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Thread: Art of War vs Integrity

  1. #1

    Art of War vs Integrity

    I'm a social worker by a profession, respectful, assertive - and EXTREMELY MENTALLY AND NEUROLOGICALLY ILL.

    After working with me for three months and seeing me getting treated inhumanely - and me continuing to engage assertively in response - my carer finally spoke up. She said "you don't really believe in that sh*t don't you?" and I asked "what?" and she said "assertiveness" and I said yeah "isn't it meant to be effective interpersonal communication?" and she said "well just look at your outcomes! - you are getting completely screwed over". I asked her how I could get better outcomes and she said "manipulation is the only way to survive this world".

    After three hilariously fun months she left the job -with disaster in her wake (of course) - elaborate lies and no notice, leaving shifts uncovered between Christmas and New Years. She was good value while she lasted though.

    Yesterday was my first appointment back with my psychiatrist for the year. (The previous carer sat in my weekly sessions with my psychiatrist and reckoned he is attracted to his profession as a way of not owning his own neuroses but her observation in not my point).

    Although never discussed before, I asked my psychiatrist for feedback about me over the past years yesterday. His feedback was phenomenally similar to my old carer. He recommended I adopt the "Art of War" - to manoeuvre, surprise, deceive, to subdue my enemy; to outwit my enemy, to avoid their strengths and fight their weaknesses; to use detailed calculation; to plan meticulously and only attack when the conditions of victory were favourable. To lure my enemy into a fake battle and then use indirect attack to beat them. He encouraged me to know my enemy and turn my enemy's spies against them... as double agents are the the best weapons I have against them.

    I'm a broken human being full of faults who makes a lot of mistakes but my value system is the the strongest thing in my life. I'm scared I will lose everything if I don't live according to my values.

    This is so challenging to my value system. This is not me!!! I pride myself on my integrity. I am honest, direct, respectful. To think I have to become as cunning as a sewer rat to survive, is confronting. I spoke to my friend last night, who obviously shares the same values as me, as all my friends do. We discussed possible ways I can cut off part of myself and my value system to deal with who I have to become to survive my current situation.

    This indirect manipulation, strategising, plotting, planning... my brain doesn't work that way. But well meaning people are telling me, I'm going to have to adapt to survive, and get others to support me in it.

    Has anyone tried to deliberately developed manipulative behaviours even though your personality and brain is not naturally wired that way?

    How did it work out for you?

    Can I still use assertiveness is for neutral situations and friends but break this part of me off and keep my self respect?

    People are often forced into situations where they have to against their values system in self defence and survival but usually it is not so calculated and deliberate.

    Sadly, I have to accept I have enemies who will annihilate me and I need to learn how to outwit them to stay alive.

    Maybe it is about taking some lessons from it but still being myself. Learning to stand back, observe, note, keeping silent, not communicating with the enemy, not attempting to resolve issues, moderating my approach, not leaving myself so vulnerable to attack, being much more wary, rallying support, not being so independent, keeping my plans and strategy close to my chest. Essentially be the type of person I most detest - and write essay about it for relief because it jars so badly with my conscience.

    I don't mind personal growth, but personal sabotage sucks.

  2. #2
    Not "nagging" really... Suzi's Avatar
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    I couldn't do something like that - go against everything I believe in and play at manipulation and war games... I have always believed in standing up for the "right thing" rather than try to be devious and cunning. It isn't me and it isn't something that sits well with me at all.

    BTW Social work is incredibly tough emotionally. I've met some brilliant ones and some rubbish ones in the past. It's the rubbish ones who don't seem to ever get affected by all their job entails which, by proxy suggests you care about your clients and that makes you a "good guy"
    “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
    - Jon Kabat-Zinn

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