Just some wandering thoughts at the risk of being thought
an idiot, which is the other risk you run when expressing your feelings.
to the point of this list; it is eairly in the morning, i am stressing about a mid-term i have today. Because of MY mood, i have zero tollerence for what i precive as worthless notes.
I realize I've felt alternatively quite articulate and also pretty foolish. The foolishness comes when I send a message meant for an individual to the whole net (like my note to Shannah)-- or make the mistake of editing something on-line and sending off the whole long post by mistake.
Another internal struggle I've been having is that when posting, it intuitively feels like me addressing the group, however, when I'm virtually amongst you all, I'm often quite alone so posting may be more analagist to talking to myself or thinking out loud
What did YOU think when there were no messages from Friday night til Sunday afternoon? I'd like to make a collection of your thoughts & fantasies on this event --whether sensible or not. Please send them to me, either through the list or by private e-mail
To those who would say, "get a life," I'd argue that the experience of encountering other intellects in this medium _has_ become a part of the lives of many of us such that we "miss it" if it's not there. In the same sense that I would miss my morning cup of coffee if I were to forego it, I would miss the time I spend every day considering dozens of messages from stimulating and benevolent long-distance friends.
The only thing this group is good for is self reflection, ie. how YOU react to the group not the other way around. Your reaction to the group is the only "real" thing that you can depend on in this type of setting -
(Oops, am I violating Matt's 'no self-disclosure' rule, there, too? By talking about my feelings?)
Can this heart-felt conversation be moved to private eMail??
I have to admit my first response after reading Shannah's post was to try to convey the fact that she shouldn't take things so personally. Actually, that's the politically correct phrasing, what I wanted to say was "Jesus Christ, Get a Grip!!" but I refrained as not to offend any lurking christians out there.
Doing a "Meta" on this list in the last week or so is fascinating-we went from the slightly frazzled drone of academic in/out group self-referential posturing/whining to something a lot more dynamic and, yes, experiential.
There are some bruised people around this list. . . I'm apparently even responsible for some of the bruising. .
I also know that in these matters, when strong feelings are expressed (and not deflected totally by the recipients) that there is often a period of silence -- but that's usually a matter of minutes in an in-person context. It's pretty impressive when it is a matter of days, as seems to be going on here.
It's SO good to see you all back! I was really worried.
When we share our feelings (reveal them to each other) we risk (1) being the same, (2) being different, (3) being vulnerable.
I feel this very often when I type a message to a list. (My heart is beating too fast right now! What are they going to think of me? --He's just saying something obvious. What the h... is he talking about? Jerk!)
BTW, I have sent out posts; wondered what people would think and, it *was* anxiety I felt...albeit it was shortlived. Nobody's proposed marriage (yet) so I'm not completely satisfied either. : )
It is so difficult for us all, isn't it, to avoid identifying with those "contagious" feelings (or emotional tenor) that sweep through a group in what seem to be typical patterns. It's so difficult to stand back and accept even *some* of our and others' feelings and behavior as not (only) personal but "archetypal" or "group-role bound" (as well).
"Jerry, don't you know that thoughts are just another kind of feeling?"
I've long been captivated by the idea that emotion/feeling truly is what drives each of us from moment to moment, and that thoughts are almost epi-phenomena, a parallel spin-off with very little causal significance in the course of our living. Thoughts, other fantasies, all of our verbal representations, in this view --stated extremely-- are caused (and thus are explainable) by the flow of our feelings. By themselves thoughts cause nothing, explain nothing.
We should not be surprised that "paranoia" is probably the most common feeling engendered in this medium, with it's attendent defense "projection".
Love, with it's attendent projections, distortions, idealiza-tions (Eros has always been a master of illusion), is also rampant on the Net. Believe me, it is.
I have been subscribed to this list from nearly the first day, and I must say that it is certainly one of the, alternately, most 1) entertaining, 2) boring, 3) active, 4) antagonistic, 5) impossible to comprehend lists that I've ever seen.
I hear your feeling here. I, too, have felt hostile when being ignored. And I've usually been able to restrain myself from attacking and attempting to invalidate those who ignore me.
I think that some on this list are feeling stronger manifestations of certain emotions than others. Perhaps we're simply hearing from those who feel them the strongest -- and who are able to articulate them to the group. It's also possible that these are emerging roles that the group currently relies on certain members for.
Some are frightened by the raw emotion, others stimulated in a positive way.
I'm left wondering exactly what must have set me off. I remember being irritated with what I perceived to be Elizabeth's condescending dismissal of my perspective
*Of course* we make assumptions about someone's feelings by reading their posts.
ick. personal growth. i feel dirty, DIRTY!!
too many nice sensitive souls flying about. whom I rather like. so i now no longer can allow myself to be as cruel as I planned. that's what comes from caring (gag)
A holistic view would say that the group feelings are really an aggregate of individual feelings that affect each other. Thus, they are the same but different
Bad it was, but I have to admit to thinking similar thoughts. Does that make it a group feeling? Does that mean that I can get away with making lude remarks without having to take personal responsibility for them? -
these are starting to seem like the comments my dissertation advisor used to write in the margins of my chapters. I find them irritating and subtly hostile and distancing. I'm not participating in order to 'explain' anything to anyone.
"Oh shit! Shannah's given up!" seemed to ripple through the group like a flood crest rushing down the Mississippi river. Then, when she was joined by some other regulars, it added to the angst.
I am sad that we have retreated into such full-blown intellectualization. (Fascinating, powerful, evocative, and appropriate though it is.) I am tongue-tied in the face of it.
I felt a lot of pressure to speak "feelingspeak" using just the right words, because if the phraseology wasn't exactly party line it was a defense, or worse, intellectual.
Intellectualizing is a social defense as is rationalization, i.e., coming up with reasons why something is not ones responsibility. We all use these defenses to act out our feelings
Ahhh, finally we're fleshing out the affect here -- and I think it has to do with judgements, and how chaffed we feel at the various judgements that can be launched against...you name it: Some are accused/accusing of being *too* abstract, intellectually defensive; others are accused/accusing of being *too* affect-laden, inappropriately expressive. And the meta-judgement is that we are not even truly "socializing" here:
I believe that feeling is the driver of all we do, the energy and the initial manifestation of primary forms (whether those forms are called memes or chreods or archetypes).
Stuff is Stuff. Affect is Affect. Neither good nor bad unless we personally judge it as so!
Maybe someone can correct me here, if we're going to have to talk about 'affect', but as a sensor, it is difficult for me to get too stressed by another person's words, most especially if I don't know them. Without the visual and auditory clues, as well as those 'vibrations' (sorry, can't see auras, tho'), I have to take it all with a grain of salt. Also, I identify, or try to identify with everyone, by asking why did they write/say/post that? How would I feel if I did the same thing?
I never read my own stuff when I see it come back through the list traffic, and I can't really say why, but I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that the feeling I had when I wrote it, has past.
Of course, affect will be anywhere human activity occurs. But for you it is primary. For me, it is secondary. I *think* this is because I am a feeler. I am at home with my feelings. I am used to dealing with feelings. They don't *feel* salient. I am an ocean over which waves of feeling come and go. No big deal.
I've tried to think of behaviors which might serve as a "red flag"that behavior driven by unacknowledges feeling is going on. . . This list is not meant to be exclusive. . . and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. . . but any of the following behavior might warrant further exploration.
1. quick discrediting of someone else's post, poking fun, rapid disagreement without seriously considering the other person's message; defining (implicitly or explicitly) someone else's behavior as bizarre,odd, silly; insensitive, critical and unresponsive remarks (the more uncomfortable the person responding is, the greater the liklihood of this behavior showing up)
2. a flurry of seemingly irrelevant posts on the heels of a message which either carries or elicits (including 'might elicit') emotional responses, especially discomfort; conversely, a silence; also the emergence of a 'bright' idea which has nothing obvious to do with the main topic under discussion;
3. concrete or superficial understanding of someone else's post (anxiety can affect congnitive functioning); numbness, 'going stupid' (as an English friend refers to it)
4. overly controlling behavior; avoidance of topics of concern to others; abrupt changes of subject
5. overly social responses; attempts to be funny, witty, cute, seductive (this behavior will likely increase when the person is uncomfortable with something about what is taking place)
6. somatic responses, especially upset stomach and headaches;
quick flurries of temper
The way I see it Marjie, you can stab someone in the back or you can smother them with love. They end up dead either way.
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