Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday Snark: The Martyr

So far this year I’ve felt happy, peaceful, quiet, bored, snarky and really angry. I live with four lovely roommates in one beautiful house. For the most part, it works. But some days.

To be honest, I’ve lived in solo situations that resulted in plenty of problems. Most were all in my mind. Welcome to martyr mode. When conflicts strikes, suffering in silence is a common strategy.  

For example, my current household rotates cleaning tasks on a monthly basis. Yesterday morning I was greeted with the smell of a really full kitchen trash and recycle bins. This has happened before with the same person who has this duty.  Because of religious beliefs, no work gets done on Saturday.

What to do? My first reaction was to grab my tea and run back to my room. I was planning on being out that day anyway.I could just bring it up at the next meeting. I could also just empty the trash and recycle, but that’s doing someone’s job. I am happy to help if asked. If I wrote a note in giant letters on the community board, it may not be seen, and if it was, it was still no-work Saturday.

We all have an internal martyr who sacrifices their inner peace for the group. This works to a certain point. If you find yourself constantly agreeing with the group consensus yet feeling resentful, your inner martyr needs to speak. Feelings are like people, we all want to be seen. 

Instead of playing the martyr, express the energy by scribbling or drawing with your non-dominant hand. Once the energy is felt, seen and accepted, you will no longer carry the resentment. Be patient and have compassion for yourself. It will take a few situations to recognize when you are playing the martyr. My drawing is from 2017.

Martyrdom is a learned energy that I have dealt with many times. However, once I went back for a 2nd cup of tea, another housemate was there, also puzzling over the trash bin. She said, “I’ll take one, if you take one.” We did. Household emergency handled and we have an agenda item for our next house meeting.

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