The Tools of Change
Chapter 3.1. Not being Affected by the Emotions of Others
I make a deliberate effort in conversations such as these to avoid Traditional Psychology. Even casual usage of the terms involved wherever possible. It is to avoid Perspective skew. Traditional Psychology has a very particular bias, one that causes many problems. It in fact perpetuates the very thing it is attempting to address. Its root premises are fundamentally flawed. At least in terms of the common perspective as it relates to psychology, particularly psychotherapy.
My concern is not with how the various branches of psychology define themselves, it is with the overall common perception. It is inaccurate in many cases, but on the whole not so much. Nonetheless it is the effect of this perception that is the issue, not its validity.
The common idea of psychology and in particular “Going to a psychologist,” or psychiatrist, is seen as an activity where one “Deals with problems.” It is exactly this perspective of focus on the problems where this approach fails. What happens is an immersion into the problems. With this Immersion it becomes the world of the person seeking to change. A hyper-awareness of every tiny little problem and perceived flaw now causes only this to be seen. Not just in the individual themselves, but in others. This is ofc devastating. The world of the individual is now one of problems, flaws and ofc, negativity.
Immersion, and the resultant Attention and Emphasis, cause the brain to change. To literally hard-wire itself to see more of the same, to be more aware of what connects to it, what is similar. Our brains operate the same way as search engines and social media where they send you more of what you pay attention to. And ofc, if all we are focused on are the problems, that’s all we end up seeing.
And, to compound the problem, replacement behaviour is scarce. One might fix the “problem,” but if there is not a replacement behaviour one is left with a void. Left not knowing how to behave. This is largely what causes the problems in the first place. Many people grow up without positive examples or ideas of how to behave other than the usual ways. Ways of behaviour in which negativity is an accepted, and even encouraged part.
It is a sad reality that most people lose out in life, in terms of Options of Being, simply by default. The default options that are absorbed via cultural and conventional norms are not particularly positive. Irritation, annoyance, anger, aggression, complaining, self-pity, self-importance, vanity, etc. etc, and all manner of negativity, are all part and parcel of being “Normal,” And this is simply accepted as such.
Of course there is nothing to stop anyone from saying: “But this accepted and usual Way of Being is no good!!” And from changing.
But change to what? An individual that does this will have to Create their own new Way-of-Being. A considerable challenge. A mightily Worthwhile Challenge. And fantastic from an Awareness Development Perspective. But not all have the time energy and inclination to make the effort required to create an entire New Way-of-Being.
In the usual perception of psychology and in what it involves, a replacement Way-of-Being is not part of the equation. For me, that has always been what Psychology is about. Finding New Ways-of-Being. Positive Ways-of-Being. Ways-of-Being that do not accept negativity of being, or crappiness of being, as a given. As “natural” and “normal.”
Of course, if this is all we are focused on, on the Replacement behaviour, on Positivity, then that is what our brains re-shape towards. And despite what some may believe, we do not lose the capacity to perceive negativity. It simply becomes significantly De-Emphasised. This is the major trick in relating to the world with Unrelenting Positivity, and for maintaining an Overview Perspective that allows for Constant Appropriateness, in all contexts. Unrelenting Positivity allows us to maintain our Equanimity. Unrelenting Positivity allows us to not get sucked into the immersions of negativity which are such a common problem.
Continued in Ch 3.2
By Syl Dinada
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