No clue

no clue


* * *

In the neurotic person we find invariably that he has not given up the narcissistic interpretation of reality. 

He insists that reality must conform to his ideas, and when he recognizes that this is not so, he reacts either with the impulses to force reality to correspond to his wishes (that is, to do the impossible) or with a feeling of powerlessness because he cannot perform the impossible.

~ Erich Fromm, Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis (1960).


* * *

[I]n order to manipulate others we become control-mad, power-mad — using all kinds of tricks.  I gave you a few examples already — playing helpless, playing stupid, playing the tough guy, and so on.  

And the most interesting thing about the control-mad people is that they always end up being controlled. 

They build up, for instance, a time schedule that then takes over control, and they have to be at every place at a specific time from then on. 

So the control-mad person is the first one to lose his freedom. 

Instead of being in control, he has to strain and push all the time.

~ Frederick S. Perls, Gestalt therapy verbatim (1969).

* * *

When the only tool you have is a hammer,                 every problem starts to look like a nail.

                           ~ Abraham Maslow



2 responses to “No clue

  • angie howarth

    We received an email today from a cousin of my husband’s. It is the hardest email i have ever had to read and your above NO CLUE rings true. It is also the hardest mail to reply to. We had been told that she had cancer, but no details. I wrote to her to find out what all of this meant. Her reply – she has weeks to live, there is nothing they can do. She is 43 years old and has a young teenage son. I have this feeling that somehow i should be able to control the outcome of this as it does not seem REAL, it goes against everything i believe reality to be. Reality is a bitch, trying to control any outcome in this life is a bitch and i wish i could develop a more healthy way to cope with REALITY.

  • Steve Hauptman

    I’m sorry about your husband’s cousin, Angie. As for feeling that you should be able to control the outcome, see “The cost of doing business,” here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: