Answer: when it’s ducking. Here’s what I mean. In 12-step recovery groups, there is a term for someone who is in denial, and it’s called ducking. Here’s the logic behind the term. Let’s say Lisa is in a 12 step group for co-dependents, and she is with a real loser. He won’t let her have a say in the finances, he never let’s her go anywhere without him, and he never helps with any of the chores even though she also works a full time job. So let’s say Lisa comes to the group week after week along with her sister, who is being abused. And she listens to the stories of women who are with losers. And then she sits up in her chair and proudly declares that she is not a codependent like them, even though her partner yells at her every night, and treats her like dirt. And if you try to gently point out the abuse of power, she brings out isolated incidents of gratitude…like the time that he paid for dinner at McDonald’s last year. Or how he helped her lift the turkey out of the oven on Thanksgiving. And while Lisa’s friend is howling as she hears it, Lisa swoons and tells everyone that her guy, who has never paid for a real date, is Mr. Wonderful. So what is Lisa doing? She’s ducking.
Ducking is defined as the process of denial that a duck’s owner goes through when his webbed pet walks into the office. Here’s the narrative (just imagine the Aflack duck quacking in this example)
Employee #1 (Bob) “Oh my Gosh…..there is, like, a duck. A duck, dude, it’s a duck; no. …seriously”.
Employee #2(Ed)“Say WHAT”?
Employee #3 (Sarah) “Hey, you guys, get in here! There’s a duck in the office!”
Boss (hearing commotion)”What is the trouble, gang”?
Duck’s owner, Fred. “I’ll take care of this”
Fred picks up the duck and takes it out of the office.
Boss (following Fred): “What is the meaning of this?!”
Fred: “Oh. That was my friend. He was visiting for the holidays”.
Employee number one “From where…Canada?”
(Office hoots and hollers)
Sarah chimes in “no, Ed…geese are from Canada. It’s a duck. Where is it anyway?
Various quips of, “it flew south for the winter” etcetera fill the office.
Later, in a private meeting, the Boss who is actually fighting intense laughter, calmly repeats, “Okay now, so, why don’t you want to admit you had a duck”?
And the duck’s owner makes insane arguments as to why his duck was not a duck.
It was not flying. It was well-behaved. It went outside with him when he “asked” it to.
And it doesn’t matter how many times the boss (now reeling in disbelief from the owner’s denial) calmly assures Fred that he won’t be fired, Fred refuses to admit that he ever had a duck in the office
“Ducking” quote– If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck…it’s a duck.
“Ducking” definition: When a person draws any other conclusion, that person is said to be “ducking”.
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