Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soliciting Unwanted Advice

I always thought that, in an argument, conceding to anything merely for the sake of personal peace was a bad bargain, that the sacrifice of one's God-given rights was too high a price for some boring transient tranquil. That was back in the dire days when I preferred to let people harass me to (their) death before the old ego could climb down from its lofty throne. Traces of that stubborn nature remain to this day. The case of my buddy reinforces the moral of the story.

Now my buddy was dating my friend and I was their customary relationship counselor, me of all people, which tells you how that one was going. Along comes the guy one day, long-faced, looking lugubrious. When I ask him what it would take to fix his face, he raps to me the lyrics of his relationship details. The artistic awesomeness of said lyrics however surrender supremacy to the pathetic romantic state of same lyrics.

He said he was depressed. Reason? He had time and again been compromising his plans and budgets with his girl's demands and threats and sulks and whines, all in the hope of a better relationship. It hadn't worked, she wasn't happy, now he was glum.

Being a mutual friend of the couple, I understood his situation too well. So I told him it was his fault for putting himself in a situation where his primary trigger to action was the whines, lamentations and pouts of his girl. I explained to him how, according to punishment and reward theories, he himself had trained up his girl to be a constant crybaby; firstly by instantly rewarding her crybaby ways with instant rich rewards, and secondly by consistently failing to punish same crybaby tactics in any way. All because he became panicky and knock-kneed in the presence of an unhappy beauty. But there was hope yet for him, I said, prescribing a harsh regime involving heavy doses of hardheaded strong-willed deeds at first, later to be phased out slowly in favor of civilian-friendly conduct, aka plain old assertiveness. Just enough independent decision-making to demonstrate to her that he had a working brain in his own head. If she dumped him before the revolution was complete, I said by way of encouragement, "Well, good riddance."

My buddy has not talked to me for the entire while since. He's still with her, long-faced as ever.

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