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Linda19 #667905 03/06/11 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Linda - Islam
Sometimes people don't listen no matter how well something is communicated to them.


This is absolutely true and I agree it's important to keep this in mind. It might be that no matter how I chose to word something, that it was the message itself, combined with their mood of the day, or their distraction with other issues, or their stage in life, that would mean the message simply could not get through.

If there was an extremely anti-Semitic person X, having a bad day, and a young Jewish girl Y came up to him, it could be that no matter how she phrased her statement he simply would not hear and understand it. He was - at that moment - beyond her reach.

So yes I agree completely that those situations do exist. And we've found in our various forums that those situations can occur both in "hot topic" areas like religion or politics but also - interestingly - in what one would think would be "quiet topic" areas like parakeets and fish.

So that seems to remind me that I can only do the best I can do and try to improve but I can never expect to reach a 100% success rate even if I became the world expert in communication styles.


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My fiend also has wings, but isn't red. More like a nice Burberry Plaid. wink

Perhaps my example of someone feeling on-upped in a class setting (by a 'brat') is a little OT. But you did ask to understant how people can see things. In this case, it is misinterpreting your intent.

So it is not the action itself, it is how it was presented that set the person off. That is my take on it.

Last edited by Jilly; 03/06/11 06:24 PM.
Linda19 #667909 03/06/11 06:31 PM
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Linda, I thank you for your kind words.

I know I don't always get it right. Last November I upset someone with corrections and it was never my intent. But at the time I was in emotional crisis and shortly thereafter i was hospitalized for mental illness. So in that sense I was not able to be as loving as I try to be. I messed that interaction up, and I still feel badly about it.

Lisa, maybe the difference is on a purely emotional level. You tend to be rational. Hardly ever do you present a frustrated, angry or unreasonable front. I assume you work hard to be that way. Or else you are naturally that way, in which case, accept how rare that might be in others.

I think if I look at others on an emotional level first, and be reasonable second, I don't come across in a way that makes another feel diminished.

That is my personal hope and my goal.

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Dear Phyllis -

I think your beading example is a great one because it brings a discussion which can *seem* to be about knowledge and issues only (the school discussion) to a level that is personal and emotional (the bracelet discussion). I think it's easier, at least for me, to see how emotions are involved in the bracelet discussion. I can then see the relationship between that and the school discussion.

To me generally school discussions aren't about emotions, they are about knowledge, which to me is different. But I can see with your example of how to some people they are still emotional. And that's important for me to be aware of.

OK, so let me see what I can learn here. You presented something. A bracelet, but it can also be knowledge. You put it into the public arena and said "Here is what I am offering".

Person X then said "(transition) Here is what I am offering, the 'better' version of what you are offering."

Hmmmm.

I think I have been viewing the ethics discussions in class as a series of presentations. Person X stands in front of the class and presents their case. Then there is a feedback period where people get clarification on points they did not understand or felt were perhaps incorrect. For example that is how the statistics class forum lays out.

However, I wonder if some of the ethics classmates are looking at this as a casual discussion. So they are thinking of it as posting "I like vanilla ice cream" and they only really want others to say either "that's nice" or "so do I." If the discussion even heads in the direction of "I like chocolate instead" they feel that their own desire for vanilla ice cream is being downplayed, as if chocolate is somehow "better" than vanilla. They are emotionally invested in their statement of ice cream choice and any response that does not support it upsets them.

I know I'm obsessed with metaphors. I think I am a very visual person and they help me.

Does that seem like a way that some might look at the situation?


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Dear Phyllis -

On the spirituality posting, I have to present first that something I pay attention to in discussions is a statement which seems to be an all-one-way statement. It tends to be my nature to want to then say "there are always many sides to an issue."

I think the overall message here is great, and I strongly support and promote Native Americans with all my sites. I have various Native American tribes in my background. I do think many tribes generally pay far more attention to the environment than other groups do, and that they generally pay far more attention to community issues.

But I would also say that all humans are human, that there are flaws in every group, and that there are tribes who have specific practices or restrictions that I would not agree with. That everyone has something to learn from everyone else. To me the phrasing is a little too much towards "all Native Americans are perfect."

Absolutely I agree that all groups should stand together, on equal terms, and learn from each other.


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Dear Lisa, That probably is the way some look at the situation.

Coming from two different perspectives (emotional and technical/knowledge) it is difficult to blend and accept a point of view.

However, anyone who posts in an open forum should do so with the understanding that there will be different opinions. I often see posts in reply to others where a person adamantly disagrees and turns the discussion into a radical issue, an "If you do not believe as I do, then you are wrong." type of argument that only frustrates and takes away from the original intent.


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Quote:
However, I wonder if some of the ethics classmates are looking at this as a casual discussion. So they are thinking of it as posting "I like vanilla ice cream" and they only really want others to say either "that's nice" or "so do I." If the discussion even heads in the direction of "I like chocolate instead" they feel that their own desire for vanilla ice cream is being downplayed, as if chocolate is somehow "better" than vanilla. They are emotionally invested in their statement of ice cream choice and any response that does not support it upsets them.


Lisa, i agree and disagree with this. That might be instructive for us both. smile If I said vanilla and everyone said "yes! Vanilla is nice," i'd feel heard. And then someone can say, "And chocolate is nice too." And then we can be all, "yes! Chocolate!"

Everyone feels heard and accepted. Nice huggy feelings abound. Emotions are soothed and the discussion can continue apace.

Contrast that with, "I love vanilla!" and then someone came along and said, "vanilla is the absence of flavor, according to the wikipedia. And this study shows that chocolate has anti-oxidants in it. So if you are going to have ice cream at all, it should be chocolate." And then everyone chimes in with, "chocolate! Chocolate rules!"

Can you see how I'd feel ignored and berated about vanilla? No huggy feelings. Only cold rationality.

I feel I should probably stop seeing the world as putting me down when I am ignored or criticized. If anything, probably no one has even noticed that I felt berated for not eating ice cream with antioxidants! And there i am feeling all ashamed for mentioning how much i love vanilla.

So I should see that some people are like you, and purely presenting rational discussion points, and not trying to make me feel bad. And maybe you might see some people are emotional first and rational second. smile

This is an interesting discussion.


Jilly #667934 03/06/11 07:22 PM
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ok I think I've lost track a bit of what I've replied to and not replied to so I apologize if I missed a thread.

On the fiend thread, for whatever reason I am absolutely thrilled with the image of a red intellectual fiend. I want to make a vision board about this. I don't know why it's enthralled me so much. Thank you, Jilly, for bringing that up even inadvertently (maybe it was subconsciously). This is now on my to-do list. I will of course post it when it's done.

I definitely appreciate the brat commentary - every bit helps. I was trying to contemplate how it applies to the classroom setting and maybe it's similar to Phyllis' great bracelet-knowledge analogy. That is, it's not an exact match but it helps to illustrate an underlying key concept. So let me see.

Hmmmm I think this might be good for a whole separate topic, let me do that!


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Jilly #667940 03/06/11 07:42 PM
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On the Emotional-vs-Rational discussion method ...

I think many of my sociology and psychology books would posit that a person's first reaction is always emotional and that they can't help it. It is the way the brain works with saving-our-lives-from-danger and all. That only after the emotional reaction is going on can the rational functioning then begin to evaluate. So I suppose we could discuss whether they are right or wrong with that generalization, but I think I do believe them.

That is, they'll say that you could *think* you were making a rational decision on buying a certain car, but that if you break it down what happens is you have an emotional reaction and then you rationalize it. You build a supporting structure to bolster that emotional reaction.

So with that in mind I think it's fair to say that we all have wide ranges of emotions and also wide ranges of "rational toolboxes". You could make one of those classic four-by-four grids -

Code:
STRONG EMOTION /                      STRONG EMOTION / 
less-full toolbox                     jammed-full toolbox

LOW EMOTION /                         LOW EMOTION /
less-full toolbox                     jammed-full toolbox


So there might be person A who has strong emotions. They can feel great despair and strong, furious anger regularly. Along with that they also are 80 years old and have over those years built an amazing toolbox of rational ways to manage those emotions. So for every single situation they know exactly what to do and what steps to take.

There could also be a person B who has worked hard to create a serene life for themselves and who has polished out most of their triggers. They are 80 years old and their focus has been on letting things go, releasing attachments, accepting. So they are "low emotion." But let's say this person has pretty much no toolbox of rational choices. If something finally manages to trigger their emotion, they go wild.

So I think as with much in life this is all about balance - and that we all fall somewhere on this grid and move around maybe even daily or hourly.

I suppose I would say I feel it's always good to have as many options as possible for coping so I would feel it's better to have a jammed full toolbox and to keep jamming more tools into it and knowing how to use them all. But that is my bias smile I am a tool-happy person. I'm sure some people would say it's not worth the effort to have 1000 tools rather than 500 and perhaps they're right.

I would also say from my point of view that I'd rather be serene and calm - but I know people who feel those highs and lows make life worth living and help them to feel alive. So they would not want to give up those swings in life, because to them that is what life is all about.

So I think like the ethics discussion that there is no right or wrong here, no better or worse, just different choices.

In terms of me and this grid, I do think that I would like to be more serene. Everything is relative of course. Some people scream at their kids - I've never yelled at James. Some people yell at their partners, but I think in 15 years Bob and I only had one fight where I raised my voice and that was *long* ago (and I was exhausted at the time) (see I feel a need to justify it! I still should not have yelled). So I think that many people would find that my not-yelling is unusual. I do still get *upset* - that is the first emotional response. But then I suppose I use my toolbox and find ways to cope with it productively.

I think it's also fair to say that many situations which would upset others do not upset me because I have trained myself to accept them. So the starting "flood of emotions" is perhaps more calm inside me vs inside some other people. But it's almost impossible I would think to really judge that, because how do I really know where I fall on the world spectrum? Maybe I think I'm more calm in general but maybe most people are more calm than I am and I have a misperception?

That is, when they ask women in their 40s how attractive they are compared with other women in their age group the vast majority say they look younger than most women in their age group. Clearly that can't be true smile So people have odd ways of comparing themselves against others.

So maybe most people are more calm than I am but because the non-calm ones are the ones seen on TV and in movies I think of them as the norm.

Last edited by Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames; 03/06/11 07:43 PM.

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I love the concept of the toolbox, and I am currently working on adding tools to it. I have a whole binder i carry with me everywhere right now, just on this very subject.

I don't know that I want 1000 tools in it - it might be more fruitful to have 20 that i am an expert in using. And then add more to it over time and master those. 1000 tools I never use and am a little unsure about would probably be a trigger right there. smile That is just me, though. To another person the idea of unlimited options is thrilling. To fail with one tool, they just shrug and try another until it works.

For me, failing at using a tool would only make things worse. So the ones I have better darn work. wink

Anyway, the plan of building up a mastery of tools is quite exciting. I am learning a lot, and i adore learning.

----------------

My therapist has talked to me about how my husband is Spock and I am Bones. It's extremely spot on. They are both equally smart, those characters. One just is more rational. Spock has emotions but does not value them - he actively sees them as weaknesses. Maybe it's not logical, but let's accept that as his blind spot/sore point.

McCoy is volatile and gets irritated at Spock's cold exterior. He feels Spock does not value McCoy because he is overly emotional/intuitive.

I have this exact dynamic in my marriage. I want Spock to value my emotions, since they are a part of the continuum and equally worthy in finding ways to navigate life. Both elements present opportunities and tools and angles for insight. Spock actively disrespects McCoy's intuition and passion. McCoy fights back by calling Spock an unfeeling robot. And so it goes.

Whereas in reality they are both bright and have important things to bring to the table.

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