A man is easily triggered by his teenage son’s bad attitude and gets offended when he feels his son is disrespecting him. He jumps all over his son about his behavior and both end up in a bad place.
The same man, out of soap, borrows the soap from his wife’s bathroom and leaves it in his own. The next day, the wife gets in the shower and recognizes, after it’s too late to get out, that she has no soap and she becomes angered. How disrespectful of him! She approaches him and dumps her terrible shower experience on him. He apologizes and tells her he completely forgot, that it wasn’t intentional…but the wife yells at him that she’s sick and tired of him taking things and never putting them back, causing her to constantly have to pick up after him.
Welcome to the “disrespect” shell game of the mind.
Here’s how it works…
The son disrespects his father by subconsciously acting in a way that he knows is a trigger for dad. He then feels disrespected by his father when his father yells at him and belittles him.
Dad feels disrespected by the son and turns around and acts disrespectful, feeling justified in doing it. He then disrespects his wife by taking her soap and not returning it…again this happens subconsciously because it creates another “disrespect” cycle for him to engage in. He knows not returning things is a trigger for her, but he does it anyway and justifies it because he can honestly say it slipped his mind. Then the husband feels victimized and disrespected by his wife who is scolding him about not having soap in her shower due to her husband’s lack of respect for her and her stuff.
The wife now feels victimized and disrespected by the forgetful husband and then shows her own disrespect toward him by shaming him over a bottle of soap, feeling justified because what he did was wrong and she wouldn’t do something like that to him.
On and on it goes…hide the peanut under the shell and then keep it all moving so no one can track it.
The mind is incredibly subtle at how it creates the situations which will ensure the story…in this case disrespect…continues. They all consciously believe that being respectful is a positive, and desirable, thing and try to be respectful of others, and even themselves. However, because the belief that respect is good and disrespect is bad is so strong, the mind has to hide it from them when they are disrespectful and it does so by using judgment and justifiers.
Judgment: “You’ve got an attitude problem, kid. Who the hell do you think you are talking to me like that? Show some respect for your elders!”
Justifier: “It was an honest mistake. I didn’t mean to not return your soap.” Or, “I yelled at him because that kid had it coming and he deserved it.”
One cycle begets another…person to person…on and on…and no one sees it happening, much less stops the cycle.
The faces and the forms change, but the story remains the same.
Shell game of the personal self.