Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.

The Power to Convince 
 

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Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFT  
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Dr. Paul

The Power to Convince and your Emotions

You may have the words and you may hurl your words at someone and still be unable to convince them to accept your point of view. So what's the problem? Something must be lacking. Either the other person is not open and receptive to your influence bid or you are not emotionally conveying your message in a convincing manner. So, which is it? If the other person has not received and acted upon your attempt to persuade, where does that leave you? Feeling rejected, like a failure, discouraged, angry, hurt? Well, you failed to get something that is important to you from the other person. Whatever need that compelled you to try to convince the other person to satisfy that need has been met with frustration.

I wouldn't be surprised if your rejected influence bid has left you feeling depressed. Maybe, the cause of all depression is your failure to convince someone else to satisfy one of your most important emotional needs. Perhaps, you are feeling hurt because someone else has failed to respond positively to your powers of persuasion. You probably would feel very wonderful and successful if you convincingly got the other person to respond to your most important need.

 

What Need?

 

At this point, it may be very helpful for you to fully recognize what important need you wish the other person to fulfill. Maybe, it is a need to be trusted or protected from another person's harmful accusations and unkind remarks. Maybe, it is a need for you to persuade a prospective client to buy your goods and services in order for you to meet your company's goals and your family's needs for financial support. Perhaps, you are trying to convince a spouse or potential love partner to treat to with kindness, love and affection.

 

 It is very difficult to use effective strategies for getting your needs met when you are afraid of the other person's anticipated negative response. After all, how many times can you keep trying to get something from someone and you keep coming up against the same old rotten response. It's enough to deflate you and send you into depression.

 

I wouldn't blame you if you made the decision to give up on your attempts at effective persuasion, after so many refusals and rejections. What's the point of banging your head against a brick wall. Then again, you would have never been born if you hadn't struggled against the frustrating confines of the birth canal.

 

Hello Birth!

 

 You may wonder why I brought up the birth experience in a discussion about your powers to convince and persuade. If you have ever observed an individual who seemed to be depleted of all emotional power and motivation, you may be looking at someone who was completely wiped out by a horrendous struggle to be born. People who seemed to be locked into parasympathetic excess, within their nervous systems, approach life from a very weak and depleted emotional energy position. Somewhere along the way they left all of their emotional power in the struggle to be born. You will also probably be able to notice that these people are the most resistant and defensive when it comes to going back and recovering the emotional power that was lost and left in the womb.

 

Paradoxically, people with less traumatic birth experiences seem to be more motivated to go back and reexperience and recover the roots of their early emotional development. It may seem strange to you that neonatal infants formulate their power to influence others by first developing the power to influence the in utero mother to supply essential emotional and physical nutrients necessary for survival and thriving. A mother who is depressed, emotionally restricted and closed down will not be able to fully respond to the convincing and persuading messages of her neonatal inhabitant. Would it be any wonder that an emotionally exhausted infant would incorporate emotional powerlessness into her personality?

 

In many instances, a difficult birth experience may cause a baby to struggle extensively between the extremes of anxiety and depression in a desperate attempt to be born. Anxious adults who harbor consistent anxiety problems may find themselves vacillating between anxiety and depression. This would explain the helplessness a neonate experiences when he anxiously tries to influence mother's womb towards a more optimum birth. The vacilation between anxiety and depression extracts an extensive toll on the baby's energy and developing personality system. The end result is portrayed in an adult situation where someone is experiencing great frustration and depression when trying to convince someone to satisfy an important need. The inability to convince an important person to respond positively to a vital need recapitulates the in utero experience of failure to convince mama to respond effectively.

 

Dynamic Personality

 

The quality of your birth experience could very well effect the type of personality that you develope. A dynamic personality is a personality in potentia. If it is disrupted by the particular emotional personality of the mother combined with a very difficult birth, you could end up feeling weak, anxious and depressed accompanied by an inability to muster enough power to convince someone to respond to your most important emotional needs. In fact, you would probably convert the other person into being a replica of the very womb that spawned you. This pattern may haunt you throughout your most important interactions with other people. It would seem that you could be destined to unknowingly re-create your biological and personality birth.

 

If you were lucky enough to not be extensively molded into a negative personality direction, you would possess all those characteristics that would allow you to easily pass through your defenses and recapture all of your real self. The end product would be a you that is a Dynamic Personality capable of making considerable impact on the consciousness of the world. The reverse is also true. If you have led a life of fear, emotional ignorance and avoidance, you probably would display a personality that is not necessarily significant or even special. That would not negate the reality that your real true core self would still be a magnificent personality in potentia, waiting for your decision to release yourself from the bondage of your own frightening, restricting and depressing birth experience.

 

Me and Mama

 

I would also like to stress that the in utero relationship that you shared reciprocally with your mother and all that makes up who she is, will also play a very important part in shaping your personality. If she is and was a dynamic woman, she would have related to you, in the womb in a very dynamic, loving and passionate way. This emotional relationship that you shared with her in the womb would be highly instrumental in shaping the dynamics of your personality. This relationship at this point in your development, would be so instrumental and important that it could withstand any post birth shock, adoption, abandonment or any other trauma that might impact you. This early in utero experience is so important for your personality development that it provides the very foundation of who you are, who you will be and how you will relate to all of life.

 

Your preconception cosmic existence in conjunction with your physical creation will constitute the substrate for developing a dynamic personality or something close or not so close to that. Now, your surface or social personality may actually be quite magnificent, enticing and charming. Such a situation would reflect a point in your development where you were able to create a front-line personality that would appear to be quite pleasant and attractive to yourself and other people.

 

 But, this is only the tip of your iceberg. Your midline, limbic, emotional self [sometimes referred to as the unconscious] is a whole other matter. It could be any number of things, some pleasant and others quite unpleasant. [This midline unconscious self is usually what some people refer to as the real self. In certain marriages and relationships, you can often hear people complaining about the hidden personality that emerged after a certain point of intimacy had been reached]. You are well aware of the Jekyll and Hyde personality phenomenon. I'm not saying that you are two different people. Hopefully, your midline personality is very well integrated with a pleasing social persona. Such things do happen when you do the proper emotional integrative work.

 

Getting to Know You

 

I believe that when people experience extensive interaction with one another, they usually become more familiar with the unconscious, midline aspects of personality. This is probably what is meant by "getting to know who you really are." You have heard the phrase, "Familiarity breeds contempt." That may be true in many cases; but such familiarity can create greater intimacy, affection and love as people really get to know one another and like what they see deep within each self. Even though many basics of personality are laid down in the neonatal and post birth period, personality, itself, is still flexible and malleable enough to undergo considerable change, development and alteration beyond the bottom line brainstem phase.

 

Your bottom line personality would have been very evident by the type of baby that you were [and still lives inside of you]. It would also constitute all those internal experiences, emotional constructions and survival mechanisms that helped form who you are from before the point of conception, gestation, birth and the realness of babyhood. Put that altogether and you have the personality that makes up the complete and whole you.

 

Even though I said what I just said, this doesn't mean that you would be in touch with, integrated with and fully aware of all of these levels that make up your total personality. Repression can play some nasty tricks!






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Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D MFT w PsychotherapyHELP

Chatsworth, CA 91311 w 818.882.7404 w phannigphd@att.net


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