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Note to self:

It is one thing to listen to a stupid (blatantly wildly ignorant) person and acknowledge what they're saying makes no sense; I can laugh it off, walk away, etc. I confess a bit of superiority rubs off. No harm done, not worth anyone's time.

It is another thing to listen to a person who isn't necessarily stupid, and acknowledge what they're saying makes no sense; it's not that they are stupid, but what they're saying is stupid, and the anger that builds inside instantly compels me to go at them to prove my POV and lecture them on how wrong they are.

Sometimes, the anger becomes outright hatred - because what they are saying is SO insulting, SO offensive to my beliefs and ideals - i just want to smack the stupid out of this person. Because they are probably a decent human being, but their beliefs are the plaid to my paisley… incompatible…

I want to leave it as a 'to each their own' kind of thing, be respectful of others beliefs - and maybe this is the 1 in me talking - but when I am convinced of my own beliefs about the world and how it should be (i.e. universal healthcare for all), you making comments about someone not deserving benefits drives me up a fucking wall.

At the end of the day, it is nice to know someone feels the same way I do about things. Having that agreement feels so good, it's the 6 in me - because feeds the idea that I'm not alone, I'm not abandoned.

Maybe I'm fighting so hard lately because I feel like I already am a bit abandoned, and I'm trying my hardest to find supporters again, trying to win people over so I can have someone on my side, who thinks like I think.

I'd like to believe debate is a healthy thing, a learning environment. But who am I kidding. There is no convincing some people. And that's my cue to walk away; to not confront or engage them, no matter how hard it hurts, for what hurts me more is my own emotional reaction to the situation and making it worse. I don't have to convince them of my ways.
 

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O_O.

Is there no opportunity to work closer to home. Holy hell.
Thing is, given some more reasonable traffic conditions, that amount of hours is cut by at least half. It is still a lot, but Brazil isn't wonderland in terms of infrastructure, and such commuting time is considered usual here. And the work closer to home is also more demanding hour-wise. It's a trade-off, in the end.
@Narc_of_the_Covenant

Being in the corporate machine sucks, right? Why can't we have money and be free to do what we like? :blushed:

Also, I find it interesting that you made that observation about public transport. While I'm not mad about the commuting, I just wish it was a bit shorter. I really use that commuting time to read, meditate or even relax while going to and from home. It's just that I don't get a lot of time at home.
 

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NiTe 549
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Thing is, given some more reasonable traffic conditions, that amount of hours is cut by at least half. It is still a lot, but Brazil isn't wonderland in terms of infrastructure, and such commuting time is considered usual here. And the work closer to home is also more demanding hour-wise. It's a trade-off, in the end.
Gotcha. Guess you gotta take what you can get.

Still, that's a long time. I did a commute to acupuncture school in my first year that was 2 hours each way, had study time on the bus that served me well but it was still quite draining.
 

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@Herp @Flatlander

I'd say any long period of time commuting would make me feel… like I am part of a big machine… that more of my life is plugged in to the grind of the machine than which belongs to me. Or at least it feels that way; I'm always in control of the choices I make.

I have to keep myself occupied the whole time. But I've had those moments of awareness… "is this really what life is all about?"

Cities with a functioning transit system or have great urban infrastructure really appeal to me. Weather permitting, I'd much rather walk everywhere I need to go on an everyday basis. It's the most human way for me to be. Both driving and I can see how public trans commuting can feel repetitive and robotic.

Bicycling is fun too! A 3 hour bike ride to work could be fun :wink:
 

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I have to keep myself occupied the whole time. But I've had those moments of awareness… "is this really what life is all about?"
And of course the follow-up questions: What is life all about? Why do people opt for this lifestyle over others? Etc.

I had many moments like that on public transit, because studying for all that time straight does not happen. The industriousness comes with the first 30, 45 minutes, then alternate sporadic work with staring out the window lost in thought. Mostly in my first year and a half, though; after that life and my mind became too full for me to usually derive the whole benefit of my cognition.

Bicycling is fun too! A 3 hour bike ride to work could be fun :wink:
I cycled half an hour to school every day living in Japan. Those were the days.
 

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One of my friends is going through some stressful stuff. Nothing urgent, but potentially lifestyle-changing. I feel so awkward when we talk about it... Not because I don't want to hear it, but because I don't know what to say. I'm ecstatic that they open up to me, but I'm so horrible at comforting and "active listening" that it makes me feel like a bad friend :/

The weird thing is, I can't actually tell if my default mode of neutrality is welcomed or disappointing to them. I know it's disappointing to some, but other people almost like it. I guess it just feels like I should be more empathic and demonstrative, except it's not really part of my personality.
 

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One of my friends is going through some stressful stuff. Nothing urgent, but potentially lifestyle-changing. I feel so awkward when we talk about it... Not because I don't want to hear it, but because I don't know what to say. I'm ecstatic that they open up to me, but I'm so horrible at comforting and "active listening" that it makes me feel like a bad friend :/

The weird thing is, I can't actually tell if my default mode of neutrality is welcomed or disappointing to them. I know it's disappointing to some, but other people almost like it. I guess it just feels like I should be more empathic and demonstrative, except it's not really part of my personality.
Mhm.

Being supportive, comforting and consoling requires a different approach per person; that's why every person will be better with some people than others.

I'll be honest, I like people just listening much more than people trying to be empathetic and making "ooo, are you okay" and "poor you" sounds and patting me on the back. Some people do like that, I don't.

We all have different ways of being supportive. It might be a good sign that you feel you don't know what to say. That can indicate you're a good listener, rather than someone who will go "O, that reminds me of the difficult period I went through myself, let me tell you about it in great detail, maybe it'll help...";

 
Good coaches refrain from given their own thoughts and advice on people's problems, as a rule. You might look up the GROW cycle method. Coaching is not advising in this method, but rather, helping people figure out their own thoughts.


You seem pretty modest, don't be fooled by other people seemingly being good consolers; they might just be different, not better. Willingness to care about other people's problems and willingness to put your own problems and thoughts aside for them, make time for them for a moment, is the most important requirement.

Active listening, btw, is basically just listening, summarizing/repeating in your own words, asking questions, and repeating.

Like:

P1: I'm going through X
P2: Really? So what exactly does X mean for you?
P1: Well, it means A, B, C.
P2: So it's A, B and C? How do you feel about that?
P1: Well, I feel "..."
P2: So you feel "..." about it? I see. What else?
P1: Well, ...
P2: So ... then. Have you talked to other people about this?
P1: Yes, to person 1&2
P2: And what do they say?
P1: They say ...
P2: So they say ...; how do you feel about that?

At least you can get a better understanding this way and help people by making them feel understood.
 

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I really hate taking tests. It's not the act itself, but it's the way professors seem to intentionally word the questions (and answers, if multiple choice) to be confusing. When I read them, I'm constantly thinking of ways where, if you look at it this way, it could be ABC but if you look at it another way it's XYZ. But of course, there's only ONE right answer and if you deviate even slightly from that you fail. But it was their poorly worded question which led to the confusion in the first place! But, nah, everyone sees things the same way, right?

One of the many reasons I hate schooling.
Or when they add:

A. X
B. Y
C. Both X&Y
D. Neither X&Y

S***T Pisses me off!
 

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How can you know??? Like, know in a proper sense that you're on the right path? It's easy to say "trust yourself" or "trust your instincts", but how do you know that the conclusion you reach is the right one? And when it isn't, how do you stop the tirade of voices from overwhelming you?

I have at least a glimpse of how to know when I'm being present, and a glimpse of how to concentrate on the here and now, if only for short periods, but how am I supposed to know for sure that this voice or impression or "feeling" is the one I should be listening to, amongst all the other ideas and chatter?

/condensed epistemology

Also @Paradigm - no seriously that cat!!!
 

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One of my friends is going through some stressful stuff. Nothing urgent, but potentially lifestyle-changing. I feel so awkward when we talk about it... Not because I don't want to hear it, but because I don't know what to say. I'm ecstatic that they open up to me, but I'm so horrible at comforting and "active listening" that it makes me feel like a bad friend :/

The weird thing is, I can't actually tell if my default mode of neutrality is welcomed or disappointing to them. I know it's disappointing to some, but other people almost like it. I guess it just feels like I should be more empathic and demonstrative, except it's not really part of my personality.
I relate to this in so many ways. I always listen to my friends, and I'm overly empathetic, so I even 'feel' what they are saying. But I never know what to say back. Sometimes it comes off as if I don't care or I'm not listening. It's not the case at all. I usually end up comparing it to a story that it triggers in myself, to relate to them in an 'exchange,' rather than commenting directly. Some people might think this is self-centered and maybe it is. But it's how I listen; I mirror. It's natural to me. It's unnatural to be any other way.

I worry sometimes that I should have more 'active commentary.' But I also know that when I'm confiding in someone, I'd rather just have a wall to bounce off sometimes; I don't really want them to solve my problems. If I spill out my problems and the person is still there, and is still willing to share his/her own problems with me, then I am satisfied. I feel loved. I don't feel jipped. So maybe it's okay. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,393 ·
We all have different ways of being supportive. It might be a good sign that you feel you don't know what to say. That can indicate you're a good listener, rather than someone who will go "O, that reminds me of the difficult period I went through myself, let me tell you about it in great detail, maybe it'll help...";
 
Good coaches refrain from given their own thoughts and advice on people's problems, as a rule. You might look up the GROW cycle method. Coaching is not advising in this method, but rather, helping people figure out their own thoughts.
I tend to be the type who will either listen without saying much of anything, or who will want to solve the problem. I recognize that most of the time, solutions or advice isn't what people want, so I try to rein in that tendency a lot. Sometimes it can be tough! Especially when I feel like people are being too emotional (not rational enough) about a problem.

I'll look into the GROW method, thank you :) It sounds like how I read they're trained to talk on suicide hotlines.

You seem pretty modest, don't be fooled by other people seemingly being good consolers; they might just be different, not better. Willingness to care about other people's problems and willingness to put your own problems and thoughts aside for them, make time for them for a moment, is the most important requirement.
I can be modest, but I also can be very frank about my flaws. You're right, though. I'm often called a good listener and most of my friends use me as a sounding board. I just wish I knew for sure if I was doing it right :p This friend is great, though; she's extremely patient with me if I get too dry or sarcastic. I really do care, but I have the hardest time vocalizing any of it, and not just in these situations.

Active listening, btw, is basically just listening, summarizing/repeating in your own words, asking questions, and repeating.
Like:
At least you can get a better understanding this way and help people by making them feel understood.
I know what it is, but it feels so... inane. My response to someone talking that would be, "Yes I just said that, now say something original." It doesn't feel like understanding, it just feels like parroting. But I guess it's better than just saying, "yeah that's tough" all the time xD I tried it out tonight (a tiny tiny bit) but it come out very well. Practice, I suppose.
 

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I know what it is, but it feels so... inane. My response to someone talking that would be, "Yes I just said that, now say something original." It doesn't feel like understanding, it just feels like parroting. But I guess it's better than just saying, "yeah that's tough" all the time xD I tried it out tonight (a tiny tiny bit) but it come out very well. Practice, I suppose.
Well, my example is a bit robotic I guess :p

Indeed, practice helps. You'll find at some point it'll become a natural way of speaking. If you feel uncomfortable parroting out loud all the time, summarize in your head instead.

Ok, here's a trick: Try not doing this and see how much you actually remember from what someone told to you after the conversation :) I know in my case it tends to be shamefully little :)

 
I go to a lot of networking events lately and I notice that if I don't repeat people's names and immediately use them to address that person from then on I tend to forget their names in seconds. Same thing for what they do. I need to summarize it, and then briefly explain to them what they're doing to remember it.
 

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The self, the conscious, and the subsconscious are merely metanarratives.
 

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What exactly do you mean by this?
Please, first note that I am not condescending against psychology. I enjoy it as a mechanism to explore my life and that of the world very much.

However, the notion of the consciousness is only a theory, a postulation. It is a story, a myth. It is a religion in which (taking parallels from Catholicism) the holy trinity is the ego, the superego, and id, god is the self, and its name is the subconsciousness.

It is the very means in which we describe our life and in which we analyze it, but it is not necessarily absolute. Contemplate notions of time whether it be the (Western) belief that time is linear and flows from left to right or from the back to the front or how we utilize a base 12 clock in order to measure time. You could also contemplate why we use base 10 scales to do mathematics. It's a scheme, a mental schema in precise terms, in which we have a created a box that constrains all of our thoughts albeit this box allows our thoughts to be kept, to exist.

Religion, all religions, constitute metanarratives. Science is a metanarrative. Even gravity per physics is a metanarrative.

Metanarratives are not inherently bad. They do not suggest something is false, but it certainly does not suggest there is a truth. It only suggests there are frameworks and filters in which we interpret the world. Existence cannot ever be in a different manner, but it shows that existence is different in every manner.

I only have a sense of self given I say I have a self.

Simply, compare Western and Eastern existential and metaphysical thought. They are fundamentally different because they use different terms and concepts in which everything else is defined.

The metanarrative I am utilizing here is that of language as the base tool for everything else.
 

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And, with this.

I find myself in an existential fractal, never-ending. It is infinite only as much as you construct a box of mirrors in which they all reflect back upon themselves. The "system" cannot be escape, but an end can never be met.
 
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