For an example, it's not enough to be a "FJ" or naturally diplomatic to excel at social graces. Sure it may help initially, though to keep being "good", one has to practice them all the time -- constantly tackling new challenges and changing old ways.Originally Posted by Usehername
The thing I noticed about the field of social graces is that something, somewhere, will always throw you off at one point. And you will suddenly find yourself back at square one. I don't think it indicates all your prior efforts are meaningless, it just means that you have something new to learn and add to your existing knowledge.
It's not exactly a negative thing -- in fact, I can't think of any incident that is more suited for growing, other than finding out unknown unknowns, and that you're more naive than you thought you were.
To answer your question though, my personal take is trying to recalibrate one's default settings is largely unnecessary, and a waste of resources. New patterns, thoughts and behaviors will emerge on its own anyway, possibly replacing the previous ones, when given enough input, experiences and feedback.Originally Posted by Usehername
You also can't truly predict when you'll have an "a-ha", transformational moment; you just have to keep exposing yourself to a wide range of diverse ideas and hope for the best. If something doesn't stick, then it probably doesn't hold enough meaning for you. At least not yet. Don't force the meaning, instead look for another one that prompts you to say, "Yes! That's it!". Natural emergence will give you higher quality, and longer-lasting resources to work with in the end.
Always try new things whenever you want different results. Maybe you've reached a point where your old strategy isn't working as well as it once did.
FineLine also brings up a good point. (Bolded) here:
To expand on this, Bruce Lee phrases the idea eloquently, "Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5."Originally Posted by FineLine
When one testing out unfamiliar techniques, the best way to start is to simply roll with what they have -- those default settings. It doesn't matter if they're doing it all wrong at first, because before one can tinker with anything, they have to know where they initially stand. Try out everything, every single movement, even if it feels awkward and wrong. And that's the point. To bridge a connection between what's strange, and what you're comfortable with. It's all a diagnostic, really. Later, you can take on a more rationale approach, and fix/critique your 'movements'.
Knowledge is a co-creative act; you have to be an active participant. Which means, after experimenting and gaining some basic skills, you should practice them as if you believe them, and even add your own spin. Find ways to push that information deeper and deeper into your existing cognitive map, to the point where you can recreate the information without being pushed.
If social graces is your aim, and you want this to be a part of your default settings, then it ought to be more than just a means to another end, it should be a way of life, an enjoyable experience. Your whole mind has to agree that a portion of it is valuable enough to be integrated in their system.
For an example, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier (and more rewarding) for an athlete because of the benefits it offers in their activities. When they're not doing that, they may feel some discomfort because that behavior is so ingrained within their attitude. But for the typical potato couches, why not? Actually, they'd rather miss the gym today, and get back to it tomorrow. The subconscious part of themselves aren't convinced that the hard changes are important enough. The solution? Keep finding new reasons to be convinced.
Some people will think this is overwhelming, and perhaps overreaching, if they're merely aiming to be decent. Luckily enough, you don't have to be 100% committed or passionate to start anything new.
Instead, seek out people and places that harbor the mindset you want to develop. Let the interest and commitment gradually build over time. Sometimes, I would just listen to people speak, without intending to respond back. I'd try to imagine what's going on in their heads, even using their "lens" to briefly experience the world and occasionally observing the dynamics of their presence -- tone, posture, facial expressions, movement, etc. If I see anything I like, then I'd take that back and attempt to make sense out of it. Every so often, I get a weird sensation that what I've just seen, cannot be unseen.
BTW, it's funny that you mention how your "natural concentrating face" puts the instructor at unease, because I've been told the same thing many times before. I do this a lot without realizing it. To even out my glare, I would spend an extra minute or two relaxing my face each time I frowned. It got to the point where I could control "The Glare" much better. I still have my "natural concentrating face", but it appears out of nowhere less frequently.Originally Posted by Usehername
So it's not always possible to predict (or control) the conditions of your mood and responses, but you can always add little things to spin it around, and to make it a bit different. Do it enough times, and this might change the behavior altogether.
If you're working on scowling less, for instance, then no unexpected scowl should distract you from your goal. Allow yourself to feel surprise, yet take it as it is, and figure out what minor changes you can do so long as it's sitting there.
This is what acceptance means from my perspective. That's not the same thing as resignation.