gaudior: (Default)
[personal profile] gaudior
So, a thing I've been working on lately is switching my thinking from "some people are better than others due to inherent things about them" (e.g. intelligence, race, gender, education, attractiveness, etc) to "people take good and bad actions." It is remarkably difficult, despite the fact that I've WANTED to think this way my entire life, and often believed I basically was. But so much of our culture is based on ranking-- "I don't have to feel bad about myself, because at least I'm better than THAT person." It's hard to notice all the times I do it, and hard to break out of when I do.

Anyone have thoughts about how to shift mindsets?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-10 07:39 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
I was just saying to another friend that our society these days encourages and rewards not just having an opinion, but judging. It's hard to back away from, just like it's hard to back away from the giant metaphors of transaction that are all around us, that everything is about an exchange (which also ends up tying in to worth, because people ask and wonder whether an exchange is equal).

I try to start with an assumption that people mean well, at least in some narrow frame of action. I don't know; it's a big question!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-11 02:03 am (UTC)
sovay: (I Claudius)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Anyone have thoughts about how to shift mindsets?

What is your definition of "better"? Do you mean "better at/better adapted to" or are you talking about some kind of moral judgment—more deserving, more worthy, more interesting, more likely to be right?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-12 06:02 pm (UTC)
sovay: (I Claudius)
From: [personal profile] sovay
It's gross, and I am annoyed at our culture for putting it in my head.

*hugs*

How do you usually notice you've been listening to the culture? Can you realize it at the time or are you picking it up after the fact?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-11 07:23 am (UTC)
rosefox: A man's head with a panel open to show gears, and another man looking inside. (examined head)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
There's a thing called habit reversal training that I'm giving a talk on at Readercon because it's how I quit biting my nails after 38 years. It basically goes like this:

1) Practice noticing when you're doing the thing. This is what you're doing now! I found that meditation (specifically using the Headspace website and app) really helped build up my noticing muscles, because it gave me practice observing my thoughts and feelings without judging them or trying to do anything with them, and that was pretty easy to transfer to physical habits. It may be useful to tally how often you do the thing, maybe just by making a tick mark on an index card or something. No judging, no changing. Just observing.

2) Crunch the data and see whether there are times when you do the thing more. You may find that you're more judgmental when you're tired or hungry, for example. You really need to go by the data you gather and not just make assumptions, though. Lots of people told me "Of course you bite your nails, you have chronic anxiety!" but that turned out to be totally irrelevant; I bit my nails more when there were rough corners or edges that caught my attention. When I was using this technique to fix a bad writing habit (revising while drafting) I found that it reliably kicked in around 1000–1500 words into the day's writing session. Use this information to a) see if you can change things in your life to reduce cues for the unwanted habit and b) know when you need to be more on the lookout for the unwanted habit.

3) Pick a thing you want to do instead of the thing you're doing. In the case of physical habits, it often helps to make it a different physical habit, like fiddling with a spinny ring or patting your leg. In the case of an intellectual habit, I suggest you pick an unrelated thing to do like multiplying 5 and 72 in your head, or mentally reciting the first line of a poem. You could also use a physical habit as your displacement activity. The displacement activity should be easy and not unpleasant—none of this nonsense about putting a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it to punish yourself for wrongthink.

4) Practice. For the rest of your life.

(It does get easier over time.)

Developing the new mindset sounds like a separate challenge. I think it's probably best not to yoke the two. Changing a habit is hard enough without making it dependent on acquiring a new habit. However, if you do want to do them together, some of these worksheets (specifically the ones under "Cognitive Restructuring") may be useful, especially if there's an emotional basis for the intellectual habit. Try the seven-column thought record; if that's daunting or you're not sure how to go about it, the three-column version is simpler.
Edited Date: 2017-06-11 07:29 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-12 05:08 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (good time)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Maybe, "Oh, I'm feeling a bout of judginess coming on. I know! Time to listen to some reggaeton!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-13 03:48 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
Hey, if it works, it works!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-18 09:24 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*wanders over via network*

Yes but I don't want to share out of the blue since I don't think we've met. That said, I'd be happy to talk in comments (about this or something else) and I'd be interested to subscribe to your journal if you don't mind people turning up.
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