• http://twitter.com/MagnoliasWest Sue Kearney

    Wow, Tad, powerful! I love this post! Empathizing, and affirming that it’s not your fault.

    I hit that judging snag all the time and you just held up a very juicy mirror for me, complete with pointers to a better way.

    Thank you!

    Love and light,

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    thanks sue!

  • Molly

    Tad, reading your description of the two approaches made me think of the film The King’s Speech, in which we get to see so heartbreakingly the results of the judgmental, “just do it” approach contrasted with a supportive, accepting (but firm) approach. Thanks so much for this!

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    nice call. yes. the ‘try harder’ approach so rarely works.

  • Nancy Smeltzer

    I come from a family of “professional victims” so I learned how to play the victim card at a very early age. Then, I moved along in my spiritual path to the point of being able to say “I’m a recovering doormat”, and now, I think those old habits rarely surface. It was the blaming, judgmental, “you should be better than that” approaches from some that I feel actually kept me in my victimhood much longer than was optimal, but then all paths finally get us to where we want to go. In dealing with my clients, I feel that it’s important that they feel heard, and then slowly move them to wherever the Divine directs, not some sequence that I’ve orchestrated, that seems to have the fastest results with those with whom I am honored to work. Thank you for the compelling title that will draw people in to read the compassionate message that I feel you offered here.

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    if we knew better, we’d do better

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    thanks so much nancy :-) yes – the whole ‘you should be better than that’ doesn’t help anyone.

  • Nancy Smeltzer

    I know for me, saying “just try harder” had as much meaning for me in my times of downfall as saying “If you just flap your wings hard enough, you could fly, if you really wanted to!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/emma.stangl Emma Stangl

    Hi Tad,

    When I saw the link to this blog post, with the word “victim” in it, I was almost scared to click on it, because I have been shamed for being in pain many, many times, and it sickens me to think of how that happened with people I was PAYING to help me.

    I am now working with a Nonviolent Communication teacher, and not only looking at feelings, but the needs behind the feelings that either me or other people are attempting to express.

    Now that I am going through this, actually being heard, and realizing that being heard, and having my emotional needs met, or if not met, at least validated….helps me automatically empower MYSELF, there is no pushing, rah-rah or bombast required……

    …..I see how this ubiquitous rhetoric/sound bites in self-help and personal growth of taking responsibility, stop giving your power away, stop acting like a victim (where does someone who says this get off, telling someone that they’re “acting”?! Actually implying that my or others’ suffering is guileful, is a manipulation? I can’t even express how offensive that is)

    I see how it does a huge disservice to my own ability to know what I need, what’s best for me, and truly to my own capacity to grow and heal, something that is inherent in me and in others as human beings.


  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave


  • Victoria Reeve

    Wow – what a great understanding – one that is sorely missing from the unrelentingly positive ‘sweetness and light’ approach that most of us have been taught (and, just as likely, are teaching)! I’ve never come across anything before where I thought, “gee, I wish I’d written that,” but this is the one (without the ball grabbing part, lol). Thanks, Tad.

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    thanks victoria! yes – the sweetness and light only goes so far.

  • Jeanell

    What a gift this post is. Thank you for your refreshing approach to such a common issue in healing fields. I am especially appreciative that this post shows compassion and support for all parties rather than shaming one or both.

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    thanks jeanell :-)

  • jill

    Great article. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/NbrsOnPurpose Briana B. Squirrel

    This article makes me feel like I did when I heard the most healing sentence I ever heard: “This was an appropriate response to a difficult situation.”

    Thanks for writing it, Tad, and for having built such a wise and sensitive community around yourself that I’d feel comfortable posting this story :)

    When my facilitator said that, “This was an appropriate response to a difficult situation.”
    The shame I’d usually feel around this relaxed its grip… I’d remember all the times (long ago) that this response had been useful for getting me what I needed most at the time… and the facilitator waited for me to savor those memories as ‘positive’ experiences… for the first time. tears.
    The next thing he said was: “…and it might be a very effective & useful response in the future, so remember: you’ll always have this way of being as an option.”
    Him saying that had me going ‘eh, I can’t really think of a situation as bad or hard as that happening now… I guess I could come across one, but I doubt I will. I think I’m ready for some different, less-automatic responses…’
    So I was happy to oblige when he said:
    “Are you willing to explore what other options this part of you has, what forms it could take, or is something else more alive for you right now?”
    Sometimes more parts of me wanted to be seen and spoken to that way FIRST. Other times I would feel free to explore other ways for this part of me to operate in the world.
    [this work is called Enteleos – the wisdom from within]

    Your work is as beautiful as this, Tad.
    Thank you.

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    wow. now that’s empathy and understanding. so beautiful.

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