During my walk I gave thought to what Karaj had said about why I have chosen the friends I have. Nothing came to me until I was nearly at the house when, out of the blue, I wondered whether I had chosen successful, competent, socially-skilled friends in order that I can compare myself with them and conclude (in my negativity) that I am no good. The positive outlook is that I chose those people as my friends because they are living examples of the skills I need to learn. [Karaj: You have learnt them.] I surround myself with people who can take me forward.
The day was spent with Karaj, Sunil and, towards the end, Robert. When he arrived he told us about his interview – he had said to the panel at the end that they should let him know early if they are going to ‘knock him out of the running’. I put my head in my hands at hearing this but Robert could not understand the negative implications of his words. He resisted any illumination we offered, so I left it. This is connected to his feelings of being attacked by people’s challenges – he cannot understand that we are on his side and we are trying to make him aware of what he does, rather than bash him up every time – he does enough of that to himself anyway.
I know Robert represents an ideal opportunity for me to practise being tough (ruthless). It is a skill I would love to have and it means challenging my script and all my patterns. [Karaj: You already have it but you choose to use it inappropriately.] Robert has put himself in this situation and I can do us both a favour by being hard on him, pushing him, and challenging him to sort himself out. By doing that I will help to sort myself out. In talking about Robert, Karaj told me that if he carries on with his life in the same way, without listening, or coming down off his high horse, he will be dead. As Karaj so accurately put it, if he doesn’t admit that there is something wrong which needs fixing, and he continues in his arrogance that he is right, then one day he will take it with him to his grave, from where he can be ‘right’ for eternity.
Sunil and I talked about my ‘please others’ driver and how annoying it can appear to others when I am trying to be nice. Sunil told me that it’s not the niceness that bothers him, it’s the incongruency – trying to be nice, trying to please people, when I really don’t want to. I told Sunil to let me know when I’m being incongruent.
In the evening we went through some of the written work which Robert had spent this afternoon editing. His behaviour was subservient – he kept seeking permission to read on after any interruptions – and he was by no means forceful enough. I was reminded of the hierarchy in the garden with Robert at the bottom. He puts himself there every time, and then uses his position and intellect to undermine everybody. What’s the point?