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Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Sigmund Freud discovered that there is a remarkable difference between what people will tell you when they are sitting up and looking at you in the eye, and what they will say to you when they lie down on their backs and focus on the ceiling.

In Freud's view, self-ignorance and denial were the ultimate causes of illnesses. He wanted extreme honesty from his patients. Freud also realised that his own presence hindered his clients from being honest about their dreams and fantasies. Hence he decided in 1890 to shift his patients onto a couch.

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We perhaps don't realise that seeing another person's face can discourage us from speaking the truth. We may hold back and edit our presentation in the light of their reactions.

With Sigmund Freud's example in mind, we should find our own forms of horizontal conversation. After dinner, we might suggest that we all go and lie down somewhere and become newly conscious of voices and nuances when we don't have to look at others' expressions.

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To increase our chances of fulfillment, we need to feed our imagination and provide them with endless examples of alternative narratives, so they are more able to come up with plan Bs. We should practice to picture better ways to be.

As part of creative classes, adolescents should be asked to produce narratives like: If I lost everything and had to start up again, I will... They should be asked to make a list of 20 things that currently make life meaningful, then have to cross them all off and find ten more.

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Both the pity-bearing and sympathetic person will recognize our troubles; they both may say 'poor you.' But the pity bearing person does something cruel by implying that the mess we're in is only ours. They must remind us of the distinctiveness of our situation and keep us at arm's length.

The consoling friend is mature enough to know that everything we are suffering from could touch them one day too. This emotional background will lend sincerity to their words of consolation.

Children cannot give up on their parents or guardians, even if there is cruelty, neglect, coldness, unreliability, meanness, or broken promises. The love certain caretakers provide is blended with dark and unhealthy elements, and yet children keep the faith that the person in charge of them will get better or are not as bad as they seem.

In face of continuous neglect or even torture, the child thinks the problem may be with them