Saturday 13 April 2024

#507 Conversation wars

"You're suggesting I don't reschedule the session, but use it to talk about the future, rather than the past" I said "as an alternative".

"Yes, your understanding is correct" he replied. I paused for a moment, then thanked him, explaining that I considered it more helpful to use the session for reflection and that I'd like to push it back a week, to give more time on which to reflect. He was ok with this.

Keeping our conversations on track had been difficult. I often felt like I wasn't heard. His suggestion about not rescheduling the session had been based on so many incorrect assumptions that it irritated me.

Normally, I would've ignored it. But sometimes the points we ignore come back to bite us. So I restated it, as if to check my understanding, which was how the restatement was interpreted.

It was subtle but it validated him. Created some common ground on which I could more confidently assert, again, that I wanted to push back the session. Which is why I'd contacted him to begin with.

We ended the conversation on the same page, for a change.

Interactions don't happen in isolation. They form part of indecipherably complex webs of signals, assumptions, intentions, history, rationales, feedback and noise. Some parts play out in patterns, which often go unrecognised.

Had he offered the alternative because he hadn't heard, or understood me properly? Maybe it was because I'd seemed in need of a suggestion during a previous interaction, and he was overlaying that experience onto this one. Maybe he simply perceived a more general need for guidance in me. Or maybe he just didn't like the thought of the session being rescheduled, for one reason or another.

We don't always know why other people respond the ways they do. Or why we have a particular reaction to them. Even when we do have a hunch, it isn't always easy. I knew patterns like this had a way of repeating themselves. My minor active listening, the humble restatement, had got me out of this situation but there would be more where it came from. Much more.

Begun, the conversation wars had.  

Tuesday 9 May 2023

#506 The disappearance of Rich Campbell

I started following Rich back when I started playing WoW again, in 2018/19. A few things have changed since then.

The full version of my reflections on his disappearance is available here on Medium. Please don't read it if the topic disturbs you.

Why publish my feelings about someone who was accused of a serious crime?

I believe in the potential benefits of sharing thoughts and feelings. I find Rich's disappearance intriguing. I had to leave a significant job at a big company and embraced WoW and Twitch at around the same time that he did.

I've seen people making their own minds up about the allegation. I guess they're free to do so. I haven't felt like it's my place to arrive at a verdict. And I certainly haven't felt like it's my place to arrive at one publicly.

Is it helpful or harmful for me to express thoughts and feelings online about someone who has allegedly done something awful? I don't know.

I don't think it's just about Rich. Him and Asmon were a team, for example. I used to enjoy watching Allcraft. And if there's never another episode, perhaps writing about some of my memories from that time will help me to close my internal book on a part of a chapter of my own life.

Monday 17 April 2023

#505 An audio journal

I've made an audio journal on YouTube, which is available here: Audio Journal 

I started with one entry and my plan is to expand this to ten entries. The journal is largely self-reflective and deals with themes of encountering mild challenge, helplessness and motivation. Parts of some of the posts were recorded while I was walking through woodland.

The entries are, I hope, in some sense self-therapeutic, which is to say that I hope that they allowed me to reflect on my own thoughts and feelings and move toward a greater acceptance and understanding of them. I'm not sure to what extent I accomplished this.

I've always enjoyed both walking and journaling and while I haven't ever previously combined them, I recently found that I had some matters on my mind that I particularly wanted to process and this gave me the time and space in which to attempt that.

Where I've felt a desire to linger on a particular detail, such as a question about what to say, or why I'm saying it, I've let myself do so. This has allowed me a degree of patience with some thoughts and how I express them, that I wouldn't normally be able to indulge in, either in regular conversation or in conventional therapy.

How satisfying.