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Tolerance of other people- the era of denial
The "tolerance of other people" series of threads is focussed on trying to make sense of how people think away from what we expect them to think.
A concern of mine for some time has been how in the last 20 years or so, the birth of the era of denial. In simple terms- when someone clearly and ethically does wrong but denies such wrong doing in fact often now, once the deny it, they double down as if fully committed. Such behaviour is not gaslighting whereby someone tries to convince another by actions and manipulation, that they are going crazy.
For example- Walking my small dog last week on a lead and suddenly a larger dog ran across the road and attacked myself and my dog. I was really lucky it let go of my dogs neck and tried to bite me. No damage but the owner in her 20's, her sister and her mother all blamed me for walking my dog in "their" street.
I'm an ex dog ranger so I know the law and most dog owners know you cant have a dog unrestrained. The ranger attended and despite admitting their dog was unrestrained continued to deny wrongdoing.
So, the era of denial is extended to "the people in denial go on the attack".
Another common situation is romantic affairs beyond the established relationship. People having the affair (including emotional affairs on the internet) deny wrongdoing. "It's not an affair, just a bit of fun". Times and standards change quickly. I'm 65yo and as a child I received guidance from my parents and other adults, uncles, aunties and grandparents. What they said was what we did. That moral code was not unlike many tribes and generations that handed down the guidelines.
So, would this new attitude be responsible for marriage breakdown? Possibly. When admission of guilt is not forthcoming where is the rule book? The offender that has strayed often knows full well the boundary they've broken but denial sows the seeds of guilt and guilt means doubt. Hence solid evidence is usually needed. Apologies no longer exist
In this "era of denial" it has led us to one decision-the implementation of the law. That is the only way we can deal with those that break the law whether allowing their dog to wander/attack, a small accident in a car park or a partner straying. It is an advantage to us to finalise any wrongdoing either lawfully or by action (eg leaving). Our challenge is to remind ourselves what we know as the right thing to do in a era of denial by those willing to sow those seeds of doubt.
You deserve better if you are honest.
A very thoughtful post like you always write.
Maybe with the internet boundaries are changing and some see as the morality issues have
changed. If a partner is unfaithful and the partner forgives them this can be seen as a chance to keep on straying.
The best defense is a good offense as they say, eh. I have had several such personalities in my life, people who are incredibly insecure yet arrogant at the same time and unable to admit fault but yet also quick to blame and escalate. When I meet such people I just think they are weak cowardly people, I mean how hard is it to be the bigger person and accept responsibility for your actions and throw your hands up and say “I was wrong” when you realise it. But the sad fact remains that many don’t have the emotional intelligence or humility for such displays and mistakenly see it as weakness rather than strength. In this era of superficial appearances over substance, we seem to be breeding a generation of narcissistic entitled brats. Bad parenting?
Great post and this really caught my attention, "the people in denial go on the attack"
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Except that you were not...
As we are all too aware, when people go on the attack, it can have very tragic and devastating consequences.
With affairs the victim can be endorcing the partners activity by forgiving. Yes. In the least the victim is displaying what can be perceived as a weakness.
I was married into a family of 5 siblings. In my 11 years with them never was "sorry" expressed. Says it all eh