The Sovereignty Series – You Can’t Make Me!

You Can't Make Me!

Self Victimization through Personal Speech Patterns

The Sovereignty Series

We’ve all heard of word association tests administered by the psychiatric profession which are used to determine our unconscious psychological makeup. The same goes for various other tests, such as the Rorschach test, that are (supposedly) designed to detect underlying thought disorder and overall personality characteristics.

I have often spoken about the hijacking of language to control and manipulate people, both as individuals and as the collective herd. George Orwell’s classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is a wonderful examination of the concept of language hijacking. I suggest that regardless of whether you have read “1984” or not, that you do so again in light of what we all see coming round the bend.

I tend to cringe whenever I use the word ‘hijack’ because it implies that our language has been forcibly taken from us, transformed into a weapon to be used against us, and then placed back in our hands disguised as an everyday tool of essential living. Even if the process I just described is actually what happened (in practice it’s more evolution than blunt force trauma) in order for the hijacking to be effective it still requires our consent and willingness to utilize and embrace the weaponized language.

So let’s try something a little different here. Instead of a word association test I would like to try a phrase association test with you. And I’ll bet that even if you tried you could not stop yourself from inserting a word into the blank at the end of the following phrase.

“You make me so <……….>.”

The lists of words you may have inserted into the <blank> are wide and varied. As well if I were to structure the sentence differently, such as “Sometimes you make me…..” or “Every time you do that you make me…..” the list may grow even longer. Sometimes we even declare that “It makes me so……” thereby giving inanimate objects or situations control over us. If you give it some thought you can come up with all kinds of variations.

The one commonality among most, if not all, of the words we place after ‘make me’ are words or possibly phrases that describe emotions, usually strong (triggering) emotions. In keeping with the theme of hijacking a language in order to control or manipulate, one of the techniques used is to distort the meaning of words or phrases in such a way as to promote a ‘victim’ mentality.

Other examples of victim phrases are “You can’t fight city hall” or “There’s nothing we can do to change the situation”, both classics because what we really mean when we say those things is that since we can’t change everything immediately why even try. This is what non sovereign entities say to each other and to their masters. We beg for permission from the ‘authorities’ to do what we as true sovereigns would never consider asking permission to do. This ‘conditioning’ begins with the language we use to speak and thus to think.

So my question here is simple. Since when is someone else responsible, as in “You make me…,” for our emotional ‘State of Mind’? Think about that for a few seconds before you respond because I would be willing to bet that your initial response, the one that quickly rolls off your mental or physical tongue, would itself be a triggered response rather than a logical and rational answer.

Now before you say, “Well, that’s just something we say. It doesn’t mean anything.” I beg to differ. Just watch two people verbally fight, or even just argue, and count the number of times one assigns the other blame for their own emotional state. If there is any emotional attachment between the parties, or the confrontation is emotionally triggering, blame will likely be assigned to the other. That’s the beauty of left/right politics as a control mechanism, to promote triggering emotions in order to divide and pacify a population.


We are all guilty of this, including myself. Just ask Mrs. Cog. To counter this tendency I try to remain mindful of what I am saying at all times, especially when I’m feeling emotional or I’m triggered by something someone else said. For me one of the signs that I‘ve been triggered is when I won’t let the other person finish speaking or I’m just waiting for my turn to speak rather than actually listening to what they are saying.

I attempt to counter this in the same why I try to avoid using the words ‘I believe’. Often when I use that term I am simply regurgitating some doctrine or thought bubble that is commonly used among those I associate with. Or it is a label I can quickly assume or wear that enables the view I wish to express to be quickly or easily understood. What I should be saying is that ‘I think’ or ‘My opinion is’. Doing so changes the dynamic of my thoughts and speech because now I am expressing my own ‘State of Mind’ rather than repeating someone else’s.

One of the things that drives Mrs. Cog crazy, especially when we are having ‘words’, is that I sometimes reject her assignment of blame. She’s even turned the tables on me a few times to her everlasting amusement. More often though, whether or not we are having words, I try to slow down and think about what I am saying. If I force myself to take full and exclusive ownership of my emotional state by avoiding the “You make me…” statements, not only must I phrase my words differently, but I must think differently about not just whom I’m talking to or what I’m talking about, but I must also think differently about myself.

By accusing someone else of being responsible for my emotional outbursts I am in essence avoiding responsibility for my own actions. By blaming others for my ‘State of Mind’ I’m assigning myself to the ‘role’ of victim status. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be in this ‘State of Mind’. So you fix yourself and I’ll be all better. That is one of the definitions of a victim, someone who has no control over their ‘self’, who has had the control of their body and/or mind taken from them, often by force or deceit. Only in this case, because I self assign myself as victim, it is entirely by my consent that I am a victim.

While that assessment might sound simplistic and even childish, I contend that there are few conversations/arguments more childish than two or more adults blaming each other for their own (dysfunctional) emotional state. If you don’t believe me, just spend an hour or so in a public park or gathering place where young children are playing. You will hear little fights erupt now and then and if you are honest with yourself you will see the parallels between what is said on the playground and what is said in the heat of an argument with a friend, spouse or other loved one.

So……..are you ready to take the Cognitive Dissonance challenge? For one entire week starting from this moment let ‘us’ attempt to be mindful at all times, not just when we are emotionally triggered or in the middle of conflict or confrontation, but at all times, of the language we use that sheds us of personal responsibility for our own emotional ‘State of Mind’.

I suspect that at some point during our little experiment we will begin to recognize other words, phrases or mannerisms we regularly use that also directly or indirectly absolve ourselves of personal ‘blame’ or ‘responsibility’ for all manner of things. No one can ‘make you’ do, feel or say anything without your consent and the first consent we quickly (and often without conscious thought) give up/away is when someone else triggers our own inner emotional dysfunction.

The ultimate goal of this thought experiment is to elevate our awareness, our mindfulness, and our inner presence in order to begin to reclaim our own personal sovereignty. In my opinion (see, I didn’t say ‘I believe’) we cannot even begin to assert our own personal sovereignty if we can’t even accept responsibility for our own (emotional) State of Mind.


Cognitive Dissonance


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3 thoughts on “The Sovereignty Series – You Can’t Make Me!”

  1. Nice post. A nicely articulated description of several of the initial steps I needed to take to begin to take hold of some level of personal sovereignty and must continue to practice if I am to retain some level of sovereignty. The necessity of (1) building awareness of my emotional state, (2) acknowledging that these emotions are often connected to much more than the current circumstances, (3) choosing to be solely accountable for the internal emotional tempest within, (4) choosing to take actions that are not simply reactions to my then prevailing emotional state and (5) choosing language that does not project my emotional state onto another, deflect accountability from me to another person for my emotional state or attempt to stir the emotional tempest within another person.

    Although your language above seems to address the negative emotional experience there is a similar experience often associated with the positive emotional experience.

    1. …there is a similar experience often associated with the positive emotional experience.

      Absolutely, like when I tell Cog, “You make me happy” and he responds, “Oh no I don’t.” LOL We laugh every time because he knows there is no good answer and I know he knows it. If he acknowledges it in the positive then he is taking responsibility for my happiness and we both know happiness comes from within. If he denies it, then he is implying I am unhappy or that he is not providing something I expect or want. It’s a classic Catch-22.

  2. As Paul wrote in the bible – you can’t really even “make” someone take their next breath if they choose not to. I believe you have to own yourself, but I also know it can be hard to do.

    Mrs Cog – you cracked me up! Nice encapsulation of the concept. + a zillion.

    Slightly OT, but the ruination of language is our downfall. It’s a superset of the misuse of the word “make” Cog is discussing. (and don’t get me started on the common “need” vs “want” usage inappropriately) I’m an old skool conservative, meaning things like “look before you leap, spend less than you make, give more than you take, don’t fix things that aren’t broken”, the latter I have to allow “cognitive dissonance” about when I put on my engineering hat, but you get the idea. The word “conservative” has changed so much over my own lifetime, as defined by most, not to include people like me at all anymore – they now use the word to describe the opposite – radical right wing nuts who want to tell me who I can get in bed with and so forth. Not that the “liberals” satisfy any definition of the word I grew up with – they just want to force different stuff on me. If anything, the liberals insist harder than the conservatives that I toe some line. Funny old world.

    There are so many utter pretend self-identifying “Christians” out there, I’m often embarrassed to say I’m a man of faith, as well. They don’t read their own book. They don’t walk the talk. And I learned long ago, that painting Jesus on your finger and cramming it down people’s throats has the expected result of cramming anything down someone’s throat – puke.

    Just set a good example and maybe someone will ask – it’s a better way. If no one’s asking, maybe the example isn’t so great, so you need to go work on that. And I strongly object to so-called Christians trying to jam their stuff down our throats with the legal system (or any other group of “faith” – I’d point out that Atheism is also a “faith” – organized belief in something you cannot prove). If your message isn’t getting across on a voluntary basis, maybe it’s the message that’s the problem?

    A transmitter has to encode the information such that the receiver can decode it. There’s little point putting FM modulation on the AM band, or vice versa. Does you old analog TV still work, since they changed from vestigal sideband AM to digital, using the same frequencies as before (but sparing up a lot)? Now, in those cases, which are extreme, you get utter garbage. How about what you get with slight (or gradual) redefinitions of basic words and meanings?

    As CS Lewis pointed out, our language often controls how we think and what we’re capable of thinking about. An attack on the meanings, our ability to organize our thoughts, is an attack on society/humanity itself, and it’s rampant of late.

    CS Lewis also noted a pattern. “Man’s conquest of nature is really man’s conquest of other men using nature as a tool”.
    I’m sure you can see on your own how other things – religions and philosophies, political parties – serve the same purpose and the same ends. The power of some over others.

    But my own observations on some things are “funny” and not in the ha-ha sense. I’m pretty free, by my own definition.
    I really don’t give a flying fsck about what people think about me. And it’s obvious. I get three main reactions when people notice that.

    First one and most common is fear – they think that since I “might do anything”, I would do the stuff they have in their own demon-cluttered closet. Nope, in fact if you’ve got all that stuff, you can’t be free in the first place, you have to clean that out first, or you can’t be free. Part of fear is anger. If you don’t care, then people have no control over you by withholding (or just threatening to withhold) approval. People resent having NO power over you, you know.

    Second was, when I was doing the “rock star” gig (I’ve held a number of interesting “day jobs” including yes, rock star, race driver, superstar engineer for the intelligence community) – was hey, you have to live the life of a rock star – people pushing drugs and you name it on me – they wanted me to live in a certain way so they could live vicariously through me. Not so good for me, but they didn’t care, they could latch on to the next fool if I got myself killed or otherwise eliminated.

    Third, rare but pleasing, is a simple “oh, another one of us”. Those are my friends for life.

    I just tell people I’m a zen master now, if they ask. A: it shuts them up. B: it’s true, and is part of what I actually am.

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