I moved to a new area recently and, wanting to become part of the local community, I visited a couple of times a local Unitarian chapel. But I have been getting increasingly annoyed. I have been hearing too much of the love and kindness, love in your heart, feel no anger blabber. The same blabber that (in addition to other things) made me distance myself from the new age circles.
I seriously think this love and kindness doctrine was invented by toxic people to brainwash their victims into accepting abuse, control, exploitation and mistreatment.
Here are the main reasons why am I so annoyed by the love and kindness doctrine and what I think that people need to do instead?
- It implicitly vilifies people for feeling negative emotions and ignores the importance of negative emotions as a signalling mechanism while making no difference between just and toxic anger
These doctrines that brainwash people into believing that their negative emotions are wrong are essentially training them to accept injustice and poor treatment. They indoctrinate them to ignore their natural healthy alarm system and instruct them to blame themselves for its existence. These doctrines are essentially asking people to ignore the pain when they stick a hand into the fire. Instead of removing the hand from the fire and understand that the fire is causing the pain, these doctrines suggest people should blame themselves for this pain and feel love and kindness towards the fire (perpetrator).
it is true, however, that toxic people get angry when boundaries are enforced, when scapegoats and victims try to liberate themselves and speak the truth. Toxic people do get by in life by encroaching on other people’s rights, boundaries, energy etc. They want to take from others, deceive them, manipulate them. They want to be more important than others. When boundaries are enforced, they don’t like it. That’s why it is so important to understand boundaries and controlling and manipulative behaviours to be able to navigate the emotional reality of life. To distinguish between the just and toxic anger.
2. It victimises victims
People who have been victimised, abused, mistreated, let down, betrayed etc. usually feel very strong anger and resentment. People, who failed to achieve justice for the mistreatment that happened to them, naturally feel anger and resentment. People, who experienced severe trauma, frequently feel anger and resentment. Feeling this anger and resentment, acknowledging and owning it is part of their healing process. There are many lessons in this anger.
The love and kindness dogma implicitly vilifies these people for feeling the natural feelings and prevents them from learning these lessons.
3. It instructs people to supress negative emotions, which is actually really unhealthy
By implying that feeling anger is somehow wrong and that one should only ever feel love and kindness towards others, these toxic teachings instruct people to supress these very powerful emotions. Supressing emotions never works in the long term. Emotions need to be felt and lessons behind them processed and understood. The love and kindness doctrines are emotionally mutilating people and cause more complex issues further down the line.
One of the results of suppressing anger is misplacing it and venting it out at someone who is actually not the cause of the injury. Some people do choose weaker individuals (children, women, disadvantaged), to vent this anger at. By doing that, they become abusers themselves, they cross into the dark world.
4. It plays into the hands of perpetrators
By implying that anger is wrong and by implying that one should only feel love and kindness, these dogmas instruct people not to hold perpetrators accountable. To ignore their transgressions. By that they instruct them to contribute to the proliferation of toxicity in the world. The victim is made to feel wrong for his or her just feelings. It’s especially common in covert abusive situations when the victim is not educated about healthy relational behaviours.
5. The whole thing is either deliberately gaslighting/manipulative or absolutely uneducated about psychology
Sometimes, I wonder whether these doctrines have been devised by abusers, manipulators and toxic people to disempower the victimised majority.
In fact, I read somewhere that Christianity may as well have been designed by Romans. The ‘turn the other cheek’, the ‘you will be rewarded for your suffering after you die’. These doctrines really instruct people not to stand up for themselves, to accept injustice, exploitation, abuse.
The question is, is it deliberate? Or does it come from some naïve idea how human mind should work. It’s very strange. I am inclined to think the first is the case.
6. It’s simplistic and ignores the nature of human relationships and the world
Most human relationships, unfortunately, are based on control. The society as a whole is about controlling those at the bottom and making them accept their not very good lot in life without rising up against the elite.
Many families and social groups work like cults. With certain people controlling the others, getting all sorts of narcissistic (and other) supply and privileges, even being allowed abusive behaviour why designated scapegoats are being blamed. A lot of this control is covert, passive aggressive and insidious. A lot of it is so deeply ingrained into the toxic systems that many of those trapped in the system accept it as normal.
It is my bet that the people who are most inclined to listen to those love and kindness mantras are those who have already been brainwashed and gaslighted into thinking that they are wrong for feeling negative emotions towards the manipulators and covert abusers in their lives.
Is it really part of a conspiracy?
- It never talks about boundaries, self-respect, it never talks about the fact how toxic the world really is
We live in a world where injustice is ripe. We live in a world where something like 90% of the world’s resources are controlled by something like 5% of the population. We live in a world where women are still treated like objects and judged by their physical parameters rather than human qualities. We live in a world that was built on slavery and the destruction caused by colonialism that only benefited a very narrow elite. A lot of reasons for a lot of people to be angry. Yet, not a word about this upsetting nature of the world in those love and kindness doctrines. Not a word about trauma and how it’s passed down generations. Not a word about any of that.
Not a word about understanding boundaries and having the right to be treated well, have your needs met and rights respected.
We really need to stop listening to simplistic toxic doctrines and understand real psychology, real relationship dynamics, real history and the real problems of the world