Be the girl on the right! is the caption of a pic with 5 little ballet girls at the barre. The one on the right refuses to do exactly what she is told. She is “told off” by her teacher.
Marguerite, Margarethe or Gretchen from Faust and Marguerite (1900) also stands on the right. She is unsure of what to do:
„Nun sag, wie hast du’s mit der Religion? Du bist ein herzlich guter Mann, allein ich glaub, du hältst nicht viel davon.“ Goethe has her ask the seducer. When she decides to trust Faust, she is sorely betrayed and shall later kill the newborn ‘child’ – whom I also see as a symbol of her feelings of guilt and shame.
Have you ever considered the fact that your boss might be using the exact same ploy to “seduce” his employees to do exactly what they are told? Nowadays, such behavior is no longer considered seducing, but bullying. However, if any one individual offers a piece of constructive criticism, he/ she is immediately quashed?
Vae victi! We alle know what the consequences are, such as burnout, di-stress (as compared to eu-stress), feelings of insecurity and angst. Of guilt and shame that we are no longer standing up to our own convictions, but meekly accepting another ambitious person’s will – voluntas – over our own. Of no longer believing in ourselves!
When I hit upon the word HISTRIONICS on OWAD (One Word A Day, Paul does a fine job) the other day, I had to laugh, the definitions and examples reminded me sooo much of a certain person. A person I had trusted, believed in, considered a role-model for many years, who suddenly turned the tables.
The word histrionics was either formed from the English histrion, meaning actor, or it was borrowed from the Late Latin histrionicus, which also referred to an actor, theatrics or pretence. (…)
Histrionics, which at its core means overly dramatic and superficial behaviour, can be a useful skill if one has chosen an acting career. On the other hand, for the layperson it can lead to a personality disorder called HPD, or Histrionics Personality Disorder.
How can you get out of this emotional turmoil?
Step One: Listen closely to what that person says and analyze the underlying meaning of those words. Did I accept these words at face value? Or was the said person’s intention quite another? Write down those typical quotes and try to look at them from different angles.
Polonius: What do you read, my lord? Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Step Two: Believe in yourself, your personality, your talents, your life’s goals again. No matter what anybody says to or about you. So what if you do not live up to someone else’s expectations? All it means is that you and him/ her were not meant to be – it takes two to tango. Find some more congenial surroundings, another job, another place, another hobby, other soulmates.
Step Three: (The hard part!) Be patient. It took me many years to come to the realization that I hadn’t been the one with the problem, but that bully! Start by feeling sorry for that person – and then forget him/ her ASAP (as soon as possible). The feeling of relief is immense, be assured!
So, now you can pretty well do as you like. My therapy was / is ballet and gym, music and instrumental lessons, choir, arts and crafts, friends’ support, being with children who are more spontaneous than adults : “Kinder und Narren sagen die Wahrheit” (Children and fools speak the truth).
Don’t we all wish for a Happy End? Thankfully, I have found my Prince Charming – and my peace of mind.