spinning

Dialog Is Still Important to Me

It's been a long time since I added anything to this blog, but I'm happy to see that this blog is still up and readable. I've moved to another state where dialogue as an activity isn't popular. So if I want to have the experience, I'll have to make it happen by myself.
Meanwhile I've discovered how many different kinds of dialogue has evolved, mostly to serve large corporations which are often the first adopters because the need to improve is so important in making money. Right now I'm reading an overview of various dialogue techniques... Surprisingly, there are...over a hundred. Will report in more detail when I've got the book in my hands again.

In particular, I've been enamored with the World Cafe` Dialog scene. My skill in being a sign writer means I could provide something called "graphic recording." Which is where you illustrate the conversation as it's going on. There's a local cafe nearby, perhaps they would be interested in doing the Dialog thing there for a bit. The Cafe` does have a stage and might go for a bi-weekly meeting at an "off-hour" when there's not many customers. In our current climate of political polarization, dialog skills have become really necessary.
So we'll see if I can put something like this together.
spinning

Suspending

Suspension is not inhibition in the Freudian sense. It's not a hangup, to feel embarrassed or self-conscious. People aren't used to using the skill of suspension without their inhibitions. It takes subtracting the policing part of judging themselves.

I don't think that using suspension "too often" is self-denial. Self-denial has the element of self-judgment.

Suspension as a deliberate action is a way to recognize and subtract one's own dominant routine - not to replace it with something that is "right" as people seem to want to do when they judge. That works best if you aren't substituting a "new and better" habit in it's place. Suspend and pay attention to see what happens. Who you are and what to do next will both be answered as you perceive with a fresh, renewed sensory ability that doesn't have the habitual routine in the way.

What happens when you actually suspend? Your proprioceptive ability pops out. This is true if you're doing Dialogue while using proprioception of thought, or doing Alexander Technique and using actual proprioception of balance and effort.

So, once you've got that proprioception into gear - make it work for you. Turn it on what you suspended (without the urge to "fix" what's wrong or bad,) and you'll see the workings of the routine for what it is. If what you did before to "fix" it didn't really work so well, try something new. Make a move in a new direction or conduct an experiment by assuming a new attitude of thinking, and your proprioceptive sense will work to tell you what really is happening - to the best of its' ability. Your sense of location and effort that is physical proprioceptive sense gives you relative feedback. Sometimes you will even make a discovery or get an insight.

I've seen it happen quite a bit like this in many, many people.

I noticed during Dialogue groups, when people first discover the idea of suspension - they stop talking. They seem to be busy asking themselves, "WHY do I want to say this? Where does this urge to say this come from in me?" Then after awhile, these people start talking again, at first more deliberately, but then their sense of humor comes out. Their fear of public speaking goes away.

Wonder if the process of suspension needs an additional skill? As it is so handy to be able to make a move in a new direction physically using Alexander's sense of Primary Control - how a little knowledge of living anatomy can be so useful.

The way that would work for Dialogue would be a form of pro-active movement too, perhaps the skill of forward thinking. To put this into practice, exercising a skill of memory would also be handy. You need this skill so you do not forget what you thought needed to be said while you were listening to other people talking.

To use suspension proactively, a necessary skill for Dialogue (for me) has become the ability to hang on to a thread of meaning past many people speaking. Perhaps what you thought of saying will be said by another person.

This takes practice. You would realize you want to say something. You would suspend talking about it for a moment; listen to see if someone else is going to say it for you. Then if nobody has brought up that direction of the subject, it can be said. Because you've suspended, you can choose the most effective moment for it to be said. This has a much different effectiveness for communication than just blurting something out whenever it comes to mind. Try it in your next conversation!
alpine

Dialogue Participants as Archetypal Characters

Just noticing that, during dialogue, these roles tend to emerge. So I made a list of them... Exactly who assumes them is unimportant. In the same way that every internet list server group eventually attracts a "troll," there seem to be many other (much less obnoxious) roles that tend to emerge in the group situation of Dialogue. Figured that expanding the list is fascinating as we would be trading notes on the common roles we have seen. Did not intend to define who is corresponded to which character role(s) in this group or any other as would be done in attempts to "pigeonhole" certain people.

Every once in awhile, someone arrives in a Dialogue group who carves out a new archetypal role for themselves. It affects the whole group as a new character archetype emerges and interacts with the dynamic of the group. This new person can represent a new model with its corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Here comes a new resource of a possible points of view, of skill and ability to reach rapport with certain people, to dance, inspire, repel or excite members of the group.

Most of us are not any particular ONE of the characters; in fact, took for granted that most people are a composite of many of the character roles. Some people do tend to rather obviously gravitate towards certain point(s) of view identified in the character role list.

Here's how I do use regarding people as assuming a role or archetype:

First noticed that I tend to get rather bored with a person who comes to represent for me only one consistent role. Don't enjoy so much being able to predict what someone will say because I'll anticipate how they will repeat themselves and this makes me feel like rolling my eyes in the "here we go again..." lack of patience. Finding this out about myself made me come to respect the embodiment of most characters as archetypes with a more philosophical regard that "someone has to do it." Came to understand that each role (which really represents a whole world-view in
some people) is entirely appropriate in a particular situation - and each role has its shortcomings in non-appropriate situations. This led me to emulate others by recognizing the validities of their strength and spotting certain situations as correspondingly appropriate, such as, "Hey, here's a situation where thinking like so-and-so would be much more useful."

It can be enlightening to have others point out how you are affecting them by identifying it as assuming a role - but definitely requires suspension on your part! Certainly the assignment of - which role belongs to who - does give some feedback how people are affecting others. It is a frank sort of honest daring to tell what role(s) people see you playing. The roles you see in yourself don't necessarily mean that others regard you in that way. Of course, the ability to notice these roles in others usually indicates the capacity for being able to assume the role oneself.

In a Dialogue group in my past, we were talking about how much any one of us would be tempted to alter our essential nature and mitigate some part of our character in the pursuit for communication, i.e: to "not offend" or excite the cultural responses we might want to avoid.

In this group, a passionate, talented, educated, articulate Hispanic woman found herself ranting that she was sick and tired of having to curb her naturally passionate ways of speaking in order to not offend "you repressive white people." The group, including a few non-whites, practiced some stiff suspending skills while listening to what this woman had just said. The rather open-minded were able to try on the point of view of "being repressively white" in order to experience what it would be like to regard ourselves as "white" and "repressed" while obligating someone else to diminish their essential nature. It was quite an exercise.

The urge to defend oneself and to fight against being stereotyped into membership of the obligatory, repressed group was a very tempting reaction. Of course, where else but in Dialogue would this woman be able to say to any group of people what she rather obviously needed to express without having to deal with a huge backlash of being attacked back for saying it?
Taj

Mutual Insight - ad homonym

I've noticed that if you are going to be making a comment about what is going on in the moment, (especially when you have a personal investment in the outcome of the course of events that may follow,) it's very tricky to make your motive be understood when your motive is the intention for mutual insight. I find that it works best to prepare the ground to be received in the spirit of what you are about to say before you say it. So linguistically, the first skill is called "re-framing." You must redefine the frame for the audience, because it is quite likely that they will misunderstand you if you assume they are on the same page as you are.

There is also a time of arrival factor that is also important. Once people are locked into repeating a vicious circle, it's very tricky to stop repeating what is the problem. Better to wait for another time when the vicious circle is about to happen, and make your attempt to interrupt the event that you can recognize is ABOUT to happen at that time...because this sort of thing will happen again and again if it really is a problem.

Even then, we're talking about talking using words. Often, you need to do something to interrupt the actions that are being done. This is why violence is such a common alternative once the vicious circle gets going, because violence at least puts the exchange on the level of "doing something else" rather than mere talking. Everyone understands what you mean if you become violent; but not why you became violent, or what you think violence will do to resolve the situation in your favor or if you imagine reacting violently will do something besides hurt the other person, etc. If you intend to do something else besides become violent, say, grow closer and more intimate, it's a lot trickier to find an entry point inside of the vicious circle of events once they have begun. Unless you have a previous relationship with the people involved that allows you to indicate in some sort of inviting action that you are intending intimacy rather than violence with your ad homonym style comment, your overtures of putting aside the possible response of violence to resolve the situation are likely to be rejected AND misinterpreted.

Often saying something will have no effect, because the action that is going on is that people are saying something - content is being ignored. So for the content of what is being said to have an effect, communication works better if you can figure out a creative way to "change the game" of HOW the content is being delivered. This is another form of reframing. Otherwise, whatever you say will just be reacted to as if it's merely a brand of violent defense or retort driven by the interpretation of some sort of paranoid motive - the sort which is left up to the negative imagination of the person on the defensive who doesn't have enough creative ability to imagine any possible positive constructive motives for your actions.

So this is another skill that I have learned to cultivate - the ability to imagine, under duress, multiple creative, reasonable explanation for the other person's actions when it "makes no sense" that they are in conflict, not becoming violent and getting upset. This is quite a challenge because anger and other emotions tend to block creativity.

OK, so below, I've reviewed what I believe are the motives or strategies behind some of the people's responses here, ad homonym:

below, Rajath has made a comment that puts people on the same side, rather a positional defense that the first two have done. This is constructive because then you may unite both people's ability to observe general characteristics without reacting with the need for assuming the defending/attacker role.
In DL's comment, refuting is not what he would want to do - agreement is what he would want to do while he would restate the question; which would be - "how can we both stop doing what we both tend to do?"

Bohm responded with the "generalized labeling" motive, with an attempt to distance himself from the phenomena in order to examine the pattern. This is constructive, because then the pattern of habit could be recognized at an earlier stage when it could be more easily redirected. I found this also requires making a pact with one person to signal the other person when they believe "we are "doing it again." Then an agreement needs to be made to "try something different" at that point rather than doing what the pattern dictates the two people "must" do. The more often people are willing to go together to this unknown state and "try something different" together means sooner or later they are going to stumble on workable solutions. This is the basis of Dialogue. ...It's also how many psychological answers to relationship issues get hatched, but then someone seems to have to write a book,etc. for the insight to reach beyond whatever agreement two people privately come to in their own relationship. Somehow in our culture, people cannot just "share their experience" without setting themselves up to be some sort of authority which parades their "right" for it to be taken seriously. The motive to have things work out for both of them can easily become a contest of who is going to control the outcome of the situation for the benefit who.

That's why I am fascinated with how couples/family groups deal with prioritizing on the fly. How have they determined who's needs gets answered and how long does everyone else have to wait for their needs to be answered - and how does everyone get what they need at some point?

Rajath's way of dealing with the problem at hand here would be to make observations about the nature of it to attempt to understand how and why it is so difficult to deal with. This is also constructive. What needs to follow is to come up with a strategic way to make it easier to work around the built-in paradoxical difficulties.
The rest of you guys began to talk about how people must have run into this problem before, and started reciting the history of what they had to say about it rather than using your own ability to observe in the here and now for yourselves. These are the pastimes of scholars; it redirects the arguing to a sort of "name-dropping" activity contest showing how well read, what great memory and ways of competing about the value of scholarly infomercials.

I find that when you are talking about your own experience, if you imagine nobody else has ever encountered it before, it's always best to refrain from making up terms for what you are talking about. It usually turns out that someone probably has encountered what you are experiencing before and done just that. So the pastimes of scholars are handy because usually someone in the past came up with a good name for the phenomena already and if you use that name, you don't have make up another confusing term that then has to be endlessly defined and bantered about.

But this is what we do when we first encounter the unfamiliar - we try to make it familiar by comparing or matching it to what we already know. Comparing to reveal differences is usually more constructive when confronting then unknown than matching for similarities; matching ignores pesky differences and is a kind of searching for commonalities that are already known. I know that the way you frame the question points to where you look for answers - and also what sort of answers you find. Seeking for differences notes assumptions that are being missed - and it is from what is being missed where insights are hiding.

I guess I'm writing this to you kids because I imagine you all might want to play with me like this.

Franis



DL wrote: I have long needed and now need and appreciate these points of Reason and Meaning! I have not known how to refute the accusation: "You do it too."
Irene wrote:
Bohm had called insanity "sticking with a point against evidence that it is incorrect." But can "evidence" be seen when one is blasted with it and when there are imperfections in it, and when delivered by someone that one doesn't particularly like (which seems to be a guaranteed aspect of this process), and when "evidence" is tinged with strong, insulting words? I sure can't! Bet I'm not alone.
rajath:
After all, we have communication in the conscious level and metacommunication on the unconscious level, and very often these two are in mutual contradiction (Bateson's double bind), and this is the basis of conflict at the least, and probably schizophrenia at the worst.
-- pete says we could:
defend
fortify (?)
suspend
pretend -- or -- propriocept
repress gain insight
enslave (?) liberate (?)
something like that? can someone please sort it out?
Me

Lee Nichols See Commonalities Too

I was reading this article, and it has quite a few parallels between Bohmian Dialogue and Alexander Technique. It was written by Lee Nichols, editor of some of David Bohm's books on Dialogue. I was struck by this comment:

[quote] .."From this inclusive Bohmian perspective, we thus find that the body is
the gateway to a remarkable wealth of unexpected information. "[/quote]


I guess I'm so familiar with the ego idea, partly because I take it for granted. I see that holding the ego up as something to be gotten rid of is just as bad or worse and repeating it incessantly, because it's essentially the other end of the same stick. So because of that, I didn't pay much attention to the ego part of that article.

What this article did for me was to imagine a mutually advantages synthesis of Dialogue, Alexander Technique and perhaps the process of making art.

I know that many people have different recipes for enhancement of awareness, but a synthesis of those three would be what has worked for me. With full knowledge of how weird I happen to be, maybe I should give that up because the likelihood is slim that anyone will bother to do those things together...but you never know.

The "change of being" part of the end of the article, where Bohm is quoted: "A change of meaning is a change of being." What happens to older Alexander teachers is they become psychic about knowing what you are thinking about during a lesson. In one case I head about, an Alexander Technique teacher's fingerprints can go away - or at least gone far enough away to be indiscernable by Scotland Yard in a burgulary dusting. Guess that this happened because the teacher was so mindful of using just the amount of effort she needed to pick up things in her home. I guess that could be described as a loss of ego, rather than a point of pride of mindful practice.

I like to think about what would happen to humans if their limitations weren't in the way. I guess that's what every parent hopes for their child.
Me

Presenting Ideas Without Ego

Being able to differentiate between "so and so's idea" and an idea that has lost any designation as coming from someone can be an exercise in an "objective" sort of intellectual disassociation. I have come to suspect its usefulness. Used to, but now I don't imagine it's particularly useful to think of memes or ideas as standing on their own, although it's interesting to imagine that's possible as curious intellectual entertainment. I'm open to it being useful in some way to me. Which means, I'm open to having it mean something more to me personally.

For me, it's important that someone experienced an idea directly, observed it, thought about it. The hope that all of us might do that to carry ourselves together somewhere new is in Dialogue.

Some of us have held up the value of egolessness being suspended from the Dialogue experience. I'm curious why this disassociation of idea from who it came from is considered valuable..?

The way people in the Dialogue I was a part of would express this agreement of the value of idea over ego was to try to talk about ideas without claiming ownership. They might attribute the idea to some author, etc. as if they were not related to the idea personally.

Why they wanted to bring the idea to the group was seldom mentioned, because that would reveal a sort of "ego" or attachment to the outcome of the conversation...which was supposed to also be suspended, according to their interpretation of Dialogue ideas of suspension. So we had this Dialogue for a long time which was every sort of name dropping, or a little shorthand for mentioning one idea after another by mentioning one author after another as the ideas went by fast and furiously. It wasn't very satisfying, because our conversations didn't go anywhere new. It was sort of an "information dump."

Then we talked about this experience, and eventually agreed we wanted to make the Dialogue less of a name-dropping event. So now each person who wanted to mention someone else's idea would most usefully offered an outline of what the related idea was for those who had not read that particular author. So that made us quite practiced at short book reviews, dragged out the dictionary, etc. We learned some history, but still - that wasn't so interesting because it didn't go anywhere new either. It was sort of an information dumping experience that could be sort of interesting, if you preferred learning about the topic.

Finally what we came to was to just drop the quoting, the book reviewing and claim the idea as ours - where ever it came from. Then, talking about where our values came from became very interesting.

Then we didn't have to go to some length to separate the "idea" from the person who is forming it. We began to learn from each other why any particular idea was valuable to someone and also, why a person is bringing it to the attention of others now in the group.

We even got to the point where we learned some of the core experiences from where these values sprang. That's when we began to really appreciate some of the Conative (motive-style) thinking strategies of each of the others in the Dialogue that were often quite different from our own. The effect of all this was we stopped questioning the validity of whatever someone said, along with many of us stopping the urge to convince, explain or defend ourselves. This was pretty amazing to see, as it evolved into happening.

Some of us began to feel that each of us was a sort of archetype - so whenever anybody said something, it became sort of like the person was representing "me and all those people who think the way I do who have shared in common some of the experiences I have had." It even led me to search for people who had some of my own unique experiences as a child in common - and the results were fascinating.

Yes, leaving out personal pronouns makes what an author says sound authoritative. So no matter what other motive you have for leaving out personal pronouns, this is the culture understanding you'll be cultivating by writing like that. But putting pronouns of "I" in gives meaning and motive to a particular person.

So, now that I've said that, related to the effect of the personal pronouns, names, attributes to a person, etc. I'm going to ask a question. What I've just written frames this question in a certain way from the fact that it follows sequentially. If I ask, "why do you write so often about that particular idea? Where did the value of that particular idea come from in your past experiences? What does that intent to write without personal pronouns mean for you personally?" What I want to know is, why do you think I'm asking these personal questions?

It's pretty easy to flip the motive for suspicion or connection, by not knowing why someone is asking such a personal question like what I just asked. We ask many questions during Dialogue and while learning Alexander Technique. We might know that the person we're asking has a "thing" about using personal pronouns whenever he answers a question, or we might know the habit of someone who is trying to respond differently by using Alexander's ideas. That sort of a "personal" question can come from a positional attack with a motive of dissection or discrediting, or from a position of genuine curiosity and interest in who the person is and how they put the world together into thinking the way they do.

With email, it's difficult to tell the difference because there is no body language to add to meaning along with the question. So that is why I believe that stating motive is helpful in writing, because it frames the intent of why the question is being asked and what the asker is going to do with the information before it is disclosed.
butterfly

Removing Assumptions of Thinking

Rather than replacing a "bad" conditioning with a "good" one, practicing Alexander Technique on oneself removes conditioning. This requires learning or cultivating a willingness to tolerate and utilize unknown or unexplained results. It also involves how to apply discretion and judgment while selecting for results that will help you. Other than selling effortlessness as a means, goals are usually left to the student.

It has similar benefits to uncovering assumptions of thought which is a goal while in Dialogue. Only with Alexander Technique, you're also studying the ways how you carry out intentions, as well as how you respond and react to what comes at you.

Everyone has built up kinesthetic assumptions about how they should move to direct their actions to answer an intention. These assumptions, expressed in moving, are often quite unnecessarily heavy-handed or outdated. If you train yourself well, habit become innate. This means habits disappear and run automatically without you even noticing. If you has gotten used to being heavy-handed while training yourself - or you forgot what you already are doing, you can be habituated to
simultaneously moving in opposing directions. That's why people feel tense.

New discoveries can be applied selectively, in theory. But sometimes in the dismantling process, you can disorient even your self-image or balance. Or you may feel as if you cannot speak or move. What you are getting is weird feelings about experiencing too much freedom. Some people decide this is alarming; all their self-preservation convictions freak out, so the teacher or situation must reassure them that nothing dangerous is happening - when really, the unfamiliar is exceptionally dangerous. The AT teacher knows ways to make it quite safe so that anyone can feel just a little weird - and their habit is always available for retreat. To want to experiment takes some daring and fearlessness, which some people lack, so often that must be trained. But that would be training a new skill of dealing with feeling unfamilarity, rather than returning to a former state that was more essential. Being able to dare to speak or move easier anyway, despite not feeling like yourself, is a new skill that can be "conditioned."

The sensation of effortlessness and weirdness is the signal you're heading into new territory. If it has a characteristic of more freedom, you might be able to make a discovery - but that's a challenge because the state often doesn't have words to formulate the new information. You
cannot decide beforehand what the unknown will be "like." Each time you're heading out into new territory.

In my case, my earlier form of conditioning concerning ways concerning the way I learned to walk as a toddler was not "more cohererent." But for most people the way they learned to walk as toddlers was an excellent use of energy. Another common comment would be that more freedom feels like "coming home." So this person would agree with you - they're uncovering a more essential state of coordination that was cultivated and conditioning as a child.
spinning

Philosophical Content Needed or Not?

Some people have purely studied the physical discipline of Alexander Technique and gotten benefit in other areas of their lives, without any of the related philosophy. I have seen the same happen in a dialogue group. It was a surprise for the Alexander student that the related philosophy was discovered gradually, without ever reading Alexander's books. Evidently, this can also happen with martial arts and lots of other disciplines that have an art, a craft, a practice.

Sometimes I think that almost any action or area of study has the potential to become an art.

I think what is necessary is a form to demonstate and give you feedback what you are really doing - a practice. Like practicing music, or a skill, etc. Having both philosophy and a practice at once would be just better teaching and faster learning.

For instance, Dialogue has the form of social interaction in the group of people who get together for dialoguing. Someone can come to dialogue and observe what is happening and describe it and they
can sound just like David Bohm, never having read any of what he wrote. I've been present when that has happened.

Artists make art, but you don't have to know art philosophy to appreciate the art. Sometimes artists just start making art and they later come to an "intangible" philosophical benefit as they attempt to explain why and how they did what happened when they made the art. All this can happen without any talking about it, or history, etc. But to get the philosophical benefit for yourself takes immersion, some degree of commitment along with practice, practice, practice. At least that's what I think.
Me

Really Meeting Our E-Meets

I wrote this eons ago when I took a trip up to visit Linda, with whom I had been dialoguing with for over a year. Well, I actually went to visit many more people than just Linda, but that's besides the point.

--- Linda wrote:
> let me barge into what's going on to blurt out:
>
> FRANIS Is EVERYWHERE
>
> okay, so she was just in Eugene, OR this week, but I met
> her and this was quite something.
>
> ...

> I saw her walking down the hall and I was
> immediately puzzled to not "recognize" her. and
> after the evening was done, i felt as though her
> in-person-ness was a family resemblance to her
> e-voice, but not exactly same person. i wondered if
> i am. i wondered if we're all just a loose
> association of different states...and there's less
> consistency between them than we'd like to
> believe...
>
> the lindas
>

Meeting Linda after getting to know her here was an experience not to be missed. I recommend it to all here! If you ever get the chance, it would be wonderful if at least some of us could get together in person somewhere and do the dialogue thing, or merely get to know each other in the flesh.

My first impression now that I'm home was how much we have found out about each other in dialogue here...and how much time that would take to know all of that by conveying it in person, talking. I'm so much faster of a reader, and more patient than I am to hear the same
information. While I was with Linda, it was almost as if I wanted to tear myself open and evoke the level of intimacy that I often respond to when Linda writes...But there was the fact that in reality we are strangers to each other's bodies so the social mores and the table between us was in place. Then again, it wasn't. The back and forth from knowing her and both not knowing her was fascinating.

Sequential words seem to go so slow in relationship to how much I can soak up when I'm reading. So for me, the fact that you all type to me means I can absorb it so much faster than if you were talking. There's no competition for sequential time when I'm taking the time to read. Of course, the time I had to talk with Linda went by sooooo much to much tooooo fast. I just have to come back to Eugene and spend lots more time hanging out with Linda to feel satisfied that I do, indeed, know her.

My impression of Linda in person as opposed to Linda e-mail was first what I mentioned - looking at her mugging what she means when she talked added an encyclopedia to what she meant, because her expressions were so easy for me to identify with. Because also when Linda writes it's often succinct, so I had to imagine the sense of how she was saying it. She's got a rubber face, as I seem to use when I talk, so that delighted me. That's where I meant I saw the same sense of humor that I imagined, because I was adding in the exaggerated facial expressions that I might have used. Usually that's pretty far off, but for Linda it was surprisingly accurate.

I was ready to accept that I didn't know at all what Linda Looked LIKE, so I had that sensation when you see someone you "know" after they have had their hair or beard cut off and suddenly you can see more of them and they look totally different.

Most of all, my impression was that, given some time to spend together, Linda and I could become the best of friends.

Turns out that Linda's impression of me was that I seem to be a different self with different people - and different mediums of expression.

Signed, the various and sundry Franises...
alpine

Creating Creole

Dialogue creole - that's a good buzzword for the tendency people have to assign new meaning to words or to make words up. But if we use it, will people understand what we mean without explaining it? Dialoguers can turn anything into something valuable.

Uniquely twisted letters/words with their own unique meanings demand quite a bit of energy to decipher and get something out of them. We don't like txt messging for that reason. We like to write about the origins of words in our online dialogue group. In the distant past, there we invented a whole bunch of emoticons. Ones designed just for dialogue - because we found ourselves using the same qualifyers. They were cute & creative and some of us used them for awhile, but nobody here remembered them for very long.

It turns out that when you get a bunch of people making up words and then using a string of these made up words in a sentence, nobody has a clue what anyone else is saying - people must constantly ask what was meant - so why not just say what you mean in the first place?

In Alexander Technique, many AT teachers forgo the use of metaphor for similar reasons. Alexandrians can be very deliberate about how and what we tell ourselves to do. Turns out that you may do whatever it is you are telling yourself to do, literally. There is a part of the brain that only gets images and no qualifying words such as "don't". So if you suspect something unintentional is going on with yourself, be more precise about what you are saying to yourself when you are telling yourself to do something.

In particular, I discovered that I was constantly telling myself to do things that I didn't really want to do. Somehow I got the idea if I told myself what I didn't want to do, what I really wanted to do would be free to happen without being specified. Well, I'm the evidence that this doesn't work for me!

Examining the langage you use to tell yourself how to do something is quite revealing. Check it out.