Thursday, January 3, 2019

It's all about the SPIN...

One thing that I think is becoming very apparent, in US society, is that SPIN is very important.  In fact, spin is probably the single most important aspect of success, in social situations, and in politics.

Spin, in the manner in which I am using it, refers to the manner in which something, someone, or some situation, or statement, or action, is described.  And, specifically, it is the art of being able to describe something from a perspective that empowers the person doing the spinning, or empowers someone or something that is important to that person.

For example:  I am drinking a cup of coffee and accidentally drop it in the coffee shop, just after I take my first sip.  There are various ways this can be described, such as:

Did you see that inconsiderate person who just splashed scalding hot coffee on everyone around them?


I feel bad for them...they just spilled all their coffee before they got a chance to get any significant amount of caffeine.


I swear, some people are so clumsy...someone like that is dangerous


I would not be surprised if that person did that on purpose to retaliate towards the person behind them, who bumped them earlier

The point is that just about anything can be described in just about any way someone chooses to describe it, and anyone listening to that person will probably adopt that person's description, unless they are aware of this whole 'spin' technique.

What I find, in my practice, is that people tend to 'spin' their own behavior and personality in a manner that benefits them, and they tend to 'spin' others' behavior and personality in a way that also benefits them.  It is very unusual to encounter a person who is very balanced in their perspective on themselves and on is a rarity.  Probably one of the main reasons that most people do not try to control their 'spin' so that they are fair to others is that this is too painful to do, emotionally, in many cases, and generally doesn't benefit the person who controls their spin, because everyone else is not controlling their spin.

In other words, IMO, spin is a part of human nature, and a part of relationships.  We all spin our stuff so that it benefits us...that is human nature.  What I have noticed, however, is that there are also some people who not only spin things positively to benefit themselves, but will, with people whom they feel are in their family circle, spin things positively for them, when describing them to someone else.  That is loving, in a way, but also may be dishonest, sometimes, and may harm another person, in the process.

Usually, when people find their way to my practice, they are in a difficult situation, with intense emotions, and lots to say.  What I have learned, over the years, is that the more intensely negative the spin they put on another person, the more intense must be the depth of their anguish with that person.  In many cases, the spin is somewhat inaccurate, because of this, and that can raise credibility issues, in regards to the person doing the spinning.  

You can learn a lot about a person based on their 'spin' behavior.  Some people, when they are very angry, give themselves permission to spin situations so that they appear unrealistically perfect and others appear unrealistically evil.   Some people (far fewer), when they are angry, prohibit themselves from adjusting their spin, and redouble their efforts to maintain a fair approach to their spin.  And, some people, when they are angry, rail against the spin that others are putting on them, and try to give a balanced spin of themselves.  Some people try to have no spin, either for themselves, or for others.

What is very clear, however, is that spin is very much a part of social interactions, and we ignore its power, and its prevalence, at our own peril.

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