Dec 02 2015

Pt. V: Taming the Martyr Dragon

Continued from Taming Your Avalanche Dragon, published 17nov15.


When there's a group, there are human factors at work.

When there’s a group, there are human factors at work.

Martyrs believe we are the “victims” of a situation and see ourselves as oppressed. As a victim, we feel like we have no choice in a situation; that others are deciding things for us and that we have no other option but to heed the directives of others. It is different from self-deprecation in that we feel that we have good ideas, but they are not heard or heeded by our colleagues or friends. The emphasis is on a sense of powerlessness, not that our ideas are bad.

Following others onto a suspect avalanche slope with martyrdom as our dragon can be deadly to us and to others. There is a chance that other people will die when we choose not to share a key piece of information: a difficult consequence to live with.

As a martyr, we abdicate the decisions to others and take a “woe is me” attitude. We say…

“Oh, I don’t think this is okay, but they want to go there, so I guess I’ll go with the flow, I don’t want to make waves.”

The interesting thing about martyring oneself while backcountry skiing is that death in this arena is not for an important social cause, like freedom from oppression or for peace.

Again, fear is the cause, fear of standing in one’s truth and living it to the full, regardless of social fallout.

Taming Your Avalanche Dragons

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