Peter McCluskey (peter_bayesian) wrote,
Peter McCluskey

Life Coaching, month 1

Except for the initial life coaching session, much of my attention has been focused on my weaknesses in ways that tend to make me discouraged because they highlight why it is harder for me to learn some things than it is for an average person. But at least choiceful seems to have some skill at helping me take an optimistic view.

She asked me to try to learn how understand my body language and read others' body language by periodically noticing things such as posture. When I tried that during my reading group, I remembered why I find this hard - being engaged in the conversation had required a large enough fraction of my attention and brainpower that diverting small parts of it to other tasks left me unable to follow the conversation, and it generally took minutes for me to be able to rejoin the conversation. So even if I learn a lot about body language, I expect that there will be a number of important circumstances under which I won't be able to use it.
I switched to trying to read body language from watching movies, but I had enough conflicting feelings about the feasibility of that approach that I failed to concentrate well enough to make progress.
I then searched the web more carefully for relevant advice, and ended up ordering a half dozen books on reading body language and related subjects.
I'm in the middle of reading one called Irresistible Attraction (chosen in part because it was one of the first to be delivered). It's full of ideas that will be effective if I can learn to apply them, but it's unclear how many of them I will be able to apply.

She wants me to start to frequently invite people I meet at regular social events to dinner. Thinking about that has reminded me how dissatisfied I have been with most of the conversations I have. I'm mostly following routines which have been valuable for basic social interactions. A decade ago, I could barely manage to join a group of unfamiliar people or start a rudimentary conversation with a stranger. Now I feel like those are almost normal activities, but with some exceptions for people about whom I've learned some interesting things via the web, it's rare that I can turn a routine conversation into something interesting enough that I'd want to continue it on another day. This is partly because I'm rather selective about who and what I find interesting, but I suspect I've also been overlooking some opportunities, and Irresistible Attraction is giving me ideas about how to change that.
Tags: coaching
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