Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crazymakers in the Community

Look out, Howard County! There are Crazymakers on the loose in your community!

Do I have your attention?

You may not have heard the term Crazymaker before, but you probably know one.  In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron describes a Crazymaker like this:

"If they can swing it, they are the star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the Crazymaker’s whims."

Does this ring a bell? Have you served on a committee with this person?  Attended a public meeting that featured the antics of one? Perhaps you have read about the consequences of  a Crazymaker's actions in the local news?

Take a look at this post from Escaping Mediocrity. Blogger Sarah Robinson lays it out clearly:

Crazymakers cannot abide or respect a schedule – least of all yours. 
Crazymakers expect special treatment.  
Crazymakers discount your reality.
Crazymakers make others feel small. 
Crazymakers are expert saboteurs.

There has been a bit of a stir this week about online bullying as it pertains to adults: possibly even bloggers and the commentators who participate in the blogging realm. This started me wondering about Crazymaking and its effects on our community, because Crazymaking takes bullying to a whole new level.

You see, Crazymakers "are also VERY charismatic, often charming and incredibly interesting. Which is how we get sucked in."

Some years ago I served on the HOA Board for my community.  Directly before the spring CA elections, a guest speaker came to talk to us about the issues in the upcoming election.  The predictions were dire. Our visitor believed in the true vision of Columbia, but at the same time, heartless developers were going around, handpicking candidates who would do their bidding to run against the true Columbians.  It was pretty convincing. This person was, by all appearances, calm, rational, and pleasant.

 I found out later that what was said was completely untrue.

Guess what?  I'm not going to name names.  I want you to do that for yourself.  Where do you see manipulation, grandstanding, temper tantrums?  Where do you see charm that serves as a precursor to poison?

When we have Crazymakers in our personal lives, we have to make hard choices about what to do.  Do we set clearer boundaries? Stand up for ourselves more assertively?  Or must we separate ourselves completely from the toxic behavior which is harming us, and possibly, our families, co-workers, or friends?

But what do we do with Crazymakers that want to dominate the public arena?  And, how do we respond to Crazymaking behavior adopted by groups in order to forward their agendas?

I realize that I am running a risk by presuming that none of us are Crazymakers.  A little self-examination at this juncture wouldn't hurt, I guess.

Bullying in any form is serious and needs to be faced.  Bullying that comes dressed with a charming face is insidious and just as harmful.  If you see something--say something.




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