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Profound Problems: Band-Aids & Polarizations

Polarizations are easy to see, especially in our politically driven media—"Listen, do what I say, pick this side." When simplicity rules there are only two sides, right and wrong. It’s a little harder to see the polarization when it’s close to home because it’s more emotional when your spouse is yelling at you or your daughter is failing in school. At these times we are more driven to act based on feeling personally threatened. All kinds of emotional polarizations are coming at us, in our homes, at work and in the larger world we live in.

A first step to seeing polarization is recognizing it: someone wants you to take his or her side, someone needs to be fixed, someone demands you change. Once the emotional tone picks up in conversations any of us can jump on the “blame the other or you are wrong band wagon.” Heightened emotionality results in a focus on someone to blame and/or to fix.

When intense feelings are aroused in us, our primitive or programmed automatic behaviors designed to fix others are activated. We’re less able to focus on self as part of the problem or solution. In the attempt to fix others, one can become possessed. And those who are focused on, who are under pressure to take a side, may feel they have no choice but to give in or to follow along.

Once we see the clues of intense emotionality and or polarization then can we understand our feelings as reactions, not facts, but as indicators of the intensity of the emotional situation we are in? Read more....

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