Food, love, career, and mothers, the four major guilt groups.

~ Cathy Guisewite ~

The Pain Of Superficialdom

April 23rd, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 49 secs

How much pain is peddled through the abusive use of power?

How much pain is peddled through the abusive use of power?

Okay, it’s not a real word but “superficialdom” says it all when it comes to stupid people in power and their practices. Causing an incredible amount of needless pain, it’s their indifference that is squarely to blame.

When people abuse power without thinking about the consequences, others are justifiably upset.  From:

  • Teachers
  • Civil servants
  • Parents
  • Managers
  • Security, and
  • Religious leaders

the pain generated by unconcern and arrogance trickles through, causing a great deal of agitation.

Remember the last time you experience somebody acting in a dictatorial fashion? How did you feel about it then? More to the point, how do you feel about it now? If you felt angry or hurt that’s understandable because there are no good reasons why anyone needs to be arrogant or bossy.

But that’s the thing. Superficialdom is never about needs or people’s welfare. It’s all about feeding a particular individual’s need to control.  If there is any pain in the process, those practicing superficialdom don’t care. Nor are they bothered by calls for reasonableness (as, if anything, they resist it).

Consider some typical features. As a rule, superficialdom:

  1. Treats people poorly
  2. Offers platitudes and shallowness to big questions
  3. Is indifferent to people’s personal needs
  4. Makes a simple task painfully hard
  5. Has little or no regard for long-term consequences
  6. Takes a high-handed approach without accountability.

Back when newborn babies were taken from their mothers “for their own good” superficialdom ran riot. Today, when happy married people are denied the opportunity to represent each other due to what unhappy couples do, superficialdom undermines the meaning of marriage. Similarly, whenever you are treated as a non-person, shouted at, berated, or had your time wasted, more than likely superficialdom is serving itself with complete indifference to your pain.

As long as people refuse to care and love power and process more, these conditions will remain and so will the irritation and pain they generate. That’s why it’s wise to gather a collection of helpful approaches:

  • Carry with you a sense of humor for use whenever bureaucracy and superficialdom kick in.
  • Practice assertiveness. Rather than reacting with rudeness or defensiveness be determined to express your reasoned opinion.
  • Find ways to handle your frustration, rage, alienation, or pain as constructively as you can.
  • Refuse to express superficialdom yourself and discourage anyone else you know from using it too.

By applying these approaches you at least give yourself a good chance of getting through it and, sometimes (when it’s serious), that’s the best you can do.

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