Guest Post: Mystery Coach

Mystery Coach has been an M3 Reader for a long time. At her blog, Mystery Coach DSI, she ponders everything from the deep to the deeply absurd. I asked her to guest blog and gave her nothing more to go on than caring for others. As I expected, her take on the matter is novel. Grab a cuppa.

Overprotective Nature ~ Good or Bad

Is being overprotective a good thing? It makes perfect sense to me to stand up for what we believe in or for someone we know and/or love for that matter.

Personally, if I see something that is hurtful to another human being I try to address it. Especially if it’s about manipulation, abuse or any other cruelty one person can do to another wherein they’re taking away from that person to serve themselves in some way.  Some things I react to rather quickly and other things I try and get more information about before making any assumptions. The severity of the behavior can and has always dictated my reaction to whatever it is that’s going on.

Regardless of your good intentions, it’s important to learn where to insert the pause in how you react to a situation. Sometimes we don’t have the whole story and we’re reacting based on our life experiences up through to that point.  Meaning, to temper your reaction until you have the whole story is the smart thing to do and one of the best bits of pearly wisdom I can give you, and I’ll tell you why.

If you’re overprotective and something strikes a nerve for you, particularly if it’s something you’ve been through in the past, you’re not only combating what’s going on now but all the old emotions from your past experiences.  The two combined can make what’s going on in the present worse versus (perhaps resolving it could have been smoother) something that can escalate unnecessarily.

The other times being overprotective can be used against you is when one person knows your emotional triggers on the matter and uses you to fight their battles. This one is insidious and can sneak up on you. There you are figuring you’re doing the right thing and all that’s happening is, you are officially being manipulated into defending someone or some thing without having all the facts. It’s like being goaded into doing something really stupid without your consent because the reality is, if you’re that overprotective, you may not pay attention to the entire situation. This goes back to tempering how you react to things, stop and think before you do something you’ll regret.

Three sides to every storyI remember a time where a man who ran a network was lying, stealing, cheating and sleeping with at least one of his members. One after the other people told me their stories privately and none of them wanted to do anything about it: they were afraid, they felt foolish and they just wanted to tell someone.  I believe a few months went by and someone pointed out to me specifically that this man had taken advantage of someone else and she had posted on the network and directed me to the network and the post made by this other woman.

Within fifteen minutes of seeing this woman’s post about what he did to her and armed with all this other information of things he had done to everyone else, I confronted him myself and I listed all the things he had done, minus the individuals names of course and shortly thereafter the network was closed down.

My point here is that this person who pointed it out to me wasn’t going to do it themselves and I understand we all need a hand now and then, this much is true.  She also knew, in good conscience, I would not allow these things to continue. Instead of confronting it herself, she used me because she knew I would address it.

In this case I had a lot of information from many other people directly, it wasn’t based on speculation. Always have facts, information and try to get the whole story. We tell stories primarily to sooth our side of things and that’s not always the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sometimes too, we hear a story from our friends about someone, a portion of it can make you glaze over because you can’t do that to friend, but in doing this, we block out all the other information in the story, except for what? The truth.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking up for what you believe. At the same time stop and think about what you’re doing, what the whole picture entails and how things go to that point. I’m not talking about abusive relationships where it’s obvious and even then, you may not get anywhere due to the dynamics of that relationship anyway.

Sometimes when we’re overprotective to an extreme, (i.e., we react quickly and with anger) our reaction will stop people from coming to us because they’re afraid of what you may do, even if it’s helpful to them. If you’re explosive or confrontation instantaneously over something you hear, you could make the situation worse, we don’t want that. We want that pause inserted, where you take a step back, breath, think something through and find the best solution for that particular situation.

I mean really, some things are obvious, like seeing someone kick a puppy. By all means do something. When we hear an argument escalating between people and you step in to calm things down so it doesn’t go to an extreme, excellent idea.  Sometimes though, we could potentially feed into something unnecessarily which doesn’t do anyone any good.

So what am I saying? Wait and gather all the information as to how things evolved. Stop and pause to determine the best course of action for that particular situation. There is nothing wrong with being protective of others, the people we care about and having strong feelings about what people are doing to one another. How we handle it can make all the difference.

Take it from me because I am one of those people who gets involved and over the years you learn, you have to pause and temper what you’re doing so you can see the whole picture and so someone else can’t something that’s a part of your nature to their benefit. Your reaction to things can and will create blind spots in a situation, so I suggest you learn what sets you off and learn to temper your reactions.


Are you overprotective? If so, of whom? Have you ever stepped in with your own emotional baggage? What is your aboslute I am going to step in scenario or person?

Many thanks to Mystery Coach for guest posting. Be sure to show your thanks for giving you a break from Red. See you in the comments!

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
Original post text (c) Mystery Coach.
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  1. I try not to be too overprotective. If someone I love tells me they’re being hurt by someone or something, I first try to get all the facts before I jump in and do anything.

    MYSTERY COACH 😉 i see u everywhere 🙂
    totally guilty of being overprotective of the ones i love ……..i dunno why …. maybe because my parents are overprotective of me ? Great advice 🙂
    thanks Cat xx
    Cat Forsley recently posted..Last Video for the summer ! Cat Forsley ©My Profile

  3. MC, great article…although there are ‘circumstances’ and knee-jerk reactions that should be avoided, the absolute line is abuse. I will not, and have not in the past, condoned or allowed abuse of women or children–regardless of situation.
    Red, excellent choice for guest blogger!
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Apples AND Tomatoes to GoMy Profile

    • Hi Raymond,

      I am completely on board with everything you’re saying with regard to ANY mistreatment of any other human being that is hurtful, unkind, manipulative, abusive mentally or physically, emotionally … it’s all unacceptable behavior to me as well. It diminishes another human so greatly and it’s unthinkable to “know” that there are those who go around taking advantage of others in any way, shape or form.

      Nice to meet you! Thank you for commenting! 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..~ Fun Stuff ! Gitcha Fun Stuff !!! ~My Profile

    • So, one of these days you are going to have to agree to do a post!

  4. I enjoyed reading your post, and admit that in the past I have taken up for others. I’m sure I will do it in the future. I just wanted to say I really liked this post. Granny Gee/Gloria :)))
    Gloria Faye Brown Bates recently posted..Good Morning, Everyone…My Profile

  5. Great insights, MC! Age has certainly tempered my responses. In my younger years I would step in to any situation at any given time if I perceived someone I cared about was being threatened, intimidated or even just annoyed. I tend to gather the facts and observe now before even considering involvement. As with the other posts, waiting does not include situations where physical danger is present.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Tcub recently posted..Money, money, moneyMy Profile

    • Hey Tcub,

      I know exactly what you mean. I was the same way when I was younger, I tempered nothing. It was usually a quick, short, direct addressing of “whatever” and then it was over. I never held onto the anger, I just addressed it and then let it go.

      Yeah, I learned about the pause as well… I’m still perfecting it and much like you’ve said it does not include anyone being in any danger or someone being cruel. Nice to meet you and thank you 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..~ Fun Stuff ! Gitcha Fun Stuff !!! ~My Profile

  6. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line between being overprotective and not being protective enough. The boundaries also change over time as people get older or relationships change.
    Binky recently posted..Extra Cold PizzaMy Profile

    • This is true Binky and sometimes what we may find offensive or hurtful, slide right off someone else’s back.
      Mysterycoach recently posted..If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Happy?My Profile

      • The problem I see with this is those who would stay in an abusive relationship because for them it has been the norm. Some are generational, some the only thing they have ever known is abuse.

        • I know what you mean. I see things that bother me immensely and I know that until that person see’s it or recognizes it, regardless of my talking to them… it’s not going to change anything.

          At least until they see it, if they see it. I don’t like seeing anyone mistreated in any shape or form.

          As you know …
          Mysterycoach recently posted..The Comment Threads – Random thoughtMy Profile

  7. Hi MC 🙂 This is a fantastic post! I stopped and really thought about my approach to protecting others. I had a situation this week where a dear friend wanted me to side with her against another friend of mine who had hurt her, and in all conscience, I couldn’t support her intentions for me to choose sides. I FELT protective of her and I FELT her pain, but it wasn’t my pain, and I chose to tell her that I am trying to approach the situation with compassion for both of them. She didn’t like it, but I come from a family where my parents forced me into the position of standing up for one against the other, and it just doesn’t feel true to myself. Thank you so much for helping me think this through. It’s been difficult, but I feel validated that I’m on the right course.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – The Singer – Blues Cabaret, 1958My Profile

    • Hi Gail 🙂

      Oh this is a good example. I love it! I’m not a fan of being put in the middle of something, especially if both people have a valid point. That’s like being in grammar school all over again. You know, “They did this to me! And now YOU have to hate them or side with me because we’re friends”!

      And this does happen in life where someone does something (like in divorce or bad relationships) and it needs to be resolved but it’s unrealistic to be put in the middle and asked to choose. I understand.

      I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Happy?My Profile

      • I think this is secondary to an arrested state of development. This type of drama should be outgrown around grade six (age 12). When it persists in adults, it is indicative of past behaviors left un-accounted or unresolved trauma feelings, whether the trauma was real or imagined.

        • Red,

          I know what you mean and I’ve noticed that unless we’re taught differently, learn differently and realize what we do, we continue the same patterns over and over again.

          I watch the things my daughter and her friends do and things like this start young. I’m always reminding her not to think like “them” but to think for herself, don’t react because of someone else and be put in a position she doesn’t need to be in.

          I’ll tell you what amazes me, is how much we all carry forward that we don’t realize.
          Mysterycoach recently posted..The Comment Threads – Random thoughtMy Profile

  8. Hi hun! 🙂

    I’m from the opposite side of the coin in that I was severely done unto by my father and, although what was happening was well known in my family and at our schools nothing was done until dad almost put my younger brother in hospital!

    Mum was ordered not to send him to school until he healed up, but she did and social services (FINALLY!) got involved only for the investigator to be new to the job – we were his first assignment – and dad pulled the tearful ‘my wife’s sleeping around’ routine.

    As a result he got away with it and my mum finally divorced him, leaving me as the only protection my brother’s had.

    I lost track of the number of beatings I suffered in their stead, but what else could I do?

    They eventually joined the army and had successful careers, both being decorated and becoming Sargent instructors, but both had PTSD, not from their war experiences, but from what we went through as kids.

    Today they are retired and are holding down good jobs, but both are still suffering problems from our violent childhood…

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Saturday – More writing.My Profile

    • Hello Prenin! 🙂

      Yes, yes… I remember your story. I’m sorry you went through this in your life. Suffering abuse as a child (or adult) is a horrible thing and no one should be put through anything like you and your family were put through at the hands of your father.

      I’m sorry for your experiences. So many are put in the position to protect their siblings from their parents as their protector. As were you …

      Abuse of any kind, should never be tolerated, by anyone at any time.

      Thank you for sharing your story with me and everyone. My best to your family too. 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Happy?My Profile

      • Thanks Sue! 🙂

        Unfortunately I am unable to talk with my friends and family about this as they’ve been trying to make money out of it for over sixteen years now, but here on the web I am able to talk and come to terms with the past.

        Love and hugs! 🙂

        prenin recently posted..Saturday – More writing.My Profile

        • You’re welcome honey 🙂

          I see what you’re saying about needing to talk about it. I’ve shared a lot of things on my blog as well, they’ve long since been tucked away. It is good to share and hopefully it helps someone else along the way too. 🙂

          Yes, many people do not want to talk about it. I totally identify with what you’re saying and it’s something else because they were there, they don’t view it as it was. I had a post, maybe I’ll dig it out for you… it’s in draft from, about being the black sheep of the family in the sense where you/me/others saw things for what they really were/are and others coped much differently and didn’t see it for the very bad thing it really was.

          Made excuses or denial which is more hurtful on top of the experience itself.

          XO to you too Prenin 🙂

          Mysterycoach recently posted..If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Happy?My Profile

  9. There are absolutes for me, things that I will step into the middle of without fail and often without thinking of my own safety. I know this is stupid and have actually put myself at risk, but still I do it (my history prevents me from doing anything other).

    On the flip side of this coin, there are situations where I will walk away even where my instinct is to step in. My tendency is to demand adults take steps to save themselves, I will help but not do all the work.

    I don’t think I am overly protective but I could be wrong. I am certainly protective of those I love.

    This was very well done, certainly gives pause and requires some thought.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Letting go of AnimosityMy Profile

    • Hi Valentine,

      Yes, I know what you mean, I’ve done it myself and gotten scolded for it. Something being done triggers me and there is a small window where I pause and then I take action. Depends on what it is and yes, there are certainly those things, based on my own history that I could temper a little bit. If there’s time for it.

      Yup. I agree with you. At what point, do we take up for others, how will they learn to set the appropriate boundaries for themselves? We can show them how 🙂 I’m a big fan of explaining to someone just what nerves for them are struck, how they may feel and THAT is when they have to step up or step away.

      Thank you. 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..If You Die Tomorrow, Would You Be Happy?My Profile

  1. ~ Mystery Relocation for the day @ Momma’s Money Matters ~ | MysteryCoach

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