Sunday, February 20, 2011

"the guilty taketh the truth to be hard"

I'm reading the book Controlling People.
The book says that ANY time a person believes they know what you think, feel, believe, etc., without you telling them, they are pretending. Pretending (in this way) is a sign of a controlling person.

I have believed that other people can tell me what I think. What I feel. Who I am. What I believe. What I do. What I don't do. I have accepted other people's definitions of me.

I used to believe that my defensive or angry feeling was a sign that I was wrong.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been told, "The guilty take the truth to be hard. The reason you're arguing is because you know I'm right. The reason you're upset is because you feel guilty." and I BELIEVED them. I tried to squelch my own thoughts and feelings, because someone else knew better than I did.

A recent example came from BJ's ex's stake president. JM told me the only reason I was upset at his breech of my confidentiality was because I felt so guilty for not living up to my covenants. He actually quoted the scripture, "The guilty taketh the truth to be hard." (1 Nephi 16:2)

First, How does Nephi know what Laman and Lemuel are feeling? Why they are upset? He is PRETENDING to know. That is controlling. And the LDS world sets Nephi up as an example to follow?!?

Second, How can JM, the Stake Pres, POSSIBLY know how I feel. He is also pretending. He can't know why I am doing things. He can't know what I think, what I feel, who I am, because I have never told him. He is also controlling.

Everything I was ever taught, was backwards. All of the men (and women) who pretended to know what I was thinking and feeling, DIDN'T know. I know. I know better than any bishop, husband, friend, stake president, waiter, stranger, boss, etc.

(Disclaimer: Asking a person if they are feeling (blank) is entirely different than telling a person they are feeling (blank).)

When I felt angry at Larry (Ex-Husband#1), it wasn't because I was feeling guilty, it was because I didn't like the way he was treating me!
When I felt angry at my dad, it wasn't because I was feeling guilty, it was because I saw something I didn't like. He hurt me. He hurt my brothers.
When I felt angry at Ex-Husband#2, it wasn't because I felt guilty, it was because he was violating my boundaries.
When I felt angry at JM, the Stake Pres, it wasn't because I was feeling guilty, it was because he shared my personal information.
And the list goes on...

Other people can't read my mind. They don't know, even if they think they do.
(And I can't read other people's minds. Even if I think I can.)

I find it fascinating to be able to see the world through these new eyes.
I finally SEE and understand what I have felt for a long time.


  1. Excellent! I figured all that stuff out eventually but it sure would have been nice had I been able to read that book in high school! It would have saved myself decades of suffering!

  2. There may be another point to possibly consider- I believe that we can have things revealed to us, through Heaven, that other people are thinking or feeling. I base this on my personal experiences- I cannot tell you how many times throughout my life, I have acted on those revelations about what others are feeling and thinking, only to have them astonishingly confirmed to me by the other person that it is true. Maybe some people have a gift of perception with others?

    But, I completely agree that there is a HUGE difference between ASKING someone (if what I perceive they are feeling or thinking) versus TELLING someone what they feel or think.

    And, in the grand scheme of things, and extending the idea to establishing healthy relationships, I believe the approach of asking versus telling works much, much better. I HATE it with a passion when someone tells WHAT I will do, WILL think, WILL feel, etc.

    I think I have said this before: when ASKED to do something, I will do practically anything. When TOLD to do something, I will do practically nothing.

    And, I am LIVID that the Stake President betrayed your confidence. That kind of thing makes me CRAZY. If I am THIS incensed, I can surely appreciate how it must make YOU feel.

    You are a wise woman, Jen. I like how you share your insights with us. I learn SO much from you and am glad you are my friend. Thank you. :)

    Love and respect, always.

  3. I think I need to read that book again. Certainly it was very relevant to my ex - extremely controlling husband. However, even though I read it I still find myself falling into the old patterns of justifying myself when he says ridiculous stuff, which only validates him. Yup. Need to read that one again.

  4. My, my, my, Jen! Oh! How I love you! And Oh! How I love watching you grow, stretch and share your new learnings. Thank you.

  5. TGD - I would have liked to know this stuff a while ago, and I am also just glad to be figuring it out now. :)

    blog author - I had the same thoughts about empathic/perceiving... I am really grateful for the friends who have been able to say, "Are you feeling this? Is THIS why you are doing that?" There have been times they were right, and times they were wrong. By them asking, I got to be the one to decide...

    As for the Stake Pres, I don't feel livid... I was upset and hurt when it happened. Now, it just feels nice to be able to see that he doesn't know all of the things he said he knew.

    And thank you, I am grateful for your friendship too!

    Carolyn - I would recommend re-reading it. It has been really helpful to me as I sort things out.

    Angie - :) Thank you!!! I'm smiling BIG!