Thursday, May 26, 2016

Our Assumptions Fuck Us... (not in a good way)

We interpret actions of others based on our assumptions. 

Someone laughs... 
                  Oh God! They're laughing at me... cause I suck!
 Why not: They heard something funny. I wonder what the joke was...

Based on our life experiences we have learned to expect certain things under a particular circumstances... many times even when it doesn't make sense to do so. 

Someone doesn't say hi to you...
                    They're ignoring me!
                    They're mad at me!                    
Why not: They didn't see me. Their mind was somewhere else.

Especially if we have bad experiences we are going to see the negative possibilities before anything else. The world has trained us to do so to minimize the damage. 

I just read an article: Challenging Negative Self-Talk by Ben Martin, Psy.D.
 ((  The idea is if we challenge our negative dialogue we'd lessen the impact of our assumptions.

How to do this? Ask challenging questions. (I nabbed these four types of question from the article. See link above)

"There are four main types of challenging questions to ask yourself:

1. Reality testing
  • What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
  • Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
  • Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
  • How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?
2. Look for alternative explanations
  • Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
  • What else could this mean?
  • If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?
3. Putting it in perspective
  • Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
  • What is the best thing that could happen?
  • What is most likely to happen?
  • Is there anything good about this situation?
  • Will this matter in five years time? 
4. Using goal-directed thinking
  • Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?
  • What can I do that will help me solve the problem?
  • Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?" (Challenging Negative Self-Talk by Ben Martin, Psy.D.)

When my characters first come to me I think about what assumptions they are living their lives by... In With Wings Darius thinks he's straight... so doesn't quite understand his feelings toward lead singer Angel Luv. Dare's low self-esteem makes him question what could the sexy rocker possibility see in him so how could he keep him...? Angel has assumptions of his own (how could he ever satisfy someone who is bisexual and mostly attracted to women >>>> he's a product of a society with some truly misleading views on bisexuality) These assumptions were what lead With Wings to be a happy for now ending... They need to work challenge and hopefully change these assumptions. (Psst, they do I promise). 

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Whenever possible:
I try not to jump to the worst possible conclusion.
I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I try not to assume someone knows my trigger issues.
I try not to assume they know what's going to push my buttons and are doing it to hurt me.

Assumptions... let's not. 

Hugs, Z. 

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