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Thread: Damage Control

  1. #1
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default Damage Control

    So the other day I was talking to a friend about gift giving. She described it as this inspired process that she looked forward to. It's an opportunity to spread well-being.

    I explained to her how differently I experience the process -- since it's possible to do much more damage to a relationship than good (getting a bad present is way more bad than getting a good present is good), I figure I'm already behind. My decision making process in gift giving is about minimizing damage, not about maximizing positive-well-being.

    Then I started applying this distinction to other areas of my life. Like, my social strategy is essentially the same thing -- I see how delicate the web of social relationships is, I see how powerful words can be, and I try to minimize the potential negative things I can say and do around people.

    Anyways, it's been popping up in my mind as a metaphor for so many concepts I've thought about in the last few days. I talked to my dad about his relationship to me and my brother, and realized that he took the damage control perspective about parenting! He thought that the amount of harm that can be potentially be done to a child outweighed the amount of good that nurturing can produce, so he figured his best bet was to make the fewest mistakes.

    It's profound how much an attitude can affect an experience -- if only I could approach all these things in life like my friend approaches gift giving.

    And, the attitude itself makes it less likely to change your mentality. It's like a downward spiral of playing defense.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    So the other day I was talking to a friend about gift giving. She described it as this inspired process that she looked forward to. It's an opportunity to spread well-being.

    I explained to her how differently I experience the process -- since it's possible to do much more damage to a relationship than good (getting a bad present is way more bad than getting a good present is good), I figure I'm already behind. My decision making process in gift giving is about minimizing damage, not about maximizing positive-well-being.

    Then I started applying this distinction to other areas of my life. Like, my social strategy is essentially the same thing -- I see how delicate the web of social relationships is, I see how powerful words can be, and I try to minimize the potential negative things I can say and do around people.

    Anyways, it's been popping up in my mind as a metaphor for so many concepts I've thought about in the last few days. I talked to my dad about his relationship to me and my brother, and realized that he took the damage control perspective about parenting! He thought that the amount of harm that can be potentially be done to a child outweighed the amount of good that nurturing can produce, so he figured his best bet was to make the fewest mistakes.

    It's profound how much an attitude can affect an experience -- if only I could approach all these things in life like my friend approaches gift giving.

    And, the attitude itself makes it less likely to change your mentality. It's like a downward spiral of playing defense.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?
    Just curious... is your friend an INFP?


    It's tough to judge somebody else's paradigm since the ideas are usually intricately interconnected. It's definitely an interesting way to look at gift giving though. How can you even be sure you are minimizing the fallout? And if you're that able to read people, why can't you find them something they'll like? And I'm not sure I agree with your supposition that a bad gift does damage to a relationship. I would think a person awfully shallow who got mad at me because I gave them a "bad" gift. It's too bad you feel that way about it. It seems like a lot of pressure to put on yourself. And I thought I had it bad when it comes to buying presents! I look at gift giving as an opportunity to prove how inept and inadequate I am at gift giving.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Just curious... is your friend an INFP?
    INFJ

    It's tough to judge somebody else's paradigm since the ideas are usually intricately interconnected. It's definitely an interesting way to look at gift giving though. How can you even be sure you are minimizing the fallout? And if you're that able to read people, why can't you find them something they'll like? And I'm not sure I agree with your supposition that a bad gift does damage to a relationship. I would think a person awfully shallow who got mad at me because I gave them a "bad" gift. It's too bad you feel that way about it. It seems like a lot of pressure to put on yourself. And I thought I had it bad when it comes to buying presents! I look at gift giving as an opportunity to prove how inept and inadequate I am at gift giving.
    I'm not saying I actually think this way on an intellectual level (because I don't at all). I'm just trying to portray an attitude.

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    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    Then I started applying this distinction to other areas of my life. Like, my social strategy is essentially the same thing -- I see how delicate the web of social relationships is, I see how powerful words can be, and I try to minimize the potential negative things I can say and do around people.
    I am to heavily impaired to read your full thread right now. For me it's not just reading, I need to translate it also.

    But just wanted to say, the thing I quoted, gave you a stone in my board. You have been waiting for a long time now to stone that board havent you ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I am to heavily impaired to read your full thread right now. For me it's not just reading, I need to translate it also.

    But just wanted to say, the thing I quoted, gave you a stone in my board. You have been waiting for a long time now to stone that board havent you ?
    Stone in your board? What does that mean?

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    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    nevermind, just refer back to that impaired thing
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Interesting thoughts, dissonance.

    I've thought about how the "bad" can seem to outweigh the "good." And how powerfully attractive it can also seem.

    For me a good attitude adjustment every now and then makes a difference.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    That is definitely an interesting way to assess things. I think I sometimes I have moments like that where I will see sort of a concept, ideology or method applied to something that could be seen as trivial, but then somehow I will internalize it and see how it could be applied to other aspects of my life.

    I sort of just had a moment like that today with my dad who is an (Ni-Te) and his philosophy on work and the way he processes things has gotten me somewhat intrigued. It was one of those moments that made me readjust and realign my views on things.

    In regards to "Damage Control" I think that is a very hard thing to implement because it takes so many factors in to account. I noticed your screen name and cognitive dissonance would be something that I would assume you would have to get familiar with. I've always sort of had the opposite attitude, that playing the negatives was futile somewhat because there were so many implications and tough decisions to be made that your best bet would be to just try and do the best. It's definitely a demanding attitude to have, I'll give you that.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Yeah it's a silly attitude to have and it certainly isn't helpful in the long term.

    And you're right; there are far too many factors to consider -- it is futile. Letting go would be much more optimal, but just knowing what attitude I should have is quite different than implementing an attitude change.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    I think it is something that could be implemented to a certain degree in some situations. It would definitely have an affect on your mentality, possibly even very positive. Toughen up your skin a little bit allow you to take the highroad a little bit more. Increase your critical thinking skills in a meaningful way. There's a lot of good things to be said about that approach.

    The only thing is most peoples minds are not that flexible and adaptive, it's hard to constantly switch it up and decide to what extent you want to exert effort in doing that. I think its just one of those things were you just have to not be afraid of royally failing just run with it a little bit. It's hard to completely reassess things like that, especially ones that have so many personal connections. I think that's one of the reasons why I think it's sort of intriguing it would force you to get rid of that deep seeded fear and avoidance.

    Kind of like public speaking if your not naturally adept at it. Sometimes the best method and cure for it is going up without much of a plan in a tough situation and just dealing with it, whether or not you succeed or fail miserably isn't as important as getting over that hurdle and realizing that it wasn't a life threatening situation.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

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