Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nothing like therapy to keep it real.

(FYI - I do go to therapy and I'm a huge advocate of it. Many folks in the black community aren't fond of it but I'm here to hopefully bring new light and shed the fear of it that many may have.)

In my Sunday therapy session, my therapist touched on a very important point. It was on how humans tend to generalize situations and people in ways that we aren’t aware of. At first, I was adamant that I, as open minded as I am couldn’t be capable of generalizing. No, not me at all! I accepted everyone for who they were whether I agreed with it or not. So my therapist was seriously mistaken on that idea. Until he stumbled onto this little tidbit halfway into the session.

Dr. G: So, do you think that your brother is incapable of listening to you?

Me: Yes, but I think that’s a male trait. You try to talk to them and then they shut you out. That’s what they always do. It’s just how they are.

Dr. G: So are all men like that? Am I like that? What are you implying exactly?

Me: ….. (that’s my being silent)

OKAY. I generalize. I open my mind to people of all walks of life but as soon as one of my mental triggers gets hit, it’s over. My walls go up, I start labeling the person and the situation and have the end result wrapped up in my head before I even issue a reply.

It’s done. It’s finished. I have it handled and I know what I have to do because they (in this case, men) are all the same.

I know I was in the wrong but my first instinct still was to start blaming, “Well, doesn’t everybody do that? I know I’m not the only one.” Then I remembered, I’m not in therapy to work on other peoples issues (because my money definitely doesn’t grow on trees), I’m here to work on my own SO I need to OWN MY STUFF and deal. It’s still so easy, so very easy to blame others though. *sigh*

Of course I know logically they [men] aren’t all the same but generalizing helps me feel vindicated in my feelings and I’m always right in what I feel? RIGHT?!

Shit. I have another thing to focus and be aware of.

I’m not being hard on myself at all. I realize that being honest and accountable is going to take time because I’m not used to it, so I’m not going to complain (at least, not today).

Goal for this week:

Check my generalizing. Just because I may not like or understand something doesn’t mean I should compare it to someone or something similar in my memory.

Trying to be fully mentally aware is quite draining. How do you feel about generalizing, does it get in your way of life or something you are blissfully (and plan to remain) unaware of? Please, feel free to share!

Oh, and another thing. To all who have stumbled upon my little blog. No matter how long you stay, I appreciate it since I have no idea how I'm being found.


jen said...

Oooh. I'm really bad for making generalizations. I tend to think they're harmless because they're only in my head, right? Wrong! Thanks for the insightful article!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cyn, you have a nice way of demonstrating "owning our stuff". It's a tricky concept to get across...I think we have to keep learning it over time. That's been my experience both as a therapist and a client.

Thanks for promoting the positive side of therapy. I thought you also might enjoy "We all have our stuff" at Pop by and drop me a line.