Articles/Essays From Pagans
April 3rd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
February 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
February 22nd. 2016 ...
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
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: 3,716
Times Read: 7,441
RSS Views: 76,147
Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 26th. 2006
Times Viewed: 7,441
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 1997-2016 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, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ 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).