An Exercise in Reframing

VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine.Registered User regular
edited September 2013 in Singularity Engine++
Sup, folks. Viv here. I'm worried about a lot of you, so I thought we could do a supportive thing as a community while learning (or strengthening) a useful skill at the same time.

We have all experienced this thing where we get very stuck into a particular view of something, such as ourselves, a memory, or even an object in front of us. The temptation, though, is for us as human beings to stick to negative interpretations more than positive ones. That's not to say none of us have things that make us happy or see things in a positive way, but when we're stressed, frustrated, or just want to justify feeling shitty, well... we tend to look at the world in a way that matches what we feel.

This isn't optimism or pessimism - it's acknowledging that how you see the world is directly informed by how you're feeling at a given time, or even by past experiences and current expectations.

So, I wanted to attempt an experiment with you fine people. It's called cognitive reframing, where you adjust your interpretation or perspective and find different ways to view things like ideas, abstract concepts, thoughts, situations, etc. We all do it to some extent or another, but now I want to see if we can help each other do it consciously, and in a positive way.

SIDEBAR - some of you may know this as cognitive restructuring, and you'd be right. Cognitive restructuring is basically the conscious and positive subset of reframing, and the negative side is called cognitive distortion.
reframing.jpg

Reframing doesn't negate your terrible experience or mean it didn't happen. But sometimes it can help you go from a hopeless situation to one with a way forward. It can help you shift a perspective on failure to something that you may have been succeeding at but didn't acknowledge because you were too wrapped up in your failure. In fact, with many mental health issues, they actively serve to hinder or block your ability to see the positives by making the negatives bigger, taking up your entire line of sight.

Can you think of something in recent days (or years!) that you feel kind of shitty about that you can reframe into something a bit more positive, or at least a bit less bad? Or maybe something that we as a group can help you reframe?

As an example, say you are a person who gets panic attacks when the plan goes to shit, and then you go home feeling despondent and shitty because you feel like nothing you do is working. Say you're on your way home from an appointment with your therapist after trying this new medication for a few days. It takes so much out of you to feel optimistic about your therapy but you are finding a way to try anyway. On the way home, it starts raining. Worse, the bus breaks down and you have to get off the bus to wait for the next one. As the next one arrives, you realize you've left your medication on the bus. You start to feel panicky, but thanks to the guidance of someone on the bus who knows what to do and talks you through it, you actually beat back a possible panic attack and calm yourself down. You go home and you feel shitty because now you don't have any medication, you tried one last time to make things right for yourself and the universe is dead set on fucking you over, so what is the goddamn point of trying anymore.

Positive reframing (or a rough, layman's equivalent thereof if I'm to be accurate about it) is shifting your understanding of the day's events to something that makes you feel a bit better. It's easy to get sucked into the shittiness, but dude - you totally just beat back your very first panic attack! Yeah you had someone there to talk you through it, but that is a HUGE achievement in and of itself! And even though you felt hopeless, you rocked up to the therapist's office anyway, and shit, you still managed to get yourself home at the end of an awful day where it would have been completely understandable if you DID have a panic attack.

That's a pretty extreme example with a clear demonstration of where you can shift focus. But it works with little every day things and huge life-changing events, too. Did your colleague not say good morning to you because they dislike you, or because they've got their own shit going on and just didn't notice? Shit, you got fired, maybe it was just the push you needed to get out of a job you hated. Is it a scary fucking amount of debt, or the start of the next new exciting stage of your life?

None of that changes that your colleague still didn't say hi to you, that you lost your job, or that you now have a ton of debt. None of that makes that any less of a problem. But a reframe can help make the situation seem less hopeless, less negative, less shitty, and give you just what you need (be it motivation, perspective, or even an idea) to do what you gotta do.

Point is, there's no point worrying about a "right" or "wrong" way to see your world - it's your perspective, after all. What's important is the way that will help you get through it.

Herein, share a story about something that makes or made you feel shitty. It can be as huge or as little a thing as you want. The more detailed you can be, the better, but don't stress if you're not comfortable sharing a lot of information.

Then let us know:
Have you reframed it since it happened?
If yes, how did you do that?
If no, how might you reframe it in a positive way?
What are some positives that are part of the story that you may not have noticed, or even forgotten?

If you're stuck, that's okay - that's why I wanted to try something like this thread in the first place. We can, as a group, either attempt to help you reframe the story, or we can ask for more information that may help you reframe it yourself.

I'm not totally confident this thread will be a rousing success by any means, but I've had the idea in my head for a couple of weeks now and wanted to give it a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

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Posts

  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    One of my own personal experiences with reframing happened via a conversation with some folks right here on this forum.
    I was lamenting the fact that I don't get along with a lot of girls. I took this to mean that I wasn't pretty enough, girly enough, or "in-touch" enough with their stuff for them to want to hang out with me. I got along with boys way better, so spent most of my time with them. I felt this way for many years, and for a very long time I actually began rejecting or rebuffing other girls before they could reject me. It became an awful self-fulfilling prophecy, where on many occasions I was actually outright hostile to them because I knew they'd hate me anyway. On other days I'd try desperately to win them over, only to eventually get excluded by a lot of them, either because I wasn't stylish enough to hang out with them, or because I brought the vibe down.

    At least, that was my perspective.

    Talking to some of the ladies on this forum who've been in the same boat it made me realize that yeah, I don't get along with girls and maybe it's partly true that this is because we don't share the same interests, but maybe the exclusion we feel is also because those girls are intimidated by girls like us. Us, as in the ones who don't appear to agonise over looking our hottest (even though we do, or we don't because we feel like it's futile), who are completely at ease with boys, and who really don't give much a of a damn what other people think of us pursuing the (at the time) non-mainstream interests that we do. We break the mold as to what a girl "should" be as painted by culture/society/etc, and for the most part a lot of us don't care and it draws us lots of attention. For all we know, it's because we're intimidating to them. More likely, it's because we can't be bothered to conform and it makes it harder for us to relate to them.

    That's not necessarily an accurate reframe, but the truth is that we'll never actually know all the "real" reasons why I don't get along with most other girls (it could also be that I'm just an awful human being, who knows!). So we went with the interpretation that is certainly gratuitous and maybe a bit unfair, but also confidence-building and reassuring. Back then I felt so down about it all that I feel like if you're gonna over-correct, do it in a way that makes you feel good and make no apologies.

    Vivixenne on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Vote 1 for Viv - best forum Mum.

    <3

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  • FutoreFutore Registered User regular
    Viv, did you know that you have 69 threads?

    ETqXK.png
    VivixenneCyvrosJoolander
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    Who Reframed Roger's Habit?

    tynicBYToadyHacksawRMS OceanicRhesus PositiveOrikaeshigitaeWeedLordVegetaCelloKochikensThe Cow KingJimothySkeithGandalf_the_CrazedOlivawBucketmanSassoriStranger DangerSCREECH OF THE FARGSlacker71CyvrosSticksCorehealerLorahaloXehalus
  • WheatBun01WheatBun01 Face It, Tiger Registered User regular
    About fifteen minutes ago I found out the only thing in my life I was super looking forward to (seeing somebody this Christmas) , what I was using to push myself forward till then, won't happen.

    Reading your post, Viv, pushed me from big sobby mess to just kinda idly smiling at my monitor and calmimg down enough to sleep, which I'll do now.

    Thank you, goodnight SE

    LiiyaVivixenne
  • TrippyJingTrippyJing Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously.Registered User regular
    Futore wrote: »
    Viv, did you know that you have 69 threads?

    So who else immediately went to check her thread count?

    b1ehrMM.gif
  • TankHammerTankHammer Atlanta Ghostbuster Atlanta, GARegistered User regular
    This seems like a great thread. I'll check it tomorrow and maybe add to it!

    WheatBun01
  • VeldrinVeldrin Sham bam bamina Registered User regular
    Due to a local government change late last year, the past 6 months at my job has been hell in regards to office politics and high staff management tension. Just in the last two months, my work unit has gone from five lawyers dealing with our entire department's legal queries, down to two lawyers trying to manage the same workload. In just the last month, my boss quit and our unit has gone into audit mode while also trying to handle two huge discrimination cases against us.

    The situation sucks and it's not a lot of fun coming to work at the moment, but I have realised that though I may not have wanted to get stuck in such an environment, it has taught me an enormous amount in regards to holding my own and negotiating both with Executive Management and external claimants while under fire. Something that I probably would not have had as much of an opportunity to do otherwise, and which will most certainly help a tonne in the future.

    Sometimes sucky situations help you make future sucky situations suck less.

    VivixennepookaCyvros
  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    TrippyJing wrote: »
    Futore wrote: »
    Viv, did you know that you have 69 threads?

    So who else immediately went to check her thread count?

    me I did

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  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    I'm not broken, the entire rest of the world is, I'm fine.

    I'm doing this wrong, ( or I'm doing it right, and the process is wrong =p )

    I feel bad making light tho, because reframing is awesome and super helpful for mood changing, I'm just tired from work, and I'm all snarky when tired.

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    Probably means you worked a hard day's work and deserve to get some rest!

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  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    did u see what i did thurr

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  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    I'm kind of sad volleyball season is ending soon, because it'll take away a huge chunk of what makes me feel like I'm contributing something to a sport I love (even if I can't currently play it). But at the same time it'd be nice to get my Sundays back, and I can spend the off-season focusing on rehab to get myself back into the game next year.

    Also, if my knee WEREN'T shot to shit right now, I'd get the chance to spend the off-season trying other things I wanna do like pole dancing and rock climbing and also something else that is slipping my mind right this second.

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  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    How many feel good threads do we need at once?

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    Steam: weavermatic xbox: weavermatico
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Weaver wrote: »
    How many feel good threads do we need at once?

    Pi, cubed.

    ( Also Self Care hit 100 pages and got closed)

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
    Speed Racer
  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Weaver wrote: »
    How many feel good threads do we need at once?

    as many as I feel like making

    you're welcome to make your own non-feel-good thread to counter-act the feely-goodness of it all

    EDIT: what you posted is also kind of a jerk thing to say

    maybe I should make a feel-good thread addressing it

    Vivixenne on
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  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    I didn't realize that the self-care thread was closed. Sorry.

    Also, not that I don't want people to be able to express themselves and be supported, just thought it was getting kinda over-saturated.

    Weaver on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Vivixenne wrote: »
    I'm kind of sad volleyball season is ending soon, because it'll take away a huge chunk of what makes me feel like I'm contributing something to a sport I love (even if I can't currently play it). But at the same time it'd be nice to get my Sundays back, and I can spend the off-season focusing on rehab to get myself back into the game next year.

    Also, if my knee WEREN'T shot to shit right now, I'd get the chance to spend the off-season trying other things I wanna do like pole dancing and rock climbing and also something else that is slipping my mind right this second.

    The thing that's slipping your mind?

    Motocross.

    You next summer:

    flying-fiolek-motocro1.jpg

    tynicFearghaillpookaCyvros
  • pimentopimento they/pim Registered User regular
    Blake and Viv in summer.

    bk3stage2-1withbikeriding.jpg

    chrishallett83CyvrosJoolanderCurly_Brace
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Agreed, except for ew yuck RMs?

  • Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.

  • pimentopimento they/pim Registered User regular
    Agreed, except for ew yuck RMs?

    RMs?

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.

    It's an object lesson in what happens to you when you park a spaceship on a non-load-bearing structure.

    pimentoBendery It Like BeckhamFearghaillCelloUsagichrishallett83TrippyJingCaulk Bite 6OlivawCyvros
  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    Weaver wrote: »
    I didn't realize that the self-care thread was closed. Sorry.

    Also, not that I don't want people to be able to express themselves and be supported, just thought it was getting kinda over-saturated.

    We need a place to feel the feels. You're welcome to feel the feels in your own thread, with hookers, and blackjack.

  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    In fact, screw the thread.

    tynicCyvros
  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Hey @Vivixenne, your story reminded me of my wife. Only for her, she tends to be friends with the girls that don't normally make friends with other girls. She says she likes them because they tend to be bitches and more guy-ish than other girls and she feels more comfortable around them. That and it allows her to be a bitch and not look bad in comparison.

    KmZUNh7.png
  • GoatmonGoatmon Property of Amara_P Registered User regular
    Vivixenne wrote: »
    I'm kind of sad volleyball season is ending soon, because it'll take away a huge chunk of what makes me feel like I'm contributing something to a sport I love (even if I can't currently play it). But at the same time it'd be nice to get my Sundays back, and I can spend the off-season focusing on rehab to get myself back into the game next year.

    Also, if my knee WEREN'T shot to shit right now, I'd get the chance to spend the off-season trying other things I wanna do like pole dancing and rock climbing and also something else that is slipping my mind right this second.

    What happened to your knee, Viv?

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6680-6709-4204


  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    pimento wrote: »
    Agreed, except for ew yuck RMs?

    RMs?
    1990_suzuki_rm250_852551.jpg

    Suzuki RM 2-stroke dirtbikes.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I think it's all just buying into the socialised competitiveness women are taught to feel with each other and it's kinda bullshit, frankly. There are people I don't get along with of both genders. LOADS of them. But I would say it's easier for me to bump along and kind of be friends with the guys I don't like, because I'm not in some way conscious of 'competing' with them. I can just laugh and move on.

    If we put all the women who say they don't get along with most other women in a room, I bet you they would not get along. Moreover, if you took all the women they DID get along with and tried to find overlap, I bet there wouldn't necessarily be a lot. That's because I doubt there are two kinds of woman out there, ie 'not like other girls' and 'other girls.'

    It can be harder, as a chick, to socialize with other women and it can take longer to build up a friendship. There's complex social reasons for that. But busing into an 'us' vs 'them' mentality, even when reframed as a positive thing, is kinda, well. Bitchy and arrogant.

    chrishallett83HacksawbowtiedsealUsagipookacabsySassoriCyvros
  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Bitchy and arrogant sounds like my wife and her friends, yeah.

    KmZUNh7.png
  • pimentopimento they/pim Registered User regular
    pimento wrote: »
    Agreed, except for ew yuck RMs?

    RMs?
    1990_suzuki_rm250_852551.jpg

    Suzuki RM 2-stroke dirtbikes.

    Ahh. Yes, there is a striking similarity there. Viv and Blake to be stroking dirtbikes, twice.

  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.
    skip to the third act and watch as sam neill is miraculously transformed into a being composed entirely of rubber horror makeup. also a lot of the sets bend when pushed gently.

    Metalbourne
  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Eh my defense is that I was really young and dumb at the time. But like I say that's my story and no one else really has to like it. Because contrary to popular belief, I am neither bitchy nor arrogant. And I certainly didn't treat people I don't get along with any differently as a result of that reframe. It was a way of thinking that just made me feel less like I had no idea what I was doing that was making me unrelatable to other girls.

    Hindsight 20/20 and of course I agree with what you're saying, Nic, but back in the day when I felt completely rejected and lost and even questioned myself on a lot of shit, something that gave me even a tiny bit of confidence or self-assurance went a long way to putting me back in social situations.

    Vivixenne on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.
    skip to the third act and watch as sam neill is miraculously transformed into a being composed entirely of rubber horror makeup. also a lot of the sets bend when pushed gently.

    It's an homage to early Dr Who.

    Cyvros
  • FCDFCD Registered User regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.

    As bad as the real world can be, at least we don't live in the WH40K universe. So, there's that :)

    Gridman! Baby DAN DAN! Baby DAN DAN!
  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.
    skip to the third act and watch as sam neill is miraculously transformed into a being composed entirely of rubber horror makeup. also a lot of the sets bend when pushed gently.

    I feel like I need to watch this again

    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    Reframe Event Horizon for me.

    It's an object lesson in what happens to you when you park a spaceship on a non-load-bearing structure.

    @Tynic this made my morning

    tynic
  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    A friend of mine recently got engaged and I've apparently been invited to an engagement party next month.

    I am feeling like I am pretty shitty for not really wanting to go, because I am pretty sure it would be great for a normal person but awful for me and I'll just end up making the event worse on some level for her or her guests.

    It's one of those situations where I just can't tell what the correct thing to do is, to what extent is it acceptable to dodge an event if you are certain, based on past experiences, that you will just be miserable and potentially bring others down by being so?

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    You should go, man. Engagement parties are chilled and fun. Free booze and food, usually a DJ or something, just chat to nice people and go home when you want to.

    They'll appreciate you showing up.

  • World as MythWorld as Myth Registered User regular
    five years ago I didn't like any girls

    now I like every girl

    kQwcZLJ.png
    Cyvros
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