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The Reluctant Participant - Part Two

Posted by Dranitsaris/ Dranitsaris-Hilliard, Anne and Heather at Saturday, 12/22/2012 8:17 am
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Our thoughts about the future frequently cause emotions that get in the way of enjoying, appreciating, or participating in the present. Start listening to what people are already saying about the holidays. You hear things like “I am so stressed out about the holidays. I have so much to do.” “I hate the holidays. My family is so dysfunctional.” or “I am so angry because I have to spend so much money over the holidays. I wish it were January.”

All of these thoughts create an emotional state that goes along with it. Being stressed before the holidays start is a self created mental state. So is beginning the holidays with an attitude of dislike, resistance, helplessness and fear. These thoughts cause people to go into their Survival Style and instead of striving to create the best experience of the season. The emotional state that is created by these thoughts colours how situations are seen and people are responded to.

In the case of the Intellectual, their Holiday Style includes thoughts of how to get out of socializing. Even when they are at an event, they look for ways to get away, going outside with the smokers, even if they don’t smoke, sitting in the den by themselves looking at books, or seeking comfort in a book they found. I have known Intellectuals who have turned on the TV at their own party to alleviate their feelings of anxiety! Their behaviour is often socially disruptive alienating them from others to give them the space they need.

When Intellectuals are in touch with their feelings of anxiety and social discomfort and are able to discuss them openly, their anxiety diminishes. Intellectual children can be protected from the judgements of others who don’t understand their need to withdraw or other antisocial behaviours by parents who limit the extent of their social engagements. Practising mindfulness to better tolerate emotions of anxiety and helplessness go a long way. It allows them to be in the Holiday Season without spoiling it for the helpless bystanders who do not know why they are being so critical and antisocial.

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