Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article Specs |
Article ID: 10539
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,841
Times Read: 6,554
RSS Views: 76,147
Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 26th. 2006
Times Viewed: 6,554
Pagans are only human. I know that, you know that, we all know that. We're not deities; we're not gifted with omniscience. We have our limits and our flaws, both as individuals, and as a group.
One issue I've been having with myself as an individual has been passive-aggressive tendencies. I can be quite avoidant about problems I don't want to deal with, and I've found that over time the problems have become worse because of it. I've also had to work to cure myself of badmouthing people who angered me in some way, and I'm trying to lengthen my temper so that I act consciously rather than automatically reacting. In hindsight, a lot of trouble could have been avoided if somebody had simply spoken. In my own attempts to break myself of passive-aggression, I've also been reflecting on how often I've seen the same characteristics in many of the Pagans I've met. Granted, more or less these have been otherwise good people to know; but passive-aggression seems to be a common affliction in our community. It affects friendships, romantic relationships, even business partnerships.
Here are some of the symptoms, and some of the solutions I've been using myself that may very well help others.
Breaking the Icy Silence
A passive-aggressive person, when angered by another, will not confront the source of hir anger. Instead, s/he will simply shut the other out of hir life without a word. The other person may have absolutely no clue that s/he's done anything wrong. Unfortunately, if you get passive-aggressive people on both sides of the equation, you end up with two non-confrontational, non-communicative people, and that's about it. No attempt is made by the offending party to find out just why the offensive action was taken in the first place, and so any chance of rectifying the problem is stopped in its tracks. If the other person tries to find out what the problem is, the passive-aggressive may very well respond by being a silent stone wall.
Whether you are the person being offended or (even unwittingly) doing the offending, closing down communication is the death of any interaction. Instead, extend an offer to talk about the situation. Even if it's something as indirect as email, at least give it a try. If you're rebuffed and don't feel comfortable trying again, at least make it clear that you're still willing to talk; leave the ball in the other person's court - don't grab it and toss it over the fence for good. If both people can continue to communicate until the situation is as resolved as possible, then chances are the wounds will heal (even if it takes some time).
When a person reacts to a situation, s/he is not thinking about what s/he's doing; instead, s/he's letting hir emotions run amok. The emotions themselves may very well be justified, but if they take over, the person has little to no rational judgment in play. In order for communication to be effective, emotions must be acknowledged and validated, but also balanced by cool-headed, rational judgment. A person may react in one of several ways. S/he may immediately shut down (see above section). S/he may also vent hir excess of emotion by complaining to hir friends not only for the purpose of stress relief, but also to deliberately make the other person look bad (see the next section). If s/he is in contact with the offending party, s/he may confront that person in a negative manner, screaming, yelling, and verbally abusing.
To avoid reacting, you may need to take a few minutes (or hours....or days....or weeks) to cool down. If it's going to be a while, let the other person know you're going to talk to hir, but that you need a little time first. Carefully think about why you are feeling the way you are. Then think of a way to tell the other person without being abusive, but that will get your point across clearly. Be civil, but firm. If you find yourself losing your temper, call for a time out (you may even literally want to say "Time out!").
An important note: avoid the words "always" and "never". These, and other absolute words, are bound to make people defensive. Even if s/he really does anger you every time you see hir (though this probably isn't the case), people don't like to be told that they're "always annoying" or "never do anything good around here". In fact, avoid bringing up any circumstance involving the other person EXCEPT for the one immediately in question, especially if you're not involved in the others. Keep the conversation focused on one problem.
If the other person reacts, call a time out as mentioned above. If s/he persists in being reactionary, it's best to walk away as gracefully as possible and try bringing it up later on when s/he's had time to settle down.
Taking Out the Trash Talking
One thing that people tend to learn early on is that it's a lot easier to make yourself look better by bringing another person down than by building yourself up. The problem is that eventually people catch on to what you're doing, and avoid you so A) they don't have to hear you complain, and/or B) they're afraid that if they anger you you'll start badmouthing them to others.
THERE IS NO REASON TO DESTROY ANOTHER PERSON'S REPUTATION. It's petty, immature, and speaks of very deep insecurity. I can't remember how many times a professional disagreement, or small social issue, turned into a huge personal mudslinging festival. There are people out there who seem to think that the solution to a problem is to destroy the perceived cause of it. This never actually solves anything; it just perpetuates divisions and (sometimes very inaccurate and harmful) gossip.
It's best to leave anyone not directly involved out of the situation. Unfortunately, the desire for drama (often hidden by the feigned desire for sympathy) sometimes leads people to drag an issue that should be addressed person-to-person, into the living room where the local coven meets, or even into a general public Pagan forum. Often grievances (real and imagined) from years ago get hauled out of the broom closet in order for one person to make the other look as bad as possible. Never mind that the person may have fixed the flaws in hirself since then; some people won't let history be if it (falsely) benefits them.
Again, if you have a problem with someone, bring it to their attention in private. Don't make a huge public spectacle about it, and don't bring others into it privately, either. Complaining to a friend or significant other just to get it out of your system is one thing. Telling everyone you can that so-and-so is a dirty lout in the attempt to make everyone agree with you is something entirely different and a lot more destructive both to individuals and to the community.
Lack of confrontation and constructive communication leads to misunderstandings and destroys any possibility of salvaging the relationship. This then causes a partial breakdown in the community as a whole, especially if the (silently) warring parties are active in the community. People have the tendency to take sides without learning both/all sides of the situation, which leads to destruction of further relationships.
Occasionally a situation really is beyond help, but most of the time it's due to one of the aforementioned issues on someone's part. The vast majority of conflicts that occur in the Pagan community aren't beyond help, and simply require better communication to solve. I've been having a lot of good results as an individual with the above methods, and I hope they help you as well!
Copyright: MINE! MY territory. Grrrr......
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lupa - Click HERE
Bio: Lupa is a twenty-something wolf-in-human's-clothing on the verge of moving to Seattle with her mate, Taylor Ellwood. She practices a unique mix of animism, shamanism, and experimental magic. She is the author of "Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic" (Immanion Press, May 2006) .
Other Articles: Lupa has posted 25 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Lupa... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).