February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R || 97 or children, there are permutations with the same type of dysfunction. The proactive: heroes and villains, and the reactive: mar- tyrs and victims, and none of them wear black or white hats. Either proponent of the dysfunction may be difficult to pick out of a crowd. We all aim to be a self-aware adult. It describes a person who is realistic about who they are, secure in how they feel about themselves, and capable of interacting with others with the right blend of competition and compassion. However, at one time or another each of us has likely transformed into an alter-ego. We have a disposition and comfort level when we want to pretend, im- ply, or profess to be something or someone else other than what we are—we don our default mask. The two opposed, proactive themes, villain and hero, exist simply and solely because of the other—the labels are only how they interact with others. Absent the conflict, it is a similar case with martyrs and victims and all other pairs—they cannot continue to exist independently. To better understand the roles each of these themes play, we must first understand their charac- teristics. Heroes: Their only messianic gift is they are certain they know more, should be in charge more often, and are capable of doing it better and faster than the other guy. You may have heard a person afflicted with these peccadillos described as "a know-it-all." He- roes would be martyrs without their pomp and splendor, and tend to square off with villains and victims. Villains: Villains are not necessarily more nefarious or unscrupulous than the heroes are "The Lone Ranger" or "Superman." Todays "e-Villain" is the Internet forum "troll." They are neither online to learn nor to teach, but to detract and snipe. They are certain they are the most deserving group. Villains would be victims without their au- dacity, while their arch-enemy is the hero and they are perennial terrorists in the eyes of the victim. Martyrs: If one were to declaw and give a dose of self-pity to the hero, they would cre- ate a martyr. They know they are stronger, better, faster, smarter, but they don't get a chance to spread their wings and show their talents because they are busy cleaning up after someone else's mess. They will tend to whine and moan, but somehow they will get the job done. Notwithstanding, you will never wonder whether or not they were happy to do so. Victims: The victim is obedient, but will almost always suffer their fate in protracted silence, which is another way of saying they are passive-aggressive. Like the villain, they believe they deserve a lot more, but they live in perpetual fear until finally they reach a boiling point and blow off the steam, often at the wrong person, in the wrong context. With all of this being said, it should be noted that one character is no better or worse than the others. All four of these types are self-absorbed; they each have a distorted sense of self-confidence, they are uncom- fortable with their true self-image, and feel they and their abilities are unworthy. A martyr may be considered a hero with two alterations: martyrs are reactive and neither assertive nor aggressive, but given to a large dose of self-pity. They will prevail albeit pouting with a thin veil of whining or moaning, but just like the hero, they want

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