Thursday, July 8, 2010

Self-Imposed Exile




Making & Taking Offense





It was during a particularly rugged stretch of marriage that I first became aware of it: Eeyore Syndrome.

It had afflicted me from time-to-time, but I hadn't a clue as to what it was; not until it's attributes were brought clearly into view by the wise (and dare I say godly) counselor(s) that helped both hubby and I navigate the aforementioned (don't you love that word?!) stretch.

Imagine my utter surprise to learn that suffering from Eeyore Syndrome is optional.

The condition requires that I either volunteer to be a victim, or that I take pains to ensure someone else feels like one.

The rules of play are simple (though often cloaked in clandestine and altruistic garb):
  • heap accusations (whether real or imagined) on self or others,
  • provide a one way ticket for a guilt trip,
  • seek to apply pressure by use of manipulation (versus open & direct communication)
  • keep the syndrome alive by nursing the bitterness it engenders
Eeyore Syndrome is, first and foremost, about me, me, me and me. In some convoluted twist of reason, I can actually convince myself that my negative feelings are not my fault, but the fault of that one, or this thing.

None of this probably sounds familiar to anybody else. But I can tell you it's a syndrome I've employed with adept skill. I recognize it in others because I recognize it in me.

It's also a syndrome I avoid like a plague - whether to use it myself, or to be clobbered by it at the hands of another - now that I'm aware of it's lethal nature.


Because it robs relationships of a healthy ebb & flow. It sets up power struggles; and, in fact, insists on them. It's a self-imposed or outwardly-applied condition that does not seek nor benefit from a win-win. It's only possible outcome is a win-lose, or lose-lose. It's what allows for the "poor me"s and the "how dare you"s.

That's why.

Besides, you can never assuage it. It requires a pound of flesh, but exactly which pound is unknown until you've actually met the condition or run out of the steam necessary to keep it alive, which might be never unless you're particularly good at heaping guilt.

The preventative or cure?
Finally ...
  • whatever is true,
  • whatever is noble,
  • whatever is right,
  • whatever is pure,
  • whatever is lovely,
  • whatever is admirable
  • if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things...
And the God of peace will be with you.

Besides besides ... I've always liked Tigger better anyway.

Love is ... not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:

Did you ever stop to think,
and forget to start again?

Winnie the Pooh


Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

such a great post today. unfortunately i could see myself in some of that....

love to you!

Yolanda said...

This has absolutely spoken deeply to my current season, it is spot on. While unfortunately, I've been an Eyore myself, I am gaining strength because God is making me into a Tigger.

I am no longer volunteering to be a victim, as well as allowing another to KEEP me in the, How Dare You?

God has said I am a new creation, and I am choosing to believe Him and live like I believe Him. But with humility, not pride.

Thank YOU!

Love ya,

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Two of my favorite scriptures there at the end!

It is so easy sometimes to let our focus slip into the me, me, me's!

I hope you got your technical difficulties clear up from the other day. We have come to rely so much on our technology that we sometimes forget that there are those out there with to much time on their hand with not so good intentions. I hope no lasting harm was done!


skoots1mom said...

praises for His voice through your wonderful post :)

RCUBEs said...

As soon as my eyes laid on those words at the intro, I was thinking to myself! Wow! Sounds like the inmates at work! But as I progressed to reading the whole post! It came down to ME too! :) Ouch! Thank you for the "penetrating truth" in your post. A continued "renewing of the mind" is what I must seek. By His grace. Blessings.

Loren said...

Oh Kathleen! I wish everyone could learn of the Eeyore syndrome! We learned about this as well from our Life Coach and WOW! when you can start to recognize it, repent, and turn from it! It steals so much and YES demands, manipulates and hurts all in its path!

Thank you Lord for changing us and bringing these things into YOUR LIGHT to be healed!!

Love you Kathleen!

Heart2Heart said...


I think at various points in my life, I've become a bit of all the Winnie the Pooh characters. Eeyore is the worst strictly because not only are you down, but you also bring everyone else down that is around you.

You're right Tigger is the best!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Terri Tiffany said...

As always, you write such good posts that speak to me:))

LisaShaw said...

Oh I love this Kathleen!!! Love it and all the more since I'm a Winnie the Pooh and friends fan!

Important and valuable lesson my friend!

Bless you!

Andrea said...

This is a very convicting post, Kathleen! I don't like to think of myself as Eeyore or having Eeyore syndrome....but I see myself in this post!

Angel said...

My favorite is Tiger too!! He is so full of JOY!! Unfortunately I have struggled with the Eeyore syndrome at times too!! Thanks for the reminder!! Love this post!

Love and Blessings

Debbie said...

This was soo good. I think at one point or another we are ALL Eeyore's...I love that it is a definite choice though. We don't have to be an Eeyore, we CAN be a Tigger. And he really is much better. Thanks for this post ~ it really blessed me! HUGS, Debbie

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

When life lands a punch to my jaw, it's easy to fall into a victim mentality. The only problem: that mentality keeps me down.

The cure: forgive...and like the song says, "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again."

Susan :)

Beth E. said...

I believe we've all struggled with Eeyore Syndrome from time to time. Come to think of it, Monday was an Eeyore kind of day for me!!! ;-)

Diana said...

Yeah, Tigger!!!!

Great post, Kathleen.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Oh yes! It certainly touches my life. A great lesson. With God we're able to break free of all those mental games. They are so exhausting. Once released, oh the sweet relief and rest in Jesus we have.

Karen said...

Wow...conviction is here now...thank you for these powerful reminders....