Emotions and the News – Sammy Yatim

It is with deepest sympathy to the family of Mr Yatim that I preclude this blog.

It is my sincere hope that this blog may help some other teen or individual who considers such actions. Perhaps the police could benefit from a deeper understanding of the underlying issues that drive power behaviours like wielding a knife on public transit or shooting someone.

This blog is not an investigative report on Mr Yatim’s family but a general discussion about how power issues are arrived at and overcome. Many behaviours are related to power issues, including bullying, so this issue is quite common. I believe that as you gain an understanding of the causes you may wonder why it is not more common!

Feelings of powerlessness exhibit themselves as power over behaviours like bullying and using power over tactics. It can also be taking a “lower than” position or allowing oneself to be victimized.

There are 25 causes of feelings of powerlessness. 1. to have not experienced appropriate power, control and responsibility as a child; 2. when, as children, we are not respected as full human beings and our needs are not met; 3. physical, emotional and sexual abuse cause powerlessness, even witnessing these is emotionally abusive as it is an invasion of boundaries; 4. expecting perfection; 5. controlling everything a child does including thinking and believing; 6. verbal put downs, screaming, attacking and criticizing; 7. expecting our child to look after us emotionally; 8. indifference to our child’s well being; 9. discouraging independence; 10. demanding loyalty, appreciation and gratitude; 11. expecting our children to be responsible for things we are responsible for; 12. undermining; 13. threatening; 14.trivializing; 15. patronizing; 16. withholding; 17. using scare tactics; 18. denying our child’s feelings; 19. abusing things our child values, such as pets or possessions; 20. isolating our child; 21. harassing; 22. not protecting our child from those who harm them; 23. teasing; 24. scapegoating and 25 using punishment to control.
These are not explored in detail here but you can see the horrible frequency with which such events happen in the lives of so many people. Bearing in mind that the event may be large, small, real or imagined and still give a person feelings of powerlessness.

Adults who have a need to use power over tactics do so as a defense against old feelings of powerlessness. This would include ordering people off a bus at knife point or shooting someone. Adults may feel like a victim in order to get the abuse to stop and get the love they are missing. An example would be people who stay in abusive relationships.

In order to deal with this prevalent issue we need to recognize that we have a choice in our course of action. Then we need to take responsibility for that.

Getting beyond the feelings at a deeper level, involves connecting our current feelings with past events. Then feeling through our powerlessness to its source. Feeling through is a skill which needs further exploration. You can do this by reading one of my two novels, The Stylist or The Delivery Boy, available as e-books through my website. Janice Berger’s book Emotional Fitness is a much more in depth read on emotions for those looking for deeper understanding.

Improving your understanding may allow you to effectively speak into someones situation. Potentially diffusing a lethal occurrence. Together we can build a better society and world.

I appreciate your view point, please feel free to share

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