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Category Archives: Social connection

Why do we feel vulnerable? How did vulnerability evolve? Questioning beyond Brené Brown’s TED talk

Brené Browns talk on vulnerability now has over 3.5 million hits, making it one of the most frequently viewed talks on TED.

One of my passions for years has been trying to understand what it is that is actually open to being ‘hurt’ when we are emotionally ‘vulnerable’. Its clearly not our physical bodies we are talking about – so WHAT is it?

Many psychologists say its our ‘self-image’ that is hurt in these situations. But think about that a second. How can you HURT an ‘abstract’ concept like a ‘self-image’?

“People are so accustomed to reacting to threats to their self-image that they rarely stop to consider how odd it is to regard their mental image of themselves as something that can be damaged by another person’s inconsiderate behavior or disparaging remark.” (Mark Leary – The Analogue-I and the Analogue-me, 2009)

It seems that somehow during evolution or during our childhood years we learned to experience emotional ‘hurt’ to our self-image, almost as if it were physical hurt to our body. How might this have happened? (Some speculations here.)

When this realisation is made – that our ‘selves’ are NOT a solid body but rather a very much ‘unsolid’ abstract thing – then perhaps we can experience emotional ‘hurt’ in a different type of way e.g.:

“Someone says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt. Instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or withdrawal, you let it pass right through you. Offer no resistance. It is as if there is nobody there to get hurt anymore. That is forgiveness. In this way you become invulnerable” (Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now, 1997).

Synopsis of TED Talk by Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

TEDxKC talk synopsis: In our anxious world, we often protect ourselves by closing off parts of our lives that leave us feeling most vulnerable. Yet invulnerability has a price. When we knowingly or unknowingly numb ourselves to what we sense threatens us, we sacrifice an essential tool for navigating uncertain times — joy. This talk will explore how and why fear and collective scarcity has profoundly dangerous consequences on how we live, love, parent, work and engage in relationships — and how simple acts can restore our sense of purpose and meaning.

 

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Friends with cognitive benefits: Mental function improves after certain kinds of socializing

Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new study shows. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits.

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Social connection

 

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Perhaps one of the biggest secrets of them all?

Weird is normal.

 

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Optimal disorder?

If you had a lab or a scientific vision that was TOO well organised, would it reduce your chances of making serendipitous discoveries? If you had society what was TOO well organised would it reduce your chances of making serendipitous friendships and acquaintances? (e.g. Imagine a society in which procedures are so well worked out and explicit that you don’t even need to ask people questions about how and what to do?)

Is there an argument to be made that for the purposes of scientific discovery and promoting human connection, that there should be a certain element of disorder/chaos in labs, institutions and societies?

Serendipity

 

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Two types of people:

1 People who like people who like them back

2 Those who don’t give a damn

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Self, Social connection

 

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I feel connected, not because I have reached out, but because I never put up a wall

 

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