“Disconfirming Experiences”

Reading this article gave me a visceral boost, because it gives a name to what I happen, unforeseeably, to have with another person: deep reciprocal attunement effortfully gained.

Bonnie Badenoch, quoted by David Brooks, says disconfirming experiences are experiences of “deep reciprocal attunement with others that make you feel viscerally safe.” They are the best way to combat a “visceral sense of fear and disassociation.”

Creating these experiences takes effort. “Being together is not the same as being connected,” Columbia professor Martha Welch told me. She recommends that people engage in deep intentional and vulnerable conversations… She and the other experts I spoke with endorse anything rhythmic. Anything that will create an experience of attunement: singing, dancing, yoga, deep eye contact, daily rituals and games.

(David Brooks, “Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus,” NYTimes, 4-2-20)

I read “Being together is not the same as being connected” as implying that being together isn’t necessarily required for being connected.

Physical separation: Check!

Deep intentional conversations: Check!

Shared rhythmic pursuits: Check!

It’s arresting and gratifying when language catches up with life.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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