The Iceberg Effect

When we are faced with an ever increasing amount of difficult situations there is something that often goes unnoticed. Something that should be oh so obvious yet it sails away in the distance never to be thought about again. This is known as the Iceberg effect.

As a society there is this strict and unconventional bias to take situations at face value. It could be as simple as your friend telling you they’re having a bad day, as complex as watching someone go through a mental health crisis or anything in between. While society tries to fix the issue at hand through mild questioning or social skimming there is a lot to be desired.

If simple and complex issues are actually going to be solved in any meaningful way this social skimming needs to be put back several notches. While it can be a valuable tool in some situations it should definitely not be the gold standard. When issues are dealt with at face value the current situation may be resolved but it’s a band aid fix at best. For every situation there are deep issues at play and we need to be aware of them.

Personally, I always try to dig deeper when I’m told about situations. This has come with its own unique set of issues but as I’ve realized more and more I am part of the minority. I find this somewhat akin to putting out small fires in a house but refusing to acknowledge or not noticing the faulty wiring that is creating them. While this does solve the immediate issue of not having fires it’s only temporary and eventually one will be missed destroying the house in its entirety.

I came across a situation recently on a social media application that drove this point to its core. It is essentially a message board where posts are made anonymously and broadcast to anyone else on the application within 10km. While I find it hilarious I have also found a darker side such as with the following example.

“Lol found my girlfriend on pof [dating site] in the will respond section, glad I don’t trust shit”

When I saw this I simply could not resist asking the blaring and obvious question of.

“Why were you on there looking for women?”

To which his response was typical in that it was both evasive and defensive

“Can’t you read?! I don’t trust anyone.”

Seeing as how his response didn’t exactly clarify anything I decided to push it a bit further

“If you don’t trust anyone than you have missed what relationships are all about”

At this point other people started chiming in and I decided to give it a rest. Maybe he would calm down and listen to reason? After all he did just find a relationship ending piece of information and most people aren’t thinking rationally at that point. It’s all finger pointing at the other party while admitting no fault what so ever. Ugly stuff and as I’ve eluded to before there’s no point in giving advice when people aren’t processing information due to high emotions

After about 20 minutes the conversation had shifted from; “That sucks” and “You’ll find someone better” to something even more counter-productive.

“Never trust any girl 100%. They will use you in the end, its human nature”

At this point I felt the need to pull out my trump card. If I was going to get anywhere with this guy this was going to be the time.

“A lack of trust in other people speaks volumes about inner insecurities”

After inserting that there was this eerie calm that fell over the discussion for ten straight minutes. The up votes to the comment kept rising before someone new finally chimed in.

“Paw knows” [A yellow paw was my randomly generated icon for that particular conversation, distinguishes anonymous posters between one another]

While encouraging they weren’t my target audience but it was only a couple minutes later before I saw the fruits of my labour.

“Paw you finally made me cry and I’ve been asking for advice all day long!”

This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting but it accomplished what I had hoped for. I uncovered his iceberg and hit at the very core of the issue. While it was not something he wanted to hear and it won’t help him with his current break up it may just be the driver for change in the future.

This point was further cemented after the chauvinists tried to regain ground in a fury of demeaning and degrading posts to which the original poster simply shrugged them off saying it was time for “soul searching and me time”

 

While this is only one example there are countless more in your day to day lives that you’ll encounter. If you choose to take something away from this post let it be this;

We are all Icebergs floating around in society and more often than not all it takes is a little push to find out what’s really going on underneath the surface. We learn about what makes people tick but most of all we have insight to what our surface actions say about our own Icebergs. We are built to be interconnected as a species and that one or two extra questions can make the difference between inner growth and social hindrance.

 

Until next time,

JSTRD

 

 

Why I Write

This isn’t an easy question to answer nor should it be. Writing, especially when expressing one’s opinion, is inherently something very personal that opens the door to criticism both thrilling and disappointing.

While it’s a journey I enjoy very much I struggle with the perception of others and how they would see my inner expression. As I explained in my previous post about opinions not defining you it’s still not an easy task to separate your expression of those opinions vs the opinions themselves.

Expression is something I excel at but when it’s on a personal level I tend to avoid it. While this has made for some interesting situations in life it is one I am fully trying to break through my writing. Even still I find it difficult and even counter intuitive to mix emotions with hard hitting discussions. Emotions are quite often the culprit in the strange reactions I see in my peers so removing it from at least one side of the debate seems to lessen their invoked response. After all there’s little point in trying to get a point across when the other side isn’t even processing the information.

I write to express myself, to capture opinions in others I may not have noticed and I also write simply for therapy.

Being able to sit back and let your expression go through the words you paint across the blank slate is a feeling I care deeply about. Peering at the blank page and understanding that it could be anything that your heart desires. It could be a piece of poetry, a discussion on recent events, a life experience or just the mindless ramblings of the day. The possibilities are endless and it’s what true inner expression is made of.

Watching profound opinions rise out of topics where you thought you covered everything is also another sight to behold. It’s in moments like these that you begin to grasp the concept that everyone will form opinions and express them in different ways. When these begin to happen though responses to your writing you learn about the respondent but more importantly you learn about how your words can dazzle or disgust the masses. For better or worse it has the strength to grow you as a human being

Perhaps the most important of all is writing for therapy despite it always being in the background. This was never the true intention I had when I started this blog but it has always played a critical role. Even now as I write this I’m sitting in my college with the sound of the HVAC unit humming, the student population wandering by chattering about topics that won’t matter in the days and weeks to come, with the faint sound of a ping pong game in the background. It is strangely peaceful, relaxing and a perfect setting from which to slowly type away at the keys of my laptop. While this is the first time I’ve chosen to write in such a setting I feel as though I’ll come back to this place.

Writing for therapy concerning myself also includes how I choose to promote my blog. Only a select few in real life have ever been told about this place and it gives me a sense of security. When there are no social or personal hindrances in writing it allows you to fully engage in what your expressions may become.

 

Writing can be whatever you want it to be. It can be a driver for social change or destruction, it can be a getaway from what bothers you or it can be a place to simply express gratitude. However you view writing there is one thing that it always is; it’s a form of personal expression that has the power to do whatever your heart desires.

Until next time,

JSTRD

Opinions Don’t Define You

As debates rage across the world in fantastic and spectacular ways I always find myself in the position of heated conversations. While there is nothing better than discussing the important issues of the day there always seems to be an elephant in the room.

Everyone has their opinions and expressing them seems fundamental in our human nature. I find it exhilarating when I find someone’s opinion so vastly different from mine. Did we come to different conclusions due to the same set of facts and if so why are they so different?

More times than not this is not the case and either myself or the other party has been misinformed about a critical fact. To the vast majority of the population when these obvious issues in the fundamental of the conversation are pointed out a torrent of anger and rage explodes the otherwise fruitful discussion.

It left myself wondering why this is a while ago and I came to a rather disheartening conclusion. People think that their opinions define who they are. This something that can be overcome but it requires a large conscious effect on the part of the individual. Once that it achieved though, it will change your life forever.

Opinions are like choosing what you want to have for breakfast. If you always eat cereal but someone offers you steak and you think that’s a better option then take it. You’re not changing who you are as a person because you picked something more appealing. This is fundamentally the same on an intellectual level concerning everything from world views to what clothes you think look good.

If you’re in a debate with someone and they give an opinion that you think has some merit then by all means use it. I’m not saying that you have to completely disregard your old set of opinions and beliefs in favor of the new one. You are free to pick and choose what you like about it and mold it into a new set of opinions. This is how you’ll grow as a person and evolve as nature intended.

Usually when this is put across in conversations I’m hit with the inevitable question of;

“If my opinions don’t define me and my beliefs are based on my opinions then what does define me?”

The answer is that your ability to make those choices is what defines you. It is not what you may choose as an opinion today but the fact that you can make those opinions in the first place. Sifting through the abundance of knowledge and coming to a conclusion is what defines you.

We are constantly changing and our opinions should too

 

Until next time,

JSTRD