I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

128. Interpersonal Courage and Interpersonal Cowardice 2

Interpersonal Courage and Interpersonal Cowardice 2

Aspect 2.  Mistakes and Transgressions

Interpersonal courage or cowardice concern not only weaknesses, but also mistakes and transgressions.
Weaknesses are tendencies to behave, mistakes and transgressions are actual acts of inappropriate behavior with bad consequences on another person.   (Mistakes without a consequence on another person are irrelevant in this context.)    Mistakes are the result of ignorance, bad judgement, irrationality, carelessness, thoughtlessness, that cause any damage.   Transgressions are moral failures, that hurt someone else.  

Impulsiveness can be a weakness, a rash action is a mistake.    The lack of a hesitation to lie is a weakness, but the actual lie is a transgression.

A weakness has no impact upon another person, only the attempt to hide it can do damage to the partner as explained in entry 126.
A mistake or a transgression is an act with a detrimental consequence on someone else.   One person's act causes another person's pain or damage.   

Everybody makes a mistake or transgression once in a while.   The focus of taking responsibility is to undo the damage.   Outside a relationship, in rare cases it is possible to be responsible and to make amends for a mistake without the damaged person ever knowing of it.   If it is a transgression, then undoing the emotional damage always requires to own to it and to earn forgiveness.    

Taking responsibility includes four main steps:
1.  To acknowledge to have acted with an impact upon another person
2.  To consciously evaluate the own behavior
3.  To take notice of the subjective perception of the action by the other
4.  To decide, what are the appropriate consequences
Based on a realistic evaluation, a mature person feels and acts with accountability and liability, he makes restitution and amends, when this is needed to repair the damage.  

An interpersonal coward avoids responsibility by denial of some or all of the first three steps.   
1.  He denies to have caused the damage or pain.  
2.  He feels to have done, what is right and what he feels entitled to do.
3.  He denies that any damage or pain has happened to the other.
4.  He preserves his self-esteem, his haughtiness or his grandiosity delusion by never feeling remorse, contrition, guilt, shame or regret, when mature people with interpersonal courage would.    He is too much a coward to have a conscience.

As I am writing about what I am expecting as suitable or unsuitable behavior in a partner, further considerations here are limited to transgressions between partners involved in a relationship.  

Interpersonal cowardice is a character flaw.   In addition, there can be other reasons to cause a man not to take responsibility for a transgression:

A.  A viable bonded relationship is based on shared basic values and attitudes, and on a shared strategy of solving problems and sharing decisions.    That means that even when it takes long discussions about conflicts, there is always ultimately the possibility of a basic agreement concerning what is right or wrong in how to treat each other.    When a couple cannot reach consent about what is right or wrong, then they are not a match and cannot become bonded as a devoted couple.  
If their value systems are very different, the man might believe himself to be entitled to do or in extreme cases being a good person because of doing, what she experiences as a transgression.   She does not feel treated correctly, while he feels to behave correctly.   
A drastic example is a monogamous egalitarian woman in a society, where men are legally allowed polygyny.   When her husbands marries a second wife, he might perceive himself as an obedient follower of the demands of his religion, while his first wife feels herself entitled to the basic human right of equality.   

B.  People treat other people in accordance to their esteem for them.   The higher they value a person, the better the treatment, that they concede them to deserve.  
When a woman perceives a man's behavior as a transgression, while the man considers it as appropriate treatment, as the best that the woman deserves, then this indicates clearly, that she has no value for him.   He devalues, disrespects and depreciates her and puts her below him in a position of ascribed inferiority.  

C.  As an aggravation of treating her according to low esteem for her, as in B., his low esteem could be connected to his belief, that she is a defective and flawed person.   This allows him to interpret her reaction to his transgressions not as a healthy outrage but as further evidence of how flawed she is.   That lowers his esteem for her even further and justifies even worse transgression, that he does not consider as such.

A mature person feels a moral obligation to avoid doing hurtful, unpleasant and damaging things to other people, but it is sometimes an unwanted duty. 
A partner in a bonded relationship with intrinsic commitment cares for the emotional wellbeing of the partner.   His urge to avoid hurting her is a part of caring.  

When a man commits a transgression, but does not consider it as one, the woman experiences the man's transgression as a serious damage to the foundation of the relationship, if she is an egalitarian woman with the illusion to be with an egalitarian man.   Because this transgression tells her drastically, that he considers her as not good enough for any better treatment.  

To repair the relationship of equals, she needs some clear proof of a compensation and counterbalance for the abasement and degradation expressed by the transgression.    She can only forgive him, when she has been given back her rightful place as an equal partner, who deserves better treatment than what the transgression was.   
If he wants to repair the relationship, he has to take responsibility for the transgression, he has to make amends and restitution to her by earning her forgiveness.   That means, he gains full insight, what he had done wrong, why it is wrong, what treatment she deserves instead, how to avoid a repetition of the same transgression in the future.   If they both care for each other, he will be motivated to do this, and she will support him and cooperate with him in his learning process.  

To sum it up.   A man, who does not take responsibility for his transgressions towards me is unsuitable as a partner.