Friday, November 2, 2012

Blue Spin Zone

"Most of us become infatuated with certain people over the course of our lives. Once in awhile that passionate feeling works out, but much of the time it does not. Infatuation is always temporary, often based upon nothing other than powerful attraction. Unfortunately, that kind of attraction often makes us do thing we would not ordinarily do. 

I was once infatuated with a woman who was the poster girl for venality. This woman was so selfish, she made Leona Helmsley look like Edith Bunker. She was off-the-charts manipulative and didn’t even try to fake that she wasn’t. She was so good-looking, she knew she could con men into giving her just about anything she wanted.

For the record: Left - Leona Helmsley, Right - Edith Bunker

"I actually thought I could change this woman. This was insane. She was disrespectful to pretty much everybody, including her parents, and openly mocked some people she had screwed over. One time she hid behind her answering machine as an old boyfriend asked her for a callback. She snorted derisively even though she had gone with the guy for years. I told her flat out that she was engaging in disgraceful behavior, but even though I knew the woman was a block of ice, I did not disengage. Looking back, she should have been lodging at the Playboy Mansion, not hanging around with me.

"The good news is that I did not alter my behavior. I associated with this woman but kept my defenses up and my actions under control. Finally I wised up and told her I had better things to do with my life. However, I wasted and enormous amount of time and energy dealing with the lady, on mostly her terms. So if this can happen to me, a rather hard-edged, no-nonsense kind of guy, then it can happen to anyone.

"The solution to toxic people is simple but difficult. You must divert yourself away from them. Once again it comes down to discipline. If the fruit tastes good but you bleed after eating it, you’ve got to dine elsewhere or be drained all the time.

"What society needs is a 12-step program for infatuated American. This organization would supply wise counselors when we are tempted to associate with those who would do us harm but look so good doing it. I’m not kidding. If you can get somebody to come over and talk you out of making that stupid phone call to that dangerous person, do it. Then immediately go out and have fun.

"You can have plenty of good people in your life, but one emotional partner who is pernicious can negate them all. Remember, chaos always breeds more chaos. If a romantic partner (or even a family member) is causing you consistent and unnecessary pain, get out and stay out. The short-term feeling of loss is nothing compared to the damage that a truly bad or weak person can do to your life. You must see people as they are, not as you want them to be. You are not going to change a callous, cruel, selfish person.

"If you do hook up with Dr. or Ms. Evil, don’t blame me. I’ve told you the truth -- you can’t change him or her. Some people are bad to the bone and there’s nothing anyone but the authorities can do. Learn it, live it, and spread the word."

- Bill O'Reilly, an excerpt from "The No Spin Zone"

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