The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

What should the ideal community or society be like?
Thoughts and ideas on making the utopian idea reality.

The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby Rachel » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:03 pm

Young people today face many challenges which have the propensity to undermine self expression and self worth. Below are excerpts from an article I found quite compelling. I believe it is of paramount importance to consider the ways in which we as individuals may serve to be unintentional or highly calculated perpetrators of another's oppression.

It is written primarily as a guideline for secondary/high school student guidance; however I feel that adolescent behaviours continue to make cameo appearances long after we have graduated from our final schooling years.



DEALING WITH ASPECTS OF BULLYING

ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO CHANGE TO
A RESPECTFUL STYLE OF COMMUNICATION
by

Author: Marc des Landes

I regularly receive expressions of concern from teachers and parents about the ways that young people talk to each other and the adults in their lives. It is almost as if the youngsters are modelling themselves on the American sitcom characters where it is seen to be smart to put people down in order to get a laugh. Humour, it seems, has to have a victim in order to be funny,so young people rehearse the "skill" of the wise-crack at someone else's expense.


Comments from teachers suggest to me that there is a whole social hierarchy among adolescents which is based on the snappy come-back, staying at the top by putting down everyone else in the group and those outside it. The person who is best at this unpleasant form of stratification is the leader of the group, because everyone else is scared of becoming the focus of his/her embarrassing, nasty "jokes". Similarly, less articulate young people find themselves joining such groups simply as a form of self defence. You are less likely to be the victim of this "humour", if you are a member of the group.


It is clear to many adult observers that, as a form of bullying, the put down is not as easy to prove or deal with as a deliberate attempt to "hurt" someone. It is equally clear to the young people who are on the receiving end of it, that it is not always possible to discuss the problem with an adult, or anyone else, because of the "fact" that it is "just a joke".


Having worked with young people for many years, I am very clear that this form of humour is,without doubt, not only bullying, but also verbal abuse. It is not a joke, but a nasty, sometimes vicious attempt to make someone embarrassed, unhappy or not OK. It is often perpetuated by others in the group in an unhappy attempt to draw the focus away from themselves. The way to gain and maintain status in a group is to learn how to be more unpleasant than anyone else.


In talking with young people themselves, I find that there is an equal level of discomfort for them,but they feel powerless to do any thing about it. There is concern, also, that if they say anything they will become the brunt of more of the "humour", because "they can't take a joke".


The rest of the article is to be found at the link

http://www.awakeningnetwork.net/reading/asdoc17.htm



From a psychologist's perspective, these behaviours are described in academic and diagnostic literature as covert aggression and have been found glaringly evident in youngsters from the age of 3.

It's saddening to think that human interaction is evolving into such a social cesspit.

What is more heartening is the fact that these behaviours are being more readily recognised as an unfortunate deficit of the perpetrators; rather than the traditional victim blaming mentality.

Have any DS members observed this behaviour?

*I do realise that this may be an emotionally triggering topic for some non active DS readers and/or active DS posters. If you are in any way negatively affected by reading this post, I extend my heartfelt empathy and compassion towards you.
Rachel
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:48 am
Personality: Ambivert
Favorite book: The Last Battle - C.S.Lewis
Favorite movie: Dogma
Things I like: Reading Biographies and Auto Biographies, day dreaming, cooking and star gazing.
State of Mind or Tendency: Musical
Kudos: 3

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby mirjana » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:15 am

Chessa wrote:...
Have any DS members observed this behavior?

*I do realize that this may be an emotionally triggering topic for some non active DS readers and/or active DS posters. If you are in any way negatively affected by reading this post, I extend my heartfelt empathy and compassion towards you.


Chessa, there are few things immediately awakening my response.
First, it is a very good article. Such article deserves to be put anywhere, therefore here too.
I am a bit confused with your final question, as I do not understand how anybody could be priory negatively affected with this, or better to say, how you come to such a possibility?
Still, if anybody would eventually react like you assume is possible, in accordance to another topic where emotional intelligence is mentioned, my personal response would be attempt to explain my stand point and why it is so.
As about bulling and putting down another, there are many other ways when people like to play such games, like sarcasm, irony, allusions, characterization...in order to characterize another in a negative way, avoiding personal and direct communication as not being able to confront the opposite opinion.
In my opinion, humor does not belong to this category, as long as it is not personally directed . Still, our reaction always estimates the character of it as well as its power. If I assume that somebody makes jokes on my account, I prefer to say that I understand it that way, and according to such understanding I ask why such person has that need. If I get an answer, I accept it. The worst thing in such scenario is to stay in the starting personal assumption even after getting the explanation which is the opposite. That would only show personal issues.
To my opinion those who are bulling are those who have some psychological issues. The sad fact is that in most cases they are not aware of that as it is much easier to put all the burden on the back of another. All my personal experiences about bulling on my account have proved that those who have been playing those games used to have big personal problems such as insecurity, low esteem …
User avatar
mirjana
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:09 pm
State of Mind or Tendency: Inspired
Kudos: 48

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby dermot » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:27 pm

Hi Chessa, i found your topic interesting....i dont have any direct or anecdotal evidence of this type of bullying being a factor, certainly where i live.

I am aware, and rather dismayed about the effect that tv programmes, predominately US tv has on people of all ages, seemingly in many cultures.

In Ireland we are known for having self-deprecating humour so maybe that prevents us from having a hard edged attitude to anything said with humour. There is nothing funnier than an Irish person laughing at themselves, we tend therefore not to take ourselves too seriously. That can be good or bad i suppose!

As an assignment, i recently was part of a Group who researched and presented the topic of Rejection. We looked at it from many angles, one of which was to interview some teenage boys about rejection and how they experienced it in their lives. I cant say anything that came up during those interviews was related to what you talk about, and there was mention of bullying etc, but it seemed to be much more overt.

I will open my eyes a little wider and report back if i get an impression that what you mention is a factor here, thanks for an interesting topic.

d.
....the heart only whispers, be still and listen....
User avatar
dermot
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: ireland
Personality: Introvert
State of Mind or Tendency: Inspired
Kudos: 52

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby Rachel » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:34 pm

Mirjana, my posts on Emotional Intelligence have absolutely nothing to do with this. The EI stuff was a natural flow on from a conversation about emotions. Not sure at all why you would link the two.

This is a conversation I've started about human behaviours. I thought it was relatively self explanatory.

I'm confused as to your confusion?

I am a bit confused with your final question, as I do not understand how anybody could be priory negatively affected with this, or better to say, how you come to such a possibility?

um...say what now? 80|

I will reiterate the disclaimer I popped onto the end of the post I made. People who have been the targets of bullying, racial vilification, emotional, sexual, physical abuse may find that the reliving of certain emotions through reading some of the themes in the article.

This can be due to a number of factors, not really relevant at this stage - and I'm not sure you're asking about them yet, I'll wait for you to clarify the sentence in bold.

I was simply making a point of honouring any person who read the post and was reminded of a time in their life that mirrored some of the themes in the article.

A few of the more finer points in your post I can't understand, perhaps due to our differing vernacular and writing styles.

Still, our reaction always estimates the character of it as well as its power. Pardon? Our reaction of what esitmates the character of ? 'its' meaning....what, please?

]If I assume that somebody makes jokes on my account, I prefer to say that I understand it that way, and according to such understanding I ask why such person has that need.

You prefer to say that you understand, but what do you actually believe? Its usually glaringly obvious why someone would make a joke at your expense in adulthood. It is very altruistic of you to make a point of reminding us to ask ourselves what the other person is in need of.

If I get an answer, I accept it. - I do hope I'm misunderstanding you here, mirjana, but this is what I think you're saying. Someone makes a joke at your expense, as described in the article I shared. You ask that person why and what motivated to do so, and without question, or exception, you accept the word of someone who saw fit to ridicule you. Is that what you're meaning? Or something else?

]The worst thing in such scenario is to stay in the starting personal assumption even after getting the explanation which is the opposite. That would only show personal issues.

um, sorry? I'm really not following you here. Where is the talk of personal assumptions? I'm really struggling to understand you here, mirjana, which is strange because I've normally found your posts to be quite lovingly eloquent.

What exactly is it that you are saying, my dear? I'd like to understand.
Last edited by Rachel on Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rachel
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:48 am
Personality: Ambivert
Favorite book: The Last Battle - C.S.Lewis
Favorite movie: Dogma
Things I like: Reading Biographies and Auto Biographies, day dreaming, cooking and star gazing.
State of Mind or Tendency: Musical
Kudos: 3

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby Rachel » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:12 pm

Thanks dermot, that would be good of you.

I agree the Irish self deprecating humour can be wildly endearing! Yet there are times when I've seen people laughing with others about themselves, and one can see the pain they're trying to mask. A case of 'laugh with, or be laughed at'. A fine line indeed.

Boys, especially adolescent boys are a funny lot. Fascinating little developing people! How old were the boys you interviewed? Was it a focus group scenario or one on one interviewing?

Girls, on the other hand, it would appear, are becoming more and more cleverly covert in their aggression - and this really, really concerns me for the generations to come.

I wonder what this is all about?

The media saturation of US popular culture is one aspect, and the growing obsession we as a Western world have with so called wealthy celebrities is certainly a factor. I think that it teaches the youngsters to idolise self obsession - which, if we're really honest with ourselves, everyone is self obsessed in adolescence =0@ It is actually developmentally appropriate (I can link some human development theories if anyone's interested), and its funny cos its true! I remember spending hours upon hours upon hours as a teen, pretending to do homework but really I was experimenting with hair and makeup. B0) hahaha.

But there's something else there that I'm not quite grasping yet. A harshness. At times a self righteousness and distinct lack of empathy in people that comes out in group settings (like schools, workplaces, social groups of acquaintances).

I find it ugly and intriguing - kinda the horror movie scenario- you don't want to look, but you really can't tear your eyes away.

Thanks dermot, human interactions are kinda my thang B0) I'd appreciate any other observations or thoughts when you have them. Cheers.
Rachel
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:48 am
Personality: Ambivert
Favorite book: The Last Battle - C.S.Lewis
Favorite movie: Dogma
Things I like: Reading Biographies and Auto Biographies, day dreaming, cooking and star gazing.
State of Mind or Tendency: Musical
Kudos: 3

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby mirjana » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:53 pm

I shall first try to make my post more clear. I am sorry that it was not. =0(
I said:
"I am a bit confused with your final question, as I do not understand how anybody could be priory negatively affected with this, or better to say, how you come to such a possibility?"
My mistake was that I said question, and it was the following sentence (last in your post):
"I do realise that this may be an emotionally triggering topic for some non active DS readers and/or active DS posters. If you are in any way negatively affected by reading this post, I extend my heartfelt empathy and compassion towards you. "
All my further words about assumption were refereeing only to this part of your text as I personally wouldn't start any topic assuming that it will hurt or cause rejection or anything like that. Only if it would happen I would give my answer.
My text where I mentioned emotional intelligence:
"Still, if anybody would eventually react like you assume is possible, in accordance to another topic where emotional intelligence is mentioned, my personal response would be attempt to explain my stand point and why it is so."
Emotional intelligence is very responsible for our understanding of any art in our communication and that is what I wanted to point out. And as you have given us some information about it, I thought it could be helpful for better understanding of that what I meant by mentioning it.
I hope that this answered your first question.

And now I shall try to answer other questions:
You said:
Still, our reaction always estimates the character of it as well as its power. Pardon? Our reaction of what estimates the character of ? 'its' meaning....what, please?
You have skipped the sentence before this one,( In my opinion, humour does not belong to this category, as long as it is not personally directed . Still, our reaction always estimates the character of it as well as its power. ), because it is clear, or at least I thought it was, that I was talking about how one understands humour.

My words you didn't understand: "If I assume that somebody makes jokes on my account, I prefer to say that I understand it that way, and according to such understanding I ask why such person has that need."
Your comment:
You prefer to say that you understand, but what do you actually believe? Its usually glaringly obvious why someone would make a joke at your expense in adulthood. It is very altruistic of you to make a point of reminding us to ask ourselves what the other person is in need of.
No it is not glaringly obvious, and my life experience proved me that. That is why I prefer to ask before concluding, as I have enough time after getting an answer to make my conclusions and decide about adequate behaviour.

My quoted text: "If I get an answer, I accept it."
Your comment:
- I do hope I'm misunderstanding you here, mirjana, but this is what I think you're saying. Someone makes a joke at your expense, as described in the article I shared. You ask that person why and what motivated to do so, and without question, or exception, you accept the word of someone who saw fit to ridicule you. Is that what you're meaning? Or something else?
Nobody can make me ridiculous, only myself. If that had been the intention, I would know how to behave, but I shall not do anything before getting an answer to be so. Yes, you understood me well and I behave like that for quite a long time. I used to be exposed to some kind of bulling, and actually such approach proved to be right, as after certain clarification, it turned that those persons who did that, changed dramatically, we have even become friends.

My text :
"The worst thing in such scenario is to stay in the starting personal assumption even after getting the explanation which is the opposite. That would only show personal issues."
Your comment:
um, sorry? I'm really not following you here. Where is the talk of personal assumptions? I'm really struggling to understand you here, mirjana, which is strange because I've normally found your posts to be quite lovingly eloquent.
If I thought that somebody wanted to make me ridiculous and I put direct question about it and get the answer which proves I was wrong with my assumptions, but I eventually still choose to stay by them, that can only show that I have some problems . I do hope that it is clear now what I meant.
Your question:
What exactly is it that you are saying, my dear? I'd like to understand.
My dear Chessa, I do think, as you also said, that different way in explaining things can lead to misunderstandings. That is why I personally put questions, as you did in this topic, and I am also always ready to answer to any question if anything of that I had said had not been clear.
So, I do hope, that now everything I said is clear now in the sense I meant it.
User avatar
mirjana
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:09 pm
State of Mind or Tendency: Inspired
Kudos: 48

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby Rachel » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:50 am

Oh I do understand now! *world order is now restored* =0D

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain things to me <3
Rachel
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:48 am
Personality: Ambivert
Favorite book: The Last Battle - C.S.Lewis
Favorite movie: Dogma
Things I like: Reading Biographies and Auto Biographies, day dreaming, cooking and star gazing.
State of Mind or Tendency: Musical
Kudos: 3

Re: The Utopian Ideal: Challenges within Human Interaction

Postby mirjana » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:34 pm

It has been my pleasure. =0)
User avatar
mirjana
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:09 pm
State of Mind or Tendency: Inspired
Kudos: 48


Return to Utopia

Who is online

Registered users: No registered users

cron
StumbleUpon Digg Delicious Reddit Yahoo Google Live Facebook Twitter MySpace