When NOT to Analyze

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

I no longer recall how I ran across this blog post, but my much younger self could have used it regarding a really lousy coworker. Although the immediate subject is infidelity, the phenomenon it describes occurs in many other contexts. "Chump Lady" Tracy Schorn calls it "Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness," and accurately identifies it as a coping mechanism:

Don't do this for just anyone. (Image via Pixabay.)
One very common mistake the Cheated Upon make is believing it is all way more complicated than that. They will invest all their energy in a pointless exercise trying to figure out the cheater -- their FOO issues, their astrological sign, their addiction issues, their birth order, their purportedly low self esteem. (Newsflash -- they ... actually DO think they are better than you and more important than you.)

Figuring out the cheater is energy directed at THEM, which is energy deflected away from YOURSELF. You're asking why they are this way, instead of asking yourself the harder question of -- why am I hanging around this megabitch who's not my friend?


Stop it! Stop it right now! It's not your job to figure them out! You only get to figure out YOU. What your values are, what you will tolerate, and what is acceptable and unacceptable to YOU. That's it. [bold added]
To qualify what I said earlier a little, I think one friend familiar with that situation tried to get me to see this then. (He said something like, There is no mystery. This guy is an asshole.) So there may have been an element of my being too young and inexperienced to be able to use the advice right away. That said, the strength of this blog post over that advice is that the person who gave me the advice was implicitly right about two things made explicit above that he possibly assumed I didn't need to hear: (1) knowing that the answer to why my coworker apparently took delight in undermining me was irrelevant, and (2) understanding that any line of query should be guided by the question, "What do I hope to accomplish by pursing this?" Perhaps hearing the advice from someone who had "been there" in relevant respects might have helped me over that hump much sooner.

-- CAV

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