When Your Social Insecurity System is Bankrupt

When Your Social Insecurity System is Bankrupt

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Most of us realize that continually giving handouts to the financially insecure will not help them long-term. This is not to say that we should not help an otherwise financially secure individual who has had a setback. We should. But the truth is, the more we give to the truly financially insecure, the more insecure they will become. Rather than believing that they can provide for themselves (or that God can provide for them), they will come to expect you to save them. Not only will the helpee feel more insecure, but her resentment toward you as her benefactor will grow, too.

While I have understood this principle in the realm of finances, I have failed to recognize its validity in the social realm. If an individual is chronically insecure (and isn’t just having a temporary setback), there is no amount of emotional handouts that will satisfy. Compliments, encouragement, and even vulnerability on our parts will not create social security for those who have not discovered the means for claiming security for themselves. Further, as your insecure other continues to be dissatisfied with all you do to lift her up, she will often decide to tear you down.

If you’re writing social insecurity checks your spirit can’t cash, consider:

  • Asking your insecure other questions to provoke insight. If she is a believer, you might ask her what keeps her from experiencing God’s perfect love and approval. If she is not, share with her how God has given you a deep and lasting security.
  • Relinquishing guilt for your insecure other‘s suffering. No one feels insecure because of someone else’s happiness. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Chronically insecure people choose to feel insecure.
  • Focusing your attention on those who are willing to take responsibility for their own self-image. There are women whose identity is solid, but could use a little encouragement. They don’t get it from us when we’re busy trying to help the chronically insecure.
  • Praying for your chronically insecure person. Only God can fill the hole that you keep trying to fill up. Trust Him to create the circumstances most likely to create change. You may have suggested therapy, books, and Bible studies to your insecure person to no avail. If you’re working harder to help than the insecure person, it’s time to transfer the case to Jesus. He’s the best therapist I know!

LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. (Psalm 16:5)

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The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Guilt

The Rebel’s Guide to GTD – Guilt

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Whereas brats rarely feel guilt, rebels are quite prone to it. After all, they aren't rebelling because they want to hurt people for the most part. They're rebelling because they feel they know best and refuse to be constrained by silly rules made by people they don't respect. A rebel will respond to the demands of someone on a power trip with intentional sloth. But give them someone truly in need and they will expend all their effort to help. Of course, the helpee is also much more likely to respect said rebel than the overbearing authority figure.

This is an issue to discuss with respect to getting things done because we intuitively know that guilt works to get our inner rebels moving. Their surprisingly tender hearts will often get them up and busy when nothing else will. The problem is we tend to abuse this strategy to the point that it backfires. Guilt is such a painful emotion for the rebel that if we heap it on, the rebel may just plug her ears and ignore us, even when the guilt is appropriate.

Here are some examples of the inappropiate use of guilt as a rebel motivating tool:

  • How can you stuff your face when there are millions of people who don't have enough to eat?
  • There are so many unemployed people right now who would kill to have your job and all you can do is whine about what you have to do
  • Think of all the infertile women who would love to have a child and all you can do is complain about how crazy yours are driving you

Instead, consider posing these guilt-free questions:

  • What need are you meeting with food that you could meet in more constructive ways?
  • Is there a way you could make your job more satisfying or are you ready to look for a new one?
  • When are your children easiest to be around and is there a way you could encourage that environment more often?

Guilt is effective with your inner rebel, but it should be used sparingly. Use it when your grandma is in the hospital and your rebel wants to finish watching all the episodes of her favorite TV show on Netflix before visiting her. 

A good clue that you're using guilt to motivate is the word 'should' and its derivatives. What kinds of shoulds have you heaped on your inner rebel to no avail? 

Rebel's Guide to GTD – Respect

The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Superior

The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Challenge

The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Rules

The Rebel's Guide to GTD – Intro

 

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