the hot potato effect is the name i am giving this thing that people do. Someone or something makes you feel bad so you make them or someone else feel bad- oh no, i got the potato so i am going to get rid of it by giving it to someone else.
we do it when we feel uncomfortable and our partner says something, anything and we make a fight, instead of saying how we feel. Once I was feeling ugly with a bad haircut and my kind partner was looking at me with love and I shot back a mad "Stop looking at me!" Or we do it when we are hungry or tired and we snap at someone else- you take the feelings, I don’t want them.
If you watch the video of the cop stopping Sandra Bland, you see him throw the hot potato at her when she says she is allowed to smoke in her car and doesn’t put out the cigarette. He didn’t like being wrong, but instead of just reckoning that with himself, (“I asked her to do something she doesn’t have to do and she said no and I feel stupid,”) he threw embarrassment back at her and amped the situation and asked her to get out of the car, trying to get his power back.
It happens when there is a sexual abuse or rape, like on a school campus and then people are mean to the girl who was raped. Maybe they were powerless bystanders at a party and they were under the spell of the rapist’s power too, unable to do anything about it, so then they are mean to the victim, or blame her, or make fun of her.
Many different situations, when we have feelings that we do not like we can often throw them back at someone else. It is supercool to have awareness on this bad habit, because then you can start to stop doing it, which is really great for relationships and great for the world at large. I have awareness, but I still do it sometimes, and sometimes I remember and notice and look at myself and take responsibility.
just drop the potato on the floor. feel your feelings. easier said than done. love to all!