People Who Provoke You To Improve Yourself

Thinking of youThis is loosely related to my last post, Adults Playing Kid’s Games.

Recently I made a provocative comment to someone. I knew it would disturb her. I suspect most the people who witnessed this saw it in a negative light. I expected that as well. I also imagine most people would assign some negative motivation to what I did.

My motivation was not negative but our culture is so coddling these days, if you tell anyone, anything other than they are wonderful, special, loving, caring, amazing, brilliant and AWESOME, you’re putting yourself as risk.

At risk to be disliked at the very least. I won’t even try to describe the possibilities on the other end.

I made the comment because I respect the person. Specifically, I think she’s smart. I know she has the capability of thinking about something and having a (blinding) light go on.  I wouldn’t put odds on this or anything. But the potential is there. I decided to take a shot.

After I made the comment, it occured to me how infrequently we come across people or things that provoke us to examine ourselves or our lives or our thoughts and feelings. The internet is jammed full of pre-thought thoughts, places on signs, you can cut and paste.  You can easily spend your life, agreeing or disagreeing and never, ever having an independent thought.

If you do have someone who can serve you food, you have to chew for yourself, and you’ve the sense to react with something beyond anger, consider yourself lucky.

If you’re surrounded by yes-men – not so much.

If this interests you, check out, When You’re Wrong About…Everything.

How do you react when someone tells you something that challenges you or makes you uncomfortable?


People Who Provoke You To Improve Yourself — 25 Comments

  1. Leave it to the internet. Wow passive aggressive remarks yet a kind one they cant’ muster up… Post that are timed pretty obviously to mine just to get info… Without just fessing up about natural human curiousty.. My home NYC harder is in Brooklyn they get so frustrated over my issue and excited at the same time.. I get it.. I’m surpremely satisfied crazy maybe but thats my survival mode. The best outcome is being realistic.

  2. I read the “so wrong about everything” You have the nicest clients and fans.. thats a lucky place to be around good people. . Me with my Sagg rising I wish I kept my mouth closed lately but who knows. Feeling guilty about what I said in a round about way to Mom. Life is pain. Not always then again.

  3. I welcome provocation as long as it comes from a respectable source. If some douche burger is just fucking with me I dismiss him/her as a silly ass. My Scorpio sun Aquarius moon friend is great at challenging me. My Capricorn sun Taurus moon ex provoked and challenged me more than any other man I’ve ever known. And I loved him the deepest. I guess with my mutable grand cross involving Mercury and Saturn I crave that sort of thing. I need to be engaged and firing on all cylinders.

  4. I actually really appreciate it! The reason being is the people who give me something to “chew on” I know have my best interests at heart. I have learned to discern between the people who have my best interest and who doesnt. I will actually look for and ask for the constructive criticism, and that is what I call it, especially if I am stuck in a certain area of my life. Sun sign Virgo here, with an Auqa moon, always looking for a different way, with the intention to improve.

    • I have had people tip me off over the years. Had they not, I truly wonder if I’d have ever figured these things out on my own.

      This is *especially* true in this age of coddling and ass-kissing. I don’t think one person out of one hundred is willing to say anything independent, original or challenging.

  5. I like being told in a respectable way. I’m not sure provoked is how I would describe it, at least for me.

  6. I react badly and do little about it but I have a couple people around me who do provoke me to improve myself. I’m noticing that an old dating chestnut is to say that you want to be challenged or find someone who makes you want to be better person
    But do they really

    I’ve found a few people like this but not so harsh

  7. Also I’m not listening to many people lately but I’m in a weird place and most advice seems jarring some would say humble yourself

  8. Initially I don’t like it of course, but then once I have time to process it I appreciate it if it rings true. Some time its not so much as what is said but how it is said.

  9. People who feel offended are the people made of Ego.
    If you look deeper, and just for a second think about the provocator being right, you may be onto something. something about YOURSELF. try and see if it’s true, and if it is, change it, improve it. if it isn’t, well, then you are sure about yourself and there is no room to be disturbed by the provocation.
    Because, if you didn’t know that particular thing about yourself, it means you’re not really in touch with yourself, and the provocator might actually help you with his/her insight.
    People who try and run away from the subject of the provocation are simply delusional.

  10. If it’s a genuine statement without innuendo or underlying manipulation I appreciate this type of candor. I have Sag rising so I appreciate the truth for the truth and I appreciate someone caring enough to tell me like it is when their intentions are just to be directly honest.

  11. My discomfort comes when someone tries to push me into something. Whatever do I do about this pushy insensitive creature who thinks they know everything about me and exactly what I need or need to do.

    I have had a uber busy party week. Social social social. One of the women I talked with has just lost her husband after a bout with the Big C. People want to push her to do this do that. And she has to say ‘not at this time.’ I can’t fault the people for wanting to mate her, party her, know her plan for the future, because they don’t get it, they haven’t been there. After 30 years of marriage, it is going to take time.

    I guess I just say, I can’t go there, I’m not there, I really don’t think about that.

    • I’ve decided I don’t have to respond at all. I mean it’s just an ego trip in the immediate situation. And if they see it gets my goat (no pun intended), I become a target when they are itching for a fight. I don’t like being in that position.

  12. Sag rising, so I appreciate the truth opposite Venus in Gemini, just give it to me nicely. I step back and review later when not reactive. Learn something about myself and use it to become a better person.
    Been told I see the positive in everyone and everything so I didn’t see the ‘negative’ to such an extent. I do think it is interesting when you can see clearly the projection going on and then later asking oneself where do I have that to look at?

  13. Libra, Libra, Libra over here. I am more likely to listen if it challenges me. Besides, I have found there is a kernel of truth in everything. Even when the person is wrong, there is always something to think about

  14. I’m Sag sun Scorpio moon Aqua rising and am most responsive to people who challenge me with logic, not snark. I don’t want or need coddling but I do appreciate matter-of-fact observations and suggestions from people I feel have my best interests at heart.

  15. The current *coddling* culture has had a long time developing – many years. One of the ugly outcomes: when I express agreement toward someone doing anything amazing, often, the reaction is scepticism, of me, because of a natural rejection of blank approval – aka “likes”.

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