Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ring Leader of Negativity

As you all know I am learning how to post videos so the song, "In My Life" is at the bottom although I swear I placed it here at the top. My goodness.

I love this song. Skipp and I sang it together to our family and friends at our wedding - right here - outside in our yard - surrounded by a circle of torches, flowers, and love and laughter. It was amazing day in so many ways.

I am troubled today, unsettled, if you will. I am very willing to accept blame" for something I did. If I am falsely accused of something it wreaks havoc within me. I was, in fact, falsely accused at a "Team Building" workshop of being negative. There are so many facets to this I don't know where to begin. The first three hours were wonderful - the last hour, not so much. We were directed to each anonymously list three problems/obstacles we see as reasons our in-patient treatment unit is struggling. I thought it odd to ask this and was hesitant. It didn't seem to "fit" with the theme of the day - a theme of "getting to know one another better via fun activities such as working as a team to keep balloons up in the air, a trust walk, and a questionnaire that we filled out about someone else and then spoke about that person to the group. It was such fun. The last segment was out of place, I felt. I then thought that it was not my agenda to question so I did as I was directed.

As the forty or so "problems" were compiled and taped to the walls they were then categorized into areas of concern - communication, the gap between management and line staff, the 'red-pencil' mentality and one other I can't recall. As the discussion ensued it turned away from the fun atmosphere of earlier to one of serious concerns being stated. I did speak about my concerns only because I was asked to do so. I am well spoken and have seen all the changes over the past decade and I am well-aware of the pit falls. Somehow my sharing my concerns was seen as negative and I was even named the "Ring leader of Negativity". This was so far from the truth and my intent. This mis-perception was bad enough but when someone I thought knew me well and understood my expression betrayed me I was devastated. I also know that people like to blame and because I was verbal I was an easy target.

I learned a couple of things - First - I will NEVER attend a Team Building day again, Never!! Second, that people you think are your friends will throw you under a bus to save their own ass. And third - Dual relationships are really difficult to manage.
Of course I new these last two already, I am not naive. It didn't make it hurt any less. I am stunned by the betrayals and accusations and perceptions that are so far from the reality it is mind boggling. I always say that when we defend ourselves what we defend against becomes very real. I need to strike a delicate balance between standing up for myself and defending too much. This is definitely one of those times when 'less is more'. I will bring myself out of this and away for the false accusations and the power I allowed these to have.
Meanwhile, I will listen to the song - "In My Life" remembering all those people who would nerve betray me like this.

The Ring Leader


Comrade Kevin said...

I have to say that negativity at times has a purpose---but that too much of it merely poisons you and exhausts the people you interact with on a regular basis.

I don't know enough of what transpired to make a judgment call--but reading your blog posts, I find it hard to believe you are anything like the ring leader of negativity.

PENolan said...

Ditto the Comrade.
You are far too likely to be all Pollyanna about things to ever be The Ringleader of Negativity.

But if you must assume that mantle at work - I say take it to the max, Bitch!

Gail said...

Hi Kevin-
You are right. I am any thing but negative, and clearly no ring leader of such, - I am quite the opposite. Which is a big part of the betrayal aspect, and being "thrown under a bus" by people I had trusted.

P E -
And I could take it to the max - I have all the required skills. ;-0

Love to you both

Val said...


This is a really interesting post.
What is it that makes us (meaning anyone on earth) get so defensive? It's an internal wound, isn't it? It's something that hasn't healed... I know I struggle with this too. Sometimes I am envious of people who seem to take judgments and false criticisms in stride... I have to say I'm getting better at but it is still a struggle...


Gail said...


Very good insight. And yes, I, like you have wounds that when left to just be are of no consequence - but the scars are there perhaps even the scabs and this scenario opened up the wound - I also believe that in trusting people not to be the ones who open a scar or tear off a scab and they violate that trust it is a natural order to put up defenses. I guess what I am saying is I never thought that certain people would cause a new wound or pick at one already there - that was my mistake, in retrospect. I am very sad indeed.

Love, Gail