The Biting Badger - Why we snap at others when hurting

Those who read “Be More Duck” will not be too surprised to find that just like Aesop, I have another animal story/fable to help teach us a lesson for life.

Walking through a forest one day you came across a badger caught in a trap. You hear the screaming and the crying and you know the badger needs your help. You get closer and see that the badger has gotten stuck and you can see that you could with ease, open the trap and let the badger free. You move in to open up the trap, assured by your honest desire to help, only to find the badger turns and bites you leaving you angry, hurt and now desiring to lash out your self for the injustice you feel at being hurt when trying to help.

The lesson here is that a hurt animal will still lash out in fear, this is a defense mechanism. At that moment the badger is weak and unable to get away and can not be sure that you will not harm it more, leaving it little option other than to snap at you.

We don't like to see ourselves as animals, however we are classed as such for a reason and to understand that we are driven deeply by our animal instincts helps us in many ways. Someone hurt, upset or angry is very much capable of lashing out, driven by subconscious mechanisms

You may be confused to find that when you offer someone a helping hand they metaphorically bite your hand off. The reasons for this should already start to look clear, they are in pain, hurting and licking their wounds and you come along with a desire to help that they perceive as danger.

When you wish to help someone always put yourself in their place first, imagine how they are feeling and act with care and if they lash out, look at them with a view of a hurt animal and do not take this as a personal attack on you. They are not rejecting you and your desire to help, they simply can not act differently until they calm down.

Just like the monkey taking the fish from the dangerous river up into the safety of the tree, you can not be sure you are not doing harm. Give them space to calm down and allow them the space to ask for help when they want it and in the way they want. At most let it be known you wish to be there for them and you will wait for them to know what they want. Anything else is more about you needing to help yourself and your discomfort so leave them be.

If you find you are hurting yourself and others rather than seeing yourself as bad see yourself as hurting and ask why am I hurting rather than why am I bad.

Steve D

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