Multiple occasions this week left me feeling diminished. One type was undervalued, another type was discredited, and another was misunderstood. I’ve been considering how frequently and habitually I diminish others and how often I feel diminished by others for trivial, mundane, ludicrous, judgmental things, over misunderstandings.
I’ve been reading about projection and transference as interpersonal and psychological dynamics between people or within families or workplaces and communities for 14 years. And I wonder how transference undergirded the arbitrary yet painful episodes this week.
I felt sad and angry and disheartened with each. I don’t even know how I’d describe what the accumulated diminishment felt like as I was stuck in mundane in each and wasn’t whirring with analysis seeking greater comprehension or new insight. I was stuck in bothered.
Now, at the cusp of the weekend, I know that there will be plenty more diminishing in the weeks ahead. I may not notice three palpably painful instances as happened this week but I’ll have to figure out what my first reactions are when the diminishment comes.
And, I have to find how to feel feelings of confusing or offense without resorting to diminish others to find how to not collapse the vastness of who others are by belittling them or denigrating their conduct instead noticing my desire to withdraw or move away from without making up a story that justifies aversion and amplifies disgust. To notice my misunderstanding without filling the space inside myself and between me abd them with a few reasons why I’m upset. Instead just feeling upset, without more story, for 15 to 40 seconds. Then to return to my own feet, my own heart rate, my back without observing their shape, stature or feelings.
With this, I may acknowledge them as they are without diminishment.
For what it’s worth: I am aware that diminishment is not [yet!] a word in the dictionary. Though based on some similar words, the concept builds upon the following (italics added) —
- Diminish, verb: 1) to make or cause to seem smaller, less, less important, etc.; lessen; reduce. 2) [architecture] to give (a column) a form tapering inward from bottom to top. 3) [music] to make (an interval) smaller by a chromatic half step than the corresponding perfect or minor interval. 4) to detract from the authority, honor, stature, or reputation of; disparage.
- Punishment, noun: 1) the act of punishing. 2) the fact of being punished. 3) a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc. 4) severe handling or treatment.