Dialectic toolset - black vs white

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It's one of those skill sets that seems to be completely unknown by a lot of people.
I'd like to reiterate what Chu mentioned in the Worry thread, as I think it applies equally.

Chu said:
Thanks Redfox. All very interesting. I can definitely relate to some of it at least. I've gotten a bit better over the years (supposedly) but many times I've been called a "worrier". :-[

I think that another POV that hasn't been mentioned explicitly is something that the book Fear of Intimacy, by Robert W. Firestone and Joyce Catlett talks about. Although I don't think everything is absolute accurate in their analysis, I've found it to be SUPER useful and recommend it to you all. Here is the blurb:

Why is it that the relationships we care about most - those with our intimate partners - often seem doomed to fail? Why do we feel compelled to punish those closest to us who love and appreciate our real qualities? In ""Fear of Intimacy"", the authors bring almost 40 years of clinical experience to bear in challenging the usual ways of thinking about couples and families. They argue that relationships fail not for the commonly cited reasons, but because psychological defences formed in childhood act as a barrier to closeness in adulthood. A wide range of cross-generational case studies and powerful personal accounts illustrate how the ""fantasy bond"", a once-useful but now destructive form of self-parenting, jeopardizes meaningful attachments. Written in clear, jargon-free language, this book shows how therapists can help identify and overcome the messages of the internal ""voice"" that fosters distortions of the self and loved ones. Related issues such as interpersonal ethics and the role of stereotyping are also discussed. The authors' innovative approach should be of interest to therapists and couples alike.

One of their basic premises, as I understood it, is that as opposed to what many books on narcissistic wounds claim, such that many people tend to want to "repeat certain traumas in an attempt to make it all better/fix the past", many times we "worry, angst, etc." and don't change, or we fall back into the same damaging attitudes or dynamics, because we prefer that. Any time we have proof that there is no need to worry, that we are safe, that we can trust someone, etc., we feel the impulse to act in ways that will validate what our introject says, and make us and others miserable. In fact, the safer the scarier sometimes.

It is easier to worry, to be angry, to feel unloved, a victim or whatever, than it is to accept positive feedback, have intimate relationships, etc. when the latter is something we never learned in the past. I think that that is a point that many tend to forget. We love our suffering! (Until we decide to stop, of course). Again and again, we fall back into behaviors that are self-destructive. But it's not always because "we hate ourselves". Sometimes it is because that's all we know, and new territory would be scary. Sometimes it's because if we were to actually let go, and feel safe when appropriate, then we would be in unknown territory. And that's scary. The problem is that by worrying and creating situations that validate those worries, we then miss the opportunity to be truly close to someone, truly accepted. And we go in circles, continuing to suffer and worry "unconsciously".

I think that this can be applied when reading some of the quotes you shared, and to me at least, it made a lot of sense that way.

My 2 cents.

The only way not to fall back into unconscious suffering is conscious suffering osit.
With a toolset for facing emotional pain and turmoil gracefully (by being fully present with the emotions), we can give more attention to others and the state of the world at large - if we so choose.

RedFox said:
There are two articles on SoTT at the moment that may help with breaking the "comfortableness of our known suffering".

Countering the excuses that prevent us from making life changes - for countering the narratives.
The common regrets of the terminally ill - for a change of perspective.

There is also this 15 beliefs and habits of highly effective and happy people.

The toolset gives you new options, but it's up to the person what they do with that.
It can be miss-used to escape from reality (stay where we are) or used to embrace reality it and engage with it (move into unknown territory).
 
D

Deleted member 11729

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RedFox said:
I wanted to share a summary of a toolset I've been building over the last year or so.

Dear RedFox thank you very much for extracting this as easy to understand and practical toolset. I am just preparing to print it out and to place it around my apartment, not to forget how to validate, instead to falling into self pittines.

THANK YOU one more time :hug:
 

Keyhole

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Thanks for putting this together for us RedFox, I have just finished reading. This information seems to go hand in hand with Inviting a Monkey to Tea and accompanies it nicely. After reading the explanations of emotional and verbal invalidation I found it quite shocking to reflect on my past modes of behaviour and see how often I invalidate others unknowingly. In my recent experience however, it is most shocking to actually observe the self-invalidation that occurs more frequently. If we do not allow ourselves to truly experience our emotional states, then they are amplified and projected onto those around us.

I have also been contemplating the relative ease with which a child can become accustomed to self-invalidating their own experience, even while growing up in a generally benign, well-meaning family atmosphere. Overt levels of abuse are not necessary for the creation of an emotionally damaged human being, only invalidation. So this makes it a lot more understandable why the overwhelming majority of people ARE damaged, and why healing is a process that we all must go through. It makes me wonder what a world might be like if this toolset were taught in schools to children growing up and to soon-to-be familys.

RedFox said:
Anthony said:
By practicing self-compassion and validation as outlined by RedFox, I think that it could also increase empathy and care for others along with seeing things more objectively.
It certainly seems that way from my personal experience. Compassion and understanding of your own programs gives you a broader perspective on other peoples.
Is this because once we allow ourselves to acknowledge our feelings and experience compassionately, those feelings are no longer unconsciously projected onto those around us? If we actually observe the experience of emotions (such as guilt or shame) that result from making mistakes in life (and essentially being human) while attempting to gain an understanding of those programmes, seeing them for what they are and not becoming identified, then we become more accepting of the downfalls of those around us and can relate to the experience in some way it seems.

I would also imagine that once a person has gathered enough data of themself through observation, a growing awareness of their own "imperfections of character" develops which may also be a factor which allows them to relate to those around them compassionately.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I would like to add a technique which I have been practicing recently. When I catch myself during an uncomfortable emotion and I sit with it I find it really helpful to place my hand on the area where I can feel the physical sensation of the emotion. I then check in with myself and see if I need to move my hand or use the other hand to follow the sensations. I often find that when I do this I can concentrate on the exercise and not get distracted by the narratives and monkey mind that accompany the emotion. I can really be in the moment and experience the feeling in its wholeness. A strange thing is that the sensations very often move once I've settled on them and I can literally feel them moving round then disappearing. For example today I followed a sensation from between my eyes, into my cheeks, my chin then out my mouth. The emotion passed almost as quickly as it arrived. I can literally chase the negative emotion out my body. I'm not saying that we want or need to chase all our negative emotions away, but the ones that aren't of service to us don't need to consume our time and energy. Over the last week I have practiced every time I have the opportunity and I have to say the results are quite amazing.
I also practiced the technique of looking towards the horizon if I found myself in a negative thought loop and the results were instant!
 

Jenn

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Thanks for this thread Redfox, I've just got through it and found the information concise and really helpful

Recently I've been trying to identify what I'm feeling, if it's anger I will sometimes say in a excessively loud (joking) voice "I AM ANGRY" and it's so silly that it makes me laugh. I have also found it helpful in my relationship, being present with the feeling and trying to communicate it rather than bottling it up stops the resentment I used to feel towards myself for not speaking up, and the anger towards Keyhole

lainey said:
I would like to add a technique which I have been practicing recently. When I catch myself during an uncomfortable emotion and I sit with it I find it really helpful to place my hand on the area where I can feel the physical sensation of the emotion. I then check in with myself and see if I need to move my hand or use the other hand to follow the sensations. I often find that when I do this I can concentrate on the exercise and not get distracted by the narratives and monkey mind that accompany the emotion. I can really be in the moment and experience the feeling in its wholeness. A strange thing is that the sensations very often move once I've settled on them and I can literally feel them moving round then disappearing. For example today I followed a sensation from between my eyes, into my cheeks, my chin then out my mouth. The emotion passed almost as quickly as it arrived. I can literally chase the negative emotion out my body. I'm not saying that we want or need to chase all our negative emotions away, but the ones that aren't of service to us don't need to consume our time and energy. Over the last week I have practiced every time I have the opportunity and I have to say the results are quite amazing.
I also practiced the technique of looking towards the horizon if I found myself in a negative thought loop and the results were instant!

I'm definitely going to try this Lainey, I have been trying to pin-point where I'm feeling the emotion in my body, but often lose focus/interest and get caught again in the thought loops again. I have found it quite funny to watch how my mind flits from one thing to the next!

I found looking towards the horizon successful too. Although I noticed that I would quickly revert back to dissociating, so I tried to look to the horizon but constantly change what I was focusing on eg. trees, sky etc. which seemed to work better for me.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thorn said:
I found looking towards the horizon successful too. Although I noticed that I would quickly revert back to dissociating, so I tried to look to the horizon but constantly change what I was focusing on eg. trees, sky etc. which seemed to work better for me.
Also we can't all go around staring at the horizon all day just to keep ourselves out of the though loops. Another thing I was practicing was simply saying the prayer of the soul to myself when I was doing something and when I started slipping into a loop I would start again.

if it's anger I will sometimes say in a excessively loud (joking) voice "I AM ANGRY" and it's so silly that it makes me laugh.
I find this hilarious too. I love to shout " AAAARRGH MY EYE!!!!!!" as if someone had just poked me. Nonsense but it works. :P
 

David

Jedi Master
lainey said:
Thorn said:
I found looking towards the horizon successful too. Although I noticed that I would quickly revert back to dissociating, so I tried to look to the horizon but constantly change what I was focusing on eg. trees, sky etc. which seemed to work better for me.
Also we can't all go around staring at the horizon all day just to keep ourselves out of the though loops. Another thing I was practicing was simply saying the prayer of the soul to myself when I was doing something and when I started slipping into a loop I would start again.

That would work, also one could just say STOP, or rather holding that thought, and just pay attention to breathing, and posture, and noting the rhythm, and posture, and changing that rhythm consciously, to perhaps a rhythm that might suit some activity, posture also - every mood seem to have its own pattern, well it seems like that, I could be wrong. But it’s useful sometimes, perhaps as quick fix, when needs be.

Did it before posting... and posted anyway - well it’s kinda helpful?
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Davida said:
lainey said:
Thorn said:
I found looking towards the horizon successful too. Although I noticed that I would quickly revert back to dissociating, so I tried to look to the horizon but constantly change what I was focusing on eg. trees, sky etc. which seemed to work better for me.
Also we can't all go around staring at the horizon all day just to keep ourselves out of the though loops. Another thing I was practicing was simply saying the prayer of the soul to myself when I was doing something and when I started slipping into a loop I would start again.

That would work, also one could just say STOP, or rather holding that thought, and just pay attention to breathing, and posture, and noting the rhythm, and posture, and changing that rhythm consciously, to perhaps a rhythm that might suit some activity, posture also - every mood seem to have its own pattern, well it seems like that, I could be wrong. But it’s useful sometimes, perhaps as quick fix, when needs be.

Did it before posting... and posted anyway - well it’s kinda helpful?
That's very interesting, thinking about it I would agree. When I am working and the manager has said something to irritate me I find myself thinking while shovelling and the negative thoughts go along with the strong shovel movements or when I am feeling listless and fed up my actions mirror my thought patterns and I work in an almost pathetic manner taking ridiculously small scoops of earth or dropping things dramatically. It will be interesting to be able to catch those physical movements and corresponding thoughts and alter them accordingly to observe the effects. Thanks for posting!
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
And maybe that works the other way around too: If you have been able to link a certain moving pattern to a certain mood, then maybe altering the moving pattern might well change your mood too. Similarly as when someone is feeling depressed and he forces a smile onto his face his mood improves.
 

Carl

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
nicklebleu said:
And maybe that works the other way around too: If you have been able to link a certain moving pattern to a certain mood, then maybe altering the moving pattern might well change your mood too. Similarly as when someone is feeling depressed and he forces a smile onto his face his mood improves.

I find that this is a reliable way to change my mood, whereas working "from the head" and trying to stop/direct and micromanage feelings and thoughts is very difficult. There is quite a bit of research now showing this to be the case.

Forcing a smile doesn't do much for me, but more general physiological hacks can be effective.

Everyone has probably seen this by now, but 'power posing' is one easy way for me to temporarily get out of a bad thought loop. There are plenty more body language TED talks.


https://youtu.be/Ks-_Mh1QhMc

Then for emotional stability, try the smooth, rhythmic breathing through the heart exercise:


https://youtu.be/Q_fFattg8N0

Combined with the mental work described in this thread and the monkey book, it looks like we've got some very good tools for staying grounded and present.
 
D

Deleted member 11729

Guest
lainey said:
I would like to add a technique which I have been practicing recently. When I catch myself during an uncomfortable emotion and I sit with it I find it really helpful to place my hand on the area where I can feel the physical sensation of the emotion. I then check in with myself and see if I need to move my hand or use the other hand to follow the sensations. I often find that when I do this I can concentrate on the exercise and not get distracted by the narratives and monkey mind that accompany the emotion. I can really be in the moment and experience the feeling in its wholeness. A strange thing is that the sensations very often move once I've settled on them and I can literally feel them moving round then disappearing. For example today I followed a sensation from between my eyes, into my cheeks, my chin then out my mouth. The emotion passed almost as quickly as it arrived. I can literally chase the negative emotion out my body. I'm not saying that we want or need to chase all our negative emotions away, but the ones that aren't of service to us don't need to consume our time and energy. Over the last week I have practiced every time I have the opportunity and I have to say the results are quite amazing.
I also practiced the technique of looking towards the horizon if I found myself in a negative thought loop and the results were instant!

I liked the idea of tracking the emotional flow physically as it moves through the body.

I try it and was surprised to realize that actually, with very stressful emotional pain that bring my tears immediately, it starts actually from the forehead between the eyes and goes straight to the cheeks and eyes, and down to the strong hit to the heart and back again.

Actually before I focused to track it down, i was thinking that feeling starts by the beat from the heart, caused by mix of momentary event and some subconscious turbulence, but it seams to be different if momentary event was present to activate the storm.

Although later one, while experiencing some other, more abstract non related feelings, I found out that they do start to beat from my heart, rushing the flow of emotions to my hands and neck, but not the place of the throat, and the hit start to be unpleasant experience as it finds difficulties to reach the forehead place between the eyes, but it feels like I feel how it is trying to get connected. I don't know if that make any sense, but so far when this kind of emotional rush hit i am trying not to relate it to any narrative, or "rational" explanation of what can be the reason form social interactions, but just to see if observation can divert it to produce connect with the forehead and release tears as a kind of "cleaning" process. If i tray to get to unfolded the "story" that might cause this rush, i feel a bit scared that it might take me to wrong inner talking and trow me back again to self pithiness instead to self compassion.

all to all Lainey thank you for inspirational sharing! And to all of you for contributing with your experiences and "tools".
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Carl said:
Combined with the mental work described in this thread and the monkey book, it looks like we've got some very good tools for staying grounded and present.

Those videos where excellent Carl!
I tried following the suggestion whilst watching them, and it has had a profound effect on my physiology and state of mind.

I think the second video is an important place for everyone to start, even before emotional regulation as it puts the brain into the most optimal state for learning and self observation.
The first video is great for countering 'I'm worthless' chatter, especially when combined with the regular smooth breathing (whilst focusing on the heart area) from the second video.

Judging by his diagram, it looks like this is needed before you can really engage the emotional regulation discussed in the Monkey book and this thread.

solarmind said:
I try it and was surprised to realize that actually, with very stressful emotional pain that bring my tears immediately, it starts actually from the forehead between the eyes and goes straight to the cheeks and eyes, and down to the strong hit to the heart and back again.

Actually before I focused to track it down, i was thinking that feeling starts by the beat from the heart, caused by mix of momentary event and some subconscious turbulence, but it seams to be different if momentary event was present to activate the storm.

Although later one, while experiencing some other, more abstract non related feelings, I found out that they do start to beat from my heart, rushing the flow of emotions to my hands and neck, but not the place of the throat, and the hit start to be unpleasant experience as it finds difficulties to reach the forehead place between the eyes, but it feels like I feel how it is trying to get connected.

I think you should definitely watch the second video solarmind!
What you are describing seems to be exactly what he describes in the first few minutes of the video.
That is, under stress the heart rate becomes erratic. This signals (via the vagus nerve) to the brain that there is danger and to shut down the thinking parts (pre-frontal cortex etc).

Emotions (especially strong and painful ones) can easily be identified as dangerous in people who are sensitive.
His simple technique of regulated breathing will counter those signals and with practice the automatic reaction can then be unlearned! :)
 

Lindenlea

The Living Force
Thanks for posting these videos Carl, I especially liked the second one for easy understanding, I find pictorial information is better to absorb than constant talking, though I will have to revisit the first one again with the subtitles off, which were distracting.

Must practice the rythym breathing to de-lobotomise myself in these situations. :)
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Thank you RedFox for bringing these topics to our attention -- self compassion, acceptance and validation -- essential to know and practice when striving towards living harmoniously with others. It all ties in to the umbrella concept of "external consideration", and it shows how much we have to learn -- and I suspect there are many more puzzle pieces yet to be discovered -- to really practice external consideration.
 
D

Deleted member 11729

Guest
RedFox said:
I think you should definitely watch the second video solarmind!
What you are describing seems to be exactly what he describes in the first few minutes of the video.
That is, under stress the heart rate becomes erratic. This signals (via the vagus nerve) to the brain that there is danger and to shut down the thinking parts (pre-frontal cortex etc).

Emotions (especially strong and painful ones) can easily be identified as dangerous in people who are sensitive.
His simple technique of regulated breathing will counter those signals and with practice the automatic reaction can then be unlearned! :)

thank you RedFox! Watched the video last night. Omit that as some how TED talks makes me feel how many great people are used for the brand creation ... But Yep it is that what was going on.

This morning i did a test, and yep it works ... at least opening a bit more wider perspective to understanding of emotional flow and experiences that are related to that.

So far, what might be interesting for others to relate to, i realize that what i tend to do is not just a short term blocking in this given time when unpleasant situation occurs, but i somehow realize that i mastered long term blocking, i get my self into some "dangerous" situation, i work out that on best possible way for the circumstances as i didn't have any other way around not to be in the situation, and than after a day two or even ten days i realize what happend.

That is i think also what gets me to the shock i had with my family 10 days ago, and few more afterwards ... i got mayself into it because i did multiple blocking what put my imagination and storytelling talent to design perfect 10 day reality for me, but the real emotional kick happend afterwards. If i will be aware at that moments about the possible consequences that those events will have for my emotional stability, i will newer get involve with them. If i will not let my self fall, i will not be able to recognize the shock and use that "opening" to work on my machine. So on a way it was good to let your self fall.

Sure now going through all this painful questions and realization, reading all over the forum, and getting validation for what was going on, this breathing exercise this morning started to clear blurred images, and situation start to present more as it is, than as how i wanted to be.

As the conincidence or not, my daughter also found her self in a emotional loop, and this helped me to talk to her on different level, sending to her video and be able to listen and relate and validate her feelings.

Still at the beginning of unfolding the buffers, but at least not anymore looped in self pityness and anger, that comes out of disturbance within few of the programs i have been playing on and on. Now i am thakfull that program gets disturbed. And needles to say, thankful for this comunity to exist to guide me thorugh it. :cool2:

:hug:
 
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