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Conventional advices about relationships are often wrong ...

The example of a woman seeking advice on how to handle her boyfriend who is grieving from the loss of his mother, and a seemingly expert who got it all wrong with her advice, cause like our society, she blames the circumstance for the failure of a relationship than anything else ...
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Introversion](https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts). It is an interesting talk. But this time I would like to harshly criticize one of their editors. In response to one of their visitors’ question, what to do with the following condition of a woman whose boyfriend is an introvert and did no more contact her, after he lost her mother and she didn’t show up at the funeral, the editor writes a total nonsense piece of text. Before going to look at her text, let’s look at one of the latest passages by that woman:

He absolutely hates talking on the phone because he feels trapped. He says he wants to see me and misses me but can’t deal with anyone else’s needs right now. We’re going to a wedding at the end of the month. I asked if I had to wait until the wedding before I was able to spend time with him, and he said he didn’t know. I’m at a loss here.

I have no personal relationship with that editor of Quiet Revolution, nor with their visitor, but I believe that respond, is what you typically get from someone who cares about you. Once again, read my words carefully, I said: "someone who cares about you". The nonsense that this woman has written doesn’t come from any sinister plot, or a conspiracy about humanity, I believe this is our unfortunate state of knowledge respecting love in the society as general that allows these comments to be everywhere, that you believe they are right.

Here is what the suggestion of the editor comes down to:

The way I see it, you have two choices.

Your first option is to end the relationship now. You don’t sound happy. You’re definitely not getting what you want. I think it’s fair to say he’s shutting you out. Perhaps it’s just time to let this one go. But I don’t think you’re quite ready to give up yet.

The second option is to tell your boyfriend that you really need to have an honest conversation with him. Ask him how you can best support him in this situation. Let him know you’ve racked your brain trying to find an answer, but you’re still unsure. Tell him you feel like the best thing may be to go away because it seems like that’s what he has been requesting. If he continues to dodge your heartfelt questions, you have an answer: he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Or he may finally understand how hard you’ve been trying to reach him, and he’ll start to talk.⁠1

I believe, it is good to separate our critics into two parts, as presumably there are two options available:

Love is what your heart wants, only and only

It is absolute nonsense to give up as soon as you are tired. As soon as you don’t know anymore. As soon as you are in a hopeless condition.

It is true that love makes us grow, love is comfortable and makes our hearts warm and causes comfort in lots of kind of uncomfortable situations but this shouldn’t mean that we have to mistake our reason to love with the results of love.

If you get out a young apple plant from the earth, only and only because it didn’t give any reasonable fruit after a year, you will never see apples in your life, because an apple tree first fruits usually after two to four years. How do you expect the relationships to be different? You fall in love and then the Hollywood movie ends with "they lived happily ever after together". Reality has nothing to do with that.

Love is there for us, so we grow, and a good portion of that growth happens before we have a well-functioning relationship with our partner …

So, there are other signs which indicate whether you should continue in a relationship or not and those signs are quite the same as they are about marriage2.⁠ And the real sign is in your heart, and for someone like this reader of Quiet Revolution, the very fact that she is so desperate to figure out what is going on in her partner’s mind is a strong indicator that her heart wants it. Otherwise, usually, you won’t bother. So the "first option" is one of the greatest wrongdoings this woman can do to herself and her boyfriend.

One can write books on this topic but let us move to the next portion of mistakes in this recommendations.

Introverts are not extroverts

While all that the woman in the letter is asking for is an explanation of how different introvert’s process of grief on a loss looks like and how their non-introvert partner should react to it, the editor of the Quiet Revolution continues with the stupid commonplace recommendation of "have a conversation with".

Imagine you go to the doctor, and he tells you: "oh, let’s have an honest conversation with your body to see what’s going wrong". Do you see how stupid this is? You go to that fucking doctor to tell you what is wrong with you and not only that but to tell you how to handle it. And our emotions are part of our bodies too, and our soul is no more different than our body. Just as there are so many mysteries in our bodies, there are so many mysteries about our souls and psyche. Just as there is no healing method for our body that heals us from disease only and only through an "honest conversation", our soul and psyche won’t behave differently only after a conversation. The fact that thoughts impact our psyche and soul shouldn’t lead you into believing conversations have an impact on us. A conversation has no impact on our emotions nor our soul unless there are thoughts provoked by that conversation inside our brain, which is a process that even most professional psychologist fail to accomplish.

So, you just make an idiot out of yourself and your partner, if the only thing you do would be to have a conversation with your partner, to figure out what he needs. Your partner is not an idiot, if he knew what he needed, he would have already tried to get access to that thing.

But does it mean you are hopeless? Absolutely not. To prove you, you are not hopeless, we will have a glimpse at what introverts need during the period of grieving. Again this is about individuals who are really introvert.

How introverts grieve

The first thing that you have to understand is that grieving is a social process. Grief has personal and interpersonal steps. It is not a matter of our interest to talk about the personal part of the grief because that is not the part that introverts and extroverts are different. For the sake of this article, we will only look at the interpersonal facets of grieving.

Grieving on a dead person is an extremely complicated and complex process, and we won’t go into the details here, and we will neglect lots of aspects of it, simply due to lack of time and resources to write in a better manner. So, here is an extremely simplified version of the interpersonal aspect of grieving on the loss of someone close to you:

You need someone who shares your emotions. Someone you have an emotional bond to. That emotional bond has to be strong. That sharing of emotions have to take place through mediums which are comprehensible for the griever, for example, it doesn’t make sense to put a sad face to show that you are sharing the emotions of a blind person who is grieving on the loss of his mother. Because he can’t read that emotion from your face. If you cry he will hear the noise, but he won’t see your sad face. The same is true for other aspects of our communication. You have to know what your boyfriend emotional expressions are, does his face reveals his emotions? Is it his words? Is it his writings? Is it his body postures? Is it in the gifts he gives to other people? However your boyfriend typically expresses his emotions, he will as well typically receive emotions through such mediums. So, for example, if your boyfriend is not someone who usually expresses his emotions through giving gifts, then it is a stupid idea to hope you shared emotions with him, only because you send flowers to her mother’s funeral. Such action is meaningless for his internal life. It is hard to discover through which medium introverts communicate, but he is your boyfriend, you have to figure it out.

After that, the easy part begins. You express your grief through that medium. Let me give you a typical example. You visit him and start to cry. Again, read my words carefully: you visit him and you start to cry. Of course, you don’t wait for him to cry first, because he is an introvert, and won’t do that. Of course, you don’t wait for him to call on you because that’s not what introverts do.

Let me give you an extreme example: an introvert may die from hunger, but not ask if you can give him something to eat. Let me give you a real-life example. As I was 6 or 7 years old, once a colleague of my father invited us to their house, and by the end of the evening, I pee in my pants only because I couldn’t imagine to interrupt someone and ask for the bathroom. The idea of asking someone for the restroom was too strange.

You can follow the same pattern in the life of introverts, they can’t be the person who starts a social interpersonal interaction unless they are acting like extroverts and not as they would do with themselves, if they were accepted as introverts.

It is an extremely typical response from your boyfriend to avoid meeting you, because he knows through years of living in a society in which introverts have no place –otherwise you would not see such things like Quiet Revolution, there was no need for a "revolution" by "quiet" people …–, so your boyfriend assumes that he have to act just as he would always do, when he dates women, which is not his real version of himself, because as said, he is trying to do the things the way non-introvert would do them, and now because he is in the grief process, he doesn’t want to date you anymore, which is a reasonable reaction. When you are sad, or you are grieving, you can’t act as usual and behave so as if you are a non-introvert dating the girl of your dream. He simply has no idea how to receive you in this particular period of his life. And the solution is simple. Don’t expect him to receive you. Go to him and be the one who makes the first move and starts sharing the other person’s emotions. Display your sadness and your grief, so that your boyfriend can display his grief as well. Then you will see, after a while, everything will be back as they should be and not only that but your bond to one another will be thousands time stronger, at very least from his side, because you went through a very crucial challenge in your relationship successfully. Which is an indicator that you are able to go through other challenges of your relationship in the future too3,⁠ and rightly so4.⁠

But what is wrong with those suggestions?

I hope so far you understand that those two pieces of advice by the editor are solely based on not knowing what introversion is. But not knowing what something is, doesn’t necessarily encourage us to give advice on that topic. That’s why the statement "I don’t know" indeed exist in our language.

The advice of this editor is to kill a relationship which could have been the best thing that happened to those two individuals. She is causing two more broken hearts on our planet, but her confidence in suggesting such terrible practices comes from one place: the idea that nobody is responsible for anything.

Let’s take a look at how she formulates it:

Also, please remember: if he’s not up for making a go of it, that doesn’t make him a bad person. He has gone through a terrible situation. His mom had a prolonged illness, and he witnessed her slow decline. He lost a parent. His life will never be the same. If he cannot foster the relationship the two of you were building together, it’s no one’s fault that life’s circumstances got in the way of you being able to meet one another in the same place.

Imagine a pedophile molesting your child in front of your eyes and as a result your child growing up with sexual trauma, and some ten years down the way you tell him or her: "oh, honey, it is not your fault, you are not a bad person, it was only the circumstances that made you suffer from these things."

If you think what I am talking about is an impossible story, I can tell you the number of individuals suffering from sexual abuse by their family members is not zero. Ellen DeGeneres, the American comedian, actress, and TV-host, was sexually abused by her mother’s second husband. But she didn’t talk about it, and as a result, she is now an open lesbian.

It is so simple to say that "oh, circumstances were responsible" but the day you are brought to hell, and you realize the angels of hell won’t accept your excuse, it might be a bit too late to understand that you are responsible.

You are an idiot to believe I have no responsibility toward anyone else but my very own self, and if you are such an idiot, it won’t be hard to end up never being in a love relationship, because after all, it was always "circumstances" that were responsible for the outcome of your relationships.

You have to be an idiot to believe your actions are worthless. You have to be an idiot to believe as a girlfriend how you treat your boyfriend has no impact on his life. As the case of this woman, if she had just known how introverts grieve, her boyfriend would have long been over with his grief period, they would have long had sex with each other, and probably there was a child on the way. And the idiot editor of the Quiet Revolution website openly pens nonsense recommendation to this woman, and don’t feel a tiny bit of responsibility for all the damages she has caused on the life of these two individuals and their hypothetical child(ren)and probably if these two individual break up and go after other people while they were meant for each other. Not only this idiot editor doesn’t feel responsible for all these, and all the tribble effects on all the others who read that article and trust her opinion but she tells everyone that they shouldn’t feel responsible for things they directly and indirectly cause, and they should only blame the circumstances.

Or in the case of Ellen, you have to be an idiot to believe as a mother, to believe that the amount that your child trusts you has no impact on her life. If Ellen’s mother could have only trusted her young girl that she indeed is not lying about her abusive husband, maybe we had a different Ellen. Maybe it wasn’t so hard for Ellen to have an everlasting sexual relationship with the opposite gender.

Of course, I am not telling that you are the only one responsible for all the events in your environment, but you are one of the people who among other factors are responsible for what happens.

As a society, we have to understand to be aware of our responsibility, and the amount our actions, beliefs, behaviors, mindsets, habits and etc. impact ourselves and everyone else.

The idiot editor of Quiet Revolution website is not only wrong for dismissing this responsibility, but the more amazing stupidity is the fact that even if the woman of our story is acting only out of self-interest –because she wants this man to be her boyfriend– the suggestion of the idiot editor is not bringing her any place closer to her desire; not because it is impossible for this woman to accomplish what she wants and not because what she wants is wrong, and not because it is the boyfriend who doesn’t want to have her in his life, only because the idiot editor has no knowledge of introversion’s grief, and can’t say "I don’t know".

Endnote

I don’t mean to criticize that editor personally by using the impression "idiot". I don’t know her in person, and to me, it looks like she is a well-intentioned individual, why I use this term is because I am mad, because the suggestions she is making are so horrible. They are destroying two individuals’ emotional life and perhaps lots of other people’s lives. It is important that we be aware of what kind of behavior is idiotic, and what is wise, and not mix these two with each other, only because someone has gone to a university or is assumed to be an expert, or is writing in a well-known journal. You can always make an idiot out of yourself, but that doesn’t mean you are born this way. It is a critic of your behavior and not on you as a person.


  1. Highlights are as they are in the text published at Quiet Revolution by Lindsay Hood. ↩︎

  2. Tim Urban has published an interesting article on Wait But What around this theme, "The Marriage Decision: Everything Forever or Nothing Ever Again", it provides some means to comprehend what your heart wants, but the best is to improve your connection with your heart. It is hard but not impossible … ↩︎

  3. if the God helps you. ↩︎

  4. The God always helps those who believe in Him and follow good conducts … ↩︎

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