How we transfer information
Our brains constantly “transfer” pieces of information and slide those pieces into different areas of our lives. For example, suppose the first time you visit a new hairdresser she comments negatively on your hairstyle. “You are such a beautiful person, why in the world did you choose this hairstyle? Whoever did your hair last should have told you that long hair would accentuate your chubby cheeks. Well, no matter. If you’ll let me, I’ll give you a flattering haircut. I’ll make sure you look good!” (fake smile…)
The hairdresser may have meant well and perhaps a very secure person would quickly let go of the negative remarks. Unfortunately, most people would be affected and would allow the remarks to follow them for a long time. The first transference would be to extrapolate the remarks about hair to the underlying comments on decision making. You might begin to wonder if you have the ability to make good decisions. Even if it was the previous hairdresser’s idea to leave your hair long – you might begin to wonder why you didn’t oppose the idea. Challenging your decision making abilities might branch out into anxiety about decisions at work.
Every time you look in the mirror at your chubby little cheeks – you may feel a twinge wondering if one hairstyle choice hasn’t defined your entire life. Maybe you don’t know anything about style. Maybe you can’t make good decisions at work. Maybe you just don’t know what you are doing in any area of life! If those thoughts are allowed to continue, you may feel anxious every time you look at your chubby little cheeks. You may wonder if other people are judging you by those cheeks. You may become agitated or self-conscious. You may develop anger issues or feel aggressive to anyone that looks at your face. You may move from being the nice girl in the office to being argumentative and withdrawn.
Ahhhh…. (eat worms and die 🙁 )
Seriously, while those of us who have a good self-esteem may not go over the cliff about a hairstyle – our brains are designed to take information in one area and transfer it to another. That’s why we can transfer information like 2+2=4 and use that as a basis to decipher algebra. The knowledge of a basic concept can be transferred and used to help us understand a more complex concept.
Violence will emerge in any human when the transfer of basic information isn’t completed properly. Like a computer if the original information is “corrupted” it will infect the new information we are trying to understand. That’s why children involved in a custody case often think they are the reason their parents are getting a divorce. They can become aggressive or act out in unfamiliar ways. The information that the divorce was all about Mommy and Daddy was corrupted. It became corrupted the first time the child was yelled at and told to go to his room while Mommy and Daddy continued to fight.
Mommy and Daddy are angry. They are yelling. They hate each other. They yelled at me. Therefore – I must be the reason they are yelling and unhappy.
Most children have fears and anxiety because their information is corrupted. Information can be corrupted in unlimited ways. In my book, Discipline Exposed – surviving fried worms and flying mudballs, I told a story about my daughter Amie. For a week the school called me immediately after lunch to say that Amie was throwing up and probably had the flu. Each day I brought her home and within an hour she was fine and running around the house. After a lot of “Decoding” the situation, I picked up on the fact that she was afraid. A few more questions led Amie to admit she thought I was going to die. One of her friends at school was out for a week. When the friend returned, she told Amie how she got off the school bus and found her mother on the couch…dead. How awful!
Amie didn’t think to tell me about it. Instead she happily got dressed for school. After lunch her subconscious worried that she might face the same situation. Anxiety caused her to throw up. We designed an intervention plan and implemented it for a month. Once the “corruption” was dealt with and properly processed – her mind went on to other things.
In the 60’s a group of psychologist tested babies and their reaction to white bunnies. The control group simply played with the white bunnies. Group “B” was introduced and allowed to play with the bunny for only a minute or so before a loud horn scared the child. 100% of the control group remained unchanged by their experience. A small percentage of group “B” went on to have a good life even though they didn’t care for white bunnies. Unfortunately, most of group “B” was terrified of white bunnies. Even as adults they wouldn’t go near white bunnies. The interresting finding was that of those adults that remained afraid of white bunnies – most of them “transferred” that fear to other things. They were afraid of white birds, white bears and white dogs. Some even went so far as to dislike people in white coats or doctors in medical uniforms.
The brain is a wonderful muscle. It is the miraculous tool we use to explore our environment and to dig through all the information we encounter. However, it can also be corrupted and can “mis-understand” the information it finds. We must be very careful that parents, schools, pastors and the community as a whole understand the tendency to corrupt the brain. We must consider that some violent behavior will always emerge when the brain is trying to process “corrupted” information.
Communication about a host of issues is important. Parents should regularly talk with their children about fears, anxieties and goals. Make sure you know where your child’s mind is and you will always know where their life is headed.