“Gabrielle Riel HATES me!”
“Gabrielle Riel HATES so-and-so!”
“Gabrielle Riel HATES us!”
I have been hearing “Gabi Hates” gossip for over a decade and it still takes me aback when one of these statements wends its way to my ears. The gossip is often accompanied by “and she is out to get me/get us!” statements.
You would think that I’d be used to this by now, but I seem to have retained some sort of strange naiveté, or perhaps it’s just a defense mechanism to block out negativity, because I still have the same reaction each time I hear gossip like this, which is: what the…?
Hate. It’s such a strong emotion that implies active focus. While there are some things and some people that I feel strongly about, hate is far too intense of a descriptor for my feelings for anyone. Hate takes effort. Hate takes time. And guess what? I don’t have enough time or effort to hate anybody!
My time and effort are spent on my daily tasks, both in and out of Second Life. Most people know I manage St John and Radio Riel. I think it’s fairly clear that I have a lot of tasks to handle in regards to both of those businesses.
I also have a lot of responsibilities in my life that are not connected to St John or Radio Riel. I am not going to elaborate on what those responsibilities are. Suffice to say, I think most people would be shocked to learn what I have on my plate in the non-virtual world. It’s a lot.
Now, I am not saying that I like everyone. There are people that annoy me. There are people that I think are mean. There are people I don’t want to deal with. There are people I think are toxic. There are people that I think are downright crazy. I form these opinions based on interactions that I have had with them or directly witnessed.
Bottom line: if I don’t like someone, it means they have behaved in a way with me in the past that I find unpleasant. I also tend to avoid these people and I most certainly don’t want to collaborate with them on any projects. Once burned is enough for me!
I have to think hard about my 11.5 years in Second Life to remember if there has ever been anyone that I have hated. There is only one person I can think of that comes close and it wasn’t based on anything that happened to me directly. It was a man who was a sexual predator in both the virtual and actual worlds. By complete chance, several of his victims confided in me. None of his victims knew each other, nor were they aware of each other’s experiences with him. These private, confidential revelations happened over several years and with each new story I felt more sick and helpless.
This happened many, many years ago. Did I hate the predator? Maybe? I think I can say that I loathed him, but I did not think about him often. I never told anyone about what I knew. I did mute him because it made me physically ill to see him in group and main chats, in which he loved to try and garner as much attention for himself as possible. Is that hate? I don’t know. All I knew was that I wished I could help those that he had harmed and that I wanted to block him out of my world.
The reality is that if I don’t like someone, I don’t actively do anything to them. Instead, I shut them out. I mute them. I cease engaging with them. I get as far away from them as possible and have no desire to interact with them. I ignore them.
Now, in regards to ignoring, there is something that I have learned over the years about the people who love to tell anyone and everyone who will listen that I hate them.
It’s a technique. One used by hard-core narcissists in order to gain attention.
The spotlight on me has been bright for a very long time. Narcissists can not stand a spotlight on anyone else but themselves. They know they can’t shut my spotlight down, so instead they try to get under it next to me.
One way of doing that is to try and befriend me, but I learned the hard way a decade ago that I was allowing people to use me for their own time in the spotlight. I was so open. Too open. Too friendly. Too naive. I am still friendly and fun, but I don’t let people get close to me, especially people I do not know.
Narcissists can sense me setting them at arm’s length, so they know relatively quickly that they are not going to be able to get into the spotlight by being my buddy. So...what’s a narcissist to do? How can they get into that spotlight? What would be something shocking that would make people take notice?
“Gabrielle Riel HATES me!”
When someone says that, people react. It pulls in all kinds of reactions.
It elicits sympathetic reactions: She hates you? Oh dear! Why? What happened?
It elicits negative reactions: This must be juicy gossip if Gabrielle Riel hates you! What’s her problem? What a bitch!
Negative attention is still attention! When someone says I hate them, they are implying that I actually care enough about them to feel that way.
Think about it. Think about your own life. How many times have you found out to your surprise, usually through passive aggressive communication, that someone is telling people that you don’t like them or that you are mad at them, when in reality you did not feel one way or another about that person?
How does that make you feel? Do you feel baffled? Confused? Angry? Annoyed? How do you then respond? Do you feel like you need to talk to them? To reassure them that you don’t hate them? That you need to clear the air? Air that until that moment you had no idea needed clearing. Do you feel the need to console them? Or to tell them off?
Look at all of those possible reactions. Some are positive and some are negative, but they are all nonetheless reactions. All ways in which you end up focusing your attention on the person that is telling everyone you hate them. And nothing makes a narcissist happier than attention.
This has happened to me so many times over the years. After my initial “what the…?” reaction, I usually end up laughing. Here we go again, I say to myself. I know that these hard core narcissists revel in thinking I hate them, because then they don’t have to face the truth.
The truth is that I don’t care about them. I don’t think about them or what they are doing. They mean nothing to me and they never will.
I don’t hate anyone, at least not anyone I can think of off the top of my head. If I find someone to be unpleasant then I just move along. I have too much going on in my life to waste time with toxic people.
As for the other piece that often comes with these messages, the “Gabi has masterminded this vast conspiracy to cause me/us great harm” piece, I can sum that crap up in one word: projection.
What is projection? Here is the definition as found on Wikipedia:
Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection)
I have been discussing projection in my blog posts for at least a decade. I am now going to quote myself from a post that I wrote almost 7.5 years ago, in April 2010:
“Drama does not bother me. I find it annoying, because it distracts me from my ability to focus on work. I don't have time to be the Evil, Manipulative Mastermind that some people like to make me out to be. I hear things that are said about me...and I laugh. I wish I had the time and energy to execute all of the nefarious plans of which I am accused.”
Guess what kids? It might be the end of September 2017, but my feelings are exactly the same as they were in April 2010.
My motives are so simple. Most likely far too simple for toxic people to be able to accept. I want to make people happy via Radio Riel and St John. I want to be able to express who I am via music and entertain people while I am doing it. That’s it. Those are my motives.
If someone starts going on about Gabrielle Riel and her evil plans, take a long hard look at that person. They are describing what they would do. Not what I would do. Projection, projection, projection!
If someone starts going on about how Gabrielle Riel hates them, well, now you have it directly from me: I don’t hate anyone.
No one that I do not like warrants that level of focus from me.
Only the people I love warrant that level of focus from me. And they get it.
“Gabrielle Riel hates me!”
Oh please! You wish!
~ The Nightingale