Asymmetric warfare, psychology-style

Asymmetric warfare – or guerilla warfare, as it is known by the general population – is sometimes necessary, especially when defending oneself.   Think about some examples in the world and in history.  Vietnam was a perfect example.  An even more successful example has been the Afghan strategy against Great Britain and America over the last few hundred years.  They’ve repelled the British (several times), the Russians, the French, and the Americans by using guerilla warfare tactics, or asymmetric warfare.  This is to their credit strategically, regardless of what you think of them politically, morally, or in religious terms.  We’re talking strategy, here, and I want to stick with that concept of strategy as I move on in this post.

First, let’s dissect why we would use guerilla warfare.  It’s most effectively used as a defense strategy.  How does this relate to climbing?  We let our minds wage traditional warfare on our motivations, our dreams, our needs, and our fantasies all the time, and that gets us down and keeps us from reaching our potential.  We are under attack!  Maybe societal or career or family pressures are the source of the thoughts that quench our fire for climbing, or maybe it’s something else, like lack of finances or poor fitness.  Whatever the source, it leads us to think we can’t.  “Can’t” should never be part of our vocabulary, first of all, and second of all, we must have some asymmetric warfare training instilled within our minds to fight off the bombardment of the enemy – those thoughts that shut down our potential in life!  I think that guerilla warfare is in order to protect and defend our last bastion of hope – the core of our being, that thing that makes us happy (or would, if we could fight our way out of this mess, right?).

So, we need some guerilla warfare tactics for our strategy to win these battles and defend our homeland, right?  Right.  What do we do, though?  What average human being knows anything about guerilla warfare?  You’d be surprised.  You know more than you know you do about it.  Now we have to apply that psychologically and communicate it to others in a non-lethal, legal manner.  Unless you want to end up in jail, then go for it, but I don’t endorse that one iota because it’s much more pleasant to climb than to sit in a jail cell, I would imagine, and nobody needs to suffer physical harm.  Psychological guerilla warfare will be more fun, anyway, and it will ultimately benefit everyone, enemies included if they choose to solve their own problems as a result of your new coping mechanisms and boundaries.

Yes, boundaries.  I said the “B” word.  I also said the “C” word – yes, coping.  Asymmetric warfare principles can apply here.  First, we dig a hole.  You’re probably sitting in that hole right now, sad and dejected, thinking that life is miserable because you’re, well, sitting in a hole that you dug yourself.  This is where guerilla warfare starts.  Climb out of the hole.  You may need help doing so, depending on how deep you’ve dug it, but that hole will come in handy, so don’t fill it in.  Leave it for a moment.  Now look down into it.  You’re having a better day now that you’re not stuck in the bottom of it, now aren’t you?  Of course you are!  But the enemy is coming.  Do not jump back in the hole and do not dig another…yet.  The next hole you dig is going to be intentional, and you’re not going to be in it.  Instead of filling the hole in, cover it with a rug and cover the rug with a thin layer of sand to disguise it.  At this point, it becomes somewhat passive-aggressive in nature (psychological terms), but there is, believe it or not, a place for that in life when all else fails.  Stand to the side of your prison-turned-trap and wait for your enemy.  Greet your enemy, tell them that they are crossing your boundary line, and try to negotiate with them.  Chances are that the enemy isn’t interested in respecting your boundaries or in negotiating.  Kindly step aside and allow them to pass by…right into your trap as they think they’ve pulled one over on you and taken your homeland from you.  Now they’re stuck in the hole with a rug and a bit of sand…  See how this works?  How are they going to get out, now?  That’s their problem to solve.  You may choose to help them.  You may choose not to.  The point is that your boundaries are still intact and you’re still free to walk around freely (and climb!) with your enemy safely comtemplating their own plight in the hole that is now their problem instead of yours.  That hole was dug by you, yes, but do you need to feel guilty for allowing the source of your angst and the reason you ended up digging the hole to be trapped in it with the need to solve their own problems without you?  No.  Absolutely not.  That’s the non-passive-aggressive part of this strategy.  You’re forcing the enemy to solve their problems without you, unless you choose to help.  You are taking back what is yours and letting your enemy think over his own options in a safe place (for you and for them).

So, as a last resort, guerilla warfare works psychosocially as well as an all-out warfare strategy if you find yourself imprisoned by others’ impositions on your life, your time, your resources – whatever it may be.  Use it sparingly because other, much more healthy coping mechanisms exist and should be attempted first.  On the other hand, you gotta do what you gotta do to climb!  This is not “digging a pit for your neighbor”.  I want to make that perfectly clear.  I don’t condone that one bit.  Defending yourself is the point here, and again, this type of strategy is a last resort.  We are talking warfare strategies, here.  Altogether different, and if you can’t distinguish the difference, then don’t use this!  Please notice, too, that the point is to defend yourself and not to harm the other person.  It is mainly to eliminate the immediate threat and to give the “enemy” time to think about their problem from another perspective – one that would require a different mode of problem-solving than pillaging your boundaries!  And remember, you can choose to help, but it now becomes your choice.

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