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wrongcitizen
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22 May 2018, 12:21 am

I've been extremely interested in this for a while to the point where I guess it could be an interest. For parts of my life I had an attitude, a healthy one. I would respond when provoked and fight back when it was right. As I got into my teen years I started becoming insecure. After this, I became extremely insecure. Introverted, sensitive, frightened at the possibility of any conflict. It turned into a phobia.

I do certain things but I don't understand why I do them, and I also have alexithymia so all my emotions get muddled with my physical feelings, especially anxiety. One thing I do is become very mute when challenged or confronted, and I also become physically small. I know what those symptoms are but I feel that I lose control and become uncomfortable, when I wasn't like this before. It confuses me immensely, because I am not willingly becoming "small", but my body does its own thing. Not only that, my mind also jumps into a panic, several days or even weeks after the incident.

I'm not all lost. I've done lots of work on trying to improve this for my own sake. I want to help other people who have the same issue, and defend them if I ever get to that point. But in order to get there I need to not lock up in confrontation, and I need to control my own thoughts a bit better. I need not just strategies but actual philosophies if anyone has any on building a better, more stoic exterior. I don't want to display my emotions but instead remain firm and protect my ideas and myself when I'm criticized or insulted unfairly. Also, I want to be able to spot when I should fight back, and how. It seems logically easy but then my body fails to act, while my mind goes into depression knowing I just let someone step all over me for their own gain.

These are my personal goals but I have a feeling that on a post many people can benefit from everyone else's opinions. I have done a lot of studying but for some reason this isn't a very studied field, and turns into a pseudoscience, perhaps because humans as a species don't like to address this topic.



ChefDave
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22 May 2018, 10:08 am

wrongcitizen wrote:
I have done a lot of studying but for some reason this isn't a very studied field, and turns into a pseudoscience, perhaps because humans as a species don't like to address this topic.


I am sorry for your condition but do not understand why you think this field hasn't been studied very much. When I googled "alexithymia research," I got 317,000 results. There are quite a few research abstracts that are listed in the first few pages.

Have you seen this article? I thought it might be of interest.

Frontiers in Psychology reports that after 4 decades of research, alexithymia is moving into clinical research.
Frontiers in Psychology article



kraftiekortie
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22 May 2018, 10:21 am

There is lots right here on WP about alexithymia.



wrongcitizen
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23 May 2018, 4:43 am

ChefDave wrote:
wrongcitizen wrote:
I have done a lot of studying but for some reason this isn't a very studied field, and turns into a pseudoscience, perhaps because humans as a species don't like to address this topic.


I am sorry for your condition but do not understand why you think this field hasn't been studied very much. When I googled "alexithymia research," I got 317,000 results. There are quite a few research abstracts that are listed in the first few pages.

Have you seen this article? I thought it might be of interest.

Frontiers in Psychology reports that after 4 decades of research, alexithymia is moving into clinical research.
Frontiers in Psychology article


Not Alexithymia but confrontation. When someone is confronted or harassed we just label it as bullying but never actually go to the person who's bullied and give them tools to combat it, instead apprehending the bully. We also call people who don't have all the best tools to dealing with this sensitive or weak, when in reality they've just never developed their ability to deal with it.


By not studying very much I meant that whenever I look for ways to deal with confrontation I find stuff on everything that has to do with it but not confrontation itself. It's like body language for us. I try to search up body language tutorials but for most people it's so built in they don't even think about it, so they get weirded out if we ask. Maybe it's just assertiveness and I'm just missing it, but there's a whole multitude of issues that are all related and I can't seem to find out how to solve them.



LogicOrNot
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31 May 2018, 6:30 am

I've also been fairly interested in these things. The reason is that there have been a few people in my life -- at work, neighbors, family -- who seemed to enjoy challenging me (and usually besting me) in confrontations, in various settings. It seems that confrontation is a testing grounds for social skills, like martial artists sparring for practice. Usually it is the subtle social aspects that I fail at. People can "win" a confrontation by making themselves appear likable to bystanders and by making you look unreasonable. Actually, it is much like politics.

I think assertiveness probably is a big part of it. I also think that having the right attitude and philosophy is very important. It helps to have your priorities in the right place (that works for you). The more I can tie my sense of who I am to things that are in my control, like working hard to develop skills and pursue meaningful goals, the less I am bothered by things I cannot control, like the opinions of people who attempt to bully me. Also, whenever I stick to my values and standards for behavior I always feel better about myself. Some people want to provoke a response, they get a rise out of making you lose your cool, then make it out like you are the one who is a hothead.

I think these things have been studied in various places. Probably things dealing with conflict in the communications literature. Also these are skills that are important in debate, so the debate literature is probably helpful. Classical philosophy probably also has much that is relevant. Aspiring lawyers probably receive training in related skills. There are some very good books on assertiveness. I have always been quite shy, so I tend to get a bit anxious and flustered in any interpersonal interaction. But I think this can be overcome to some extent with the right kind of practice. So probably good information on anxiety and shyness can be helpful.

Also, in my case I have been trying to examine why it is that I find myself in conflict situations so often. I suspect part of it is because I don't conform to social expectations to the degree expected. Or maybe I don't get into conflicts more than others, but I just don't have the skills to handle them smoothly so they seem like a bigger deal to me. For the future, I am trying to focus on productive things so that I don't have time to worry about people who try to give me a hard time.



snowball5
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31 May 2018, 7:27 am

This is very strange for me to read, because I have the opposite goals. As I a kid, I grew up very insecure, but then two things happened: I had to deal with a serious medical problem, and I found career where I was very respected for who I was. Later in life I have discovered stoicism and was surprised, because that basically described my view on life. I was controlling interactions with the outside world, had no visible emotions and was always able to deal with situations with a cool head. Only recently I have figured out that this behavior makes it very hard for people to relate to me. At this point, I don't even know if I do it intentionally or it's hard-wired in my brain. My goal is to actually stop controlling my mind and let the few emotions I have escape to the outside.