14 Apr

This is huge. People often make thousands of decisions every day without really stopping to think. There are so many things we have trained our brains over the years that we don't give any thought. We actually have to stop and pause, breath, step back or reflect with purposeful intention in order to realize "Why do I do what I do?"
Our thought patterns are like an athlete who trains their body, their muscles, and their mind. They repeat a motion thousands of times day after day, week after week, year after year. A basketball player who can make the game winning shot: that shot was practiced since that player was 5 years old shooting hoops in their driveway.
When you drive down the road, you instinctively know how to get to school or work or home. We don't need a GPS when we are travelling the same roads day after day. We know the shortcuts, sometimes better than a GPS.
When we interact with people, our minds are also conditioned by years of interacting with other people, having similar conversations. But why do we freeze or get triggered in certain situations or with certain people? What is it that they are doing or saying that creates this reaction?
Reaction is when your mind/body responds to some external stimuli. The original stimuli first acts, then you, in turn, react. The original stimuli, if aware, can take notice of your reactions and can learn to predict how to make you react even without you knowing. This sets up a dynamic where a person can begin to learn how to control their environment, their surroundings. Most of the time, this is just basic coping with day-to-day life and survival. However, in the wrong hands, a person can learn to manipulate their environments for their self-serving gains, like a person with a personality disorder: Someone with Borderline, Histrionic, or Narcissistic disorders.
Understanding if you are acting or reacting in a situation is key. A person's actions can be many different forms: a spoken word, a behavior, a gesture, or even a non-response.
In another blog, I write about the Jo-Hari Window. It is a great visual exercise to understand how a person's interactions with others is fluid. A person can improve their insight and can improve their interactions with others through simple exercises.
As you improve your insight and interactions, you will be able to notice that you are more aware, more intentional, and more purposeful in your actions. When you start doing that, then you will realize that other people will begin to react to you, instead of the other way around.

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