Thursday, February 11, 2010

Externalizing the Internal Struggle

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's actually one of my pet peeves.

Something we're all (even me) guilty of from time to time. But still one of my pet peeves, even when I catch myself doing it.

Some examples:

I have this friend, "Darlene", who constantly blames her husband's ex for their marital issues. The ex is the cause of their fights. She's the cause of Darlene's insecurity. The reason they have so many problems. Thing is, from what Darlene has told me, they rarely have any contact with the ex, and what little there is is because they have a lot of mutual friends, not because of any attempt on the ex's part to intervene in their lives.
So it begs the question: is the ex really at fault? or is Darlene externalizing the real issue to avoid facing something distasteful? I have to think that they would be more successful in their marriage if they forgot about said ex altogether and started focusing on themselves, individually & as a couple, and got to the real cause of these issues. I've tried gently suggesting this to Darlene, to no avail. She's not ready to face it yet, and continues to blame Darlene for all of their problems. {sigh}

The other one is much broader. It has to do with the recent spout of recalls involving Toyota vehicles. Now, let me start by saying that I am not saying that the company is not possibly at fault, in some instances. I'm not saying that they don't need to be responsible for the safety of their vehicles. But... have you read some of the complaints that are being considered for investigation?
re: Prius brakes - doesn't feel like it's breaking steadily when braking on bumpy surfaces (ie gravel), - doesn't feel like it's breaking consistently when braking on slippery surfaces, specifically ice.
Okay, is it just me, or is this all brakes? on all cars?
From my understanding, there have been no accidents reported as a result of this issue, and none of them actually mention difficulty stopping, just that it feels funny on bumpy or slippery surfaces. Um, really? is this news- or recall-worthy? That you're an idiot who doesn't know how to drive on anything but perfectly smooth pavement?
re: Corolla steering - feels like I'm being pushed by a gust of wind (Corolla's are small, light cars - are you sure it just wasn't windy?), - have to keep two hands on the wheel to maintain a straight line (really? having to use both hands is an issue for you? anyone heard of 10 & 2? and have you checked your alignment before filing a steering complaint? do you know anything about cars?)Again, I'm not saying Toyota doesn't need to look into issues, and fix any real problems, but... I have to wonder how many people are externalizing their own bad driving, looking for someone else to blame for their problems.

And, now to make it personal - I know I'm going to struggle in my battle of wills this weekend. Why? Because I feel a lot of stress right now. And I will be fighting to stay away from my normal, high-fat comfort foods. I already fought the good fight at breakfast. And at lunch. So far, I'm winning. But this is far from over. I anticipate much stress throughout the weekend (I'll post why in a later entry, probably next week, once it's over). But the reality is that I'm externalizing my issue with food. The events in my life that are causing me stress aren't the real issue. My issue with food is.

So, as I'm writing this, I realizing that this really has to do with facing your own weaknesses, doesn't it? Admitting that you have a weakness, whatever it is. Admitting that you have responsibility over your actions. Admitting that it is not someone else's fault.

I realize that we all have to come to these realizations in our own time, in our own way, but sometimes I really wish we could all just put on our big girl panties and face our problems head-on, instead of playing the blame game & pushing them away.

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