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Thread: Family Dynamics

  1. #11
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    There is being an 'introverted sensor' and just being contrary. It sounds like you're the later. Don't argue with everything, it's exhausting. Just go with it, it wont hurt you.
    " Do something, even if it's wrong."

    " I don't wanna have to but I will, if that's what I'm supposed to do
    We don't wanna set up for the kill, but that's what I'm 'bout to do."

  2. #12
    Senior Member awbro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu View Post
    There is being an 'introverted sensor' and just being contrary. It sounds like you're the later. Don't argue with everything, it's exhausting. Just go with it, it wont hurt you.
    How do I not do it? At some point I might've thought it was cute, but it literally won't leave my mind that I should be doing this.

    It's like, "If I don't ask why at certain points (whatever I feel is necessary), am I a sheep? What is a sheep, anyway? Do they exist? Maybe I should just let it go..." But I can't stop.

    I realize it drives people nuts. It drives me nuts.

    I think I'll just retreat to my little corner where I can be contrary in my own mind, and not let anybody hear it.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by awbro View Post
    How do I not do it? At some point I might've thought it was cute, but it literally won't leave my mind that I should be doing this.

    It's like, "If I don't ask why at certain points (whatever I feel is necessary), am I a sheep? What is a sheep, anyway? Do they exist? Maybe I should just let it go..." But I can't stop.

    I realize it drives people nuts. It drives me nuts.

    I think I'll just retreat to my little corner where I can be contrary in my own mind, and not let anybody hear it.
    Ok if you must really know how someone is thinking, think of a few potential possibilities and ask about the most innocuous one. If you end up being incorrect, the other person will often clarify without getting defensive. However, if they seem to get agitated, leave them alone...respect other people's boundaries.

    It honestly sounds like you have an anxiety issue and you are trying to seek certainty to quell it by figuring out why why why. I wouldn't be surprised if you are a little threatened that your mom was going out of her way to help your sister because maybe your mom isn't consistent or really emotionally there for you. Or the possibility of sharing your mother's affections is difficult because she's distant. There's got to be reason why you so invested in dissecting human interactions to that degree.

    What is the ultimate question that you are trying to get to the bottom of?

  4. #14
    Senior Member awbro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consilience View Post
    What is the ultimate question that you are trying to get the bottom of?
    I always thought it was because I wanted to be more logical and have certainty, because I didn't have any. In my family it's pretty common for my parents and me to call each other stupid and about 78% of the time mean it. Of course, they say it with a general malice, but a smiling or joking tone at times, so I get confused. I need people to say what they mean. I like to figure out deeper meaning, but I'm no good at it. At some point when I was younger, I realized I wasn't good at thinking in grey (instead of black and white), and couldn't read between the lines, didn't have tact... etc. There was a lot from my internal processes that most "normal" people seemed to have that was missing, and I tried to add it back in like a retcon by following that haunting "why" in the back of my mind to an obsessive degree. Usually I got nowhere, and I was no better at reading people's emotions. It was just a fun experiment, and it frustrated me that it was just "fun" and didn't produce any results: no empathy, no better facial reads, no connection with other human beings. I can laugh at other people's jokes, for instance, but unless it has a pre-defined meaning I'm familiar with or expect, I'm lost and I look like a dumb blonde. Some people (close to me) will be crying and I won't know why they're crying unless I think hard, and I can't comfort them. If I had to describe my experience, I'd say it's extremely disconcerting because I want so much for myself and I can see I'm lacking in so many areas, but I can never reach the goals I set. People are always telling me to stop asking why, to stop thinking about my own motivations and beliefs. And that's what I thought you were supposed to do. Be self-aware. But, of course, I could be wrong. And that would make me mad too since I would've liked to come to that conclusion on my own.

    *sigh*

  5. #15
    Iron Maiden Fidelia's Avatar
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    It sounds like what you've been doing has not been effective in getting more answers, being assured of people's underlying meaning, or in becoming better at reading between the lines.

    Perhaps it is time to look at alternative ways to approach those situations that would yield better results for you, and not irritate those around you. What you're describing goes quite a ways beyond the bounds of being simply inquisitive, especially for someone who is not a small child.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by awbro View Post
    I always thought it was because I wanted to be more logical and have certainty, because I didn't have any. In my family it's pretty common for my parents and me to call each other stupid and about 78% of the time mean it. Of course, they say it with a general malice, but a smiling or joking tone at times, so I get confused. I need people to say what they mean. I like to figure out deeper meaning, but I'm no good at it. At some point when I was younger, I realized I wasn't good at thinking in grey (instead of black and white), and couldn't read between the lines, didn't have tact... etc. There was a lot from my internal processes that most "normal" people seemed to have that was missing, and I tried to add it back in like a retcon by following that haunting "why" in the back of my mind to an obsessive degree. Usually I got nowhere, and I was no better at reading people's emotions. It was just a fun experiment, and it frustrated me that it was just "fun" and didn't produce any results: no empathy, no better facial reads, no connection with other human beings. I can laugh at other people's jokes, for instance, but unless it has a pre-defined meaning I'm familiar with or expect, I'm lost and I look like a dumb blonde. Some people (close to me) will be crying and I won't know why they're crying unless I think hard, and I can't comfort them. If I had to describe my experience, I'd say it's extremely disconcerting because I want so much for myself and I can see I'm lacking in so many areas, but I can never reach the goals I set. People are always telling me to stop asking why, to stop thinking about my own motivations and beliefs. And that's what I thought you were supposed to do. Be self-aware. But, of course, I could be wrong. And that would make me mad too since I would've liked to come to that conclusion on my own.

    *sigh*
    There's a balance. Too much rumination has actually been shown to increase anxiety and depression and distort one's perceptions. The thing about people and certainty is that there is none... people are kind of nuts.

    Your family dynamic sounds rather toxic. No wonder why you cope that way...in a way, it gives you a sense of more stability and control if you feel like you understand things. However, when it comes to people, it rarely is completely black and white and even the most seemingly consistent people will end up shocking you at times.

    I think once you move out and do your own thing, the obsession to understand why will subside or be redirected into more productive things like work, higher education/trade school, hobbies.

    Why not redirect that energy into your self-defined goals? Because YOU are the ONE AND ONLY person that you have control over.
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  7. #17
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    The quest for certainty to a false quest, usually. Learning to be comfortable with uncertainty is a good thing. It usually takes time to develop.

    Children, especially young children, often ask questions of their parents regarding certainty related issues. Often, their parents do not have a definite answer because they really don't have a definite answer. "When are we getting there?" asked about a place the parent has not been before, and the parents knows there may be stops of indeterminate length like food, fuel, and restroom breaks, plus traffic and road construction and accidents and car troubles, etc.

    Brene Brown talks about the need to let go of certainty, among other things. I highly recommend reading her books, starting with Gifts of Imperfection.

    The search for certainty and control is a quest based upon fear. Moving beyond fear helps us grow, though it is difficult in the face of ongoing challenges.
    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    “It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.”

    ― Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays
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  8. #18
    Iron Maiden Fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes, I think we all in different ways seek out security and certainty to help us feel better. But really, the best things happen to us when we are able to accept that we can't always know or be certain of anything, so we have to be present and learn to develop skills not to control or prevent or understand every situation, but to figure out how to respond well and grow from it. As we loosen our grip on those needs, we can accept other people better because they don't threaten our security, we are more open to new feedback or information, we can accept constructive criticism as information to work with and sort, and we become better able to improvise and adapt to new situations. I think happiness then also depends less on our surroundings or circumstances or how people act, and more on what our response is, which gives us a sense of healthy agency.
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  9. #19
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    In general, I have noticed that that type of intense questioning, even in adults, often stems from emotional volatility from childhood/homelife. However, as a person distances from the source of stress and engages in fulfilling activities, it tends to become less of a hindrance. On the plus side, it can help hone one's analytical skills. I don't think the questioning is the issue here, in itself. The OP just needs to add other things to her arsenal of coping skills in addition to her inquisitiveness: naps, jogging, meditation, etc.

    Good luck, OP!
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by awbro View Post
    I always thought it was because I wanted to be more logical and have certainty, because I didn't have any. In my family it's pretty common for my parents and me to call each other stupid and about 78% of the time mean it. Of course, they say it with a general malice, but a smiling or joking tone at times, so I get confused. I need people to say what they mean. I like to figure out deeper meaning, but I'm no good at it. At some point when I was younger, I realized I wasn't good at thinking in grey (instead of black and white), and couldn't read between the lines, didn't have tact... etc. There was a lot from my internal processes that most "normal" people seemed to have that was missing, and I tried to add it back in like a retcon by following that haunting "why" in the back of my mind to an obsessive degree. Usually I got nowhere, and I was no better at reading people's emotions. It was just a fun experiment, and it frustrated me that it was just "fun" and didn't produce any results: no empathy, no better facial reads, no connection with other human beings. I can laugh at other people's jokes, for instance, but unless it has a pre-defined meaning I'm familiar with or expect, I'm lost and I look like a dumb blonde. Some people (close to me) will be crying and I won't know why they're crying unless I think hard, and I can't comfort them. If I had to describe my experience, I'd say it's extremely disconcerting because I want so much for myself and I can see I'm lacking in so many areas, but I can never reach the goals I set. People are always telling me to stop asking why, to stop thinking about my own motivations and beliefs. And that's what I thought you were supposed to do. Be self-aware. But, of course, I could be wrong. And that would make me mad too since I would've liked to come to that conclusion on my own.

    *sigh*
    Not to be an armchair psychiatrist, but... This reads familiar to some degree. Have you heard of Asperger's Syndrome? Not having tact, taking things literally, having trouble reading between the lines, needing certainty, etc... All of these are part and parcel of having Asperger's. People with AS are literally wired a different way than many people.

    What you are describing is difficulty with theory of mind. The good news is that you can generally compensate for it in other ways. (imo typology is one of the things that could help.)
    There's no love in fear.
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    Do we want to remind you of something? Yes: the world is good and we belong here.
    - Richard Siken
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