Whatever happened to the Stoics?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's like stress. Stress is worrying about something when you can't do anything about it. If you can and do, do something, about it...it's not so stressful.

    If you come home on Friday evening and worry all weekend about what your boss said, about your work that is piling up, about all the layoffs that have been occurring, that causes stress but it isn't helping you in any way.

    Enjoy your weekend and talk to your boss on Monday, catch up on your work, rework your resume, etc. Worry doesn't help you in any way.

    Another example, let's say you are single and as someone who knows all and sees all

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    I know that you will always be single. Is it better to focus on being unhappy and lonely for the rest of your life or to focus on other things that do bring you happiness, fulfillment, etc. that you have more control over.

    If you end up in jail (always a possibility

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    ) for life, being a stoic might be the more fulfilling choice. It doesn't mean that you have to repress your feelings. You are adding that requirement where it doesn't need to exist. Do tibi intelligere?
     
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not implying anything about your personal single/married status. It was just an example of a common problem or concern. I should have used "you" or "one" I suppose.
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    And I deleted my post, because I *think* I knew what you meant, but wasn't sure.

    Either way, no worries.

    I don't know if it's a common problem for people who are single to worry about being lonely? Hmm. Maybe for some. I guess there are a few friends of mine who have great anxiety over being divorced or single or whatever. That is one area I don't spend time worrying in. But, I could use this stoic advice in my career.

    I've spent too much time worrying about my current position for example, even though it's going well. Maybe it is a habit, like all else? One must unlearn bad habits and mindsets, in order to adopt a new way of thinking.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    We all evolve in one way or another. I wasn't lonely at all when I was initially single (before I got married). After a long marriage and divorce, I was lonely at times. Not so much that I dwelt on it. I dated. I didn't run out and get married again just because I was lonely.

    I see people who are always unhappy. As they say, happiness is a state of mind. I don't think it's meant to be a continuous state in the first place. Fulfillment is more sustainable, for example.

    The real point though is that you can make yourself unhappy all the time by dwelling on something that you can't change. You can, in most cases, instantly get out of an unhappy state by thinking about something more interesting.

    It's doesn't need to be about repressing something. Just stop dwelling on an unhappy thought is generally all it takes. Some people are better at doing that than others it seems.
     
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  9. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This post is very helpful, as sometimes, I may dwell on things that haven't happened, or most likely will never happen. Mainly with work. I don't know why, really. Perhaps, it's just become a habit. I know that I shouldn't be dwelling, but I do. As if worrying in and of itself will magically make everything turn out well.

    I like what you're suggesting here - that happiness isn't meant to be a continuous state. Yea. That could be the problem, with our culture in general - believing that happiness must be a constant, or something is gravely wrong with our lives.

    I need to dig deeper, but what does stoicism say about mourning/grieving? In my opinion, there are major life events whereby we must experience things on a purely emotional level.
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know what Stocism says but it doesn't matter.

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    "We" don't need to follow rules in that sense. You can be "stoic" where it's a good response and mourn where that's a good response. That's what most people do.

    You aren't likely to go to a funeral, find your friend there who would like to cry but can't because he is a "follower" of Stoicism.

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    He may not be able to cry at the same point that you would cry but that's just a difference in individuals, culture, customers, preference, etc.

    I have a friend that I climb with (female). She took some course (I don't know what it was called). She had to pay quite a bit, she always tries to get others to sign up for it (pyramid thing it sounds like to me) but she says it has helped her a lot.

    From watching her, being around her and talking to her, it has mainly made her more responsible to herself and act in a more positive way. She has even become a "coach" for whatever this program is in addition to be a school teacher.

    In the past, when we were climbing, when I'd suggest a harder route, she would frequently say "I don't think I can do it, I don't want to try, etc". Now that she is involved with this coarse, when she gives that kind of a response I say "That's not very coach like or positive is it?". She'll laugh, think about it for a second, agree, and then try that route. When she tries a route, she generally completes it as well.

    I have noticed her becoming more confident and positive. I asked her if the class was mainly females as that would be my guess. She said "Well, there are a lot of female Real Estate agents in there".

    It's like self-help books. Call me sexist (I'm sure you will)

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    but most of them are purchased by females. Courses like this are mainly taken by females. It's probably just a cultural thing but females in our society seem to have more self-doubt than the average guy.

    I'm not implying that they have more to improve upon, it's probably the opposite, but they are more sensitive to it. Most/many guys are confident (whether they should be or not is another subject) and just don't need help in that particular area.

    I think that's all that is going on with you. It's partly a cultural thing and partly an individual thing of course but it sounds like you have every reason to be confident and sometimes you aren't. When things go well for you, you start to realize that you have no reason to not be confident.

    Guys just seem to come upon that realization more easily. I do know guys who aren't very confident of course but compared to females, their numbers seem to be much smaller.

    The tables turn however if the subject is can you express or discuss your feelings.

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    Most women win hands down here just as they are in the minority where "confidence" is concerned IMO.
     
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  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This is so weird, but I have male friends who are always trying to ''build my confidence,'' or perhaps help me to see that I'm capable of doing ''x'' even when I'm doubtful. I don’t second guess or doubt myself in nearly anything other than work-related issues. My female friends try to encourage me to stop the self doubts with work stuff, but they offer more emotional support, and we'll just sit around venting at times, instead of looking for new ways to approach challenges.

    I know where my issues come from, though. They're rooted in my childhood, without going into detail. That said, I think that society in general, has different expectations of men. ''Boys don't cry,'' etc is something that many guys grow up hearing, while as a child, I was coddled when I'd cry or whine about something. Not saying there aren't exceptions, but I'm not sure that stoicism is inherently easier for men than women. It would seem that there are a number of underlying societal factors that can play a role.

    One of my friends and I were talking about this very thing recently, and how we wonder if men are naturally less emotional, or are they just as emotional as women, but have been ''taught'' to suppress their feelings? He, as most of my male friends, is quite ''stoic.'' He told me though that he struggles with decisions, and trials like everyone else, but he doesn't let the struggle overwhelm him, or distract him from finding solutions. Therein, lies the difference between him and me. But, we're all works in progress, this just happens to be where I need some help.

    As I’ve mentioned in the introvert thread though, no one at work sees me as I see me. They think I’m confident and gregarious etc and yet I’m dying inside when preparing to give a presentation. Just have to keep trying to make strides.

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think men are genetically different than women in that reason. As you say, it's cultural upbringing I'd assume.

    Guys (most married guys) learn early on that women don't want a solution when they are venting about something. They want to vent and then move on. That's a hard lesson for a guy to learn though.
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, it was confusing for my ex and can be for other guys, at times - their desire to solve a problem that I don't (yet) want solved. It's an endearing quality though, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Seattle likes this.
  15. river

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    It is .

    Think about it .
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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