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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
"23 signs you're secretly an introvert" by Carolyn Gregoire

Starts out well:
Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who's hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the "social butterfly" can just as easily have an introverted personality.
Then ignores all that in favor of a list of traits that introverts supposedly have.

Bold = I have it
Strikethrough = I don't have it

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. Nope. I like small talk. I just have to be in the mood for socializing. Which happens less often than it does for most extroverts, but not never. "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people." I don't think small talk creates a barrier between people. It lets people who don't know each other very well talk about a few things that they might have in common, and gives them the opportunity to discover more things in common.
Read more... )
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via [livejournal.com profile] moominmuppet

http://eminism.org/blog/entry/291
"Reclaiming 'victim': Exploring alternatives to the heteronormative 'victim to survivor' discourse"

The article discusses the rigidity of societal narratives around people who have been subjected to violence. I quote from it below the cut-tag.
cut-tag )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111221140627.htm

Excerpt:
In a new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Arne Roets and Alain Van Hiel of Ghent University in Belgium look at what psychological scientists have learned about prejudice....

People who are prejudiced feel a much stronger need to make quick and firm judgments and decisions in order to reduce ambiguity. "Of course, everyone has to make decisions, but some people really hate uncertainty and therefore quickly rely on the most obvious information, often the first information they come across, to reduce it" Roets says....

It's virtually impossible to change the basic way that people think.
I'm very curious about that last statement. At what point does the "basic way" that a person thinks develop? Is it nature or nurture, and in what proportions? If it's true that some people need to reduce ambiguity more than others, do we know what contributes to that? Is it possible to teach people to tolerate more ambiguity, or to tolerate ambiguity in more situations?

I'm obviously assuming here that tolerating ambiguity would generally be a good skill to have (although I think it might lead to problems in situations where immediate action is required). I really dislike prejudice and the damage it causes, so if training in tolerating ambiguity might help diminish it, I would be in favor.

I think I've learned to tolerate ambiguity a lot better over the years, so my personal experience makes me doubt the assertion that it's impossible to change the way people think. It's possible that being on antidepressants is what made the difference for me, though.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Interesting book review.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/books/review/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman-book-review.html">"Two Brains Running" by Jim Holt (a review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman)

Excerpt (emphasis mine:
What does it mean to be happy? When Kahneman first took up this question, in the mid 1990s, most happiness research relied on asking people how satisfied they were with their life on the whole. But such retrospective assessments depend on memory, which is notoriously unreliable. What if, instead, a person’s actual experience of pleasure or pain could be sampled from moment to moment, and then summed up over time? Kahneman calls this “experienced” well-being, as opposed to the “remembered” well-being that researchers had relied upon. And he found that these two measures of happiness diverge in surprising ways. What makes the “experiencing self” happy is not the same as what makes the “remembering self” happy. In particular, the remembering self does not care about duration—how long a pleasant or unpleasant experience lasts. Rather, it retrospectively rates an experience by the peak level of pain or pleasure in the course of the experience, and by the way the experience ends.
...
Kahneman’s conclusion, radical as it sounds, may not go far enough. There may be no experiencing self at all. Brain-scanning experiments by Rafael Malach and his colleagues at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, for instance, have shown that when subjects are absorbed in an experience, like watching the “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” the parts of the brain associated with self-consciousness are not merely quiet, they’re actually shut down (“inhibited”) by the rest of the brain. The self seems simply to disappear. Then who exactly is enjoying the film? And why should such egoless pleasures enter into the decision calculus of the remembering self?
This intersects in interesting ways with my studies and experiences in Buddhism, especially the notion that the mind constructs the self, and the self isn't some kind of unchanging core. (A metaphor I found useful is that the mind constructs the self the way a hand constructs a fist.)

Also I've known for much of my life that what I want to do in the moment and what I want to have done are different, and I frequently noodle about how to reconcile them or rebalance the amount of energy I spend on each. My behavior tends to mostly toward what I want to do in the moment, and toward habit.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] graymalkin sent me an article about introversion. I think the article is OK and I think that articles debunking myths about introversion are generally a good idea. But there are some ways that this article ends up reinforcing some myths about introversion, and it has some other problems.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201008/revenge-the-introvert

Here is my understanding of introversion: Being drained by spending time in social environments (as opposed to gaining energy thereby). Needing alone-time to recharge.

Here are things commonly associated with introversion that I think are not inherently part of introversion: Shyness. Social phobia. Social awkwardness. Invariably being quiet in groups. Being unable to think on your feet. Disliking to perform.

Following are some quotes from the article and my comments.Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
More noodlings inspired by http://jorm.livejournal.com/94477.html

It's true that social interactions can be smoothed if people follow the same rules.

It's also true that social interactions can be smoothed if people assume good will on the part of other people they're interacting with, rather than making up other kinds of stories about them, such as that they are trying to be insulting or superior.

(What I mean by making up stories: I think that sometimes people make assumptions about what other people intend, and sometimes the assumptions aren't entirely accurate, for one reason or another. Sometimes there's not enough information available because one doesn't know the person well enough or doesn't know everything about the specific situation that person is in at the moment. In those cases I think one has a choice about what assumptions one makes, and the choices can affect one's mood and behavior.)

For example, a person can assume that someone means well but came from another culture where the politeness rules differ. A person can educate themself about other cultures' politeness rules and then use that knowledge to refine the stories that they make up about other people's behavior.

I think it's usually easier for a person to change the stories they make up about other people than to change other people's behavior. So if a person is getting upset partly because they are making assumptions that someone else is being rude or arrogant or self-important, changing the story they're making up might help them feel less upset.

In other cases, the behavior might bother them even if they know there are possibly good-will or legitimate reasons for it. Changing the stories might not help with that.

And sometimes the evidence becomes overwhelming that a person does intend to be insulting or does feel superior, in which case assuming good will might be counterproductive.

More examples (the numbers are based on the numbers in jorm's original post):

1) When a person doesn't say "Thank you" to a compliment, they might come from a culture with different rules about compliments or might be uncomfortable about what they were complimented on. It might not be because they are feigning humility.

5) If a person corrects another person, they might come from a culture where correcting a person is a sign of respect for that person. Maybe they are not trying to show the person up up as stupid.

8) If a person shares their medical diagnosis, this might be an act of trust on their part, rather than an attempt to excuse themselves from following the rules. It might be part of an apology. Some people, when they apologize, start by explaining what led to their actions, and don't mean by the explanation that they should therefore be let off the hook for bad behavior.

9) If someone makes plans and doesn't show up, there might have been an emergency that prevented them from showing up. If someone is late, they might not be very good at estimating how much time it takes them to get somewhere.

15) If someone is sitting in the corner, maybe it's because they are disabled and that's where the host put a chair for them. Maybe it's because they are temporarily taking a break from the conversation. It's not necessarily because they think they're too important to make a social move.

18) If someone uses a calculator to figure the tip, maybe they find arithmetic difficult, or maybe they are from a culture that doesn't include tipping so they aren't used to it. It doesn't necessarily mean they are cheap.

20) If someone replies tersely to an electronic communication, they might be trying to show respect for another person's time (assuming that the person gets lots of e-mail and trying to minimize the amount of effort required to process the e-mail). They aren't necessarily being hostile.

enneagram

20 Feb 2006 12:51 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Yes, this is what I usually come out as in Enneagram tests. I added bold comments where I didn't agree with the results.Read more... )

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