Self Connection Activity: Harmless Preference Practice
This is a great activity if you find it difficult to state and or act on what you want. This activity is called harmless as it intentionally starts with exploring our preferences that have minimal impact on others. It is based in the idea that we can be disconnected from our preferences, 'our self' by constant or intense resistance and correction to our personal preferences in days gone by. As if we were ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ to have our individual preference. Please do not get into the why this was so. Perhaps there was a valid reason for this to have occurred, perhaps not, it does not matter today. What matters today is what choices are before you now.
This activity requires you to consider little things you do that have little impact on others. Things you do automatically, when you might prefer something different. For example perhaps you were always told you had to have vegemite on your sandwich. Could you now go for jam, or cheese, or meat? If you have a clear preference, do it. If you don’t, try something different each day or week or explore and discover a preference. Perhaps your preference is to change each day. Another harmless example could be preferred flavour of ices cream, preferred style of shoes, color of socks or your hair, or which brand of phone you use. If someone demands you do what they prefer, you could ask why? Gather the information and consider for yourself if it is a good reason to change your preference.
With practice you can venture into higher risk areas, perhaps what movie to go to, how much time you spend with individuals, or even if you do. Do you really want to go to ‘that’ family gathering? The requirements for this activity are:
1) You are intentionally choosing to do something you want to do
2) It is ok to explore
3) The choice is not likely to cause any harm. Remember all techniques are based in Respectful Communication and Relationship practices.
Emotional harm is a bit tricky and a little more advanced. For consideration of emotional harm you’ll need to have a good understanding of what actions can cause emotional harm and be developing the ability to distinguish between inflicted emotional harm and perceived emotional harm, as well as the intricacies of this interplay. I do not support the notion that we cannot emotionally harm each other; at the same time taking responsibility for our emotional well being is key aspect of self-determination.*
4) Don’t take it too seriously
5) When you discover something that adds value to your life increase the incidence of that experience in your life.
*If you are comfortable with your emotional awareness around distinguishing and managing acts that can cause emotional wounds and potentially emotional manipulation you can consider Daring Preference Practices.