Things I am learning:
Business Law: for college, really cool, love my textbook.
Principles of Finance: for college, only done the intro so far, but mostly repeat since I have already done the higher level class that is supposed to come after it.
Humility: really hard. Praying about it. Learned so far: humility is not the absence of pride, but having an accurate view of oneself. As such, it is neither pride nor shame; those both stem out of a comparison to others (like, " I am better than so-and-so"=pride, "I am worse than so-and-so" = shame).
Socializing: So far I have gotten as far as not panicking around people (exaggeration). I found four basic things that help with that for me (though I know others have other things that they struggle with) :
- Comparing (socializing seems based on comparing, but knowing that it leads to pride/shame helps me remind myself to relax and breaks down one barrier to relating to people)
- Ok-ness (as a Christian, I must remember that I have something beyond this, and that whatever happens now is either forgiven or credited to me later. Hence, it is all ok (variations include "I am enough")
- Meaning (as in, what does it mean? Basically, socializing is based on comparing, but the key to succeeding at the whole comparing thing is knowing that even if so-and-so is better or worse than you at something, it doesn't mean anything. All have sinned, and fallen short. In the grand scheme, we are all basically the same.)
- Business (any other problem with relating to people for me seems to stem from trying to mind someone else's business. Bad idea.)
So, yeah, I have an acronym (COMB- really relates to the topic? Nope. :-P), and it helps to reduce the panic factor around people. The next thing? Learning to understand others.
I got the idea in part from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and though it is sort of a self-help book, it has a lot of really excellent ideas behind how to be a effective person. The "7 habits" are (in my words)
- Take responsibility for yourself (don't blame your problems on anyone else, you are the one responsible for the outcome of your life)
- Live out of your principles, not anything else. ("What is your center?"-North, Rise of the Guardians It is easy to live out of your needs and desires, like the need for approval from someone, or the need for money, but the author encourages being Principle Centered. Like, have God at the core. Yeah)
- Take those principles into your day-to-day planning (He has a whole system, using a weekly planner instead of monthly or daily, etc. etc., but basically he wants you to plan your schedule while looking at your principles as applied to the roles you live in.)
- Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself (He phrases it "win-win" but basically you should not be a push over, but you should look at the other persons needs and desires as much as you do yours. Love them as much as you love yourself. )
- "Seek first to understand, then to be understood"- This is the one I will talk about in a minute
- Appreciate other peoples differences (and live out of that appreciation. He calls it "synergy")
- Invest in yourself (exercise your mind, body, and spirituality, so you have more to work with)
Yeah, so that is a lot of wisdom, in my opinion. The hardest thing for me right now is the "understanding others" part. Basically, what he says is to use your right brain to feel what the other person is feeling. I am calling this empathy. I am not good at this. I like logical discussion, but socializing is not done like this. So, totally out of my comfort zone, I am attempting to edge into that understanding of others from their point of view.
This seems to involve a)not logic-ing out what they feel and b)throwing yourself into a non-logical state where you... ehhhhhh..... react? Not really clear on that. :-P But the not logic-ing is a good first step. The 7 habits book has a list of 4 things to avoid, and 2 things to do:
- Advise people on whatever they are saying. Unless they specifically ask. So, for now, advising is a definite no-no
- Probe people on what they are talking about, as in asking a question for your logical construction. This is opposed to asking the questions that THEY want/lead you to ask.
- Interpret what they are saying. Like, taking what they are saying into your own context. They aren't you, and if you are interpreting them to your perspective then you won't actually understand them.
- Evaluate what they are communicating as right or wrong. This could also be called judging.
- Absorb their emotion
- Absorb the content
The "Don't" list conveniently gives me "A. P.I.E." as an acronym, so when I socialize I will COMB A PIE. :) The "Do" list is mostly a crutch: you can reflect back their emotion and their content and have a sort of functional model, but if you don't actually try to understand them in the meaningful, empathetic way, then you aren't succeeding.
What else am I learning? I am building a house, so that is always a learning curve. Oh....
Blacksmithing, because I want to make cool mechanical things.
//Brain Dump complete.
public void endpost()
commence (imporant, stuff)