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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 06:47 PM
Original message
"Hurting people hurt people."
I ran across that quote just now in a book I'm reading called How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell. I'll put the quote into context by reproducing the paragraph it was in in a chapter about working with others to create innovative ideas:

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I emotionally secure? People who lack confidence and worry about their status, position, or power tend to reject the ideas of others, protect their turf, and keep people at bay. It takes a secure person to consider others' ideas. Years ago, an emotionally insecure person took a key position on my board of directors. After a couple of meetings, it became obvious to the other board members that this individual would not positively contribute to the organization. I asked a seasoned leader on the board, "Why does this person always do and say things that hinder our progress?" I'll never forget his reply: "Hurting people hurt people."

Such a simple statement, but to me it is profound and really struck a chord in me. I wrote here recently that when I was going through the worst time of my life I hurt people even though I really didn't want to. Now I understand why that was. I was like an injured dog that bites you when you try to help it. It doesn't know any better and thinks that you are just trying to cause it more pain. It fits perfectly with my state of mind at the time. Maybe it will be easier to forgive myself now whenever one of those old memories of pain pops into my head and bites me, so to speak.

The book is very good. Maxwell is a pastor and a businessman, and although I don't share his faith, I find his writing to be illuminating. There are only a few references to religion in the book. The rest is written from the perspective of a business professional, and having started my own small business not long ago, that is what drew me to the book. I think his ideas about changing your thinking can be applied to many aspects of life, though: business, relationships, child rearing, hobbies, cooking, and education come to mind.
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-17-10 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. when I realized that,
it became incredibly easy to forgive those who intentionally hurt me. most liberating for me and my journey to a peaceful mind and happy spirit.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. How do you know someone is hurting?
I'm just a little confused about the connection, in the story, between "Hurting people hurt people" and a willingness to listen to other's ideas. Did the situation above imply that the guy they fired was not open to other's ideas? Is that how they knew he was hurting? In my experience, it is not obvious that people who do not listen to other's ideas are "hurting".... Or do they go hand in hand?
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. In the quote it says that the person in question
did not want to do anything to improve the company and actually seemed to want to hinder it. He also said that that person was emotionally insecure. I do not know if the person was fired or not.

The implication was that this person was in a state of emotional distress, actually felt threatened by other people (and their ideas), and due to that, he or she could not function at a level that was conducive to the growth of the company and couldn't work as a team player.

I don't think the quote was meant to be an all-inclusive kind of idea for everyone who is not receptive of other peoples' thoughts, just that, in the author's experience, many people who are not receptive tend to have some kind of emotional problem. My step-dad won't listen to my mom half the time. He's not hurting, unless you count being bored with a relationship pain.

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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I think I get it. Sometimes people hide their pain well.
Especially when comparing work life to home life. I'd imagine that alot of people who strive to be in control at work (and thus do not listen) are probably wrecks once they get home. I'm going thru a situation with someone who seems so incredibly determined to be in control that it is actually comical to everyone. But at the same time, I know this person is sort of secretive and leads another life at home, so it is hard for me to spot the pain. It is hard to feel sympathy for control freaks who refuse to acknowledge others' ideas (like a recent politician).
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. The story is an anecdote by a self-appointed expert in a book sold for profit
Edited on Tue Oct-19-10 07:42 AM by HereSince1628
It may or may not be true. But I think it is not completely true. It's certainly a convenience for the author to pull an unverifiable story out of his ass to bolster an argument in a self-help book.

Nobody gets to become a board member of ANY company by just waltzing in and sitting down. Even family members in a family business must be invited in by the principles. I assume that Mr Hurting must have had some previous successes in business or the board wouldn't have looked to him in the first place. In other words, Mr Hurting wasn't a miserable spirited failure or emotionally dysfunctional sod in the community.

The story is also a tale about how the board members viewed a selection to the the board who was a poor fit for the existing personalities on the board.

It seems that Mr Hurting, didn't conform to the happy happy of the board's ideas and actually challenged them. That's bad shit in the board room, really.

In response, some of the board apparently took umbrage with the guy. Giving rise to behaviors that I will make 2 comments on:

1. People often default to protective thinking when challenged and thinking that 'there is something wrong with you because you don't agree with me' is very very common. You can see this on almost every page of GD where subject headings or messages claim someone is "crazy." Crazy you=sane me is the message behind these things. It's a fallacy in argument, but it is self-protective.

2. It was very damned convenient for all this to happen to the author, pastor-businessman, because it gave him a chance to channel Jesus or Mohammad and manifest heroic goodness and divine insight by saying the guy was hurting. Which on it's surface looks sympathetic, but is an even more nuanced and cynical application of the self-protective things discussed in observation 1 because it helps sell the book and puts change in the author's pocket.

Yes, I have a personality disorder, so you can blame my reply on my disorder (But, please see observation 1)
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Great observations
I have little doubt that those factors played a large role behind the motivation for the book.

Actually I was thinking that most companies these days want "perfect" people with "perfect" lives because they feel that happiness will rub off on them, and conversely any distress will also rub off on them. I'd imagine that most successful people in business are incredibly greedy and want to succeed at all costs, so the last thing they would ever do is give a chance to someone hurting who is in need. I just see the book as how rich people think -- I never expected their thinking to be good.

You took it a step further with your outstanding observation that, sometimes, people use the "ah poor hurting guy" excuse to screw people over. Again, I just see this as another ruthless way in which people get financially rich. The book at least exposes this, even if it does so unintentionally.

I often wonder why I am never considered a part of the 'in crowd' in business and this explains a lot. I'm the type of person who wants to help people who struggle for success, and people in business are the type to kick hurting people out on their ass, and donate a little 'show money' to charity.

Rich people's behavior flies under the radar and I hope that exposing it takes a little edge of their power.

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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. The guy's got enough money
He doesn't need to write books.

You make an awful lot of assumptions yourself seeing as you have not read the book. If you want me to, I'll send you my copy so you don't put anymore money in Maxwell's pocket. Just PM me your address.

The book is an instructional guide on how to think about things in a new way. Everyone in this forum wants to do that. Maxwell is not playing God, he's just speaking from experience. There are very few religious references in the book. It's mainly about optimism.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. See observation 1, and please continue to enjoy your book n/t
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I don't think there's anything wrong with you and I don't think you are crazy
I'm simply disagreeing with you. I took in your thoughts and responded. Simple as that.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. thanks for this. it makes a lot of sense.
should be a useful insight to have, whether it is completely true and perfect or not.
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