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Communication

Keep Your Comments To Yourself Or When Criticism Is Not Productive?

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Well, Shame On You! (Not All Nuns Act This Way)

Either I already know them or I don’t want to hear them.

Oh, you were just being nice or you wanted to set me straight?

You wanted to be sure I knew something so I wouldn’t embarrass myself or you!

You wanted to show off your superior knowledge and I was a willing victim.

Stop and think before you say something like that because you might reveal more about yourself  than you may reveal about me.

Truly meaningful and loving comments build me and you up at the same time.

Next post will be, “When A Compliment Is Not A compliment.”

Do You Respect Yourself As Much As You Respect Other people?

rp_300px-Grad_Students.jpgWhen  someone is rude inappropriate or disrespectful to you, are you too embarrassed to speak up for yourself or are you afraid that the other person might get angry at you?  Some people count on you doing this so they can keep on doing what upsets you either to you or others.  Sometimes we feel “we got it wrong” and if we said something we might be made to look foolish.

From the female point of view, some men think that they can grope a woman or cop a feel and the women won’t act like anything is wrong.  Somehow taking the blame on themselves, not putting it on the offender.  The offender sometimes says, “You liked it.  I can tell.”  They believe women somehow are inviting them to do this and they are just doing what the women want them to do but are afraid to say.

rp_8779146668_6e5def7ac9_n.jpgShould I list the men who have done this to me?  Also, some sexual talk, pictures, videos, and movies are off-putting to some women rather than arousing.  But we don’t want to rain on a man’s parade and let him do it and even watch, I would say sometimes uneasily,  ourselves.

Has woman’s lib gone too far?  Are women thinking that under the new era, that women should be more sexually active and cooperative when they are not comfortable doing it?  Is groping by your male seatmate in the back seat of a car while another couple makes out in the front seat satisfying or uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassing?

rp_5307249644_41b9ef6f0f_m.jpgThe woman’s idea of a sexual relationship is that it involves at least mutual affection, mutual sexual attraction, comfort, and privacy.  Some women up the amp even more and want the penthouse suite so to speak, etc.

Women can be very cautious about expressing their wants and desires sexually and it may be something they have not had practice doing.  Men like to express their dominance in a sexual relationship for bragging rights to other men (that’s a no-no) and the secure feeling that they are right about what their opinions are about what makes for great sex (for him) and they won’t take no for an answer.

Another true story, I had a professor like that and it was difficult for my office manager friend to keep him in secretaries he was so disgusting and predatory.  Yet, the rest of the office (mainly men) thought he was a great guy.  He was actually inconsiderate and self-engrossed.

emotional-abuse-disney-princess-16471851-496-479Did he try something on me, yes, and I did not consider him attractive or available (he was married and had a family) even though I was divorced at the time.  During that time there, I met a much younger man with whom I was comfortable with and who was attractive in a cozy comfortable way.  I wasn’t a cold fish, the professor was not my cup of tea and he was nasty to women and I didn’t like him or like to be around him.

True story, I was in a small crowded attic room with this professor and other students.  Several students and this professor were smoking.  My eyes started to water.  I am not a smoker.  He told me to take my contact lens out if the smoke was bothering me and that day, I was wearing glasses.  I said nothing.

11478115084_52613dd791_zHow much is allowed to go on; because we don’t speak up.  I once told my guiding pastor that it did not seem polite to start a ruckus in church but some people deserved ton be confronted.  I was not denying them Jesus but doing what Jesus did with his disciples when they were not doing the right thing,  They were ordinary men who sometimes got off in the wrong direction and Jesus knew what they were doing or were going to do and told them that.

What have I got to lose if I do this (speak up in public), maybe just self-respect.  Don’t let others “buffalo” you into accepting something from that them that you feel is wrong and should be stopped because somebody is or will or could be hurt.  We even though we are innocent bystanders sometimes have to confront the problem we see happening in front of our eyes even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

Once a man (I’ll call him a young man because he has a lot of growing up to do, was “high” in front and was very self-satisfied about how he was when he was high and even proud of himself.  I do like and love the guy but he can be exasperating sometimes.  I confronted him about being high (he thinks I am a nerd and don”t notice when he is high) and his “false” self-confidence and narcissistic attitude was really phony and annoying.

 

Wasting Some Of Our Most Valuable Resources: Children

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgIntroducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts).  Children do exist in the womb.  At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of  independent existence.  In my lifetime,  science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb.   The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist.   No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.

Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”.  I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults.  How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgHere is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state.  Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area.  This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights.  This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.

A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children.  One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve.  It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do.  Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty.  Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesChildren at different points in life need different things.  Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child.  How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.

One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad.  Nature requires diversity and  that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgChildren also learn at different rates and in different ways.  Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this.  Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward”  and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.

Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences.  For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves.  Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences.  Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.

Shamelessly Destroying Another Person’s Reputation

You learn so much more when you ask questions opposed to passing judgmentsDestroying a person’s reputation is easily done.  Destroying a person’s reputation for some people can be so much fun.  Destroying a person’s reputation when they don’t have first-hand information is a mistake many people make.

Even better fun is destroying a person’s reputation so badly that they can never live it down and it continues to build’s on itself like a meme leaving the person to spend the rest of their life in misery and finding solace in the all the wrong places especially drugs.

How proudly some people say about other people when they do this is that they can never live it down meaning what they allegedly have done.  Certain people when they say these deprecating things are so sure they are right that they never even think that they might be making a mistake.

Also, some stories involve two people (often a male and a female) and it appears unjust that often the female’s reputation is tarnished, but not the male’s, especially when other males are talking about the situation.  Then other females’ reputations become tarnished also if they associate with and/or defend the woman.

Judge and jury is what most people become when they gossip.  The person who is the focus of the gossip can never live it down.  Also being defamed hurts and can do personal and public damage to the person while the person doing the gossiping can walk away and possibly even totally forget what they said or did to the other person.

 

Power Versus Force

Thought for the day:  We all have power, but people, who like to use “force” to get us to do what they want us to do, don’t want us to believe it.  How many people are enslaved by the thought that they are powerless to do anything about their situation?

Women are especially used this way.   Sexually trafficking is an example of this.  Another example is domestic violence.  The forced dependence of a woman (especially if she has dependent children) on a man leads to feelings of powerlessness.

Another thing that results in feelings of powerlessness is isolation and control of communication.  If a woman does not know anything else, who can she get to help her and who can she interact with that will tell her that there is something else out there.

We do not have to believe what we are told but when we are dependent on others to meet our needs and to tell us how the world operates, we often wind up not being able to think for ourselves.  If we are isolated this way and are told what to believe, we think that change is impossible and if not impossible, foolhardy.

If we have a person in our life that seems to be powerful (but is actually using force to get their way), it might make sense to emulate this person and become like him or her especially if we don’t know something different.  How limited can our lives become if we do this?

Dr, David Hawkins who was referenced to by Dr. Wayne Dyer (who has been featured in many presentations on PBS) makes clear the difference between the use of power versus force in his book, Power Versus Force.0018d3fa

 

 

Arguments And Fear Of Upset Feelings

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgI just talked about fear and the biggest fear is of fear itself.  If we don’t talk about things until one of us, either partner gets mad, then it is hard to overlook how bad it makes us feel and deal with the issues themselves.

I don’t know about you but my very sense of security can be threatened.  It got this way in my first marriage and maybe if we had the fights that we did when we were divorcing all along, the marriage could have been better.

Not trusting your partner is very destructive in a relationship; especially not trusting them to make a fair compromise and to not penalize you for bringing something up that needs to be dealt with.

Things Usually Are the Most Productive When They Are Painful

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the "Devil" in You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the “Devil” in You

Progress in my life has often been scary and painful and I often did not work on solving problems because I didn’t want to face the pain involved.  This is especially true in interpersonal situations.  Do you think that the most progress is made when something is easy to do?  Be honest with yourself….

Progress can not always be assured even when we face something painful and that is potentially painful too.  Could we learn something?  This is something that could realistically happen.  Learning can be painful too especially when you have to give up all or part of a long-held belief system.

When confronted with new conflicting information about a belief that a person has long held, people can either reject the new information in some way or change it so it fits their paradigm.  The other option is to change their belief system to fit the new information.  This is what learning is all about.

Some people are not really looking for conflicting information as it makes them uncomfortable so they back away from confrontations.  They think there always has to be a winner or a loser in a disagreement and they are programmed not to lose because it hurts too.  Compromise is sometimes a new thing to some people because of this.

When people come to new understandings about things, they can both be winners.  They understand each other better and can anticipate making better decisions without out so much potential “flack” from the other partner.

Sometimes You Have To Let Something Go To Make Room For Something New To Come In

rp_300px-Sabbatical_titlescreen.jpgAs you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall.  I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.

While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill.  Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that?  Maybe.  But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.

It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it.  Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester.  This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.rp_300px-New_Life_Ranch_Sign.jpg

I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary.  I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.

I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.

Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do.  I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.

I am growing.  I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

Whistling In The Dark?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgSmall children not only have problems with object recognition in a dimly lit bedroom, they also in early childhood as young as two or three have good imaginations often telling adults that they see or hear something vividly that is only a figment of their very colorful imagination.  Combine the two and they were easily could see monsters in the dark which their parents then tell them aren’t real and that they should act as if they are not there and go to sleep.  What this really means is that they still “see” monsters but know they have to act as if they weren’t there.

When a child is in bed, they see things from a different perspective than the one they have when they are sitting up or moving around the room.  There is the psychological concept of object permanency which is used when a child is able to see an object such as a bottle from different angles and in different types of illumination and still know that it is a bottle and treat it like one.

Another difference is the rods in the retina pick up and transmit the effect of a black and white picture which is more blurry than that the  very sharp image that the cones give in brilliant color (which are in the center of the retina) in very bright light.  Yes, black and white images in photos and motion pictures are almost gone and “little” ones are probably not familiar with them.The-Sacred-Shadow-Header-1024x462Could this be the origin of fears of sleeping in the dark which are topped off by the parent telling them that what they see and what it looks like (how they perceive it) is wrong and their feelings about it are foolish and should be denied so that the parent (not necessarily the child) can relax and go back to sleep thinking that they have banished the monsters effectively and gotten the child to believe there are no monsters in his or her room when they have done no such thing.  What they really have done has made the situation more scarey because the child still believes there are monsters but his or her parents don’t believe it and now they can’t depend on their parents for help and must face the perceived danger alone and probably without a light to illuminate the dark and scarey corners.

Don’t make children deny their feelings, they don’t go away, they just stay out of sight.  They must be seen from the child’s point of view.  For example, mommy, daddy, there is the monster over there and there is his head, there are his eyes and there are his hands and he has claws sticking out.  See he is breathing.  Fuzzy images in the near dark do look like they might be moving or breathing.  It can happen also from a child’s changes in perspective.rp_3363953427_ba6fe42f32_m.jpg

Recently I have been conducting experiments of my own.  There is a night light on in our master bedroom and I often wake up very early in the morning while it is still dark outside and I see things in the shadows and they even seem to move or look unrecognizable especially my husband’s clothes hung on the bedpost or the covers pushed up in a pile at the end of the bed.  It seems very easy to not realize what I am really looking at and could easily identify in broad day light. I’ve seen a goblin with a shiny eyes and a big male pig laying there with two twitching ears.  I have even reached out to touch the apparition in order to satisfy myself as to what the image really is.