outside-perspective

hey guys!! 
I am currently working on writing my linguistics honors thesis, and it is at the point now where I need outside perspectives to help enrich the discussion therein. 

I have created a brief (10-15 min) survey in which I ask you to anonymously read and rate sentences based on how natural they sound to you. It should be a relatively low-stress task!

If you have a moment, I would greatly appreciate any and all responses you can offer! The link is here: http://goo.gl/forms/mEYLCGWRnH

Feel free to share with anyone and everyone who is a native speaker of English! I really reaally really really appreciate your time and your input! 

Anonymous said:

how do you tell the difference between when someone is gaslighting you and when you’re doing the distorted thinking thing from anxiety/depression? (for example you KNOW they’re judging you because they’re your parent and you’ve learned what that LOOK means but now they say they’re not judging you which means you can’t trust your own perceptions)

realsocialskills said:    One thing that’s important here is that distorted thinking and gaslighting are not mutually exclusive. When you know that you have distorted thinking, gaslighting abusers sometimes exploit that to get you to doubt your perceptions. Even when you are having an episode of actively distorted thinking, that doesn’t mean that the things someone else wants you to believe are necessarily true.    I think there are a couple of things that can help to sort out what’s really going on and what’s distorted thinking: outside perspective, and paying attention to your perceptions over time.   Regarding paying attention to your perceptions over time: Even if you have depression, you’re not always going to be equally depressed. Even if you have anxiety, you’re not always going to be equally anxious. If you still don’t like what someone is doing to you even when you’re not actively anxious or depressed, it’s probably not distorted thinking.    Also, if every time you object to something someone does, they consistently convince you that it’s distorted thinking, something is probably wrong for real. Nobody is perfect, and sometimes you’re both depressed *and* reasonably objecting to something. If someone consistently uses your mental illness to try to make conflicts go away, that’s gaslighting and wrong even if your perspective actually is distorted.      (That said, if you’re actively anxious or depressed, it can be hard to tell in the moment whether or not something is a pattern. It’s possible to feel like it is a pattern when it isn’t, due to distorted thinking. That’s a reason why it can be really helpful to pay attention to how you feel over time.)     One way to keep track of how you feel over time is to write a journal. If you write a journal, you can pay attention to how you felt yesterday and whether you still feel that way today. Writing down your perspective is a more reliable way to track things over time than relying on memory. It’s hard to have accurate memories of how you’ve felt over time, and it’s particularly difficult to have accurate memories of what you thought when your thinking was distorted. (That said, journaling does not work for everyone, and if you can’t do it, that doesn’t mean you can’t figure things out.)    Outside perspective can also help a lot. That’s one reason that therapy is very helpful to a lot of people who struggle with distorted thinking. If you can find a therapist who you can trust to have a good sense of when you’re probably getting something right and when it’s probably depression/anxiety-related distorted thinking. This backfires horribly if your therapist *isn’t* trustworthy. I don’t really have any advice about how to find a good therapist (I wish I did, and if I ever figure it out, I’ll post about it), but I know that for many people it is both possible and important to find a good therapist.     Personal blogging can also help as a way to track your perceptions over time and get feedback, but be careful about that. Personal blogging attracts two kinds of people who can create problems for those who struggle with distorted thinking: mean people who try to make you feel awful about yourself, and people who unconditionally offer you validation no matter what you say or do. Neither of those kinds of perspectives are helpful for sorting things out. In some ways, unconditional validation is particularly dangerous, *especially* if there’s a possibility that you’re abusing someone.    Friends and relatives can also sometimes be really helpful, particularly if they know the people involved or observe things.   If you have a sibling you can trust (not everyone does, but some people do), you might be able to have this kind of conversation:
  • You: Sarah, when Mom made that face, was she judging me or was I imagining it?
  • Sarah: Yeah, that’s definitely her judgey face. 
  • or, depending on what she thinks:
  • Sarah: Actually, I think she probably didn’t mean it that way this time. She just talked to me about her obnoxious boss and I think it was her pissed at my boss face.
Similarly, friends sometimes have a really good sense of what’s going on.      The caution about blogging goes for consulting friends/family and other forms of peer support. Be careful about people who offer unconditional validation of all of your thoughts and feelings no matter what. That can end up reinforcing distorted thinking, which is not going to help you learn how to improve your perspectives and trust yourself when your perceptions are accurate.    People who are offering you useful perspective will sometimes tell you that they think your perceptions are off base, and they will not be jerks about it when they are critical. They will also not try to coerce you into adopting their perspective. Sometimes they will be wrong. Sometimes you will disagree with them and be right. You are allowed to think for yourself, even if your thinking is sometimes distorted. No one else can think for you, even if you go to them for perspective and help sorting things out. tl;dr: Gaslighting and distorted thinking are not mutually exclusive. It’s common to experience both, even simultaneously. If you have distorted thinking, people inclined to gaslight you tend to exploit it. Tracking your perceptions over time, and getting outside perspective, make it much easier to sort out what’s actually going on. Sometimes therapy is helpful. Sometimes blogging is helpful. Sometimes friends and family are helpful. Be careful about trusting people who are mean to you or who offer unconditional validation.    What do y’all think? How do you protect yourself from gaslighting when you struggle with distorted thinking?
6

You Westerosi are all the same. You sew some beast upon a scrap of silk, and suddenly you are all lions or dragons or eagles.

- Magister Illyrio

The point is to build

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

Your last post mentioned “coming to terms with how awful the world is.” When recognize that injustice is everywhere, and that you personally benefit from it, is it ok to find joy in the world even though it’s awful? Things like (in the US) visiting a national park and having a fun hike, when the land was taken a long time ago from Native Americans; or watching a good movie that’s problematic; or enjoying sledding after a snowstorm that was responsible for a few deaths?  For me it is impossible to keep injustice in mind all the time. So whenever I have fun, or feel happy, I feel guilty later because that fun indirectly came out of injustice, and instead of fighting that injustice I was enjoying it. How can you keep in mind that the world is a horrible place without neglecting your right (is it a right even?) to joy?

realsocialskills said:   The world contains much, much more than pain and injustice. It’s important to acknowledge and fight evil. It’s also important not to become so consumed by the fight that you can only see the horrible things.    The point is to build and to love. (And, sometimes, to fight battles that need fighting.)     Sometimes, people try to seek out some sort of purity by cutting out everything tainted by injustice. That doesn’t work, because everything is tainted in some way. If you go down that road seeking purity, you get stuck cutting out more and more things and not being able to find anything pure enough to like without shame. That doesn’t help. Everything is connected to something destructive. Sometimes particular kinds of destructiveness are dealbreaking, but it can’t be everything that has any connection to something bad. You can’t become pure that way, but you can do a lot of harm to yourself and others trying.   Liking things is good. Misery isn’t a moral accomplishment. If you want to make the world a better place, treat people right and build something good. The point is not to be miserable at the horrors of the world. The point is to build.    This is not about attaining moral purity through abstinence and misery. It’s about doing the work of making things better and building worthwhile things, and loving others more than our culture hates them. Your purity will not help anyone. Your work can.     To use some of the examples you gave:    Regarding the snow: it didn’t snow so that you could sled. Enjoying the sledding will not hurt anyone. Just don’t brag about sledding to people who are really upset about the snow. People who have been harmed by the snow might not want to hear how much you’re enjoying the snow, but that doesn’t mean that enjoying it is wicked, it just means it’s important to be considerate.     Watching a good movie that’s problematic: All movies have horrible aspects to one degree or another. It’s ok to ignore them and like something; *that’s the only way anyone ever gets to like anything in the media*.         But it’s also important to be willing to acknowledge that the problems are there and not be obnoxious about other people not wanting to hear about the thing you like. Everyone’s patterns of what’s deal-breaking are different. If the ableism in a movie is dealbreaking for someone, respect that, and don’t talk to them about how great you think it is. If someone got badly injured in the snow, don’t talk to them about how wonderful the snow is. Being considerate of other people’s boundaries, and their right to decide what is and is not personally dealbreaking, goes a long way.   You are allowed to be happy. It’s good to be happy. There’s a lot that’s wrong with the world, really really wrong, even. But…    The point is not to be constantly miserable about it. The point is not to wallow in shame. The point is to build.     Some building is activism and advocacy and fighting injustice. Some of it is just… building. All of it involves identifying situations in which you have the power to act, and finding things you can do that make good things more possible.    You can like things; you can love; it is good to like things and enjoy life. Refusing to ever like anything impure will not make the world better; your work can.
Wanna be a writer? Find a different way to say “I’m going to the store” every single time you say it. Come up with nicknames for all of your friends. Ask people questions, welcome conversation from an outside perspective, do not drop a topic until you are satisfied. For every different room in which you find yourself on every single day, point out at least one thing that is there, but shouldn’t be there, and why it shouldn’t be there. Then take maybe ten minutes a week to get it down on the page. Writing only takes a long time when the only time you think about writing is when you are writing.
—  Toni Morrison
Overheard in the Food Court in the middle of an Anime Convention
  • Local dudebro:Damn, look at these clowns!
  • Second dudebro:Uh-huh.
  • Local dudebro:I mean, serious. Look at these grown-ass men, out here in public, dressed like clowns, it's embarrassing just seeing them!
  • Second dudebro:Uh-huh.
  • Local dudebro:You seein' this?
  • Second dudebro:I'll be honest, man, I'm paying more attention to the grown-ass women following them around.
  • Local dudebro:(watches a well costumed Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn bounce past)
  • Second dudebro:Where can I get me a clown suit?
Omar Victor Diop: [re-]Mixing Hollywood

American Beauty

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Chicago

Thelma and Louise

Psycho

The Matrix

"Working together with photographer Antoine Tempe, Diop is one of the co-creators of Onomollywood, a series consisting of the recreation of iconic American and French movies, with a surprising African twist.

Born in Dakar in 1980, Diop has always carried an interest in capturing the modern lifestyle and culture of African societies from childhood. Focusing on cinema was an decision for Diop based on the popularity of film culture. He believes that cinema is among the most universal of art forms because it can be found and be enjoyed by everyone. It was also an opportunity to give perspective to outsiders on the modern and cultural scene that is rampart in African cities.”

Source

Project

-Farah

Fandom letter: my mad fat diary

Okay so I started following My Mad Fat Diary blogs not because I actually watch the show (I think it’s British and not on BBC America but idk) but because I like how the people in the fandom interact with each other and talk it out. It’s probably nothing different from other fandoms but it’s nice to see it from an outsider’s perspective. It’s really sweet. You guys have me invested in characters I literally know nothing about.

The Greatest Ghost Hunting Weapon Ever Made

“Uh, guys? I don’t… I don’t feel well.”

All three of them were in the lab. Training had concluded, and Danny had unconsciously floated to the ground as a wave of exhaustion and nausea rolled over him. He stared at his gloved hands, which were warping and drooping like a Salvador Dali painting, and then back up at his friends in horror as they turned towards him at his speech.

That was all the warning any of them got before Danny melted entirely.

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