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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2000 2:53 pm 
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Posts: 191
Location: Sydney, NS, Canada
On communication...I have found that the people who dislike me, or have a problem with me, do so for the very same reasons as those who like me and value my opinions. It is this: I say what I mean, no ambiguity, no apology. Nor am I rude, I simply belive I have a right to my opinions. As others have to theirs.

I very rarely take an argurmentative tone, rather I'm very much non-emotional when I differ with people. I believe when you ask my opinion you should get it. If you want someone to agree with your opinion,you shouldn't ask people what they think.

You can't please everyone, some people love to have free thinkers around, to have lively conversation and debate opposing ideas. Others prefer to only have fan clubs around that simply mirror their own opinions. As long as you can live with yourself and your views I wouldn't worry about anyone else. Mostly I think people should know what you expect of them. I lend books, when I do I tell them the book is important to me and I would like to have it back in a resonable amount of time. If they're going on vacation I'd tell them they could re-borrow the book when they return but I would like to have it back for the time being.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2000 12:54 pm 
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Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
As a contractor I started to accumulate many handtools back in 1972 which many of my friends constantly borrowed. Most of them were not tradesmen and felt they knew how to use them proficiently. After seeing my circular saws smoking (because the blades were put in backwards) and not being able to extend my ladders (because they were slightly bent from having fallen down) I spoke to my old mentor Norm.

He said don't ever loan anything without getting something back. e.g. Want to use my drill? let me borrow your cuisinart or blender! Want to use my snowblower? Let me borrow your car!

However I stopped letting dangerous things be lent and found it was actually better and would lead to a paying job if I went and did the task myself. Need the ladder to clean the gutters? I'll be over (so the ladder doesn't get bent or you get killed falling off it) Here just fill up the gas tank or do some Web links for me.

Actually the King of Barter is very close at hand, Sensei Mattson! and probably could do some interesting trades.
Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2000 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 69
Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
(1)
On February 28th, George Mattison posted a request -- that we focus the forum using examples that the martial arts community can relate to better than those we are using. He is of course enormously more versed in the martial arts culture than I am, and I defer to him without hesitation; however, I find myself confused.

My own understanding of the various martial arts is that they are systems, and that when they provide techniques for _defense_ it is expected that the techniques will be applicable to a wide variety of confrontations. (In fact, the wider the variety, the closer the technique comes to being flawless.) I would not expect a forum on physical self-defense in the martial arts to be asked to discuss only confrontations that occur in some limited setting -- within a martial arts course, or at a tournament, or anything of that kind. I wouldn't expect that you'd have to learn one set of physical defense techniques for confrontations in a bar, another for confrontations in a parking lot, still another for confrontations on a university campus, and so on.

In the same way, the verbal confrontations we've been discussing have been discussed with regard to techniques that are applicable to almost all verbal confrontations (some examples of exceptions would be confrontations with someone who is psychotic, or who does not speak the language you speak, or who is in such extreme pain that he/she doesn't have full control of his/her faculties). Whether the confrontation is over the lending of a book or the lending of a gi is irrelevant; the principles remain the same.

[Mike Hurney has found a way to deal with the "lending-and-not-getting-the-item-back" problem by turning it into an employment opportunity; see his posting on March 9th. Note, however, that putting his solution into effect depends on his ability to use language with others effectively (and, tangentially, his competence with the tools he's asked to lend). To understand what he does and be able to do it ourselves we would have to be able to examine the language -- both words and body language -- that he uses in these situations.]

I suspect that I may have misunderstood George Mattison's request, and I welcome clarification -- as well as suggested examples that would _fulfill_ the request.


(2)
Mike Hurney asks: "Did I miss something or have you already covered strength of personality as a variable in the equation?" If I am understanding his phrase correctly, the term used in verbal self-defense for that is "presence"; in any case, we certainly haven't covered it. If you want to pursue this, it would be best to do it as a separate thread it would be helpful to me if one of you would post the opening question(s) or comments. This is a very intricate subject, and an important one; discussing it here would create unmanageable clutter.


(3)
Sean C. and Gilbert MacIntyre have both posted messages in which they describe their abilities to deal with verbal confrontations in ways different than those I've suggested so far. If success is defined as being able to see to it that a potential confrontation simply does not take place, Sean is successful in using nonverbal communication (roughly, body language) only. (There are times when that definition of success is appropriate, others when it's not nearly enough; I'm assuming that he makes that distinction carefully.) Gilbert is successful in a different fashion; he writes that he simply says what he has to say without ambiguity and without apology, and without concern for the reactions of those he is speaking to.

Not everyone has Sean's skill at nonverbal communication. [Since I can't see him, I don't know how much that skill is due to physical appearance and how much to other factors such as presence (strength of personality), experience, and so on.]

Not everyone has Gilbert's emotional detachment and indifference to the reactions of others. It should also be remembered that not everyone has the luxury of taking that stance. For just one example, in the workplace it may well get you fired; if you have a family to support you may not be willing to risk that. In order to avoid getting fired you will almost certainly find it necessary to take the reactions of your employer into consideration. If you are a medical professional and refuse to consider the reactions of your patients and their families to the way you express your opinions, you risk a malpractice suit and an end to your career. Gilbert writes: "As long as you can live with yourself and your views, I wouldn't worry about anyone else." That is a stance of absolute power; if Gilbert is able to maintain it, he is extremely fortunate, but he is one of a rare few -- and the consequences may not always be what he would want them to be.

After almost every seminar I teach, someone who can be described as a "very physically-powerful-looking man" comes up to my table, puts both palms flat on the table, leans over toward me, and says: "Listen, I don't see why anybody needs all this verbal self-defense stuff for! Anybody bothers me, I just tell them to get out of my face, and that's the _end_ of it!" Their statements may well be true, but their ignorance is either profound or feigned. They should be aware, if they live in the real world, that their methods will rarely work for people who appear fragile -- small women without obvious "buffed" appearance, elderly women and many elderly men, children, people who are ill or injured, and so on.

I have taught a number of times for paramedics and EMTs, and in those contexts it frequently happens that a man meeting the same description -- and sometimes a woman -- comes up afterwards and says something different: "What I can't figure out is why so many of the people I'm trying to help are _scared_ of me. I'm _very_ careful not to say anything that would frighten anybody, but half the time they won't let me come near them! What am I doing wrong?" In these cases the problem is almost always that the person has grown accustomed to depending on the body language that goes with the metamessage "I AM SO POWERFUL THAT YOU MESS WITH ME AT YOUR PERIL" for all language interactions whatsoever -- and the person is so extremely good at projecting that message (strength of personality, if you like) -- that he or she is unaware that it completely cancels out the words said. When I videotape clients who have this problem and show them the videos, they are almost without exception flabbergasted; they say they had _no_ idea they used such intimidating body language. It can easily get beyond deliberate and voluntary control without the person realizing that that is happening; that's dangerous.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2000 8:16 pm 
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Location: Sydney, NS, Canada
I would respond...but that would mean I had some concern for your response.*humour*

Allow me to say that in this medium I may not be able to convey thoughts as well as others, you see it seems like I know what I said but then sombody else reads it with the emphasis in the wrong place and it comes out differently.

I believe that must have happened here, because I went back and re-read my post and no-where in it did I say I was indifferent to the reaction of others.

At times the reaction of others must be a concern, of course. What I attempted to state was, I cannot apologize for my feelings nor opinions. I don't want to hurt anyone and try not to, but I am not going to be wishy-washy to stop that from happening, nor cruel to ensure it happens.

I think the best thing you bring to a conversation is clarity(not that successful here am I?). If that means the boss has a hate on for me for awhile, well that says more about the boss than me.

I don't view my "stance" of one of absolute power(not saying it isn't...I just don't agree). I view it as the outlook of someone who is comfortable with who they are, having other people make me feel like I have to change my feelings or opinions to suit them isn't a place I want to be.

I can feel sorry for how my statement makes you feel, I can't apologize for my feelings. When it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, they're all I really own.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2000 5:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 383
Suzette,

I don't know if I have any special skill in using body language or whatever. I'm also not physically imposing. You got me thinking about what message I might be projecting though. Just wanted to clarify that in the situation I described, I don't see any response at all that would have had any point. I just observed him, as he was approaching me and spouting his nonsense. If the situation deteriorated it would only have been his original intent anyway, and then I would have had to quickly change from being an observer to a fighter or a fast runner. Image

------------------
sean


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Sean, Gilbert, I feel like my head's been shrunk too. I thought I knew where this thread was going but I think I'm out in left field, not the first time either.
Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 2:48 pm 
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Posts: 1070
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gilbert MacIntyre:
Others prefer to only have fan clubs around that simply mirror their own opinions. As long as you can live with yourself and your views I wouldn't worry about anyone else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gilbert, this statement does imply that you will not be moved by the reactions of others.

Suzette can write for herself- very well indeed - but my take of her system is that it is intended for verbal communication by all person, including those who are not physically ready nor imposing. And also for those who are, and are unwittingly intimidating to others.

I am reminded of a passage out of Dress For Success by John Molloy, a success- oriented clothing manual in the 1980's. Molloy found that big men could be intimidating without knowing it; an executive to whom he was talking scoffed, because his most successful salesman was a huge ex-football player.

They sent for the salesman. Upon hearing Molloy's thesis, the salesman promptly agreed. He'd developed a technique to deal with the 'look.' When he felt that the prospect was physically intimidated, he found a way of falling down or dropping his papers, or doing something else that put the prospect in a superior physical or organizational position to the salesman, negating the inposition.

One of the largest men I know (6' 10"), as kyokushinkai student, is also one of the gentlest and least threatening. I know he has worked on this. Deliberately. Hard. Empathetically.

Saying what you mean is not always possible if the consequences thereby can be too great.
For example, it is a Federal crime to lie materially to a Federal investigator. Thank God there is the weasel word 'material', else I could be doing life for the number of times I've said "Good to see you" or "Have a nice day" to an FBI agent....


student

[This message has been edited by student (edited March 13, 2000).]


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 7:48 pm 
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Location: Sydney, NS, Canada
[QUOTE]Originally posted by student:
[B] Gilbert, this statement does imply that you will not be moved by the reactions of others.

Student:
You are correct in your assessment of my statement. If I changed my mind everytime somebody didn't like what I said, my kids would love it.

Your reaction will not sway me, your arguement might. Show me I'm wrong, I'm willing to learn.

I have a problem telling people to be afraid of oppossing people, intellectually, who they disagree with. Now if you're setting up a situation where this isn't just at work or home, or some public setting where the laws of the land reign, then of course we must take the wisest course of action to ensure our safety.

Two quotes come to mind"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone expects of you. Never excuse yourself". Henry Ward Beecher.

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock"
Thomas Jefferson.

I guess I would like to be able to say to myself when all is said and done, I try to be a good person, but I'm not selling myself off in little pieces, so no-one will ever be up-set with me.

And I do enjoy this debate.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2000 6:17 pm 
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Posts: 69
Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
It seems to me that I've created confusion here. I'd welcome your help. What I need is an explanation of what it was about my recent posts that made people feel that they no longer can tell where the thread is going, that their heads have shrunk.....and so on. If you don't tell me, I'll never learn.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 1:32 pm 
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Location: Sydney, NS, Canada
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ozarque:
It seems to me that I've created confusion here. I'd welcome your help. What I need is an explanation of what it was about my recent posts that made people feel that they no longer can tell where the thread is going, that their heads have shrunk.....and so on. If you don't tell me, I'll never learn.

Suzette
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ozarque:
When I make my posts I speak for myself, if it seems otherwise I apologize. Although I may be giving advice(for what it is worth) I am only saying what I would do in this or that situation.

I have felt in your reply to my posts, that you speak as though you are the authority on the topic. I'm sure you are very well schooled in your field as are the other moderators. It just seems that less authority in your responses and more room for another way of looking at things might be better suited for the forum.

Please, I beg of you, don't take this to heart. I enjoy your site and what can be explored here. But you asked, and you said you would like to learn, and if you would like to come back and tell me to shut-up, and I'm ugly and stupid, I'm ready. I'll still probably hang around to debate issues, if you'll have me.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 2:21 pm 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
Excellent response -- just what I needed to know! Thank you.

If my formality and use of Authoritarian Mode is the problem, we're in trouble, however. I am 63 years old, an emeritus professor of linguistics, and the author of a lengthy series of books and audio programs on verbal self-defense, as well as some linguistics textbooks. Verbal self-defense teaching and training has been my profession for thirty years. I _am_ an authority on verbal self-defense, and pretending otherwise would be absurd.

I'll be absolutely frank: I don't have the remotest idea how I could write on the subject of verbal self-defense and sound anything other than authoritarian. I welcome your suggestions, however.

This forum is up and running now, with the logistics out of the way. How would all of you feel about replacing me with a new -- and less authoritative -- moderator, to continue the forum? It wouldn't hurt my feelings in any way for you to say that you think that would be best.

I'll wait to hear from you, and I thank you for your help.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 4:43 pm 
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I, for one emphatically do not want a "less authoritative moderator!" Why in God's name would I want to study with a green belt when I could learn from the creator of the system?

May I humbly suggest that those who come into this hitherto undervalued and underutilized Forum take the responsibility of doing some homework and read at least ONE of Suzette's books? Assuming you want to learn the strengths and weaknesses of Verbal Self Defense, or at the very least, the definitions inherent to understanding it?

How many posters here have read any of her works? How many know what the Satir modes are? How many recognize attack patterns? How many have at least read the URL posted by Matson-Sensei to the Verbal Self Defense League? C'mon; for the latter you didn't even have to leave your computer!

If this Forum is to get anywhere then the posters hereto need to take some responsibility for self-study.

My probably not very humble opinion. Flame me if you must; not Suzette.

student

[This message has been edited by student (edited March 18, 2000).]


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 8:48 pm 
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Location: Sydney, NS, Canada
Suzette:
If my opinion means anything, I would prefer working with you as moderator. I don't have a problem with a firm point of view, but I think if there is going to be debate we must acknowledge there are others who see things differently.

Because I believe we see things as WE are and not as they are, then our views will seem correct from our vantage point. Maybe you can change my outlook on things.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2000 7:30 pm 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
I understand what's being said -- I hope. Written English is a hard medium to use for communicating any kind of emotional message, and misunderstanding is always a danger. I'm more than willing to serve as moderator, if youall (pardon my Ozark English) are satisfied with my performance.

I could tone down the authoritativeness by salting my postings with "I think" and "it is my opinion that" and "it is widely believed that" and so on -- a bunch of Academic Regalian. I'm trained to do that, and do it when it's necessary. With this group, I don't think it should be necessary. We're working together here as colleagues, as a community of martial arts people. I think we can settle our difficulties without using a lot of code words. I'm willing to try.

When you think I'm pulling rank excessively, just tell me so. I'm probably not aware that that's what I'm doing. I can't see you, after all; if I _could_ see you (or hear you), your body language would warn me and I'd back off. Since I have to do this blind and deaf, I'm likely to make mistakes; just provide me with the necessary feedback and we'll work it out together. You won't offend me or hurt my feelings; my word on it.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2000 7:49 pm 
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Yes, Suzette: but what do you really mean? Image

student


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