Ill will and trying to win

wylo , modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 7:51 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 7:48 PM

Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Supposing you are in a potentially minor confrontational situation with a housemate/good friend where you know they wont budge, even if you are right( as in technically and factually right, as oppose to "opinion-right")

And suppose this situation constantly repeated itself with the same person...

Do you think its good practice to simply lose , i.e. swallow the pride every time , drop any ill will or desire to stand ground and let the other person "win" and accept that thats the way they are?

I must stress, what Im referring to is very very very menial stuff here where if I completely stood my ground it would be ego serving behaviour even if I am right, admittedly Id a big story written out about myself and a friend, but it was all a bit ridiculous so I deleted it.

All Ill say is that we run into the same VERY minor stubborn confrontations about stuff quite a bit (cleaning in the house, buying small stuff , being corrected over silly things etc). If I thought I was being used or being taken advantage of it would be a different story , but thats not the issue. He is completely fair, just honestly doesnt pay attention at times and then is convinced he is right after he makes an assumption of it and so wont clean certain things or buy things etc.

I know you could make the argument "hold up the mirror to your face and write that again", but really I know for a fact when I am right in these situations, as in I could probably make a technical argument with proof about it if I wanted. But these things are so menial that itd be ridiculous to confront someone about them every time.

Does completely surrendering and losing and accepting hes like that actually reduce my own irritation over it? and increase my compassion and joy? Or is that simply another way of putting up with it, and continuing the irritation, even if its only ridiculously mild. The friend is great, and a friendship worth having.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 8:32 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 8:32 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
I know this situation so well. Not paying attention, doing stupid things, i could list a lot of stuff but like you said it is all just ridiculous. The person in question is someone who i would say is about as far away from enlightenment as possible, they are very absent minded and emotional, but not really "guilty" of anything, they cause themselves a lot more unnecessary and silly suffering than they do me.

You got it, more compassion and equanimity. For me probably 60% of my reactions the person didn't "really" do anything wrong, but based on the way I perceived them and the expectations I had regarding their actions I reacted. The other 40% they did something silly, even with thought and analysis, but still compassion and equanimity should always be the response to everything, compassion when you can control stuff and equanimity when you can't.

I think you already know this, it's just a matter of working on it, like most other stuff, good luck.
Trent , modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 9:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 9:40 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
if you understand the stress or futility of the desire fueling the struggle for power, which could be a desire for status within the relationship, you won't need compassion or equanimity. while i don't know if this is the specific case for you, people often become upset with one another in shared households because they want 'equality' and 'fairness'. this is a very common condition 'good people' are instilled with from many different sources. unfortunately though, because the motivation is desire, individual notions about what is equal and fair differ due to personal bias, and the inevitable result is disharmony, pettiness, resentment and so on. the motivation could also be jealousy, a form of desire, because one (perhaps guiltily) wishes to be the one on the 'better end' of the 'inequality'. of course, there could be other nuances to your situation, but maybe this food for thought will be a good place to start in understanding the details. once the details are understood, the situation will probably pretty much resolve itself.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:13 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Wylo... self acceptance. It's ok to be pissed off at him. There's no rule against normal human emotions. Quit trying to be a perfect humanoid buddhist robot!
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Shashank Dixit, modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:45 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:43 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
I can totally understand this situation having being subject to this so many times with colleagues in office , home etc. Here is the reply I got from an AF person and that has helped me immensely - I mean , it has helped me realize the solution and I just have to actualize it forever :-

AF person :-

"I don't think there is an "AF way" of having a conversation. I just have discussions with people; sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree. Whatever the case the experience is the same for me; I neither experience relief/happiness/camaraderie when we agree or agitation/anger/separation when we disagree. They are essentially the same experience; we are two people talking.

The thing to realize is that there is no "right" way to respond, per se, except that you follow social convention and don't do something silly, like strike the person or resort to name calling--but rather that you realize your agitation is a sign of your extant identity. Only getting ride of the self/Self will make any discussion you have with other people free of agitation and/or self-congratulation.

In other words, the solution to your problem isn't behavioral (i.e., if you only do 'x' it will be the 'right' way to do it) but rather to eliminate the identity in toto and then conversations where you disagree with someone will be experienced no differently than conversations where you agree with the other person; in other words, external circumstances will not have the power to agitate you or affect your experience of being alive at all."

- Shashank
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:51 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 10:51 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
if you understand the stress or futility of the desire fueling the struggle for power, which could be a desire for status within the relationship, you won't need compassion or equanimity.


what exactly do you mean by equanimity? i've been using the word to mean a lack of desire.
Trent , modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 11:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 11:22 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hi adam,

Adam . .:
what exactly do you mean by equanimity? i've been using the word to mean a lack of desire.


oh, okay. i didn't think that was what you had meant by the word because of this line:

Adam . .:
compassion when you can control stuff and equanimity when you can't


experiencing a sense of control means experiencing the sway of intuition; it means being under the influence of instinctual passion. experiencing passion means experiencing feeling, so i thought that the context around your use of those two words were meant to be 'compassion' and 'equanimity', the feelings (as opposed to the actual qualities). the actual qualities are freed up as desire is calmed and snuffed out, they aren't actually connected or related to intuition or control.
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Jon T, modified 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 11:36 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/5/12 11:36 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
what a great post and question.

full heartedly agree with trent and shanx

i'll add that you should go ahead and do the dishes but tell him every time you do so and even mark it on the calender making sure he sees the clean kitchen. and if he doesn't do his share then do the dishes again and tell straight up. after say the 4th time and he's still not even trying then you know that he's just a shitty roommate. but he's your rommate, and it's your life...not your life together - if that makes sense.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 10:15 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 10:14 AM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
your response has raised another question for me, i've heard the thing about the feeling and the actual quality before, but now i am less sure that i understand how they relate.

what i've assumed is that the feelings of equanimity/felicity and compassion are expressions of the actual qualities that are somehow 'polluted' with conceit/identity, and if one keeps cultivating the non-conceit side one moves more into the actual qualities. this interpretation seems to fit with what you and other people have said about the benefits of cultivating felicity and pure intent, but your response to wylo makes me wonder whether you still advise the cultivating of these feelings.

my question above might make it look like i am trying to trip you up or catch you in a contradiction, but really i just don't get how cultivating a feeling equanimity and trying to see the stress in desire are any different. this is relevant for me right now because i think of my practice as cultivating an attitude of non-reactivity, and this does result in tangible feelings of felicity/equanimity but what i really want to get to eventually is the end of desire, i want to make sure these things are on the same 'axis of development.'
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 1:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 1:20 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
I'm curious about the practice of cultivating compassion by cultivating a sense of control. The way I learned, control is a corruption of compassion, and any imperative for control needs to be cut systematically, so this sounds like a very different approach.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 1:30 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 1:30 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
i didn't say cultivating compassion by cultivating a sense of control, and i wasn't really talking about a practice. just the general advice that if you can influence a situation such as the one wylo was talking about, do it compassionately, and if you can't change anything, then just be equanimous.
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 3:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/6/12 3:38 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Richard Zen, modified 10 Years ago at 6/7/12 12:58 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/7/12 12:57 AM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 1656 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
All you can use is compelling logic. This logic comes from looking at things from both points of view. Is what you want someone else to do something you wouldn't do if you were the other person? Sometimes it's also good to find away to match what you want with what they want if at all possible. If it's a major problem then time for a new housemate. emoticon
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 6/9/12 12:56 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/9/12 12:56 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
wylo .:
Supposing you are in a potentially minor confrontational situation with a housemate/good friend where you know they wont budge, even if you are right( as in technically and factually right, as oppose to "opinion-right")

And suppose this situation constantly repeated itself with the same person...

Do you think its good practice to simply lose , i.e. swallow the pride every time , drop any ill will or desire to stand ground and let the other person "win" and accept that thats the way they are?

I must stress, what Im referring to is very very very menial stuff here where if I completely stood my ground it would be ego serving behaviour even if I am right, admittedly Id a big story written out about myself and a friend, but it was all a bit ridiculous so I deleted it.

All Ill say is that we run into the same VERY minor stubborn confrontations about stuff quite a bit (cleaning in the house, buying small stuff , being corrected over silly things etc). If I thought I was being used or being taken advantage of it would be a different story , but thats not the issue. He is completely fair, just honestly doesnt pay attention at times and then is convinced he is right after he makes an assumption of it and so wont clean certain things or buy things etc.

I know you could make the argument "hold up the mirror to your face and write that again", but really I know for a fact when I am right in these situations, as in I could probably make a technical argument with proof about it if I wanted. But these things are so menial that itd be ridiculous to confront someone about them every time.

Does completely surrendering and losing and accepting hes like that actually reduce my own irritation over it? and increase my compassion and joy? Or is that simply another way of putting up with it, and continuing the irritation, even if its only ridiculously mild. The friend is great, and a friendship worth having.
Bhikkhu Analayo excerpts from the AN Book of Fives, putting away malice, top of page 140, here
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago at 6/9/12 5:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/9/12 5:34 PM

RE: Ill will and trying to win

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
The relationship you've described occurs in every single marriage (or significant-other-hood, or whatever) anyone has ever heard of. Eventually you both develop a sense of humor about it. With a roommate and friend, humor is essential as well. My favorite book on the subject of friendship and marriage: Erasmus's Praise of Folly.

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