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#667842 03/06/11 04:19 PM
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I am always working to learn and grow and improve my skills. In that vein I would like to ask for some assistance and feedback.

Today one of my fellow ethics students called me a "Know It All". I haven't had anyone use that term about anyone else since third grade, I think, so it first struck me as baffling. My second thought was that it's denigrating having knowledge, which also seems really odd to me. Isn't that like telling a basketball player that he's a make-hoops-all-the-time? Why do we live in a culture where having knowledge is somehow bad? But then my third thought was that she was trying to express some inner upset and that whatever words she chose to use I should work on figuring out what I did to cause the inner upset so that I don't upset others in that way going forward.

It's interesting because I'm in two different classes and they have two different dynamics.

First - Statistics. A great deal of the class waits for my weekly posts, because I post with visuals and examples, and I'm told by many class members that my posts are far more informative than the book is. Some have asked me to privately tutor them. Others have asked for help on specific questions. The teacher has me double check the assignments he posts and let him know that they're working and about typos. So I feel very helpful there, I put in extra hours to help the class thrive, and I get a lot of happy feedback because of all of my extra posts. They like my extra posts and want to read them. They would be upset if I stopped. Nobody has ever scolded me for being a "know it all" in statistics class even though, if someone posts something that is inaccurate, I gently help them understand why it's inaccurate. They are thankful I help them. I'll note that part of the syllabus *asks* us to respond to each others' posts in this way.

Now in the ethics class I post far LESS than in the Statistics class, but I do still post responses on other peoples' posts, and again the syllabus says we should. It's a discussion based class. If someone posts saying "shoplifters are rare" I'll do the research and post the figures about shoplifting rates or employee theft rates. If someone posts saying "Hospital rates are set by insurance companies" I'll post numbers from my latest hospital bill where the hospital would have charged $500 for a procedure and my insurance company only paid $300 of it - so someone without insurance would have paid far more than the insurance rate. So it's not that I'm yelling and saying "You're wrong" (which some students do). I am offering information to the discussion that is meaningful.

But apparently one student (or I suppose you could say "at least" one student, taking the statistics point of view on this) feels that that behavior is being a "know it all" which is very, very bad.

It makes me feel even more as if I just don't want to post in that ethic's class forum any more because it seems people want to make their posts and that's it, not discuss the posts at all. Which maybe *is* the solution here. But I would love any insight into any of this, and any suggestions for ways I can polish my behavior to hopefully be less upsetting to a person like this student in the future.


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Lisa, do you know the context (or attitude) the other student had when she called you a "know it all"?

If her words came across as derogatory, then it is possible she is jealous or that you somehow (in her mind) "Burst her bubble." If you posted a rely with statistics to her post/info, she may have thought you were trying to "top her", which is something a friend does to me all the time. (that used to really bother me till I began looking at her in a different light - that she just needed to feel involved.)

How do you start your posts when adding statistics to the information that someone else brought up?

If you start out with something like, "I found so-and-so's post very interesting so did some research to further my own knowledge on the subject and found that...." this is an approach that others should feel good about and maybe even get involved in a discussion with you about it.

Personally, I think of you as a mentor because you are very knowledgeable on many subjects. So, if I were you, I would take the "know it all" phrase as a compliment - regardless of how your fellow student meant it. She just must be insecure.

Last edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth; 03/06/11 05:15 PM.

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I think Phyllis has it on the nose - in a case like this, someone feels you are trying to 'one up' them, or worse, make them look like a fool.

I know I am very sensitive to that. I am used to being a 'smarter than most' type person and enjoy my knowledge being acknowledged and even appreciated. When someone comes along and knocks my ideas down, it feels like a personal insult.

I don't mind someone correcting me in statistics or showing me how to do hoops, because I am bad in those things and accept that. So that is fine and helpful to me.

But besting me on my OWN turf...hard to accept. And unpleasant.

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The student made it clear she was upset with my posts and did not want me making any post in response to her posts going forward.

Here is the start of a sample post I have made in that forum, not to her (to keep her identity private). It was in regards to the idea that hospitals set their rates based on insurance company rates.

Dear xxxx -

This is a fascinating subject and one I'd love to discuss!

I recently got a statement from my insurance company. I use Fallon in MA. Here is the grid of a few of the lines:

Service: surgical services
Hospital charged: $16
Fallon willing to pay: $4.50


So I listed a few of the prices and explained that these were actual items off of a recent bill I received.

I'm confused about the notion of "topping her" in a college class discussion. Could you help to explain that further?

My approach to this particular upset situation is that whatever point of view she is coming from, I have upset her. So for my own growth I need to learn how not to upset people who are coming from that point of view, whatever it is. That is, it could be tempting to take it as a compliment or to say this situation is "not my fault". But as a half of the interaction I do accept my part in upsetting her and I want to strive to be more aware of it in the future so I do not upset people. I will undoubtedly encounter this same type of individual in the future and I would hope I can handle the situation better next time, if I learn from this.


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The real question is why do you care what some random person thinks? You are doing something that is helpful for others and that feels good to you so who cares about the opinion of one person with low self esteem.

I post stuff in forums all the time that really upsets people or maybe makes me come across as a bully or self important or other not so nice things I've been told. I really don't care if somebody is uncomfortable with what I do and who I am especially if they have the balls to tell me to my face that only makes it funnier to me.

In the end it's their problem not mine. If what I do or say helps one person even in the smallest way then making other people uncomfortable is of no concern to me. Why do you feel the need to get along with everybody in your class? Is that key to your learning?


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Lisa, did you see how I explained above how I saw this?

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By saying "topping her", I am referring to the possibility that she is basically either an insecure person and strives to show some wisdom or strengths that make her feel better, or she is a high achiever and possessive and does not want to know that someone else knows as much or more than she does. She apparently wants all who read her post to think that she has the only/best information. These two personality types may feel that someone is just trying to post a better answer (topping her) than she did.

When I used to get angry or hurt someone follows up my news (like showing off my accomplishment is learning a new beading style with my Native American projects) with a "well...you should see what I did" or "my daughter makes the the most beautiful...", to me that was like saying, "Yeah, well you are not as good as..."

One day, years ago, I was complaining to my son that this person was always bursting my bubble. Son's response was, "So - don't carry around any bubbles." I learned to not get upset by just seeing her in a different light.

Last edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth; 03/06/11 05:14 PM.

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It is an interesting concept to me, to be upset that someone else knows more than me. I think my environment may have been fairly unique. I am not sure how to even talk about this without it feeling uncomfortable, which then bothers me. Discussions about intelligence seem taboo in our society.

Here I go with a metaphor. If I was a gifted basketball player and had grown up in a household of gifted basketball players who mentored me, it would be fine to talk about that. It might even be expected. People see that set of genetic traits plus investment of effort to be fine to talk about.

However, instead my parents are both gifted intellectually and I was brought up being trained in using those gifts. We played a lot of scrabble and boggle. We read fascinating books and talked about them. My mom went for her masters in communication and we talked about the ethics and subliminal advertising and other items in her books.

Both belong to Mensa as do I. We are always surrounded by people who have more knowledge in any given subject. My dad also belongs to the triple-9 society (Mensa is only the top 98%, the triple-9 is the top 99.9%). So when we go to those events there are people with amazing talents and skills.

I'm not sure it has ever occurred to me that it is "bad" ("emotionally upsetting") to talk about a given topic. It is not "bad" that someone else knows more about something than I do. In these circles I run into experts quite frequently and it thrills me. I love to learn what they know. If I get to talk with someone who is an expert in search engines I love to hear their thoughts. It doesn't occur to me that they are trying to be "better than me" let's say because knowledge is good for everyone in my mind. I am thrilled they are sharing their knowledge and that I can improve my own thoughts.

At times they ask me to talk about the things I know and I am happy to share. The questions they ask are wonderful.

I realize there's no way for me to be an expert in any field because that is not what I have chosen to be. I'm not an expert in ASP. I'm not an expert in database design. I have skills but I'm always eager to learn more.

I suppose I could say that this posting I'm doing here makes me uncomfortable. However it's not because I myself am upset by what it says, but because I worry greatly that my posting will upset other people, because that has been my experience in the past. I want to try to say again that I'm not wanting anyone to be upset by this posting, I'm trying to help put my own life in context to show how I developed to my current mindset, and I realize it undoubtedly is quite different to other peoples' mindsets and that is fine and natural.

So I would like to - and need to - learn more about the mindset of people who are upset when someone is talking to them and offers a different point of view in an area. Can you help me to understand what it is about the process that is upsetting? Maybe by breaking it down I can find the stage that the upset begins and how to mitigate it. Could we try a sample one - slowly and carefully - or would that be really too upsetting?


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Ok - let us take me for an example and delve into my feelings/emotions/insecurities.

When I showed a bracelet I had just finished beading to this friend, I was very proud of my accomplishment. It was my first attempt at Peyote stitch and I thought I did a great job on it.

Her response: "Oh, how nice. (kind of mumbling) You know, my daughter is getting so many requests to make jewelry for friends and customers of hers. She does exquisite work! It is so professional and she is in such high demand for her work."

This made me feel that she thought my work is of no value at all and that my ability to learn and create means nothing in comparison to her daughter's work.

How do you see this interaction? What do you pull from it?

Last edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth; 03/06/11 05:25 PM.

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It's a fair question to ask! Is it "worth it" to worry about how other people are emotionally impacted by the things we do? Is it a losing proposition? No matter what you do someone could always be upset, so why worry about it at all?

I suppose the answer for me is that I try to follow the philosophy of:

"If you can, help others;
if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."
-- Dalai Lama

This is what I have chosen and it is fine if other people choose other mindsets to follow!

So in my mindset, yes I absolutely want to help people. I want to help them in a way that does not hurt them. Will I ever be 100% perfect? No, I am human. But I do still have this goal to strive for.

It may be that a given day is the turning point in a person's life. This is the day that they are choosing between leaving an abusive partner or marrying them. It could be that my care and concern is that final nudge that gets them on a healthy path. If I do the best I can every day, I can leave a trail of people who are happier, healthier, and more serene behind me. Those people then will be better able to help *their* circle of friends. So my efforts ripple outwards. This is the legacy I would like to leave behind me on each day. To me this is very important and to me this is worth working on and striving towards, in my own life.

It is quite fine and natural that other people have different paths and different views, and follow their own philosophies!


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Jilly my long post about my background was the one I worked on in response to your post.


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Originally Posted By: Phyllis-Folk/Myth
When I showed a bracelet I had just finished beading to this friend, I was very proud of my accomplishment. It was my first attempt at Peyote stitch and I thought I did a great job on it.

Her response: "Oh, how nice. You know, my daughter is getting so many requests to make jewelry for friends and customers of hers. She does exquisite work! It is so professional and she is in such high demand for her work."


Hmmm my first reaction is that I am stumped on this, because the person is not seeking to expand knowledge. This is not a knowledge based conversation. She's not talking about the history of the Peyote beading or even saying "Well technically that's not Peyote, that's Aztec" or something like that. She is in essence completely changing the subject from one that focuses on your progress to date to one that focuses on her world's progress to date. The "how nice" is more of a transition phrase to move from one to the other.

Maybe though this *does* relate in a way - and in an easily understandable way - to school based discussions too? Maybe in a school based discussion person 1 is saying "Here is my growth and achievements in area X, I am proud of this knowledge" and then someone else says "(transition statement) Here are my growths and achievements in area X, and if you see here, it helps to demonstrate why your achievements have flaws." Could that be a way of looking at it?

To be more direct about what the bracelet person is saying to you, I remember us talking about this in another thread, and I think some people develop a mindset over time (maybe instilled by a childhood situation) that if they don't speak up for themselves nobody will. So they train themselves to do it and then it becomes so much of a habit that they think it's normal and don't even realize it could bother people. In fact they get rewarded by the attention when they do it so it perpetuates. So I think a solution there is to not reward them because people tend to stop doing things they're not rewarded for doing. So I would not really pay attention when she grabs the focus, let her finish and then go back to your discussion and say something (gently) like "I hadn't quite finished, but what I was saying was ..." - i.e. help her see that there was more on your end. Then when you DO finish with your part, ask her with interest about her side and show interest in what she says. I.e. help her understand what the behavior you'd like to see would look like.


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I totally agree with Monica, why worry about someone else getting upset by your knowledge?

I, for one, am so glad you are a 'know it all' Lisa, because I know if I need help here, you are the one I can turn to.

I have been called a 'know it all' especially by men. They hate it when I have all the answers, especially in my given subject, Islam. I do know it all, I made sure I know it all, otherwise how could I possibly speak on such a topic let alone write about it.

Carry on being a 'know it all' Lisa. There is nothing wrong with knowledge. There is nothing wrong with wisdom and intelligence.

If someone gets upset by the fact you know a bit more than she does, then it is her problem, not yours.

Know it alls unite I say!


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There are several differences. When you are 'asking' someone for advice, that is great. But unsolicited advice just seems bratty. Show-offy. "Look at me!!!! I know more than you do! It's all about meeeeeee!"

Where I grew up, I was an anomaly. My parents are not intellectual in any way. Neither is my sister. None of my aunts, uncles, grandparents or - from what I can tell - my many cousins, are. Not my niece. I have no idea from what genetic soup made me.

In fact, my mother actively wanted me to lay off about anything 'deep' or too complicated. Even today she tells me that I can't have certain kinds of conversations with her - that she finds them boring. I hate to bore people.

I know she is proud of me, but i hear that from other people. And sometimes she uses me to entertain her friends, "ask my daughter how any animal reproduces..."

I would get my report card with A grades and would not open the thing until i got home, so no one would know I had A grades. I never wanted anyone to feel less that I got As and they didn't, and also 'smart kids' were ostracized as nerds. At least in upstate New York.

I had no intellectual friends growing up. My teachers were bland and uninspiring. TV didn't feature brilliant people in leading roles, or as people to emulate. They were always the sidekick or lab nerd, or absent-minded, or something less than heroic.

In high school I actually found a friend who was intellectual like me and I attached myself to her like a lamprey. She rocked my world. She still does. I am drawn to brilliant people. All of my love relationships have been with men at least as intellectual or more so. I am a moth who loves the light of mental brilliance. I ache for it - i think because I was such an anomaly, and things went better in my life if I hid being bright.

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

What I do not like is not being treated like an intellectual equal. So if I state a theory and someone comes along and says, "Not true, I looked it up!" ....then it reads as, "you are wrong, dumb-dumb, and now everyone knows it."

I try really hard to help people save face when correcting them. I don't like correcting people, since i know I am too sensitive to it myself. I think phrasing things in ways that are not condescending, that allow for the saving of face, is highly important and under-acknowledged.

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

I am taking the time to mention all this since you really do want to understand where these people might be coming from.


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Originally Posted By: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames
Originally Posted By: Phyllis-Folk/Myth
When I showed a bracelet I had just finished beading to this friend, I was very proud of my accomplishment. It was my first attempt at Peyote stitch and I thought I did a great job on it.

Her response: "Oh, how nice. You know, my daughter is getting so many requests to make jewelry for friends and customers of hers. She does exquisite work! It is so professional and she is in such high demand for her work."


Hmmm my first reaction is that I am stumped on this, because the person is not seeking to expand knowledge. This is not a knowledge based conversation. She's not talking about the history of the Peyote beading or even saying "Well technically that's not Peyote, that's Aztec" or something like that. She is in essence completely changing the subject from one that focuses on your progress to date to one that focuses on her world's progress to date. The "how nice" is more of a transition phrase to move from one to the other.

True - I can see that. She is transitioning away from what she does not know (Native American beading) to something she does know (her favorite style jewelry pieces).

Originally Posted By: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames
Maybe though this *does* relate in a way - and in an easily understandable way - to school based discussions too? Maybe in a school based discussion person 1 is saying "Here is my growth and achievements in area X, I am proud of this knowledge" and then someone else says "(transition statement) Here are my growths and achievements in area X, and if you see here, it helps to demonstrate why your achievements have flaws." Could that be a way of looking at it?


I think so. That is what I was trying to point out in my way of thinking (analogy).

Originally Posted By: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames
To be more direct about what the bracelet person is saying to you, I remember us talking about this in another thread, and I think some people develop a mindset over time (maybe instilled by a childhood situation) that if they don't speak up for themselves nobody will. So they train themselves to do it and then it becomes so much of a habit that they think it's normal and don't even realize it could bother people. In fact they get rewarded by the attention when they do it so it perpetuates.


That is very interesting. I can see how her childhood mindset and development influences her thought process today.

Originally Posted By: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames
So I think a solution there is to not reward them because people tend to stop doing things they're not rewarded for doing. So I would not really pay attention when she grabs the focus, let her finish and then go back to your discussion and say something (gently) like "I hadn't quite finished, but what I was saying was ..." - i.e. help her see that there was more on your end. Then when you DO finish with your part, ask her with interest about her side and show interest in what she says. I.e. help her understand what the behavior you'd like to see would look like.


Very good idea. That would allow me to finish my attempt to let her know how much this new project means to me -- and it would draw her into a more amiable discussion on both our interests.

So - can we relate this example to yours with the fellow student?



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Jilly your way of correcting can never be considered condescending. When you have written to me to correct mistakes I have made on the training course, I have learnt from you. You are always patient and articulate.

The same with Lisa, neither of you ever made me feel foolish for any errors I made, your only aims were to help me. If I can feel that through a computer, it is sad when people do not see it in the real person.

I too grew up in a family who did not understand me or what I talked about. If I am honest they still do not understand. But it doesn't make me want to enlighten them. If someone doesn't want to know, I don't make them listen. Their loss I always think.



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Linda -

I do agree that knowledge is a wonderful thing which should be shared and expanded.

I think for me it's also worth giving consideration to how the knowledge is shared so that it has the best chance of being heard by the recipient. Several of my communications classes have talked about all the ways a message can "go awry" during the transmission process.

That is, say I have valuable knowledge that I am trying to communicate to John. It is my aim for John to receive and understand this knowledge. But if something goes awry during the transmission process, he doesn't get the knowledge. So now I have "lost valuable time" in my effort and there was no result. If I am going to invest the time and effort to try to do this communication task, I should work on my polishing of my skills to help ensure it works properly.

It could be even worse, that in addition to the transmission of knowledge failing, now John can be upset. So it's not even a neutral end result on his end, I have caused more anger in the world. So my investment of time and energy has caused a harmful effect rather than a helpful effect. So that's even worse (in my mind, on my path) than having not done anything at all.

Which is what is leading to my decision to stop posting over in that class ethics forum.

Sort of like (and I don't know why I'm so addicted to metaphors) but say I am coding a new ASP postcard feature for our site here. I want to invest 10 hours to do it. So I would make sure I researched to do it well, so at the end of the 10 hours I had a fully functional postcard section. If I ended up with a broken postcard section then I've both made the postcard section worse plus lost 10 hours that could have been spent on something fruitful. It would have been better if I didn't touch it.

So to me it's in my own best interest to learn how to communicate better, if I am going to spend the time to communicate information. My aim is to leave the people I'm communicating with better off than when they began. If I leave them worse off then when I began then I'm not reaching my own aims.


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Sometimes people don't listen no matter how well something is communicated to them.

And it is funny that you mentioned postcards, because that is one of the topics on the course I have just taken that caught my interest.

Last edited by Linda - Islam; 03/06/11 06:06 PM.

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"unsolicited advice just seems bratty"

In the context of a college discussion forum where people have to make a deliberate choice to post in the discussion, I am having trouble contemplating this.

If someone posts their part of the discussion, it is then entered into the discussion framework. The syllabus indicates we are required to respond to each others' posts.

Could a response post therefore be unsolicited?


On a separate note, and I hope you realize I am teasing with a big smile here -

"In high school I actually found a fiend who was intellectual"

I want an intellectual fiend!! Where do I find one? I want mine to be red and have wings.


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Lisa,

If I posted the following message in a class on the "Spirituality of Native American Ceremonies" and you were a student in the same class, how would you respond/reply to it?

"While many ceremonies and even some powwows are closed to the public and kept as private and secret ritual ceremonies, there are some traditions they gladly share so that others can learn in much the same way as they learn from other religions. The world as we know it today is in great need of what the Native American traditions have to offer. Their profound respect for all living things, their love and respect for Nature and their great respect and love for their Elders is something that all too few peoples even consider today. Their culture comes forth from the earliest spiritual life traditions of an ancient time and ancient Peoples and is very honorable.

It is way past time that we, as a nation, do all we can to uphold the First Peoples of this land - to stand not above them, but with them as one with the same goal - to protect the heritage and future of all our children."

PS: I promise not to get sensitive no matter how you reply.

Last edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth; 03/06/11 06:15 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.

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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.


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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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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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What a great discussion Lisa and Linda I agree that most people just don't wish to learn more or to be helped. I used to feel and be just like Lisa; try to help everybody by being as nice and helpful as I could and if I couldn't help then at least do no harm but after working in the business of weightloss and exercise for so long I realized that most people don't really want to change and most people will be super nasty even when you're trying to help them (literally bite the hand that feeds them).

Only a small handful of people are truly open to new ideas or new ways of doing things and not many people want to learn more than they already know. Most people prefer to stay stuck and closed off and dumbed down (sad but true).

I used to worry a lot about what people thought about me especially because I was brought up in a household where actions were judged constantly. After years of trying to help people and not really expressing my true opinions for fear of hurting other people's feelings I just got so tired of it and of feeling so defeated so I talked to my business coach about it and he said I can't change people who don't want to be changed.

He told me that your message no matter how good it is and how well it is communicated must only be communicated to those who want to hear it. Once I started doing this my work got soooo much easier and my life got better because now I am just able to express my true opinions (be true to myself) and not offer some watered down version of what I believe in, for fear of hurting others.

But I do respect you Lisa for being the way you are and living the Buddha way. It is definitely not an easy path.


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Sorry I had to leave our discussion so abruptly, Lisa. My brother called and asked if I wanted to ride out and look for wild horses then have dinner with him and Mom -- two offers I simply cannot refuse. He gave me ten minutes to get ready!

Originally Posted By: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames
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.


True, there are many sides to an issue. However, I was looking at this from the Native American POV and how they connect many things they do to their spirituality.

Yes, there are flaws in any group of people one studies. I wrote that (excerpt from an article) with the intent of teaching or sharing my knowledge to others who may not know much about Native American peoples.

Hmmm...I guess when I really look at what I wrote, it may seem that I think all Native Americans are perfect and have stronger spiritual beliefs than others. Yet...I am very much in tune to these peoples and so admire their spirituality, for my spiritual path holds many beliefs that the Lakhota, Hopi, and Pacific Northwest tribes have. I feel I am a kindred spirit with them.

This does not mean I think other peoples are not as good or as spiritual. I am not doing a comparison of different peoples/cultures -- I am offering information and knowledge for others to learn about Native Americans. smile

Now, if I took the attitude that your co-student did and told you to not reply again to any of my posts -- how would you feel about me shunning you like that? What do you think would be my motives for not accepting your opinions? Maybe because I felt I was very knowledgeable on the subject and saw that you in fact do know more about Native American peoples than I do -- and because I was proud of what I shared and you came along with even more knowledge and made a comparison with other peoples? (which, since it was not my intent, took away the purpose of my post, or "burst my bubble" with your logical facts = spiritual vs. logical; or emotional vs. technical/rational) smile

OH! This is fun. While trying to help you, I also am learning. How delightful! It is too bad that your co-student cannot discuss that issue with you like we are doing.

We should have a "Critique It!" thread for any editor who wants to have an article put up for open discussion/critiquing. I bet we would all learn from that. One would have to have a brave heart for it though.

Last edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth; 03/06/11 11:53 PM.

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Jill - you should post about some of those insights in the self development forum and we can work on them!

Monica - I think you bring up an excellent point. Communication is a two way street and if someone does not want to listen then it's probably not going to work out whatever the "person expressing" does. I'm not saying this in a judgmental way but in a compassionate way. Maybe the person in the receiving position is exhausted from too much work caring for their family. Maybe they have been beaten down by their parents so much that they are scared to listen to new ideas. Maybe they feel overwhelmed with their current situation and they just can't handle change right now.

Or maybe they do *think* they want to change but they just aren't ready for it. They think they want a life change but it just isn't a priority. Or really they're afraid of it. They're afraid of the success. Many people who are overweight for example are "comfortable" hiding in that body. There are fewer expectations on them. They don't have to face challenges, people let them bow out. So to start to change that means to start to take on responsibilities to them. I.e. they can say to themselves "Oh I can't date, nobody would like me." They are so comfortable in that excuse that it's scary to change even while they say they want to.

So I think there are all sorts of reasons people fear change. They're worried the new future will be a lot scarier than the current situation. Even if they don't like their wife it's worse to think about being alone. So they complain - but they cling.

I think it's sort of like the saying "when you are ready to learn, a teacher will appear." I think conversely that if you're not ready to learn, even if a teacher is right there, you can't hear the message yet. So I think as a teacher, like Monica was saying, you have to find ways to figure out if your student is *really* ready to make that change or if they're still in the trying-to-get-ready stages.

This reminds me of stories they tell about Zen Buddhism temples. If someone just walks up to one and says "I want to study here" they say "no - go away!" If a student isn't serious, they leave. Some will plunk down and sit there. Now the Zen teachers yell at them. That will drive others away. A few will remain. They'll be let in and given very basic chores. That will drive more away. The ones who remain are the ones who really want to learn - and those are the ones who are taught.


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Dear Phyllis -

I would feel sad that you were upset by my feedback, since my purpose was to help you, not to make you upset.

I would wonder how I could have phrased my feedback differently so that you were not upset by my feedback.

I suppose until these recent conversations it wouldn't have occurred to me that you didn't *really* want feedback. I.e. maybe you were posting because it was the class requirement to post - but that you were upset by having to post your thoughts and having anyone respond to it with anything but "great job!" was even more upsetting.


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I think people get upset about things, no matter what. You cannot please everyone all of the time. Sometimes if I join in a topic on these forums and I use a reference from the Quran or what I believe, to make my point, I find that it upsets quite a few people here who do not agree with or follow a religion or like my point of view.

Sometimes I apologise to who I have upset and leave the conversation because as you say Lisa, I am not trying to say anything to upset people I am just giving my opinion, and if people do not want to hear what I have to say, I am not going bang my head on the wall trying to tell them.

We know what we know, and if someone knows more than another person about a particular thing, we should be happy and learn from each other.

Last edited by Linda - Islam; 03/07/11 06:54 AM.

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Quote:
This reminds me of stories they tell about Zen Buddhism temples. If someone just walks up to one and says "I want to study here" they say "no - go away!" If a student isn't serious, they leave. Some will plunk down and sit there. Now the Zen teachers yell at them. That will drive others away. A few will remain. They'll be let in and given very basic chores. That will drive more away. The ones who remain are the ones who really want to learn - and those are the ones who are taught.


I love this story. Speaks volumes about motivations and life purpose too! A gymnastics coach I trained with shortly after my son was born did this to me and I soon realized I really wasn't that serious about gymnastics or competing in fitness. He did me a huge favor by being so harsh. If he made it easy and I had continued taking gymnastics that would've distracted me and taken me down a completely different path than the one I took and I would not have accomplished all the great things I've done in the last 10 years.

At the time I thought he was hateful and mean for making things so difficult and it took a long time for me to realize why he acted that way. If I saw him now I would thank him a million times.

I've used this with clients too (they call it making a client pre-qualify for training). You make it so hard for somebody to get on your roster that only those who are truly serious persist and those are the individuals who get the results. When I worked in gyms you had to train anybody who would buy training and results were rare.

Last edited by ExerciseEditor; 03/07/11 11:22 AM.

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Lisa, I hope you do realize I am not upset at all. That was just a lesson, a scenario, as an example of "what if". Actually, I love feedback on my articles for it helps me to continue to learn -- and learning is what I am here for.

Even when I am yelled at I take it as a learning experience.

Like I said earlier in one of my posts here: anyone who posts in an open forum should be prepared for a different opinion and a discussion.

I find this thread very helpful in many ways.

Back to your original thought, I came up with another scenario on how to help others.

If you had approached that other student's post with a different reply, do you think the results would have been different?

such as:

"This is a very interesting topic, So-and-So. I am curious as to any available statistics on the subject. Do you have any statistical information you can share with us?"

This approach could produce a few results:

1. She may take your comment as a compliment and feel good about herself and appreciate your interest.

2. It would offer her the opportunity to either show that she does know more and is willing to share or give her a reason to back up her statements with more research and facts.

3. Or, it would show that she needs help in further discussion of the subject -- in which you could offer some suggestions or offer to research for statistical info.

4.After showing your interest and offer to help research, if she still came back with that "battitude" she would let everyone know that she only wants to get her opinions out and not accept anyone else's opinions/information. She would then be known as very biased and opionated. And you would know you have done your best to show interest and offer help.

5. You could then write up your own post with statistical information.

What do you think?


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I really like Phyllis' compassionate approach to this. It gives the girl a chance to save face publicly and not feel shot down.

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Very interesting thread. I have often been called a "know it all" or some version of the term. I think it's applied very loosely--I certainly don't "know if all". I think it means "knows more than the rest of us."

And, I think if you have people who before thought they were pretty smart but you always appear smarter, it could be a bit of a poke in the ego for them. BUT, it's totally their issue. Your "dumbing down" would not make them any smarter. And, their asking you not to comment on their posts really seems insecure and well, not eager to learn.

I play Words with Friends on the iPhone and I like it. I am pretty good at it. I love Scrabble and nobody in my family likes to play with me. I always win. But, I've played online with people better than me and it helped ME get better--getting whooped taught me a lot about being a better player. I still didn't like getting beat, but I played to learn. Now, half the (random) people I play Words with resign before the game is over. I even find myself playing lesser-scoring words so I don't "skunk" them, which is hard for me--I grew up playing basketball and competitiveness was a good thing. Winning was valued.

Being smart was valued, too--and resented. I honestly believe every romantic relationship I've had tanked because I am smarter than they were. Even though all of them had areas they were far superior to me in (and they had other issues, intelligence was just one part of it), after awhile (years in every case), they just didn't like that I was "smarter".

My last boyfriend actually told me when we were breaking up that I made him feel stupid--and he's pretty smart, just in different ways (mechanical, spatial). It took me a LONG time to realize that while some of that might be my fault (I could have been a bit more compassionate when he did/said really dumb stuff), it really is his own self-image (and a bunch of cultural stereotypes) that's his problem.

Wow--sorry for going off on tangents here! I'm just pretty peeved that being smarter than the average bear is a BAD thing!

BellaDeb #668236 03/07/11 07:43 PM
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I don't see any tangents there, Deb. And that is why i only choose men who are at least as intellectual, or more so, than me. That way they don't go running for the hills (if they do run, it's from something else, lol).

Also, as I said, brilliance is attractive to me in a mate. I must be intelle-tropic. I guess my men have been also.

My mother thinks i am too picky that way, but i want a mate i can have a certain level of learning and discourse with.

Brainyness. Good, bad - it is what it is. It's just genetics. I'd never give it up as it defines me.

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You know, I like Lisa just the way she is. As Jilly just said "I'd never give it up as it defines me." That is what all this boils down to -- who you are and being happy with who you are.

Never give up being you, Lisa.


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This really is such a mind opening topic and Lisa, grief, are you kidding? Never stop doing what you're doing, whether it's here or online elsewhere!

You're focussed and this community is reflective of your being just that in the midst of the economy and everything else.

Jealousy, should have a multi-layered definition, because it isn't just that someone has something we might not, it delves I feel, into insecurities.

So, say you have something you put your heart into, but someone else comes along and has a more comprehensive view.

Well, if you're taking classes, writing, starting a business, or pursuing something you are passionate about, basically you're trying to add on to or improve yourself. so, in general, if you're doing that, you're looking for compliments or encouragement or someone saying "Wow...I never thought of it that way!"

But, it's also exhausting trying to please everyone! I use to lose 5 lbs a day in trying, lol. Now I kind of like my pudge smile

I can see leadership SO vast, w/Jilly, you, Phyllis, and I don't know this student, but others on Bella as well. Deep down,though, it feels like we're all just pushing forward, maybe against adversities of some type, so there's a bit of overcoming defensivism to an extent, maybe, but it's like you have to be so strong too? I don't have the right words.

It could be this student was doing the same and it wasn't you per se, but maybe the trigger was she's got a background of being corrected or something or taking an ethics class for some other reason...maybe she experienced something in a work related issue?

These days who knows? But, it's kind of like when you do come across something that's effected you emotionally, it's kind of like stepping on a bee. Hours, days later, it's still tender, lol. In these cases, it's probably more like years?


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I'm rather disappointed. When I saw the subject, I thought you were talking about me .... **sniff sniff**

Lisa, never ever give up your discussions. Your contributions are awesome! Some people simply cannot stand not knowing everything and being the "top dog" ... if there is a real issue, I'd suggest an email to the instructor to find out what should happen (i.e., you ignore her/don't post to her or whatever). Hypersensitivity has no place in a classroom or on the internet, but it's there in spades!

You go!!!!

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Lisa, it is really weird. I was reading your post talking about change, and I thought of my friend Rosie. She has a saying, "When the time is right, a teacher will come." Amazing! I'm reading down your post, and guess what pops out? Just what I was going to reply.

This whole thing reminds me of a conversation that I had with my doctor. When I commit to take a medication, I am very faithful about taking it as prescribed. However, until I'm ready to commit, I don't start one. Every medication has multiple reactions within the body--something that I am keenly aware of. If I don't want to risk side effects, I just won't start a med unless there is a compelling reason.

Dr. is always trying to get me to see his viewpoint. I am always trying to get my students to see what is in their best interests, but until they are ready, it is just so much "Charlie Brown" sound. "Waaah, waaaaah wahh, waaaah, waaaaah." You know the sound that teachers make!

On a slightly different subject--weight. Sometimes being heavy allows people to be less threatening intellectually to other folks. Also, when working in an urban high school, having a bit of girth can be advantageous. Not that being a "big boned" woman is all fabulous, but it's not all terrible either. Just saying.... tut


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Quote:
It could be this student was doing the same and it wasn't you per se, but maybe the trigger was she's got a background of being corrected


I try to remind myself of this all the time - that we all have triggers and they have to do with themselves. We don't know that we've tripped something. It's not on purpose. We can't really even prevent setting off a trigger - since we are all different and have no idea what their trigger might be.

I actually have a list of personal triggers that i've been working on with my therapist for the past few weeks. I'm pretty pleased with it and have been watching myself for things to add to it. It's exciting when i find a new one...i like finding things that explain me to me.

It might be fun to start a thread in one of the forums where we list our personal triggers. We can find out how much we all have in common, or at least learn a few ideas about where someone else might be sensitive.

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Monica - that is an awesome comparison. I agree completely that someone who wants to invest in a healthy body has to be very serious about their effort for it to work. They should have to work to gain entry.

Phyllis - I think your technique is great. It gives them the chance to shine. Well done!

Deb - I think even in our current era that it is hard for some men to feel less smart (or heck less strong, income earning, younger, shorter, etc) than a woman. It is sad we even have to think about these things. A female friend of mine is tall and she dated a guy shorter than her and it really upset him. He made it clear. I am only 5'7 and even so one time I put on heels my then boyfriend called me only half jokingly a monster. I was too tall. So Deb absolutely I can imagine a guy being upset at being less smart.

Btw I would love to play scrabble with you and I would never resign smile

I do agree that at its core it is about being comfortable with yourself. And finding someone who is comfortable with himself. You shouldn't have to find someone who is already taller / stronger / smarter / richer / etc because there will always be *something* to trigger. You simply have to find someone who is content with who they are. Then it will always work. But I admit it isn't that simple to find him or her smile


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Jilly I think a thread about triggers would be great!

I greatly appreciate the other supportive messages that were posted. I do want to keep helping and supporting people. While I do that Deb brought up a great point. I want to be me and also present a me that is sensitive to other people. That is there is a balance in interacting in a way which is generally helpful. If I can make my posts even more helpful so more people can benefit from that, that would seem to be a good skill to work on.

As a simple example say I posted my posts filled with swears so half my readers couldn't read them due to anti swear filters. If I figured that out and tweaked my message I could reach twice as many people with only a tiny change. It would be well worth it for me to do that.


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I think the best tweak is to post things in a way that the person you are responding to never feels small.

Deb, what was the word for that in Aspire? I really dug that idea.


Jilly #670531 03/15/11 05:37 PM
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Jilly, it's Genshai! LOVE that word and what it means.

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Lisa, one thing I'm always trying to be mindful of is to put relationships first (I"m not talking romance here - business, family, friends and even new contacts or online connections) and again, it's a problem because I "forget" that. I never had a debate team in school, but I would have been the Queen! I love debate! And, I love "being right". But, in my work particularly, I need people to work together and give their best, so I try to give tons of praise and credit for other people's ideas and contributions.

Not to be patronizing (Hate that!) but to realize that not everyone is as confident of their knowledge and abilities as say someone like me appears to be, and that everyone performs better when they feel valued.

I think you do an excellent job of praising and making people feel valued--and it seems to come natural for you. So, in regards to your original post, I think perhaps the best solution is probably to be aware of it and then keep on doing what you do! laugh It would be a shame to deprive the rest of the class of your contributions because it rubbed one person the wrong way.

My quote for today: "We have enough Youth, How about a fountain of Smart?"






BellaDeb #670896 03/17/11 03:35 AM
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Deb -

You bring up great points. Each person wants to feel like they are respected and valued.

We are in week 4 of 6 in the ethics class forum. I was away Mon-Tue at a funeral so the forums were untouched by me until then. When I logged in on Wednesday I saw some of the most disrespectful language I'd ever seen in there. The way some of the students were referring to points of view on the issue at hand just floored me.

So I almost think the idea of discussing the issues in that class may be impossible now. I made my post, and looked at the issue from all sides, but I do not think I will engage any of the other students on the issues going forward. I am happy to discuss the issues here with you guys, and to be content with that.

I do not think the lack of respect presented in the class forum is something I could "fix", and in the two weeks that are left, it's better just to learn what I can learn and to be content with that.


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I do not think 'fixing' it is something you should have to worry about Lisa, you are in a class to learn about ethics not to fix things. If no one else wants to learn as much as you that is their problem. Plus you do enough 'fixing' here!


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Oooooooooh - That's too bad Lisa but you did try. Now it's their loss. Unfortunately it's your loss too because you were looking forward to good discussions on the topics. That could have led to much learning on everyone's part. Such an interesting subject to create great discussions shouldn't be wasted at the higher learning level but it has been in this case.

I really admire your restraint. I would probably be tempted to post some of my thoughts on those discussions if I were in that class, but looking at it from a distance, I can see that it would not be appreciated by students who should know better anyway at this level. Only the instructor would be able to accomplish anything at all and even that is debatable.

I have certainly learned something about what students should be learning in secondary school. This has also verified my suggestion in my article on "Students Responsibilities in Online Discussions" that students should treat their classmates with respect.

Good luck with the discussion boards in the rest of your courses Lisa.


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I agree that it's not worth your time for a class that will end in two weeks. Do what you do to get your learning from it and then post here with us. smile

Jilly #673276 03/27/11 09:51 PM
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The teacher did send a global message out about the disrespectful language and things have quieted down again. We're in the last week of class and then it's done - which to me is a shame. I love the topic. But maybe it's good it was over with this particular group of individuals in this class.


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