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Breaking the habit of over-explaining

#13
I should probably figure out why I trigger people to get forceful or think that is needed
I keep wondering what causes the responses you keep getting too. Around the forum, I sure haven't seen anything that makes sense of that. It seems like it must be crazy bad luck, and yet, it's also hard to believe anyone can have luck THAT bad.

He replied that I need “a direct and forceful approach to be effective.” He said he would be too nice and empathetic.
When he said that, what do you think would have happened if you had asked something like "What makes you think that?" Because the answer to that might give some insight into what's going on. It also might make the person you're talking to stop to assess their own assumptions and where they're coming from. (But, maybe not. My T keeps saying, "There you go, expecting people to be reasonable again." Then we both laugh, BTW)

Since this kind of thing seems to come up kind of often, do you think there would be any benefit in flipping it around and getting THEM to explain themselves? (I've done this. I find resisting the impulse to defend/explain myself is kind of hard at first, but it's possible.)

I don know what that guy's problem was. Far as I know, an intact is a simple gathering of information and doesn't require any decisions or value judgements by the person conducting it. Doesn't sound to me like he did a very good job. If you actually want to gather information, it seems like you need to let the other person talk and ENCOURAGE them to talk. You don't do that by arguing with them, like he did.
I have no idea, with therapists, if I tell them too much or not enough.
I don't know that this is something you can exactly do wrong. It the therapist's job to get the information they need. It's probably more helpful for them if we do what we all might think of as "over sharing", but, at least in theory, THEY are the ones who are supposed to know what's going on and how to steer the conversation so we all get where we need to go.
 
#14
First of all - yeah, I do this thing as well, especially when I'm stressed.

I explained.

I over explained. I put him on the defensive not meaning at all to do so
In my mind, there are two kinds of over-explaining. One is (literally) including excess and often unnecessary information. The other could be more aptly called "defending". Perceiving statements made by others as arguments or attacks against your POV/perspective.

Personally, I do both. I can get attached to details...way too many details....usually because they are important to me and how I think. The equivalent of using my outside voice, inside.

I can also get extremely defensive. It generally happens when I'm (a) stressed, (b) believe my status is lesser than the person I'm dealing with, (c) am anticipating a problem before it happens. It can be any one of those three things. Put any two of them into the same situation and yeah, I'll get very spiky very fast. I start arguing for my perspective, whether it's been truly challenged or not.

I assign judgement or rejection where in fact, there was none. Or where I don't actually need to care that much.

In many settings, I’m decently skilled at ignoring argumentativeness and troll-ish/bully behavior but lately in my personal so many people have been arguing everything I do and I keep falling into the trap.

I commented a beach was beautiful and someone with me
argued, “no, it is too sandy.”
I wasn't there (obviously) so can't comment on tone. But your word choice makes me wonder how often you're hearing/seeing an argument where there really isn't one. How much of a hair-trigger you have, when it comes to fear of being told you're wrong, or being disbelieved, or being treated unfairly.
A guy called. Said he was a very warm and empathetic person. I said I’m depressed and I have some anger I need to sort out related to the depression. I have a trauma history I’m fine with mentioning but not in-depth processing, as I have been there don’t that and not interested right now.

He replied that I need “a direct and forceful approach to be effective.” He said he would be too nice and empathetic.
At the risk of causing you upset (so please believe me when I say this is coming from a place of peer support), I've got to say that this doesn't track. I absolutely believe it's what you heard - but I question whether it's what was meant, and wonder how the conversation literally went....though I don't know that writing it all out would be helpful for you.

There are, for sure, some massively shitty mental health workers in the world, and this guy could totally be one of them. But misunderstandings are also pretty common, especially when under duress. And, when we relay conversations, what we leave out is as important as what we leave in. Parsing what was said against what we believe we heard, and slowing our reactions enough so that we can notice what was said, what as heard, and what we are confused about/reacting to.
Since this kind of thing seems to come up kind of often, do you think there would be any benefit in flipping it around and getting THEM to explain themselves? (I've done this. I find resisting the impulse to defend/explain myself is kind of hard at first, but it's possible.)
This is a great tool.
There’s just a helluva lot of cool things in remembering : My boundaries? Are my own. They direct me, not you.
And this is super-useful.
 
#15
In many settings, I’m decently skilled at ignoring argumentativeness and troll-ish/bully behavior but lately in my personal so many people have been arguing everything I do and I keep falling into the trap.

I commented a beach was beautiful and someone with me
argued, “no, it is too sandy.”

In other settings with cranky arguers, I set and held a boundary. Then it would blow up. I’d set the boundary and then over-explain it, overly justify it, and people would then find all kinds of crap to get into, when instead of I had stuck to, “I hear your input and I’ve considered it. I’ve made my decision” and repeated it with confidence, the situation would have been over. The other person may have gotten cranky, snarky, tried to argue... but I didn’t have to take the bait.

As a kid, any decision I made was constantly challenged. Even my declaration of my favorite color and favorite sport. Nope, I was apparently wrong on even that.

It’s an anxious habit to overly justify or explain everything I do.

I want to stop.

Anyone else fall into this habit too?
I used to use lots of words, and lots of big words, to explain things...so that I didn't get told I was wrong. Then there's the make sure you explain everything in such detail not to leave out all possible exceptions of this and that, or tell a ...plan B, and never omit info -was seen as sneaky or in the lying category. That was just a plain protective conditioned response in my case....learned as a survival skill I guess. My brother lied....so I couldn't lie.....and he lied, and say I'd lie or set me up to get into trouble.....he was a grand manipulator, he was favored, and my parents were on the vacant side as drinkers.

In conversation, now I try to use short sentences that say my point with a short why. I don't have to explain every detail....I find that people I don't know very well...don't care, and I don't see the family much anymore so I don't have to be in defensive mindset all the time....it's nice. A good thread.
 
#18
My boundaries? Are my own. They direct me, not you.
^^^Just popping these here as a reminder/because I have something I really wanted to say; but brief seems to be an item in my lingerie chest, tonight. So we’re ending the novel forthwith. ;)
I'm finally learning boundaries are needed. I had not realized. I WAY overexplain. I used to be the opposite.

I was so f*cking unflappable most of my life; I was a semi-functional adult but then I majorly broke down, had to leave my life, go on disability and all: and I started to tell everybody everything. And here I am. Everyone in every doctor's office etc. I've entered since then, all knows my whole history as it plays out in the waiting room. I'm working really hard to reverse this kind of thing right now.

Today at the store, someone criticized my shopping cart of all things, and I was very deferent : "Oh sir I'm sorry" when really he was being ridiculous. (I .... just edited out this story.) However I did tell the solar panel lady "I don't care about the environment" which both amused me and was very effective! That is "the old Allie." Anyway. See? Yeah. All that. ;)
Good thread! Thank you all here.
I can’t even respond right now in any detail because... I want to over explain something even on this thread and I’m trying to stop!
^^^^^^^^^^ This. So much this!!!!
 
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#20
This thread really evokes thought. Firstly, I am sorry for your ban JustMeHere on swimming, although their reason appears a little contrived considering everyone is entitled to be misunderstood or have a bad day.

The truth is, a lot of people don't CARE about OUR point of view. Doesn't matter what you tell them. The first rule of the game, as they're playing if is "the other person is always wrong". There IS no way to "win". I think the best option is to refuse to play.

I am quoting this because it makes so much sense to me: a light bulb moment where I realized so many past scenes were set on that stage. Perhaps, some of us were groomed to grovel for others’ need set to feel power as @Friday offered and this is why over explaining occurred as a survival trait for acceptance as @TruthSeeker offered. Maybe you were conditioned a little too @Justmehere .

And truth for me is sometimes Mental Health Professionals are also people who may not mesh with my personality, so I find those who are use to hearing the occasional cantankerous opinion. So don’t let him get to you.

Perhaps this will help...one of my favorite memories/lessons is from @joeylittle offering something to the effect that - we don’t always have to be the most reasonable person in the room. It has helped me ... to slow over explaining and just be.

Thanks again for the thread.
 
Thread starter #21
It’s a temp ban but they say it’s in part because I am talking too much in an incorrect tone and I just can’t...

There is so much going so wrong I just can’t seem to be enough. I didn’t think there was any conflict and then bam. Something I needed to help keep suicidal thoughts at bay is gone.
 
#22
Perhaps, some of us were groomed to grovel for others’ need
I really think this is true. I also think that's why this sort of encounter/situation can be kind of a trigger. I'm not a fan of that word, but, at least for me, some of these situations take a part of my brain back to a place where I feel like "if I can only get it right this time, everything will be ok". And I totally forget that the first rule of the game is "Scout isn't going to get it right". That way of thinking can be pretty deeply entrenched and it can really be a project to find better ways of thinking.

@Justmehere , sorry about the temporary swimming ban! It seems like, when management sees something that might be an issue, a discussion/warning would be a better place to start. It also seems like, best case, they'd be able to give you some specific examples of what they're talking about, so it actually makes sense to you.

There are several parts to this "getting it right" thing, I'm coming to find out. One, like we've been talking about, revolves around the feeling that we need to explain/make ourselves understood. Another part is the feeling like, if we don't accomplish part 1, we kind of have no right to exist. That sounds crazy, but it's how I tend to experience it. I've come to think of that feeling as "a symptom" or "a PTSD thing". Turns out that isn't exactly how "normal people" experience the same situation. Normal might be overrated, but I've found it helpful to at least keep it in mind as a reference point.

I wish you could find a good T! I couldn't have even begun to sort through any of this without mine. I'm pretty sure he has my best interest at heart, he knows enough about my background that odd questions don't surprise him, and he's as non-judgemental as anyone I've ever met. As a result, I feel pretty safe asking him to explain the "normal human" stuff I don't get, and he does, without making it into a big thing. We don't do much "processing trauma", in the manner of reciting past events (which is good because I have almost no specific memories of that part of my life). Most of our time has been spent either building trust (a big project) or trying to make the present more functional. It sounds like he handles different people differently that way. Anyway, I don't know how anyone could navigate all this without a trustworthy sounding board. And those are hard to find when "trust" is a major issue. Don't give up, ok?
 
#23
It’s a temp ban but they say it’s in part because I am talking too much in an incorrect tone and I just can’t...

There is so much going so wrong I just can’t seem to be enough. I didn’t think there was any conflict and then bam. Something I needed to help keep suicidal thoughts at bay is gone.
Slightly off topic...
but if swimming is such an integral part of your well being it might be worth considering a different avenue to include it in your life?

You know me <whistling> “Moving” is almost always my first solution based thought... and that’s neither possible nor desireable for most people. Still, it’s a thing to consider for either the short/long term; as some options would be immediately available, and others might “just” be the whole 5 year plan kind of thing.

Locally
- An apartment with a pool (but that still means dealing with people...who can close the pool, rent out the pool, have stupid rules, etc.)
- A house with a pool (rent or buy)
- A house with room to have a pool dug & pool house (for year round swimming, essentially a big ole greenhouse) built. <<< This is one of the best options for physical disabilities, as you can build it to suit your own needs.

Less Locally
- A climate that allows for year round swimming (Pools, rivers, ocean)
- A climate that makes home/apartment pools the norm

It doesn’t seem from an outside perspective like you have a whole lot tying you to where you are, right now. As, if I’m remembering correctly, you’re thinking of leaving your job, and have renewed the marathon-therapy-search. I could be completely wrong, in that, as there are more reasons to live somewhere than a job you love & stellar specialists.
 
Thread starter #24
I need to figure out how to shut myself up more. I spoke to the powers that be and after talking they are ending the temp ban early. They want to meet. Fine. They said point blank, “We didn’t want to prevent you from swimming but you kept refusing to meet with us.”

I began to look for places to swim up to 500 miles away, and dear goodness lakes require redactions to swim now because covid capacity issues. Pools are booked. I did find an alternative place for the weekend.

Moving is a whole other thing... and something I want to do... finding other ways to get what swimming does for my brain would be good too.

Why can’t I just be a quirky rambler?! Most my friends offline say I’m overly quiet. But on some things... why can’t the world just let me be a quirky rambler and move on...
 
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