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The power of 'offering' (not telling). Thursday February 19, 2015

"If the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way." This Chinese saying, unfortunately, only too true, stands in sharp contrast to our belief in the 'right' method irrespective of the man who applies it. In reality, everything depends upon the man and little or nothing on the method." Carl Yung

I have always loved this quote - for me it truly encapsulates and clarifies the competence (IQ) verses character (EQ) question.

There is no point in having an 'expertise' if you are not trustworthy, yet we find that much of mental health 'medicine' (and life) is about IQ facts and I would suggest, that if you do not trust the psychiatrist, psychologist or GP, the 'prescription' is most likely to fail. It is the trust between you - the relationship building and understanding that is crucial to start with - to understand the person first before prescribing the process.

A GP is the most trusted profession as 'they' have to listen first.

In Moodscope, we have so many positive people seeking to help others by offering their own story. I simply like to offer thoughts that may shift our perceptions or poems that connect an emotion, believing that all change is driven by emotion (positive or negative).
Some people are very clear about an action or activity they embraced, which helped or changed their life.

The important thing here is that it changed THEIR life - it may not however change anyone else's life.

Jung makes it clear, it is ALL about the person and little about the process and in my view this is especially relevant with mental health. This is not like having a broken leg where everyone 'mends' the same way, which the NHS is so good at.

For those with mental health challenges it is more about placebos and nocebos as perceived by every person, each as unique as their fingerprints!

Radio 4 this week had a programme on highlighting that nocebos are actually far more psychologically powerful than placebos:

In other words focus on the positive rather than the risk of not doing it, or even the possible side effects.

Bad is actually more psychologically powerful than good!

So – returning to Jung quote of wisdom, in a world almost totally now measuring people by their IQ, we will help more people in Moodscope by simply offering what helped us, than prescribing any specific 'method' of cure or reason and the dangers of not using it. Placebo and not nocebo.

What has been 'offered' to you recently which has made a difference, and what can we offer of ourselves to others?

A Moodscope member.

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Matt Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 7:52am

Great reading-thanks

Adam Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 7:54am

Great post Les, thank you!

Julia Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 8:52am

Your thoughts Les have definitely shifted my perceptions. You have a way with words which stick in my mind and quietly guide me. I can think of several of your offerings which have helped me in the past. You have never said for is the solution, this is the cause of your problem which is standard and applies to most people with your mental health issues. Your messages/blogs are written from the heart and experience. There are others like you who share and offer on Moodscope for which I am eternally grateful.

debstilley Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 9:08am

Such a great post Les. Thank you for capturing what so many of us feel. The thing/s I have been offered recently are a couple of book recommendations: 'Swamplands of the Soul' and 'Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life' both by James Hollis, a Jungian therapist who (for me) sums up so much of what my mind gets tangled up in. They are definitely not a solution, one single thing rairly is, but they make me feel less alone. Like Julia I am eternally grateful that people share themselves on here, its a lifeline to me xx

Anonymous Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 9:54am

Thank you Les, another thiught-provoking blog..which I will re-read again to make sure I still a bear of Liddle brain!
I had a look at some of the Ajahn Brahm you tube pieces on meditation, sadness, bereavement etc, that was mentioned a few days ago in a Moodscopers blog/response and certain bit's of it help - so we can take parts of Moodscoper's offerings and they may help. I am often in awe of how you and many others are able to write great blogs and like the others above, I thank you. Karen x

Anonymous Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 11:17am

Ditto Julia - I couldn't have put it better - thank-you!

And thank-you again Les; always thought-provoking.
Sending you gentle smiles from the blue skies of Suffolk ...

Anonymous Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 4:15pm

Sometimes heartfelt attempts to help often come across as a 'telling' which of course is not the right approach. Sharing is. However, when the intent is pure, one should not take offense or react too defensively to the telling. People who do not have the benefit of professional training often 'tell' in their deep desire to help; it is not a given that they are merely being authoritarian or pretending to know it all. Not everyone has the same level of experience or knowledge. I think it is important above all else to be kind to one another.

Anonymous Thu, Feb 19th 2015 @ 9:49pm

I mentioned my own EQ growth following my 'adolescent crisis' in reply to 10 Feb post. I've just picked up Les' 12 Feb post and see that IQ/EQ is much discussed. Bringing up my own children it was fortunate that, like their parents, they were IQ competent. My real joy seeing them grow up has been their early uptake of EQ. This I feel reflects how they have been 'brought up'. IQ is apparently largely 'genetic' - it would be beneficial to allow all children to benefit from understanding others (EQ) rather than prioritising academic goals which are so much easier for some than others. We all need to live amongst other humans - doing so with grace, compassion and comprehension is surely the greatest goal?

Les Fri, Feb 20th 2015 @ 1:53am

Hi Anon

It is also challenging to 'tell' people they should not take 'offence or react'....if that is how they feel.

For me, I totally agree we all need to be kinder and thus again for me, the 'giver' must demonstrate kindness first - by offering and not 'telling' or even worse, then 'telling' them they should not get upset at being 'told'! :-)

You have to be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi

Les Fri, Feb 20th 2015 @ 2:01am

Completely agree......

The academics decided in the late 1930's that this new IQ test should be given to every decide which children should benefit from proper 'schooling' and not to waste precious resources on those who were not 'intelligent' enough!!

What's worse, is that the first UK professor to receive a knighthood - was given it for taking IQ tests throughout the UK - thus classifying humans in a very narrow and limited way....which still exists today!

Character is more important than competence - EQ b 4 IQ - can we really still place IQ intelligence and skill over trust and integrity?

Les Fri, Feb 20th 2015 @ 2:04am

Making you feel 'less alone' - no higher praise for any of us on Moodscope.

And thanks for the author....I'll check him out.

Thank you

Les Fri, Feb 20th 2015 @ 2:06am

Hopefully some will follow up your 'offering'

As long as you have a big have more than most to 'offer'.


Victoria Fri, Feb 20th 2015 @ 5:34pm

Seeing a blog from Les reminded me to thank everyone who replied to my request for advice last week. I saw my colleague yesterday, who is on a phased return to work, and she thanked me for the card. I'm glad I sent it to her with the details of a counsellor.

As a note for this post, my work has begun MBTI and similar psych testing as part of a management programme and they have been doing work that I think would be described as EQ. Some interesting insights into how one learns and reacts and how to adapt/manage that to be successful in the workplace. I have a meeting on Monday to discuss the feedback from a 360 review and I'm rather nervous to know what people think of me!

Anonymous Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 7:23am

I find that I have to bear in mind that sometimes friends are offering and my perception is that of telling, its not always to easy to distinguish the two. I try to consider this when being offered help/advice/anecdotes and take a little time before responding so that I can reflect in different moods on the information and establish if I was being told it if someone was just offering... As I know that my mood often leads to paranoia and misinterpretation I feel that I benefit from this rather than reacting right away. I don't think the giver has to demonstrate kindness at all, I think its entirely down to you and how you take in information, I can't be responsible for or feel I can rely on anyone else's kindness, I can only control my own and this reflection allows me time to consider the other persons intentions and whether I can be kind, which I generally choose to be, it makes life a nicer place to be.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 19th 2015 @ 10:57pm

Here is something which was offered and which a now hold dear.

I attend a support group at a project which supports all kinds of people. Each week there is a group of people clustered, smoking, around the door. They are big and loud and intimidating. As a rule, I try to look confident as I gently push through, avoiding eye contact and mumbling the non committal 'Alright?' as I pass.

One evening, one of the close shorn, grubby looking 'intimidators' surprised me by greeting me first with the customary 'Alright?'

I replied automatically - 'Yeah alright, you?' (Oh no, I thought, I have just started a conversation with someone I really don't want to know. And the voice in my head started telling me how stupid I was, letting a stranger in - blah blah, all the negative stuff).

He looked at me and smiled 'I am better than I think I am'. and that was his gift to me.

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