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EternalWarmth

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EternalWarmth last won the day on August 27

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About EternalWarmth

  • Birthday July 11

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    Eternal_Warmth#4141

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    TwilightSparkle

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  1. Foreword: This letter is, I feel, less organized than I would like, with an uncomfortable lack of explanation for each idea and a strange blending of formal and informal address. I unfortunately do not have the time, motivation, or clarity of thought to enhance and refine it, so I apologize for any confusing leaps or assertions. It may be best to consider this a collection of tips or aphorisms, falling far short of being an argument or essay. Regardless, I believe many people might benefit from my words, as disorganized and imprecise as they are. Letter: I struggle to think as clearly or speak as easily through my voice as I do through text. I enjoy the luxury of planning my words when communicating through writing, which relieves both the stress of immediate communication and the obfuscation of thought that comes with it. For this reason I find myself able to share my thoughts and feelings through online text mediums such as Discord. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I share more personal thoughts with people online than I do with my closest local friends. I do not know which, and to what extent, others find text an easier form of communication, however I suspect that many are quite open through it, whether to groups of people or in private messages. Particularly in online communities that support emotional expression and comfort, it is likely that one will encounter another that is willing to share their emotions and troubles with others in the community. This openness may be easier online, but it is not necessarily easy. The speaker might need to develop a certain level of trust with another, or believe that the task of opening up is beneficial to them. Opening up to a friend or trusted acquaintance when one is struggling is almost always healthy, provided the friend understands and respects that one is trusting them with something important. Listening: This is where listening becomes an active exercise, and is arguably a skill that can be improved through practice and discipline. For those that want to aid others by offering to be a person they can talk to, knowing how to listen is important. Such a desire is normally accompanied by the wish to offer help beyond listening, such as through comfort, advice or direction. Listening is comparably easy relative to the other forms of help, but each should not be forced under improper conditions. Listening is a form of helping on its own. The speaker or sharer benefits from releasing their words at the listener, even if the listener offers no words in return. Outward expression of internal feelings relieves certain stresses and can crystalize the words into something easier for the sharer to understand or dissect. One should not feel like they have done nothing to help when only able to listen. One has done something to help, though it may not be as helpful as they would like. Listening, perhaps unintuitively, generally involves the listener speaking. It is important to be careful when speaking while listening, as one’s words might prematurely end the listening and move on to other forms of support, or may even end the conversation entirely. Speaking while listening should be done with the intent of continuing the outflow of words from the sharer, ensuring what needs to be released is released. To achieve this, one might seek clarification or softly guide the discussion toward what needs to be spoken. Seeking clarification should not be done greedily; one must avoid pushing for a clarification to support an assumption. Ask for information so the listener can understand, not to indirectly push one’s own thoughts into the sharer. Similarly, when trying to guide the conversation, one should not be steering toward a particular idea. Instead, lead away from dead-ends and toward broader unexplored paths. Let the sharer determine when they have said what they need to say. Comforting and Advising: Before, during, and after listening, I often desire to comfort the sharer, but I do not always know how to do so. Each person and situation is unique in what is comforting to hear. Listening first can give the listener insight into what would be comforting or harmful to say. This might help one figure out what to say, and it might exclude possibilities and leave one speechless. In the latter case, do not force oneself to say things one doesn’t mean or doesn’t believe in. I have met people that prefer silence over comments like “I don’t know what to say” or “I wish I could help.” Their reasoning is that such lines indicate a lack of interest, determination, or are somehow useless. I disagree, as I believe that these are genuine expressions of the desire to help and the inability to do so. Discouraging these admissions means discouraging future sharing with the listener or encouraging the listener to try to comfort through words that they don’t really mean or hastily constructed. In cases where the sharer would benefit from a resource or desires an event, refrain from promising them that thing when you are not certain you can provide it. In general, one should avoid making promises one might not keep. This is particularly true when trying to comfort a friend. The temporary relief of an unstable or empty promise is smaller than the eventual disappointment and distrust when the promise is broken. Similarly, do not obfuscate the promise within a conditional without clearly conveying that the conditional is not a guarantee. “If I can do this, then I will do that” can easily be interpreted by the friend to mean “I will do that.” This point can be summarized by the saying “Don’t get their hopes up.” When the sharer is distressed about a fault of their own, or the listener determines that the sharer is at fault, it can be tempting to excuse their behavior or lie to them to relieve their guilt. Try to avoid doing so. This is another example of a temporary boost with larger long term drawbacks. They should understand that they are wrong when they are wrong, otherwise they will make the same mistakes again. However, this does not mean one should focus on blame or encourage guilt, for they are harmful as well. If comforting or advising, focus on bringing the person’s attention to the reality of their situation, taking care to not be condescending or sound as though one is ignoring the person. What is the situation? What does it mean for the future? Consider how mistakes might be corrected, or at the very least learned from. If nothing can be learned, treat that as a lesson in itself, as it means there is no value in worrying about the cause of the issue. Work with the sharer; talk with them, not at them. If they just shared a lot of sensitive information, they should not be thrown into an instruction guide. When Not To: I have already mentioned some cases where attempts to comfort or advise should be avoided, though I would like to address some larger or more general cases. If one is feeling emotionally unstable, is under considerable emotional stress, or is prone to impatience and intolerance, then one should seriously consider what emotional burden they are prepared to take on. In the first and second cases, one risks building up the sharer upon an unstable foundation. When one reaches their own limit and breaks, they are at risk of taking the other person down with them. I have learned this firsthand and hope others will not make the same mistake. Even if one wants to help, it is irresponsible to do so in such a situation. In the case of being impatient or intolerant, one risks not only preying on the distress or openness of the sharer, but also convincing the sharer not to share with more responsible and helpful people. Do not encourage a person to open up to you beyond what you believe you can safely handle. I believe that a general truth about friendship is “opportunities, not obligations.” Treating a part of friendship as an obligation threatens the friendship itself or causes unnecessary unhappiness. You are not obligated to support everyone emotionally. If someone is your friend, you should want to help them, treating those times as opportunities to help. For the friend, you are offering the opportunity to share, not the obligation to open up when they do not feel like they can. Be responsible, caring, and patient, both with others and with yourself. I hope this letter is helpful in some form or another. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Your Friend, Twilight Sparkle~
  2. Hello everypony.

    Welcome, Twilight! It seems we have somewhat similar thoughts/feelings about our possible connections to a past life. I look forward to seeing you around. I hope you enjoy your time here and are able to build some strong friendships.~
  3. RPG Ponies

    Wizard.~ Studying, mastering, and teaching all kinds of magic, as well as science.~
  4. geography quiz

    100%, 83%, 51% Oof, it's been a while.
  5. explain a movie: X meets Y

    Event Horizon is Hellraiser meets Alien
  6. count before a mod posts

    1
  7. count to 1,000

    151~
  8. waiter! there is ______ in my soup!

    Our apologies; the chef insists on serving food with a bit of class. Waiter, there's a meal in my soup!
  9. Letter 1: Communication

    Thank you. so much.~ I intend to keep writing them, though they will likely be rare due to my schedule and other projects.
  10. Greetings

    Welcome, KitKat! I hope you enjoy your time here. I suggest checking out the Discord server if you haven't already, as that's where most of the socializing goes on.~
  11. Heya!

    Welcome! Apologies for my late reply; I try to be more aware of activity on the site. I hope you find what you are looking for, and make some friends around here or on Discord.~
  12. Greetings

    Hello and welcome, Solar! I hope you enjoy your time here.~
  13. Hello there!

    Welcome! It's nice to meet you, Sugar and Human.~ I hope you enjoy your time here and make some friends!~
  14. Journal Announcements!

    I have made a journal which I intend to slowly expand. I hope all who read it enjoy it.~
  15. Letter: Of all the villains of social cooperation and harmony, the most common and deceptively insidious is the absence of communication. More powerful and venomous curses exist to wreak pain and chaos within oneself, but a failure to earnestly convey thoughts deals damage within oneself, within others, and to the resultingly frail bridge between the two. Where acquaintances fall short of mutual understanding or the attempt of such, countless social scourges may take root and entangle all about them in ever-tightening brambles. Where one isolates oneself beyond one’s means to remain in good mental attitude, the personal villains may easily plug all air holes in a steadily flooding heart. Inversely, good communication champions healthy relationships and positive minds. Ideas can be reliably shared and refined, and misunderstandings can be identified and remedied. Even when armed with a modest knack for dialectic, tenacity at communication will certainly foster better understanding between two parties, though with a provision that will be described shortly. When one is caught in an internal tarpit of griefs, doubts, resentments, or guilts, conveying such a state to a trusted (or even an untrusted) companion can be immensely helpful, if not necessary. Self-reliance is a valuable and healthy strength to possess, but obstinance, whether born from distrust or arrogance, can sunder any who refuse communication. Waiting for outside help to find one by chance is risky and unwise, as even if help discovers one trapped within oneself, the help may inadvertently lodge one deeper in isolation and misery if not given proper illumination by the trapped. Communication may appear to be an unstable tool, capable of moving great weights when applied well, but equally capable of cutting the hand of the holder when improperly wielded. This is unfortunately true, but the potential damage can be mitigated or undone with good practice. The first factor in healthy and effective communication is understanding what one is trying to convey. If one does not have a grasp on one’s own message, then it is unlikely that the message will be translated as one might hope. Still, there are times when one should communicate for the purpose of clarifying one’s own ideas, and so cannot already grasp them. In such cases, that should be made known to the other and they, if they wish to know what one is trying to say, should thoughtfully and patiently assist in narrowing down the idea. Rushing to speak before one’s idea has formed jeopardizes understanding. The second factor of good communication is a combination of intent and tact. Thoughtful respect and care for oneself and the other should be the intent behind any conversation between two persons. Honesty is almost always the best tactic for any conversation or other forms of interaction. The exceptions are hard to identify, and risking dishonesty should never be done without whole-hearted conviction that the deception is necessary to avoid deep, long-lasting damage to either persons. Honesty and care, together, form genuine communication. By diligently adhering to both, speaking one’s mind becomes clearer, the message itself is likely to be clearer, and the recipient may better absorb one’s meaning. Dishonesty rightfully leads the other to question one’s motives, which in turn leads the other to become less receptive. Antagonistic or muddied intent, whether conveyed through honesty or dishonesty, prepares the recipient for the growth of more resentment and distrust. Communication is never a one-sided event, and the next factors relate to being on the receiving side of a message. Patience and humor are very important, but often forgotten or taken for granted. Do not assume the person speaking knows exactly what to say at all times. The other may need time to process one’s words and to formulate their own. Impatience at these moments discourages both present and future discussions, while patience may give each the courage to speak. Humor has several important uses in conversation. It can lighten a mood or break through unhealthy blocks when wielded at the right moments and with the right words, though careless use of it can do the opposite. As a listener, one should maintain humor within oneself. As with patience, do not react too hastily to the other person, particularly when their message appears confusing or hurtful. Consider whether the other may be joking, or if they perhaps misspoke. If unsure, seek clarification, careful not to be accusing or antagonistic. If their message was indeed meant to be hurtful, consider why they have chosen to be unkind. Is the attack personal, or are they channeling their unhappiness into words at the nearest target? A personal attack may be due to a misunderstanding, or a misguided reaction to something one has done wrong. Incidental insults as a result of a bad mood should not be taken as personal. Instead, offer the other space and time, or offer to listen to what has been troubling them. One’s internal humor should keep one relaxed enough to respond constructively. It should come as no surprise to anypony that has difficulty speaking to others that effort is also a factor in good communication. When spending too long internalizing thoughts and feelings, one must make an effort to open up and share with others. If one doesn’t know how to phrase a thought, put effort into clarifying and organizing the thought. Genuinely try to reign in overly defensive or offensive reactions before one responds. Be generous with one’s time and energy when communicating. As hard as these can be, the following is perhaps the most difficult for the majority of conversers. It is inevitable that two speakers will at some points reach an impasse, or what feels like a dead end in a conversation, that leaves both parties irritated and unhappy. This may be because of a true disagreement, or, more likely, due to a misunderstanding in the guise of a disagreement. It cannot be expressed how important it is to put the effort into ascertaining which is the case. Finding and addressing misunderstandings is always tiring, even to the most social and experienced of ponies. It is often not clear when or where a misunderstanding lies, and misunderstandings prefer to look like true disagreements. For this reason, one should treat the situation as a disagreement, meaning one should seek to both clarify one’s own view and illuminate the other’s view. As one makes one’s case, define one’s view distinctly and precisely, giving the other the most accurate and clear understanding of one’s view as possible. Break it into graspable pieces such that the other may narrow in on where the disagreement lies. It may be the case that the other realizes there is a misunderstanding, and this is where they are most likely to spot it. In any case, in argument or casual conversation, keep the above in mind. There is no good purpose in unkind or careless discussion, and the world may be gained through kind and thoughtful discussion. One last note is to not become too caught up in formality or try to be “excessively thoughtful”. Mistakes happen, and people learn from them. Let experience hone your words, not an unchecked desire for perfection. Afterword: This is my first shot at writing an entry. I debated within myself how to present it, with the alternative form being a careful analysis of a very illustrative personal experience. I still believe the story is worth telling and may be more effective than a simple wall of words, so I might save it for a sort of sequel entry to this one. Until then, I hope my wall of words has been clear and helpful for any who read it. One of my most instinctive fears in being misunderstood, and others (or myself) suffering as a result. I spent the majority of my life internalizing my feelings and words, building a dense mass of gray emotion inside me. At times it felt heavy, and most often it felt numb or null. But as little bits of the mass broke off, it would react and burn in anger or sadness. I realized the toll it took on my life and decided that I had to speak out, even if it made me uncomfortable or if I wasn’t entirely sure I believed what I was saying. It has helped dislodge a significant portion of that mass, though part of it will always remain and collect the sediment of anxiety and depression. If any of you understand that feeling, or think you may be internalizing too much, I hope you will speak to someone. Communication is a crucial part of a healthy mind. Your Friend, Twilight Sparkle~ PS: I am currently too tired too proofread this beyond simply checking for misspellings and obvious grammatical errors.
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