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  1. #71
    Audentes fortuna iuvat. Aerix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Powehi's post helps me expound on earlier thoughts here.

    The extent to which people tend to reach out to have an impact on and/or need to feel some kind of immediate connect to those in their immediate environment varies wildly from person to person, and I think it's probably more accurate to say compliments where "the sentiment is genuine" (with less focus on accuracy) is simply because someone is prioritizing immediate connection to others (and "what in this moment or person is beautiful or good" can make the connection benevolent).

    I personally am pretty far on the "don't need to immediately connect with those in immediate environment" end of the spectrum (so much that I think "need for others to not feel constantly connected to me" is one of my stronger needs). As such, I can be really sensitive to whether someone is focusing on "what in this moment or person is beautiful or good" for the sake of itself, as means to satisfy the need to interact with/connect to others *or* if they're focusing on it to satisfy some attachment to be seen by others in this light. If someone is focusing on "what in this moment or person is beautiful or good" for the sake of itself, then they are less likely to take my need for space as a personal affront; that's generally what I'd consider coming from a place of authentic kindness (and the extent to which they are able to grant me the space without *needing* some specific reaction from me is generally the extent to which I consider their kindness authentic). But the latter - if they're focusing on "what in this moment or person is beautiful or good?" more for identity reasons (wanting to be seen/known as someone who focuses on that), then they're likely (probably not even on a conscious level) to 'need' some kind of reaction from me to validate their self-worth and/or feelings, and that feels more like a veneer of kindness than authentic kindness; if someone is only being kind for the reflection they get back, that's garden variety narcissism (not NPD caliber, but the kind most people experience). Authentic kindness takes a lot of emotional competence (cultivating awareness of one's own feelings and needs to such a level where a person doesn't ever blame others for what they're feeling). And it's not like anyone is exclusively one or the other (even Buddhist monks - who practice cultivating emotional competence literally every day - know that 'emotional competence' isn't some kind of plateau that can be reached where a person reaches a magical level of eternal imperviousness so much as it's a fallible muscle that can quickly atrophy if it isn't used), but individuals are pretty consistently seated in one general place on the spectrum.

    Or really, sometimes my need for space is taken for a personal affront simply because someone doesn't understand not immediately needing to connect to others in one's environment - it might not intrinsically be part of their identity, to be seen as someone who constantly looks for "what in this moment or person is beautiful or good", but they might need others to acknowledge their presence (and assume others need that same thing) and they take the "what in this moment or person is beautiful and good" approach to establish connection. But that still circles back around to emotional competence (and knowing one's needs well enough to take responsibility for them without blaming others for how it feels when the need isn't being fulfilled).

    In sum, the tendency to say nice things (and generally be a "what in this moment or person is beautiful and good" kind of person) without sufficient emotional competence is as dangerous a mix as cheeseburgers and loneliness.
    I largely agree with this, especially the bold, but can you elaborate on how you're defining 'emotional competence?'

  2. #72
    Fe this! Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerix View Post
    I largely agree with this, especially the bold, but can you elaborate on how you're defining 'emotional competence?'

    I like Gabor Maté's explanation:

    Emotional competence is the capacity that enables us to stand in a responsible, non-victimized, and non-self-harming relationship with our environment. It is the required internal ground for facing life's inevitable stresses, for avoiding the creation of unnecessary ones and for furthering the healing process. Few of us reach the adult age with anything close to full emotional competence. Recognizing our lack of it is not cause for self-judgment, only a call for further development and transformation.

    While it's not a well known phrase, googling it should provide enough explanations to give a well rounded understanding (if the Maté quote doesn't suffice).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    INFJ 5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari -or- disagree with my type?
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