The Relational Paradigms of the Child, the Adult and the Angel

Benjamin Teixeira de Aguiar by Spirit Temistocles

The child asks for, demands and complains. Does not give. Cries, kicks, screams.

The adult gives, and after that demands retribution. Does not cry: argues, negotiates, and not getting what he wants, breaks the exchange relationship up, to establish, elsewhere, with others, a new exchange relationship.

The angel gives, and has already received, in the act of giving. Does not complain, does not charge, does not negotiate, does not require absolutely anything in return for what he did, he is already satisfied in the very mechanism of giving, fed by his own altruism.

Every human being has a greater or lesser extent of each of the phases. However, there are hybrid situations that demonstrate imbalance. One of them, the most common, is that of those who give little and want to get a lot: a childish adult. Or, the one we want to focus the most in here: the one who gives a lot and want to receive from those who do not want to give. It is the sacrificial victim, while the first is the childish victim. The sacrificial victim is not a crybaby: is a dangerous monster. It gives a lot, to have authority to charge and requires the exchange relationship with those who do not want it.

If I give to someone and someone does not return me the favor, I am not a victim. I suffered a fatality, a natural experience in the adult world of exchange, of not receiving what I expected in a relationship. It is up to me, then, to make clear the reasons for the termination (in this tacit agreement between the parties involved in the exchange of interests and values) and to go to a new relational game, with other subjects. But if I insist, I am not a child, but also do not act like a healthy adult: I am a tyrant, a despot, that through force wants to impose myself on who does not want me, does not desire me, rejects me. I am not a poor man, I am a preying wolf, the worst kind of wolf: because I am a hypocrite, disguising my intentions with the appearance of virtue, requiring submission from the part that interests me, ignoring the free will, the right, the will, the existence of the other: Only I matter and not the other. So, I demand, manipulate, cry and appear exhausted, brooding blame on my victim. The other, yes, probably a childish victim, because he does not realize (consciously) the game, and conforms, not summarily expelling me of his life, as would a healthy, mature adult, thus adapting to the system – because it suits him – of receiving a lot, giving little or nothing in return.

Beware the surreptitious power games in interpersonal relationships. Looks can be deceiving. Better to be aware of what we are wanting in return than deceiving ourselves, judging us angels ahead of time. Yes, we are already, developing the seed of god within us. Thus, altruism, the spirit of free solidarity and compassion, without any embedded intention of retribution, expands. But every time we judge ourselves devoid of personal interest, while in the human condition, it is strongly suspicious. We can be fully owned by the tyrannical illusion of the poor devoted martyr, but always moody, sad and sick, spreading guilt, fear and hatred wherever he goes. The true saint is never sad or macerated. He is happy because he gives and is satisfied by giving. If I live carrying crosses and making those who pass by notice it, I’m not an angel, I am a demon, a pathetic pretense of holiness, a walking psychological illness, a horrendous pustule of false morality, of false goodness.

Mommy who gives to look good is not a responsible mother. She is selfish and evil. She is destroying the future of her child, worrying about the image the child will have of her, not educating him. Rightly, she’s likely to be punished by the ingratitude, because she raised a child addicted to receive, without giving.

Good hubby does not live demanding tributes of gratitude and obedience. Or he is not good, but a cheap and stingy seducer hiding behind the good guy cover, to better co-opt his victim.

Daddy, who says that I must follow the profession that he determined, otherwise I am ungrateful, is not a conscientious father: treats me as a puppet in his hands (to achieve his personal dreams) and thinks I have the obligation to act as such. Or I am a bad puppet, because (horror!), I act like people (how dare I, after so many years of sacrifice!), and so I have my own will, opinion and aspirations!

Let each one look at themselves, trying to see their dominant attitudes. We have a little of the child, of the helpless victim, of the demanding victim, of the angel or of the half-angel, in the depths of ourselves. Some have more of one, others have more of the other, but all have a bit of each. May we be honest enough with ourselves, in order to see with clarity, with no disguises, what we really are, what we really intend in every relationship and in each specific situation of a relationship, so that we can not only improve as people, evolving psychologically and morally, but also in order to have more satisfying, less frustrating and disappointing social, emotional, family and amical lives, because more sincere and, consequently, happier.

There is no holiness without sanity. Let each one think about it with the utmost care, to not end up being blamed for giving too much, when it was not only to give, but to give in a balanced relationship of give and take, according to the very personal level of evolution one has reached, in order not to engender vicious relationships, not only detrimental to the giver, but mainly to whom receives under pressure.

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