one data point, Catholics here do not emphasize the man as “head” and the wife’s submission in the way that many conservative Protestant churches do. Similarly, many conservative Protestant churches do not believe in evolution in the way that Catholics do. There is often now an anti-intellectualism in some conservative Protestant denominations here that is not found in Catholicism.

    And there is a long tradition of honoring the service of singles (priests and nuns among others) in the Catholic Church that does not exist in Protestantism.

    Of course, the Catholic Church has prohibitions against birth control that Protestants typically do not. And there are other issues too.

    There are a lot of both sociological and theological reasons for these differences in my opinion. Depending on where you live, the choices are like voting for president.

    Not exactly what you might like but the choices are the choices. ;)

    No offense intended either religiously or politically for that meager joke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      And Americans while still much more religious than other industrialized countries are also increasingly more “nones” or “spiritual bot not religious”.

      Like

      • Linbo says:

        Have you ever heard of Wayne Jacobsen? He has a pod cast I used to listen to a lot, I still do on occasion.
        I’m pretty sure he did an interview with the guy who wrote the book about the “none’s” and the “done’s”…
        His main message is about following Jesus. Dont try to perform in order to be approved, but just know you are loved by him and he offers a relationship.

        I don’t know if Catholics share that belief, but that is something that I rest on. There wouldn’t be a reason for me to be “Christian” if that weren’t the case.

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        Lisa,
        I’m trying to find the comment that you mentioned nuns and priests in…??
        My response to that, is that isn’t a brand new thought, either.
        Especially if you are really lonely and really just want to live with a bunch of people.
        I just don’t know if I would want to live with a bunch of nuns.
        One religious wack job is enough, you know.. :)
        And they would probably throw me out the first time I start playing Red Hot Chili Peppers, anyway…:)

        Like

    • Donkey says:

      “I am showing my ignorance of history here but many Europeon countries had state sponsored churches? And that impacted a lot of choices? I may not understand it right. But my understanding is that most Europeans are increasingly non religious or “spiritual” more in the way you described”

      Yeah that sounds about right (history isn’t my strong suit. :p). And the state sponsored churches (at least in the more protestand north) often have been reasonably…mellow and liberal. Though it seems like many people in the more catholic countries are becoming more liberal too, religious or not.

      That’s a good point about catholics having a tradition about respecting singles (munks, nuns).

      Linbo, I’m glad you like tree huggers. :)

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        “that sounds about right”, I meant the content of what you said, not that you were showing your ignorance. 8)

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Lisa and Donkey,
          Just wanted to let you know that you guys have probably ruined any chance for me to date ever again.
          My latest communication said what he values most and desires in a woman was someone who didn’t nag and wasn’t irritable, because, you see, his ex wife was a terrible nag.
          Lol :)!
          In the politest way possible I asked if that was likely because he was serving her shit sandwiches? Like you, Lisa, I felt it was my duty to enlighten, clarify, and educate the man- at least partially!
          I probably wont be hearing back from him!
          And that’s ok!
          Its just sad how truly prevalent this dynamic is.
          I do wonder if I am hitting the buzzer too soon. I mean if we know this is the prevailing dynamic among men and women, should I accept it as part of most relationships and try to educate and change the dynamic?
          Again- it will all depend on is the man is willing to accept influence, otherwise I am just setting myself up for an exhausting tug of war.

          The whole “go be a nun with a Red Hot Chili Pepper tribute band” is sounding more and more appealing by the day… :)

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        Hehe Linbo!

        You could have said “why, no problem, I promise to never nag as long as you accept my influence and respect my boundaries the first time I lay them out. When we’ve agreed you’re going to do something within x time and to y standards, as long as you then do it by x time and to y standards there won’t be any reson for me to nag, will there?!”

        …or you could have just run away screaming. 8)

        But really, if he has enough of these experiences (being challenged on this or just people not wanting to date him because of it), maybe he’ll have a lightbulb moment. :) Not that his ex was necessarily a perfect angel though, of course.

        For real though, while we must expect some difficulties, unless you know you’re unusually skilled at asserting yourself, I would have given this dude a pass.

        (For those difficulties we must expect, I took a look at the Brent Atkinson stuff that Lisa recommends, it does look very good!)

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          You said “…or you could have just run away screaming. 8)”

          Yes! I have found that maneuver to be very effective! …
          (Lol- just joking…:)

          Thanks for the Brent Atkinson suggestion. I will go look it up.
          Hope you are having a great day!! :)

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        Linbo, you said: “I really enjoy talking to you guys. The blog definitely gives me insight- naming things I had no name for (Gaslighting for example.) , and it also gives me courage and hope. It encourages me a lot.
        And, I love making new friends, so that is good too.
        Just want to express gratitude to you guys. <3, <3, <3. :)"

        I feel the same way. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linbo says:

          Random early morning thoughts on what it is to be human and what it means to be dehumanized.
          Pretty much: part of the inheritance we have as human beings is an incredible ability to control and manufacture our environments to suit us.
          We use our minds and our hands to create- this is why we call it manipulation (because of the use of our hands).
          I think this is part of what makes us distinct in the animal kingdom (Although there are critters like beavers that build dams ect.)
          If it isn’t the actual building and creating of things, then maybe it is the intellectual capacity to create something brand new, or even the propensity to claim it as “mine” and take ownership of it.
          My point isn’t how we are distinct from other animals, my point is: in exercising some measure of control over our environment is a way that we exercise our humanity.
          We all have the ability to do this- we are the creators.
          We are at once influenced by our environment and we influence our environment – same as any other living thing on this planet.
          My thoughts are that when our influence is thwarted through a discounting of our contribution-( and even a discounting of our existence on the planet), it’s more than a wound to our ego. If you take a whole people group and discount their influence, well of course the culture is going to look very different than if that people group hadn’t been discounted.
          The cultural “norm” will look a lot like the norm from the people who have the most influence.

          This is what wars are about. Even more than money- its “power” (because money=power).

          So, what about families, and in the home?
          I think its a mistake to think that only one “side” should be allowed to exert influence. All family members in a healthy unit will eventually be doing this.
          It’s not about any one person getting their way- its more about the freedom, ability and acceptance of an individual to express their personhood and for it to be received as a valid part of the community.
          After all- a huge part of the environment that we influence is each other. Being heard and understood says that our experience counts and that it even has the ability to remold the environment we live in.
          This could only encourage us to have greater influence in the world, and while I don’t believe power for power’s sake is the ultimate goal, knowing that you have the ability to make a difference is knowing part of what it means to be fully human.

          Like I said, just some random early morning thoughts to ponder.
          Hope everyone has a really good day!
          :)

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        You know Linbo, this is a really interesting way of framing things. Ok, let’s just assume a level of environmental sensibility here, because I think you and I both agree that that is important and often missing, and humans can’t just do whatever we want. But let’s assume it.

        When I see what you wrote, it makes a lot of sense. Like, of cource people should have equal opportunities to shape the environment they’re both living in!

        Ok, none of this is new, but I think this is partly why people react so strongly to dishes or whatever. It’s dehumanizing, it’s HURTFUL, that someone else just gets to decide, at least to a larger degree, how their common environment is going to be. It’s indicative of, really, the lower worth you have in the group you know, even if the other person doesn’t realize that. It’s indicative of the lower worth they place on you compared to themselves. It damages our souls (not in the sense that it damages our fundamental worth), it’s not healthy to not be recognized as fundamentally as valuable and worthy of influence as somene else in the group, you know?

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Donkey,
          Yes it does hurt- and I’m thinking more than just our emotions.
          When we know we have the power to change our environment, we also know we have the power to change ourselves.
          If we continually deny a person or a group the ability to exert influence, that message is compounded and internalized. Self worth sinks.
          I want to re-iterate that it isn’t about “getting what you want”, and it isn’t even about seeing a marked change in the environment – its about who you are being accepted into the environment. Just being listened to and heard is a message that “you count”.
          When you know you count, and when you know you have power to change the world, you don’t give it a second thought – you just do it (like many men do.)
          Women need to know this is true for them, too; and children and the disenfranchised.
          You don’t have to dominate and control the environment to influence it, just being yourself influences it. But we have to know that if we ever want to create change.

          Thanks for reading it and getting it!!

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        “If we continually deny a person or a group the ability to exert influence, that message is compounded and internalized. Self worth sinks.”

        I agree. That’s what I meant about it hurting our souls. We’re spiritual and emotional creatures, I think we’re wired for intimacy and authenticity and mutual respect, that’s when we’re the happiest. And when that isn’t possible for us (even though a deep part of us knows it could be) because we’re denied equal influence and respect, it hurts us on a deep level. Maybe like being a bird in a cage?

        “I want to re-iterate that it isn’t about “getting what you want”, and it isn’t even about seeing a marked change in the environment – its about who you are being accepted into the environment. Just being listened to and heard is a message that “you count”.
        When you know you count, and when you know you have power to change the world, you don’t give it a second thought – you just do it (like many men do.)
        Women need to know this is true for them, too; and children and the disenfranchised.”

        I agree that it’s not always about changing the environment, it’s just as much about knowing that you count.

        But I’m not quite sure what you mean, because one the one hand you don’t place that much weight on actual change, but on the other hand you do mention how many men just go and change the world without questioning whether they count because they take it for granted (because their influence has been accepted), and that women and children and disenfranchised need to know that the same is true for them. So it seems like you do think being able to create change is important too?

        Would you try to explain what you meant, so that I can understand better? :)

        Like

        • Linbo says:

          Sorry, Donkey- yes, I’ll explain.
          Pretty much I *think* I believe everyone should know they have the power and ability to create change. I ultimately believe that everyone does have this ability, my hesitancy comes in when I think about what kind of change people tend to create.
          Power is a tricky thing and I can’t help but think about its “underbelly”.
          I am also thinking of understanding your ability to create change as something done in increments.
          Knowing you count is the first and foremost, knowing how and when to exercise power is something else entirely.
          There used to be a saying, or a notion,that good ideas will rise to the top and bad ideas will be shown as bad, and sink to the bottom.
          I have seen that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes bad people or ideas have an overwhelming influence.
          Those things are scarey when you are dealing with far reaching power and influence (like the presidency).
          But, for the most part what I was originally thinking about was in the smaller spheres of influence like your family and community. For me being heard can be enough in some instances- like when immediate change isn’t likely. Being heard and understood helps me to know I count- that I’m not crazy, that there is a reason this affects me. That can empower me to know I am “right” and to exert my influence directly in situations that are within my reach. And so forth.
          It doesn’t always have to be in an external power dynamic,either.
          When you are known and cared for- when people love your personality and presence that gives you personal empowerment. You know you are worth the space you take up. In that case, your not trying to exert outward change necessarily, but you may exert it anyway. Some people change the mood of the room,ect.
          Ok, I may have totally lost my point at this juncture :)
          Tell me if I’m still making sense!! :)

          Like

      • Donkey says:

        I think I understand Linbo.

        We must know that we count, that we’re heard, and people should have (in general, of course there are many complicated circumstances) the same power to create change.

        But just because we have power/influence doesn’t make it ok for us to just use it however we wish. Full respect living! :) And not just between humans, but the environment aswell (I have plenty to improve on here, just saying).

        Like

      • Linbo says:

        Yes, “Full respectful living!”…I need the bumper sticker!! :)

        Like

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