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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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Are you repressed/inhibited in some way?

I feel pretty free to do and say what I want. I can ask an unusual question, state my political views, dance on a street corner. How about you, do you say and do what you want, are you repressed, is it your own inhibitions, fear of what people will think, fear of your government?

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    Jun 30 2013: I think some inhibitions are temporary.

    For example, when I was young, I used to hate eating in public by myself.
    I felt like everyone was watching me.

    Now, I really don't care.
    If I am hungry, and on the road, I will stop somewhere, order a meal, and enjoy it all by my lonesome.

    When I was young I used to love singing in the car.
    Now, as I have gotten older, I feel a bit more inhibited.
    I think people will look at me and say, "Look at that crazy woman"......instead of saying "Look at that happy young lady". That's where kids come in handy....when they're in the car with me....we all sing to the top of our lungs. All inhibitions go away....

    Feeling repressed or inhibited is a natural thing.....but having self-confidence usually eliminates feelings of inhibition.
    Although, some people have serious conditions which go beyond the norm, and we need to respect these.
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      Jun 30 2013: Good point Mary, and I agree that some inhibitions and feelings of repression can sometimes be temporary, maybe depending on a particular stage of our lives? What mood we are in? I would NEVER eat in public alone when I was young, and as an adult, I don't mind it at all:>)
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    Jul 1 2013: So what is going on in the States then? Is it me and just my individual observation depending completely on limited information think is important. Is the country repressed?
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      Jul 22 2013: probably can't generalize, Ken, there is a lot of creativity here and some small-mindedness. Proably like anywhere, no?
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    Jun 30 2013: Let's all be a little bit BRAVER!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4
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      Jul 1 2013: The guy in the office is awesome.

      This stuff can be great for a video or to make a message. And there is places and times for this kind of stuff. I can behave like that on a dance floor - I have no problem. But imagine EVERYONE behaving like this every day. Wouldn't this be a bit chaotic and overwhelming?

      To function, society needs agreements and mutual expectations. When we say "Hi", we expect to hear "Hi" in return, not a dance and kissing our feet. I'm not sure if following social protocols is an inhibition. We send messages to other people continuously - with the way we look, the way we behave - messages about who we are and what to expect from us. These messages are continuously interpreted by others. The message in the video - "let''s be braver" justifies this behavior. But we need to be clear in our communication. When our messages misunderstood or misinterpreted, consequences may also be unintended and unforeseen. Refraining from certain behaviors may not be about inhibitions.
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        Jul 1 2013: You make a very valid point Arkady.
        The video was meant to be lighthearted......more towards the comments of the inhibitions which we have, based on nothing in particular, other than we are a bit shy.

        That is why in my comment belowI state in the last sentence:

        "some people have serious conditions which go beyond the norm, and we need to respect these."

        There are individuals that refrain from doing certain things, or saying certain things in public due to valid reasons.

        I totally agree with you..........."refraining from certain behaviors may not be about inhibitions".

        When I first started to participate in TED, I remember someone posted a video.
        Here, look at it:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN8CKwdosjE

        Arkady, a lack of love in humanity has many consequences.
        We all need hugs.........and love.

        Perhaps if all humans received and gave love, we would not have oppression, or repression.
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        Jul 2 2013: I hope you read LaMars (Not Here) comment.

        You make a valid point Arkady.

        Don't you think, though, that if one has hate, the inhition of it over a long period of time is damaging to one's emotional well-being?
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          Jul 2 2013: Not "inhibition" - letting it go. It works differently for different people. Some people cannot "let it go" - they have to redirect the energy. Some people cannot do that either. "Letting it go" for me means consciously driving my thoughts away from negative things. It's possible to do it with thoughts only, without actively doing something (punching bags or walking a dog). But, again, everyone uses different techniques. What works for me may not work for someone else.
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        Jul 6 2013: Well, Arkady, what if I met you and I was so excited to meet you that I started dancing instead of just saying "hi." Would this really hurt anyone?
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          Jul 6 2013: That would be cool. My kids do that once in a while.

          It's a message. I read it as an expression of excitement and joy from meeting someone. It can be appropriate or not depending on circumstances. Doing that with an old friend or a family member is normal. Doing that when meeting your boss at work might not be that appropriate.

          By the way, there is a biblical passage on this topic - 2 Samuel 6:14 where king David danced from joy in his undergarments in public when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem and his wife Michal rebuked him for doing it in front of the slave girls and David replied:

          “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

          I guess, the point is that when there is a good reason for celebration, withholding joy or judging behavior of those who celebrate is inappropriate.
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        Jul 22 2013: well, Arkady, I thought all your posts on this topic were quite wonderful. What I wonder is, if someone always does what is common, acts reserved when that is common, acts looser when that is common, is that a form of inhibition? You seem to be advocating for conformity.

        What did you think of my idea that while you stand on the street corner waiting for the light to change to green you can dance? I started doing this for exercise, I thought why not use those three or four minutes to get a little exercise instead of just standing there? But someone driving past might think I was just an exhibitionist and trying to get attention.
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          Jul 22 2013: I wouldn't say I'm advocating for conformity. I simply believe, we need to consider consequences of our actions before we do something.

          When we are in public, we interact with other people - intentionally or not. We send signals with the way we look and with our behavior. To me, it's OK to send any signals. I would make sure, however, that my signals are interpreted correctly, in a way that I would like them to be interpreted. Otherwise, I can get unexpected results - get arrested, attacked, or whatever else. Sometimes, getting attacked or arrested may be one of the accepted consequences - depending on the message you want to send (like Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in a bus).

          If others don't interpret my behavior as dangerous or offensive, I don't care what they think or whether my behavior conforms to any standards. So, dancing in the street is unusual, but OK. I wouldn't however, run naked in public waving a gun. You may call it "conformity" or "inhibition". I'd say, it's simply considering consequences. There is no doubt in my mind that if I do it, police will be called and I will get arrested.

          I live in Portland, OR area. People drive with bumper stickers "Keep Portland weird". One can see all kinds of stuff in the streets here. Dancing on a bus stop is totally OK.
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        Jul 25 2013: Well, I want to thank you again for your contributions to this conversation, Arkady. Each of your contributions deserved much thought, and I'm afraid this conversation is about to close so your last comment won't get much thought. Offhand, I would say you are right, for example I fear being shot as I dance at a street corner by some macho or conformist person who is somehow threatened by what I do. So I assess the risk and perhaps moderate my behavior not dance as vigorously. But there is still a little risk.

        It seems worth pointing out that people can misread any signal, for example if you're just walking down the street some crazy person may attack you because, I don't know, they misread the intent of you wearing a yellow shirt. But it is true that some actions lend themselves to being misread more than others.

        But also life is not fun if you don't take some risks, push the envelope, or at least not for me. Do you yourself take risks, do you push the envelope? Perhaps I'll have to just leave you with that question since you may not see this until after it closes.
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          Jul 25 2013: Good points, Greg.

          The recent Zimmerman process is a good illustration to your point.

          I think, making sure that the messages we send are received and interpreted correctly is extremely important for success of everything we do.

          Regarding risks - they add a thrill to our life. I'd say, my risk tolerance is different in different areas of my life. Risk assessment always depends on expectations - what we may gain vs. what we may lose. Even with dancing. When you dance in the street, you risk that the passers-by may misunderstand you or view as strange. No big deal. Who cares? So, you may go for it. But I doubt you will be as comfortable doing this during a job interview.
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        Jul 25 2013: right, exept might there be a time to do something unusual during a job interview, it might distinguish you from the other, more bland candidates?

        But also, Arkady, should one repress oneself just to, for example, get a job? If one has a real urge to dance during a job interview, perhaps one should do it, because if one is repressing oneself to get the job, one is not presenting one's real personality, and may get hired for a job one will not really be happy in. Presumably if one has an urge to dance during the interview, one may also have the urge to dance while on the job, and if one had not felt comfortable doing it during the interview, one may find that one doesn't feel comfortable doing it while on the job and is thus unhappy. But when you decide to non-conform you should be judicious, you have to weigh how badly you want to do it and what the rewards and costs might be.

        Also, this is a little silly to say, but if one were going for a dancing job, one might want to dance during the interview. But what if one only wants to dance occasionally, not all the time?
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          Jul 25 2013: Hehe... Sometimes we need to sacrifice some things for others. I often feel an urge to sleep when I'm at work, but I'm afraid I have to resist this urge if I like to get the paycheck every month. Yes, it's a bit uncomfortable to sit at my desk all day long, answer silly emails and not being able to take a nap for 8 hours in a row. It does make me somewhat unhappy. That's why the paycheck is called "compensation". No pain - no gain.

          There are ways to stand apart from the crowd. Some people dye their hair green or purple, some do tattoos in odd places or pierce odd parts of the body. All those are messages. What's interesting is not what people do but why they do it. Dancing for yourself, because you have a need to move is different than dancing to show off and attract attention to yourself.

          My philosophy is to be comfortable with myself, not being ashamed of who I am, what I look like or what I do. It's, actually, a lack of inhibition. This means doing what I feel like doing and not doing what I don't feel like doing. So, yes, if you feel like dancing - why not?

          However, often people do strange things for exactly the opposite reason - they "wear a mask" to hide their vulnerabilities or things they may be ashamed of. This may often be the case when people are forced to conform to rules and requirements.

          I'm not sure if I explain this clearly enough. In some cases, people behave in unusual way because of internal comfort, in the other case, people behave strangely because of internal conflict. I think, if we understand our own motivations, conscious and subconscious, it's a lot easier to make our messages clear to others. Avoiding internal conflicts may help to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings with others.
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        Jul 26 2013: right, Arkady, but don't you feel like most people are somewhat inhibited, conform to what others are doing and sometimes don't do things they'd like to do?
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          Jul 26 2013: Yes. I often feel that. E.g. I like to dance Argentine tango, but my wife doesn't and she is not comfortable with the idea of me dancing tango with others. So, I have not danced tango for many years now.

          At the same time, I recall one time when my wife and I were getting out for a walk and she wore a dress that I wasn't comfortable with, for some reason. She wore it nevertheless and, as we were walking down the street, we had many people coming up to her making her compliments for her dress. Since then, I trust her taste.

          I can deal with my own inhibitions. I think, it's a bigger problem when people try to impose their inhibitions onto others.
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    Jun 29 2013: I am completely sexually repressed,as well as casual touch included...the whole thing is one scary inhibited anxiety ridden mess. AS A RESULT i practice getting hugs and giving them to turn down the freaky alarm bells in my head...A hug is not SEX..nor is all physical touch...repression of things and fear and just being unloved at times as well as violence has given me a hobby of repairing this mess till Im old..lucky me..I will do it...I intend to fix this cognitive mess and heal myself....hug anyone?
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      Jun 29 2013: gee, carolyn, should I say I'm sorry, I really appreciate your courage in sharing that. Well, you certainly have a hug from me, you know, I'm Mr. wants-to-fix-it, is there anything I could help, or if you want to say more about it please do, it's about the most vulnerable thing I've seen anyone say on TED convos.
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      Jun 30 2013: All i can post Carolynn is I love your posts, Deep water. Taiki e!
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      Jun 30 2013: well, can you do other things that some people feel inhibited to do, for example, I have a friend who feels too inhibited to dance, in fact he can barely talk about dance. Where do you stand on that?

      Some people feel too inhibited to act, for instance they couldn't get in front of people and improvise a scene. Could you do that?

      If a professional masseur/masseuse wanted to give you a massage, would you not want it, I myself have never had a professional massage.
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        Jun 30 2013: Aah Greg......have you seen this video from Sarah Barellis?
        You have to watch 'til the end to really see why I am including it here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUe3oVlxLSA

        Some people are shy.

        Life is so much fun.....dancing and singing lightens the heart, and rejoices the soul!!!
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      Jun 30 2013: Sending you a big hug and loving energy Carolyn:>)
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      Jun 30 2013: Carolyn, hugs!!!
  • Jun 27 2013: Yes, I'm inhibited. I don't ram my vehicle into people who annoy me when I'm driving. I don't reach over desks and strangle some apparatchik. I don't do a lot of things that might be momentarily satisfying but would turn out really bad for me or others. It has nothing at all to do with fear of government or other people.
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    Jun 26 2013: I feel repressed about saying anything that might be taken as politically incorrect on a public forum.
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      Jun 27 2013: I don't know pat, I've seen you say some pretty acerbic things. Do you think you could give just one specific example of something you really wouldn't say, perhaps this convo could be a safe place to play with it. Or are they really hurtful things that you mean, I see a difference between "politically incorrect" and really offensive/overbearing/hurtful.
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        Jun 27 2013: I'm making a joke... toward the incessant PC attitude, which leads to myopia at the expense of learning something.
  • Jun 26 2013: According to my dictionary, the psychological definition of repressed is:

    To exclude (painful or unpleasant memories, for example) from the conscious mind.

    So I think you meant to ask, Are you inhibited in some way?

    My answer would be yes, of course, that is why my parents taught me to be polite and to think before doing what I want to do or saying what I want to say. Teaching people to be Inhibited is necessary for civilization.
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      Jun 27 2013: In the strictest sense, you're right, Barry, and I appreciate the caution. I definitely meant inhibition, but I'm thinking repressed could mean inhibited, maybe in the dictionary, maybe on the street.
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    Jul 2 2013: Thanks from everyone...now you can see my self therapy at work...By admitting I have a problem at the right time(with your consent) I get alot of support..which I use to push myself out of the problem. ON my own I go to a dance class with meditation and will eventually hug everyone there(im very anxious)...Problems are the red flags for change and I will only be truly comfortable when I lose this issue....Im surprised Im the only inhibited person here....i witness many peoples difficulties with life,so I felt normal to speak out...thanks from you guys...this is very reassuring
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      Jul 2 2013: Thanks for your courage, carolyn, maybe we aren't as courageous as you.
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    Jun 30 2013: That's a great question, I think.

    If the people with the so-called power of definition answered that, this discussion would be even better.

    Being repressed or being inhibited? Ask those who get threats of being stoned to death, scammed, raped, and more. There are such people in the world - Hirshi Ali, Amal Aden and so many more.
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      Jul 1 2013: Anna, now that you bring this up......what about Manal al-Sharif, who gave the TED talk on a woman driving in Saudi Arabia?

      She was not inhibited or repressed, despite being intimidated and threatened.

      And here I am inhibited from singing in my car......what a wimp huh?
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        Jul 1 2013: Me too.
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          Jul 2 2013: Oh Ken......hahaha.

          Get tinted windows!!! It's great for singing in the car, especially at night.

          Nice to see you again.
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        Jul 1 2013: She is Brave to have said that, stand out there on stage and delivered. This is one of my favourite talks.

        I agree, you cannot be iinhibited if you sing in your car. But after years of being bullied, maybe you just don't feel like singing althugh it can help. Being physically assaulted may lead to a shock that may be difficult to cope with. Often that may lead to inhibition, take your courage away. Women do get assaulted in a lot of countries.

        Please see this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivvU6_aaIrY

        There is also another talk, new on TED - http://www.ted.com/talks/anas_aremeyaw_anas_how_i_named_shamed_and_jailed.html

        I must admit that I was unable to see the whole talk, the footage was just too horrifying, I had to pause at one moment.

        I'm writing all this to explain that the world is full of such atrocioties. Although I do not like speaking about some of the experiences that I had, there were many. I'm actually shaking when writing this.

        Thanks for your comment.
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          Jul 1 2013: Anna, it is too too sad and terrible to discuss such things.
          But yes, I know atrocities happen all over the world, not just to women, but to the elderly, and to small children.

          My comments are a bit lighthearted in nature.

          But I know there is a very serious side to inhibition and repression, as LaMar and Arkady are discussing, and as you so poignantly point out.

          At times inhibition comes from shame and fear that one feels due to other's treatment. Years of this kind of treatment makes the victim withdraw into a bubble.

          In the conversation we are having on how to talk to children, we have discussed the negative and positive effects of good communication with children.
          And just today Lizanne shared an experience she had watching parents verbally mistreat a child.........I wonder how that child will feel inhibited or repressed due to the word choice of her parents?

          Thank you Anna for sharing these links, I will sit and watch, and learn.
          You are very brave yourself.

          Mary
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      Jul 1 2013: Does it seem, Anna, like the same people who are intimidated to do certain actions by fear of being attacked or raped would be afraid to answer questions about the situation for the same reasons? For that reason I may not get answers on this conversation from people who are in those more extreme situations.
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        Jul 1 2013: I was thinking of something else - I was in a situation that still leaves a mark on me which leads to being inhibited in some way. I don't have to post everything here, that would take me too much time. Some people say 'fight', others will pretend they don't know what happened, some people lie, some misunderstand, some just don't believe it, I tried to forget. But there are things in the world that need to end, that's why I posted this link.

        This is not about me, at least not now, it is sad to speak about it, but if we don't, nothing will change. It's about awareness, not my inhibitions.

        So many stories to tell.
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          Jul 2 2013: "There are things in the world that need to end".

          Yes Anna, eventually they will, the question is when, and by what means?
          And, will we be willing to change along with the world?
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        Jul 2 2013: I will come forward and admit, that when you first posted this conversation, I felt inhibited and repressed to contribute to it.

        I thought, he has no right to ask such a personal question.

        I think you are very insightful Greg in realizing that humans feel 'vulnerable' in exposing too much.

        And, after all, this is a public forum, so people do not have to share if they don't want to.
        You have to be able to respect that.

        But, never-the-less, Anna brings out a very very important point, that of awareness of really serious reasons for repression, and those that continue to put themselves out their risking their own lives in order to bring about Awareness.

        Although my comments were lighthearted, Anna has made me realize, that this is a really serious issue worldwide.
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    Jun 30 2013: Does being considerate of other people's feelings and refraining myself from doing or saying certain things in front of those people count as being repressed or inhibited?
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      Jun 30 2013: Absolutely, which is why I feel repressed. (8^(l)
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        Jun 30 2013: Then, does this mean that feeling "sensitive", "easily offended" by various things, "discriminated against", "unfairly treated", or "repressed" can be a way to repress other people?
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          Jun 30 2013: I don't think so. Are you talking about the psych term passive aggressive?

          Truthfully this forum is one of the more civil.

          My only objection is reasoning with people who refuse to communicate but only chatter on like a parrot.

          E.G. You and I or Colleen or Fritzie often don't agree which is fine as it is not chatter.

          Learning occurs with disagreement. I learn from Keynesians as they make me check my sources and say hmm. E.G. corporate tax loopholes, monetarists and keynesians are 2 sides of the same coin, Hoover's Smoot Hawley act did not have much impact on the economy, etc.

          It also strengthens my views on the free market.
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        Jun 30 2013: Pat, I was thinking beyond the context of this forum. Children often learn that with a little screaming and whining, they can get what they want. Often, this behavior can be seen in adults as well - playing victim and such. The purpose of such behavior is to cause a sense of guilt in other people. I've heard the term "passive-aggressive", but I did not study what it means in depth. Perhaps, what I'm talking about is a part of it.

        Ironically, it appears that people diagnosed with "passive-aggressive" disorder can use it as an excuse for their behavior.

        I think, LaMar explained well what I mean. It seems to me that there is a fine line between being repressed and repressing others.
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          Jul 1 2013: As always agreements are the building blocks of a culture. Those agreements are created by the leaders.

          Women are victims according to Gloria Stenum creating a divisive environment

          Blacks are victims according to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton creating a divisive environment.

          The poor are victims according the the Community Investment Act creating a divisive environment

          Illegal immigrants need help according to Calf government subsidizing immigrants creating a divisive environment.

          So the "victims" are in conflict with the oppressors. The repressed are the object of the oppression. And of course the victims are really good at being victims.

          The key thing to note on this subject is that the conflict is created. It is created by the individual pointing to the straw man, not the straw man.

          Think about the economic consequences of this.
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      Jun 30 2013: Being considerate of other people's feelings and aware of what you are saying with those people sounds like compassion to me Arkady.

      People are sensitive, offended, discriminated against, unfairly treated and repressed on many different levels. To generalize, or say those feelings are used to repress other people is not very realistic....do you think?
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        Jun 30 2013: Yes, Colleen (oops, just noticed that your name has double "l" - sorry). What I said, perhaps, lacked context. It seems to me that this topic about feeling repressed/inhibited highly depends on the context and not only on specific circumstances, but on our perception of these circumstances as well.
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          Jun 30 2013: No problem Arkady...I knew you were addressing me even if you only used one "L". :>)

          I agree with you...this topic about feeling repressed/inhibited depends on context and/or specific circumstances AND our perceptions as individuals.

          Greg asked a pretty simple question..."Are you repressed/inhibited in some way?"

          Some folks apparently need to psychoanalyze, categorize, generalize regarding psychological explorations in OTHER people, which seems very inappropriate for a public forum. I have said this before, and I'll say it again, because it's important. Even the best psychotherapist would not try to analyze and diagnose on a public forum. Those who feel they can effectively do that are probably projecting their own "stuff".
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        Jun 30 2013: Colleen, it's those "simple" questions that turn out the most perplexing and often lead to some interesting discoveries about "self".

        I don't take your comment personally, but I confess that, in my question, I'm trying to analyze, categorize, and generalize my own "stuff". I hope, I'm not offending anyone and, I hope, other people also don't take it personally and that this discussion may lead to better understanding of ourselves (and, perhaps, each other).
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          Jun 30 2013: I agree Arkady, that questions can often turn out perplexing and often lead to some interesting discoveries about "self".....WHEN/IF we are focusing on our "self" in the context of the question and self reflecting. I am glad you don't take my comment personally because I know you do a LOT of exploration and self reflection:>)
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        Jun 30 2013: Thanks for adding the quotation marks here.
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        Jun 30 2013: LaMar,

        reading what you say and reflecting on the thread about "oppressive government vs. oppressive society", do you think that repression is related to oppression?
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        Jun 30 2013: Lamar, I'm more interested in understanding oppressive societies. It seems to me that oppressive society is a society which forces people to conform to its stereotypes (like preventing women from going to school or driving). But, considering that, living in a society, we always have to conform to the rules of society and repress some of our impulses, can't we say that any society is oppressive?
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        Jul 1 2013: Lamar, I think, the topics of oppression in society and people feeling repressed/inhibited are closely related. In an oppressive society, the oppressors often instill their "code of behavior" in the minds of the oppressed to make them feel shame and guilt for the desire to get rid of the oppression. Creating inhibitions in people's minds is one of the tactics to "force people to stay" under oppression. Read Anna Karenina for an example of how society viewed women seeking to leave an oppressive marriage as immoral.

        I believe, this comment is on topic as I attempt to understand why people may feel repressed and inhibited which is a part of the question.
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      Jun 30 2013: No. These are choices you are making.

      This interpretation from LaMar is consistent with my understanding: "Psychological repression, or simply repression, is the psychological attempt by an individual to repel one's own desires and impulses towards pleasurable instincts by excluding the desire from one's consciousness and holding or subduing it in the unconscious."
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      Jun 30 2013: Theo Lamar Alexander and Fritzie,
      If we are going to be quoting from on-line definitions, it might be helpful to have the entire page, rather than just the first paragraph?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_repression
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        Jun 30 2013: Thanks, Colleen. As Lamar had not put his paragraph in quotation marks, I assumed the definition was his and cited him.
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    Jun 30 2013: @LaMar re: "I think less inhibited people probably have more self-esteem but it can also indicate showing off and an attempt to get attention which might be from low self esteem."

    This is an interesting observation. So, how do you know whether cracking jokes in public comes from lack of inhibition or from a desire to draw attention to yourself?

    A couple of weeks ago, I came to the waterfront park with my family to have a walk. There was gay pride day event going on. I have nothing against gays and I think that striking down DOMA this week was a great event in American history. However, the experience of walking in the midst of people showing off their lack of inhibitions was somewhat awkward: guys in stockings and miniskirts, on high heels, wearing wigs and make-up, making loud comments to people who look at them; guys kissing in public. The people were friendly, but, definitely, trying to draw attention to themselves. I don't want to judge these people or condemn their behavior. But I'm curious, why do people behave this way? Doesn't this desire to show the lack of inhibitions come from, actually, feeling repressed?

    Or did I feel awkward because I am inhibited and repressed myself?

    I would, actually, be interested to know the opinion of gay people about this.
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      Jun 30 2013: Arkady,
      You ask..."how do you know whether cracking jokes in public comes from lack of inhibition or from a desire to draw attention to yourself? "Know thyself".

      That being said, people know themselves.....or not.....on many different levels depending on how much they/we reflect and learn about our self.

      We cannot ever know for sure why people behave as they do, unless they share that information with us. We can know for sure only about our "self". With the scene you describe, I suggest that people who have different sexual orientations have been "in the closet" for a very long time. Sometimes when the pendulum swings, it swings very obviously in the other direction.....make any sense?
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      Jun 30 2013: I don't know if this is from repression but yeah there is a small element in gaydom that love playing up on those days, nutty fa fa's.
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      Jul 1 2013: Arkady, I would think that "performing" in public, dressing up and acting silly, means something different to every individual who does it. For some it may be very meaningful and positive, for others it may be empty exhibitionism. Does this work for you?
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        Jul 1 2013: Yes, after reflecting on the video Mary M posted, I believe, public appearance and behavior is about sending messages to other people. Some people have the need to do that, some don't. And the messages that people want to send are different for everyone. Perhaps, even exhibitionism is a form of self-expression. Not all messages are worth communicating to others, though.

        I read the message of those gay people as "We are different, we are here, we are not ashamed of ourselves and if you don't like it - it's your problem." I think, I got it correctly because I did feel a bit awkward, but I admit that, perhaps, it's my problem, not theirs. I still think, there is time and place for saying and doing things. That was a gay pride day - official event, with sponsors, media coverage, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if those same people have regular jobs during the day and dress and behave differently in other places and times.

        It's funny that if I had been there alone, I wouldn't have felt awkward at all. For some reason, what made me feel somewhat awkward is that I was there with my kids and my wife. There is this strange worry about "what kids will make from this experience"? I think, it's a problem for adults, not for the kids. I don't think, children make any conclusions from seeing these behaviors - just as they wouldn't have any idea of shame from splashing naked in a public fountain - it's just fun. Perhaps, adults need to learn some things from children.
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          Jul 1 2013: ABSOLUTELY......there is a lot adults can learn from children:>)
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    Jun 28 2013: There are times that I would feel repressed by the enviroment and even my own senses and wants,instincts(struggled with free will) and there are times that I feel free from everything.
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    Jun 27 2013: The majority of time I spend interacting with adults is when I'm at work. There are conversations that can be had in a work place and others that can't be touched with a 10 foot pole.

    My inhibitions come from a general lack of willingness to understand a point that may contradict a belief someone holds dear and from that individual's ideas about retribution. There's a great big population of people out there who are vindictive. I'll dance around with a topic, dangle it in front of their face to see what kind of reaction I can expect if I decide to take the plunge.

    As for shame and embarassment that's definitely not the case. I chose my ideals and morals based on what feels right for me and they define who I am, what I will and will not put up with.
  • Jun 27 2013: I think we are all repressing feelings of shame, embarrassment, and fear when we are confronted with victims.
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      Jun 27 2013: Shame? We would be ashamed because they're victims of something we've done?
      • Jun 27 2013: If you are interested, much more is explained in another conversation I started, Victim taboo: does it exist?, under Questions.
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          Jun 27 2013: I had seen that, Barry, but is it going to explain how we would feel "shame" for something we haven't done, that someone else has done, and we're just interacting with their victim.

          I don't think I subject victims to a victim taboo, having been a victim many times myself I'm more likely to feel empathy and sympathy and not feel inhibited about expressing it. Have you ever been a victim, doesn't it change the dynamics for you of talking to another victim?
      • Jun 27 2013: Greg, the taboo is not easily explained, I am not sure I did an adequate job in the other conversation. It is not about the interaction of individuals with victims; it is a cultural phenomena that affects our behavior in many different situations. It involves repressed feelings and irrational feelings and behavior, so in some ways it defies rational explanation. I am still not completely sure it exists, but I think so, and I am hoping that a discussion will introduce relevant questions, and perhaps even answers.
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          Jun 27 2013: Well, your original comment says you think we're all repressing shame, embarrassment, and fear when confronted with victims. I don't think I am, so I guess you can't say "all." What shame, embarrasment, and fear are you repressing when confronted with victims? But if you can articulate it to me, you aren't repressing it any more, are you?
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          Jul 1 2013: Barry, I apologize for not going over to the other conversation. It seems worth pointing out that now there are organizations for victims, for example there are organizations of parents whose children have been murdered. It's hard to imagine that when one pair of parents whose child has been murdered meets another like pair that they would not feel immense sympathy and empathy. I know when I was a kid I was a bleeding heart liberal and felt sympathy for criminals, but, having been a victim of crime, I'm much more sympathetic to the victim now.
      • Jun 27 2013: Greg, if its repression, the whole point is that its unconscious, and you don't think you are doing it.

        I was using "all" to make a point. I did not mean all literally, in the sense that a single exception would invalidate the hypothesis. I meant very nearly all.

        Any therapist will tell you that people can talk about repressed feelings in the abstract while still repressing those feelings.

        I am glad to answer your questions, but would prefer to answer them in the other topic.
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      Jun 27 2013: Well, I'm guessing it means releasing the "negative" desires and thoughts, LaMar. But what about positive ones, for example I've taken to occasionally dancing on street corners when I'm walking and have to wait for the light to turn green, I think many people might enjoy doing this but might feel too inhibited, yet I think it's positive.
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      Jun 27 2013: I was probably closer to meaning "inhibited," LaMar, I think conceivably on the street the word "repressed" could shade toward meaning "inhibited." I used "repression" because I was trying to cover both situations where the person was personally inhibited, and also ones where they felt oppressed by government.