Care-taking vs. Care-Giving: How we disempower ourselves and others – Part II

Care-taking is an act of aggression. If you’re not ready to swallow that, read Part I  again.

When I do something that appears to be FOR you but actually is for ME – is that not similar to passive aggression? Except it’s not passive, it’s active. Passive aggression is an indirect form of resistance or hostility – like being late or “forgetting” commitments. Care-taking is more nuanced and sophisticated than that – it is aggression disguised as “doing something nice”. It is doing someone a favor that they didn’t ask for (and still expecting gratitude). Isn’t that f**ked up?

A paradox of care-taking, is that when we care-take, we hurt ourselves as well as perpetrating on others whom we need for support: friends, family AND paid professionals and caregivers.

To be sure, there are also times when we DO need to be rescued...
To be sure, there are also times when we DO need to be rescued. But it’s still our choice…

It’s like this: If I don’t ask you for something I want or need – using the “story” that I’m protecting you as an excuse (because you are SO busy with other things more important than me…), I’ve done a disservice to both of us. Do you get how that might be care-taking? Because by NOT ASKING, I am avoiding MY possible discomfort of you saying “no” – or my discomfort of possibly causing you discomfort.

By the same token, if I let someone care-take me with their ideas of what I need, I’m giving up my power and frankly disrespecting them by pretending and withholding my truth.

Both cases – though examples of NOT doing something – (the more “active” type of ca-taking will be explored in Part III) – could be viewed through a lens of dysfunctional rescue – I’m rescuing you even though you may not need rescued. There’s nothing empowering about that – for anyone…

Care-taking is a lose/lose proposition. Nobody wins. Yet we tolerate it because it looks like everybody wins!

Sneaky little thing that…   ~Z