This title should be re-written maybe….
LoveResistance is not taking me Higher
I was partially inspired by the Jackie Wilson song ‘Higher and Higher’
This is the ironic or sarcastic feeling I have at the moment.
I do not feel higher. I feel lower.
I have a habit that brings me down.
I like to find things that work. I like to find things that make life better. Sometimes the things I find are solutions. Sometimes they are not solutions but make other things better enough that the problem is not a big deal anymore.
All this is great if I do these things for myself.
All this is not great if someone else does not want to do this AND I attempt to brainstorm with them.
I have held a number of positive notions about brainstorming for a long time.
What is a brainstorm?
As I write this, far too many people are in the news for sexual assault, sexual harassment and more. In some of those cases, consent is a major issue. Consent does not always make the difference between something being appropriate or inappropriate, but it does correlate in many of the cases.
I feel like I am almost always in brainstorming mode. I’d posit that my brain is just wired that way. It’s my natural state of rest.
Maybe brainstorming is my super power, maybe it is my kryptonite.
The thing is, brainstorming is a group activity. It generally requires consent from the members that will take part. With that consent comes the rules of brainstorming that might include the concept that all ideas have some merit, even if they are only there to be the creative spark, or bridge to something else. Maybe some ideas are the things that help us contrast other ideas, ergo some offerings in a brainstorming session might really be pretty bad and help us see more clearly what is really good.
However, it is important in a brainstorming session to not naysay someone else’s contribution. Bringing negativity to a brainstorming session is the best way to twist the hose of productivity into a tight knot.
Getting knotted up before receiving consent
This is my challenge. I’m almost always in brainstorming mode. Yet, I lose awareness that this is not the state of existence for many others.
If I reply in a conversation with a brainstorming like suggestion, I get stepped on. I sometimes get stepped on hard.
I have experienced this professionally. I have experienced this in relationships. I experienced it today.
I can listen well. I can hear well. I can give space.
These skills can help others gain insight into their root problems, challenges, hang ups, etc.
Sometimes, it is simply helpful to be heard. Sometimes, we need an assist to see problems, challenges, hangups and more.
I almost always want to jump into brainstorm mode. It is not easy to turn this off.
Many people (maybe most) rarely ask for consent to ‘just be heard and nothing else.’ They will often ‘dump’ their problems on others. The intent of their sharing is not expressed. Consent to be heard is not requested.
Consent can be a two way street
People that want to be heard (only) need to request consent to be heard (or hire someone for that – often called a therapist).
People that want to jump into brainstorming mode need to request consent for that as well (or hire a team of people for that – often called employees).
When a person that wants to be heard crosses a brainstormers path and neither ask for consent, tensions rise.
The person that wants to be heard will not feel like they are being heard. They will hear and endless list of alternatives. It will sound like ‘should have done‘ suggestions. They will feel judged. They will feel guilt for not having done better. They will not hear their feelings expressed back to them let alone recognition that those feelings are ‘OK’.
The person that wants to brainstorm a problem and improve or solve it will feel resistance to their suggestions. Their good ideas, bad ideas and everything in between will all be shot down, not on merit, but because they were suggested at all.
The resistance to being heard and the resistance to opening the flow to creatively brainstorm will bring both people down energetically.
It will feel like shit. It might feel like an argument. It might feel like stubbornness. It might feel like uncaring callousness. It will feel confusing.
The person that dumps without consent will seek someone else to re-dump on as they still have not been heard.
The person that brainstorms without consent will seek someone else also as their creativity has not been heard either.
Both will eventually isolate and give up if this repeats.
If I can’t be heard, why should I share my feelings?
Two heads are better than one
This truism applies in brainstorming. Almost everyone in the western world has heard this saying. I suspect there are similar sayings in other cultures.
The thing is, not everyone has been educated or trained in brainstorming, how to do it nor how to do it effectively.
The same is true of actively listening. Most people have little education or training in how to engage in active listening.
Should know better
I have both education and training in both.
I still can’t get the consent part right. My education and training and my ability to internalize the lessons from both have only just started to spark awareness of the importance of consent here.
This article is written, as I work on this awareness. I’m attempting to build my awareness higher and higher.
If I can get the consent right, maybe I can connect in love more effectively both to actively listen and to actively brainstorm at the right time.
If I do not, the resistance will never truly take me higher. It will hold me back and thwart my progress. It will prevent me from being able to help others as well!
LoveResistance is not taking me Higher,
but it is helping me see the way!