Empathy can be the best friend or worst enemy of a disciplinary relationship. For example, if Mrs. Lion imagines how it would feel if I punished her the way she punishes me, her spankings would get much milder. That isn’t empathy. It’s identification. She is putting herself in my place. Empathy would understand how what she does makes me feel.
That’s the big catch for many people. There is no question that being punished is extremely unpleasant to me. It’s humiliating and painful. Mrs. Lion has learned that I need her to enforce my rules strictly. She may not know why, but the strict, disciplinary environment nourishes me. I’m calmer and happier when she doesn’t spare the paddle.
What if I’m unhappy and try to avoid that spanking? Does that signal my unhappiness with what she is doing? If I say I don’t want a spanking, Mrs. Lion will refrain or postpone my punishment. During a spanking, I may complain bitterly and beg Mrs. Lion not to hit so hard. She will ease up a bit if I do. Is this what I need?
The answers aren’t simple. If I ask for a spanking to be postponed, I could have a valid reason. I don’t ask unless I’m not feeling well. Mrs. Lion is right to put it off. But, for things to stay in balance, she should only postpone, never cancel. I try not to complain too much when being spanked. When Mrs. Lion approaches the point, I want to run away, telling her that she is hitting too hard. Should she back off? I don’t know. Probably she shouldn’t. She can tell when she may be accelerating the pace of my spanking too quickly. I’m the last person whose opinion she should follow.
This is the most difficult challenge a disciplinarian faces. Over time, Mrs. Lion has learned my reactions and has a good idea about how to spank me. She is learning to ignore most of my feedback. Interestingly, my last spanking followed an annoying encounter with our puppy. Mrs. Lion was upset. Her spanking was much more disciplinary than usual. She was in a no-nonsense mood and set to work with controlled intensity. She was very effective. I wonder if she can duplicate that in the future. Part of me hopes she can. The spanking was very effective. You know which part of me hopes she won’t.