Name one POSITIVE thing you took from your experience as a Witness

by geodude 42 Replies latest jw experiences

  • geodude

    I was thinking about this at work the other day, and realized the ONE positive thing I can truly credit the JWs with:

    I have NO fear of public speaking.

    I was a shy kid, fat, clumsy, with crooked glasses and worse teeth, who wore hand-me-downs in one of the wealthiest counties in all of America, who sat still while classmates got up to salute the flag or recite the pledge of allegiance.

    But those Witness fuckers forced me on stage at least once a month in a comparatively "safe" space to talk about something I had to pretend enthusiasm for, and I actually tried to get them involved, usually with jokes (it was always frowned upon-there was the assignment on self-abuse from one of the "youth books" erroneously assigned to me, a 13 year old. I deliberately used the phrases "in the ONE hand" and "in the OTHER hand" until my brother's friend John snorted so loudly he had to leave.) And then they would criticise you publicly (actually, they stopped that practice in the '70s as it was too embarrassing)- but they did give you feedback, some of it even valuable, and it inured me to a fear of public speaking. I've had classmates and business colleagues literally (and I don't mean the ignorant usage of "literally" where folks actually mean "figuratively") physically paralyzed by the prospect of getting up in front of a bunch of people and talking. I just put my head down for a minute, collect myself, and stand up. So that's ONE good thing. Anyone else?

  • Victor

    In my experience how to identify cultish dynamics in any group or organization and how to navigate this powerplay.

    I can identify with you fearlessness of public speaking. I was able to take it to a professional level by taking the Dale Carnegie Course on public speaking with a focuses on your experience and not parroting the ole centuries old tripe.


  • JoenB75

    Nothing. But i was just a kid

  • truth_b_known

    Public speaking is a good one. All the required reading made me an advanced reader in school. However it is a cost vs reward scenario. The cost on my life far exceeds the ability to speak publicly.

  • Finkelstein

    How to develop critical thinking skills toward received information.

    I think its worse for a child to be in this cult from birth for as a child your automatically receptive to any incoming information directly offered from your parents..

    Having fair and balanced open skepticism to all written words is a valuable asset for the individual and humanity.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    I'm not afraid to not follow the herd.

    As a JW, I learned how to deal with being different than everyone else, doing different things, not doing normal things.

    In becoming an exjw I learned how to be different than all my friends and family.

    So now I'm blessed with a two way street ability to (positively) not give a shit about what people may think of me.

    I do not feel the need to align myself with either JW or regular behavior or traditions. I pick what I like (which is damn near nothing from JW behavior) without feeling awkward for not doing as everyone else does.

    That, and having learned to stand for what I believe to be true and just.

  • Introvert 2
    Introvert 2

    Getting used to social settings where there are lots of good smelling well dressed women around. I had lived under a rock ( more like in a machine shop ) for the first few decades of my life. I don't miss any of it really but at least it's good to know I can be at ease in social settings where there's lots of people

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I learned how to be a good salesman. If you can sell false religion door to door, you can :

  • jp1692

    Interesting thread.

    A couple of years ago I attended an ICSA workshop for cult survivors. There were about 25 people in attendance. They were from a wide variety of cults, some I’d never heard of before.

    The workshop facilitator, herself a former member of a psychological cult, asked us if there was anything good or positive about the cult experience.

    Almost everyone had something they could say, but we all agreed the net negative effects far outweighed any benefits we got from it.

    Here is a short list of positive things I learned from joining the JW cult, being in it for 25 years and then leaving:

    • Public Speaking Skills - Learned in the cult. I was the TMS overseer for 14 years. As an elder for two decades I had countless opportunities to speak in front of groups large and small.
    • Critical Thinking Ability - Learned when waking up and leaving the cult and honed in the decade since. I am now a high school science teacher with a Master’s in Education.
    • The Psychology of Cult Dynamics - Self taught by trying to figure out how the hell I could have been duped and now what do I do to heal and recover from the traumatic experience of losing my family.

    The first two items on my list are definitely valuable skills and abilities, but there are many ways they can be learned without joining a cult.

    My life would have been just fine—better, no doubt—had I not had to learn the third.

  • Iamallcool

    Non Smoking Environment. That’s it!

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