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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:48 am 
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I find myself exhausted around people who are stuck in helpless mental state. They generally have a repetitive train of thought and lots of reasons whey they "can't" do something. At times I feel like I get sucked into their problems or most likely manipulated. I've always admired Lamas who have a natural way to deal with people who are chronic complainers. I've seen some of them scold students, yell at them, or ignore them until they show serious effort. This causes most of them to flee the dharma center. I wish I had the clarity of mind to know what action to take and when it is OK to be rude and say "shut up. stop it." But I don't have that kind of personality.

A monk told me once you should avoid people that disturb your mind, until your mind is strong enough to not be affected by it, even if that person is your own mother. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:54 am 
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Yes last paragraph sounds good.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:07 am 
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maybe it's a matter of borders and boundaries. One can be courteous to others, whilst maintaining a certain distance. If a person is emotionally draining for you, then I think it is legitimate to withdraw a bit. It can be a difficult thing to do, I realize, but it is probably better than trying to maintain a pretense. But, overall, it is very ancient (and sound) advice in Buddhism to avoid the company of foolish people.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:01 am 
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catlady2112 wrote:
I wish I had the clarity of mind to know what action to take and when it is OK to be rude and say "shut up. stop it." But I don't have that kind of personality.

Being rude can be helpful only when you are dealing with the source of the problem, not it's appearances. And even then, it's probably better to use compassion and reason. If you want to help people, simply learn to listen to them. Give them your attention for whatever they need it, and they will use it like a toothpick, to remove their own problems. Don't try to be smart knowing what their problem is.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:40 pm 
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@Catlady: To judge by your comments, you have no idea why many people 'have a repetitive train of thought and lots of reasons whey they "can't" do something'. Lack of self-confidence? A failure to "grow out" of the desire to be 'looked after'? Fear of the consequences of failure, such as revelations about one's own capacities, shame at being showed up, or even practical concerns such as bad employment references? All grounded in ego of course, but it's this that makes that kind of phenomenon so threatening, both to those directly affected and to those who fear becoming directly affected through exposure to those who already are. By 'directly affected', I mean the kind of people you describe, not those who deal with them. This brings me on to the fact that it's often easier just to see people who display qualities you fear as simply bad or evil, rather than working out what motivations and other 'case histories' lie behind their display of such qualities - The universal vulnerabilities that this is likely to reveal are naturally disturbing, simply because they are so universal, and I can only imagine matters being made ten times harder by close family involvement _

A common reaction towards those 'stuck in a helpless mental state' is of course to bully them, which I'd imagine makes them easier to deal with, besides pushing all suspicion of one's own vulnerability to one side. Running away from them isn't so bad; perhaps a response like "I can't respond to your words in a way that might help you, and they don't appear to be helping anyone as they are" might be good - if you can grit your teeth!

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 12:28 am 
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catlady2112 wrote:
lots of reasons whey they "can't" do something. At times I feel like I get sucked into their problems or most likely manipulated.


I think I know the kind of people you're talking about. If people aren't willing or able to accept responsibility for themselves the other side of the "medal" is normally that they project responsibility for their own well-being onto their environment, in other words they manipulate people in their surroundings towards feeling responsible for them.

It's important to understand that you are not responsible for other's people well-being. If you wish to help them, it's important to help them help themselves. Especially in Buddhist Centres some people try to appeal to others' Bodhisattva attitude and make them feel guilty if they don't give them what they want. But sometimes giving people what they want is the opposite of helping them.

If the only way for you to protect yourself against being manipulated is to keep people at a distance, then that's what you have to do.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 4:04 pm 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
catlady2112 wrote:
lots of reasons whey they "can't" do something. At times I feel like I get sucked into their problems or most likely manipulated.


I think I know the kind of people you're talking about. If people aren't willing or able to accept responsibility for themselves the other side of the "medal" is normally that they project responsibility for their own well-being onto their environment, in other words they manipulate people in their surroundings towards feeling responsible for them _ _

I may have misunderstood you and jumped to conclusions here, Catlady, as I was under the impression that you were referring to people who typically take as much responsibility as they feel they can take. Other posters seem to have got a different impression - Sorry if mine was the wrong one _

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Last edited by undefineable on Fri May 16, 2014 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 4:05 pm 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
sometimes giving people what they want is the opposite of helping them.
Only sometimes? :tongue: :sage:

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