||[Jan. 30th, 2015|03:37 pm]
Have any of you had to change a behavior of yours in your interactions with other people in conversation? I have become (due to stress and the challenge of telephone conversations and probably a few other things) very impatient and cut people off. I don't get the body language feedback that one might in person, so that makes it hard to change my behavior. Pointers to behavioral change suggestions welcome, much along the lines of how do you remind yourself to think before you talk.
Sigh, also, apparently my vocabulary is challenging.
Is "conflate" really simply replaced by "combine"? I guess so (outside of discourse about logical fallacies).
Oh, yes. I can get very short with people when I'm busy, so I've had to make a conscious effort about that. Thank the Lord for the boss who actually told me that about myself, it was useful feedback.
In preparing a witness for deposition I tell the witness to count "one thousand, two thousand" before beginning to answer. This permits easy attorney objections but mostly permits a relaxed focused answer. I notice this counting device works in other business contexts. Also the brief silent pause gives the paused person a little increased power in the dialogue. Cutting in early can signal dismissal or defensiveness. A strategic micro-pause shows power, poise and grace.
Conflate connotes something different than combine to me. Conflate has an air of misjuxtaposition.
At the biological level, the physiological component of any stimulus passes in about ninety seconds. I know that that seems like a long time and waiting ninety seconds for an answer can seem like an eternity. Our priest pauses for about ninety seconds between the gospel and the homily. The first time i witnessed this i thought: is he ever going to start. But when i am in an emotionally distressing situation i don't take chances and try to give myself the full minute and a half.
I have over the last 20 years, and especially over the last ten, changed my communication style dramatically. I would have to say that i did not have conversations, i gave lectures with occasional opportunities for feedback. An extreme self-centeredness seems to have been at the root of the problem. How did i change? I couldn't really tell you. A lot of it was just trying to be more conscious of my behavior, noticing how much of the talk time i was taking up.
2015-01-31 10:37 am (UTC)
I am amused at how things often seem to go full circle. IIRC, we first got to know each other in part because of a post I wrote about Korzybski's semantic work, especially "The map is not the country." Korzybshi was an early influence on A.E. Van Vogt, whose sci-fi books on Null-A (non-Aristotelian) popularized one of Korzybski's concepts, the cortico-thalamic pause. ( Also written as cortical-thalamic and thalamic/cortical, etc.) The concept is pretty much what gurdonark is talking about - taking a pause so that the cortical functions can control the limbic system, in simplest terms.
I was introduced to all this by a friend back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and I was riding wit hat friend in his new VW van, of which he was extremely proud, when he was sideswiped by an aggressive and careless driver. My friend leapt out of the car, ready (you could just tell) to deck the guy. I yelled "Cortico-thalamic pause!" and I saw him physically stop, re-organize his thoughts, and avoid a violent confrontation. I guess it works.
And so, how many years later - here we are back at Korzybski.
As a person with ADD, I know that my immediate response to anything (yes, anything) is probably going to be off-the-wall, likely to be offensive to some, almost certain to get me in trouble long term - and more interesting than if I take that pause. I suppose these days I am becoming less and less interesting, as I learn to manage a volunteer group and try to be the public face of a non-profit. Really, the necessity of editing my behavior all the time is exhausting and probably why I truly hate what I am doing much of the time. Monitoring oneself comes with a cost in spontaneity and possibly identity. At least, it seems so to me.
In general, "shut up and listen" is useful advice. I am trying to do it more. I find it boring. ;)
I had to, but it turned out to be easy, maybe due to my insecurity. I used to talk too much and jump around too much in conversation, and I was able to realize it was damaging interactions. So I consciously started to hold back.
But again, part of that is the insecurity that the "interesting thing" I might want to add is probably not that interesting to anyone else.
And part of it is also probably my fatigue issues - too damn tired to talk pro-actively, so I get used to reacting (which means listening first).
One thing that did help was consciously choosing to be a listener because I wasn't talking as much - that gave me something to focus on instead of what I would say if I could.