Skip to main content

View Diary: Conservatives still haven't given up on George Zimmerman, movement hero (154 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  That would be a tough group to lead (8+ / 0-)

    and probably gives you quite a bit of insight on people like Mr. Zimmerman.  People with serious personal problems, who have become problems for others in their lives and for society at large.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 12:53:49 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It is tough, very. (16+ / 0-)

      But it can also be very rewarding when a few of them start to "get it" and start taking responsibility for their lives.

      (I say a few because a percentage are out-and-out sociopaths, and the rest aren't in the program long enough for the message to get through and really start to stick.)

      The key is to not shame them -- because that's what got a lot of them there in the first place -- but also not to coddle them.  You have to show you genuinely care about them and believe in them -- and that that translates into having high expectations of them.  Usually no one has ever expected much of them.

      One thing I would say constantly is, "You're better than that!"  It would be like a message from Mars because many of them have been told all their lives that they weren't worth anything.  

      Many of them, after all, were the poor little child abuse VICTIMS at one point -- and they're still stuck there ... little kids who want someone to believe in them, to prove themselves to.

      When they start to believe you really care about them, then they'll start to open up to hearing some confrontation from you ... pointing out all the BS of their rationalizations and belief systems -- and that can start to break down their denial.

      And paradoxically (on the surface at least), the more they start taking responsibility, the more their self-esteem gradually rises, which makes them have less of a need to strike out defensively ... which makes them feel even better ... and it becomes a positive vicious cycle.

      That's the way it optimally works.

      And the reality is, domestic violence work has made me realize EVERYONE has the same issues.  It is just in those cases it is blown up to huge, caricature-like proportions.  But we're all on the same spectrum -- as comforting as it is to try to think of DV abusers and victims as "different" and "other":  "I'M not like THEM."

      And interestingly, working with DV abusers has given me quite a lot of insight into the mindset of the modern Republican party.  Seriously.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site