The topics prior to this one were Absolute Totalitarian thinking, Pessimism, Augury Ogre Stinking Thinking, Alien ESP/Narcissism Stinking Thinking. Enjoy.
Topic 5. Intuition and Empathy and the dark side of stinking thinking.
Intuition is the ability to instinctively understand the underlying messages behind a circumstance or conversation without the need for conscious reasoning. And sometimes we tend to use our intuition as a guide. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and have sympathy with them. An empathetic person has the ability to have an affinity with someone so they can establish rapport from the ability of being likeminded.
However, the dark side of Intuition is when stinking thinking comes into play. We learn to rely on our intuition and empathic too much without the practical reasoning of evidence and lean towards believing negative feelings without ever questioning them.
In addition to intuition having a dark side, empathy also can be a blessing and a curse. The downside is getting drawn down into other peoples problems and pain. If we don’t learn to draw back out energy after an experience or conversation, you can become sad along down with them. You take on their issues away from the conversation, as if they were your own. Then you might feel guilty about enjoying yourself and your successes while people, whom you care about, are having a harder time.
An example of this was when a family member experienced a close death in their immediate family, they are in mourning still after 2 years, of course. And so they live a life different from what they used to, before the death. They don’t celebrate holidays and life is stressful on many levels. So it is difficult to decide whether to tell the grieving family member that we are doing things and having a good life. That is because we are taking on their burdens out of sympathy and our empathic abilities are on the rampage. It is hard to deal with that same death too if we were somewhat close, but maybe its not so hard, no being as close to the family member who passed on. We all grieve differently. So when taking the time and space for our own concerns, we feel guilty.
This empathetic feature of focusing on your emotions can lead you prey to this particular stinking thinking – Thinking with your feelings.
Yes it helps you to know what you are feeling. However, here is an example of the dark side of thinking with your feelings. “Ie. I feel like you don’t love me or I feel like I am being treated unfairly.” Maybe you do feel that way, but is it true?
Feelings can lie sometimes. Especially when we are tired, grieving, hungry, worried about something else, under a lot of stress and pressure, deprived of the brain chemicals you need or hormonal issues.
Don’t let negative feelings rule your thoughts! Write them down and look for the evidence behind them. Putting your feelings down on paper. This is therapeutic because we can write them down and we don’t have to carry them around anymore.
We can set aside a specific time of the day when its most convenient, to think and reason about what you are feeling and why or where it comes from. Then we don’t have to keep thinking about those feelings all day long because we know we have a specific time wet aside to feel and think and reason. We can revisit them anytime we want on paper. And usually, if our feelings and thoughts are challenged, we determine whether or not if the feeling is based on a story we are telling ourselves. We can look at our beliefs and values and see just how they are affecting our mindset and how we are seeing the world, and the situations we experience throughout our lives.
So, when you sense something with your gut, intuition or you empathetic nature is slanted to the dark side, be careful. It is best to lead the situation by asking open ended questions.
You can then listen for the answers IF your gut/intuition is in alignment with their situation, thoughts or feelings – or whatever the golden thread is of that conversation. Otherwise you would hold your tongue and be an observer. You do this to see if it is accurate what you are perceiving, or if its your own projection based on your own mindset and how you think.
Your intuition or empathy may be affected by simply your fears or “squirrels” from your past. This is an important point, to believe your gut without confirmation from asking questions doesn’t help you with a tendency to be on the dark side of intuition and empathy.
So when you are detecting there is an underlying substance to a problem, or circumstance, pull in the reigns and be the observer. Use your gut feelings as a marker that it is time to ask open ended questions to verify the truth of the matter. And then learn from that experience, so that it shapes your intuitive nature to be more objective in conjunction with being instinctive.
Now there’s nothing wrong with intuition and empathy, its just when you take the dark side that it becomes a stinking thinking issue. And you can usually see if you are in that arena by the feedback you get from believing without validating. Thats why it is important to take back your energy and put your feelings to paper so you can shut out your inner dialogue that can chase you around all day.
How To Shut-Down Inner Dialogue
Focus on every word…
Let intuition/gut be a trigger or marker to ask open needed, curious questions
What is the fear/anxiety/subject, breathe & be present, ask others/self a question, where is that coming from?
Does this thought/insight I have fit the Golden Thread of their priorities for this conversation? Will this serve me or the other person or detract from the openness of the conversation? Will this line of thought help me better communicate without blame, shaming or guilt-tripping all over them.
A person cannot truly shut down negative inner dialogue, but with practice, you can quiet those thoughts or feelings.
Say to yourself “I’ll deal with those thoughts and feelings later.” Put the feelings to paper quickly, as soon as you can, and then write or journal about them later on. Set the time aside for a more convenient time where you can write out the observations you made and what your gut instincts were and compare observations. You can gain valuable insight into your beliefs and values and see if they are serving you well.
And remember: You do not have to be right. Its to make adjustments to our instincts so they serve you better. And you don’t have to be right about every subject that comes your way.
When we sense/feel something, ask open ended questions and then maintain your curiosity.
How do you know when you crossed the line from operating in the others best interest – to manipulation?
It’s when you project and assume that you are thinking in the other persons best interests, without actually listening to what the other persons actually are telling you.
Asking open-ended questions is the antidote to mind reading.
It frees you from the jail of skinking thinking and trying to read people‘s minds, trusting my intuition and trying to follow my “gut“.
In business, over confidence, projection, thinking we know our customer, is thinking or heading close to manipulation. This is always toxic and often fatal to rapport, and more importantly, a greater risk.
So stay tuned for my 6th topic on stinking thinking and thought baggage.