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My Journey to Power

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Expanding my social circle 

As you guys might know I’m expanding my social circle. Before I was going out with a core circle of 5 friends. It was a great idea but it made me dependent on them for my social life. My idea was to integrate my peripheral friends with this core friends. I changed my approach.

What do I do now differently?

I book my week-ends with friends I’ve not seen in a while. So now I’m getting calls from the core group. They’re reaching out to me. This put me in the chooser role. I pepper my week-ends with different friends not only from the core group. It makes me more powerful as I can choose.

I’ll still do activities with my core group but by inviting individuals from this group. I have my favourite friends but I don’t depend on them as much as before.

Cheers!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Some random quick thoughts:

Quote from John Freeman on April 30, 2022, 6:52 pm

(4pm)Me: ....7:15PM (and giving him the other details of the place)

(6pm) Him: Ok

Him: But it's early (judge power move: "it's too early")

Me: Other spot: 9Pm (being fact-based, addressing the power move, without justifying myself, minimizing investment: low-effort)

I  think you're reading the dynamics correctly here, and that's half the win already.

I'd have replied:

Him: But it's early (judge power move: "it's too early")
Me: yeah, that's the time 🙂

Or, alternatively, "yeah, that's our early time".

Very high power, without being confrontational or gamey.
The second even agrees with him, thus briding and maintaining rapport, but form a position of equal -or even higher- power.

Sub-communication being:

it is what it is, your thoughts about it won't change it (and don't matter)

I'm not sure if it's PU that lists it now under the high-dominance behavior, or if it's in the negotiating lesson spun-off in Business University.

But it's listed as a high-power approach that some negotiators adopt when they have all the leverage.

Quote from John Freeman on May 8, 2022, 9:29 am

There was a girl who was questioning herself about being a boy. I think that our role as adults is to provide reassurance. The questioning is ok. However the message should be it’s ok to be a girl and not it’s ok to be a boy. I mean I think it’s more benevolent to help a person accept themselves than not to.  I think our role is to provide a solid frame not a moving one. I’m not a psychiatrist so I recognize the limits of my knowledge.

I could see this health advisor is herself not at peace with herself. I don’t know her sexuality. However I’m wondering how much is the hurt being able to help the hurt.

(...)

I don’t think I’m going to confront her with that.

I 100% agree with your reading of the situation here, and really not cool to have

And because of that, I feel like I have to throw it out there:

Maybe you can consider doing something about it?

In this case, there is a third party on the line with an underdeveloped brain and who is going to swayed by the adults who are supposed to care for her.
They may be led astray by someone who may ever so slightly push them towards cross-gender identification when a much simpler solution and approach may be more effective and much better for them.

So yeah, you may take some heat and escalate with this lady, but you may do something really good for that little girl.

And albeit there is definitely some political risk, if you handle it well, you may even gain points in the process.

Quote from John Freeman on May 13, 2022, 8:14 pm

Expanding my social circle 

As you guys might know I’m expanding my social circle. Before I was going out with a core circle of 5 friends. It was a great idea but it made me dependent on them for my social life. My idea was to integrate my peripheral friends with this core friends. I changed my approach.

What do I do now differently?

I book my week-ends with friends I’ve not seen in a while. So now I’m getting calls from the core group. They’re reaching out to me. This put me in the chooser role. I pepper my week-ends with different friends not only from the core group. It makes me more powerful as I can choose.

I’ll still do activities with my core group but by inviting individuals from this group. I have my favourite friends but I don’t depend on them as much as before.

Cheers!

Awesome stuff!

Looking forward to hearing how that will change the dynamics.

Mats G and Bel have reacted to this post.
Mats GBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you very much for your answers, Lucio! They are very helpful to improve my power intelligence.

yeah, that's the time 🙂

So simple yet so powerful.

About the transgender issue, we are supposed to have a course about it. I'm aware I have a lot to learn about it. So maybe I'll see things differently.

Thanks for your overall support in my development.

I want to share something in my journal as well:

I stopped drinking coffee about 2 months ago. I sleep better and snore less. I drink 2-3 times a week an energy drink or a cold coffee from the store. However what is the most important is to quit the habit of "feeling tired" -> getting a coffee, waking up --> getting a coffee. So even though I still drink caffeine, I drink way less of it than I used to as it's not a habit anymore.

This is also something I want to share, I realised that if you want to make any change, you have to make it public/share it with someone. Because as long as you keep it to yourself, you can negotiate with yourself and continue the behaviour/habit.

A recent example is a friend who got depressed (feeling he failed his life project, wasted his time with his ex-GF) but kept it to himself. As soon as he opened up, he could work on it and get better. I did not see him for about 3 months. As soon as he opened up I told him how I accepted as he was and that everything he went through in his mind is common for many people.

So here are the habits I'm working on to get rid of:

Watching porn: this is a habit I picked up as a teenager. I used it as an escape, to avoid boredom, relieve stress and feelings of loneliness. I also used it to keep me from getting hurt (if I don't have a relationship, I cannot be hurt). I realised that it's actually not helping me to be happy/meet a woman. I almost don't watch it anymore and it does not give me as much pleasure as it used to now that I'm more aware of why I was doing it. It is linked with the habit of masturbation. It is something I tried to stop for years and I'm getting closer to success than I ever have.

Smoking tobacco: I smoked from 18-23 yo and stopped for 10 years. Then I smoked for 2 years from 33-35. Now I started again about a year ago. I started because I was curious to know what it was to be addicted. Stupid but true. I think I also started because I wanted to fit in but this might have been unconscious. I used it against anxiety and boredom. I behave absurdly by buying tobacco and throwing it away in the night and buying it again. Sometimes I could buy it twice a day. I think I wasted at least 500 euros this way. It's stupid but it's an addiction and it's how I kept it at bay for not buying it so much. I'm fighting this since 6 months and I'm getting closer to stopping. I smoked cannabis with some friends then I smoked CBD + tobacco and then I did not want my neighbour to think that I was smoking joints all the time (since CBD is not psycho-active) and fell back into the trap of tobacco.

Screens: this is eating my life away and has been for years. I wasted so much time with this that I cannot start to imagine. Now I'm aware and I left a sign on my wall: "What else can I do than watching screens?". It's so easy to watch screen and it is also stress-relieving. I used it mostly to relieve stress, not feeling alone and against boredom.

All these habits are also easier to fall into in our stressful and individualistic society. I am responsible for it. However, I realise that a lot of it comes from living alone and not having much else to do when I'm home and I don't want to read. There can be a trap in our society: go to work, go home, watch screens go to bed, repeat. On week-ends: go out, get drunk, etc.

I started to listen to music again. I know I created all this when I started medicine and fell into this rat race kind of mindset. So I know I can get out of it.

Now that I have my exam it is also paralysing me and I resort to screens. As I wrote that, I'm realising that I get paralysed by people's expectations: success, etc.

I feel like I need to re-invent my life. I think the hospital taught me a lot of things but it took from me a lot of my freedom, peace of mind, time and sense of self.

Writing this is kind of therapeutic. As said above, I'm also saying this because I now make these public. I'm not ashamed anymore. This shame was the nest where these negative habits could thrive. I'm going to take my life and time back. This starts with standing the discomfort that will arise when I'll remove all these "crutches" which are more like deadweights and prevent me from evolving.

So I need to find healthier hobbies than watching screens. I feel like I need to quit the hospital to get a life again. Otherwise, I feel like I'll stay stuck in this cycle. My profession being so regulated means that there are a lot of requirements to be able to do it. I now see the price it had on my psyche.

Spending too much time working in the hospital can be detrimental to one's mental health. Most of the people who still work there either are not aware of it or agreed to give up some of their sense of self/freedom. A small minority kept their sanity. It's the same with any kind of organization: as you said Lucio, it's when you dissolve yourself in it. It manifests as you think about it outside of work, etc.

Your work takes too much space inside of yourself and leaves little place for walks, conversations, restaurants, hobbies, partying, etc. All the things that life is made of.

I think I need to work in a private pediatrics office if I want to be happy. It's all about the environment. I have a positive and supporting chief now and I can feel the difference. I'm not stressed to go to work and I'm grateful to him. I now realize how important it is to work with people you like and respect. I now make it a priority.

I think I chose the right profession. However, I want to be happy doing it, not miserable and bitter. The prestige won't make me happy. I'm now ok to be average. I'll do my best to be excellent but not at any price. I don't care what other people think about me. They're going to judge anyway. I'm not there to make them happy. I'm there to make myself happy.

I think we live in these productivist societies which are crazy (to get the most out of us). If we don't resist actively, we end up lonely and unhappy despite all the "success".

This was long. Thank you if you read this.

Update:

About what was painful in my past: I realized that there was nothing wrong with me. I did not know how to defend myself that’s it. If people abused me and (will abuse me) which is basically harm done it’s their responsibility not mine. My responsibility only lies in my response.

About me thinking I’m bad in pediatrics : I realized it’s not true. I’m in a difficult field in a difficult/toxic environment. I’m smart but I’m tired with all the constraints. I realized I put a lot of effort and still need to. However I’m allowed to be sick and tired. Complaining won’t help me but taking action (even if resting) will. I’ve also been listening to a book about the impostor syndrome which helped me a lot. I listened to a book about overthinking which is basically anxiety and helped me as well.

My parents messed me up and it took me about 20 years to heal from it. I’m still healing though and this feels like I’m close to full recovery. Not perfection but good self-esteem and self-confidence.

I’m not lazy nor deficient. This is just difficult and I’m doing my best. Sometimes I feel like giving up and it’s ok .

It’s all about how, what and why we think what we think.

Update 2: Sleep. The past 4 months I’ve finally been able to get more and better sleep. I’ve been fighting with “revenge sleep procrastination” (procrastinating the moment to go to bed)  for most of my life. Now I finally have made huge progress with it. It’s linked with a sense of not feeling in control during the day. I’m working on it and I also have more autonomy at work now. This goes back to our environment and to the use of screens. So I can say I made huge progress in this area. I’m now working on not procrastinating when I’m coming back from a night out on the week ends. Now I know it’s in my hands.

Also, about a negative psychological bias: I was remembering mostly my failures. Like exams. But with all what I studied I succeeded in hundreds of them (I studied 17 years at university) and only failed a small minority of them. Otherwise I would not be where I am. Yet I remember them the most.

Cheers!

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