Retire The Punisher Hat
1. The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.
“crime demands just punishment”
synonyms: penalizing, punishing, disciplining
Are you a punisher?
I was…I have been…so I guess I am.
I’ve withheld sex after a fight. That’s a classic.
I’ve withheld my attention when I’ve felt misunderstood.
I’ve given the silent treatment, which to some was actually a reward, so I stopped.
I’d venture to guess we’ve all got a little of the punisher inside us.
I’m not passive aggressive, I’m actively aggressive. I do not shy away from confrontation. To me, passive aggression is a form of punishment. You say everything’s okay, when you think it’s not. You avoid direct confrontation, then pout, procrastinate, or fail to complete the task you were asked to do. Ugh! Don’t punish everyone. Just say no next time.
When I’ve punished, I’ve felt unheard or misunderstood, so I didn’t feel like rewarding that behavior with my time, attention or affection.
Disappointment is the worst. “I will make you pay!”
“You get no Janet love!”
But what made me think that bad behavior would get me my desired results? Again, it is a false sense of power, who’s unstable foundation is fear and insecurity. There’s so many of those, and they wamboozel us. Remember ultimatums?
What made me think I could be a bitch to you, and THAT would make you do what I ask…or want me more?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it stems from my childhood. (Gasp)
[Cue the cheesy organ music from the old soap operas] I’m certain I saw it as a child. The silent treatment. We screwed up and mom’s not talking to us. Uh oh.
“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?”
― Jane Nelsen
Right?! I’ve REALLY grasped that concept as I’ve reached my 50’s. No need for public humiliation. No need to “find fault.” Ohhhh that’s another one. I had a boss, that when something went wrong; before we problem solved and tried to fix it, we had to all stand there and figure out whose fault it was. All two, maybe three of us.
Mistakes are made, people mess up, feelings get hurt, stuff gets broken (sorry mom) and now I for one, will be trying my damnedest to hang up my punisher hat.
You know, the one with the bright red: “I’m always right” on the front.
How about you?
Are you a punisher? Do you know someone who is? I’ve confessed, Don’t leave me hangin’
Let me know in the comments below.