Blasting While Blessing

Written by on September 12, 2013 in Covert Abuse with 0 Comments

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Blasting while Blessing is a form of covert abuse where negative comments are couched among or between positive comments for the purpose of affecting a negative impact without appearing to.

Blasting while Blessing is hiding a curse. It’s a slick character assassination that leaves unsuspecting persons negatively influenced without consciously realizing they’ve been played. It’s a way to plant negative seeds in another without getting caught digging in the dirt.

You can begin with a positive statement or end with one. You can bookend a negative conversation with positive comments or you can interject them throughout. Like a dog herding sheep, you keep the attention of the unsuspecting listener where you want it to be, all the while leading it to where you want it to go.

For instance, a person can assert some faults of another and then conclude with a friendly laugh, “Oh, God bless her, I just love her”. The statements of endearment are supposed to define the entire encounter. They keep your attention on their “goodwill” towards the person about whom they are speaking, but manage to lead you to believe or entertain a negative idea about that same person. They may or may not really “just love her”, but claiming they do isn’t so much to convey a real emotion in this instance but to give them permission to say the negative thing they want.

It, also, confers a kind of legitimacy on the negative statement. It must be true. The person conveying this information obviously has no vested interest in saying anything bad — they even like the person! It can, also, be a way of testing the waters…to see how much they can say about another person, to see if someone will take the bait and open up with their own negative feelings. If not, then the covert abuser can step back without appearing to harbor any animosity and wait for a more conducive time to assault.

In a sense, Blasting while Blessing is a way of defining reality for you. A person can say whatever they want to say and they get to define the nature and tone of the entire interaction with a few strategically placed nice words. There is no accountability for the negative or hurtful comment they made, because it’s wrapped up in a nice package…with a bow and everything.

Instead of an expression of genuine like or warm regard, the nice comments, the “blessing part” of this covert assault is like a backdoor, an escape route for the abuser to back out, feign surprise, dismiss or deny any objection you may have should you happen to address it.

If you confront them they may not even deny the negative thing they said, but just be surprised you thought they meant anything mean by it. I mean weren’t they being nice? You can’t blame them for merely making an observation. If it was negative, that’s not their fault — it’s just the truth.

And it may be. That’s not the point. The point is this information comes to you, not through “clean delivery” but with hidden agenda. The covert abuse lies not in the spreading of negative information or ideas but in the denial of the malintent behind it. If the information is false, then that’s just another layer of abuse on top of this one.

Both this sneaky way of affecting perception negatively and the more out in the open gossip are attempts to influence others to see that person through their eyes, to come to the same conclusion, to pass judgment or even behave negatively towards the other person. Blasting while Blessing is just a way of doing it without being being seen as the reason or instigator for it.

Blasting while Blessing doesn’t just happen to third parties. You may experience it directly to your face. In spite of the smile on their face and the compliment they just paid you, you may have an uneasy, uncomfortable feeling like you’re not sure if you’ve just been insulted or not. Perhaps you know exactly what was said that you object to or feel somewhat stung by, but the nicety it was couched in leaves you confused. Mixed signals. Could you be reading them wrong?

It could be that you did misunderstand. Or maybe they just aren’t that adept in communicating and it didn’t come out right. It could be that you have misinterpreted something or it wasn’t conveyed accurately or it could be that you were just blasted and blessed.

No problem, a person who is not abusive will not mind you asking for clarification — in fact, they will be glad you do.

Someone with a hidden agenda, however, may be a lot more defensive…or dismissive. If they wind up making you feel foolish or apologetic as if you had attacked them, then that’s not a good sign. Of if they have no problem clarifying, but continue to find ways to put you down with a smile, then that is, also, not a good sign. It certainly is not a healthy dynamic, and one you may want to address in ways that are right for you.

Sometimes the presence of this form of covert abuse reveals itself if you disagree with the negative statement or say something nice about the other person. The covert abuser will suddenly be in the curious position of attempting to prove a point they refuse to acknowledge they were making.

Blasting while Blessing is not to be confused with using tact and diplomacy while offering constructive criticism. It’s good to affirm what’s good about either the person or their efforts while addressing an area that needs to be improved or changed. Positively affirming what a person has accomplished in relation to the relevant topic or their value and dignity as a human being is not self gratuitous and enables communication and receptivity to constructive criticism possible.

If it’s a genuine conversation there’s room for you to question or disagree. Communication flows both ways in the interest of understanding. There is no offense, no anger or derision thrown your way for questioning or discussing. There is no attack. There is only offering of perception, clarification, compromise or acceptance within an overall context of mutual respect and support.

Blasting while Blessing has nothing to do with authentic affirmation or acknowledgment, nor is it constructive in its criticism. It’s more like a cheap shot, something that’s thrown out there and then quickly “softened” with a superficial compliment or nicety. It does not leave the receiver feeling acknowledged or validated. It is not helpful — not to the one who experiences it directly or the one who receives it behind their back.

Blasting while Blessing is, also, not just blowing off steam about someone you love. We all have complaints about those nearest to us. Sometimes people we love can drive us crazy. And we can point out a fault and say we love them at the same time.

But this action is not concerned with changing anyone’s perception negatively towards that person. The love and acceptance is understood and palpable, and in the overall context, these types of statements do not define the relationship.

Blasting while Blessing is a subtle covert move, which makes it hard to pin right away, but with awareness and mindfulness you can lessen the possibility of being manipulated or assaulted or reacting in a less than empowering way.

Be mindful. Pay attention to the context, the relationship you have with this person and to what is actually being said and its ultimate impact. 

If it’s about another, does it affect how you perceive them? If it’s about you, how does it make you feel? In your interactions with another, what do you take away from it? The actual result of your interaction may reveal more of the true intent of the conversation or statement than the manner in which the information is delivered.

~Demian Yumei

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei believes in humanity, loves to write and adores her family. She is the author of "Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes" an award winning children's book on interconnectedness based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and singer/songwriter of the DreamSinger CD, "For the Sake of Love". She is currently working on a book series, "Where There's Smoke" about covert abuse. She's constantly learning and engaged in more creative projects than she can realistically accomplish. Her favorite drink is tea, preferably sweetened with a side of chocolate and her favorite season is snow -- any time of the year. .

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