Tagged: cognitive dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

This morning I’m noticing the magic of what catches my attention or should I say, the magic of where my attention goes. Wait — where’s my active voice?

This morning I’m noticing what I put my attention on.

These three sentences are sticking in my mind. Each has a very different source heard during the past few days:

“I was lying – I didn’t really want to let go of those last few character defects.” (comedian in a podcast)

“You’re stubborn; you don’t want anyone telling you what to do.” (friend to me in a phone call)

“I miss the acting out.” – (character in a movie)

I wonder what I say I want to change, but I don’t really. What have I justified to myself or created internal logic to reduce my discomfort (cognitive dissonance)? The challenge is getting past the safeguards my mind has built to disguise the belief.

Looking at the second statement — what do I know about that?

  1. My idea of myself is based on thoughts I have about myself
  2. My thoughts are not necessarily real (mostly not)
  3. I can know myself only through reflection
  4. What someone else says about me is as much about the speaker as it about me
  5. It is an excellent head-fake by my mind to move the focus to him
  6. His observation is likely accurate

I’ll start with the assumption of true: I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.

And what comes up is a feeling that I am starting to explore. The best label I can think of for now is “fight or flight.”

More to come. . .













Smart Aleck

Days Without Pirate Attack:

Days Without Pirate Attack:

I know I have had a lot invested in my quick-witted identity. I am swift with a retort or funny remark. I realized yesterday, that those remarks are usually made at someone’s expense and often dance along the edge of cruel. They are never kind.

My retorts are entertaining and intelligent but, when I target myself; I am being mean to myself. I am usually harsher in these self-deprecating remarks than I would ever be to another person.

This is what I thought “I am — ” It’s what I thought my value was. Yes, I created this identity, but I am also the one who must sustain it. Is this who I want to be? Just last Friday, I was talking to a friend about cognitive dissonance. I wondered what I wasn’t seeing in myself.

A quick wit and a willingness to speak out will always win the attention race: Look at me! Look at me! If you notice me, you must love me, right? If you laugh, you are on my side, right? I looked up the term “smart alec[k].” The Oxford English Dictionary and Wikipedia trace the origin to a con-man and thief. Sigh.

I am thinking now about those who always have a kind word to say. They are not first or clever with a comment, but I remember them with more appreciation. They last.