This is not my own text, but it is by far one of the most influential things I have read in my life. on reddit user breakfastpotato provided the following:
Don’t rock the boat.
I’ve been thinking about this phrase a lot lately, about how unfair it is. Because we aren’t the ones rocking the boat. It’s the crazy lady jumping up and down and running side to side. Not the one sitting in the corner quietly not giving a fuck.
At some point in her youth, Mum/MIL gave the boat a little nudge. And look how everyone jumped to steady the boat! So she does it again, and again. Soon her family is in the habit of swaying to counteract the crazy. She moves left, they move right, balance is restored (temporarily). Life goes on. People move on to boats of their own.
The boat-rocker can’t survive in a boat by herself. She’s never had to face the consequences of her rocking. She’ll tip over. So she finds an enabler: someone so proud of his boat-steadying skills that he secretly (or not so secretly) lives for the rocking.
The boat-rocker escalates. The boat-steadier can’t manage alone, but can’t let the boat tip. After all, he’s the best boat-steadier ever, and that can’t be true if his boat capsizes, so therefore his boat can’t capsize. How can they fix the situation?
And the next generation of boat-steadiers is born.
A born boat-steadier doesn’t know what solid ground feels like. He’s so used to the constant swaying that anything else feels wrong and he’ll fall over. There’s a good chance the boat-rocker never taught him to swim either. He’ll jump at the slightest twitch like his life depends on it, because it did .
When you’re in their boat, you’re expected to help steady it. When you decline, the other boat-steadiers get resentful. Look at you, just sitting there while they do all the work! They don’t see that you aren’t the one making the boat rock. They might not even see the life rafts available for them to get out. All they know is that the boat can’t be allowed to tip, and you’re not helping.
Now you and your DH get a boat of your own. With him not there, the balance of the boat changes. The remaining boat-steadiers have to work even harder.
While a rocking boat is most concerning to those inside, it does cause ripples. The nearby boats start to worry. They’re getting splashed! Somebody do something!
So the flying monkeys are dispatched. Can’t you and DH see how much better it is for everyone (else) if you just get back on the boat and keep it steady? It would make their lives so much easier.
You know what would be easier? If they all just chucked the bitch overboard.