Friday, January 28, 2011

The Offensive Defence

By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic

Next Stop: Dysfunctional Realities

Do you think that is a contradiction in terms?
It isn't. It is a very common dysfunctional mechanism of long standing.

Although there is usually at least one member of the group, and sometimes more than one, who may be acting with intent to some degree, with dysfunctional groups targeting an individual who is perceived by them as 'less than,' it is not usually a deliberately planned offensive attack which is intended to do harm.
In fact, the group blinds itself to the harm it is doing.
The group members are not that interested in the effect their group behaviour is having on the individual; sometimes not interested at all. That is because the group's motivation is usually defensive not offensive.[1]

Defensive/offensive though, are two 'sides' of the SAME experience. When the one who is perceived by the group as 'less than' is actually 'more than' or just relating as 'equal to', as s/he perceives him/herself, the self serving defence of the group becomes indistinguishable from a self serving offence. This is because in truth, both the individual and the group are operating in the same reality, but the dysfunctional group wants to dominate  and define reality as the means of defending the status quo.

Why would they defend the status quo?
For the same reason everyone defends anything...there is a payoff for the members in doing so and the payoff is quite obvious.

The group members get to be 'more than' and that makes them FEEL better in a way that ensures they do not have to really look either within, or at the group as a whole, to discover what it really is they need to feel better about.

Splitting and projection is the dysfunctional 'fix.'

It changes the feelings generated by the problem without having to actually look at the problem itself or even admit that there is one.

It is this denial and suppression of truth that make the splitting and projection necessary as the means of getting rid of the emotional build up it creates. This is the method groups have come up with as a means of group catharsis, which the majority have agreed together is 'normal.'

The emotional purging is most often aimed at the one who points out the fact that there iIS a problem that needs to be looked at and resolved. It is because that is the person who threatens the group with too much awareness[2] and that awareness must be 'reduced' [3] or eliminated.

[1]  From THEIR point of view
[2]  Or who is 'too sensitive' to the reality
[3]  When I stated that I thought I was a little more aware than most people, I” got offered something to 'reduce' my awareness. I then asked, “and why do I need my awareness reduced?' There was no response at all to that from the expert making the offer of help.

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