My Responsibility, My Perception !
I have originally wrote sort of a thought process about this in a number of posts, but I’m going to try to describe it more succinctly now
It doesn’t seem that this distortion technique is a technique of itself, but more like a distortion mentality.
It seems to have one really pertinent characteristic…
The person doing it seems to want to press a point for emotional reasons… Like say someone discovers that a lot of what held them back was their own self-victimizing nature. So they go around with their head bowed down, looking for sympathy. Eventually, they find themselves alone in the dark after a number of years, and their mind snaps, for they realize that there really isn’t any benefit to them feeling sorry for themselves. So they try to be more active in their lives and immediately grow very apprehensive towards people feeling sorry for them.
Now, if this person enters a discussion where someone is complaining about something in their lives and wants information and/or compassion for their problem, this person is likely to come from the angle of “buck up, for the only person who can solve your problem is yourself”.
Now, despite any argument the person can present, suggesting that his need for compassion is genuine, that his search for answers is real, the other person is likely to still keep responding with “the first thing you have to do is stop feeling sorry for yourself”, making the assumption now, due to their own epiphany, that no matter what, if someone is out there seeking compassion, they are feeling sorry for themselves.
Because they have such an aversion towards the idea of feeling sorry for oneself, they now exclude even healthy and real acknowledgments of one’s own victimization as positive forms of behavior.
Perhaps it is aversion that is the correct word – they have an aversion to a certain concept due to personal and emotional reasons, and therefore continuously describe and perceive any and all communications made to exclude this concept.
This is actually a very good way of putting it.
If, for example, someone does not want to face the fact that drinking may be an acceptable form of behavior in certain situations because both their parents got killed by a drunken driver, they will be overly opposed to any form of drinking, and will miss-perceive any and all suggestions about drinking from the standpoint that “it ‘could’ lead to violence, drinking driving, or other damaging behavior and is therefore wrong”.
The fallacy in this mentality is the incorrect assessment of probability – they are saying it is likely, and therefore, not worth the risk, because they are still so heavily wounded by the repercussion of such an unlikely risk coming true.
When we suffer any sort of emotional abuse which leads to pain, an inability to cope with it when it happens, which defines it as abuse, makes the pain buried. In trying to cope with this buried pain, people behave in certain ways, the severity of which is proportional to the abuse.
When and if they recognize they are behaving in a way to hide from the pain and reveal this behavior, instead of actually facing the pain, they touch it briefly as they then rebel against the original behavior in such a severe manner that they now are utilizing its polar opposite as another coping mechanism to distract oneself from the buried pain.
So, using the example above, if one were to realize that they have a strong aversion to drinking, and then realize that they are making everyone around them really insecure because of it, and therefore lose all their friends, they may suddenly realize that it is because they are unwilling to face their pain that they are so opposed to drinking.
So, they suffer a small bout of the pain, but then revert in the opposite direction, being highly critical of people who appear overly critical of drinking.
Let’s put it this way (using probability):
There is only a small chance that a certain event will occur.
It happens, causing trauma and pain to a person.
This person then, in repressing the pain or even in coping with it (as sometimes it takes a long time), they are perpetually fearful of that event happening again, even though from a probability standpoint it is very unlikely.
In fearing that it will happen again, unreasonably, they close themselves off to certain opportunities in their life, and as a result suffer. If this suffering becomes too great, they realize that they are closing themselves off due to the pain they have suffered, and not genuine probability.
At this point, they switch, and now, instead of amplifying the probability that it will happen, they subdue it. So now, instead of it being unlikely, it becomes almost impossible. They do this to avoid falling back into the situation where they are closing themselves off to the opportunities brought about by not being fearful.
At first, this seems like it doesn’t appear to be a realistic analysis… How likely is it that people are going to become pro-drinking if they are anti-drinking because of lost opportunity?
Well, the drinking example isn’t one where it will happen very often, because the repercussions of cutting one off from alcohol aren’t so severe.
What if, however, someone is afraid of relationships because they were emotionally abused?
The pain one would suffer as a result of long term dis-trust (for the fear of being abused, despite it being possibly unlikely), could be so severe that after they realize they are suffering immensely due to it, they will revert to a state of heavy socializing and severely denounce people who criticize the emotional hazards of being overly dependent on relationships for happiness or pleasure.
This example, unlike the alcohol one, seems very, very possible, because most of us have probably witnessed such a transition at some point in our lives.
So, how do these people view the original habit?
In the relationships example, they originally thought:
Relationships = bad, because it caused me a great deal of pain.
Then they change to:
Dis-trust = bad, because it has caused me a great deal of pain, which was of itself, a continuation of the pain I have suffered due to the emotional abuse.
A Relationship = a viable solution to dealing with the pain of the emotional abuses I suffered, because “not trusting” continued that pain.
Eventually, after engaging in lots and lots of relationships:
Relationship = pain… but so does Dis-trusting. I am unsure as to how to deal with the pain.
And when this occurs, generally, the pain is more accessible, finally.
The lesson here is that instead of jumping from one extreme to another, one must try to remain neutral in their actions and thoughts, despite massive apprehensions towards certain thoughts.
In the above example, the first level of control is “obviously, all relationships are not bad, and I therefore must force myself to engage within it that I am able to deduce is unlikely to result in abuse”.
In doing so, the person will face the ultimate challenge that is pain:
Did that pain occur to me because I am inherently damaged, or did it occur to me because it was a unique situation?
Because people are SO petrified of the answer being the former, which it never, ever is, they avoid the question altogether, and try to make vast generalizations they can live by simply to protect themselves from the possibility of feeling like they are inherently damaged (a feeling which will definitely happen to them when they deal with the pain).
So to come back to the original topic, how does all of the above relate to people entering discussions and avoiding certain statements, misrepresenting others, and in essence, seemingly not “hearing” other people’s clear and blatant words?
It is that they are holding onto an illogical probability, and do not want to let go of it, for if they do, they will be forced to cope with the feeling that the abuses they suffered were their fault.
And they are unwilling, or unable, to accept the twisting or correcting of this probability… Not even conceptually.
~A spoken word is a moment. A written word is eternal~