General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

How well do you stay on your rock?

Asked by SuperMouse (30788points) November 16th, 2008

Pretend you are sitting on a rock watching ships sail by. Some of the ships are in great shape just sailing along, but others are on fire, some are sinking, some have people calling to you for help. Can you stay on your rock or do you tend to want to swim out, jump on the boat, and save the day?

When you apply this analogy to your relationships, how well do you stay on your rock? Is it cruel to stay on your rock? Is it co-dependent to swim out to others’ boats?

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18 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Brilliant analogies! Lovely : )

I am constantly getting dragged off my rock. With 3 children under 14, it’s impossible not to! I try to help them come up with a solution on their own, and then I swim back to catch my breath before the next catastrophy.

With friends, sometimes I just shout out “I love you! Keep going…you’re going to make it!” Sometimes I swim out and give them a hug, or a swift kick in the pants. In really serious times, I go out with a life-raft and get them to safety.

fireside's avatar

you must be having quite the week, supermouse

I’ve found that when I try to point things out to other people about their relationships, it only leads to drama and disconnect. I even got a cigarette burn on the hand and a headlock back in school for not staying on my rock.

What I would suggest doing is finding a nice sturdy row boat and just getting close. Don’t try to jump on the boat to put out the fire because you may be the one to get burned. Instead just be available in the rescue boat if they need to get out of the fire.

Some people are just bound and determined to sink with their ship and you don’t want to let them pull you under if that is what they intend to do.

Nimis's avatar

For one of my oldest friends I used to swim out, jump on the boat (many, many, many times)...only to realize that she just wanted me to hang out on her boat. She’d poke holes in her own boat just for the sake of being rescued. Same friend also stated that she wished that I were sinking, so that she could save me. After fifteen years of this nonsense, I’ve decided to stay on my rock (as far as she is concerned).

For my other friends, I will always swim out.
I’m not always the best swimmer though.

SuperMouse's avatar

In the interest of full disclosure I must state for the record that I did not come up with this analogy, a friend shared it with me.

Nimis's avatar

Fir: Agreed. Having your own sturdy boat is key.

augustlan's avatar

You have brilliant friends!

fireside's avatar

@Nim – if I’m getting up off my rock, i better know for sure that my boat is just as solid

Nimis's avatar

Fir: Yeah. But sometimes you’re so caught up in it.
You just think Hey, even though it’s totally gimpy, my boat is floating.
You don’t always stop to consider if it will hold more than just you.

shrubbery's avatar

I used to jump head long off my rock to swim out to my friends without a second thought. Not in an “I’m better than you I’m going to fix everything” kind of way but in an “I’m here, don’t forget that I’m always here for you and I’ll do what you need me to and I’ll help and make you feel better” kind of way. They always knew to wave their flags at me and I would be there ready and everything would be OK. This worked for a long time.

Then three ships got into a fight. Pretty much my three closest ships. I swam out to help all of them, to-ing and fro-ing as best I could. But they were cannonballing each other out of the water, along with me, and for the first time I couldn’t do anything to help. I was betrayed and I lost my bearings. We all sank and I pretty much drowned.
edit :: and for once I was the one that had to be saved. Luckily I have other friends who ventured off their rocks for me.

Since then I have been hesitant to leave my rock. And as a result I have become less close with many of my friends. I am working on getting back to where I was, who I was, baby steps at a time, dipping my toes into the water, maybe walking in to my waist to call out to the ship sailing past before running back out on to my rock.

It’s hard, but I’ll get there. I’m working on a care-free outlook to life but I think that I’ll never stop worrying for my friends when somethings up, and being the one they can always turn to is what makes me me.

fireside's avatar

Nim – i have definitely gone out and realized that i forgot to bring a boat

Nimis's avatar

Fir: Haha…so true.

shrubbery's avatar

P.S, tell your friend that this is a great analogy :)

jlm11f's avatar

I have a tendency to get off the rock and go to any boat without even thinking it over first. This might seem fine and dandy from a general view, but soon you realize you cannot save all boats from sinking. Sometimes it’s just not your place, other times trying to save the boat can cause your own boat to sink. I was one of those people who used to think that it is cruel to stay on the rock. But now I know that staying on the rock doesn’t make you selfish, it just shows you have the ability to look out for yourself before looking out for others…which is a good thing. It’s still hard for me to remember this principle though, so my close friends are the weights that sometimes have to pin me down on the rock and remind me that it’s not my ship to save.

I will, however, continue to swim out to boats carrying any family or good friends irrespective of the weather/storm.

Elumas's avatar

I fashion a boat out of the tree growing out of the rock with my own bare hands and go save people.

cdwccrn's avatar

you can’t safety help your friends if you don’t stay safe yourself. I stay on or close to my rock, but always watching for friends and family that need a wave of recognition or support, me in my sturdy boat to side up to their own, and occassionally, a rescue.
Remember, no man is an island.

wundayatta's avatar

Boy! This metaphor is making my brain itch. What are people talking about? Could they even be talking about the same thing?

I think there’s not enough drama in my life to leave my rock. That’s why I come here. Plenty of drama here. And I don’t even have to get wet trying to fix it. I just get virtually wet!

Isn’t the Internet wonderful? Even if Al Gore invented it?

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t leave my rock unless someone calls out for help.

If I see a boat sinking and no one calls for help, I stay put. But I make it perfectly clear that if anyone wants to swim over to my rock to rest and talk after their boat goes under they are perfectly welcome to.

ryanfaerman's avatar

I don’t leave my rock without fully charged ion engines and a fairly up to date set of star charts. We may be the third rock from the sun, but once you get out towards the edges of our puddle of space, all rocks and all suns look the same.

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