VIII. BE YE – Judo Flip Thine Enemy’s Slings and Arrows to the Ground
When people launch their expressions (solicited or unsolicited) at you, the last thing they expect is for you to flip the script (pun intended) on them by judo flipping their expressions to the ground. Judo uses the principles of balance and leverage adapted from jujitsu to redirect the force of an opponent’s strength in a manner that defensively benefits you. One well-known defensive maneuver is the judo flip, where you grab your opponent and, using your leverage, twist your opponent around your body, moving your opponent (i.e., his or her expression) off balance and flipping her or him to the ground.
It’s time to flip the script and turn those earlier slings and arrows into feathers and straw! For convenince, we’ll use the same three examples in Section V. (BE YE – Know Thine Enemy’s Sacrilegious Warfare) of Part 1 of 3 of The “Be Ye” Manifesto. But in the examples below, the previous SB (Social Boxification) victims will deboxify themselves and become the victors:
Instead of “not” asking the teacher about the homework assignment due to fear of ensuing ridicule from her popular chatroom classmate, the inquisitive student raises her hand and asks the teacher: “Mr. Johnson, while I’m sure that some students aren’t serious about their grades or the quality of their education in terms of what college they get into, and so they may never ask questions about homework, I, however, am serious. So would please explain…”
In choosing to ask her homework question, the inquisitive student made a brave choice to BE YE–and not be the silent YE her classmate desired–and indirectly highlight the absurdity of her classmate’s expression. In doing so, she not only made her classmate feel ridiculous for not wanting her to ask homework questions, but she also showed other students why it’s important to ask and how to BE YE in the face of peer pressure.
After being scowled at by his racist tablemate, the new prisoner later catches him alone and tells him: “Hey, I just wanted you to know that I understand that you don’t associate with black guys because of your group beliefs. However, I don’t judge people by their color, not you or anyone. So if I’m required to in order to get support from any group, I’d rather go without support. I’ll find another table to sit at.” The new prisoner then walks away.
By cordially and frankly raising the issue to his tablemate one-on-one, the new prisoner avoided putting his tablemate directly on the spot in front of his group, which could have bruised his ego and resulted in an argument or worse. Though his decision may have incurred a personal attack on him if he were imprisoned in a more gang-political and violent prison, the new prisoner was willing to risk that to maintain his integrity. He also planted a positive seed in his tablemate’s mind of what it means to BE YE, and to “not” BE YE.
Embarrassed by the rumors her boss spread about her, the female employee approaches him one-on-one and explains: “I didn’t put a good word in for you with Julie because I would be lying. Plus, you are married and also seeing other women. I’ve never told your wife or any of your mistresses what you’re doing. I haven’t filed a complaint against you with human resources for the rumors. I’ve been more than fair to you, and only ask that you cease the rumors and refrain from any further retaliation. I only ask to be treated professionally going forward. Deal?” They shake hands and she lightens the mood by saying, “Now quit acting like a teenager and let’s get some work done, Casinova.”
What she did is actually phenomenal. One, she didn’t malign her boss behind his back or in front of others and thus jeopardize her job. She took a deep breath and confronted him with poise and professionalism, reminding him that she was neither his enemy nor his matchmaker. And clearly, she also wasn’t out to get him. She framed the situation properly and then defused the tension, securing her job, with humor and a handshake implying a truce. She proved to be the ideal example of how to BE YE.
More importantly, she didn’t feel compelled to run around explaining to coworkers that she’d never been married. Why? Because doing so would provide further oxygen to her boss’ rumor fire, and it would only reinforce her boss’ power of opinion over her.
This reminds me of a movie in which Jessica Lang played a woman (named Mary?) who was raped by soldiers who were hunting her husband. Afterward, she walked out of her house, held her head up with pride, and made her way to a body of water to wash herself as townsfolk stared and judged her. A young man whom she knew wanted to run and tell her husband, but she made him promise not to because she knew her husband would return home for revenge, as the soldiers wanted. She refused to lead her husband into a trap, and to his death.
VIV. BE YE – Name and Tame Thine Enemy’s Slings and Arrows
When I think of taming and naming the force of an expression, the movie Good Will Hunting comes to mind. In a bar scene, Matt Damon plays this unassuming genius kid who sees one of his buddies being berated by a smart and entitled rich college kid with his buddies present. Damon comes to his friend’s rescue and intellectually demolishes the rich kid’s argument by first recognizing the social boxification the kid is using on his friend, identifying the SB technique as bullying and pathetic, then explaining with genius comprehension and articulation the intricacies of the topic the rich kid claims to know. He thus named and tamed the rich kid’s expression.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you need to be a genius to name and tame a person’s ill-conceived expression toward you. I’m merely saying that if someone uses SB on you in a crowd, recognize it, identify it as pathetic, and you will thereby name and tame it
Categories: Jacob J. Gamet