Psychological and philosophical point of view, brought to you in plain language…
Psychological and philosophical point of view, brought to you in plain language…
When I discovered the Personality Café, I discovered I wasn’t alone.
I’m not one for joining online communities, but I joined Personality Café because I was so surprised and excited to find other ISTJ’s on there; people like me. I don’t know many people like me in my own network; I might share some characteristics with others, and it’s a bit of a thrill, but here online, I found people who were like the same person as me. I couldn’t believe I’d found people who actually liked and didn’t like the same things as me. I found people who reasoned and behaved the same way I did. It was amazing.
When I found out my personality type, I didn’t feel so weird, but when I found these ISTJ’s online, I felt even less weird.
I knew I’d found my kin when I read the first reply to a post about things you would rant about: “Loud people. Loud music. Loud cars with unnecessary modifications to the exhaust system.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I know exactly what you mean. When I added to the conversation by posting that I didn’t like microphones, vacuum cleaners or power tools, my fellow ISTJ’s were very enthusiastic in their agreement. Wow. I felt understood.
There were people who turned their mobiles off like me because we don’t like phones. There were people who made lists, turned up early, thought too much, planned everything, loved tradition and facts – like me. We are no fuss types, just get on with it people who forget to eat, sleep and socialize when we have something to do. We love rules, details and painstaking, meticulous work. We love working hard. We are the duty fulfillers!
Before, if I told you my personality type, I would have said it half apologetically, but with these fellow ISTJ’s, I was proud to be one of them, and they were glad to have me. I’d write posts, and they’d reply saying that when they read them, they thought they were reading about themselves.
I spent a lot of my time in the ISTJ forum because I felt at home there, and even now when I feel like I’m the only ISTJ in the world, I can go back to that forum and remember there are others like me and we’re all okay; we don’t have to change into a different personality type to fit in.
Not only do I appreciate the ISTJ community, I appreciate the shared interest in wanting to know how people work. We want to understand the way people think and behave and like to think about the differences and similarities between people. They don’t just focus on MBTI but other personality tests, and they are interested in other topics such as philosophy, science and religion. It’s always great to find people who have the same interests as you, and it’s a good resource to learn more about personality.
When you are 16 there is no fear whatsoever. As you get older you play in more important games and that is when you start thinking about what will happen if you win or lose. ~Wayne Rooney
Current educational systems within society work to divorce the child from his or her natural will, whether that is curiosity or wonder or innocence. An educational system structured on nurturing and nourishing these aspects of humanity work to reunite humans with their connection to nature, animals and their mammal-ness. To become again a human being, rather than a “cog in the wheel” or “gear in the machine” felt by many in current society, and what was beget by the likes of John B. Watson, Frederick Taylor, Ayn Rand and Edward Bernays.
The educational system does not seem to be interested in providing paths inviting introspection or comprehension of theory of mind or even learning as a means to understanding. Education seems to have only a vested interest in preservation of funding, rote and memorization, grade fulfillment, bicameral thinking (linear grade promotion, success or failure, pass or fail, etc), homogeneous conditioning, etc. Frankly, this does not work and merely churns out workers, rather than evolving society/humanity as a whole. I mean, with current access of technology, shouldn’t this system be a lot farther along; instead, today’s educational system, for the most part, works against technology, rather than with it (however, this is slowly changing).
The educational system is but one part of the systematic deconstruction of human will, therefore, it becomes naturally normal humans will treat one another with impunity come what may and never change because such level of rudeness and offense is now hardwired into the human brain (socialization). Can this be changed? Even if an educational system built upon nourishing and nurturing, self-efficacy rather than self-esteem, ultimately, the change lies in the receiver of the tool (in the student), but that the instruments exist in the first place, that they are available to be utilized freely is an element of that change. In this way, the means to evolve can pass into legacy, can pass into the collective consciousness, if you will, available to any found wanting. Today’s child, even if he or she takes but a little from such teaching, may trigger a subtle reverberation within that causes him or her to behave differently in an otherwise routine circumstance. In this way, the “gene” can be inherited, and then improved in the next generation.
Today’s systemic educational system supports and reinforces human suffering (for the supposed greater good, and that greater good is really the continued protection of what has become an extremely insecure society). You see, it is a form of game theory. We are playing not for profit, or even to win, but not to lose. Not to lose is a third option, that is to say, not an opposite of winning. But a third option, along with winning and losing. To play not to lose, is to risk the possibility of winning and to avoid any chance at all of losing. Applied to society, we have become comfortable in not losing anything, which seems like a better alternative. This is an illusion. To play not to lose would beget suffering, as one becomes so intent on making sure the status quo remains intact that any opportunity to change one’s station in life (however that may be) is discarded due to fear that one may lose everything one has “worked so hard,” up until now, to possess (which of course would be measured in the value placed in things, or the value placed in being allowed privilege of access to things, i.e., money. That is money as social institution, rather than a utility). This can make us bitter, and leads to suffering, fighting, and acts of violence, etc. How to stop this kind of behavior? How to end human suffering? At least, breed it out? Realization, or a precursor, the means to embark upon a journey to realization. Social systems (the forefront, to be honest, for human conditioning—conditioning not in the indoctrination sense, but in the sense of humanity, the natural state of human being-ness) would have to reflect that kind of philosophy.
[NOTE: This post originally appeared on NIKOtheOrb as “Education In An Insecure Society”]
“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill
What I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.
Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy or 9/11, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.
Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.
I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.
But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.
*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.
Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.
People (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.
Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.
To get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.
Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”
Did you see the contradiction?
Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?
Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.
What happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.
This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .
“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’
I’m an advocate of the personality test because understanding yourself and others are always a good thing. Knowing your personality can be helpful for many reasons including:
I’m not about personality being a box people are put in and being something that is restricting. Personality is dynamic and the personality test is simply a tool to know yourself better. It allows you to know what you’ve got so you can work with it.
Knowing about personality also helps you to understand, appreciate and get along with people of different personality types. The first step is being aware that differences exist and the second step is understanding those differences. Conflict can be avoided by understanding how other people see things since we all think differently and value different things.
Get to know and love your personality but remember you are more than your personality, and personality tests will only reveal a part of your personality. Different tests may show you different things about yourself but there will be unique things about you that don’t match the personality profiles. No personality test will be able to describe or explain you completely but their worth comes from the amount they do explain.
Here’s a selection for you to try:
I know not everyone is a fan of personality test but they’ve been very valuable in my life. What do you think of the personality test and which ones do think are most accurate?
Stay tuned for a post about MBTI – the best personality test I’ve found that has helped me so much.
Lifting old thoughts from dusty ruts. Polishing them carefully before putting them on a display again. This times with matching, beautiful colors to make them shine along with their value.
Most of the time, we use only one end or the other of a contrast at a time. These ends are called characteristics or, especially in reference to the characteristics of people, traits. But the other end is always there, lurking in the background. You can’t have one without the other — good without bad, up without down, fat without thin…
Please note that these contrast need not be verbal: My cat knows the difference between the expensive cat food and the cheap stuff, yet can’t tell you about it; an infant contrasts between mommy and non-mommy; wild animals contrast safe areas and dangerous ones, etc. Even adult humans sometimes “just know” without being about to say — unconscious contrasts, if you like: what is it about that person that you like or dislike?
Contrasts don’t just float around independently, either. We interrelate and organize them. For example, we can define a category: “Women are adult female human beings.” Or we can go a step further and organize things into taxonomies, those tree-like structures we come across in biology: A Siamese is a kind of cat, which is a kind of carnivore, which is a kind of mammal, which is a kind of vertebrate….
Or we can put contrasts into more temporal structures, like rules. These are often called schemas or scripts. You can find explicit examples in books about card games, etiquette, or grammar; but you know quite a few rule systems yourself, even if they have become so automatic as to be unconscious!
Not all organization of contrasts are so tightly structured. We can describe something: “Women are delicate.” As the example is intended to suggest, descriptions, as opposed to definitions, need not be true! Beliefs are similar to, but looser than, taxonomies. Whereas birds definitely (i.e. by definition) are vertebrates and have feathers, it is only my belief that they all fly — I could be wrong! Stereotypes are examples of beliefs; so are opinions. But some beliefs are so strongly held that we see them as definite.
There are also narratives — the stories we have in our minds. These are temporal, like rules, but are amazingly flexible. They can be a matter of remembered personal experiences, or memorized history lessons, or pure fiction. I have a suspicion that these contribute greatly to our sense of identity, and that animals don’t have them to the degree we do.
More basic social psychology on: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2gDvDC/webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/socpsy.html/
Many can say: You Worry too much, just relax” which might frustrate the worrier: “If it only was that easy” or “The thoughts are uncontrollable”. Some might even find it useful to worry, because one feels more prepared if something unexpected happens. More information about those who worry so much that they satisfy the diagnostic criterias for GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
What is REBT?
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy and a philosophy of living created by Albert Ellis in the 1950’s.
REBT (pronounced R.E.B.T. — it is not pronounced rebbit) is based on the premise that whenever we become upset, it is not the events taking place in our lives that upset us; it is the beliefs that we hold that cause us to become depressed, anxious, enraged, etc. The idea that our beliefs upset us was first articulated by Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: “Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them.”
The Goal of Happiness
According to Albert Ellis and to REBT, the vast majority of us want to be happy. We want to be happy whether we are alone or with others; we want to get along with others—especially with one or two close friends; we want to be well informed and educated; we want a good job with good pay; and we want to enjoy our leisure time.
Of course life doesn’t always allow us to have what we want; our goal of being happy is often thwarted by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” When our goals are blocked, we can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful, or we can react in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful.
The ABC Model
Albert Ellis and REBT posit that our reaction to having our goals blocked (or even the possibility of having them blocked) is determined by our beliefs. To illustrate this, Dr. Ellis developed a simple ABC format to teach people how their beliefs cause their emotional and behavioral responses:
A. Something happens.
B. You have a belief about the situation.
C. You have an emotional reaction to the belief.
A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, “She has no right to accuse me. She’s a bitch!”
C. You feel angry.
If you had held a different belief, your emotional response would have been different:
A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, “I must not lose my job. That would be unbearable.”
C. You feel anxious.
The ABC model shows that A does not cause C. It is B that causes C. In the first example, it is not your employer’s false accusation and threat that make you angry; it is your belief that she has no right to accuse you, and that she is a bitch. In the second example, it is not her accusation and threat that make you anxious; it is the belief that you must not lose your job, and that losing your job would be unbearable.
The Three Basic Musts
Although we all express ourselves differently, according to Albert Ellis and REBT, the beliefs that upset us are all variations of three common irrational beliefs. Each of the three common irrational beliefs contains a demand, either about ourselves, other people, or the world in general. These beliefs are known as “The Three Basic Musts.”
1. I must do well and win the approval of others for my performances or else I am no good.
2. Other people must treat me considerately, fairly and kindly, and in exactly the way I want them to treat me. If they don’t, they are no good and they deserve to be condemned and punished.
3. I must get what I want, when I want it; and I must not get what I don’t want. It’s terrible if I don’t get what I want, and I can’t stand it.
The first belief often leads to anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt. The second belief often leads to rage, passive-aggression and acts of violence. The third belief often leads to self-pity and procrastination. It is the demanding nature of the beliefs that causes the problem. Less demanding, more flexible beliefs lead to healthy emotions and helpful behaviors
The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. Changing beliefs is the real work of therapy and is achieved by the therapist disputing the client’s irrational beliefs. For example, the therapist might ask, “Why must you win everyone’s approval?” “Where is it written that other people must treat you fairly?” “Just because you want something, why must you have it?” Disputing is the D of the ABC model. When the client tries to answer the therapist’s questions, s/he sees that there is no reason why s/he absolutely must have approval, fair treatment, or anything else that s/he wants.
Albert Ellis and REBT contend that although we all think irrationally from time to time, we can work at eliminating the tendency. It’s unlikely that we can ever entirely eliminate the tendency to think irrationally, but we can reduce the frequency, the duration, and the intensity of our irrational beliefs by developing three insights:
We don’t merely get upset but mainly upset ourselves by holding inflexible beliefs.
No matter when and how we start upsetting ourselves, we continue to feel upset because we cling to our irrational beliefs.
The only way to get better is to work hard at changing our beliefs. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unfortunate and unpleasant. REBT therapists strive to help their clients develop three types of acceptance: (1) unconditional self-acceptance; (2) unconditional other-acceptance; and (3) unconditional life-acceptance. Each of these types of acceptance is based on three core beliefs:
I am a fallible human being; I have my good points and my bad points.
There is no reason why I must not have flaws.
Despite my good points and my bad points, I am no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.
Other people will treat me unfairly from time to time.
There is no reason why they must treat me fairly.
The people who treat me unfairly are no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.
Life doesn’t always work out the way that I’d like it to.
There is no reason why life must go the way I want it to
Life is not necessarily pleasant but it is never awful and it is nearly always bearable.
Clinical experience and a growing supply of experimental evidence show that REBT is effective and efficient at reducing emotional pain. When Albert Ellis created REBT in the 1950’s he met with much resistance from others in the mental health field. Today it is one of the most widely-practiced therapies throughout the world. In the early days of REBT, even Dr. Ellis did not clearly see that consistent use of its philosophical system would have such a profound effect on the field of psychotherapy or on the lives of the millions of people who have benefited from it.
This introduction to REBT is based on Shameless Happiness, a concise booklet that outlines the basics of REBT.
About The Author:
Will Ross — is the webmaster and co-founder of REBTnetwork.org; he tutors REBT self-helpers and is the author and publisher of online REBT self-help materials.
Posted: 08/01/2013 8:23 am EDT
By: By Deborah Enos, CN, LiveScience Columnist
Published: 07/28/2013 09:55 AM EDT on LiveScience
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the U.S. seems to have become a nation obsessed with pills. If something doesn’t work right, no worries, there’s a pill for that.
So when we have trouble sleeping, naturally, we go see the doctor for a prescription. Who cares that we might try to sleepwalk our way behind the wheel of a car? At least we’re sleeping, right? Wrong!
If you ask me, prescriptions, especially those with severe and dangerous side effects, should always be a last resort.
There could be many reasons for not sleeping well, and stress often plays a role, but quite a few studies have shown that getting the right nutrients can help you get a good night’s rest. Why not try eating right, before popping an Ambien?
Here’s a look at three common sleep problems that have been linked to vitamin or mineral deficiencies:
Trouble getting to sleep: Magnesium plays a key role in the bodily function that regulates sleep. Insomnia is one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and in fact, a 2006 analysis in the journal Medical Hypothesis suggests that such a deficiency may even be the cause of most major depression and mental health problems.
Bottom line: magnesium is an extremely important mineral. You’ll find it in dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and Brazil nuts, beans and lentils and some types of fish.
Trouble staying asleep: Potassium supplements may be helpful to those who have trouble sleeping through the night, according to a 1991 study in the journal Sleep. Of course, although potassium is available in pill form, I prefer to get most of my nutrients directly from their sources by eating a healthy diet.
When most people think about potassium, they think bananas. Bananas do contain a fair amount of this mineral (about 10% of the daily value), but they aren’t the best source. Beans, leafy greens and baked potatoes are the best sources. Avocados are a great source too — good news for the guacamole lovers!
Tired during the day: There is a strong correlation between excessive daytime sleepiness and vitamin D deficiency, a 2012 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found. The sun’s rays are the best source for this vitamin, but not everyone can get the necessary sun exposure due to climate or skin cancer concerns.
There are a few food sources of vitamin D, such as swordfish, salmon, tuna and fortified foods, but this is one case where I would suggest supplementation. It’s not likely that you would get enough of the sunshine vitamin from food alone.
Healthy Bites appears on LiveScience on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!
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