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. If anything, I probably tend to be on the other side of the spectrum. Oh, I am deeply empathic, to the point it can create health problems, but I also know that people have free will and the right to make bad decisions.

    I had a friend who, despite me trying to give her opportunities to become independent, went back to an abusive husband of 29 years. People did not believe her she was abused because she went back so willingly. I don’t know, I don’t think she made it up, but as a survivor of abuse (marriage and otherwise) I have a hard time with that.

    Great post.
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..What’s Your Chocolate?My Profile

  2. Hey I am in at last… Your site was down for about an hour I think? But I am in now so will have a read of this one next, then it’s time to go for a cuppa, no biscuits unfortunately but I can always grab one on the morrow 🙂

    I am so glad your Space is still here Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Barring a catatrophe, M3 is going to be around for long time. Thank you for the head’s up on the site…Seems my cloud over the UK is having some problems. Grr. 😉 Hope you are enjoying your time away from your place for a while. Great to see you tonight. And what was that you said about needing to skip a few bikkies? *Grins*

  3. Yes this is an exceptional posting and being that what I have just read makes absolute sense to me, it pays to be cautious, of course we would all want to help where help is clearly needed but in doing so we must not lose sight of the preliminary causes otherwise our help will be unproductive, perhaps even useless and that is no good to anyone.

    I can relate to the part where one is being used to fight or indeed confront a situation that the person involved is unable to face up to and again this is something that we need to be conscious of before tackling the issue before us or we may regret helping out, especially if our support worsens an already volatile set of circumstances.

    I guess that common sense and a genuine feel for the situation helps but we should not be drawn in unwittingly, you know I could go on with this one but Sue has already covered all the bases. I like the rationalisation of this subject and yes I will definitely stop wittering now and add my comment…

    A great posting you two 🙂 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  4. Wellllll… I don;t think I am overprotective – I don’t get involved unless I am asked to but this last year has sorely tried my patience and some things that set me off and get my emotional stuff all worked up and sometimes in the muckity muck are physical violence, and verbal abuse. I listened behind my closed door to an argument that astounded me – I could have been in it about 6 or 7 years ago..the same rhetoric and crap and the person it was aimed at was in the right and had every reason to confront the abusive jerk and he spun it around to make her look like the bad guy and – she bought it… ! It took every ounce of will power not to run out and get into it but that would have made ot worse – and the person I was beibg protective of …would have been angry and directed it towards me for making it so… it has been an ongoing struggle daily since …
    Great Post! You always make a great point. I amy or may not know the situation you are talking about – I believe I was brought into it too and I aways wondered what the outcome was – I am pretty sure it is the same thing and go you! for doing something about it..
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..What is it about Buckets?My Profile

    • Morning Lizzie!

      I don’t think being over-protective is a bad thing honey. I do think that we experience things and are put in positions which are highly unacceptable to you/me/anyone else by the hands of other people.

      And as Red mentioned in another comment we carry these things forward. It makes us uncomfortable or afraid. My reactions stem from fear and go directly to anger because it’s my way of protecting not only myself but someone else.

      It can be frightening to confront someone who is that quick with responses like the situation you’re talking about here. They’re very aggressive, they’re very cutting in their responses and what you’re describing here is the flip… which is diverting the conversation in the obvious attempt to take no responsibility for their actions AND it works because it throws the other person off balance, making them thing they’re wrong and as you say, they are not wrong.

      So the person feels wrong, self esteem goes down, they’re minimized as a person and all because of this sneaky manipulation. I really don’t like it myself having experienced it over the years in various situations.

      There is an excellent book by Patricia Evans called “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”. She outlines the many ways someone can verbally abuse and diminish another person. It’s “very” good, maybe they would be interested in it. I hope the person you’re talking about is not with this individual anymore.

      Honey, it’s not uncommon for a person involved with an abusive individual to turn on the person who defends them and lash out at them instead of the one who abuses them. It is not uncommon in an abusive relationship (frustrating as this is) for the victim to protect their abuser, even make excuses for them and continue to modify their own behaviors in the hopes that the other person will change. I’m sorry you were put in this position and I understand how you feel completely.

      I understand why you would remove yourself, sometimes getting involved can escalate it and make it worse. I think we have to pick and choose our battles in these things and until the person “in it” see’s the need to change or get out of the relationship there’s nothing we can do. We can set boundaries though.

      When I was younger, early 20’s, I was married to an abusive guy and my friends got tired of hearing me complain. They told me they didn’t want to hear it anymore and “for me” it was the best thing they could have done because I viewed it from the perspective of “I’m losing all these people because of this ONE person?” It didn’t make sense to me for that to happen. Many people stay for years … which is sad.

      Thanks Lizzie 🙂

      Mysterycoach recently posted..The Comment Threads – Random thoughtMy Profile

  5. I only get involved if I must. My problem is I go from cold to hot rather quickly therefore I try to stay mum.

    Thought provoking post, MysteryCoach.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash In The Pan – DinnerMy Profile

  1. ~ Ermahgerd * Other People Do It TOO!! ~ Stand up for one another | MysteryCoach

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