Taste Reset Bars Exercise
Today the Bones Blog brings you a simple psychological exercise I have often found beneficial, which can help you learn to enjoy new things better. Bold is for the basic points.
This was originally posted in response to someone who argued for imposing negative personal tastes on others. I do not agree with imposing tastes on others, but in reply to him I pointed out that by that logic, we could argue that it's far better for the majority to try to change the disgruntled majority to like what they dislike. I had a long leadup to the following pointing out that obvious flaw in the person's argument, which I don't want to quote here.
Suffice to say, I do think encouraging others to try to enjoy things better is a good thing, as long as you keep in mind they might not be able to, genetically (many tastes are learned, and thus can change by choice to some degree). Full context here.
One thing from there to keep in mind here is that the point of entertainment is NOT as some make it to find as many things to complain about as possible, but instead to find as many things to enjoy as possible. Not that all complainers consciously think otherwise, but many seem to behave as if they subconsciously think this.
For criticism to truly be constructive, this is one of many things you have to keep in mind (the other main one being considering what the majority wants, not just what we each personally want).
Also keep in mind that negativity is not some whimsical fantasy harmless mindset -- it involves poisonous emotion-chemicals and mind-patterns that can have minor and sometimes serious side effects. Anything we can do to avoid negativity (without fearing constructive criticism or honesty, mind you) is beneficial. So it's in the interest of possibly helping yall improve in this way that I bring you this entry.
So, on to the exercise:
I have a mental exercise I go through all the time, where I envision a "pitch volume bar [I mean, a group of bars, technically]".
If you ever seen this setting control in some music programs on the computer or on sound boards or the like -- different pitches have different controls, so you could for example make bass pitch low volume but higher pitches higher volume, or turn up the moderate bass only, or turn up only the lowest bass for a subwoofer effect, etc.
The point of this is that some of the bars I've seen display a center line, and positive levels of volume above that center line are green bars extending up above it (representing positive tastes here -- but specifically tastes I have developed, NOT genetic tastes, -- yet I consider all of tastes to be developed for the sake of the exercise; read on), and others are negative red bars extending below it (representing negative tastes).
As I encounter something new, I have a preset taste setup, with some tastes being already set to positive, and others already set to negative. If I'm used to something, for example, I might react negatively to an "opposite" style. If I got used to primitive setting for example on Mata Nui, I might have allowed myself to develop a strong affection for that style by the very method of developing a strong dislike for the opposite -- advanced style.
So when Metru Nui comes along, I might be tempted to dislike its style. The bar for that taste is hanging down, red.
But in the exercise, I temporarily forget about whether my dislike is genetic or not, and I purposefull throw out all my tastes for a moment. I equalize all the taste bars at zero, neither green nor red, so all I have is a simple flat line across the board, with no bars at all but with little "dashes" of yellorange along the line.
Then, I apply four rules as steps in this order:
1) Imagine all the bars going up simultaneously into the green.
2) Imagine them all going UP ALL THE WAY.
3) Thus imagine myself enjoying the new thing.
4) Then, allow some bars to access my genetic tastes and sink down a little if needed to be more accurate to my "real" tastes.
So some taste-bars will be lower than others, but I try to remove the reds, see? Others are farther into the green.
This accomplishes all these things:
1) It deletes my learned negative tastes.
2) It also eradicates negativity, which is harmful to the psyche and even to the body, replacing it with beneficial emotions that improve the mind, attitude, emotions, sanity, and even physical health (due to placebo power).
3) It even strengthens my learned positive tastes!
4) It allows me to learn new positive tastes.
5) It also allows me to be more honest and true to my actual genetic tastes.
It's possible that as time goes on one or two of the genetic negatives will sink into the red as I get bored with the style or whatnot. If so, I will let it happen, because I tried, most times, in favor of moving on to enjoy other things that are into my positive tastes.
(This would represent leaving Bionicle/BZP, if you find that there's nothing for you, or at least leaving the feedback topics on BZP since you simply accept that it's not for you. [Also, you could avoid feedback topics about the specific aspect of Bionicle that displeases you and that objectively has been shown that it shouldn't change due to the majority liking it, but go into feedback topics about other things, etc.)]
Even so, the negative tastes won't be so far down into the red, because I am focusing on other things I do like. Overall, I will still be practiciing healthy positivity.
I dunno if this works for other people, but it's certainly worth a try.
Now, this doesn't have to, of course, be done exactly how I envision it. Though envisioning something does help, at least for visual people like moi. The basic idea is, consciously throw away your learned tastes when you're encountering something new, and try as top priority to enjoy it to the fullest.
I have the theory that using this basic method, it's possible to enjoy virtually all styles for what they're worth. It could also be that I simply have a genetic preference for variety more than other people, I dunno. So far I have never found a style I cannot like at least a little, and many styles I used to dislike I have come to enjoy.