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A Do-Gooder's Guide To Sabotage

Hey Lazybones: Help Is For The Weak!

bland corporate stock image of smiling business people. text: hey lazybones: help makes you weak. never accept support: the ultimate excuse to justify toxic behavior. do it yourself! The Luminary Braintrust do-goodery guide to sabotage

Welcome to Sabotage for Do-Goodery

In this discussion series, we examine common ways we self-sabotage progressive movements.

Never accept support: The ultimate excuse to justify toxic behavior

Help Makes You Weak!

Excerpt from the CIA Field Manual on Simple Sabotage:

“Let cutting tools grow dull and twisted for inefficiency and damaging things they cut. Be rough with tools and clean them in ways that increase breakage, or leave them dirty.” 

Level-up your DIY game: Is this sabotage method the right one for you?

Are you looking to sabotage every social justice movement you join? Do you like to keep potential friends and collaborators at a safe, unhelpful distance?

We have just the strategy for you – this DIAYYET (Do It All Yourself Yes Even That) strategy is the best method for lone wolves looking to uphold capitalism, ableism, and the devaluation of care work.

Why rely on others when you can ensure everything falls apart with your own two hands?

By practicing hyper-independence, you’re shoring up the wall of arrogance that upholds colonialism and supremacy without having to examine your own complicity in the kyriarchy.

Instead of joining established groups of people eager to help, stay busy creating your own solutions from scratch. Read every book, listen to every podcast, and ethically source your materials from landfills. Be sure to post your DIAYYET projects on Instagram, you homesteading hero. Everyone’s gonna be so impressed.

As a quick ego boost, the DIAYYET method also serves to subtly insult your collaborators, friends, and family by rejecting any offers of help – proving they aren’t and never will be as competent as you are!

How to get started with DIAYYET sabotage

They key to staying in the sabotage game is to constantly switch your focus to whatever fire pops up next.

Remember to keep your attention derailed by every minor emergency. If it comes across your news feed, into your inbox, a friend calls to vent – you are now personally responsible for fixing the problem!

After all – only you can handle unforeseen events with style and creativity. No one else can stay on top of everything like you can.

Try out these beginning exercises to train your DIAYYET muscles, and you’ll be a micro-managing saboteur in no time. The trick is to never relax, never mind your own business, and greedily scan your environment for any and all problems to appropriate as your own.

Did your neighbor’s babysitter no-show?

Drop everything to cover for them. Do not, under any circumstances, accept reciprocity in the form of payment, an exchange of child care, or a home-cooked meal. Allowing your neighbor to reciprocate and relieve any discomfort of mutual obligation would make your act of heroism about building relationships of community care, and less about how wonderful you are.

Does your school bake sale need cookies?

Rush in to donate. No one is as generous as you are, and if you don’t do it – no one will. Take a moment to breathe deeply and catastrophize about how everything will fall apart if you don’t send an email to volunteer right now.

That work deadline can wait, and you’ll have to cancel your plans to visit your cousin in the hospital. But your cousin will get over it, and you can just rush through your kiddo’s bedtime stories tonight to catch up on work.

Is no one volunteering to create a new website for your mutual aid group?

You had a geocities website in 2003, so I bet you could figure it out. Volunteer to design, implement, and maintain this website, companion facebook group, and mailing list!

Don’t stop to think about how this will lock you into years as an unpaid administrative secretary, IT tech, and marketing agency. Or whether a website is really the thing your mutual aid group needs most. Show off your ability to do Mailchimp and get it done!

How DIYYET Sabotage Works

    • Stay distracted: By focusing on every small crisis, you ensure that you never have the time or clarity to see the deeper problems or work toward strategic plans for prevention and healing. Staying in a constant state of reaction is exciting, and it feeds your need for external validation. Bonus – it’s a great excuse to avoid boring stuff like examining how you’re complicit in upholding the kyriarchy and taking steps to change your behavior.
    • Get away with anything: When you’re buried under immediate, trivial tasks, folks will excuse your toxic behavior. You’re so busy and helpful, who could blame you when things fall through the cracks? Of course they will have more tolerance for your outbursts and crying jags – they owe it to you. You’re the one who carries everyone, all the time!
    • Fuel Resentment: Constantly doing thankless tasks while denying any personal gain earns you currency in the form of resentment coins. Hoarding resentment coins entitles you to feel superior and further isolates elevates you from others. Enough resentment coins and you’ll win the conviction that you are destined to struggle alone. Reap the dividends in the form of reminders that you are far better than everyone around you.
    • Conserve power: By never giving anyone else a chance to learn or make mistakes, you’ll always be the smartest, handsomest, most important person in the room. Everyone relies on you, so no one will abandon you, maybe! Solve every disagreement by threatening to transition the workload in a way that will completely destroy the group and everything they’ve worked for. You are now Hegemon of the City Food Bank, ruling with an iron fist. It looks great on your resume. Congrats!

Pro Tips: Maximize your mayhem

Run yourself ragged until you’re dull, sloppy, and damaged

“Let cutting tools grow dull and twisted for inefficiency and damaging things they cut. Be rough with tools and clean them in ways that increase breakage, or leave them dirty.”  – CIA Simple Sabotage Field Manual

You can’t nap without guilt, so aim for collapse. Now all you need an excuse to be a hot mess.

The only way you can justify inefficient, unproductive, frustrating mistakes is by making sure your to-do list is so long you’re guaranteed to fail!

We’re counting on you to neglect your health, stretch yourself thin, and refuse to rest. Attend every bake sale. Go to every protest! Write every newsletter! Share every post! Nothing is too much, and it’s your responsibility to do everything, all of the time.

Otherwise, we might start judging you for selfish things like taking naps, mind-clearing hobbies and pausing to enjoy the results of your hard work!

Cultivate the mystique of a difficult personality

When someone insists on helping, double down. Accepting help this late in the game will make you look incompetent and vulnerable. Failure is for losers, so grip the power that comes from being ‘the one in charge’ like your reputation depends on it.

Only weirdos want to work with other people! Relying on others is for folks without trauma, and without your trauma – would you even have a personality? Stay damaged, and stay interesting!

Never let anyone take credit

Deep down, you know that accepting help would make you look weak and incapable and make others feel good about their contributions. Remember, working together in imperfect collaboration fuels civil rights, anti-apartheid, LandBack, anti-ableism, and socialism, and you don’t want no truck with those hippies.

Rather than distributing responsibility and building failure and recovery into the group process, make sure everything runs *perfectly* right now.

Deflect responsibility for consequences

When things fall apart due to your negligence, that’s not your fault. You were trying so hard! No one was there to help!

Actually, I take that back about not sharing credit. Let others take credit – for making a mess you had to clean up!

THANKS, Kevin, for failing to wash the dishes! If I hadn’t had to spend my Saturday morning cleaning up after you, I would have stayed in bed all day and not finally fixed the dishwasher. Great job, KEVIN.

Avoid these common mistakes

Don’t ever discriminate or set boundaries around your time. Discrimination is bad! Boundaries are for uptight prudes!

  • Avoid developing a long-term goal rooted in your most unshakeable values. That way you can keep appropriating everyone’s missions, problems, and initiatives without thinking too hard about where all this hard work leads us.
  • Avoid clearly defining your objectives or committing to any specific initiatives. Nothing and nobody is too precious to leave hanging while you rush in to be a hero somewhere else.
  • Never define the ways you are best positioned to contribute to a wider movement. The only reason we haven’t reached our goals yet is because we never had you – and we need you to fill every role and do every single task required.

Unlike previous revolutions that have relied on collective action with thousands of people each contributing small parts, post-2020, society is exactly like a teen fantasy drama series.

You are the chosen one who happens to be part vampire, part werewolf, and part witch. As the main character, this whole revolution revolves around you, which makes you sexy, invulnerable, and perpetually stuck at the maturity level of a 16-year.


Beware counter-sabotage efforts

After venting (which is your right – complain consistently and with gusto), colleagues may ask what you’ve done to ask for help to ease your burden, and they may even offer to contribute themselves.

To distract from such rude and woefully inadequate offers, scoff and emphasize how only you can do things the One Right Way. Everything would fall apart without you and you simply don’t have time to train them or deal with their inevitable mistakes.

Change the subject by pointing out how they should be worrying about their own kids/marriage/career/advocacy/eyebrow situation, not trying to steal YOUR precious resentment coins. PRECIOUS!

If you wanted to ruin your sabotage game, you’d want to join the Summer Luminator and get your shit together in six weeks of simple trainings with the support of parents just like you. But you don’t need the help of our Summer Collective, because you can DIAYYET!

Sabotage Strategy Pitfalls

You may find yourself stretched impossibly thin. Any offers of help may have dried up long ago, seeing how you insist on handling everything alone.

The result? Isolation, a frazzled aesthetic, and a general aura of resentment that may dull your skin and cause occasional tooth loss.

Cope with an unhealthy dependence on exercise, snacks, or retail therapy. Sure, you’re treating your body like crap and destroying your relationship with loved ones, but you look great on social media. You’re chic, you’re modern, you’re getting things done all on your own!

Throw money and time at the problem with expensive therapy and exciting purchases. Create a trad wife Instagram account to cope with your spiraling insecurity. You’re funding Amazon’s Wall-E-esque dystopian future and emboldening the wellness-to-white-supremacy pipeline, but this is a legacy your grandchildren will cherish far more than clean air and the right to vote.

If you cared about the long-term success of a post-kyriarchy revolution, DIAYYET would decimate all your effort and kneecap your accomplices.

If your relationships were a big deal, those would strain, and eventually break under enough DIAYYET practice.

But luckily, those priorities take a back seat to your ego, your insecurity, and that comforting sense that you truly are the only witch-vampire-wolf who can shoot fireballs out of your fingertips and solve every problem in the universe.

Feeling overwhelmed and thinking about asking for help? Stop right there.

Instead, beat yourself up mentally for even considering it. Remind yourself that needing help is a sign of failure. This self-critical approach is essential for maintaining your hyper-independence and ensuring your mental health deteriorates alongside the fight for human rights.

Summer Luminator chapter 1 preview collage flowers sunset ocean mother and baby outdoors snuggling. chapter 1: get radically honest

Join the Summer Collective

Learn how to make space for collaboration and *gasp* receive help without melting into a puddle of goo.

Join our 6-week workshop with a community of caregivers ready to listen and help you sort the flood of responsibilities only you can tackle.

Sabotage for Do-Goodery

Share your stories

Have you self-sabotaged an initiative?

How do you practice counter-sabotage yourself?

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1 comment

Kerry June 4, 2024 - 5:00 PM

Convinces me more than anything that I need the Luminator.
Makes me wonder what would lead to an “eyebrow situation”………..

Raising Luminaries

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