There has been a theme over the past week or two that continues to emerge. I believe it deserves a blog, or whatever. I am still processing the idea and do not ever think I will come to a conclusion.
I drove out to a client's home to complete an intake with him. I had a person that I supervise with me. After the pseudo-intake session, myself and the other person got into my car to pow wow about the whole event we just went through (picture a circus with no ringleader). After we pow-wowed, she got out of my car and said, "Is this your car?" Why, yes! Yes it is. Hence me driving it and all. (i'm snarky in the mornings). She replied, "Good to know. It says a lot about you and from what I know, it fits".
Umm... what does that mean exactly? I was perplexed right after and still sort of am. Info: I drive a 2012 VW Golf TDi. It is a stick. And its White with blacked out windows. So, what is it supposed to say about me? My assumption was: I like German engineering, I prefer good gas mileage as my turbo diesel gives 45mpg, I prefer to be in control of the engine and the car itself and that's why I drive a stick. And I like white cars I guess....
So my mind went off into oblivion and I had to discuss this issue with a friend. Basically I still don't know what the comment meant and I can only assume (see above). However, I do also think it could have been a "oh yeah you are the in charge-controlling type so the whole thing makes sense" comment. But that is a stretch.
The next week I led to separate group supervisions at work about personal value systems. It is this really cool exercise where you have to pick certain values that feel true to you in a time limited format. There is the process of elimination and you end up with one core value. Everyone I did it with chose a value that resonated with them. The value I chose was "education". There were follow up questions on how to utilize your value in a positive manner.
When I shared my value, everyone responded with a "well, yeah" sort of response. Which I was happy with. It made me feel like I am congruent with the presentation of myself and my values. I think this is somewhat important. Just to elaborate a bit, I value education not only in a "completing school" sense, but in a desire to learn more about the world and the people in it and how we all impact each other. I LOVE learning new things all the time! If I'm not learning, I'm educating someone else on what I already know.
Later that week, I had a conversation with a friend about vibes that people put out. Good vibes, negative vibes, apathetic vibes, or vibes that people use to define who you are. I personally don't call them vibes. I consider it a personal energy. I do energy work and I really believe in it. So anyways, my friend was concerned about the energy she was putting out to other people and how people were totally misunderstanding her energy and interpreted it in a way that was not comfortable for her.
I personally had no advice to give about how to manage your energy output as I am dumbfounded by the whole thing. Positive Psychology would say to manage your thoughts and have an extrinsic value system (i.e. want to help others) but that is easier said than done. But I did give my friend feedback on how I saw her vibe. But I am biased as I know this person and their identities.
So now I am asking myself: How do you control or balance the energy that we put out into the world to be congruent with who we are in specific contexts of situations? (Side note: I do not believe in a true, core self- I believe in multiple identities in differing contexts and that all these compromise an integrated self) And even more important, how do we know what vibe or energy we are putting out? How do we tell? How can we know? Just because I feel a certain energy does not necessarily mean that another person will interpret that energy how I intend it to be. Its this whole idea of input and output communication with input/output understanding. Its basic Psych 101 stuff but I'm totally stumped!!!!!
And, what if you are trying to be self-protective and not give out the true energy you feel? What if you try to block some integral part of your identity, purposefully or unconsciously? Wouldn't that warp the energy you put out? And wouldn't that then obviously get misconstrued by another person??? What do you do then? And how would you know? Other than directly asking people, "Hey you! What sort of vibe are you getting from me right now? How do I seem?" (See? Maybe I am a control freak- but I value education. All congruent thus far----> But even my snarky comment of me being a control freak does not mean I'm "controlling" but others might understand it that way) [although I've been reminded quite frequently lately that I am spoiled and get what I want which somehow means I possess some sort of control over various situations].
One of the best professors I had in my undergraduate years at SDSU always had these damn questions in class and they always had the same answer: "It depends". There are very few questions with a black and white answer these days. And clearly I'm asking and processing a gray question. I won't ever have a definitive answer on how we can manage our energy/vibe/presentation and know that others see us they way we intend for others to. It depends on us and it depends on them. It just fucking depends. And not that I need a clear answer (I work in mental health so I rarely get a straight answer on anything, I live in Gray), I just needed to process. Outloud. Okay, well to the sound of my keyboard at least.
This is the most frustrating answer I could come up with, but also the most true: It depends. But in the meantime, increasing self understanding and having an open mind towards others wouldn't hurt. At least I don't think so.
I leave with a quote I found on my internet quest for answers on vibes and energy.