Continued from Ch 3.1:
The Tools of Change Chapter 3.1
V: – Things better with W. Stopped bickering. But I’m aware of how difficult it is to be grateful or positive around him. When he complains so much.
Syl: – Yes. Negativity is a contagious disease.
V: – It’s the “I’m superior” complaining. Everything/everyone is inadequate. And I also do it when I’m around him. Even when I’m not.
Syl: – Yes. Life is learning. We start from zero and it goes up from there. Somehow people come to believe that when they become adults this process stops. It doesn’t.
V: – Indeed.
Not sure how to fight off W’s negativity. When I follow his complaint with a positive observation, it sounds forced/awkward.
Syl: – Practice.
Yes, it does at first. The trick is to be able to see the Positivity, which usually means zooming out our Perspective. Positivity is not necessarily cheerfulness. Sobriety is extremely Positive.
Also, much of Mood Management is Attention Management. And much like your pets, sometimes what’s simply needed is a diversion in order to refocus and shift the Attention to something else. 🙂
V: – He’s so touchy, he probably takes it as implied criticism
Syl: – “Unrelenting Positivity is a Worthy Challenge indeed!!!”
Yes. This is a major problem for people that suffer from low self-esteem and who also have a Comparative Mindset.
They get stuck in a trap.
V: – Yes.
Syl: – They want help and improvement, but whomever they get it from automatically, in their eyes, gets moved to “higher” or “better-than” themselves. Now they are “inferior” again and thus either cannot use the help or refuse to or feel crap. It is a ridiculous mindset.
V: – Oh dear.
How do I break through?
Syl: – The only solution is to use Repetition when it comes to Difference. How things can be different and neither better or worse, just different.
V: – Hmmm?
Syl: – Anything. Like colors for instance, as an example. Fruit, trees, flowers. people’s lives, it doesn’t matter, Difference is the thing. To think better than/less than is ridiculous.
The main point is that people are where they are and they are different. Better or worse are irrelevant because it is all about Effort vs Reward.
Perhaps you could ask him, earnestly, if he sees the effort involved in certain things that society says would make him “better” as worth the time&effort investment. Such as say, playing a musical instrument or learning another language and so on.
V: – He doesn’t do activities like that.
Syl: – Thus where we are is Always a function of how much time&effort we are willing to invest for the reward. The Effort-Reward trade-off is always a Circle.
Yes, that’s my point. To him, it’s not worth the effort, and no-one can say it is.
V: – But he used to play bass guitar, in a band. Long ago.
Syl: – That’s the Value of the Effort-Reward Circle as a Concept for illustrating the Equality of Difference.
V: – Sorry, I don’t see it yet.
Syl: – The activity is irrelevant. It’s about showing how where we are in life is about a Choice we make. And there is no better or worse to those choices. They come from personal predilection. It is a mystery how that works.
V: – Ok
Syl: – Let me make it personal to you. Why are you the person you are? What has stopped you from changing and learning new things? What has stopped you from making yourself into a “better” person? Time and Effort. It hasn’t been worth the Reward to you to make the Effort required to be different than who you are now. And that is of course fine. It is an individual choice as to what’s worth the Effort. No-one can say how much Effort is worth the Reward for another. Effort vs reward is a trade-off, that’s why it’s the Effort-Reward-Circle. It’s all equal. Wherever we choose to be is not better than or worse than anywhere else. Where we are on that Circle depends on what is worth it to US.
To be continued in Chapter 3.3
By Syl Dinada
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