Maybe You Should Talk To Someone –– Lori Gottlieb

  • Author: Lori Gottlieb

  • Date Started: [[December 25th, 2021]]

  • Date Finished: [[December 31st, 2021]]

  • Type: Kindle

  • It's impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them.

  • In "idiot compassion", you avoid rocking the boat to spare people's feelings, even though the boat needs rocking and your compassion ends up being more harmful than your honesty.

  • Neuroscientists discovered that humans have brain cells called [[mirror neurons]] that cause them to mimic others, and when people are in a heightened state of emotion, a soothing voice can calm their nervous system and help them stay present.

  • "You're going to have to feel pain –– everyone feels pain at times –– but you don't have to suffer so much. You're not choosing the pain, but you're choosing the suffering."

  • Everyone exhibits a tad of this or that personality disorder, because each is rooted in the very human wish for self-preservation, acceptance and safety.

  • Psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion posited that therapists should approach their patients "without memory or desire"

    • Taken together, memories and desires can create biased notions that therapists hold about the treatment (known as [[formulated ideas]])
  • The hardest patients are the ones who keep coming but don't change.

  • Happiness equals reality minus expectations.

  • So many of our destructive behaviours take root in an emotional void, an emptiness that calls out for something to fill it.

  • Anger is the go-to feeling for most people because it is outward-directed –– angrily blaming others can feel deliciously sanctimonious. But often it is only the tip of the iceberg, and if you look beneath the surface, you'll glimpse submerged feelings you either weren't aware of or didn't want to show: fear, helplessness, envy, loneliness, insecurity.

  • "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." [[Einstein]]

  • Many people who say, "No that's not me," find themselves a week or a month or a year later saying, "Yeah, actually, that's me."

  • Still other older people assume that what they're feeling is a normal part of aging and don't realize that treatment might help. The result is that many therapists see relatively few seniors in their practices.

  • [[externalizing]] - blaming the outside world for one's unhappiness, being angry at the world.

  • Hysteria is the greek word for "uterus"

  • It's important to disrupt the depressive state with action, to create social connections, to find a daily purpose, a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning.

  • "The quicker I moved, the less I saw, because everything became a blur."

  • Therapy as an existential experience of self-understanding

  • The four ultimate concerns are death, isolation, freedom and meaningless

    • Death, of course, is an instinctive fear that we often repress but that tends to increase as we get older. What we fear isn't just dying in the literal sense but in the sense of being extinguished, the loss of our very identities, of our younger and more vibrant selves.
  • People don't "just do it", but instead show a tendency to move through a series of sequential stages:

    • Pre-contemplation
    • Contemplation
    • Preparation
    • Action
    • Maintenance
  • I particularly liked this line from [[Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl]] - "Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

  • It's common for people with traumatic histories to expect disaster just around the corner. Instead of leaning into the goodness that comes their way, the become hypervigilant, always waiting for something to go wrong.

  • "Wouldn't it be nice to be one of those people who doesn't overthink anything, who just goes with the flow, who just lives the unexamined life?" I remember saying that there was a difference between examining and dwelling, and if we're cut off from our feelings, just skating on the surface, we don't get peace or joy –– we get deadness.

    • If we no longer feel; we should be grieving our own deaths.
  • [[psychological immune system]]

    • Just as your body recovers from a physical attack, your brain helps your body recover from a psychological attack.
  • Advice is counseling, self-understanding is therapy.

  • This strategy, in which therapist instructs patients not to do what they're already doing, is called a [[paradoxical intervention]]

  • What makes self-sabotage so tricky is that is attempts to solve one problem (alleviate abandonment anxiety) by creating another (making your partner want to leave).