Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Different Strokes For Different Folks (Saving All Of Us Some Time And Frustration)

How much time do we waste trying to convince someone else that your way is the right way when  he or she has already decided (perhaps a while ago) that that is the way things are.  And vice versa, how much time has someone wasted trying to convince you they are right?

Now I know that parents, teachers, and bosses (and sometimes spouses) almost always have the last say.  Some you can reason with and some you can’t.  Usually, these people have responsibilities that they must meet.  A general contractor can come on a house construction site and tell the workers to tear everything down that they have already started.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  He or she has knowledge and responsibilities that the workers probably do not have.

But when it comes to whether or not someone should put mayonnaise or mustard on a sandwich, it is downright silly to argue with someone else about it as long as you have mayonnaise and mustard on hand.  If you have a child who is allergic to one of those things than an adult has a duty and a right to make sure the child does get it on their sandwich.

The point is not everybody likes the same things and we are built differently. To one person certain smells affect them negatively or another can hear annoying high-pitched sounds others can’t.  You could have a scented candle burning and the first person might feel they have to leave the room or the air handling system in an office or factory might make irritatingly high pitched sounds that only the offended person can hear.

Remember if we all liked the same things, what a dull world it would be.  What if we all showed up for a party in exactly the same clothes?  If we all like the same things then we would all be competing for the same things.  Now that would be irritating. Also sometimes meeting people from different cultures.  We have different cultures here.  (What about the differences between New York City and the Deep South?)  Sometimes differences inspire us to try something new.  Again what a dull world this would be if we lived in the same buildings, wore the same clothes, and ate the same food each day for the rest of our lives?  Pardon me, I don’t mean that you can’t do that!  I had a father-in-law who had a rather restricted lifestyle to my point of view, but then I wasn’t him and he didn’t live with us.

Spend your time on things you can change, usually things you have some control over, and not on the ones you can’t including those that are none of your business.

 

 

 

Shame & Blame! How to Play The Game And Not Be Played!

How many of us do not know how to play the game of shame and blame?  Many of us.  We can easily be used to feel at fault for somebody else’s action.  To them, it is a game to easily revert the responsibility for something that they could get caught for doing to you.  Or vice versus.  They could also make you feel bad for them when they have gotten caught doing something that they want you to perceive as really doing something good.

Blame is when the responsibility for doing something bad is attributed to someone and then because of this, they should feel ashamed for having done something.  This can be “tricky” when it involves you and you don’t know what is going on.  It is the “do-gooders” that can be easily be caused to feel ashamed.  The “bad people” often use this trick with “do-gooders” and they don’t even know it.  ” They are too busy apologizing and attempting to rectify their “mistake”.

When feeling ashamed whether they should or not, people try to forget the act related to having felt ashamed (which is sometimes called repression) or hide it (see http://myeverydaypsychology.com/hiding-shame-based-interactions/) or they get mad and attack the person making the claim mentally or physically or they accept the blame or some of the blame and “feel down” about what they did or did not do.  These are SHAME SHIELDS, presented by Brene Brown,  Ph.D. in a free continuing education seminar, “On The Armour, We Use To Protect Ourselves And Why It Doesn’t Serve Us”.

Children are not pawns.  Their needs are! more important than yours.  Unless you are prepared to give instead of receive, probably you should not have children.  You need to put their needs before yours, even if you are inconvenienced, have to make some sacrifices, and don’t immediately get reinforced.  Done right, it pays off in the long run with children who have good values shown by the ability in most situations to support themselves, raise good children (if they have them), and being able at some point in their lives be able to thank you for doing this.

On the one hand, she might have a good reason, on the other hand…

Often the first move of these people is to blame you or others instead of themselves for the thing they have done or for something you actually might think you have done in order to deflect responsibility for their own behavior.  This person can often get mad very quickly before you or their victim can have time to think and can be made to go on the defensive.  This deflects or reflects the responsibility from themselves to you or to someone else.  They are often very good at this so don’t be fools and see the blame as being on you or someone else instead of them.

Have you ever lost an argument this way?  Or have you ever won an argument this way?  This generally leads to mass confusion on somebody’s part and on the part of some people who hear about this agreement.  The feeling of shame usually immediately follows and can last for days, months, and even years.  I had a stepsister-in-law who was an alcoholic and called up her mother when drunk to blame her for all the things that had happened to her because of her own behavior, not really her mom’s behavior.

Sometimes she looked like this to me.

She browbeat this woman for things she couldn’t control like this woman’s husband deserting her with three kids to support and raise in the Depression.  This woman was so good at transferring the blame that she was lethal and our children were not left alone with her unless a responsible adult was also there.  Even then, they didn’t need to hear the things she had to say so they were kept away from her as much as possible.  She could also play the game of feeling “hurt” when this became obvious.  P.S. Occasionally she handmade some dolls for our children and they still have them so it wasn’t all negative

Shame can be an immediate feeling of feeling bad from one part of the brain, the amygdala

which responds quickly, without thinking, like this cat with road rage.

It is responsible for emergency bodily responses and probably responds before a person has time to reach the part of the brain that wonders why they feel bad (or good).  Remember the times that you thought you didn’t have time to think and just responded.  I am not chastising you for feeling immediate shock or grief in certain tragic situations.  Sometimes feelings are part of a bodily response that enables you to respond quickly in an emergency.

Have you ever been played like a piano in one of these situations where “shame” or “blame” comes into play?  Sometimes someone else does it and sometimes you do it to yourself often based on old scripts in your mind based on past experiences.  My script is that I have done something wrong that I didn’t know was wrong at the time.  It could be something “stupid” or “thoughtless” or something that a person got really mad about although I couldn’t have done anything about it at the time.

People can thoughtlessly ruin relationships in this way.  Maybe they think that they are in competition with someone like me for the desired person’s love or loyalty.  I can feel really guilty at the time and grieve for the loss of a crucial relationship apparently someone else coveted.  I can not help but think the person involved with my friend never knew and/or felt that she had done this and was to some part responsible for my loss and my friend’s loss too.  (This is also a form of drama and  I have written about this elsewhere in my blog.  See also a book by Doreen Virtue, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle: How to Break Free of Negativity and Drama, ( A writer who writes about things like drama in a way that is easily understood and covers a lot of material about the subject.  (See also one she has written one eating disorders, The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome:  How to Heal and Stabilize Your Appetite and Weight)  As with many good writers you may not be drawn to everything she writes but also she writes on other subjects that could be of personal interest to you.  See also, The Courage To Be Creative: How to Believe in Yourself, Your Dreams, and Ideas, and Your Creative Career Path by Doreen Virtue.  The content of which seems to parallel the origins of my interests in writing.  Both by Doreen Virtue at Hay House publishers.

Making An Uninformed Child Custody Decision Can Be Child Abuse

Stop, look, and listen.  Custody decisions are not easy to make and they can cause irreparable harm.  I personally know about a county that assigns custody decisions knowingly to the poorest judges? and this is a county that has three diversion courts for addicts, the mentally ill, and domestic violence cases?

I have suggested that judges going to be assigned to hearing custody cases be given forty hours of face-to-face training by varying agencies and private professionals who have expertise and experience in dealing with child custody cases.  Past experience with being trained and training others in various areas suggests that only in-person experiences and a chance for feedback in both directions can assure that the individual has benefited fully from the training and can handle the responsibility involved.  It is sad (but appears to be true) that some of the people who most need this will “wiggle” out of meeting this requirement for various reasons such as, “I don’t really need this,”  or “I already know this” when these types of people are most often the ones who need the training.

Carelessness in handling the responsibility of making child custody decisions can put a child in harm’s way.  It can also not acknowledge the most recent research on child custody.  Children are our most precious resource and often decisions made about children in childhood or even adolescence are the source of problems that have to be dealt with in adulthood: addictions, mental health problems, behavior problems (often called crimes in adulthood), and poor parenting skills.

Would we be careless putting away a fair amount of gold to rely upon in the future?  Would we leave a pile of it near an open window?  Would we carelessly handle it so it would not be there in the future causing a large amount of debt and poverty?  What do we do with our children?  Do you put them out of your mind because you think yours are okay?  Children are most precious national resource!  Why waste them?

Are you sure a judge can spot potential sources of harm to children in family custody decions?  Take child abuse.  Is this something that is openly admitted by the offender?  Are their family members who don’t see it or don’t want to see it?  I have seen it happen close to home and the responsible family members had to set boundaries to keep the child from harm? even if other family members would deny that there was any potential harm.  Do you see where custody determination might fit in here as a possible cause of child abuse?

Have I known cases where the judge has made a wrong decision that had harmful effects on the children involved?  “Yes”.  Sometimes evaluating family situations for potentially serious problems, even the possible encouraging of child abuse, can be “tedious” and requires special knowledge.  This is where training for judges comes in.  Again what are we doing with our most precious resource, children?

What do most judges really know about child development issues areas such as attachment formation, prenatal development, identity issues, the need for unconditional love, and consistent fair discipline?  What about role models and opportunities for developing social skills?  Also if a child can not get something from one person in the family can he or she get it from another?

Now, do you think that there is a potential for child abuse to if the judge is not knowledgeable?  If the judge does not take his or her responsibilities seriously in making these decisions?  I do.  Raising children is a very serious responsibility, not to be taken lightly.  Part of it is providing a child with many possible sources of unconditional love, praise, good role models (which he or she might not get from only one person), etc.

Remember children are not only like one of the parents.  He or she might be left-handed and the parent is right-handed, he or she might be of one sexual orientation, and the parent is of another, he or she might be talented in one area and the parent in another.  ( See also my previous post, “Flowers Versus Weeds, http://myeverydaypsychology.com/flowers-versus-w…-are-you-raising/ ‎ .  How Were You Raised?  What are you raising?”  Thus these children will probably not develop their full potentials with one primary parent.  What a sad outcome and how will it affect the child’s self-esteem?

If a child feels secure, they can handle living in more than one place; probably this arrangement should be consistent and the parent and/or another family member who’s in charge should handle this responsibility well.  Remember the saying, “Children should be seen and not heard?”.  Is this a good way to raise children?  It’s not possible if you want to give them room to grow.

Raising children after you have had them is a big responsibility and no one should really “shuck” that responsibility.  It takes a father to make a child and half of what makes the child who he or she is coming from him as well as from the mother.  What does a judge know about this?  What if the judge is a person who does not want to take much responsibility for his or her own child or children?  Would this affect his or her decisions on child custody?

There are two ways to handle such decisions the “I already know all I need to do it” one and careful decision-making.  Would it help if the law could truly guide the judge too in making the custody decisions in the first place?  Probably, because many judges handle their customary custody decisions by making the decision to make the custody arrangements, usual and customary.  How damaging can this be or is it possible that these usual and customary decisions don’t have the potential to strengthen ties and provide opportunities for the child’s development on both parent’s sides.