The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Myths and the challenge of choice

In 1972 Taibi Kahler developed a concept of four Myths. It describes beliefs people hold about the impact they can have on others or others can have on them emotionally.

While the concept is easy, grasping the experience is complicated.

The four myths are

“I believe that others or I can make you feel good emotionally.

“I believe that you or others can make me feel good emotionally.

“I believe that others or I can make you feel bad emotionally.

“I believe that you or others can make me feel bad emotionally.

It is an everyday experience that we see a connection between how we or others feel and the events that lead to these feelings. I know that when I see the sun shining and can sit outside to write a blog post I’m enjoying the situation. When I see two people shouting at each other I for sure will ask myself how they must be feeling in that moment.

Reminding myself that there is no cause and effect relationship between the situation and the feeling is where it becomes more complicated. That’s the moment I need to decide if I’m believing in a cause and effect relationship which transforms my feelings. Believing in a cause and effect relationship means to be subject to one of the Myths in that moment.

Choosing to see the link between situation and feelings as a correlation means to be free of Myths. In that case, both, the situation and the feeling exist at the same time. They don’t imply one another. Consequently, it is possible to choose what we feel or if we want to stick to our first reaction to the situation.

Being without Myth and choosing how we feel about the situation doesn’t make the event go away, nor does it solve a perceived problem. It is letting go of a certitude that feelings are automatically impacted by others.

Once we realized the power of Myths, we’ll start to use ways to act with another person instead of for that person.

Telling someone how to feel good or what will help her is acting for people.

Asking someone how we can help her or what would make her feel good is acting with a person. It’s outside of Myths.

The idea of paying attention to our own emotions is established. What Taibi discovered and framed with the concept of Myths is how it shows in our everyday language. And even more so how it has become a habit which leads to micro-habits seeking to adapt to others or influence them. They give us valuable clues allowing to see very small symptoms of stress.


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