skip to Main Content

The inherently offensive nature of self-expression

“What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.” -Audre Lorde

Being silent will help you mitigate the criticism of those who take offense with what you say, but it wont shelter you from the negative judgment of those who believe it is your obligation to speak up.

The instant you base the value of your words on the absence of social disapproval, you become a perpetually frustrated player in a zero-sum game.

There is no neutral place in philosophic space. All points of view are points of contention.

Whether you speak or remain silent, your stance will offend.

Making THEM guess only makes YOU suffer

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood…My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you….What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.” -Audre Lorde

Having reasonable expectations isn’t the same thing as being clear with others.

In other words, the mere fact that your expectations may be fair (given your background assumptions and so forth) does not, in and of itself, mean that other people will be consciously aware of what you’re expecting from them.

In relationships, being reasonable is not enough. One must put forth the effort necessary to communicate.

Making sense inside of your own head will never be a good substitute for making your needs known.

It’s easy to find loyal friends who’ll comfort us by saying “I totally see your point of view.” It’s a lot harder to take responsibility for articulating that point of view to the people who can actually do something about it.

If you need something, figure out a way (and yes, that involves work, study, risk, and possible discomfort) to get your message across.

Don’t settle for being a reasonable complainer or an understandable martyr. Stand up, step forward, and speak out.

Your needs matter. Why risk leaving their fulfillment in the hands of someone else’s ability to guess what they are?

Send it to the cemetary

cemetary“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” -Malcolm X

The value of self-defense is not limited to physical and political bullies.

Psychological freedom, much like physical and political freedom, requires vigilance.

If you’re not militant about your well-being, this world will knock the wind out of your sails, flatten you on your back, and grind you beneath its feet.

Assertiveness, contrary to popular misunderstanding, is not the enemy of kindness; it’s the bodyguard of kindness. It’s there to protect what others choose to neglect.

If an abusive or manipulative energy pattern manifests in your life, do the most dignified, democratic, and diplomatic thing you can possibly do: ANNIHILATE IT!

You’re nobody’s clown. You’re nobody’s tool. You’re nobody’s slave. You’re nobody’s punching bag. You’re nobody’s emotional sponge.

You’re a being of intrinsic nobility.  Honor all, but take shit from none.

Joan Rivers brilliantly quipped, “If God wanted us to bend over he would put diamonds on the floor.”

Do. Not. Bend. Over.

Adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of invalidation and bow your head to no one who is unwilling to bow their head to you.

If it threatens to put an end to YOU, put an end to IT!

And for those who need me to state it explicitly, here’s my disclaimer and my two cents all in one:

Psychological vigilance isn’t about harming or killing people. It’s about getting rid of self-defeating patterns and self-negating perspectives.

It’s about looking at the elements of oppression that seek to be a part of your life and firmly saying, “let me help you die!”

Back To Top