Monday, June 22, 2009

the 5 why's...

A guy I know is enrolled in the Master's program at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio. His professor gave an assignment to use the 5 Why's. Basically stated; If you pose a question, the root answer he problem can be found by asking "Why?" like a child, 5 times. Hard problems might take 6 or 7. Sometimes even more. Sometimes less. But always the answer will be revealed.

My friend asked me to look at the problem he was working on to see what I thought of it. It wasn't bad, but I wanted use my own question and see where it went. So I gave it a shot. I decided to use a family values social problem...

Problem: The Decline of the American Family.
Why? - Americans have become a disposable society.
Why? - People want to take the easy road. Rather than fix it, replace it.
Why? - Americans have become lazy and want everything handed to them.
Why? - People have deluded themselves into thinking they deserve it, rather than working for it.
Why? - Lacking discipline in all factors of society.
Why?- Loss of family values and moral decline.
Why? - Too many single parent home, broken homes or no homes.

Hmmm. Not bad. I like it. And he liked this one better than the one he wrote, so he used it for his homework assignment.

I find it very interesting to see how the question asked makes it's way around, and gives you food for thought in the process.

How would the 5 why's work on other questions? Maybe on a political level?

Problem: All politicians are double talking hand shakers.
Why? - Because they are mouthpieces elected into office and too afraid to go against popular views.
Why? - If they shake the tree too much they won't get any votes for the next election.
Why? - Because although the majority of the American people want change, they still are followers, not doers.
Why? - Politicians are people pleasers. And want to be popular in an opinion poll.
Why? - Politicians like the limelight, are mainly ego driven.

Okay. That makes sense (at least to me) as well. As you can tell, I'm not overly fond of any politicians.

How about using the 5 why's on a relationship level?

Problem: I've been dating a self-centered asshole for the last 5 1/2 years.
Why? - Because being involved with self centered selfish asshole seemed a better choice at the time than being alone.
Why? - Because having a companion, even if not perfect, made me feel as if I wasn't insignificant.
Why? - My prolonged association with such a selfish, unthoughtful man has lowered my own self worth.
Why? - Because I had deluded myself into thinking that if I did enough for him, he would love and respect me.
Why? - He has proven time and again with his actions that he obviously doesn't think about how I feel.
Why? - Because he doesn't feel by his actions that he has done anything wrong.
Why? - Because he feels justified that it is his right to ask a co-student at 2am "how her vagina is".
Why? - Because he's really an asshole that seemingly doesn't respect himself, let alone others.
Why? - Because good people don't do things that they know would hurt their partner, whom they claim to love.
Why? - Because that is what good people who love each other do...always be there for them. Respect them. Care for them. And love them unconditionally.
And why can't he? - Because he's a self centered asshole who obviously doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself.

Well now! That took a little longer than 5 why's to get to the root, but there it is! The root of the problem. Lets try this again and see, shall we?

Problem: Why can't said boyfriend seem to be faithful and not have inappropriate dialogue with the opposite sex while in a relationship?
Why? - Because he has a mental issues mixed with low self esteem so he takes it out on his treatment and view of women.
Why? - Because he is a piece of shit.
Why? - He has no soul.

Now that one got to the root right away! That only took 3 'Why's'! Fact is, you could really just jump to the root of that one in 2, but it's nice to see "He is a piece of shit" in writing. Fact is, I might write it one more time just to make sure I get it ingrained into my head. "He is a piece of shit." I need to remember this when and if I ever run into him...which I hope I don't. (Or get the urge to forgive him....again.)

I could take these WHY questions even further and expose more, but I won't. However just seeing all this here in print is definitely worth at least 6 months of therapy....

When I was in high school my family ran into a stretch where we were all having a hard time communicating. My Dad was a scientist well versed in element charts, but not so much in normal communication. My mom was a teacher, sugar sweet. My brother in college and me in high school. My grandfather went blind and was living with there was a little stress building in within the family unit. So we went to a family therapist for a stint. I remember Dr. Nausbaum always asking, "And how did that make you feel....?" (while rubbing his chin for effect.) It has stayed with me, through the years. When things bother me, I ask myself Dr. Nausbaum's question.

Am I stunned? Yes.
Am I hurt? Sure thing.
Am I bitter? You bet. Because he knows better. We've been down this road before.
Am I angry? Oh yeah. But really more at myself. I should have known. I'm a much smarter person than this. And I'm better than this. I deserve more than this...

We broke up over the last episode of texting infidelities. (see past post here) Then we started seeing each other again. I know. I'm weak...and I loved him. So I forgave him. I honestly thought that he loved me back and wouldn't do anything to directly hurt me. And now 6 months later, I'm back to where I was in January. Same problem, different girl.

So boyfriend, ex-boyfriend...ex-friend. Good luck with all that. Hope everything works out for you. I would suggest you have someone else to call if you need anything. The entire friendship that we had is now gone. Friendship is built on trust. For me, there is no upside to having friends such as yourself. You threw it away. You didn't think of the ramifications. I hope that your needing to know how Donna's vagina was at 2:33 am was well worth your loss.

I no longer have your back. I'm not being mean, just realistic.

You had your chance. Fact is you had about 8 chances and you blew them all. Good riddance. I can't get my time invested back. I'm presently bitter because of that. But it'll be alright. I'll be alright. Fact is, I feel better already.

I should have realized what an ass he was years ago. That this relationship did nothing but bring me down. I think I did, but didn't believe it. I always saw the good in him. I tried to make him see it as well, to be a better person because of what I saw. But I no longer see the good now, only the bad, and the I'm looking forward, not back. No going back. Not this time...

It took me awhile to finally put him behind me, but I honestly can say that now I have. It's changing time for Nancy.
I'm anxious to see what my future holds...

I'm going to need my sunglasses. Because the future sure does look bright. Tomorrow is a whole new day...


  1. Is it possible that Donna had a yeast infection, or worse, the clap, and Mr. Wrong was actually a sensitive soul taking a keen interest in her overall health?

    I mean, I don't generally get that personal, but perhaps I'm just aloof.

  2. Ha Michael...I only wish it were. However, I do agree that Donna probably DOES have the clap or something even worse. And if not, I hope that she gets it..bad.

    Thank you for seeing the humor in this, as it will truly be rather funny in the future. Right now, it just kindof sucks.

    That's good.

  3. Sunglasses are good. Please take your rose colored glasses and stomp the shit out of them. No, because they really make you who you are. Just don't wear them around said "piece of shit."

  4. Lessons learned late are still lessons learned. And in your case it's obviously not "too late." You're better off without the douchebag.

  5. "One person can never change another person." That's the hardest phrase to accept, but it's so damn true. I spent too many years with an alcoholic wife beater. And you know what? He abused me until the day I finally got his butt arrested. Then I spent a year as "the other woman". Guess what, he is still with his wife AND he is still cheating on her, but not with me.

    Then, I spent a while ALONE.

    Today, I'm with a man who I've spent the last 7 years with. He is a guy who is as close to perfect as they come. Your guy is out there.

    You are a beautiful, funny, intelligent woman. Now you need to be all those things PLUS be strong. Thanks for sharing.

  6. @Chrissy - The rose colored ones have had some cracks in them for some time now, but I promise to not wear them ALL the time, anymore. Or maybe just around you. :-)

    @Chris - My dad always said that if you learn from an experience, it an experience worth having. I didn't quite learn the LAST time. But once hit with a 2x4, I get it pretty well now! Thanks for your support...

    @Theresa - Thank YOU for your support as well. AND the lovely compliments. That'll keep me cruising easy through the hard part of any break-up. It's also nice to know that good things DO come to those that wait....I don't NEED a man around, I'm not one of those women, but it's nice to have companionship. I'm glad you found a 'perfect man', or at least close to. I always thought it would be like finding the pot of gold, or a leprechan! Thanks Theresa...


  7. I love the way you are working thru this whole thing. The concept of the 5 "why's" is intriguing; got to try this one.
    You are SOOO much better off without him.

  8. @Maureen - Thanks. It really helps (at least me)to have the mentality of; 'get it out there and then get over it'. :-)

    The 5 why's though is a neat tool. We tried it at dinner on Father's Day as a group and it was interesting to see how it came around with the different viewpoints involved. Good discussion group item.

    Thanks for your comment, AND your support. I appreciate it!

  9. Was Donna's vagina in some kind of peril? It was obviously an emergency at that hour.
    This is a much darker post, Nancy. Embrace the hate. Join me.

  10. @ Carlos - Yeah, it IS a rather dark rant. I've never been one to hide/hold my emotions in, that's for sure. Can't lie worth a damn either. And can't wait until someones birthday if I buy them a present...
    But writing publically about it sure does help with the stress level! Therapy...bah. Just have a blog.

    Thanks for your welcome to the dark side. Love the hate, feel the hate, BE the hate!

  11. I think this has to be the BEST blog post I've ever stumbled across. Seriously. I love the 5 question philosophy. I'm having a lot of "Why's" in my own life right now, and I think I might try to use this on myself...see where I get...make me really think about the real issues at hand. I'm sorry about your "piece of shit". Its tough trying to find some one worthy of what we have to offer. I wish you all the luck you can get in that department!

  12. Hi!
    I've been doing the "why" thing for a couple years now; and it's true that if you're honest about it you can boil down how you truly feel about something -- and hopefully your course of action -- in about five "why"s.

    As for your ex, been there -- not with a cheater but with a drunk. Either way, once you've discovered that there is behavior you cannot tolerate, the whys become important if you are to be true to your own needs. I know you can do it -- "smart" actually doesn't have anything to do with it, but "enlightened" does.

    Now that you've been enlightened and truly see who he is, knowing what you know, would you have even dated him?


  13. Ha! The 'Why' exercise is pretty fun. Good stuff. As for Mr. Good Riddance, glad to see you're moving forward and staying positive. A lot of the time, my female friends get caught up in what their significant others say instead of focusing on what their parterns do--I often end up repeating my advice to them: "actions tell the real story; their words just feed the fantasy of a storybook love relationship, raises your expectations for what 'could' be despite that their behavior indicates a 'dead end,' and nurtures your girlish notions of the love and romance you've always wanted but will never have with him/her."

    Nice post!

  14. @Lady on the Verge - thanks for stopping by, giving me the compliment and in the process, your support as well. I'm glad to add you to the list of my 'bloggy' friends! I'll be following your posts as's good reading! :-)

    @ Pearl - It's the first that I had heard of the "why's" although I've been asking myself that for years! Just not asking the 'right' questions or in successive order! But now that I have them...I getting everything straightened out!

    I believe in the difference (now) between smart and enlightened. Just to stay that way, that'll be the hardest part!

    Thanks Pearl for your comment!


  15. @Will - Thanks for your comment (and support in the process)! Sometimes I wonder if we all DO put OUR thoughts OF the other person before WHO the person actually IS.
    You are giving your friends good advice. I'll ask you the next time I can't figure it out on my own! (wish I had a firend that would give me the straight up)

    Thanks Will!



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