Are You Okay?
This is first draft unedited.
Thanks to LM for being the muse and inspiration for this diatribe.
“If a person constantly…” Chris Perry
That’s one interpretation of the behaviour.
The video does not explain why it draws the connection it makes between the behaviour and its root. From experience (qualified counsellor) and study (transactional analysis) I have a different interpretation of it.
The problem is this:
Pre-Modernism does not think the same way as Modernism does not think the same way as Post-Modernism.
Different insights from each ‘level’ of social development. Hardly anyone recognises this as existing much less as valid.
People are entrenched in the relative stability of conforming to whichever era they have most often had reinforced / reinforce.
The Yang assertive dominating self-confident person is either recognised as Correct or accused of egotism depending on the observers mentality (pre-modernism, modernism, post-modernism).
Modernism evolves toward mainstream cultural narcissism.
It does not recognise narcisism as the same thing as did the pre-modernists. Modernism normalises it and creates a grey area where victims of narcisism exhibit narcissistic qualities until the blur becomes a cultural standard by post-modernism. What post-modernism calls narcisism is a different thing to what modernism and pre-modernism mean by it.
(gaslighting and sadism, dark triad)
(entitlement and no accountability)
Post-Modern aka Cultural narcissism
(Everyone is both victim and perpetrator because studied recognition of how trauma conditioning entwines both behaviours).
People play poor-me victim-role (pre-modernist passive-aggressive righteousness-in-vulnerability) to avoid accountability (modernism) and blame-shift it to the muddy-water of social influence (post-modernism).
My interpretation is the behaviour of constantly asking someone if they are okay, does this: it assumes dominance.
Places the questioner in the role of parent / care-giver, dominant role.
Places the asked-person in the role of child, inferior, submissive role.
It creates the parent-child dynamic which is authoritarian.
If the child reacts by answering, they have contracted to and agreed to that role.
If the person is aloof and does not accept being placed into the inferior role, they are very often criticised for it.
Modernists say I am overthinking it and criticise my analysis to undermine it (placing themselves in the superior role and placing me in the inferior role). Entitlement and enablement of Narcissism without questioning of the energy dynamic involved. Modernists do not question or accept questioning of the dynamic. They simply accept the person asking the questions is automatically the superior.
Post-Modernists question and accept the questioning of the energy dynamic. Post-Modernists recognise the validity of the energy dynamic (adult-adult role) because they are mentally capable of seeing the underlaying pattern to the behaviour as cause-effect or problem-reaction-solution to use Ickes layman’s term for Hegelian Dialect.
Modernists are not mentally capable of recognising
Pre-modernists are simply confused by the whole equation and are happy someone cares enough to ask if they are okay).
I am post-post-modern. I use the awareness of the above system to indicate where a person is at and how they function. It takes only a moment to extrapolate all that data. If this system of analysis did not serve me by being 99% of the time accurate, I would not use it.
When modernists criticise me for dodgy-thinking, attempting to undermine my belief in the process of critical thinking, it is because they do not accept this system which easily sees through them. Narcissists do not want to be exposed so easily. They actively target and attempt to disempower anyone who does see through them.
Post-modernism: awareness and unfortunately acceptance that everyone has narcissistic traits as a result of modernism (entitlement and non-accountability). We focus on trauma therapy for narcissistic traits rather than on punishment (narcissism fears exposure).
My use of the word criticism here is the modernist use of the word which involves not rational unemotional critique and assessment (its classic meaning) but rather to insult, grind down, the bias is that it is negative criticism as opposed to positive criticism. In Modernism to criticise someone is not to give them a critique but rather it is to belittle them. It is a power gambit.
Common Types of Narcissism
Vulnerable (plays poor-me for drama and control). Covert.
Hystrionic (elevates for drama and control). Covert while suppressed until the narcissist is comfortable their audience will not recognise, question and expose the behaviour. Then, overt but usually behind closed doors. Their target and supply are often the same person.
Malignant (sadistic persecutes dehumanised target for destruction for drama and control). Overt.
These are in my experience the most common. Often these types are mixed. For example Malignant-Vulnerable will justify the abuse by saying the target deserves it for perceived and fabricated slights.
There are other types.
Saying No means No
When you ask a person if they are okay, most people normally respond by saying yes, even if they’re not.
If a person goes into any detail at all about why they’re not okay, it puts the questioner in a position of being offloaded at. Most people are not prepared for that reaction. Try it out next time someone asks you, offload at them. Go into great detail about all the reasons why you’re not okay - which can take many hours.
A person asking you if you’re okay is probably not prepared to immediately dedicate several hours without as a result of that they will then accuse you of being histrionic.
Of course, by stating that you are not okay, it’s expected of you to have some problem or another. That’s a possibility faced by the questioner who appears to expect a 50:50 possibly reaction but in practise expects 80:20 a ‘yes I’m okay’ possible reaction.
I’m not saying there’s something wrong with you. I’m saying to watch their behaviour when you answer ‘no’ to the question. My policy is to always say no and offload at them. It stops them from ever asking it of me again.
When they ask you if you’re okay, they 90% of the time do not want you to reply with ‘no’.
Therefore, the exchange is not about whether you’re okay. The exchange is about them putting themselves into the adult role and you and the child role.
Next we have the Meyer-Briggs dynamic which recognises empathic and intuitive people. Empathic and intuitive people do not need to ask you if you’re okay. They can already tell what’s wrong with you.
PThat is 50% of the population. Half the people you meet will not ask you if you’re okay Because they can already recognise whether you’re okay or not. If they do ask you, it’s not because they want a yes no answer it’s because they are opening up for you to open up to them.
That is how empathic/intuitive people operate.
They have got the time to give you, that’s why they asked. However, the exchange is not done on the words so much it is done on the tonal of the voice combined with the empathic energy of the two people connecting.
If somebody asks you if you’re okay, and there is no heart bond, they are not going to be able to help you anyway. They don’t really want to. Most of the people who ask you if you’re okay, are not of that category.
I recognise that asking a person if they are okay every ten minutes is undermining of the target by way of a form of covert narcissistic abuse by a modernist who does not accept they are exhibiting narcissistic traits under the guise of their requiring to be seen as a caregiver.
It does not create an adult-adult relationship.
The questioner justifies their position as being a trauma response. It is therefore not a wholesome functional position. No functional (self-aware, stable) person aware of this dynamic would put that trauma-driven person (narcissistic child acting as a dominating adult) in a position of authority above them.
“It is the behaviour, not the person.” CBT from Childcare NVQ1&2
Recommended further reading:
The Games People Play by Dr Eric Berne.
Straight and Crooked Thinking by Robert Thouless.
I also suspect The Shape of a Pocket by Berger should be involved with that list although I have not yet read it beyond chapter one and am projecting a lot of my own assumptions into it.