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peter vajda

One of the psychodynamics in play here is that of "accommodation." Folks often accommodate in order to be acknowledged, "seen" and validated - basically, "giving to get." Many folks sell out who they are, give up their power, their True and Real Self, their authenticity, and their voice, and "go along to get along"...in order to be validated...an ego-driven need that comes when folks consciously or unconsciously feel lacking or deficient.

These behaviors are also called "narcissistic goodies" - the various (often fake, phony and duplicitous) ways we behave in order to feel better about ourselves and to have others "value" us and give us attention in some way, shape or form...as we don't value ourselves or see that we have our own "worth"--so we need to get it from "outside." Compliance, agreeing, giving fake and superficial "good job" and "attaboy"-type comments, colluding and the like are often forms of accommodating....going against our own Truth in order to feel an ephemeral sense of worth is what's often underneath--an unfortunate "behavior-du-jour" these days.

Steve Roesler


It would seem that there is some kind of dividing line, probably based on social/cultural norms, into which one could say, "This is superficial--yet socially-expected--agreement," and "This is selling out."

For example:

You meet a guy in a restaurant who is wearing a plaid, polyester suit. He's clearly proud of it asks, "How do you like it?" You figure your negative response really isn't going to change anything, so you smile and say something obtuse like, "Nice tailor."

On the other hand, your boss asks you to edit a presentation that she will make. There are so many obvious edits you are concerned that if you tell the whole truth, she'll freak out. So, you make a couple of suggestions that appear insightful but don't change the substance in ways that you know would be most useful.

In this instance, I feel a sense of worth because I've been asked for my opinion. However, if I have any personal integrity at all, that is offset by having to live with the knowledge that:

a. I didn't tell the truth

b. I knowingly let my boss go into a meeting less-than-prepared

My bet: there are plenty of people who would say that that behavior simply makes good career sense if you want to keep your job. And they'd be right in many cases. The longer term issue is:

How many times can one be untrue to the Truth until it so deeply impacts one's sense of self that one's mental and emotional health is affected?

peter vajda

I agree with you Steve...my intent was not to paint with a broad stroke...but to tug on the sleeve of those of us who know (while perhaps even denying) that we are refusing to "show up" in the guise of, for example, "making good career sense" as you state it. Your last statement points to this, and aptly so. Thanks for the clarification.

Dan Erwin

Steve: I thought your analysis and management of Peter's overstatement was positively brilliant. It's rare to see such in the blog world. On occasion I differ with a blog writer--partly to enlighten, but someimtes to check out. After differing on two or three posts with a single blogger--and observing that my differences never appeared as a comment, I add that blogger to my control freak list. Thankfully, the list is not large.

Kudos to your willingness to post most any comment, and then analyze said comment.

Steve Roesler

Hello, Dan,

Apologies for the delayed response; have been under the weather and just now catching up with the comments.

We've got a medium here that is unparalleled in its ability to generate new learning for everyone who participates. I feel fortunate that those who take time to comment range from those grounded in a lifestyle committed to deeper understanding and awareness (Peter) to those who want to add or argue a bullet point to a "Top Six" list.

Dan, your affirmation is much appreciated and an encouragement to all commenters that this is a place where people with new information and differing viewpoints are welcome to thoughtfully add to the conversation.

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