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Ian O'Byrne

I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it. - Rosalia de Castro #identity In this week's issue of TL;DR: wiobyrne.com/tldr/

Ian O'Byrne

Oppositional Conversational Style

3 min read

As we engage in discussion or debate with others, we often come across the person that wants to argue just for the sake of arguing.

Gretchen Rubin identifies this as oppositional conversational style

Oppositional conversational style is a person, who in a discussion or debate disagrees with and corrects everything that you say. They may do this in a friendly or perhaps a belligerent manner. This may be face-to-face, or in online settings.

What does this look like?

This person will provide facts, alternative facts, beliefs, & suppositions all to suspend or carry on the debate. There is no desire to engage in a real debate. There is also no desire to come to a common ground through dialogue.

The individual may not listen in the debate. They frequently interrupt, monopolize, and/or hijack the conversation to present their own agenda. 

This may include attempts to force a dynamic in the discussion, or not moving on from a topic when both parties are not receptive. Alternatively, this may also include randomly and abruptly changing topics without transition or apparent reason.

There may be several reasons individuals engage in oppositional conversational style. It could be that emotions are causing them to act irrationally. They may be trying to cover up an incomplete understanding of the facts. They may simply not have the knowledge or intellectual fortitude to engage in discussion or debate.

What to do

In these instances, we often want to continue to debate and understand the individual...or make them understand our point of view. This is often a fruitless endeavor.

Keep in mind that it's not always necessary to change someone's mind. Do not get emotionally overwhelmed in the interaction. 

Realize that some issues are objective and some are subjective. Objective issues deal with concrete, or observable facts. If the other individual does not want to discuss facts, you may be arguing in vain.

Move on

When you find yourself in a discussion or debate with someone that utilizes an oppositional conversational style, the best course of action may be to end the discussion before it starts.

If you see any of the patterns identified above, it may be best for you to end the debate before it continues. 

I believe that it is much easier to be direct and honest with the individual. Ask them the following question:

Is there anything that I can say to change, or make you reconsider, your perspective? 

If they indicate that there is nothing you can say or do to make them change their mind, it is time to remove yourself from the conversation. 

Your relationship with the person should dictate your response. If it is a family member you may decide to ask them about their conversational style to better understand their logic. If it is a boss or co-worker, it might be better to accept their position and move on. If this is an acquaintance or someone that you don't really know, you should change the subject, or walk away. 

 

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Ian O'Byrne

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear as it is, infinite. - William Blake

2 min read

One of the major stumbling blocks to changing perceptions and awareness of these "truths" that we've manufactured is that we do not want to recognize that we are wrong or mistaken. Furthermore, we do not want to admit to others (or ourselves) that these mistaken perceptions have distorted or modified our lives.

To counteract this, it is important to periodically challenge our beliefs and viewpoints. We need to problematize these perspectives and question their validity. We need to question their role and relevance in our lives.

In a normal state, our personality undergoes a constant process of reorganization. We routinely review, prioritize, and in some cases reject viewpoints and perspectives. In a misguided or neurotic state, the personality clings to beliefs that may be false or distorted. In these situations, a major crisis or event is required to force the individual to recognize alternative viewpoints and perspectives. 

If your mind and personality has been programmed or conditioned to accept and distort concepts and values, you develop a lifestyle and actions to support or justify your version of truth.You make assumptions that events are true or casual when neither is valid. You seek to prove these aspects to be correct, to make the facts fit your perspective. 

You need to identify a means to wipe these away and cleanse your perspectives.

Ian O'Byrne

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. - Aristotle

2 min read

In consideration of our present levels of awareness, we often have difficulty idenifying and becoming aware of these perspectives. Furthermore, it serves as an impediment and blocks us from making advancements in our own lives.

There are several reasons why we find this to be difficult.

  • What we picture or imagine about the world is based on our beliefs and perceptions about truth. This version of truth may be faulty or distorted, but our minds control our actions and reactions informed by this perception of truth.
  • It is easier to give reasons for not changing, or vouch for what it is not possible to change, as opposed to making the change. Making the change is harder than simply making excuses.
  • In our daily interactions and decisions, we seek out experiences that support our values systems and perceptions of truth. We ignore, reject, or forcibly avoid beliefs, perceptions, or behaviors that are inconsistent with our narratives of the world.
  • We have built and programmed our minds and bodily systems to respond on ways that react and reify to the truth and perspectives we've developed. We have conditioned ourselves to feel, act, and react to the narratives that we've established for ourselves.

Through conditioning of our mind and body, and as informed by sociocultural perspectives, we've created these narratives that we cannot break out of. Many of us cannot recognize or identify the narrative in the first place. For those of us that do recognize the narrative and try to problematize it, this process seems unhealthy and harmful to our very being.

Ian O'Byrne

We are what we think about all day long. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 min read

Our beliefs and narratives hld us back and in many ways imprison us from achieving what we'd like to accomplish during our lives.

From an early age we are indocritinated to this narrative about how we're supposed to act, about the value of hard work, and our role in society. We use this narrative as a form of belief system that includes conscious and unconscious information that impacts what we see as being "real." This narrative and belief system impacts our views about "truth" and perspectives on the world.

We filter our view of the world through these prisms and react to what may at times be misconceptions about the current milieu. Regardless of what the truth may be, we filter this truth, see what we want to see, and reject most everything else.

If we want to make a real change in our lives, we need to recognize these self and socially constructed narratives and question the root of our thinking. What are the narratives and belief systems that dictate our decisions? In what ways do these hold us back from living the way that we choose? How might we revise, or recreate these narratives to achieve self-actualization?

As we change what we see to what we want to see, we must start with changing ourselves. We need to question and understand our present state and reality. What is the current state in which we exist? What are our capabilities? 

Our present state is determined by education, environment, family connections, childhood experiences, successes, failures, and religious beliefs.

Within these contexts, everything that is happening to you in your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual present state is the result of what in going on in your mind. You can be what you want your mind frames it to be. 

What do you think about and bring into being?

 

Ian O'Byrne

I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me. - Abe Lincoln

2 min read

Dehypnotizing ourselves.

Since our birth, we're hypnotized to some extent in believeing ideas that we believe to be true about ourselves. These ideas may come from parents, sibliings, friends, teachers, etc. We co-construct this narrative with others about ourselves using some of our own thinking and intution. An even larger portion of this comes from those outside forces that seem to forget how much influence they really have on us.

These forces are like a form of hypnosis as we believe what we want to believe, or see what we want to see about oursleves. The real truth is that in many ways, we're blieveing what others want to see in us.

When we see someone getting hypnotized, we sit in the theater and watch as the subject easily enters a tranclike state. We laugh and sit on the edge of our seats as we see the hypnotized person easily lift heavy objects, withstand pain or degradation, or easily accomplish things they would never in their right minds try to accomplish. 

Once you believe something is true, you act as if it were true. No matter what facts or opinions you recieve, you hold steadfast to your beliefs. 

In this same belief system, what could you do if you considered that you were not aware of the real potential or truth about yourself. What if you really were hypnotized all of this time by those around you that help you co-construct this narrative? 

Perhaps you're currently hypnotized by incorrect beliefes, concepts, and values that interfere with your true potential and identity.

When you finally wake up...what will you do?