How to Resolve (T)horny Dilemmas

Uploaded 1/6/2023, approx. 17 minute read

Okay, baby seals and baby selects.

Today I'm going to teach you how to resolve dilemmas.

A dilemma is a form of cognitive dissonance. And of course, I have to explain what is a cognitive dissonance.

A cognitive dissonance is when you hold in your mind two beliefs, two ideas, two courses of action, two pieces of information that contradict each other, that are mutually exclusive. One of them must be right. One of them should be wrong.

When they inhabit the mind at the same time, they create a conflict. They create a dissonance, and that is known as a cognitive dissonance because it's a dissonance, a conflict of cognitions, of thoughts.

A dilemma is a cognitive dissonance involving usually two courses of action, which are mutually exclusive, which are contradictory. Each course of action is known as a horn.

So every dilemma, like certain bovine animals, has two horns, and they are known as the horns of the dilemma.

In a proper horn, horns and horniness, there's a service announcement. Things are getting a bit out of hand. My breakup with Richard Grannon has taken a life of its own.

I have been receiving a tsunami of emails, letters, messages, pigeon carriers, and I don't know what, from women, women who are writing to me with allegations of egregious abuse by Richard Grannon, and how duplicitous he is, and how sleazy he is, and so on and so forth.

I'm saying allegations because I'm being careful. Please, all women who had been impacted by Richard Grannon positively or negatively, take it with him, take it with him. Go to the authorities or the police if you have to. Talk to your pastor, consult your therapies, open a Facebook group for victims of Richard Grannon.

I don't know. I am not your address. I want nothing further to do with Richard Grannon in any way. I want him and every echo of him out of my life he had contaminated it long enough.

Richard Grannon was bed-mouthing me to all the women in my life for hours at a time and throughout our relationship.

I will not stoop to his level. I'm not going to do the same. I'm not going to respond to you. I'm not going to help you in any way, shape, or form.

I am not Richard Grannon's custodian. Thank heavens.

Please adopt some other course of action if you have to. Thank you very much.

Now to the topic of the video, which is dilemmas.

I'm going to choose a dilemma which is very typical in relationships.

Then I'm going to show you a simple method to resolve this dilemma and all dilemmas.

Dilemmas, as I said, are very common in daily life.

Here's a dilemma from a relationship, more specifically the dating scene.

I'm scared to meet him, but I'm scared to let him go. I don't know what to do about this. I'm struggling.

This is known as an equi-potent dilemma. The two horns, do you remember the horns?

The two horns of the dilemma have equal power. They're equally compelling. They are equi-potent.

You are scared to meet him, or you don't want to meet him, or you feel uncomfortable about meeting him.

On the other hand, you can't live without him. You can't let him go.

The two are of equal power. They exert equal force on you. They compel you the same way, but in opposite directions.

This is known as an equi-potent dilemma. This is how to solve an equi-potent dilemma and make a decision.

Write down the following.

If I meet him, I'm going to suffer greatly.

For example, if you were to meet an abuser or reunite with your abusive ex.

If I meet him again, I'm going to suffer greatly.

But if I do not meet him, I'm going to be jealous of other women who will presume to take my place. And I may lose him. He will fall in love with another woman.

So now what you did, you spelled out your fears. You made your fears explicit.

Prior to this beginning of the exercise, your fears were implicit. They were a hidden text.

And what you've done, you have deconstructed the hidden text. You have rendered it overt. An overt text. An open text.

Why? Why are you afraid to meet him?

You're afraid to meet him because you believe that you will suffer greatly again.

And why are you afraid to not meet him? You're afraid to not meet him because then you will be jealous of other women who will take your place.

You may lose him. He may fall in love with another woman.

Let us put the two together.

I do not want to suffer greatly again. I want to be happy. I want to be respected. And I want to be loved.

This has another layer of hidden text. I do not trust him to change his behavior.

If I were to meet him again, I would suffer because he is incapable of change, is incapable of reforming himself or modifying his behaviors.

So now let us summarize all the information we have gleaned regarding the first horn of the dilemma.

Number one, if I meet him, you remember the dilemma is I want to meet him, but I'm afraid to meet him.

I want to see him again, but I'm afraid to see him again.

So clearly two courses of action, both of them incompatible. They can't sit with each other. They're contradictory.

So let's summarize the first horn, the first option, the first course of action, meeting him.

If you meet him, you're going to suffer greatly again. That's the problem.

You have to break down the horn of the dilemma to problem, need and assumption. Let's try to do it.

If I were to meet him, problem, I'm going to suffer greatly again.

Need, I do not want to suffer greatly again. I want to be happy and respected and loved.

Assumption, I do not trust him to change his behavior.

So now the picture is much clearer. If I were to meet Sam, I would face a problem. If I were to meet him, I would face a problem. I would suffer greatly again. It would frustrate my need.

My need is to be happy, to be loved, to be respected, taken care of, appreciated, held.

So the problem, I'll suffer, it frustrates, undermines the basic need to be loved.

And there's a hidden assumption. The assumption is he can never change his behavior. He is bound to abuse me. He is bound to disrespect me and not love me and not protect me and not take care of me because that's who he is. And then I'm going to suffer.

So when we analyze the horn of the dilemma, we go from beginning to end and then we go from end to beginning.

Beginning to end, problem, need, assumption. End to beginning, assumption, need, problem.

Problem, I'm going to suffer, need, I don't want to suffer. Assumption, he will make me suffer because he cannot change.

Reverse, Assumption, he will make me suffer because he cannot change.

Therefore, my need to be loved will be frustrated. Therefore, I will suffer.

Okay. Having done all this, look at the structure.

Can you change the problem?

Well, you can't control the outcome of your meeting. He may well abuse you, mistreat you, make you suffer.

So the problem is immutable, not changeable.

Can you change your need? Would you, for example, agree to suffer? Would you love to suffer? Of course not. You want to be loved? You want to be held? You want to be respected? You want to be cherished? This is your need and it cannot be changed and should not be changed.

What can you change? What do you control?

You can change the assumption. You can control the assumption.

Remember, the assumption is his behavior is fixed.

He cannot control or modify his misconduct. He is liable to damage me and hurt me.

That's the assumption. Can you change the assumption?

The answer is yes, actually. While you cannot change the problem or the need, you can change the assumption.

For example, you can ask yourself, maybe he has learned his lesson and will be afraid to lose you.

Maybe there is a way to incentivize him to behave better, to give him rewards and positive reinforcements when he behaves himself. Maybe there is a way to punish him if he abuses you and mistreats you.

I don't know. Walk away. Break up for two weeks. Block him for a while. Maybe you could change some of your behaviors to prevent his reactive abuse.

Maybe in some way you're pushing his buttons and provoking him.

It's not always true, but it sometimes is. When, for example, you use projective identification.

So, you see, by asking questions about the assumption, we begin to realize that the assumption can be modified, can change by changing your behavior, by changing his behavior, or by making certain relatively plausible assumptions.

For example, that he has learned his lesson from this period of separation. He knows to behave better.

Let us proceed to the second bone of the dilemma.

Remember, the first bone of the dilemma was, I'm going to meet him. He's going to make me suffer. I don't want to suffer. He cannot change.

The second bone of the dilemma is, I do not meet him. I'm not going to meet him.

Now, this presents a problem. The problem is, if I don't meet him, I'm going to be jealous of other women who will take my place.

I may lose him. He may fall in love with another woman. That's the problem.

The need, I do not want to feel jealous. Jealousy is uncomfortable. It's a knowing, painful motion. I don't want to experience it.

So, that's the need. The need to not experience jealousy.

What about the assumption? Remember, we always analyze the horn of the dilemma.

Each horn problem needs an assumption.

So, the problem is, I'm going to be jealous. If I don't meet him, I'm going to be jealous that he might be with another woman.

The need is, I don't want to be jealous. I don't want him to be or to love another woman. I don't want him to be with another woman. I don't want him to love another woman.

It will still make me jealous. That's the need.

What about the assumption? The assumption underlying the second horn of the dilemma is, he will immediately replicate with other women what he has had with me. He will immediately replace me.

So, this is the second horn of the dilemma.

To remind you or to recap, if you do not meet him, you're going to be jealous of other women. You don't want to feel jealous. You don't want him to love someone else.

The problem is that you believe the assumption.

So, the problem is that you will be jealous. The need is to not be jealous.

And the assumption is that he will immediately replace you with someone elseand that will make you jealous.

You cannot change the problem. Remember. And you cannot change your need.

But you can always change the assumption.

For example, maybe he doesn't want to love againso soon or after so many traumatic experiences. Maybe it is very difficult for him to find someone to love.

For example, how many women did he love in the past decade? Are you sure of what you are saying? What is the history of his relationships? Does he have long-term, fruitful, happy relationships? Or do women tend to break up with him? Is he anxious and angry when he is in a relationship or when women abandon him?

Maybe being in love for him is actually being anxious and guilty. Maybe he identifies love with guilt and anxiety.

In other words, your assumption that he will immediately replace you with someone else and love her as he had loved you.

You need to study this assumption really, really deeply. You need to ask yourself, what is his love language? What has been his experience with love? Traumatic or happy? Is it easy for him to find someone to love? What do women do to him when he does love them? How does it end? Does he associate love with positive emotions or negative emotions such as anxiety and anger? And if he associates love with negative emotions, why would he rush to be in love again?

So, go easy. Hold your horses. Don't jump to the conclusion that if you were to not meet him, there would be another woman hanging on his arm waiting to be loved.

Maybe his history, personal history, romantic history, doesn't indicate this.

So, this is the second phase. The first phase is analyzing the first horn of the dilemma.

The second phase is analyzing the second horn of the dilemma.

And now we come to the third phase. And the third phase is comparison of the two horns.

Remember that each horn is made of problem, need and assumption.

So, now you ask yourself, which need is greater?

Remember that in the first horn of this particular dilemma, the need was, I want to be treated well. I do not want to suffer.

And in the second horn of the dilemma, the need was, I don't want to be jealous. It's uncomfortable. It's painful.

So, now you ask yourself, which of these two needs is greater? Which of these two needs is more compelling? Is it the need to be treated well, to be loved and cared for, to not suffer, to not be tortured, to not be mistreated? Or is it the need to not feel jealous and the need to make sure that he doesn't love someone else?

Now, very often, the resolution of the dilemma starts here.

It suddenly occurs to you that one of the needs is greater than the other need.

Dilemma solved. The need that is greater determines which horn of the dilemma you will choose.

If your need to not suffer, if your need to be loved is the greater, then, of course, you should not meet him. If your need to not be jealous is greater, you should meet him.

But what to do if both needs are equippotent, if both needs have similar power, exert a similar force on you, is equally compelling?

If the needs are absolutely equally important to you, ask yourself again if you can change the assumptions.

For example, if you do not behave in certain ways, is he still likely to abuse you as much or at all?

How about teaching him a lesson so that he is afraid to lose you and therefore abstains from abusing you?

Maybe there is a way to incentivize him to give him positive reinforcement and rewards if he behaves himself or behaves better. Maybe there is a way to punish him if he mistreats you.

What about his romantic and relationship history? How likely is it that he will fall in love again so soon? And if he does fall in love, how likely is this new relationship to survive? Does his relationship history indicate long-term, deep, profound commitments or shallow, on-the-fly, fly-by-night pseudo-relationships?

You need to review all the assumptions.

In case both your needs have equal power, you absolutely must change some of your assumptions.

The good news is most assumptions are wrong. They reflect fears, anxieties and insecurities, not facts and cool analyses.

Dilemmas can be solved only by the letter, the application of the letter, analysis and a cool head.


If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

When Love Resembles Hate: Self-deception, Ambivalence, Dissonances

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of love and hatred being two sides of the same coin, and how they can be interchangeable. He explains that both emotions lead to attachment and bonding, and that they can coexist in the same mind, leading to ambivalence. He also delves into how this ambivalence can manifest in mental health disorders and the various defense mechanisms people use to cope with it. Additionally, he explores the different types of dissonance that arise from experiencing love and hate simultaneously, and how it can lead to inaction and trauma-like responses.

Go to Your Desert, Listen to Your Inner Silence

Professor Sam Vaknin advises people to go to their mental desert, listen to their inner silence, and create a mental cave or mountain top to escape the distractions of modern civilization. He suggests that in the desert, people can face themselves and listen to the voice of God, which speaks through silence. By being passive and emptying themselves, people can become a vessel for the message of the silence to flow through them and receive the gift of healing.

How to Resolve Your Inner Conflicts? Deceive Yourself!

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the availability of his video transcripts in an Android app and website. He clarifies the difference between parts and self-states in psychology. He then delves into the concept of dissonance and offers five ways to resolve conflicting thoughts and emotions. He also describes various types of dissonance and how they can be resolved using the same five solutions.

Narcissist Trust Your Gut Feeling 4 Rules To Avoid Bad Relationships ( Intuition Explained)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the importance of intuition in relationships and decision-making. He explores different types of intuition, including idetic, emergent, and ideal intuition, and how they are used in various philosophical and psychological theories. He emphasizes the significance of intuition in understanding and navigating complex human interactions, particularly in dealing with narcissists and psychopaths.

A-ha Moment, Gut Instinct, Insight, Knowledge, Intuition: Epistemology in Psychology

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses insight, intuition, gut instincts, aha moments, epiphanies, and their emotional and cognitive aspects. He explains that aha moments are emotional reactions to sudden insight and are usually preceded by a period of pondering and analyzing. Aha moments are crucial in psychotherapy as they lead to self-awareness and the ability to connect seemingly unrelated events. He also delves into the differences between motivation and knowledge, and the role of intuition and insight in psychotherapy. Additionally, he explores the need for emotions in inducing transformation and change, and the compensatory mechanisms used by individuals who lack insight. Furthermore, he touches on the epistemic value of theories and the role of epistemology in psychology.

Narcissist's Hypnosis And Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a phenomenon that remains largely unexplained, with various theories suggesting it is either a special state of mind or a people-pleasing behavior. Professor Sam Vaknin proposes that hypnosis is an extreme form of empathy, where the subject and hypnotist synchronize their minds and become one. Hypnotherapy has shown some medical value, but its efficacy in treating mental health conditions is limited. Despite the mystery surrounding hypnosis, it should be treated with respect and investigated further as a potential treatment for mental illness.

Webinar: Have Hope and Resilience in times of COVID-19

The transcript is a record of a webinar on mental health and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring presentations and discussions by various experts in the field of psychology and mental health. The speakers shared their insights, personal experiences, and professional expertise on topics such as acceptance and commitment therapy, the impact of the pandemic on mental health, the importance of resilience and empowerment, and the need for a paradigm shift in the approach to therapy and societal organization. The webinar also included a panel discussion where the speakers engaged in a dialogue about the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic for mental health practitioners and society at large.

When Suggestible Patient Pleases Therapist (Conference Presentation)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the impact of suggestibility and mimicry in therapy, particularly in patients with personality disorders. He emphasizes the need for therapists to maintain boundaries and avoid colluding with patients in forming shared fantasies. The text also delves into the concepts of transference and countertransference, and the potential for corruption and compromise in therapeutic relationships. Vaknin stresses the importance of humility and the therapist's role as a service provider rather than a figure of authority.

Decode, Heal Your Mind With IPAM ( Intrapsychic Activation Model)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses his new model of the mind, the intra-psychic activation model (IPAM), and how it can be used to decode the mind and promote healing. He explains that the model correlates internal processes with external outcomes, emphasizing the impact of the environment on behavior and self-states. Vaknin also delves into the concept of self-states, constructs, introjects, and defense mechanisms, highlighting the role of anxiety in therapy and the importance of changing the external environment for personal transformation. He challenges traditional psychological models and emphasizes the fluidity and adaptability of human personality.

Narcissistic Families: Pseudomutual, Pseudohostile

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses two types of dysfunctional families: pseudo-mutual and pseudo-hostile. Pseudo-mutual families appear harmonious but suppress individuality and authenticity, while pseudo-hostile families engage in constant bickering to avoid deeper emotions. These family dynamics can lead to long-lasting impacts on children, hindering their development and sense of self. The professor also delves into the psychological background and the impact of these family dynamics on mental health.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy