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Rationalization vs. Emotional Signals

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#1
Edited for clarity.

Gaslighting is harmful because it erodes the victim's trust in their thoughts, feelings, perception, and judgment (internal experience). It creates self-doubt, in the form of an internal voice that keeps rationalizing other peoples' behavior. This leads the victim to keep asking "was that actually messed up, or am I overreacting?", "did what I feel happened really happen?" It causes disorientation, not knowing what is right or wrong, not knowing whether to listen to the devil's advocate inside the head, or what one feels in one's heart.

In order to solve these doubts, the victim seeks verification. This can be a "reality check" consisting of asking a friend's opinion, to validate one's internal experience, or seeking evidence to prove that it actually happened the way one felt it happen, that it actually is the way one feels it is.

The fact that it is considered harmful to doubt one's internal experience implies that it is healthy to not doubt one's internal experience. It implies that it is healthy to trust one's internal experience. It is commonly said that to prevent, overcome, or recover, from gaslighting and other such psychological manipulation, one must listen to and trust one's feelings, internal experience, inner voice.

I have difficulty understanding what is meant by this concept of trusting one's feelings/judgment/perception/etc., rather than doubting them or having to prove them. I believe that it is possible for such inner intuitions to be wrong sometimes. If it can be wrong, how can people feel comfortable trusting it?

I suppose if one would come to know that one was mistaken, if it ends up being wrong, then it might be safe to trust it. Because that way, one would find out eventually. But if one would never find out, it doesn't seem like a good idea to trust it. Whether it's wrong or right, one would never know. If it's wrong, one would continue believing it until the end of time.
 

QuickTwist

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#2
Who is to say it necessarily needs to be one over the other?

What about Dialectics?
 
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#3
I'm not well versed with dialectics, but doesn't it explain the causes of conflict? It doesn't seem to have a position on the validity of the emotional signaling.
 

QuickTwist

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#4
I'm not well versed with dialectics, but doesn't it explain the causes of conflict? It doesn't seem to have a position on the validity of the emotional signaling.
That is because dialectics is more about what can you actually DO about it rather than explaining why it happens. It's kinda the difference between being a pragmatist and being a philosopher. They both have their place and have different ways to go about an issue. If it's more about explaining the inherent cause of conflict, then you've truly bitten into something big.
 
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#5
I'm not well versed with dialectics, but doesn't it explain the causes of conflict? It doesn't seem to have a position on the validity of the emotional signaling.
That is because dialectics is more about what can you actually DO about it rather than explaining why it happens. It's kinda the difference between being a pragmatist and being a philosopher. They both have their place and have different ways to go about an issue. If it's more about explaining the inherent cause of conflict, then you've truly bitten into something big.
I meant that dialectics seems to be focused on explaining the causes of conflict, rather than what to do about it. From what I read, dialectics seems to be about communication. But I don't see how that solves the problem of whether to trust your emotional signals. Unless dialectics says not to trust them, and instead to focus on rational discourse.
 

QuickTwist

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#6
I'm not well versed with dialectics, but doesn't it explain the causes of conflict? It doesn't seem to have a position on the validity of the emotional signaling.
That is because dialectics is more about what can you actually DO about it rather than explaining why it happens. It's kinda the difference between being a pragmatist and being a philosopher. They both have their place and have different ways to go about an issue. If it's more about explaining the inherent cause of conflict, then you've truly bitten into something big.
I meant that dialectics seems to be focused on explaining the causes of conflict, rather than what to do about it. From what I read, dialectics seems to be about communication. But I don't see how that solves the problem of whether to trust your emotional signals. Unless dialectics says not to trust them, and instead to focus on rational discourse.
It's not about trusting anything in particular. Just having a pragmatic approach when conflict arises solves a lot of problems without really even needing to think of all the particulars about analyzing things to death because that generally leads to rumination. Rumination is something that can get in the way of actually acting which in turn, is actually a barrier to solving the problem in the first place.
 
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#7
It's not about trusting anything in particular. Just having a pragmatic approach when conflict arises solves a lot of problems without really even needing to think of all the particulars about analyzing things to death because that generally leads to rumination. Rumination is something that can get in the way of actually acting which in turn, is actually a barrier to solving the problem in the first place.
Isn't this is assuming the goal is to solve the conflict? What if it's a person you're never going to talk to again?

What is the approach, anyway? The wiki page is just explaining the causes of conflict
 

QuickTwist

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#8
It's not about trusting anything in particular. Just having a pragmatic approach when conflict arises solves a lot of problems without really even needing to think of all the particulars about analyzing things to death because that generally leads to rumination. Rumination is something that can get in the way of actually acting which in turn, is actually a barrier to solving the problem in the first place.
Isn't this is assuming the goal is to solve the conflict? What if it's a person you're never going to talk to again?

What is the approach, anyway? The wiki page is just explaining the causes of conflict
I encourage you to visit the first link you see in the original wiki I linked.
 
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#9
I encourage you to visit the first link you see in the original wiki I linked.
The first link is to interpersonal communication. Communication is important but the question of whether to trust one's feelings/intuitions remains open.
 

QuickTwist

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#10

Hadoblado

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#11
Do what you have already done. Rephrase the scenario as a hypothetical in which you are replaced by another person. Essentially, test for universality.

People are admittedly not 100% on this, since they may convince themselves they'd act or think a different way in a different situation. Things that help objectivity are swapping actors (so the perpetrator is now the victim and vice versa), or drawing from your experience where similar things have happened where you were in a different position.

So in the next hypo, Sally tells Rob off for mouldy food and Sally thinks this wouldn't be okay. But then Sally thinks back to when Rob stole her parking space and she lost her shit at him, and realises that she might be being a little bit too generous with herself. Sally then resolves the discrepancy in her standards, and even if she thinks it's still not okay for Rob to act the way he did, she's more understanding of why acting like this speaks more about Rob than it does Sally.

Or something.
 
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#12
Rephrase the scenario as a hypothetical in which you are replaced by another person. Essentially, test for universality.
Yeah that's what I used to think too. Test/analyze to check and verify.

But people say that this is not good. It is not considered healthy to second-guess and doubt all of your feelings/perceptions. This is what victims of gaslighting do. Being assaulted and having a healthy internal response that something bad happened, and then doubting the healthy response, creating an internal rationalization "maybe I deserved it", and trying to analyze/prove which one is true.

The fact that gaslighting is seen as harmful since it erodes confidence in your feelings/perceptions and causes you to doubt your sense of reality, implies that such doubt is not a good thing. Doubting and looking for proof to justify your feelings/perception isn't good.

People say the healthy way is, when you get assaulted, and you have that internal response that this is wrong, listen to it and don't doubt it.

So I guess I wasn't clear, but my OP is a question about that view - doubt being unhealthy and advocating for trust.
 

Hadoblado

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#13
Ummm...

I think that it's a symptom of a problem, and not necessarily the problem itself.

With experience and a positive environment, it's usually pretty obvious who is in the wrong. And while I spelled out every aspect of the above, it's not actually a time consuming process. It turns into an intuition about whether you're being consistent or not.

But when you're in a shitty environment where you've been forced to defend and doubt yourself, your intuition is all tangled and I think this stuff helps.

This isn't a professional opinion or anything, so don't take it too seriously, but when people say it's unhealthy to check yourself, to me that feels like saying it's unhealthy to see a doctor. It's not the doctor-seeing that's unhealthy, it's that you're sick in the first place.
Rumination can be unhelpful, but trying to be consistent? I don't know you, so can't speak with confidence, you might take it way too far or something, but I think the general idea can be helpful.
 

Serac

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#14
Emotions like that have a social function: e.g. there's no point to you feeling angry or indignant in a vacuum. These emotions are supposed to signal things to the counterparty – i.e. a way of manipulating their behavior.

How do you know which emotions are "correct"? Well, you can't. Not unless you simply trust that your emotions yield the best possible reaction in terms of your prospects for survival and replication in a social setting. That might work, but it will also often turn out to be the wrong reaction, as we no longer live in 30-people tribes in the jungle. This is why one needs a set of personal ethics and principles that guide one's actions.
 

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#15
Rephrase the scenario as a hypothetical in which you are replaced by another person. Essentially, test for universality.
Yeah that's what I used to think too. Test/analyze to check and verify.

But people say that this is not good. It is not considered healthy to second-guess and doubt all of your feelings/perceptions. This is what victims of gaslighting do. Being assaulted and having a healthy internal response that something bad happened, and then doubting the healthy response, creating an internal rationalization "maybe I deserved it", and trying to analyze/prove which one is true.

The fact that gaslighting is seen as harmful since it erodes confidence in your feelings/perceptions and causes you to doubt your sense of reality, implies that such doubt is not a good thing. Doubting and looking for proof to justify your feelings/perception isn't good.

People say the healthy way is, when you get assaulted, and you have that internal response that this is wrong, listen to it and don't doubt it.

So I guess I wasn't clear, but my OP is a question about that view - doubt being unhealthy and advocating for trust.
Sometimes setting a boundary is necessary. In cases where physical harm is involved, it's again about doing what works.
 
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#16
Then what is the answer for whether to trust your emotional/intuitive signal or not?
I mean it's a yes or no.

It seems like it's a no for the three of you. It seems like you all require evidence/proof to justify such feelings before listening to them.

@Hadoblado 's proof is checking them for consistency
@Serac 's proof is evaluating them against a moral framework
@QuickTwist 's proof is boundaries

Is this correct?
 

QuickTwist

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#17
I would not say proof, no.
 

Hadoblado

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#18
It's complicated. I've got depression and anxiety, which often make me feel bad for no reason, and stop me feeling good when I should. So my emotions are intrinsically untrustworthy. When I do feel good it's almost inappropriate, because there's usually no external cause that I can name.

That said, I'd say I trust myself to intuitively judge the value of my emotions 99% of the time without having to unpack or rationalise. I have a good idea of how I work by now.
 

Animekitty

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#19
If you want to trust your intuitions/emotions again you just have to try. If you got something wrong and lose confidence then the simple answer is to find a way to believe in yourself again. The question of rationalization is the degree too which reflection is possible which is not the same as doubt. Reflection allows metacognition which is positive. The negative is self-doubt that does not improve thinking and destructs it. You can reflect on your emotions and build up an understanding of when to trust them. It begins at birth and is developed. We grow into it and if we lose confidence just needed to grow more so we will be resistant to poor decisions by learning over time to make the right ones.
 

QuickTwist

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#21
@ruminator, That looks like a pretty good post to me. You are clearly thinking about the issue and taking everyone's advice into account and are willing to try and make the best possible direction you can in this situation.
 
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#22
Rephrase the scenario as a hypothetical in which you are replaced by another person. Essentially, test for universality.
Yeah that's what I used to think too. Test/analyze to check and verify.

But people say that this is not good. It is not considered healthy to second-guess and doubt all of your feelings/perceptions. This is what victims of gaslighting do. Being assaulted and having a healthy internal response that something bad happened, and then doubting the healthy response, creating an internal rationalization "maybe I deserved it", and trying to analyze/prove which one is true.

The fact that gaslighting is seen as harmful since it erodes confidence in your feelings/perceptions and causes you to doubt your sense of reality, implies that such doubt is not a good thing. Doubting and looking for proof to justify your feelings/perception isn't good.

People say the healthy way is, when you get assaulted, and you have that internal response that this is wrong, listen to it and don't doubt it.

So I guess I wasn't clear, but my OP is a question about that view - doubt being unhealthy and advocating for trust.

So what you're suggesting is that it is better to follow your instincts, versus distrusting it. Distrusting instincts often leads to anxiety, etc. I would actually agree with that.

To digress a bit, I think this excessive self-guessing is a reaction to how society prioritises objectivity, order, and predictability. We would rather stay within what is "proven" and safe. Following your instincts (Se/Ni) is often seen as rash and unwise. Rather than responding through our survival instincts, we just accept society knows better. Not saying its the worst thing ever, but that's just the trend I see.

That being said, self-guessing itself is not inherently bad. Like everything else, there are healthy doses of self-guessing. It's the instance where you over-self-guess yourself that is bad.
 
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#23
What type of perception are you trying to reach? Do you think there is like one true answer that will give you the answer to what's right or wrong? If you feel like shit because of the way someone is treating you, and if you feel like that person is in the wrong, why are you unwilling to use that to evaluate your situation? Why do you feel like you have to go through this motion where you need to intellectualize everything and find a reason to think or feel a certain way?

Obviously no individual can be perfect in their perception and knowledge, but you are extracting this to seemingly think it means you should allow other people to run you down because you "can't know whether you are right or not". So if you think someone is right about shitting on you, you should allow it because they are "right". To me this seems like it's a form of extreme reaction where you are seeking something that doesn't exist, and where you have problems that remain unsolved. You can't solve life or whatever by this type of approach to a problem.

If someone is making you feel like shit, that's all the "excuse" you need to react to that person. That's all you need to tell that person to fuck off. Ofc, in some cases people are right about your flaws, but I'm pretty sure in your case people more often run over you than vice versa. It doesn't matter what idealized version of reality you think we should live in, most people use their judgments and justifications to how they behave and treat other people. You need to use your judgment of what good or productive behavior is in others to create a reality where you can thrive and stand up for yourself. Sure, you might be wrong in some areas, but so is everyone else. We can only choose based on our perceptions and values and change according to new information. Not knowing everything does not mean we shouldn't strive for anything.
 
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#24
Then what is the answer for whether to trust your emotional/intuitive signal or not?
I mean it's a yes or no.
The trick lies not in whether to trust, but when.

Because, trusting in emotional signals fully results in unbearable characters. Personal development starts with second guessing those impulses. Thus, trusting can not be the final solution. Even if it does help recovery, it will stagnate personal development.

On the other hand, rationalizing every emotional signal, there would be no point in having emotional signals. Just use pure rationalization, the result would be the same. But then, you would waste your life rationalizing every insignificant step. There would be no time left to live.

Emotion is for filling the blanks.

it is considered harmful to doubt one's internal experience
Considered by whom?
An unbearable stagnant personality would not admit that they have a problem. More convenient to believe that trusting emotional signals is healthy. Two such characters gladly mutually reinforce that belief.
 
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#25
Then what is the answer for whether to trust your emotional/intuitive signal or not?
I mean it's a yes or no.
it's complicated.
but you can treat it simply i guess

your "brain," the bit that handles teh maths, is very well versed in dealing with physics.
your "heart," the bit that handles teh feelings, is very well versed in metaphysics.
i can't tell you how to handle the moments when these things intersect and can't be unstuck.
neither is in competition with the other i guess, that's a good start. matter of fact both approaches are working towards the same goal so they have equal value...more or less, love has greater value though and everything else is a slave to love, technically speaking.

as for trusting your own intuition...how could you not trust your own intuition?
perhaps you don't test it regularly. maybe if we had a sports section HMMMMM
 
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