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July 26, 2007



Bridgette = Marla :)

Dorothy in Oz

In my humble opinion, this woman needs to be acknowledged and validated. If you know she is generally late to class, have the entire class "leave room" for her and smile and tell her "we left that space for you today" when she arrives late.
#1. Each week, greet her with a smile and use her name.
#2. Try to say ONE nice (sincere) thing to her each week.
#3. Do not allow her to interrupt your items. But don't take respondibility for the other students; I assume that they are adults and can handle their situation themseves. You are not the "Yoga Police".
#4. You should say something to your teacher and ask HER how you can better handle these distractions.
Thank you for giving me permission to give my opinion.


Thanks mom. Those are good suggestions.

Travis Savo

You asked, "Why hasn't the teacher said something to the distracting student?"

I suspect she's arrived at the same conclusion you have: That this person has these traits ingrained in their personality, and pointing them out to someone is like coming up to you and saying, "Jeeze Heather, your so damn nice and personable, could you knock it off?"

You are that nice and caring person. You're at peace with who you are because you know no other person to be. And someone suggesting that you be someone else is about as foreign as a concept as it gets to you, because it doesn't benefit you in any way to change, and be mean or nasty or selfish or uncaring or just outright snooty (snooty? snoty! snoty?!) because there's nothing in it for you. It won't make you happier than you are now to stop being sweet and personable, and so the comment it going to not register with you. They may as well be asking you to stop breathing and throw all your money in the trash.

It's no different from this person. No matter what phrasing you use, the message is going to be, "Why don't you stop looking out for yourself and consider someone else?", but this person has no need to do anything differently. Looking out for herself and only herself has gotten her this far, and to stop that would mean to sacrifice things in her life she's clearly not willing to sacrifice, so why on earth would she want to do that?

I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it is. People ultimately act in self-interest. We're successful in our lives because of self-interest, and if she's going to receive a message from someone about how to change her life, the only way she's going to accept that message if the message is one of self-interest. Telling her to stop being so damn selfish doesn't actually serve her self interest, and no message which has that underlying message is EVER going to be effective.

The way I've found to deal with these people is the same way I deal with everyone else: You pay it forward. You lead by example, not by force. You show them that you're going to be self-less no matter how much they take, and hope they see how much happier I am when I'm not thinking only of myself, and it all comes around.

Society self-corrects around these people in the presence of such leaders.


wow - Travis, thanks for your thoughts! I guess the part of me that hasn't said anything yet, is exactly because of this. It's not up to me to point this out to this person, and yet, it is increasingly irritating. When I have enough energy (and awareness) I can ignore the irritation and like you say, pay it forward. (This is my de facto activity.) But when someone is a vampire and sucking the energy the class is creating, or poisoning the good energy, that is my question. The patient and sweet heather would wait it out and visualize peace for her. The ruthless one would cut it off. What would the cunning one do?

Thanks for your thoughts. Good fodder for thinking.


One more thing mom, yeah, I am so not the yoga police. That's exactly why I haven't said anything to this woman yet. It so not appropriate. But what about taking responsibility to communicate my point of view - her disruption to ultimately have a better yoga class - and maybe she'd become a better person in the process... then again, it's not up to me, to make people evolve and become aware - although sometimes I think it might be.

Dorothy in Oz

Numbers 1,2 & 3 in the above post are meant to "help her evolve" without her realizing it. She is asking for attention, but in the wrong way and she doesn't even know it. Be nice to her and meet her needs before they come up. Try it for two weeks and see what happens. It will change the entire dynamics of the room. Maybe teach hasn't said something because she is letting the rest of you evolve into who knows what. Maybe it doesn't bother her because she is on another plane.

Dorothy in Oz

Another technique.... why don't you just "be her" one week ... come in late, etc. Let her see how it looks. But, of course, this technique only works if she is there! It worked beautifully on a tempermental, tantrum throwing pre-teen years ago!!

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