Category Archives: Living skills

On dictionaries

Let us remember that the purpose of a dictionary is not to offer one, comprehensive, infallible statement of what something is.

It is a tool designed to present the best possible, brief, verbal pointer to a concept so that people may better understand and communicate. As a device based on language, it falls prey to the very kind or errors that it attempts to prevent or remediate. Were it otherwise, all dictionaries would have precisely the very same definition, without exception.

“The dictionary definition of X is…” at most a guideline. A dictionary’s definition is a starting point for a conversation, not an end point. Its purpose is to ease communication and understanding.

The real hard work and responsibility of genuine conversation and communication, is up to us, and not to be fobbed off on the tool.

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On conversing with the ideologically inclined

I find it very useful to frequently ask the following questions: “What are this person/position’s base values and core beliefs? What are they trying to achieve?”

We know that beliefs are empirically testable, and that values are the expression of physical and psychological needs. Once we address them directly, on a case-per-case basis we can come to solutions, rather than -isms. Ideologies are merely tools to try to understand the world, and meet our needs. You’ll never find one that is “true” or “right” or “perfect” in anything other than the most specific context.

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This is real MGTOW

Sean Stephenson speaks of The prison of your mind. He’s an excellent speaker.

This man is speaking MGTOW… even if he’s married. :)

Does else anyone find that he’s the Matt Dillahunty “type?”

What am I feeling and what can I do about it?

This is just a reply to a post on a Facebook men’s group. It is rather off-the-cuff, but I hope some might find it useful.

 

The original poster said: ” I have just been dumped, I am depressed…”

One of my biggest problems in life, especially as a young man was that I wasn’t particularly good at identifying my feelings. I felt, but I could not label or verbalize them. Doing so is a skill. Women discuss feelings all the time, thus, though simple practice, tend to become skillful and identifying and verbalizing them. Men have less of a tendency to do so, in no small part due to our respective socialization. I claim that doing so provides clarity, which allows us to have a direct impact on the quality of our lives and relationships as a whole. When you’re clear on what you feel, you become clearer on what you think. Emotional awareness is a life-enhancing power.

Feelings don’t just arise, they are a by-product of your thoughts. If this woman were a psychopathic killer that had been ripping you off for year and torturing you, I bet that you would not feel “depressed” when she left, you’d likely feel relieved.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Why did I choose the word “depressed?”

Is this even accurate? Might I instead feel rejected?

Might I feel shame, embarrassment, humiliation?

Am I responding to the event, or am I anticipating some negative social response. (Such as judgement, which often brings shame, humiliation, etc.)

Could this merely be insecurity? (A sense of insecurity only arises when one feels one has no control.)

Might I be feeling sorrow? Loss? Of what?

Could it be fear? Or loneliness?

Am I reacting to someone leaving me, or to someone who was merely putting gas into my own emotional tank?

What specific emotional need did this person fulfil for me? Can I do that for myself?

If not, is there another that can?

Am I accepting some form of belief that another’s choice means something about me?

Is it about her leaving, or what I think her leaving means to me?

Do I actually feel this, or do I believe that I’m supposed to? (I once acted jealous without actually feeling jealous, because that’s what I thought the correct response was supposed to be.)

You may be experiencing several things. Don’t just vaguely look at a generally pile-shaped thing. See that it is made up of individual jelly-beans, sort them out, then ask yourself “How did this get here?” And more importantly: do I want to eat any more of these?

The point of my questions are to get you to sort though your stuff, and identify it. By identifying certain feelings, they’ll point to things that you might not have noticed that you were thinking, and thus, gives you the opportunity to adjust your thoughts to something more useful.

It took me a while to match up my experiences with a verbal description, but once I did, I learned that there is a “structure” to emotions. When one can identify an emotion, say, anger. One recognizes that this is a by-product of rules being violated. We can look at our “inner rules” and decide whether they match up to a precise and mature vision of reality. By learning that resentment is actually a form of quiet anger, we can trace it back to anger, then the rules in our mind, etc…

I strongly encourage people to visit this site often, repeatedly over a long periods, of reading, mulling, forgetting, then returning afresh. It has been a very useful tool for me, I hope it is for you. Disclaimer? None, it’s just a very helpful site done by one man.

http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/

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This summer’s project: Mason Bees

Cheap, easy, useful, helpful and fun.

Raising Mason Bees that is, not me!

Boom chicka wow wow.

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New feature: Definition of the Moment

I read dictionaries. Avidly. They are my phlegmatic friends whose opinions I can trust, kindly teachers who tirelessly volunteer as mental spell-checkers. I estimate that a good 50% of my web searches are the search for definitions.

The value of a dictionary is found in that it permits a greater precision in thought. One can, using this magical instrument, cut complex thoughts down to one pithy word, or conversely, use it to see if our chosen term is in fact what we think it means to others; to see whether our bricks of logic are well used in the building a solid logical stage. Dictionaries, in their various forms are the Swiss Ginsu Knives of thought; they are multipurpose and can slice though mental steak, vegetables, tin cans or running shoes.

And who hasn’t had the need to slice, dice and chop though a mental running shoe?

My favourite dictionary is in fact, not a dictionary at all, but a feature common to most search engines:

define: <word or phrase>

(Let us also remember our friend the Thesaurus and the Online Etymological dictionary, a labour of love by David Harper.)

As of now, I’ll be adding terms that I often look up, or review when making arguments and tagging them with definition. Hopefully, this collection of words will help you clarify your own positions and arguments. Note that I add these definitions for my–and hopefully your own–convenience. They are not intended as commentary, or as a definitive unalterable sense. They are bite-sized bits of research, nothing more.

Understand that the best use of these tools are not to support chop-logic, but to have a deeper understanding of a given idea, and to help us clarify our thoughts. They are instruments used to help us to think and communicate with clarity, and thus are tools to aid us in creating a better world.

 

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Forget big change, choose tiny habits

Just a quick note to let people know: this is the first habit changing system that I’ve ever used that seems to actually work. So far, it’s only one habit, but I do it easily and naturally. I’ve gone from doing 0 push-ups a day to about 50 per day. And I do it automatically. Caveat: it has only been a week, but it’s the easiest week in picking up a new habit ever. I’m really looking forward to seeing this accumulate over time.

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