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  #11  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
But I think we can only lead/teach by example.

Most everyone is caught up some way in a struggle of ego and self definition. In heavy pursuit of this people will trample others - even if it's in ignorance. So, I don't feel it's possible to connect on any meaningful level with all people. And when we're forced into situations of having to deal with them we can only offer our views - and/or leave. But not without making it clear why.

GS
Good points GS.
I have extensive training in conflict resolution as well as in the escalation of conflict. Part of my training was provided through the military but the bulk of it was acquired in other pursuits of mine. Ego is the single biggest cause of conflicts escalating to the point of aggression on the street.
A lot of times it is one person who continues talking while the other simply wants to leave the area and carry about there business. A lot of times it is ego that drives the one person to continue, to establish that they are "the man". It is this hounding and cornering that eventually leads to conflicts moving beyond a breakdown in verbal communication. A lot of times it is this that leads to fights and war.

I have felt this in my dealings with some people in the local poly community and honestly if it was not for the calming affects of Redpepper it's hard to say where that would lead too…because you see, I too suffer from ego and sometimes you just want people to shut up.

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  #12  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:32 PM
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When I meet someone I feel something that internally gauges whether I want to connect. I don’t need to just because they are close to me. The person could be two feet from me all the time and if the energy isn’t there I don’t care. There are so many more people who have that something in them that I wonder why I would waste my time or energy trying to break down a brick wall. I look past it, walk around it and put it out of my mind.
[...]
I feel connection first and then look for common ground. I don’t seek out common ground to form that connection.
How do I deal with someone who has very different views than my own?
I accept their opinions and if I feel connection I look for that common ground like a pig looking for truffles….
[...]
If I don’t feel that connection or sense they intend on persisting on moot points of difference…..I just don’t….I move on. There are way too many people in this world for me to get caught up on trying to connect with one of them unless there is that something about them. I don’t feel the need.
Wow this resonated with me.

I used to be a "people pleaser" and wanted to be able to connect in some way with everyone. Perhaps not to the depth that you describe redpepper being, but close. I always felt I had to like and be liked by everyone or I was failing.

Recent changes in my life (in the last 3-4 years) have made me realize that when I'm not "forcing" myself, I'm much more like you, Mono. And accepting that has made me much more comfortable with myself. I don't have to connect with everyone and if I don't, then there's no need to push it. Not everyone is going to be buddies with everyone else and I'm ok with that. But it took me a long time to accept that in myself.
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:37 PM
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Wow this resonated with me.

I used to be a "people pleaser" and wanted to be able to connect in some way with everyone. Perhaps not to the depth that you describe redpepper being, but close. I always felt I had to like and be liked by everyone or I was failing.

.

I used to feel this too..it used to bother me when I perceived someone didn't like me...now I realize that is an unrealistic expectation and accept that fact...but that doesn't mean I can't find something to appreciate about everyone whether I express it or not. I do it in secret and I feel good about it internally.
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:58 PM
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I can't really think of any specific examples on here, but the whole "people pleasing" thing resonates with me too. I was the same way and in moments of forgetfulness I still am, I also get that not everyone gets along. Call me crazy, but what I am talking about is getting past that even. To a place where we all just are... Parts we see eye to eye on and parts we are struggling with in each other.

I'm finding it hard to explain because it seems to be a nonverbal thing for me. Like a form of heightened empathy.

Its almost a spiritual thing for me and I find it hard to totally relate it to poly. I know its what I experience in my "V" but I am trying to accomplish that feeling in my poly community and beyond. I think I have achieved it at work with some of my long term co-workers. I told them just yesterday how much I love and appreciate them and some of us drive each other crazy. They all agreed. Maybe they were humouring me haha!

I guess the whole "type" thing is just to complicated in this whole thing. When I think of it all from afar it is making more sense. When I get down to details about more emotional people, or more theoretical it gets too detailed I think.

When I know a persons Myers briggs test results it seem to create the effect I am speaking of in an artificial way. It seems to defuse differences somehow, just in knowing we are all different and here is a test to prove it.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:02 PM
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I think I really do understand your struggle Red. I've often faced the same thing. Actually I think everyone does whether they slow down enough to recognize it or not.
And here's what I often come back to. And this is the kind of thing that takes tremendous discipline in your life in order to really live it.
In our current culture it's VERY difficult to LIVE in the "Moment". Just getting through the day for lots of people means dealing with things from multiple directions from our work/school lives, personal lives etc. So in any given interaction, often we're not "fully present". Part of us is here - part of us is somewhere else, dealing with some whole different situation.
Does this make sense ?
So... any particular interaction is a mishmash of stuff that applies and stuff that doesn't - INCLUDING the attached emotions.
I think if everyone was capable of living fully in the moment - that their full awareness and focus was applied to the circumstance immediately in front of them, that the whole attitude & outcome would often be different. It's often not that people don't like us, that we're not on the same page etc, it's just that one or more of us are introducing pieces of "stuff" that don't belong in the here & now. They're coming from somewhere else.
But we don't often live/interact that way. And it takes YEARS of training and constant vigilance to do so. Not to mention even an awareness of the concept, which we don't even have that.
So, I've just found it seems to help that in all my interactions I try to bring everyone back into the "moment" and this also helps bring ME back !

GS

Last edited by GroundedSpirit; 12-19-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2009, 08:26 PM
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I think if everyone was capable of living fully in the moment - that their full awareness and focus was applied to the circumstance immediately in front of them, that the whole attitude & outcome would often be different. It's often not that people don't like us, that we're not on the same page etc, it's just that one or more of us are introducing pieces of "stuff" that don't belong in the here & now. They're coming from somewhere else.
So, I've just found it seems to help that in all my interactions I try to bring everyone back into the "moment" and this also helps bring ME back !
Pieces of "stuff" I totally get what you are saying here.

I went to a party last night that included many of my poly friends. Thanks to these lovely forums I see several dynamics differently now. My definition of poly is not amongst most of the people in the community I have here. Or at least not the way we are doing it/living it. Because of these forums I am able to live in the moment more and just let all that be. I love the friends I've made for the individuals they are and the moments we share at such events, but I sometimes don't receive that in return.

I realized last night, after several months, different conversations and putting some stuff together that I think I am and we are being judged and that judgment has blocked us from being closer to certain people. I guess it is hard for some people to understand that I prefer to find freedom in being committed to both my husband and Mono. I don't have a need at this point in my life to seek out more relationships and more sexual experiences. I have quality relationships and don't need more quantity. The seeming judgment comes when people think that I am somehow giving up my freedom. Sure Mono and I and all of us have some set boundaries that mean to the outside world I am losing my sexual freedom, and whether or not I can push that is left to be determined under certain circumstances, but I am happy where we are at and I am not giving up anything. On the contrary, I am inviting in relationship depth and more love in that than I have ever known.

The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me. I love being in a tight nit entity of three. The recent add on woman that my tersiary has found has made me realize this even more. He has found himself a play partner that he can dominate. My feelings about it are varied, but I seem to be unable to be totally okay with his outsideness in my life. I am coming to terms with it and realize that for him it's better and for me too, but I struggle.

sigh.... I'm tired of it all really. I just feel like crawling under a rock with my chosen family and hermitting. I totally can see why some poly families do that and just get on with their lives. I feel misunderstood after last night and the realization that I am judged. it makes me weepy, cause I try so hard to rise above that.... others like to steep in it. too much "stuff" is involved.
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2009, 02:09 AM
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I think a lot of the differences in approaches between us and many others in our community are the desire for such a closely integrated unit and the fact that there is a child involved. I think that is often forgotten as most of our friends do not have dependant children and don't want the level of integration we have. Many of our friends have a more inward focus and can focus solely on what they want without the need to consider something like stability for a child.

As far as the perception of control goes, some of this might be attributed to the language we use when discussing boundaries. Hearing someone say, "I can't" do something is a lot different than hearing someone say, "I chose to ".

These are control versus choice statements.

If thinking about boundaries does in fact bring up phrases like "I can't" in our own minds, than perhaps there is a control issue. If that is the case, than the question is, am I healthy in a relationship with that type of control?

To me the words "I can't" imply a desire to do so but not being allowed to; Denial.
Living in denial is not sustainable in my opinion.

When discussing relationship boundaries especially in a possibly judgemental environment it is important to express clearly our thoughts and use words that reflect what we feel. It is also important to be honest in expressing what we feel.

I think it is very important to be honest with ourselves in whether we do something because we want to or because we have to. If we do that than those around us will sense it more than hear it.


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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 12-20-2009 at 02:26 AM.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2009, 05:38 AM
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I can relate to wanting to 'please' people, as I have a great deal of difficulty voicing what I want or need. I am at my happiest when others are happy, which has had great rewards as well as downfalls. I would hate to think of myself as a total 'doormat' but the truth is that much of the unhappiness in my life has been because of fear of confrontation and not speaking up when I should have. I have been estranged from my parents, lost friends, and fallen into depression only to surface on the other side a wiser, if perhaps more cynical, person.
This past summer, much to the displeasure of my husband, I embarked on a trip by myself. I have made some online friends in the past year and wanted very much to meet them. My husband and I had also been 'drifting' and although not unhappy, just seemed too comfortable in old habits. I was terribly lonely at times as I travelled through several US states, but I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. When I returned, our previous discussions about doing something to 'revive' our marriage turned to polyamory. We already had a 'swinging' type agreement that had never been acted upon, but now we were ready to discuss what we now understand to be polyamory.
Now that I have a boyfriend in addition to my husband, there is a balance emerging. While some might consider having 2 men to be 'selfish', nothing could be further from the truth as I'm sure many of you understand. Although having them both in my life is something I want, more than anything, I've learned to temper my wants with their needs. I'm speaking up more than ever, while still being very considerate of all concerned. For me, it's been realizing what I want, then figuring out how to make it work. It doesn't always work, and I can accept that. Because I'm happier than I've ever been. I'll take the wins and losses and strike the best balance I can, in life, in work, with family, with every relationship. Out of all the pain and frustration over the course of my life, it's all lead to this time, this moment, with these people in my life. And I wouldn't dare change a thing.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:16 PM
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The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me. I love being in a tight nit entity of three.
What you're saying makes perfect sense. The "I" entity seems to be mostly a privilege of the young, unattached, and/or childless. The "we" entity can be a foriegn concept for those who haven't experienced it. Similarly as those who have been a part of "we" long enough might forget what it was like to be an "I".

What you describe sounds strikingly similar to how I expect some mono's would feel talking to poly's sometimes. While poly's might question them about their lack of freedom being 'limited' to only one person for the rest of their life...the mono's, if they've considered the alternatives or not, may be perfectly happy with exploring the depth of their own relationship, rather than the breadth of experiencing others. Particularly the cases of established, long term successful monogamous couples (as opposed to the serial sorts) they may very well understand your "we" better than perhaps some of your "I"-am-poly friends.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2009, 12:01 AM
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I realized last night, after several months, different conversations and putting some stuff together that I think I am and we are being judged and that judgment has blocked us from being closer to certain people. I guess it is hard for some people to understand that I prefer to find freedom in being committed to both my husband and Mono. I don't have a need at this point in my life to seek out more relationships and more sexual experiences. I have quality relationships and don't need more quantity. The seeming judgment comes when people think that I am somehow giving up my freedom. Sure Mono and I and all of us have some set boundaries that mean to the outside world I am losing my sexual freedom, and whether or not I can push that is left to be determined under certain circumstances, but I am happy where we are at and I am not giving up anything. On the contrary, I am inviting in relationship depth and more love in that than I have ever known.

The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me.
It's great that you're finding what works for you. However, it might be worth considering that others who are in more fluid or free relationships might also perceiving tacit judgment from you in how you're choosing to frame it. Not specifically referring to you here, I often see such things framed as "I would rather have depth and quality than quantity", implying that those who are in relationships that are more fluid can't have the same emotional connection or depth than other kinds of relationships.

The same can be said for perceiving how others regard their own entity within the relationship, whether it be "I" or "we". Those kinds of perceptions from outside the people experiencing it are often inaccurate and don't do justice to the personal experience of those in it. If someone said that I'm just not at the point where I can understand the "we" entity because of how my relationships are at the moment, I'd definitely be calling out those assumptions. Simply because our state of "we" looks different than your state of "we", it doesn't mean we're not in a state of "we". (this is a general "your" not a specific person)

Saying things like "it would be lonely and sad for me" could suggest to someone who hears it that you see them as lonely and sad people for having that experience when they may not be. This is a natural thing that happens when we start comparing our own experiences to other people's experiences. This is also why I dislike poly communities that declare certain people more "advanced" at poly because of their relationship styles than other people. I've seen such tacit judgments happen on this board fairly often.

It's definitely not ok to be judged for living the life that's right for you and if I was around while that was happening, I'd be calling that out, but I would also consider that while it may be in defense of the judgements you're feeling, you may be offering the same tacit judgments to people who are also living the life that's right for them.
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