Thread: What is want?
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:23 PM
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rory rory is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Default What is want?

In poly we like to talk about boundaries and needs and wants. I was talking with Mya, and we discovered that the concept of want means different things to us.

This is perhaps best explained with an example of being on a diet: I go to the store and there's this chocolate. Initially, I want it, that is, I have the craving. But then I think about the fact that I want to loose weight, and that I could have something healthier instead, so I don't buy the chocolate.

Now, I would describe that the reason that I don't buy the chocolate is because after consideration I don't want it. Mya said that she'd say that she still wants the chocolate but she uses self-restraint and that's why she doesn't buy it. Thus, for me self-restraint has very little role: I only use it to take the moment to consider all aspects of the decision. So, consideration is ingrained into the want. For her, she there is a battle between want, which is the feeling of craving, and self-restraint/reason.

I don't know how other people see that, is there a difference in your mind? But looking at it more closely, I feel that there is actually quite a big philosophical difference.

If I give advice here about something and I say "you should think about what you want in the situation, so that you can do that". By that I mean that you should consider all aspects of the situation and do what you think is best. But a person with a different concept of want could well interpret it to say "you should do whatever you feel like doing".

Another example: I wrote a while back that, as a hinge, I should concentrate less on equality between partners and more on what I want. I should take the view that my partners are not entitled to my time, but I should share the amounts of time with each of them that I want. To me it is obvious that in stating that I am NOT saying that I will disregard my partners' wishes, because it is obvious that their wishes are something I will always take into consideration when making decisions which influence them. And to define "what I want" I will have already done the consideration. However, with a different concept of want that same statement sounds like "I will always do what I feel like".

Such a crucial difference in communication!
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