Archive for the trust Category

What are You At War With?

Posted in continued learning, enjoyable living, quest for content, relationships, staying alive, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by dredslack

It doesn’t take more that a casual perusal of the human race to see that being in conflict is a habitual, if not natural, part of the fabric of the human condition. It probably had to be; if we weren’t a race of fighters we wouldn’t have made it through our species’ early peril. In order to not be eaten by predatory animals we had to fight. In order to not be killed off by disease we had to learn about and implement disease prevention, another fight. The weather could take us out with a lengthy tsunami or an ill tempered hurricane so we needed to fight such events by implementing strategies to protect ourselves under those conditions. As we evolved into tribal culture we fought with each other and if we couldn’t defend ourselves we suffered the consequences. I think it’s pretty clear we’re not going to stop being fighters anytime soon, but perhaps we can be conscious of these energies and direct them to productive rather than destructive ends. 

“I don’t have a part of myself that’s like that. I’m not a fighter at all”, is a common reaction to the aforementioned assertion. Indeed some of us are so far from the aggressive side of ourselves that we may not even know it’s there, but in my 25+ years of being a practicing shrink I’ve frequently observed the nicest, most polite and very submissive people turn into a match for Attila the Hun when their children were threatened or during divorce proceedings etc. Virtually all of us have a ‘fighter’ in us.

  This ‘warrior energy’ or whatever you want to call it isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact we may need it now more than ever, albeit with a different perspective and manner. We don’t need to engage in violence to use it, we can fight cruelty, poverty, injustice, unfairness, discrimination, intolerance, ignorance, environmental abuses, etc., etc., in non-violent formats. This is incredibly important right now because as our society moves forward and changes at an increasingly rapid pace the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism in many individuals is awakened and spurred on by fear of what the ensuing change might bring. Resultingly, these folks will fight to keep the familiar, and the injustice, cruelty, discrimination, ignorance, unfairness and the like that go with it. Of course their battles will be dressed up with catchy slogans and misdirecting symbolism and the charge will be led by appealing pundits speaking in catchy sound bytes, but it’s nonetheless a fear based fight against change. Unless those of us who want our world to improve use our talents and ‘fight’ energies and take action to support forward moving beliefs and causes, we may be defeated by those who fight because of fear. 

 We now have the technical know how to destroy the whole planet (at least the surface area) so obviously, on the macro level, we have to back off some from our war-like tendencies or we’re all screwed. Of course each of us have our own personal battles with our families, our waistlines, relationships etc., and sometimes those battles leave us with little or no time for anything else (like severe addiction or sickness). For those of you who aren’t in the folds of such personal crisis my question is: “What are you at war with?” What makes you angry enough to take action because what’s currently happening is intolerable and you’re willing to put some energy in to changing it?

Our swords these days can be taking the time to sign a petition, speaking up a bit more than usual, making aware consumer choices, practicing informed voting, donating some time or money to a favored cause or whatever. If we take the time and spend some energy to fight for what’s important to us, in a manner that works for us, for just a few minutes a day we will be making an important and positive contribution. It certainly sounds corny and I’m sorry if I’ve come off like some sort of pushy cheerleader but a little bit of action from a lot of us can make a huge real difference. Go Team!!

Advertisements

The Subtle Music of Manipulative People

Posted in continued learning, enjoyable living, relationships, staying alive, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by dredslack

 Each of us has a particular style of speaking. Not just our language, accent and word choice but our tones, tone emphasis, cadence and dynamic (volume & intensity) range. If we listen for all these factors when trying to understand another’s statements the communication becomes more than simple text, it becomes a music with rhythms, melodies and time signatures (cadence and speed). 

 People who would manipulate us have a particular type of music in their language that if we discern, we can see as a warning flag and possibly avoid a painful consequence. Most manipulators first work to gain their victims trust so they can exert influence over their decisions and choices. To get their potential victim to feel ‘in sync’ with them (and thus liable to trust) they will not only mimic tastes, values and perspectives but also facets of speech such as cadence or dynamic range, etc. If the manipulator sounds like the person they’re working on, they’re more likely to be trusted by the person unaware. 

 For those of us who are aware, we have the opportunity not only to just observe but to throw out ‘false positives’ and see if they reveal a snaky ‘tell’ by being followed. For example if we exhibit a strong interest in animal welfare and our possibly manipulative person also ‘reveals’ a similar interest, a ‘building trust by matching’ dynamic may be afoot. Similarly, if we use hesitations (pausing for a second or two in the middle of a sentence) or make our main points with a staccato (sharp, almost jarring) style and we notice a bit of those unusual traits cropping up in a possible manipulator’s language, a subtle yet potentially destructive person may be showing themselves. Particularly if the effect is predominate. Snakes like to work quickly and will sometimes ‘ham it up’ in an attempt to speed the trust process. Thankfully that just makes them easier to see. 

 I worked ‘in house’ helping drug addicts overcome their addictions for years, and that afforded me the opportunity to see this effect over and over again. During the early part of their stay many patients would desperately argue that they needed this or that medication for a plethora of rationale (drug seeking behavior). Their perspectives and vocal music would shift to match mine (and the other councilors) at an almost unbelievable pace while they were trying to get what they wanted. The psychopathy temporarily caused by their withdrawal / addiction provided a resplendent example of why it’s important to listen to the music. Whether it’s subtle or screaming, it has a lot to say.

Risk Takers and Manipulators

Posted in relationships, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by dredslack

Risk Takers and Manipulators 

 Do you enjoy life? Do you try to live each day to its fullest? Would you rather take a few risks and get the most out of life or play it safe and not hurt? If you’re a ‘live life to the fullest’ sort of person I applaud you and hope your happiness is great and your troubles few, but be observant, manipulative people keep their eyes open for those who aren’t afraid to take a chance. 

Those of us who live ‘large’ will move pretty quickly in our professions, our relationships and our recreational activities. This tendency to go fast gives Two Legged Snakes (my term for manipulative people) a big advantage because that’s how they like to work; move quickly so their snaky deeds are done before they get discovered. Many a financial deal has become a disaster because too much was risked in a decision that was made too quickly for the snaky scheme to be revealed. 

 Besides finance, romance is the next life area where fast movers get hit hard. Even if your feelings say ‘full steam ahead, nothing bad could happen because this feeling is too good’, don’t move quickly with decisions that can have lasting consequences (like marriage or signing something). Take your time and savor the love you’re lucky to enjoy, if it’s the real, long lasting type it feels like, it’ll still be there next year. It’s a particularly bad sign if you’re getting a lot of encouragement from you lover to move fast or up the pace. Don’t do it, it’s your choice, the more pressure you get the more likely your dealing with a manipulator. 

 Lord knows I certainly don’t want to slow anyone down and I’m not one to encourage a fear based perspective, this is just a word to the wise that at times, fast movement can attract some unwanted and dangerous snaky attention. This is one of the reasons the music and entertainment industries have a lot of snaky people in them. Manipulators populate these industries because they are a prime target population to exploit; fast moving risk takers! Thankfully, if we are aware of this dynamic we can avoid snaky games and pay attention to the risks, and fun, at hand. At times we may slow down a bit, but that’s a lot better than a rag doll, lawn dart, Two Legged Snake disaster!

Watching the Watcher

Posted in relationships, trust, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by dredslack

Watching the Watcher 

 Manipulative people, or Two Legged Snakes (as I like to call them), if they are of the intelligent variety are watching you to see what sort or ‘trust cues’ are important to you in determining who you let your walls down for. 

 For example, if you’re on a date with a potentially manipulative person (TLS) and he observes you smiling approvingly at a father interacting positively with his young child the TLS may make a point of being kind to children as a way to gain your trust. 

 If you’re a ‘look a person in the eyes when you talk to them, firm handshake, straight shooting type’ a bright TLS will pick up on this immediately and will ironically give you this no BS behavior in spades. 

 Taking your time is a great defense against this type of manipulator because the manipulative person’s inconsistency and insincerity will surface fairly quickly to an observant eye. Also, watch out for a change in behavior after your display of a trust cue. Keeping in mind the first example, if your date soon after observing your approving smile found some way to be helpful to a child you’ve most likely uncovered a TLS, simply by watching the watcher.

%d bloggers like this: