Resentment brings us back to incidents that we believe were unjust, so that justice may prevail. In other words you can have a lot of angry, repetitive conversations until you and whoever else feel you’ve said what you needed to, done your best, and been heard irrespective of the outcome.
All of the things I have learned how to do will never be any help unless I’ve found a way of understanding what’s going on. First I work out what’s happening, and then I think about how I approach the situation. ‘How do I do this?’ might feel impossible if I haven’t understood what ‘this’ is: this moment, this situation, this problem, as distinct from all of the others I have encountered. There will always be more that’s distinct than it first appears.
The creepy rationalism of many psychotherapists, or therapists as they often call themselves, continues to disturb me. They’re like newsreaders: a strange sense of authority (absurd in any other context) that sounds so rational. What they are saying is usually built on a very thin but compelling layer of understanding, like someone who’s been to the moon and can describe what the earth looks like from the stars … but I wouldn’t trust an astronaut to tell me about life on earth. These New Sophists may sound rational, but endowing someone with reason will have more to do with how I listen than the presence of any intrinsic good sense.
Rational means endowed with reason. Logical means reasoning correctly. We can argue over what’s correct, but there’s no arguing with sophistry. Sophistry’s a drug that demands withdrawal and one of the best ways to do that is to listen for logic and then ask questions.