The Antagonist

Credits: Unsplash / Callum Skelton

Have you ever encountered an antagonist? I’m not talking about a storyline or drama-type antagonist. I’m talking about the one who is passive-aggressive, subtly malicious, unkind, intentionally does things to hurt you, and pretends that it was done unintentionally, in error, without bias, or were just trying to help you.

Who’s The Antagonist?

The Antagonist knows you well, knows your likes and dislikes, has studied you intensely, knows your weakest points, and know what to do not only to stir, but exploit, your emotions.

The Antagonist can be a close friend, family member, colleague, business associate, neighbor, or a sports teammate.

Most antagonists are charismatic, sociable, and have lots of friends. These character traits, which are great traits to possess, only serve as a cover-up for the antagonist’s true personality.

The Antagonist’s true self is one who seeks the attention and love of everyone and woe to the one who does not join in their attention-seeking group.

The antagonist goes after those who resist their attention with the goal to stir their emotions such that when those react, the aggressor looks like the pacifier.

Lakers and Pistons brawl

Such was my reaction regarding Sunday’s Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons’ game-turned-brawl that got LeBron James (LBJ) and Isaiah Stewart (IS)’s subsequent NBA decision of game suspension without pay. The incident occurred during the third quarter and was all over the media. You probably already heard or watched it. If you didn’t, google Lakers and Pistons fight.

The outcome was that NBA suspended LBJ for one game, but IS was suspended for two games, both without pay.

It’s unfortunate that IS got the heftier penalties, whereas LBJ, who in my opinion was the initiator, got a lighter penalty.

Sir Isaac Newton once said that “for every action, there is an equal or greater reaction.” Though Newton’s statement refers to the law of motion, the same statement is applicable in this instance. LeBron’s action, unintentional or not, including his response afterwards necessitated Isaiah’s furious actions. Granted that IS should have restrained himself when the officials stepped in to the court, but seeing and tasting your own blood threw commonsense outta the window for him.

What happened?

On this unfortunate Sunday, the incident happened during the third quarter. A younger team (Pistons) with one of the worst records of the season (4-11) was leading the game by two-digit points. It was also the second game day back for LBJ, having been out with injury and missed eight previous games. To have Pistons leading the game was an embarrassing moment, to say the least, for LBJ and the Lakers.

At the point of a free throw, LBJ elbowed IS by the brow causing blood to ooze down the right-side of his face. As would be expected, IS walked to LBJ, in my opinion, in an attempt to “verify” if it was an accident or an intentional act. Whatever response LBJ gave certainly compounded an already charged IS and thus infuriated him the more. He was furious and attempted retaliatory attacks before he was finally restrained. He was also seen running to the “tunnel” in an attempt portrayed by the media as going to the Lakers’ locker room and for LBJ.

For the record, the Pistons have been known to be a combative team. Which didn’t help a lighter NBA decision-making either.

My take is that if the initial act hadn’t been committed by “the antagonist,” the ensuing incidents wouldn’t have occurred. LBJ’s response, in my opinion, added fuel onto IS’s troubled waters.

One team player commented that LBJ is not a dirty player having been ejected only once (during the Cavs and Heat’s 2017 game) in his 19-year career. Sunday’s was his second ejection. The fact is that LBJ is not a saint either on the court, nor does he play a-100% clean game 100% of the time. He’s sly and being a veteran of the game, he knows how to tweak without breaking the NBA rules. I’ve watched him done several on-court unkind acts, both intentional and unintentional, over the years. To his credit, most of those acts were overlooked by the referees. LBJ would be a saint when compared to some players such as Draymond Green of Golden State Warriors (to his credit, he’s a changed man now), Rus Westbrook now of LA Lakers, Demarcus Cousins (now a free agent, Patrick Beverley now of Minnesota Timberwolves, etc., who are notorious for intentional vile acts and who would easily warrant a foul or technical for the slightest acts.

I do not advocate violence nor retaliatory acts. But I am fed up with antagonistic folks who act like the innocent after their intentional harmful deeds hence the need to speak up and call the act out for what it is. The NBA ruling also sends a strong message against such actions.

Do incidents occur when playing games? Sure they do. Both intentional and unintentional. Most intentional acts go undetected by the referees. But none should have to draw blood out of another. IS got five stitches for the brow bust. The more reason I feel that LBJ got away too easy.

Know how to handle them

Antagonists are everywhere. You might not understand my post if you’ve never experienced one. I had. At the time, I didn’t know how to handle antagonistic acts and people. After making outburst reactions, I learned to dissociate myself from such people.

I also recently had an experience at an Asian grocery store I occasionally visit. I bought fresh fish, shrimps, and a bag of local foods. On my way out, I realized that I had couple more errands to run before heading home. So I turned back to ask for a bag of ice to help preserve the seafood. I took out the other item from my grocery bag to make room for the ice. As I was about to grab a plastic bag near the exit of the store, to go get the ice, one of the staff (an Asian lady) chased me down. She ran all the way from the back of the store, was so loud speaking in chinese, pointing at me and the item in my hand. Since I didn’t understand, I ignored her and went straight to the store’s freezer room for the ice. The lady was still talking to her other store staff when I returned. So I asked what her uproar was. When I realized that she was actually accusing me of not paying for the item in my hand, I got upset. Now it was my turn to cause an uproar. I demanded an apology. The lady instantaneously shifted gear and said “me help you …”. She stated that she was trying to help me. Which was untrue. The lady ran from the back of the store to the front to accuse me and tried to cover up her act when she was told that I had paid.

My recent experience is nothing compared to LBJ-IS’s, but the outcome of turning the vile act to one of help-apology is similar.

If you have antagonists in your sphere of life, the best reaction is to ignore them. Their goal is to have the incident escalate from your reaction, while they keep silent and feign ignorance of why you’re reacting as such thus portraying you as the aggressor.

Another way to deal with antagonists is to be assertive. As in my recent instance, I requested an apology which was given. I am of the opinion that LBJ ought to apologize publicly to IS to portray the true NBA sportsmanship and face. Being proactive is also helpful and be prepared to walk away to avoid the situation getting out of hand. I wished IS had walked away.

Taking the above measures will help to know how to tame the antagonist.

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’


— Read on www.centreforemotionaleducation.com/an-essential-guide-for-those-who-are-overly-emotional-or-very-emotional/

Sharing Thursday: Towards your Emotional Development

Have you ever felt that you over-react often or always? Or been told that you’re too emotional?

Could it be true that you are and there could be a latent reason? Or could it be that the one who made the statement to you is just emotionally deprived? Find out by reading the post.

I find this post very informative and apropos having just written my E-Emotional Development blog.

“An essential guide to those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’” is good read for those wondering why they exhibit deep emotions. It also provides steps for how to develop emotionally.

Also visit the website for a free e-book download. I hope you find it equally informative.

Towards your Emotional Development and Intelligence. Happy Thursday! 😍

So you think you’re ready … how is your E-Emotional Development

PEMFESS+P: The First E-Emotional Development

A lot can be unpacked as regards Emotions. Your emotions impact every area of your life. It is your brain and feelings connection. When fully grounded in the emotions, other areas will be positive. Similarly, out-of-control emotions negatively impact other areas of one’s life. This does not mean that you suppress those emotions though. They are there for a reason. It merely means that you give them the right balance of how to appropriately express yourself at the right time. However, if you are one to have emotional outbursts, now is the time to work on them before those emotions get you in trouble.

As an example, I used to work where an Executive Manager would throw the desk phone at someone or the wall when he was angry or work wasn’t going his way. The last time he did it unfortunately the organization’s Chief was walking into his office and had to duck. The Executive was asked to resign or be fired. Such behaviors are unacceptable especially for a leader in private or publicly. Neither would such be acceptable in marriage.

The development of our emotions begin in infancy and involves how we express ourselves in the good, bad, and ugly situations. It involves self-expression, using our words positively rather than our fists and name-calling, self-control, etc. What, and how, you do when you’re fearful, angry, or sad, feeling sorrow or hate, or are excited. Do you wear your emotions on your sleeves? Do you throw tantrums and everyone around you have to walk on eggshells? Or do you suppress those emotions in an attempt to be “nice.”

Your Emotional Development is the difference between being proactive and reactive.

“Children who grow up in a less nurturing environment are more likely to have an unstable emotional foundation – affecting the rest of their lives.”

Being proactive and seeking counseling or therapy will be beneficial in unpacking and dealing with any covert or overt childhood emotional or traumatic experiences. The earlier you identify the need for counseling or therapy sessions, the better it will be for your emotional wellness and stability.

This is the time to deal with any emotional wounds so you aren’t carrying those baggages along with you in life and into your marriage.

You must have achieved a mastery of some emotions as an emerging adult, while other emotions will continue to develop. Also, being aware that the brain is not fully developed until age 24 (some say age 25), explains the irrational and/or immature behaviors of emerging adults, which includes you.

What emotions do you exhibit when you’re happy, sad, angry, frustrated, afraid, etc. What or who brings those emotions to the surface? How do you handle yourself when those emotions surface? We all obviously gravitate towards affable personalities and those who gives us a smile or use kind words. Are you any of this?

Identify those emotional habits that need to change and begin working on them. You’ll be the better for it.

Helps for Your Emotions

  • Sleep is essential and therapeutic. A good rest and sleep helps us to express ourselves calmer. I hope that you make rest and sleep a priority.
  • Good and balanced diet is also essential for your emotional development. “A hungry lady is an angry lady” is true. Ensure that you feed yourself healthy and timely meals.
  • In addition, I cannot overemphasize the need for your physical exercises. Having a trainer is good, but unnecessary in my opinion. Neither do you need to purchase expensive exercise gadgets. A 30-minute or more walk or run round your block at least thrice a week is all you need. The gym membership, exercise gadgets are merely extras.
  • Laugh or Smile. Yes, laughing and smiling not only slows aging, but is also a stress reliever. Also freely laugh at yourself; it won’t hurt much when others laugh at you.
  • Meditation. I meditate in the Word of God. Some choose yoga. Find what works for you and start doing it.
  • Remove yourself from toxic environments and people. Don’t linger in such merely for the sake of friendship or because you need the job, especially now that businesses are opening up after the long closure due to covid-19.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences.

Once you cultivate these habits, they’ll become a part of you that will be difficult to forego going into marriage.

Master Your Emotions

We all love the happy and positive emotions and want more of them. However, we will not be human without the negative emotions. We just hope that we have less of the negative ones. So, what do we do when certain negative emotions surface?

  1. First, dig deeper and find out the root of the emotion. Is’t really the person or incident or there’s an underlying, untended, and untreated reason. Am I just having a bad day? Is this a one-off emotion or recurring given the person, place, or thing?
  2. Once identified, deal with the root.
  3. If it still persists, have a talk with the person
  4. Changing your perception of the person, place, or thing is also helpful. Not reacting, but redirecting the emotion. Also, choosing to see something positive in the person, place, or thing to replace the negative emotion is also helpful.
  5. If that fails, remove yourself if possible from the person, place, or thing.

Our emotions impact our mental abilities. Stay tuned for the next post on Mental Development.

To your holistic beautiful self and higher emotional intelligence 😍

References

What is your state – Happiness or Joy?

What determines your emotions or state of mind – people, things, family, events, – or your self?

We all love and cherish our relationships. I hope that we all do. We cherish our family and families. I hope that we do. We love gifts when gifted. I hope that we do, else we’ll be looking a gift horse in the mouth. And, of course, we love to attend events for various reasons. Who are we and how do we respond to others, especially those closest to us, when these things are taken away (or not forthcoming) for whatever reason? The answer describes the difference between happiness and joy.

What is Happiness; What is Joy?

Happiness is superficial, external and dependent on something or someone. Joy is internally cultivated, thoughtful, and independent. Being Joyful is constant and a state of contentment irrespective of the externalities (that is, people liking and/or befriending or not, your family dumping accolades on you or not, your boy/girl friend buying you gifts or not, or whether you have money in the bank or not). If joy is constant, happiness is erratic and dynamic.

Someone once said that “happiness is when you’re happy when things (and people) are happening for you, but joyful when nothing is happening.” True or true?

What role does Money play?

Money is a biggie and some people allow it to control their emotions. Sometimes one is able to tell when a friend just got some money. The same friend becomes irritable to be around when s/he is financially broke. This is a developmental thing as well. It takes a level of maturity to be constant with or without anything, especially money. And, yes, we all need money and more money, Bills need to be paid, and without money nothing can be done; not even an ice cream night with friends. I get it.. But why be irritable. One can buy things and even people when we have the money. It therefore becomes a tool used not to benefit humanity but to control.

The BIG Telltale

Constant complaint is a telltale sign of someone who is unhappy about something. Sometimes it feels like they are unhappy with the world. It is not uncommon to hear someone who is unhappy complain and shift blame on another person or thing. They are also fault finders. The truth is that, given the right person or thing, that same unhappy person will find something else to shift the blame on. In essence, it is not the person or thing, but the unhappy person’s state of mind.

One who is joyful, on the other hand, is at peace with themself and often is a grateful individual. I have learned that one who lacks gratitude for life or self or anyone, is often a complainer and one whose happiness is short-lived.

Happiness therefore is good, but Joy is better.

So, how can we cultivate a state of joy?

  1. Learn to be grateful and live a life of gratitude
  2. Be at peace with yourself and others
  3. Avoid arbitrarily complaining
  4. Avoid comparisons - there will always be people who are better, prettier, more financially stable, with more more and more than you. Accept or change it, else you’ll be miserable for life; not a good state to be.
  5. Avoid triggers like fear, stress, jealousy, and envy; these are joy blockers.

Now that you know the differences between Happiness and Joy, where would you prefer to make your residence – chasing happiness or spreading joy?