Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

defenses

Positive Attitudes, Winner or Loser

not who you are 344Why are we so afraid to create positive expectations of future situations?  We are afraid that if we do this we will be badly disappointed when it doesn’t work out.

Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail?  You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination.  I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet.  They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.

For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see.  Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming….  Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.

Your frame of mind can influence your outcome.  How do you act if you know you will get something?  How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!

 

 

Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella (Song Lyric)

Facial Expressions?If you smile with your eyes, you are not telling lies.  What do you think?  We have been trained to give a false smile if we want to be polite or to not offend somebody or to not be seen as unfriendly.  Most people smile just with their mouths when they do this.  Do you smile with your whole face?  Do you just “beam” when you do this?

Many of us practice denial most of the time and say we are happy or not mad when we really aren’t.  How do we get trained to do this?  I see many people with unhappy, sad, or “down in the mouth” looks on their faces and when i “call them on it” they deny it.  Who are they fooling? or do they really think that they are not showing their real feelings?

Children are great “truth” tellers and objective observers until they learn how to be polite and lie about what they feel, see, or think.  How often are you congruent?  That is how often does your facial expression or body posture match the content of what you say you are feeling inside or how you feel about someone else or something else?

How often do we really look into someone one’s eyes and see what is actually there.  From early on in childhood, we camouflage genuine feelings in ourselves and even punish others, especially children, for saying or acting like what they really feel.

An animated face conveys interest in someone or something and verifies what the person is saying with their voice.  How often do we call people on it when they don’t do this even though they say that they really feel involved and interested?

Once you give up this pretense of being polite and telling white lies, people often think you are acting childishly and not like a grown up when you actually have grown up and are now dealing with reality.

Acknowledge Your Feelings But Don’t Let Them Control You

amygdalaFeelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times.  Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later.  It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared.  When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails.  When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way.  I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat.  You probably could name more.

Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later.  They are out of control but it is not their fault.  For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.

Are we responsible for our feelings?  Well, “Yes,” and “No”.   We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things.   We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.

How do we resist all that conditioning?  It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it.   It is often difficult to undo.   How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors.  Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?

What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations.  Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?

 

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Conversation Stopper: People Are Rude Because Other People Are Too Polite To Call Them On It

Arp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifre some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite?  Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves?  Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it.  They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.

What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it.  It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t.  Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGeverybody looked to see who was coming in.  The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?”  It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked.  It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group.  This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply.  I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.

rp_7510823738_6616ac3a63_m.jpgSometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return.  Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience.  People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.

Take Your Own Advice! Nobody Else Can Use It So Well!

 

Road Rage As An Example

Road Rage As An Example

(Short;  but not too sweet.)

Do you ever listen to what you say to others?  Did you ever try to take your own advice?  What kind of advice you give can be very self-revealing.  Carefully done it is like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself reflected there, not someone else.

What are the problems that you see others as having that bother you the most?  Could it be very revealing to list them and see if you often have them too?  Make a list of the things that bother you the most.  Put them somewhere where you can look at them.  Either inside a cupboard door or the bathroom cabinet door  or out on a mirror where you will get a chance to look at it every day.

Ever hear someone say, “I don’t see why someone should do something or something should be done about that?, ” and it is clearly descriptive of what the person them-self needs to do or have done.

Don’t let yourself read this with a self-satisfied smirk as you apply it to someone else and forget who this is really about!  “You!”  Whose behavior can you really change?  “Yours!”

Mine is to tell the truth, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do, as I fear and think that I can’t handle rejection.  Why do we reject others, when we don’t want to be rejected ourselves?

Risky Business!

Do you do things everyday that could cost you your life or someone else’s life?  Do you do things daily that would or could cost you a lot of money?  Why do we take these risks?  Are we more moved by the possibility of instant satisfaction instead of safely curbing these impulses to avoid  future penalties?

Is it our inner voice that encourages or discourages this?  Do we listen to others and not our own common sense? Do we have a set of defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization in place to prevent our listening to warnings in our own head, in the media, or from our family?denialquote,Egypt

How few of the life promoting resolutions that get made at New Years ever come to fruition such as driving safely or living a more healthy lifestyle?

Also do we put our own lives first or do we satisfy everybody else’s needs and neglect our own which then justifies our breeches of safety when we do have a chance to do  something impulsive and costly when we feel that we have a chance to satisfy our own needs versus those of others.

 

 

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Happy, Happy, Happy!

My happy face anyway!.

My happy face anyway!.

Taking a Rocket Risk  ala  Mary Mcellehattan’s book,.  Going where my heart’s desire is.  Fuflilling my bucket list.  It may be my last hurrah; but I am going.  Learned a lesson.  Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

Create your own happiness.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.  It’s your decision.  It’s your life.  You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it.  Don’t lose the moment.  I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before.  Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good.  Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.

Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do.  Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process.  Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions.  Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience.  Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.?  Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company.   Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway.  Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.

Experiment!  Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group.  How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat.  Do you wait to see what others are

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

going to order first?   Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.”  I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season.  I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!

Planning a life experience like I am.  Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it.   It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want.  It’s your trip, it’s your budget.  What do you like best about visiting some other place?  I like to get to know the people and taste the food.  I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals.  I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local.  I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary.  I want to really experience the place while I am there.

Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.”  That negativity can last for a lifetime.  Who is being negative about this.  You oar someone else?  Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.”  Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do.  Does someone in your family have this power over you?  To whose benefit is it?  There was a cartoon character  that always had a rain cloud over his head.  This could be you if you let this happen.

“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!”  Have you heard that before?  Does it have to be true?  How about having a good time anyway.  Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing.  Don’t let this happen!   Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!

You Can Get Away With It! Or Should You?

Do you ever listen in on other people’s conversations or do you ever even listen to the comments you make about others in your head! How negative are they. Why does it make us feel better to put other people down? What does it say about us if we are always putting down, criticizing, and denigrating others and ourselves? Why are we constantly bringing down our own and other people’s self-esteem? Why is gossip only juicy when it is about bad things about others.rp_291253057_150_150.jpg This can be called being defensive or self defense doing this to others or yourself before someone else can. Or is this because we are in constant competition? Can we  only get ahead by climbing on someone else’s back. Why does it seem not to make us feel good by saying something nice about somebody and/or are we afraid if we say something nice about ourselves, someone else will put us down? Do we have to hurt others before they hurt us? Is this a good form of self-defense?

Worse yet we often do this by telling lies, not the truth. Lying is a bad habit whether it’s telling white lies, black lies or lies of omission instead of commission. We have built in lie detectors that we are born with but we are taught from early on not to trust our instincts about this. How convenient this is to help enable others to tell us what to think so we really don’t know how things are when it is convenient for them to do so. For example, child molesters find this very hand a very handy way to coherse children into being victims.

No mater how convenient it is for parents to tell a child a little “white” lie how destructive can it be when other people with not so good motives in mind to be able to get away with this. For example, have you ever heard an adult tel a child an untruth just to upset them and then the adult gets a good laugh out of the child being upset because they think what the adult told them was true. Does the child have gullibility or has the child’s basic sense of trust in others been broken?

face-partsSince when has it become funny to hurt others in any way? What does doing this do to civilization? Carelessly doing this for a joke or because it is easy or convenient provides a bad example. How often in the past have we heard as children be on your best behavior when adults did not follow that example themselves. Monkey see; monkey do? How often were we told to keep this a secret if we caught an adult doing this after telling us as a child not to?  Is this a double standard?

Since when have we learned that it doesn’t pay to be honest and that telling the truth can get you in trouble? What a distorted, dishonest, ugly world we live in. In business and politics today.  It is the norm not the exception that this occurs.  It is alright if you can get away with it and if they get away with it, most assuredly they will do it again and again and again as they think that they will get away with it again and again and they usually do.

 

also liars insist that others should tel the truth as they know it wil hurt them. If you are on the wronside of the right  side, you can’t “get away” with anything but it is no problem if you are not. . Why therefore is being politically correct a one way street?  Certain people, political groups, and religions get cited for this while others do not. The former can’t get away with it while the later can! What kind of an example of justice is this for our children? No wonder they grow up mixed up with no internal standards of behavior.