NEW CASTLE —
When do I make people afraid of me?
I almost didn't ask this question because it's one that I REALLY don't want to ask myself. For that reason alone, though, it has to be asked.
I hate the thought of anyone being scared of me. One of my main directives in life (although this isn't exactly healthy, either) is to make as many people as possible like me and feel comfortable around me. I'm sure I have a few people out there who would argue against this, but I'm speaking in generalities here. For the most part, invoking fear is not my prerogative.
Or so I believed.
I've gotten crapola over the years because I don't instill fear in my kids, and from the way it sounds, fear mongering is the most popular and acceptable parenting method. No offense, but I missed that lesson somewhere along the way. What's more, I'm not really interested in learning it. Sorry.
I don't make people afraid of me to get what I want at a store or in a restaurant, either. I've seen this practice all too often, and while I admit that I've had to hold myself back on occasion when dealing with a particularly difficult employee, I would never make it a regular practice like some people do either.
I taught pre-school for 10 years, and, you guessed it, I couldn't do it then. Yep, 10 long years of letting 20 four-year-olds run over me like a Tonka Truck on a playmat. Fear might have been in my best interest on some days, but I just never had it in me. How do you look at a person one-eighth your size and feel right in your heart for instilling fear in theirs? I just couldn't do it.
And with that self-serving, egotistical pat on the back out of the way, now I've got to face the hard truth: There ARE people who are afraid of me, and it's because, intentionally or not, I've made them feel that way.
If I look closely at my methodology, I notice that it's those I consider myself to be in a position of power over that I WON'T try to intimidate — children, people doing their jobs for the public, the elderly — basically anyone I consider less powerful than me.
But upon closer inspection, it turns out that anyone with power over ME is fair game for a dose of intimidation. Come at me with a knife, and I will put you in the morgue. (Figuratively speaking of course!) I've had my fair share of power struggles with bosses, school principals, significant others, and an assorted variety of authority figures. I don't think I consciously try to intimidate these people, either. It's more of a puffer fish phenomenon, if you will.
"Look at me! I'm big and scary, so you can't hurt me!"
I'm not totally sure what it is I hope to find out by asking myself this question, but I thought it was super-interesting. It really makes me wonder how many people are afraid of me in some regard. To whom am I the "monster under the bed?" We all wield power in some way over some people, and feel less powerful than others.
**What do you do with that power, or lack thereof? Who is afraid of you? How does that make you feel?
NEW CASTLE —
When do I make people afraid of me?
- Lisa Madras
Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’
After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye. I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.
Lisa Madras: Is this goodbye for us? That’s a great question
So we’re down to two now. Two blog to go. So close to the end, yet so much left to say. (It feels so much like the end of a relationship!) No more questions. I’ve asked enough of those.
Lisa Madras: Somewhere between ‘showing up’ and ‘giving up,’ there is hope
What do you do when you feel like giving up? I've been writing for a long time. Longer even than my time with this newspaper, but I do have to say that this has been my favorite writing stint of all time, and I'm going to miss it.
Lisa Madras: ‘Somewhere’ there’s a place for me — sorry it’s just not here
Where else would you like to live? Why? I'm sure that my answer to this question is going to tick off a lot of people: I want to live somewhere else. I don't know where yet, but somewhere else.
Lisa Madras: Sometimes, a subtle sign can restore my ‘Roar’
Do you believe in signs? I'll never forget the first time I heard the Katy Perry song, "Roar," on my car stereo. It was about a year ago, and I was sitting at the red light at the intersection of Ellwood Road and 376 — probably headed to Kmart or somewhere like that.
Lisa Madras: Choose pain from your hurts over the pain of regret
In your lifetime, what have you done that hurt someone else? I just came back from my twice-yearly dental appointment. My dental hygienist and I have great conversations that we try to squeeze into these short appointments.
Lisa Madras: Have I learned from my failures? Lord knows I’ve tried
Which is worse, failing or never trying?You'll have to excuse me if I've asked this question before. I honestly can't remember. Getting older hasn't been kind to my brain — which is the reason why I constantly question my decision to go back to school and completely switch careers.
Lisa Madras: Ten thoughts to help my Son shine brightly
If you could send a message to anyone in the world, right now, who would you send it to and what would it be? The whole #YesAllWomen phenomenon on Twitter (a response to the California rampage) has me thinking quite a lot about the lessons we teach our sons.
Lisa Madras: Thankful that Voice of soldiers is what makes America beautiful
In last week's blog, I asked the question, "What makes someone a hero?" In hindsight, I realized I probably should have saved that question for this week.
Lisa Madras: We can all add a little extra to our ordinary
What makes someone a hero? It can be difficult to put a hard-and-fast definition on what makes someone a hero. One of the problems we have (in our society, at least) is that the term "hero" is used loosely to describe anyone we happen to look up to.
- More Lisa Madras Headlines
- Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’