MULTIPLE Intelligences (Part 3a)

body / interpersonal 

why I need to keep moving!

PREVIOUS: Multiple intelligences (Part 2)

QUOTE: “It’s not how smart you are, it’s how you are smart” – Howard Gardner, 1993

REMINDER: See Acronym page for abbrev.

BEAR images from “MargD Teaching Posters”


1. BODILY-KINESTHETIC (body-smart) – learn by moving.
These people process information through body sensations. Most have the ability to stay graceful & coordinated when using a range of physical skills or manipulating objects – unless they have ADD, a physical injury &/or childhood trauma still locked in the body
All emotional responses are rooted in finely tuned body-awareness. EXP – After seeing something intense, they may say: “It was gut wrenching, stomachs turning, heart pounding, took my breath away, I was shaken….
— communicate emotion through body language
— often talk with their hands, clown around in class
— excellent use of space, have great balance
— can mimic easily & well, good sense of ‘timing’
— good with sports and movement
— need to manipulate & handle objects, build things
— have nearly faultless mind-body coordination
— prefer hands-on experimentation
— don’t like to sit still for too long
— use their hands & whole body when talking
— can train responses to become like reflexes

ENJOY: building, dancing, drama, gesturing, running, touching
LEARN: thru physical activity (doing, tasting, making ‘messes’), acting out situations, role-playing
TOOLS: equipment and real objects

CAREERS: athletes, builders, craftspeople, dancers, fire-fighters, gym teachers, surgeons (More..)
INCREASE ability: do yoga, make crafts or build, ride a bike, dance, learn tai chi or any sport, the wave dance, walking tours / hikes, swimming

TECH ideas: Notetaker, navigating through software, WII, iPod Touch, Keyboarding, making video documentaries with iMovie, video or still cameras, record voice & sounds
VALUE of movement: Studies confirms that exercise can reverse age-related decline in the production of neural stem cells in the hippocampus of the mouse brain. Exercise restores a brain chemical which promotes the production & maturation of new stem cells.

FAMOUS People: Gene Kelly, James Brown, Michael Jordan, Martina Navratilova, Jim Carrey, Marcel Marceau
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2. INTER-PERSONAL (people-smart) – learn by talking with others.
These people are able to get along superbly with others, even as young adults, & are often leaders among their peers. They can see things from another’s point of view, so can understand how they think & feel. Knowing what makes people ‘tick’ can be used to their advantage, such as manipulating to get their own way. But most are considerate & genuinely care about others. They can range from party animals, to fighting for the the underdog, to being indecisive for fear of offending
— understand & interact well with others
— are effective both verbally & non-verbally
— enjoy deep conversations, can build trust
— good listeners, can read body language
— aware of moods & motivations in others
— can see through dishonesty
— good at organizing & conflict-resolution
— make good leaders, have many friends
— hate injustice, have empathy for others
— hurt when others hurt, will reach out to comfort
— generally try to keep peace in groups & encourage co-operation

ENJOY: community events, clubs, group games, having friends, leading, maneuvering, organizing, relating, talking. Need mentors
LEARN: through dialogues, group activities, seminars.
TOOLS: audio or video conferencing, eMail, phone, time & attention from instructors, writing

CAREERS: celebrity, counselor, diplomat, educator, religious or political leader, salesperson (MORE….)
INCREASE ability: practice active listening by repeating back what you think someone said. Learn about personalities types from Myers-Briggs, Enneagram…. create “dopamine-rich salons,” collaborate by working with someone who has complementary skills, invite someone from another culture to your home

TECH ideas: Simulation games with chat, Skype, online collaboration, Wikispaces, Google Doc, Blogger, chat rooms, ThinkQuest, VoiceThread, Group Powerpoint or Keynote, slide share
FAMOUS People: Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Clara Luper (cilvil rights leader), Haley Westenra (UNICF supporter), William Booth (Salvation Army founder)

NEXT: M.I. Part 3b

MULTIPLE Intelligences (Part 2)

9 styles of Intell 

there was so many options

 Multiple Intelligences (Part 1)

SITE: Theory of multiple intelligences


Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) are mainly about our style of learning.
We may have a dominant one, a mixture, or use a different style for different situations. The most well-know ones are based on our senses (eyes, ears, gut, & less used are tongue & nose). Nor are they fixed – less dominant ones can be developed, & preferred ones enhanced.

Research on learning has shown that ADULTS learn differently from younger students (MORE…)
Malcolm Knowles, Adult Educator & contributor to the ‘Humanist Learning Theory’, identified six assumptions about the needs of adults in earning/training situations. LEARNERS:
Need to know Why – what value does this info have to them, how is the knowledge of direct benefit
Self-Concept – most adults believe they’re responsible for their own lives, so they need to be seen & treated as capable & self-directed. They have a need for independence, but not enough to cause discomfort
Experience – individuals come with a wide variety of differences in background, goals, interests, adult Edlearning style, motivation, needs
Readiness – they are ready to learn because they need or want to know how to effectively cope with real-life situations
Orientation – being mainly task-oriented & problem-centered, adults look for practical info which can be applied to everyday issues. They learn best with problem-based approaches & through actual experience
Motivation – they respond to some external motivators (better job, higher salaries….), but the strongest motivators are internal (desire for increased job satisfaction, self-esteem….)

• In the 1960‘s, Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard Professor of Cognition and Education, revolutionized our understanding of Intelligence (I.). Over the years he has authored over 20 books, holds 26 honorary degrees & is among the “100 most influential thinkers in the world”. H.G.
The inspiration for his theory of Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) came from his work with two distinct groups: stroke victims & children. “Both were clueing me into the same message: that the human mind is better thought of as a series of relatively separate faculties, with only loose & non-predictable relations with one another – rather than as a single, all-purpose machine that performs steadily at a certain horsepower, independent of content and context” (Theory development)

Dr. Gardner’s framework for M.I. offers a practical model for identifying the many paths to learning – regardless of content, skills or desired outcome. He believes that the current list is not exhaustive, since he’s added to them since he first started with 7.  He believes that I. is much more than IQ, because it requires useful action to be valid. “Intelligence is a bio-psychological potential to process information that ca9 Isn be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture”.

These 9 Is are expanded in following posts:
Kinesthetic: interacting with one’s environment
Inter-personal: connecting with others
Intra-personal: self-awareness, values & attitudes
Linguistic: expression thru the spoken & written word
Logical: problem solving through reasoning
Naturalist: classifying and categorizing data
Rhythmic: identifying and extending patterns
Spiritual: using contexts & connections before understanding
Visual: the ability to see, envision & imagine
NOTE: Only Linguistic & Logical are measured by old-fashioned IQ tests.

• This list is a way to categorize how humans natively become aware of, understand & process our environment. It helps to figure out where our weaknesses come from, but mainly to pinpoint natural strengths – seen in our preferred learning, behavioral & working styles – so we can make the best use of inborn preferences. Sadly, out of ignorance or necessity, many people are in jobs that go counter to those preferences.

in the wrong jobEXP: A highly Body-Kinesthetic person may be stuck in a Logic desk-job, instead of being able to move around, such as a forest ranger, recreational leader, physical therapist, gym teacher…..
— or a Visual / Artistic person in a Linguistic position, instead of being able to dance, paint, act….

• Although each of us can access all 9 styles, no two people have the same amount of each.
Some people are Mono-endowed, like being able to speak 4 languages – but it takes them awhile to calculate a tip, or like someone who’s a whiz with numbers – but can’t carry a conversation. If their single talent is honed & monetized, such people can become celebrated for incredible accomplishments
A few are at the other end of the spectrum, ‘Renaissance’ men or women who can cross-access several Intelligences & are superior at almost everything they do
The rest of us have one or two dominant talents, which serve us well if we have the opportunity to freely express them

• Dr. Gardner tells us that I. involves problem solving – creating ‘products’ when expressed in a context-rich & natural setting. What other scientists used to think were just soft-skills, such as the Inter- or Intra-personal ones, Gardener realized were actually types of Intelligences.
EXP: Being a math whiz gives the ability to quantify the world, but so does being people-smart, just from a different perspective. So someone with Intra-Personal talent may not be able to calculate the rate at which the universe is expanding, but will be able to find someone who can!
These 9 categories also give a way to recognize & own potentials many of us left behind in childhood (love for art, computers…), & can now take the opportunity to develop.

BOOSTING Intelligence
Since different areas of Is are related to each other it’s possible to increase it in one area by developing another, because many problems can be dealt with in more than one way. learning options
— One third-grade teacher found her students’ scores on a math test (logical) nearly doubled after giving them training in visual (spatial) skills with a microcomputer program
— “Early music training (for 3-year olds) prepares young brains for spatial & abstract reasoning skills crucial to engineers, scientists & mathematicians.” ~ study from U of Cal. Irvine
— “An enriched environment that helps very young children develop each area of talent or intelligence is one of the best possible investments in their future” ~ Ron Fitzgerald, D.Ed.

NEXT: Multiple Intelligences (Part 3)

MULTIPLE Intelligences (Part 1)

9 intelligences

I can’t do  math, remember names…..?

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 11)

SITE: Five New Minds for the New Year
(Dec. 2012)
Your 12 types of Intelligence
<— CHART : Examples 

DEF: Intelligence is a combination of the abilities to: 
(from several authors)
1. Learn – which includes all kinds of informal & formal learning, via any combination of experience, education & training
2. Pose problems – which includes recognizing problem situations, & transforming them into more clearly defined issues
3. Solve problems – which includes outlining solutions, accomplishing tasks, creating products, & doing complex projects

Human Intelligence is the singular, collective ability to act & react in an ever-changing world. Our brain is an ‘equal-opportunity’ organ. The more opportunities it has to develop & apply its many but distinct functions, the better we learn, which can make us complete individuals & better citizens. The brain can go from the practical to the most remarkably creative, from the concrete to the abstract, from detached reason and logic to emotion and attachment – all of which we can draw on as we negotiate our way through life

When talking about Intelligence it makes sense to start by looking at the 2 halves of the brain – the Right giving us our Creativity & the Left our Analytical abilities. This chart suggests the 2 sides Sbrain hemespherescontribute to the various types of Intelligences (I.) listed in the next few posts.
EXP: LEFT = Logic-Math I. // RIGHT = Visual-Spacial I.

However, emerging scientific consensus is that intelligence depends not just on the efficiency or power of various brain regions, but also on the strength of the connections that link them.
Researchers Haler & Jung (New Mexico) attribute our I. to a circuit that links the Frontal Lobes, involved in organization, planning & other highly developed abilities, with the Parietal region farther back in the brain, which integrates information from the eyes, ears and other senses.
They believe this Parieto-frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) best accounts for the evidence that  I. depends on several brain regions tightly linked by axon tracks that form superhighways of info. (Brain basis for M.I.? – gives YES/NO points)

brain & Intellig.Applying this info to eLearning – some dimensions <—-> are:
– being cooperative vs competitive
– learning independently vs from an instructor
– more or less introverted vs extroverted
– learn verbally vs visually vs aurally
– perceive or processes concretely vs abstractly, actively or reflectively
– make decisions or judgements by deliberation vs intuition
– learn sequentially or bottom-up vs. global or top-down

2 TYPES – from Psychologist Raymond Cattell (1963)
FLUID (Gf) Intelligencecrysteline intell
The ability to recognize & identify unfamiliar complex relationships / patterns, make inferences about them & use logic to solve new problems

CRYSTALLIZED (Gc) Intelligence
The ability to use learned knowledge & experience. Consists of: Comprehension, Cultural influence, Experience, Judgement, Learning  (MORE….)

3 TYPES“From Knowledge to Wisdom
IQ – HEAD smarts
Ian Lawton showed that people with high IQs aren’t automatically good at everything, by using a ‘simple’ math problem:
“A bat & a ball cost $1 and 10 cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?”
— Did you say the ball cost 10 cents? That is incorrect., but that’s OK, since more than 50% of Harvard, Princeton and MIT students also got it wrong.
SOLUTION — Consider that the bat is a dollar more than the ball, which costs .05 cents. Since the difference between the two has to be $1 ($1 -.10 = $.90) then the bat is $1.05. ($1.05-$.05=$1)

Understanding the feelings & instincts behind the facts. It’s used by 90% of top performers in business for success , & 58% of job performance is based on it. People with a hi EQ make almost 3 intelligences$29K more a year.  We BUY ‘stuff’ using EQ, but most will deny it, insisting their choices were totally logical

Combines IQ & EQ. It’s where moral intelligence comes from, giving us a sense of purpose & wisdom. It has its own way of ‘knowing’, gathered from all our years of experience to combine the best of our emotions, skills & knowledge for each occasion

NEXT: Multiple Intelligences (Part 2)

ACoAs & CONFUSION (Part 11)

getting cleamer 

& see the results of my perseverance

SITE: How to face Confusing Thoughts

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 10)

QUOTE: I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery & death….I think…peace & tranquility will return again” ~ Anne Frank

REVERSING life-long Confusion
It’s normal to not know everything, to be confused sometimes, & to need guidance. It’s when any of these shows up at either extreme that we know something’s off.
Internally: While we can never know everything, it’s imperative that we start with ‘I know what I know’. Clear thinking does not preclude or ignore INTUITION, which is based on unconscious or subliminal info we’ve gathered along the way. We need all parts of our knowledge base, from all 4 PMES levels.
Externally: The main way we get confused is when others are unclear in any way (see Part 8) and from Double Messages

1. Get VALIDATION. Because our parents provide no mirroring, or very distorted feedback about who we are, we think we’re invisible – both internally to ourselves (“I don’t know who I am”), & externally to others (“No one gets me”).
As adults we can reverse this training by risking what we fear the most – any form of abandonment.

2. Grow the ADULT/Good PARENT ego states (UNIT). Since our internal confusion comes mainly from the PP & WIC, we need to form & strengthen the UNIT so that it can be the decision-making voicelearn logic

3. Get more INFO
External Decisions
Clearly define the problem. Try to answer honestly, even if you have to sleep on it. What’s your actual goal / what outcome do you want? Is it realistic? What’s your motivation? Write everything out & ask someone to review it with you.

Internal decision
a. Make notes of all the conflicting points of view on a subject that’s making you you ‘feel crazy’. Then put it aside & come back later. Ask someone to review it with you.
b. Try to find the emotion under the mental confusion /resistance:
— maybe you may already know the answer to a problem, but are afraid to go for it
— the PP or WIC is stopping you, each having their own agenda for not wanting to proceed

Read posts: Book-ending // Problem-solving // My rights // Why are you stuck?   USE: relevant books, internet, therapy, Program, groups…. to help you learn that’s normal & healthy.

4. Learn to apply LOGIC
INDUCTIVE reasoning – (bottom-up logic) means to observe something & then use that to form logical reasoninga conclusion, & is called the scientific method.
EXP: I notice Joe drinks a lot, on a consistent basis, & when he’s drunk he gets mean. I can logically assume that he is going to continue this way – for some unknown time.  THEREFORE it’s safe to say he’s not at present good partner/mate/friend material – no matter how charming he is the rest of the time!

The problem for ACoAs is NOT that we’re not smart or observant enough to do this, BUT rather that we’ve been brainwashed to not trust our perception & experiences. Denial is our default position.(See Part 2). If we allow ourselves to see present-day reality with adult eyes, we may come to realize how crazy & bad things really were for us as kids – & in many of our adult relationships. We’ll have to S & I, stop obeying the PP & be our own person!

DEDUCTIVE reasoning – (top-down logic) starts with an idea, belief, premise (X) – which we assume to be true. Such ideas are formed using general rules of logic, which hold true within a specific framework. IF & only IF the premise if correct, deduction provides absolute proof of our conclusion. IF a premise is unproven or unprovable, this must be accepted at face value, on faith, or for the purpose of exploration. (MORE…), even when we don’t like the answer (reference: The Serenity Prayer).
EXPs of X: All ‘men’ are mortal (realm of philosophy) / I have inalienable rights (realm of psychology) / God exists & is good (realm of religion, faith). (Other examples)

● Based on (X), we consider what else might be true (Y), making generally accepted observations, & proceed to an IF-THEN conclusion (Z), reached by generalizing or extrapolating from our initial statement. Some (X) premises can be proven (re. mortals), others cannot (re. God):logic
EXP: If God is real & is good (X), then He watches over me (Y), & therefore I am protected (Z)
EXP: X – all mothers always love their children
Y – I have/had a mother (reality)
Z – therefore my mother loves me (her child)
Of course, this second ‘Xis not true, since not all mothers love their children. Y is true, but Z is not a guaranteed outcome!

5. Take SOME Action
• Break down potential tasks (job-hunting, changing careers, breaking up, medical issues, re-decoration….). into bite-size pieces – called process
• Identify the ones you know how to do, & the ones you don’t – so you can get the missing info you need to proceed
• Choose the simplest action you can & take it – one phone call, one evening class, one hour of internet searches…. You don’t have to know if the action will lead you where you want to end up. But it can tell you if you’re on the right track or not
• Don’t give up. Keep going & keep trying new things. It can eliminate some confusion & you’ve possibly learned something along the way

SITE: Uncertainty and Cognitive Control


ACoAs &CONFUSION (Part 10)

recovery confusionI DON’T KNOW
what to expect

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 9)

SITE: “What to do when you’re unclear, confused ….”

QUOTE: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~ Hans Hofmann

c. family influences
What are ACoAs primarily ADDICTED to? Our family!
They installed our buttons & they can push them all too easily – any time we’re in contact with them. BUT not forever! Recovery does allow us to S & I.
However, until then, dealing with our family (especially parents) means we can still be influenced by their disease :
— In recovery, part of what confused us is that we underplay / deny how great our damage really is. Assuming it “wasn’t that bad” makes it harder to appreciate how much work it takes to heal
— The WIC wants to be loyal to them & not feel abandoned and not to abandon them! “I have to listen to my family They KNOW. I’m wrong & they’re right…..”

All of this creates internal conflict, having one foot in the recovery confusionold & one in the new – ideas, patterns, awarenesses, choices… old PP tapes still blaring their poison, competing with the new info we’re been learning. Very confusing. Who to listen to? We keep wondering: “What’s true? Am I just feeling my parents’ pain for them – so they don’t have to  (because they don’t want to)? Am I just feeling sorry for myself? Am I depressed? Why can’t I get it? There are so many versions of ‘health’, & what about Spirituality? Aren’t I supposed to turn the other cheek, take the high road?….”

Any time we get stuck in some area of life – we want to do it differently, but can’t seem to move – it means we’re in serious conflict – & the negative side is winning. Then we have to find out what the PP & WIC are thinking & feeling, so we can identify the “Negative Benefit” of not moving forward. As we stay on The Path to mental health, we begin to experience our own inner truth. With the right teaching & support these Qs are answered & things get clearer.

d. when learning anything new – including the process of going thru developmental stages in a healthier way than we did originally. (See book “Cycles of Power + comments — by Pamela Levin). We get confused not only for the obvious reason that it’s all new to us, but also because most of us never learned process.
We are impatient & want our progress to be faster than is humanly possible:recovery impatience
— we think we should already know things we never learned and which our brain needs time to grow into, because repetition is what makes the change – & that takes time
— we’ve been miserable for so long we want a miracle cure, & right now!
— ACoAs rarely have a realistic sense of time & how long things actually take – we think something takes much, much longer OR no time at all

• Always remember the analogy to having physical injuries. The greater the damage to our body – from an accident, illness or surgery – the longer it takes to heal. And if we try to use / over-use a recovering part of the body too soon – before it has had time to heal – it can be re-traumatized. It’s the same for emotional wounding.
Recovery work needs to be done consistently – every day – in order to see progress, AND it cannot be rushed. 12-Step Programs remind us “Progress, not perfection”.

e. because of incongruity.  DEF – when something is “strange, because of not agreeing with principles, or what is usually expected”
CONGRUOUS: harmonious, exhibiting harmony in it’s parts, is internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity or certaintyinconsistencies

For ACoAs, incongruity has to do with anything we’re thinking (CDs) or doing – which conflicts with how the real world works. This is similar to ‘Old Patterns’ (‘Confusion-Part 7, #7). When we try to interact from our historical training in ‘normal’ relationships or work settings – we don’t get the response we expect or want, so we get confused – and we confuse others.
In Recovery – the main incongruity, at least internally, is between the False Self (wounded Adapted Child) & the fledgling True Self (healthy ‘UNIT’) , how we’ve always reacted vs new ways we’re learning to apply.

f. because of the contrast – between:
— the way we were treated by our family & other abandoning, abusive, neglectful, torturing adults (school, religion, caretakers…) vs.
— the way healthy, respectful, kind, loving PPT treat us – in the present – once we have enough self-esteem to place ourselves in saner situations.

contrast confusionThis tectonic shift in the ways we’re now treated by healthier people – represents our growth! But at first the contrast just doesn’t compute, doesn’t feel real, can’t last, is an accident…. Our discomfort with ‘goodness’ points out the severity of our early abuse & neglect, which brings up rage & sorrow. Eventually we come to live ‘in the light’ of the positive, which becomes the new norm!

CAUTION: S & I is very scary to the WIC, and intensely resisted by our PP. So as we move away from damaged ways of thinking & acting, there’s a strong pull to revert! The Program reminds us that our ‘disease’ is “Cunning, baffling & insidious!” It’s as if it has a life of it’s own & doesn’t want to be left behind. SO – practice disobeying the Toxic family Rules – no matter how confusing. When we backslide / regress – we do NOT have to stay there! We will feel guilty at first, but that will pass as we keep up the self-care.

So even when we hear the old tapes, they won’t be as loud – most of the time. We may still get confused occasionally, but now we have new tapes with better info, & slowly we get less trapped between loyalty to the family vs. loyalty to ourselves!

NEXT: Confusion (Part 11)

ACoAs & CONFUSION (Part 9)

normal confusion 

what a relief!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#8)

SITE: Emotional & Psychological Trauma

QUOTE: “One who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes. One who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” ~ Chinese proverb


The opposite of confusion is clear thinking.
For ACoAs, this requires a certain amount of S & I, which allows us to develop a stable sense of who we are as an individual, what our rights are, & a decent amount of self-esteem.
At the same time, it’s appropriate to be confused in certain circumstances. Healthy adults use those situations to notice when something is incomplete or incorrect. It’s a cue to get more information, & ask for help or get verification. “Leaving home” (S & I) is scary & perplexing. From time to time it’s even depressing. But the reasons for Recovery Confusion are not the same as those we’ve been drowning in much of our life.

a. during any transition, such as in personal growth
In Recovery we are moving thru completely new territory & don’t know what’s ahead, even tho many others have gone before & paved the way. We are used to predicting all future events based on past experience – but the past we are using is mainly based on childhood trauma. So even if some adult experiences are better, we still rely on what’s familiar, no matter how distorted or harmful – because that feels ‘safe’. But of course it’s NOT. The well-known ‘definition’ of Insanity is: “Doing the same (stupid/wrong/sick) thing over & over, & expecting a different (better) outcome”!NEW PATH

● At first we don’t know what to expect, or even if it’s possible for us to heal. We may not even believe we can achieve our goals of having internal peace & external success. And yet many of us are compelled to keep searching for answers. We want/demand a blueprint, & want to know how long it’s going to take – meaning how fast we’ll be ‘well’. We hate uncertainty – it feels chaotic & unsafe. Transitions are always uncomfortable.

● BUT – by definition – growth means we can’t possibly know what’s ahead – not completely. If we already know what’s ahead there no reason for going thru the process. We need to be willing to risk finding out what’s possible by changing our thinking & actions, in order to get that illusive ‘different outcome’. As we gather new information & courage, we can take more steps along the path.

● Transitions include periods of time when we have to just sit with not knowing – we can’t use the old ways but don’t yet know ourselves well enough to figure out how to be. That’s uncomfortable, but if we persist in the process, we become more sure of ourselves. “I know what I know” applies even in transitional stages, which can help us feel a little more grounded.

b. what we know vs don’t know
This ‘not knowing’ is an indication of growth,  confusion triggered with every issue we have to work on (career, relationships, self-care….), & at the different levels of growth for each one. Our reaction will be too little AND too much:
Too Independent : Since we had little or no guidance as kids, many of us are used to doing everything ourselves. What we can’t figure out – we do without! Even in Recovery we still believe that we’re supposed to know everything, making it hard to allow ourselves to:no thanks
— reach out for comfort, guidance & information
— make the effort to find out what else is possible in the real world
— try out a variety of new ways to do things
— be OK with making mistakes or having to try many different options

• We were trained to believe we’re supposed to be self-sufficient – both emotionally (“Don’t bother me / don’t be such a baby….”), and regarding how things are done (“You figure it out / should know that”)…. without anyone’s help. So no matter how confused we are – we don’t want to look dumb or make a fool of ourselves.
EXP: You take a college course on a subject you know very little about, maybe just for credit, or because it’s of interest. But you don’t really understand the material & find that you’re floundering. You get the sinking feeling you’re missing something everyone else understands but you don’t know what.

● So, as a ‘good’ ACoA we beat ourselves up – either we should already know the info OR be able to figure it our on our own (“I guess I’m just too dumb”). But how can we? The whole point of taking a class is to learn what we don’t know! Believing otherwise feeds S-H.
This issues applies to work, relationships, self-growth….. Having difficulty with the ‘material‘ means you: — are rushing the learning process
— don’t have enough facts about the situation you’re in
— trying to do too much at once, or everything at once
— are trying to to implement ‘graduate level‘ info before being solid in earlier levels of understanding

vs. Too Dependent (longing for symbiosis, someone to take care of us so we don’t have to).  Actually – there are many thing we DO know – and have always known, even as little kids – but have been brain-washed by family (& sometimes church & society) to deny, so we’ve pushed it away or completely forgotten it. The conflict makes us feel crazy. We feel so lost & too afraid to trust our own judgement, common sense or experience – that we constantly, compulsively ask others for info & help, even when we actually know the answer or what to do —
— as a way to stay dependent on others, esp. an authority
— trying to get validation because we don’t believe in our knowledge & experience
— from being taught (usually by a religion) that talking about -even- legitimate knowledge & accomplishments is arrogant, presumptuous or the sin of pride

It’s true that we have many cognitive distortions (CDs) learned in our family, BUT ACoAs are very smart & intuitive. We need to recapture the many truths we have suppressed & ignored for so long. It will UN-confuse us. REMEMBER: “I know what I know” applies even in transitional stages, which can help us feel a little more grounded.

NEXT: Confusion (Part 10)

ACoAs & CONFUSION (Part 8)

being confused 

why I’m never heard!


SITE: Journaling to deal with confusion, & more

QUOTE: “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
~ Robert McCloskey, writer

ADULT Confusion (cont.)
REMEMBER: ‘Message sent is not always message received’.
Depending on how important it is to you to be understood, AND who you’re talking to – you may need to double check whether or not they hear you correctly, or have instead formed their own interpretation. Unrecovered wounded people tend to filter what they hear through their WIC or PP, coloring input from others, especially if it’s scary to your CHILD or not allowed by the INTROJECT.

C. OTHERS confusing US
In dealing with other people, the #1 rule is: “If you walk away confused, they are confusing”. Do not assume it’s you!
1. IGNORE EMOTIONS: When we’re talking about an emotional situation, & the other person responds with an action suggestion, thinking they’re being helpful:
Comment: “My apartment recently burned down, & I was there at the time. Especially painful was the loss of 2,000 books & my 2 cats!”
Some Responses: “Get new cats right away” // “So what did you learn from the experience?” // “Well, at least you’re alive!” // Laughter     ——- UGH!

2. INCOMPLETE responses: There are 2 main ways others can confuse us when trying to give us information, often in the guise of help. Info is only beneficial if it’s what we need at the time, & in a form we can use.
Vertical confusion – using School Levels as a metaphor – what if you asked someone for info at level 1 or 2school levels because that’s as far as you’d gotten on a subject / project / lesson…., but the response was at level 3 or above? You would not be able to use what was offered, & you could easily be confused, if you tried to apply it before you were ready.
Anyone who responds that way is NOT actually paying attention or asking for some context (“Where are you in your process?”). More than likely they’re in a narcissistic / co-dependent fog & just offer whatever they know, have done, or would like themselves, without considering you at all.

Horizontal confusion – Others will try to provide what they think is a perfectly logical answer, but are actually giving an incomplete answer. This happens when they’ve left out a crucial piece of info somewhere along the line (X) which they assume you know, but of course you do not. You know something is missing, so you ask for clarification.
It’s so aggravating when the person says: “Well, what do you want to know?” Since you can’t possibly know what that missing piece is, you can’t ask for it specifically – leaving our somethingyou can only say you’re confused. If you insist they explain it more thoroughly, AND they can’t or won’t – both of you will get very frustrated, & possibly quite testy!

3. OTHER ways
The list of how we can confuse others is the same as what they can do to us (Part 7).
Some people’s motto is: “If I can’t convince you, at least I can confuse you!”
Re. THEMWe get confused when someone:
● asks for something small & then when you do it, they tell you there’s more to the ‘thing’ than they first told you (giving them a quick ride home turns into several stops to pick up a fiend, their dry-cleaning, cigarettes….)
● claims something is a proven fact simply because it’s a popular belief
● does not ask for sufficient info when assigned a task or project, & then procrastinates, or makes a mess of it

● never gets to the point, talking around a topic
● makes everything into a jokelaughing at
● smiles or laughs while talking about something personally painful (like childhood abuse, a death, an insult received….)
● says something that has nothing to do with the conversation
● talks really fast & doesn’t take a breath, but doesn’t say anything meaningful
● tends to exaggerate, even lie, so you can never tell what’s really true
● they claim to be or do something they can never live up to
● uses complex words to explain something simple

Re. US – We tend to get confused when someone:
● accuses you of something you didn’t do or say
● ‘comes on to you’ but has no intention of following thru (a tease)
● does the opposite of a direct request you made
● doesn’t pick up on cues you give out about who you are or how you feel, so treats you as if you’re someone else (in their head)
● expects you to read their mind (know what they want)

● ignores or insults you to your face, but praises you to others (parents)
● ignores what you’re saying, leaving you wondering if you were heard
● is symbiotic, assuming you are the same as them
● is usually ‘there for you’ in some situations, but definitely not in others

● only says what they think you want to hear
● reacts to your Adult or happy IC ego states from their PP or WIC
● reacts negatively to a positive or neutral statement
● repeats what you say – but in reverse (I hate holidays / Oh, you love holidays / Paint my room any color BUT brown / & then they paint the room brown )
● pretends to understand what you’re saying but doesn’t, letting you go on thinking they’re ‘connecting’ when they’re notmisinterpretation

● says they’ll do something (“I’ll call you later”) but rarely or never does
● says “You know what I mean” without sufficient context
● twists your words against you    —  (Cartoon )
● uses emotions to manipulate (creating guilt, fear…)
● uses their position of authority to manipulate you into going against your principles or best interest ETC.

NOTE: Many of these forms of confusion can easily lead to becoming frustrated & angry! That’s normal. Remember – if you are the recipient of any of these ‘games’, it’s not you that’s off!

NEXT: Confusion (Part 9)