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They'll all fall

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Example of language patterns

In a social anxiety group I run, I just had the following exchange:

[Somebody]:I just don't like people, they annoy me, unless <snip>

[Eek]: Why do you choose to make people annoy you? Which need does that fill? Can you fill that need some other way?

Even in such a simple little phrasing, there's quite a few different language patterns coming into play, and I thought an analysis might be interesting:

  • The statement attempt to reframe the feeling as an active instead of passive, by presupposing ([1] that [Somebody] actively create the annoying behaviour. The intention is to give [Somebody] the feeling that the feeling of being annoyed is an active choice, thus being both more work and less natural than not being annoyed.
  • I try to be ambigious, making it possible to interpret the annoyancegeneration both as a feedback loop between [Someone] and the people that make her feel annoyed (through body language and other feedback forms) and as an internal feedback loop in her mind. By making the statement cover both possibility, I hope to give the broadest possible change potential, letting her change both external and internal feedback loops as appropriate.
  • I try to make her see the annoyance behaviour as having a positive intention for her self. This both let her find anything that keeps the behaviour around, and allows her to feel that she's replaced those dependencies.
  • I introduce several transderviational searches. These are intended to minimize conscious reflection over the presupposition, and focus [Somebody]'s attention elsewhere. There's transderviational searches in 'Why', 'people', 'which need', 'that' (immediate resolution yet spending one memory slot), 'that need', 'some other way', plus a search for example situations to apply 'make people annoy you' to. In sum, these overload the mind somewhat, and should allow [Somebody] to open up for change while looking for meaning to resolve the questions.


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