It’s been over a year and a half since I last blogged.
I’ve been depressed…I’ve been busy. But most of all, I’ve been a bit lazy.
And don’t forget, a little paranoid, too. The NSA’s data collection machine still keeps churning these minor blogs and websites in order to analyze us, and add more details to the massive files that Big Brother Sam–erm, UNCLE Sam has on all of us.
I don’t use Twitter anymore. I don’t touch my Facebook if I don’t absolutely have to.
But…maybe here, I’ll drop a few tidbits of my self in order for the government Spy-ders (get it?) to pick up, and add to my ongoing file of anti-government, delusional, and conspiracy-theorist ramblings.
For example, recently, I had a conversation with a counselor about some deep-seeded Irrational Beliefs. And she gave me some papers to peruse. Here are a few interesting examples, taken from a book by Albert Ellis. Ten irrational beliefs:
1. It is a dire necessity for an adult to be loved or approved by almost everyone for virtually everything he or she does.
I mostly disagree with this one. However, I do believe that is a necessity to be loved…at least by someone, somewhere, some times. We need love in our Human experience, just as desperately as we need food to eat and water to drink. And the consequence of starvation of love is even more devastating than the consequence of dying of thirst or hunger. This fact can be seen in every broken home, every orphanage, and in every murder trial in the American courts to this day. When we are unloved, we don’t just die–and we do die, just a little inside–but we often take the lives or happiness of others with us when we break down. Lack of love can be truly devastating.
2. One should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects.
No. Each of us have our gifts, and each of us have our own areas in which our strengths may shine. It would be wrong for a person strive to excel in an area for which his abilities are unsuited. Each person should strive to find the things that they are good at, where their talents and gifts make it easy to be competent, and thus they may achieve excellence and success. Not everyone can be a master in the arts, or an Olympic athlete, or an astronaut. But EVERYONE CAN EXCEL IN GLORY–in the field in which they are gifted. And every one of has Gifts.
3. Certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous, and they should be severely blamed and punished for their sins.
Now here’s a controversy. The real truth is that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US ON EARTH at one time or another are bad. And each one will be judged! “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God….” That just doesn’t leave anyone out, here! But, fortunately, we don’t have to be punished after our judgement…if we accept the Salvation of the Blood of Jesus Christ. I wish more people could understand the nature of sin, and the drives hardwired within each and every one of us that push us to rebel, reject authority, and ultimately make us bad, wicked or villainous–even the “good” people. For true “Goodness” isn’t found in the wealthy Philanthropists who build libraries and hospitals, but in the heart of every man or woman who makes the decision to stop hating, and just give a damn, even for a moment, about the people in need of a smile close at hand. Even a gentle reminder that somebody else cares, is enough to make the difference between a “villain” and a hero, in the heart of somebody having a bad day.
4. It is terrible, horrible, and catastrophic when things are not going the way one would like them to go.
Well…it is! I mean, for that brief moment when something goes wrong, it can be the worst thing to happen in the World! At least, in that tiny space in the World where you were trying to succeed. But…then you move on. You see, the difference here is that a person shouldn’t continue to dwell on a failure–we all fail in many ways all of the time, and bad things happen. Period. So, instead of dwelling on how catastrophic things are, I try to figure out how to correct whatever may be going wrong, and if I can’t do that, then I go and do something else instead. Even if I can’t get my way…I’ll try to get whatever I can. Then I’ll try to be satisfied with a world where only a few things can go my way.
5. Human happiness is externally caused, and people have little or no ability to control their sorrows or rid themselves of negative feelings.
Sadly, this more often true than not. We are all affected by the actions of others, even if some of us are better prepared to endure and/or resist this than others. Words hurt, and whether they lead to broken bones and bodies or not, we all internalize what other people do to us–or fail to do. That’s why it is so desperately important that everyone tries to be compassionate and caring to others in everything we do. Giving another person hope can actually cause them to offer hope and love to many others, and ultimately that love spreads through a community like this one, until we ourselves are feeling the same love and joy being given back to us. And although we have a great deal of control over our own thoughts and actions, how we are treated forms the very basis of who and what we are! As a wise man on Television once said, “We are all the sum of our tears….” And in order to rid ourselves of negative feelings, we must rid ourselves of negative actions. For this is what will ultimately come back upon us, and ultimately…make us feel bad.
6. If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly occupied and upset about it.
No, I disagree. Yet, that seems to be the entire philosophy of government institutions like the FDA and NTSB. But the reality is, people die. People get sick and injured. And no amount of worry will stop it, and very few of our efforts will do anything to minimize or mitigate it. Simple common sense, in my humble opinion, is the only possible answer to danger and risk. Obviously, jumping off a perfectly good cliff or building is going to endanger a person’s life and health, even with a wingsuit and parachute properly packed. But simple steps can improve our health–like washing hands, fully cooking food, and looking both ways at an intersection. Fear and worry are not the answer to danger–action and vigilance are. It makes less sense to rip out all of the tall metal playground equipment that “might” hurt a few children every year, than it does to teach these children to be careful so that they won’t get hurt! After all…keeping kids safe WILL NOT teach them how to be safe when they’re old, and have nobody but a Government Agency around to protect them from their own ignorance. Think first! Then you can deal with life’s dangers….
7. It is easier to avoid facing many life difficulties and self-responsibilities than to take more rewarding forms of self-discipline.
Of course it is! It is always easier to do nothing. That’s one of the basic problems that I have, in fact. But just because it is easier, that doesn’t mean that it’s better. Far better–though more difficult–to lift a finger, and get things done. Personally, I think we all face the specter of “I don’t wanna!” when it comes time to do the things that we know we really ought to do. It’s a basic part of Human nature. But success cannot walk hand-in-hand with laziness. Sooner, or later, we have to face our responsibilities, and do those things we might want to just put off, or even forget about. Or else, we just have to live with the consequences of not doing whatever it was we needed to do. And as I can attest first hand, it is better to do what I need to do, and get it out of my way, than to live with the consequences. It is more rewarding, and ultimately better. But no…it is never easier.
8. The past is all-important, and because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely do so.
The past is who we are. Everything that touches us, from a mother’s touch, to biting words of hate, are a part of us, this is inextricable. But our actions are as important as our experiences, and we alone have the power to choose how we will react to–and ultimately process–the things that are done to us. It’s not a question of whether strong experiences will influence our future: They will! But we have as much say over what we will choose to become as the words of our friends and our enemies; because, remember, our actions are also experiences! We can act in any manner we choose, and in so doing, we can shape our own experiences; and these experiences, too, become a part of who and what we are! So in the end…we are a player in our own history, and probably the single strongest influence on who we really want to be.
9. People and things should be different than they are, and it is catastrophic if perfect to the grim realities of life are not immediately found.
Wow. I could probably write a book on the human catastrophe we are living in to this day. Maybe one day, I will. And, my God…the more I read this, the more true it seems to be! People and things really should be different than they are now; and the way things are, in this country in particular, really does fit the description of a catastrophe, in my opinion. And “perfection” is nowhere to be found. Oh, sure, I can find a bit of happiness every once in a while…but I never fail to be inundated with the stories of how bad things are, especially for my friends and neighbors. So while it’s not a personal catastrophe that people are raping and murdering each other in Chicago, or that the jobs are gone, or that men are violating Leviticus chapter 20 in San Francisco, or that another plane crashed, or a terrorist shot some people…well, it is catastrophe, and it’s a world-wide catastrophe at that! A singular and ubiquitous catastrophe called Sin. And I know, because I’ve seen it unfold, that the only way to stop this catastrophe, will come when Jesus Christ Himself sets his foot down on the Mount of Olives, and this hardwired drive in all of us to rebel, to separate, and to hurt and dominate others is removed from every living Human heart. Because only then…people will be different.
10. Maximum human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction, or by passively “enjoying oneself”.
Definitely not. Happiness requires exertion, that’s all there is to it. Each and every form of enjoyment I know about is an action, or part of an action, from playing sports to engaging in sex. Even typing on this keyboard, or lifting up a bottle of beer with friends is exertion. There is no “inertia” in joy. Passive action is empty–a strait face–never a smile. And, by inference, if we wish to achieve “Maximum human happiness”, we must deliver such happiness–through our actions! As humans, we have the power to make each other happy. But that doesn’t do anything if we just “leave each other alone.” The truth is, being alone can be one of the most unhappy experiences on Earth. So, to be happy, we get together. We act–together. And together–we achieve a state of Happiness. And so, in this, too, I could write a book on the ways in which we can act to produce “human happiness.” Perhaps someday, I will.
On a followup meeting, I was given a personality assessment, with the following results:
Oh, yeah! That tells you everything you need to know about me. Uh, hum…sure it does. But I’ll explain it to you, before I go any further. The code means that I am Introverted, I rely on my Senses, I am Technically minded, and that I primarily choose to Perceive the world as it happens.
This is based on four scales that Psychologists use to analyze personalities. The first scale is Introversion versus Extroversion–the matter of looking inward for my sense of self, rather than outward. I’ll get back to that one; but the others are Senses versus iNtuition (they use the second letter to avoid confusion), Thinking versus Feeling, and Perceiving versus Judging. So, with four different scales, Psychologists can group people into sixteen different personality groups. But…there’s more to that scale than this. You see, I rated precisely 50% on the I/E part of the scale. That means that approximately 50% of the Human population is more extraverted than me…but then, again, 49% is more introverted! Yes, that puts me literally right on the borderline between inwardly seeing who and what I am, and outwardly projecting who I am! Neither introvert, nor extravert, or…more precisely, literally both! But also, I have a wide range across the Sensing/iNtuition scale, as–while I rely very strongly on my physical senses to understand the world, and my place within it, I also have a strong sense of intuition that I use–a sixth sense, as it were–to augment my sense of reality, yet be able to think beyond the physical limitations of what my other senses tell me. In a way, that helps me build a sense of the real world that is even more substantial than the physical brick, steel, glass, and asphalt that largely makes up this city of two to three hundred thousand. The only firm constants in this range is that I rely on Thoughts, and logical rationality rather than feelings and emotions, and I am more inclined to Perceive and observe the world, rather than to judge and arrange it.
So…here are some of the listed weaknesses–and the advice given to overcome those–for, really, all of my personality ranges, ISTP, ESTP, ENTP, and INTP.
For ISTP, the following problems emerge:
● The ISTP gets “stuck in a rut” and only does those things that are known and comfortable to the ISTP.
● The ISTP resists and rejects anything that doesn’t support their own experiential understanding of the world. If there is a conflict between their own way of life and something that they encounter, they don’t perceive that “something” in an objective sense. Rather, they reject it to avoid conflict and to preserve the sanctity of their inner world.
● They choose to surround themselves with people who support their own way of life, and reject people who think or live differently.
● They may become overly paranoid about social organizations and institutions trying to control them.
● They may unknowingly or uncaringly hurt people’s feelings.
● They may be completely unaware of how to express their inner world to others in a meaningful way.
● They may be completely unaware of the type of communication that is often desireable and (to some degree) expected in an intimate relationship. If they are aware of the kinds of things that are appropriate to say and do to foster emotional bonding, they may be unable to appreciate the value of such actions. They may feel too vulnerable to express themselves in this fashion, and so reject the entire idea.
● If pushed beyond their comfort level to form commitments or emotional bonds, they may reject a relationship entirely.
● Under stress, they may show intense emotions that seem disproportionate to the situation.
To deal with those…I am given the following advice. These statements, and my responses to them:
Feed Your Strengths!
Come on! That’s good advice for anybody!
Face Your Weaknesses!
Talk About Your Thoughts.
Easy enough for a man who’s life is literally made up of Thought.
Don’t Be Afraid to Love.
Actually…I’m not. But…I’ll get into that in the next section of my Personality.
Respect Your Need for Action.
Now that can be hard. I’m somewhat lazy, and even though I “Need” to get up and accomplish something, I often find myself reluctant to do so.
Recognize Social Principles.
Like…my social principles? It can be very hard to navigate the unspoken rules and protocols in social communication and cooperation.
It’s OK to Get Out of your Comfort Zone.
True. But it isn’t always easy.
Identify and Express Your Feelings.
I find that very hard, especially when I often find, in regard to many subjects, I have no feelings. Expressing my lack of empathy can, in itself, cause more problems than it solves.
Be Aware of Others.
There are two sides to this. Being aware that they are standing right there is easy for me. Obstacles form part of my hard reality, and must be accounted for. Being aware of the feelings of others is much harder for me, as I often fail to recognize social cues and facial expressions.
Assume the Best.
I can only assume both good and bad will occur at one time or other. While I always hope for the best, I know the worst is out there…waiting.
My second strongest personality mode, revealed on a followup test when I returned home, primarily emerges when I am alone…in a world of familiar items and sensations, disturbed only by my own thoughts, the Internet, and…perhaps sometimes, my own loneliness. This is where my iNtuition shines brightly, and my thoughts turn to others–around me, or around the world–across that “border” into Extroversion.
For ENTP, the following problems emerge:
● The inability to maintain a comfortable situation or relationship once its possibilities have been realized or exhausted.
● A tendency to consider careful or meticulous thinkers as unworthy plodders or time wasters.
● Blindness to the needs and feelings of others not directly involved in the ENTP’s current area of interest.
● A lack of sensitivity to the feelings and ways of those who might need reassurance, security or commitment.
● The inability to deal carefully and calmly with the finer details of a situation or work in progress.
● Tendency to become overly annoyed by minor setbacks or small things that have to be set right before the goal can be realized.
● A tendency to be arrogant or boastful, or to demean those who cannot see the same answers.
● Can often find themselves in bad situations by too quickly taking a big step forward or by being “too smart for their own good”.
Notice here, that some of the “weaknesses” of an ENTP are actually the opposite of those for an ISTP? In both cases, I’d realized immediately that I didn’t really have these problems, or that they came up at a far lesser interval for me than for a strong ISTP or ENTP personality–a blessing, I suppose, for having a personality range that encompasses both sides of the Introvert/Extravert and Sensing/iNtuition divisions. To solve problems caused by inward thinking, I just slip over to outward thinking, and vice versa. By combining my senses with my intuition, I emerge with a fuller picture of my world than either component can present on its own.
The advice given for an ENTP, as well as my responses, are:
Feed Your Strengths!
Wow! Haven’t I read that somewhere before?
Face Your Weaknesses!
Again! Like I said…these are good advice for anyone…of any personality.
Talk Through Your Perceptions.
Yes. It’s sometimes the only way to make sense of them. That’s one of the reasons I blog.
Relax and Enjoy the View.
When the view is enjoyable. I do not enjoy suffering, especially the suffering of others.
Be Aware of Others.
As above…so here. I struggle with this.
Recognize Norms and Structures Are Necessary.
Necessary though they may be, they are not always good, nor are all of then good for us. I believe in Truth and Right, and many of the standards of social interaction and conformity are anything but.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.
I do, when I can. But it isn’t easy.
Identify and Express Your Feelings.
Hard. Sometimes, that’s real hard.
Be Accountable for Yourself.
I will account for my actions. Or, I will be held accountable for them. That’s a basic tenet of the reality I live in.
Assume the Best, But Be Wary.
Now this, at least, includes the realism aspect that I depend on. Reality often sucks, and we cannot depend on “happy endings.” Only endings.
Like ISTP, many of the same problems emerge, although some are resolved or mitigated by my broad personality range:
● Can become morose or even antagonistic in situations offering little promise of advantage or the possibility to “do something.”
● May be manipulative, taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses for their own gain.
● May be unwilling or unable to plan anything in advance themselves, or to follow other’s careful plans.
● Can be overconfident of their own cunning or ability, ignoring problems which eventually catch up with them on their blind side.
● May find it difficult or be actually unwilling to follow through where an ongoing commitment is expected.
● In relationship situations may be overbearing, demanding and/or uncaring of the feelings of their partner.
● When alone or in reduced circumstances may be subject to dark or morbid feelings about themselves.
● May be unable to maintain employment for any length of time, losing credibility with potential employers or clients by job hopping.
● May become so engrossed in challenging activities that they lose all sense of proportion, neglecting themselves and their relationships.
● Without challenges of their own, may become focused on the behavior of others, particularly that of family or employees, insisting that they live up to what the ESTP sees as the proper code or level of accomplishment.
As can be seen, most of the problems I face stem from my inability to feel, or from my unwillingness to plan and organize, rather than to passively Perceive. I am a Thoughtful Observer in this life, much more than a doer. So, here is the advice for ESTP, and my responses:
Feed Your Strengths!
Wow! Haven’t I read that somewh–
Yeah. And so I’m just gonna skip the ones that came up in the other two personality types.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show Emotion.
This is kind of like the version under ISTP, but as I have a wide range, I also do show emotion, even tears. And I’m not afraid to love–if it’s the right kind of love…with the right kind of person.
Recognize the Differences in Others.
I find it very easy to recognize that others are different from me…because I am so different. I have always been a person set apart from others, not only by my personality, but by my disorders, as well.
Be Aware that You can Fail, and that it is OK.
Oh, um…yeah, that’s fine. Of course I’m gonna fail! I’m human. Duh….
This is where my personality rests a great deal of the time. When I’m alone. When I contemplate my aloneness. When I contemplate myself. When I contemplate the universe…and it’s relationship to myself. And it is always here that I interact with God. Because God speaks to me from within. And because it requires intuition to be able to hear His voice at all. This is the personality of my Prayers.
All of the problems and advice given for the other three are either addressed, or not relevant–except one:
Listen to Everything.
Of all the advice given so far, I’d like to think this is the one I live by the most strongly. I listen to everything I can; then try to merge what I can confirm into a holistic world view.
This is who I am. This…is what I do.