Confirmation Bias vs. Intuition

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I’m an HSP (highly sensitive person/empathic). I’ve always been pretty intuitive. I typically sense when there is conflict in my relationships. I read emotions well. However, when it comes to my T, I’m starting to wonder if it is more of a negative transference with a confirmation bias appearing as intuition to me. For example, I currently feel as though I’m a burden to my therapist because sessions have seemed more business like than usual, she’s writing more notes. I interpret this as she must not like me anymore. This is causing me to shut down. Usually, she’s showing empathy and care. I’m also questioning work reactions as well. I’ll sense someone is angry and highly disappointed with me as they are actually hiring me for an event and laying down their expectations for a contract.

Maybe my intuition was never really a thing? I’m just picking out facial expressions and actions and applying past behaviors of completely unrelated situations to my thoughts. Any ideas here?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
We are definately sensitive creatures and maybe we over analyse things too much. Try not to do your own head in!! Haha! Easier said than done I know. Maybe when you have these thoughts, pause and say some positive affirmations to yourself.
 

Friday

Moderator
The thing I hate the absolute most about PTSD is no longer being able to trust my own judgement/rely on my own instincts.

Not being able to read people? And rely on what I’m reading? Is no different / very little different from flattening to the sidewalk when a car backfires, or when a chips bag blows in the wind. Ditto panic attacks in grocery stores, or crowds, when anything and everything is reading as a threat... yet nothing is. And the more there’s no threat? The more things pop, until it’s all an electric kaleidoscope acid trip of badness, and I just need to get the f*ck out until I can clear my head and see clearly, again.

The no different... is it’s just a series of symptoms colliding creating a f*cked up end result. I can manage those symptoms down to nil -both over time & in the moment, depending on whether it’s a sudden flare or something that’s been existing for some time- and I can retrain those skills and instincts back into functional working order by doing the whole thing manually (f*cking exhausting, having to assess and dismiss on purpose, rather than simply allowing the program to run in the background and “highlight” anything that should stand out... but also very doable).

The very little different... Most people lie, almost constantly. Their faces & bodies say one thing, their mouths and actions say another (or several other things). Allowing someone the privacy to have the courage to face a bad day with a smile & concern for others? Whilst having the discrimination to be able to differentiate between none-of-my-business & concerning-me-in-some-way? Is just one shade of complicated that I don’t have to worry about, when my instincts and reason are ticking along. AND just one of hundreds of things that get f*cked up... when everything else is all f*cked up.

So, whilst things, are just things? Backfire / weapons fire, pigeon on the roof / sniper on the roof, bag blowing under a car / grenade rolling under a car... and the threat is either there or it isn’t? PEOPLE are far more complicated. They’re never this -or- that... UNLESS... it’s a life or death situation. Unless their world, and mine, have both narrowed to this instant in time. The more normal an interaction is? The more complicated -and less important- the background music of their lives is. But just like my freaking the f*ck out in a grocery store, or in a crowd, or on the street? I will start freaking out about the complicated things I’m reading, as my instincts try and narrow those things to here&now, life&death, cause&effect, black&white. <<< When I catch myself start doing that? 1) I know that 90-99% of what I’m “reading” is total bullshit. 2) I ignore the hell out of myself until I can get myself squared away.

To use the example above... Someone having a bad day, but sucking it up, to go about their life? Is a very common thing. People have bad days. And then they pull on the big girl pants, tie their shoes, and stride out into the day... not being broken by it, nor treating other people like shit, just because they’re having a hard time. If my head is f*cked sideways so I’m misreading people? Instead of even allowing for that possibility (much less the dozens of others that are also quite possibly in play) what will leap out at me is that they’re hiding something AND THEN lickety split ALSO DECIDE that it’s being hidden for nefarious/malicious reasons... and then wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am either slingshot that back on them coloring them as someone is is not to be trusted, or richochet it to the conclusion it’s about aaaaall aboooooout me. Roll. Eyes. & FFS. 2+2 = 64 much???

Drives me absolutely crazy when my discrimination & common goddamn sense just flys out the window like that. That I know it happens let’s me work around it, but it’s like being blinded or deafened, suddenly no longer able to depend on a sense I USE almost constantly.
Maybe my intuition was never really a thing? I’m just picking out facial expressions and actions and applying past behaviors of completely unrelated situations to my thoughts.
Maybe.

I’ve known a helluva lot of people who THINK they can read people, or are totally empathic, when all they’re really doing is projecting their own stuff on others.

I’ve also known a helluva lot of people who are just incredibly skilled at reading people.

So are you having an epiphany where you’re realizing that you’ve just been projecting your own stuff onto others & are starting to see others clearly (for maybe even the first time); or are you struggling because a sense that’s always been reliable to you in the past has deserted you (and maybe worse, wondering how often that’s happened that you that you didn’t catch it)? I couldn’t say.

Your therapist would probably be a good person to TrueNorth that for you, if you can trust them to be honest, rather than to spare your feelings. As it’s really easy to tell when we’re misread STUFF, but it gets harder when it’s people. Having someone who coddles our feelings makes it impossible to know if we’re misreading people, the same way as if someone next to us when we hear the car backfiring starts shouting that there’s an active shooter doesn’t let us realize we’ve made a mistake & correct it.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
The thing I hate the absolute most about PTSD is no longer being able to trust my own judgement/rely on my own instincts.

Not being able to read people? And rely on what I’m reading? Is no different / very little different from flattening to the sidewalk when a car backfires, or when a chips bag blows in the wind. Ditto panic attacks in grocery stores, or crowds, when anything and everything is reading as a threat... yet nothing is. And the more there’s no threat? The more things pop, until it’s all an electric kaleidoscope acid trip of badness, and I just need to get the f*ck out until I can clear my head and see clearly, again.

The no different... is it’s just a series of symptoms colliding creating a f*cked up end result. I can manage those symptoms down to nil -both over time & in the moment, depending on whether it’s a sudden flare or something that’s been existing for some time- and I can retrain those skills and instincts back into functional working order by doing the whole thing manually (f*cking exhausting, having to assess and dismiss on purpose, rather than simply allowing the program to run in the background and “highlight” anything that should stand out... but also very doable).

The very little different... Most people lie, almost constantly. Their faces & bodies say one thing, their mouths and actions say another (or several other things). Allowing someone the privacy to have the courage to face a bad day with a smile & concern for others? Whilst having the discrimination to be able to differentiate between none-of-my-business & concerning-me-in-some-way? Is just one shade of complicated that I don’t have to worry about, when my instincts and reason are ticking along. AND just one of hundreds of things that get f*cked up... when everything else is all f*cked up.

So, whilst things, are just things? Backfire / weapons fire, pigeon on the roof / sniper on the roof, bag blowing under a car / grenade rolling under a car... and the threat is either there or it isn’t? PEOPLE are far more complicated. They’re never this -or- that... UNLESS... it’s a life or death situation. Unless their world, and mine, have both narrowed to this instant in time. The more normal an interaction is? The more complicated -and less important- the background music of their lives is. But just like my freaking the f*ck out in a grocery store, or in a crowd, or on the street? I will start freaking out about the complicated things I’m reading, as my instincts try and narrow those things to here&now, life&death, cause&effect, black&white. <<< When I catch myself start doing that? 1) I know that 90-99% of what I’m “reading” is total bullshit. 2) I ignore the hell out of myself until I can get myself squared away.

To use the example above... Someone having a bad day, but sucking it up, to go about their life? Is a very common thing. People have bad days. And then they pull on the big girl pants, tie their shoes, and stride out into the day... not being broken by it, nor treating other people like shit, just because they’re having a hard time. If my head is f*cked sideways so I’m misreading people? Instead of even allowing for that possibility (much less the dozens of others that are also quite possibly in play) what will leap out at me is that they’re hiding something AND THEN lickety split ALSO DECIDE that it’s being hidden for nefarious/malicious reasons... and then wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am either slingshot that back on them coloring them as someone is is not to be trusted, or richochet it to the conclusion it’s about aaaaall aboooooout me. Roll. Eyes. & FFS. 2+2 = 64 much???

Drives me absolutely crazy when my discrimination & common goddamn sense just flys out the window like that. That I know it happens let’s me work around it, but it’s like being blinded or deafened, suddenly no longer able to depend on a sense I USE almost constantly.

Maybe.

I’ve known a helluva lot of people who THINK they can read people, or are totally empathic, when all they’re really doing is projecting their own stuff on others.

I’ve also known a helluva lot of people who are just incredibly skilled at reading people.

So are you having an epiphany where you’re realizing that you’ve just been projecting your own stuff onto others & are starting to see others clearly (for maybe even the first time); or are you struggling because a sense that’s always been reliable to you in the past has deserted you (and maybe worse, wondering how often that’s happened that you that you didn’t catch it)? I couldn’t say.

Your therapist would probably be a good person to TrueNorth that for you, if you can trust them to be honest, rather than to spare your feelings. As it’s really easy to tell when we’re misread STUFF, but it gets harder when it’s people. Having someone who coddles our feelings makes it impossible to know if we’re misreading people, the same way as if someone next to us when we hear the car backfiring starts shouting that there’s an active shooter doesn’t let us realize we’ve made a mistake & correct it.
The plan is to talk to my T about it today. I woke up trembling. We went through something like this two years ago, but I’ve felt some sort of regression in the last three weeks and kind of fear her all of a sudden. Thinking about quitting so my response was to schedule extra sessions to try to read her. I know this doesn’t make sense. Nothing I’m doing or feeling makes sense to me right now.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
The plan is to talk to my T about it today. I woke up trembling. We went through something like this two years ago, but I’ve felt some sort of regression in the last three weeks and kind of fear her all of a sudden. Thinking about quitting so my response was to schedule extra sessions to try to read her. I know this doesn’t make sense. Nothing I’m doing or feeling makes sense to me right now.
Hi, something that I have learnt is not to make important life changing decisions when upset, angry or confused. They usually turn out to be very regretful.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
maybe if you feel you've regressed recently and feel you fear your therapist it's because the child in you fears talking about sensitive or traumatic thoughts?? That it's too much for you. I think that if this is the case then you should mention that to your therapist and see what she says.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It's really important you raise this with her.

I feel the same: that I read people well and pick up cues
But.....the therapeutic relationship is not like any other relationship.
E.g. I sensed my T was hesitating at times. In my mind: that's because she hates me now. But in reality: she was carefully thinking how to respond because the subject matter was highly sensitive.
So whilst you may be picking up the cues, the interpretation might be the projection?
Only one way to find out: is to ask her.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Well, we met. I kind of broke down and we sorted through a rupture. Partially, it was a misunderstanding. This caused her to think that we were falling into the old patterns that caused the original rupture, so she waited to talk to me. In turn, it terrified me that she had said anything at all between sessions, so I felt that I was in trouble. (Enter child parts in full panic). Relational trauma sucks. The other thing that we sorted out is my depressive feelings are steadily growing. They are starting to mess with my thoughts. Usually, they follow hormone levels that I track and can predict, but it seems to be every week, week after week. I may need a medication change, but I hate that stuff. I’m contemplating trying a new p-doc because my insurance changed and mine is self pay. But starting over is scary. At the end of the session, my T told me that she is glad we talked about this because she had been sensing something was wrong in her gut. So... was it intuition or confirmation bypass for her?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Really glad you spoke and she listened and it helped (has it?).
I think the "she felt it in her gut" is her being in relationship with you and feeling something but not knowing exactly what and wanting to bring it to the session. In the same way you were?

Sorry to hear depression is worse at the moment. Changing pdoc is unsettling. Another relationship which, if child parts are activated right now, might find challenging too.
 
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