New Age acting out
After a lot of research to find the right person, I hired a feng shui consultant to help me restore balance in my home. We hit it off on the phone and she fit me in the following week. I was looking forward to it and rushed home from an out-of-town trip to meet her. I waited for an hour past our appointment time then phoned. She had been at home all morning, on and off the phone handling a problem with a client. I don’t understand why she didn’t just call me and say she needed to cancel our appointment or that she would be late. Weeks later, I am still angry at her blatant disregard of my time and need for her services. This is not the first time I have been treated disrespectfully by an alternative health practitioner or spiritual consultant. What gives?
Many talented people seek self-employment because they have unresolved issues with authority or authority figures. That resentment toward people and situations in their past may morph into passive-aggressive behavior toward their schedules, tasks like placing phone calls, or being where they promise to be. Some may even become angry at the hectic pace often required to generate a sustainable income and project that anger at clients in small ways. Others pursue their work as service but fail to retain healthy boundaries. These people develop savior complexes, creating codependent relationships with clients because, as a savior, they need to be the caretaker and fixer. This type of practitioner feeds off a client’s emotional energy and that’s why they can’t stop to call their next appointment and admit to running late. It’s more of an ego boost to arrive late and say they were saving someone from crisis.
In his book How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, David Richo writes, “Passive aggression (that is, expressing anger indirectly) has no place in adult relationships.” He then lists behaviors that are examples of expressing anger indirectly: not following through on agreements or messages; teasing; being late; sulking; the “silent treatment”; absence; criticism; withholding sex or using infidelity as a weapon; contrariness; practical jokes/tricks; ridicule or sarcasm; secretly harming others; withholding attention, acceptance, appreciation, and affection; and not allowing the other to pursue his/her deepest (healthy) needs, values or wishes.
Passive-aggressive behaviors exist in professional and personal relationships because most of us fear honesty about anger. The challenge with alternative practitioners is their tendency to avoid honesty by covering the conversation with what New Age minister Marianne Williamson calls “pink icing.” That’s spinning the conversation so that “it’s a lesson” or even your fault, but never apologizing or admitting to any responsibility or failure to follow through on their commitment to you.
Another perspective on your situation is that you didn’t need feng shui services. Get a delicious massage with the money you saved and then donate the remaining cash to an organization that really shifts energy, like Amnesty International.
I meet women who pursue me hot and heavy for weeks and then suddenly they stop calling. I’ll wait a day or two, then call. They will call a week later and then it’s clear the connection is dead. What am I doing wrong? I want a girlfriend.
Lucky you! Every one of these short-lived romances plops you right back into your relationship with your sweet self. Now, instead of searching your memory for imagined missteps and berating yourself, try noticing what you liked and how you need to grow, and then work on integrating those changes into your dating behavior. And consider yourself blessed. You may have avoided relationships with women who were not ready to be your partner.