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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Katja1 wrote:
So did I get it right, that you make a difference between independence and multiple dependence? And that you prefer the second one?


Nice that you are asking, because I left the explanation out of my previous post so that it won't get too long and chaotic. Indeed, for me this difference is an important one. When I told the things I just explained in the other post to a friend last year, he said this was very inspiring, and he wanted to try the same: creating a distance between him and the things that matter in his life. Becoming independent of them. I was kind of shocked, because this absolutely isn't what I meant.

I do not want to distance myself from anything that I do. I do not want my work to be unimportant to me - or the horses, or anything else. I do not want to engage with these things only half-heartedly for fear of being hurt if something does not work out as planned. I could not enjoy my life in such a distanced way. Instead, it is absolutely important for me to do the things I do with passion - or the way my mother always puts it: It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are doing it right. Obviously, with "right" she does not mean correct but something along the lines of "as good as you can", to put yourself into it.

So indeed, for me it's multiple dependence that I want, not independence. I want to be deeply touched by things and I want to really care. But I do not want to depend on only one thing either, and therefore feel the need to get obsessed with it. I want the important things in my life to compensate, to support each other, and for me to be a mosaic of all these things. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:41 pm 
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Thank you very much for explaining this to me! This is exactly the way I feel about my life, too. For example, in my private life some people try to tell me that I'm such an antisocial person and that the most important thing should always be your family and all the other things can only turn around it. For me, this is exactly what I don't want. Instead, I go out everyday with eyes wide open, to find people and things that I like and to spend time with it. Everything and everybody has a special meaning, of course some more, some a bit less, but in the end, if I'd lose something, the rest of these things will protect me of getting destroyed by this loss, as you already described so nicely. In this way, I'm able to enjoy every contacr deeply but without fearing something, because I know that in my life I can always collect things again, if I had lost another one. So thank you for sharing this and make me become aware of that :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:29 pm 
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I think this issue of spreading your interests across different things (people, situations, activities...) also is relevant with regard to interacting with horses. For instance, for me life is rather easy: If I want to interact with a horse (or do a particular thing with a horse) then I can ask one of them and if that horse is not interested, there still are three others waiting for me. As each of them has different interest and characteristics, I can choose from a huge repertoire of possible activities. When I think about this and realize how lucky I am in this situation, I am sometimes wondering how other people manage who only have one horse. I can imagine it to be a bit hard not to project all your wishes on one horse and then put quite a bit of expectations and pressure on that horse.

In the same way it sure would be hard for me if I had only one human to interact with, and I guess I would be in danger of wanting him to be everything for me. Well, not explicitly wanting that of course, but perhaps being a bit disappointed when realizing that he does not have certain traits that are very important to me. I have a friend who is very unreliable, one who is not particularly interesting for me in terms of the conversations that are possible, one who only talks about himself, one who does not share my interests, one who does not share my perspective on many life and moral issues, and so on. When talking about one of these friends with someone else, I have sometimes been asked how I could still be friends with a person like that, when such important things do not fit. But for me this is not a problem, because although I consider all these things to be important, I do not need all of them to be united in one person. For me this makes things easy because it allows me to interact with people without expectations and judgment. But I guess that would be a whole other story if I only had contact with that one person.

Just some random thoughts while actually I should be working... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:47 pm 
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When I think about this and realize how lucky I am in this situation, I am sometimes wondering how other people manage who only have one horse. I can imagine it to be a bit hard not to project all your wishes on one horse and then put quite a bit of expectations and pressure on that horse.


I don't know how people with multiple horses manage! I'm usually so busy that I don't know how I would find time to work with several horses, without cutting into their time, or worse, not getting the chance to interact with one of them at all. I think that, by only having the one, I can develop a closer relationship with her than if my attention was split between 2. (I'm not saying that you don't have good relationships with your horses, I'm just saying that I think that might happen if it were me. :) ) I don't think I really put much pressure or expectations on Rose- at least, not any more than than I would with multiple horses. She can still chose not to interact with me that day. While I might not be as happy about that day as I would have been if she had interacted with me, I don't make her do it just because she's my only horse and I need her to do it today. We can just do it tomorrow, and give her a break for today. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Haley! I guess I have been unclear in terms of pressure - what I mean in this context was not that I am afraid I would push the horse. I just meant that I can imagine that I would put pressure on him simply by wishing for something very strongly and then missing it if he does not do it. Thus, purely mental pressure.

For example, with Baca it's possible that we will be stuck in the area around our property for quite some time until he gets confident enough to actively ask me for longer walks. This is no problem at all for me, because I have the other horses who love going for walks, and especially for Titum it cannot be long enough. But if I only had Baca and therefore perhaps had to fear that I'll never be able to go for walks (I am exaggerating of course, just to illustrate my point)... I can imagine that this would be hard for me. But perhaps it would not, I don't know?

With people I know for sure that it would be hard for me. For example, if the only human I had contact with was that friend with whom the converstations never get interesting, and therefore this would mean that I will never be able to talk about interesting things with anyone... I know that sooner or later I'd start being disappointed or perhaps even angry at him. I think I might start blaming him that I cannot have interesting conversations, because he does not provide the input that I need. And yes, I know that this is completely irrational and that nobody is (or should be) responsible for making me happy. But I think that I might still feel that way.

Well, I guess I am in some kind of "investigating my black side" phase at the moment, so never mind, it's not as serious as it might sound. Just interesting and fun for me at the moment to think about such things. :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 12:35 am 
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This is a short musing about playing tit-for-tat. Last Thursday we had a social psychologist from Ohio giving a talk about this strategy, or actually the talk was about reciprocity in general, and about the way dyads go beyond reciprocity. That is, she argued how partners did not play strict tit-for-tat but avoided punishment wherever possible and instead opted for being forgiving. To be honest, my first thought was "Duh... so punishment harms the relationship - I would never have thought of that... :roll:" However, as my favourite game these days is trying to understand the other perspective, I asked myself in what situations tit-for-tat was actually happening in my own life as well. And actually I came up with quite a few examples.

A very simple example is me and my best friend. At the moment we are planning a research project together with several other partners. Now Leon is the kind of busy person who always has a very good reason for ignoring your emails or not putting a lot of effort into something we have agreed to do together. And it occured to me that a long time ago I have implicitly settled on a tit-for-tat strategy. In order to not feel like I am putting all of myself into the interaction while not receiving much in return, I have begun to adjust my efforts to his. That is, whenever I feel like he is making an effort, I am making at least the same effort, or preferably twice of it. However, when he is not making any effort at all, I am not making any efforts, either. Thus, while usually I might do lots of preparatory work for our project that is not my duty but that I can afford to do, if he remains passive, I just keep myself busy with other things as well.

For me this is important, because in that way I never have to be reproachful (which is something I never wanted to be, based on some not so nice I-do-everything-for-you-ungrateful-child experiences I have had in my past), simply because I do not give any more than I feel I receive. Luckily, most of the time I feel like I am receiving way more than I can ever give back, so it admittedly is an easy game to play tit-for-tat.

But for me, realizing this was important. Realizing that in fact I am not giving so much, just giving back what I have received. These things might differ, and sometimes the things I receive have never been meant to be a gift, but I am just so happy about them, so why not interpreting them as a gift? And again this is old news, as I remember having had this topic with Glen several years ago - but it's good to think certain things through now and then. Well, my conclusion was that people (or me, anyway), do play tit-for-tat quite a lot, actually. Only that it need not be conscious, and that is open for definition what is tit and what is tat. ;)


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