How not to say the wrong thing

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How not to say the wrong thing

While I agree with the gist of that model, it is too simplistic. The people on the rings may very well be aggrieved themselves.


Well that, plus a jerk is a jerk.


lagatta wrote:

While I agree with the gist of that model, it is too simplistic. The people on the rings may very well be aggrieved themselves.

Can I bring you a pot roast?


6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well that, plus a jerk is a jerk.

I'm sorry.


Kidding aside, it was an interesting article.


Interesting in theory yes, and I'd say it's a good thing to bear in mind.

I don't think a literal application would work too well in real life though. For one thing, coddling isn't always the best medicine for every affliction. And as I said, there are always situations where you simply have to call BS.



Some people also go on about their issues and don't seem capable of resolving them or taking any suggestions. All you can do here is not get involved and hope this person figures it out on his or her own.


Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair" and "Why me?" That's the one payoff for being in the center ring.

Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.

When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you're going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn't, don't say it. Don't, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."

If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that's fine. It's a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.


[url= dad reveals agony as decision to axe his son's benefits is overturned.. weeks after his boy killed himself[/url]

Black Girl Dangerous: [url=]No More “Allies”[/url]

Nothing About Us Without Us! [url=,0,719...'60 Minutes' shameful attack on the disabled[/url]

[url=]An Open Letter to George Stroumboulopoulos Regarding Interns[/url]

[url=]Orientation Police[/url]

[url= West[/url]

Jacobin: [url=]Behind the bizarre ideology that fuels Adbusters[/url]

Yves Engler: [url=]The "N" in NDP Now Stands for Neoliberal[/url]

Luciano Picasso: [url= People are Killing Day of the Dead[/url]

Neville Park: [url=]Don’t act so fucking shocked[/url]

Jacobin: [url=]Gawker’s Crack Addiction[/url]


Black Face Blogging: [url= Things Genuine Allies Know[/url]

I have found that some people who live closer to the top of the social hierarchy and who thus embody and live with more privilege, are unable to critically think about and thus really appreciate the incredible amount of intra-psychic energy required for a less privileged person to navigate the structural and institutional oppression inherent in our society.

Living with privilege is when your consciousness and intra-physic energy is dedicated to you and your needs, and this includes your demands on people who are less privileged to teach you what you need to know in your process of re-gaining your humanity.


[url=]Lily Allen's Anti Black Feminism[/url]


[trigger warning: graphic descriptions of violence against transgender people]

Jacobin: [url=]Transgender, Dead, and Forgotten[/url] by Samantha Allen

How could we shorten this list of the dead? What kind of politics would that goal require?

Because most people on the list lack basic economic security, it must be socialist; because the list is primarily made up of women, it must be feminist; because most of those women are people of color, it must be anti-racist. Because so many of these transgender women of color are sex workers, it must adopt a nuanced approach to sex work that respects its economic and personal necessity without ignoring its dangers. And because so many of these sex workers are in countries like Brazil and Mexico, it must be internationalist. If this politics seems impossible, consider that the safety of transgender people is impossible in its absence.


CBC's The Current: [url= money to treat low-income patients[/url]

Dr. Gary Bloch wrote:
I decided to treat poverty not as a social or moral issue, but as a disease to be diagnosed and treated like any other.


[url= in Ontario increasingly forced onto welfare[/url]

Ngọc Loan Trần: [url= IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable[/url]

[url= Interview with Mia Mingus on Disability Justice[/url]

[url=]No To Welfare Merger/Cuts[/url]


Maria Dahvana Headley: [url=’s Cold is Contagious: Hostile Subjects, Vulnerable Sources & The Ethics of Outing[/url]

Woman invented a golf club, is not out as trans* and explicitly states to the author that the publication of this story will result in its author committing a hate crime against her. As in, she will kill herself.

There is a discussion of proof being provided of Dr. V’s history, in exchange for Hannan not writing about it. He states that he can’t take that deal, implying that he can’t not write this story.

Can’t? Because to Not Write this story would be some sort of betrayal of…what? Hannan’s own journalistic ethics? He’s already stalked an unwilling source, and outed her as transgender to an investor. He’s already chased her friends and family. He’s already informed her that he Knows Her Secrets.

Ah, he must write it, because to not write it, would be a betrayal of A Good Story.

He cannot betray his Art.

Melissa McEwan: [url=, Cruel, and Unaccountable[/url]


Mia McKenzie: [url=]4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege[/url]

If you can recognize that part of the reason your opinion, your voice, carries so much weight and importance is because you are a white man (or whatever combination is working for you), then pushing back against your privilege often looks like shutting your face. Now, of course, using your privilege to speak out against oppression is very important. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about chiming in, taking up space, adding your two cents, playing devil’s advocate, etc. when 1) no one asked you, 2) the subject matter is outside your realm of experience (why do you even think you get to have an opinion about the lives of black women??), 3) anything you say is just going to cause more harm because your voice, in and of itself, is a reminder that you always get to have a voice and that voice usually drowns out the voices of others.


Dennis R. Upkins: [url=]An Opinion, You Have One (And It’s Racist and Uninformed)[/url] via Black Girl Dangerous

Being uninformed or uneducated on a subject is certainly no sin, but white privilege confuses white people by teaching them that they can be experts on any given topic, regardless of whether they are informed or not.

The discussion is over because, that’s right, they have an opinion.


Erin Tatum: [url= in Queer Lady Dating While Disabled: It’s Not Me, It’s You[/url]

Mia Mingus: [url= Intimacy[/url]


Jacqui Shine: [url= We Talk About When We Talk About Trigger Warnings[/url]

Our contempt for the trigger warning comes from--what? A fear that people--particularly women--might insist on being fully seen and recognized, even if it’s inconvenient? That we might have to reckon with the pain of others, especially the most incomprehensible varieties of suffering? That sometimes it takes a long time to get better, that sometimes we don’t? That we might have to acknowledge our shared responsibility for a world that is still so profoundly hostile toward women of all genders that, as Dylan Farrow’s recent revelations demonstrate, we categorically refuse to believe survivors?

It may or may not be practicable or advisable to provide trigger warnings in college classrooms. Honestly, I don’t care much either way. What I do care about is the way in which the subject seems to provide a convenient excuse to pathologize and shame survivors. The conversation about trigger warnings is, in every way, a conversation about trauma survivors, and, in a small way, a conversation about what part we each play in creating communities in which all of us can fully participate. If we’re going to have that conversation--and I think it’s an important one!--we need to do it without diminishing or lionizing trauma survivors. Pain, even and especially the pain of trauma, is neither permanently damaging or inherently ennobling. It’s just a part of life. As with most things, we deal with it individually and communally, whether we like it or not.

And you know something? I don’t think that how we as individual survivors manage our struggles every day is the problem here. Let’s stop acting like it is.


Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg: [url= Reasons to Give Up Ableist Language[/url]

Dr. NerdLove: [url= In Abusive Relationships[/url]

Nicole Nguyen and R. Tina Catania [url= Feeling Depleted: Naming, Confronting, and Surviving Oppression in the Academy[/url]

Kel Kray: [url=]Know Your (Lack of a) Role: Honoring Healing Spaces as an Ally[/url]