Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The dark side

3 August 2015


Everybody has a dark side. I was just reminded of this Kelly Clarkson song (lyrics, video, wiki) when I told someone about the topic I had in mind for today. The first paragraph of her song is quite interesting: “Oh oh oh, there’s a place that I know. It’s not pretty there and few have ever gone. If I show it to you now, will it make you run away?”

Usually, we try hard not to show our dark side to others. There is a reason why our dark side has this name. It’s the hidden room in our mind where we store our anger, desires, fantasies, lust, pain, and violence. Showing your dark side to others is not the default in relationships. It may take years to see your partner’s dark side.

Suddenly seeing someone’s dark side, usually is an unpleasant and unwelcome surprise. One of the two will be clueless on what just happened. It’s like touching an invisible button. Without communication, the experience is likely to be shelved in two dark sides and becomes a “no go” area in a relationship. The problem with invisible buttons is that you may accidentally hit them again while the other person may assume that it was a deliberate push.

The real problem with dark sides is that they deal with unfinished business. Hence, you cannot help the other person until (s)he helps her/himself first. And communication will mainly benefit the clueless one. At least, (s)he will then finally understand the “location” of these invisible buttons. I suppose that the other person will mostly feel vulnerable: will (s)he still love me and not leave me??

Dealing with your dark side requires a strong will. On the short term, not dealing with your dark side is much and much easier. On the longer term, fighting your dark side brings back control. Some time ago, I noticed an interesting article which seems quite relevant in fighting your dark side. The article is called “13 things mentally strong people don’t do”. (Psychology Today)

I prefer the inverse of these 13 as they then make more sense in this blog’s context: stop wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, stop blaming others and assume your own responsibility, stop avoiding change, stop wasting energy on things you can’t control, stop worrying about pleasing others, stop fearing to take calculated risks, stop dwelling on the past, stop making the same mistakes over and over again and start learning from them, stop resenting other people’s success, stop giving up after failure, stop fearing alone time and enjoy the silence and solitude, stop feeling that the world owes you anything, and lastly stop expecting immediate results.

Nearly all of these 13 are no brainers. It is fairly easy to see how they apply to other people. Why is it so hard to implement them ourselves? I suppose it’s all about denial. We hide our dark side to others and also to ourselves. When we get challenged about the contents in our dark room, denial is far more logical / rational than an emotional confrontation about things we are hiding from others. It makes sense that my next blog will deal with denial.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: “It takes strength to resist the dark side. Only the weak embrace it.” Darth Maul: “It is more powerful than you know”. Obi-Wan Kenobi: “And those who oppose it are more powerful than you’ll ever be.” (quote from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” The Lawless, 2013)


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