I’D LIKE TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY, YOUR HONOR

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In my last post, I sort of started my body (i.e. brain and heart) scan. This is what my online self study showed.

BEST CASE SCENARIO (can’t get better than this):

My body language says I’m a super observant. I hate banality; therefore, I tend to add zest to monotonous work or try to avoid irksome, dull, and arduous aspects of life.

According to the Internet, I might have a vaginal problem (you don’t say?) or need to pee quite often (hence shielding myself).

I am talkative, open, sincere, humorous, creative, and laid-back. I love to entertain. I’m an extrovert (read: an outgoing, friendly and socially confident person, energized by being around other people).

Moreover, I’m action-oriented and efficient (never a procrastinator). I’m a decision-maker, a good communicator and negotiator. I deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. I love rules, thrive on certainty, and ache for security.

My slips of the tongue (and of the pen), along with my misreading and mishearing (or selective hearing), occur more often when I’m tired, anxious, tipsy or stressed out (not comforting at all).

I repeatedly moisten my lips because: my mouth and lips dry up quickly, I’m dehydrated, I have been using bad cosmetics or I misplace my lip balm all the time so I keep licking them (bad girl). What is more, dryness is making my skin itchy; hence the scratching. Maybe I should listen to the tip given by beauty/skin experts and ‘smear some (manuka if possible) honey to the lips and let it sit for 10 minutes’ (manuka??? – look it up later).

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I’m a lax hair-twirler (not a fretful nail-biter). I twirl my hair to relieve stress and when relaxing. I do it when reading, watching TV, inside, outside, when alone or in a group, whenever.

I’m the Female Alpha, its good side being that I love to be the leader. I don’t only practice it in my home (which isn’t really a plus), but also in the business environment. When female alphas are gone, ‘either conversation stops completely or the group disperses.’ This just had the baking powder/soda effect. What a confidence booster!

OK folks, these were the PROS. You’d better stick around for the CONS NEXT TIME. Hang on, bumpy road ahead.

DO NEUROTICS HAVE A DAY OFF? (a letter to a friend/ shrink, part 2)

See, here’s the thing. I am determined to get to the bottom of my mood swings and anxiety so as to learn to cope better with stress, problems and challenges. I’m therefore curious how psychotherapy sees me.

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Since our non-verbal behavior is frequently a reaction to an emotional state, I can’t help but wonder:

How do you interpret my body posture – do I keep my back straight? (Stand up straight! Sit up straight! Don’t slouch!) Do I sit comfortably; do I shield myself when standing/sitting; how often do I lean forward? Do I lock my ankles? Do I occasionally cross my legs and/or arms? You told me once the arm-crossing gesture doesn’t necessarily stand for frustration and self restraint, but may help to soothe us or show we’re relaxed and focused on a topic or simply demonstrate we’re cold. No, I’m not defending myself. Or maybe I am?! You know that terrible feeling when you’re found guilty on all charges, although you’re not (at least not of all the things you’ve been accused of), and when you feel you need to justify yourself and explain the inexplicable?

What can you say about me based on my hand gestures – do I habitually scratch my nose, stroke and twirl my hair, and touch my ears, eyes, eyebrows and neck? Have you noticed me ever clench my hands into a fist? I don’t crack my knuckles or bite my nails, do I? Do I lick or suck my lips? Do I rub my skin? Do I sometimes put my hands on my hips? Do I thrust one out?

What message do I communicate through my outfit and accessories? Do the colors I customarily wear, my flat shoes and baggy clothes say I’m conservative, feeling blue, not in the mood, not into fashion (who cares? I certainly don’t) or they just convey a rather practical person with a laid-back personality? Do I use thumbs-up, high five and ok signs or a pointer finger for pointing?  Do I wave good-bye when we part?

Additionally, have you paid close attention to my tone of voice – the pitch, pacing, loudness, pauses, volume and rate? What words or phrases do I frequently stress? When does my voice crack or tend to get flat or high-pitched? When do I make deliberate pauses; when do I talk a lot (do I talk too much?) and when do I seem quieter? Do I repeatedly shake my head when listening? Do I nod? Am I a good listener?  If yes, why do I   interrupt people so much? Is it a wish to move the conversation forward (Hold your horses!)? Could it be competitiveness or rather showing understanding and sympathy or just a communication style? Or maybe something quite different and since you wouldn’t be you without always looking on the bright side of life, I took the liberty of portraying it on your behalf as a distinguishing feature of very smart and incredibly creative and engaging people (thanks dear)? Finally, when do I change my speech rate? Do I talk fast, slowly or just right? Do I sigh? Do I use direct or indirect speech more when retelling what I or somebody else said? Do I repeat my own words; do I use quotations and onomatopoeia; do I go back to the same stories time and time again; how often do I forget where I was with the story?

Do I lie, how often and when? What gives me away?

What do you find most deceptive about me?

How often does my non-verbal communication contradict what I’m saying?

What do you see that I don’t or don’t want to?