Author Topic: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?  (Read 3226 times)

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Nora

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Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« on: August 25, 2010, 01:01:33 AM »
bg: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=82761.0

This is an otherwise smart man. Good at his job, loving father, great husband. It's just in this one area he is incapable of implementing his own reality check, and in this case I don't want to give it to him. May be cowardly on my part, but it would be like slapping a puppy. A puppy who would then be too depressed to do chores.

Does anyone else have a loved one who has no self insight in one particular area? Particularly areas that are painfully obviously lacking to everyone else? Please tell me how you deal with this.
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xena2560

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 12:05:46 AM »
Given the other thread, I'd soundproof the basement.  Seriously.  Not trying to make light of this.  But, soundproofing the basement....could save you some heartache.  He needs something to do.  I see this along the lines of Tim Allen on Home Improvement; Jill let him blow things up, waited till he was out of the house, and called the handyman.

LEMon

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 12:55:41 AM »
We all have areas of our lives we live in denial about.  I dream of being a writer but I can't write well.  So I do it in private for my own joy.  I would be deeply hurt if someone let one of my writings out in public.  Therre is a part of me that likes to dream about one of my stories working out, but I hide that dream.

Find a way to let this be for him.  You want it just for him, for him to enjoy as his breaktime, his sanity time.  He can work on his music all he wants.  Listening to him talk about it may be easier than listening to him play.  But if you do listen, find a way to enjoy his joy.  (Earplugs maybe your friend.)

Amava

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 01:04:53 AM »
We all have areas of our lives we live in denial about.  I dream of being a writer but I can't write well.  So I do it in private for my own joy.  I would be deeply hurt if someone let one of my writings out in public.  Therre is a part of me that likes to dream about one of my stories working out, but I hide that dream.

Find a way to let this be for him.  You want it just for him, for him to enjoy as his breaktime, his sanity time.  He can work on his music all he wants.  Listening to him talk about it may be easier than listening to him play.  But if you do listen, find a way to enjoy his joy.  (Earplugs maybe your friend.)

But you say you know you don't write well, and you say you don't want to let out your writings in public. So you're not delusional or in denial.

The problem starts when you have a friend or a SO who thinks they can do something better than they really can. What do you do then, is the question. But I have no answer to it, either.

Nora

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 01:05:50 AM »
When I'm (eventually...) done with my education, my plan is actually to buy a place where he can have his soundproofed studio. He'll be happy, and I'll be even happier. That's a long way away though.

It's true we're all to some extent delusional about somethings. My inquery is related to the types of otherwise harmless delusions that do have some negative side-effects. In my husbands case the negative side-effect would be ridicule (not when he performs blues though, he's got that down), and my wish is to protect him against himself.

In other cases I could see money would be the issue, if the delusional loved one (DLO) spent all their money on the hobby to the extent of destroying their finances. For some it may be the amount of time spent by the DLO on their projects. I'm curious what the different approaches to this are.
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blarg314

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 01:59:50 AM »

As far as humiliation goes, if someone is totally delusional about their own ability, and isn't getting the hints that performing might not be the best idea, then *something* is going to have to burst their balloon. At that point, it becomes an issue of whether it's going to be their spouse or friend who sits them down and says "Look, you just aren't very good at this" or if it's going to be the public humiliation of an audience.

As far as money or time goes,  the lack of talent can be less of an issue, if it comes down to an issue of someone neglecting their family or spending money they don't have. I could see it being a problem if someone wants to quit their job to write a novel or go on tour, but at least then you can use the practicality argument - even the most talented writers don't start out making a living on their books, so it's better to keep your day job until after you've sold a few books.

LadyPekoe

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 02:20:02 AM »
My DH has a 1969 Dodge Charger.  When he was a child, he slept cuddled up with a model General Lee.  I hate the car.  It's big, it's a money pit, it takes the whole garage, it breaks down constantly.  It's a unibody with body damage--it's never going to be the perfect car he wants.  I asked him to not spend any money on it for the year before the wedding and he did it which I appreciated a lot. 
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fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 11:14:01 AM »
Can you suggest he find a local songwriting club or voice lessons or some other musically-based interested group?  He could perform while receiving outside help and criticism.

LadyClaire

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Re: Delusional loved ones, who has them? How do you deal?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 11:25:33 AM »

As far as humiliation goes, if someone is totally delusional about their own ability, and isn't getting the hints that performing might not be the best idea, then *something* is going to have to burst their balloon. At that point, it becomes an issue of whether it's going to be their spouse or friend who sits them down and says "Look, you just aren't very good at this" or if it's going to be the public humiliation of an audience.


Like auditioning for "American Idol", where you see the horrible singers who get torn apart by the judges and then run out in tears while their parents/friends/SOs comfort them with "You're so good, those judges don't know what they're talking about!!!"

I've always thought that it doesn't do anyone any favors to lie to them about their lack of ability. You don't have to be harsh about it, but I think it's best to sit them down and gently tell them that while you understand their passion, they need to perhaps consider doing something else.