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  #31  
Old 12-28-2009, 03:42 PM
LadyMacbeth LadyMacbeth is offline
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Offline for a few days with the holidays and very fun discussion! Thought to clarify some attachment related points. First, attachment theory in adults is a thorough field of study, only by other authors (eg Allen Schore, Dale Fonagey, Dan Siegel, and others) although it is not a universal carryover from early work on attachment by Bowlby, etc. The neurobiology of attachment is a study of how this relates to brain functioning and is very cool stuff, a google search on "mirror neurons" turns up lots of fantastic and interesting reading about the interconnection of humans, adults, and how connection can be neurologically "mapped."

And yes, only a theory. For myself, in combination of study and personal experience, I would consider attachment to be more in line with an "instinct" rather than a "need" (because most of our hearts would continue beating and we would survive in the absence of others.) Humans are herd animals, and generally find themselves gravitating towards one another with a few exceptions. Procreation requires two individuals, although modern science makes it very possible to have little contact with the other human.

Outside of the scientific and evolutionary bits, I find it wonderful to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to admit the importance of another person to me, to long for him/her, and also to know that I am self sufficient enough to be my own person. It's just nicer when I don't have to do everything alone. I've always been more of an individuated person, and found it wonderful to learn how to have full attachments with others, including admission that life is better, more rich, and wonderful when it's shared. Need? Not really, but "strong desire", "instinct", "longing", absolutely!
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  #32  
Old 12-28-2009, 04:24 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Outside of the scientific and evolutionary bits, I find it wonderful to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to admit the importance of another person to me, to long for him/her, and also to know that I am self sufficient enough to be my own person. It's just nicer when I don't have to do everything alone. I've always been more of an individuated person, and found it wonderful to learn how to have full attachments with others, including admission that life is better, more rich, and wonderful when it's shared.
I like this ... a lot.

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Need? Not really,
Honestly I'd say that yes, for me it is a need. I need other people in my life to be fulfilled and happy. I need affection - both emotional and physical. Will I survive without it? Sure. Will I be happy? No. I don't have a problem saying I need other people.
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  #33  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:39 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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If I were to "strongly desire" something (or someone) I would be accepting the possibility that it might not appear. I would "own" that desire and take full responsibility for my action/reaction to it's absence by either dropping the desire as unrealistic or unachievable or maybe modifying it accordingly.

If I believed that something was a "need", I would be acknowledging that in it's absence, my actual survival/existence would be threatened. It was such a critical part of me that I would cease to function with it missing.
The "accepting that it might not appear" and "owning" desire in terms of full responsibility part totally works for me and is what I have been trying to talk about. I can agree to this for sure. I don't "need" in terms of survival. I "need" in terms of choosing to better my life by having certain people in it. I will survive without them and can find others, but I have chosen them and they have chosen me because we want to work on our lives together. In this way I can agree to "strongly desire."
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  #34  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMacbeth View Post
Offline for a few days with the holidays and very fun discussion! Thought to clarify some attachment related points. First, attachment theory in adults is a thorough field of study, only by other authors (eg Allen Schore, Dale Fonagey, Dan Siegel, and others) although it is not a universal carryover from early work on attachment by Bowlby, etc. The neurobiology of attachment is a study of how this relates to brain functioning and is very cool stuff, a google search on "mirror neurons" turns up lots of fantastic and interesting reading about the interconnection of humans, adults, and how connection can be neurologically "mapped."
wow, thanks for this LadyM, great stuff I will be sure to read... it seems to go along with what I have been trying to say. Perhaps I can get my words figured out better as a result of doing some more reading on this.
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  #35  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
Honestly I'd say that yes, for me it is a need. I need other people in my life to be fulfilled and happy. I need affection - both emotional and physical. Will I survive without it? Sure. Will I be happy? No. I don't have a problem saying I need other people.
This is what I was trying to say, but I see now how the word "need" can be seen one of two ways. I would like to think that "need" and "strongly desire" can go hand in hand in terms of this conversation.
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  #36  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:17 PM
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I'm so respectful that you are bringing this all up as that is hard shit to work out! Good for you for even broaching it here!
Thanks redpepper.

I'm going to quote, who else, Marshall Rosenberg:
"...this person has been taught non-NVC concepts of love such as, "If you really love someone, you deny your needs and take care of them". Then as soon as this person gets into a close relationship - a loving relationship - they turn judgmental..."

"You see, in the early stage of the relationship, they are giving from the heart, they enjoy giving; it's easy, they don't think of it until they pass the line.

What is the line? It's when people fear that they've "made a commitment". If you really want to scare them to death, talk about commitment or use the word "serious". As soon as they think it's a "serious relationship" - or the word "love" comes up... the moment they define it as a serious relationship, that's when they feel like they are responsible for your feelings".

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How does it happen that your expectations become a means to define someone as wrong or bad?
Because there was a line when I was growing up. You're either on the good side, (you'll sacrifice yourself for me, you'll always be there for me, you'll always say nice things) or the bad side, (you forget important dates, show up late, say mean things).

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Where does the fear come from? What are these expectations that that happens???!!!
It's really just a fear that I am to blame for feeling hurt because I'm choosing to accept "bad" behaviour from someone. So, for example, if my well-intentioned, loving partner does something and I feel hurt, I snap into the old paradigm or s/he's bad and I'm good, which comes across like expectations.

This is the process I use to heal all that:
"We may start a dialog with the other person by telling them what's alive in us and what we would like them to do to make life more wonderful for us. Then no matter how the respond, we try to connect to what's alive in them and what would make life more wonderful for them. And we keep this flow of communication going until we find strategies to meet everyone's needs, and we want to always be sure that whatever strategies people agree to, they're agreeing freely out of a willing desire to contribute to the well being of one another."
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  #37  
Old 12-28-2009, 10:14 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
This is what I was trying to say, but I see now how the word "need" can be seen one of two ways. I would like to think that "need" and "strongly desire" can go hand in hand in terms of this conversation.
Hey Red

And I think they CAN go hand in hand - as long as the "handler" has the distinction clear in their own mind.
Because here's the fear - and we've all undoubtedly seen this.
Because true "need" is biologically wired into us for survival purposes, if we encounter situations where a defined (self?) need is threatened we run the risk of activating that circuitry. Once that circuitry has been activated it takes a strong and stable person to deactivate it - get things back into some sort of proper perspective. Back into the "strong desire" realm. Failure of that has resulted in some very sad and dramatic reactions - to include suicide, murder, etc.
So to my thinking, I don't encourage anyone to live in a way ( heavily needy) or use terms that may trip those triggers unjustifiably. Some can hold their personal definition of need securely - others .....can't.

So it seems we are all on the same page

GS
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