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Centerpointe Research

Emotion

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.

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?

 

Nothing Is More Enticing Than Negativity Especially In These Trying Times

Versus Bad Vibrations

Versus Bad Vibrations

This may not cheer you up and make your day; but you and everyone else needs to hear it!  Have you ever seen Bubble Guppies (you would have if you had grand babies the same age as mine)?  On Bubble Guppies there was an episode which featured Mr. Grump Fish.  Do you know him or is that you some days?

Mr. Grump Fish was not very attractive.  That’s not very surprising is it?  Oh, he wasn’t particularly handsome and he wasn’t particularly ugly until you noticed the grouchy expression on his face.  Also he wasn’t especially good company and prolonged exposure to him was definitely a “downer”.

I have had some people for friends that when I called them, would often tell me the same depressing stories over and over that to them justified their conclusion that the world had given them a bad rap.  It was difficult being sympathetic because these people felt that anything they had tried failed and would do so in the future.

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

Have you noticed that gossip is mostly negative and would do things that would hurt the people’s reputations that were being talked about.  Why does saying something bad about or to someone else make people feel good?

Now Mr. Grump Fish, of course, was not very good company; and when he entered a room, he could clear the place just by his mere presence let alone by what he could contribute to the conversation.

Do you feel you would be considered a “goody, goody two shoes” if you did just the opposite.  That is said something nice about somebody and/or remarked about how good you felt that day?  Remember you feel just exactly what you think.  Negative thoughts breed negative feelings.

Yes, bad things are happening in the world, but dwelling on them when you are not being constructive will bring you down.  This is just what the enemy wants to do if they can’t kill you or hurt you otherwise.  No, we shouldn’t act ignorant let our fears keep us in the dark; but we can keep our morale up and fight the cloud of negativity that the enemy is trying to cover free nations with.

 

 

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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.

Who Does Your Anger Hurt Worse?

Who does your anger hurt the most?  You or the person you are mad at?  Have you ever been so mad you were sick with anger.  Do your guts tighten up?  Does something you can’t stand give you a headache.

We have the capacity to let things go and the reward is often patience, fewer worries, and a peaceful mind.  Why punish yourself again and again by remembering often in great detail what some ungodly person did to you.

Recent someone got mad at me and wouldn’t let it go immediately.  I did not get mad nor did I keep a score card of hurts suffered from that person with that person’s name on it.  I did not respond with anger to anger and did not escalate the situation.  Later we both talked about it.  I reassured the person that I took their upset seriously and they admitted that they were having a bad day that did.  I also admitted that they had a point and I wasn’t dismissing their concern.

Frustrated anger tortures the person who gets intensely mad and can’t let go of it.  You may have heard of the type A personality who is prone to heart attacks.  They can be like that

By God, that makes me mad and I’m going to stay made no matter what the person I am mad at does.  I have a right to be angry and to express my feelings.   It wasn’t my fault.  Gosh and by golly, I might even sue the person.  if I could find a lawyer who will take the case and there are some lawyers out there that will encourage pe0ople like me to do this.  No matter who wins, you will have to pay the piper.  Sometimes the only one who benefits from this type of action is the lawyer.  Who is this hurting?rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpg

What price will you pay to get revenge.  Focusing on it every waking moment.  What happens to families and friendships even to  careers if a person narrows their focus to this one thing and  neglects other concerns.

Can you figuratively speaking fight fire with fire?  Depression is anger turned inward and if you are the kind of person who does this then you may feel the only person you can retaliate against is you and this is the reason behind some suicides or worse yet murder-suicides.

Just because somebody gets mad at you should you get upside.  Think how infuriating it is sometimes if you get mad at a person and they don’t get mad back.  It can make  you feel ridiculous and even unaccountedin that situation..

Feelings should be recognized and acknowledged.  People have a right to their feelings, it is how they express them that can be a problem.

Often the source of our anger is that we tend to look critically at others and take offense if they don’t meet up to our standards even if they are strangers we meet on the street.  I am no light weight but I have reduced my portion sizes and have tried not to reward myself constantly with sweets. Yet  I still find it offensive when I find a person on the street that is significantly overweight more than I  still am.  So much so I almost miss the happy smile on the person’s face and great personality because I get mad at somebody else for not watching their weight like I think like I do.  My best friend in first grade had a weight problem but at the time I didn’t even see it.  What if I had let it stop me from making a life long friend who was like a sister to me.  We had so much fun and shared some great adventures.

Anger often is a control issue.  We get mad when we can’t control something.  Actually the only person we can reliability control is ourselves and sometimes we can’t even do that.   If we have a problem controlling something about ourselves, we often focus on that or some similiar problem in someone else.  “Don’t look at me.  Look at him or her.”

We often get in the way of our own happiness i this way and we  can get physically ill in the process.

What is this idea about needing to control everybody else, anyway?  Obviously we are suffering from lack of faith, hope, and trust not only in others but maybe  too in ourselves but with others to.  Don’t get me wrong there are some dangerous people out there and sometimes only when we get mad enough will we do anything about it.

 

 

Ruminating? Is It Useful?

rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpgHave a problem you can’t solve?  Has somebody hurt you?  Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends?  Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings.  Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?

A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women.  Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.

Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating.  Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with.  It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.

Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone.  In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.

There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.

Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think.  Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while.  Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it.  It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.

 

Anger And Control, Just Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go!

Philosophically I think that I have gained control of my anger; but realistically, I haven’t.  The little gremlins (better known as grandchildren) have gotten to me.  No matter how patient and understanding I am something that they do or say or something else that they don’t do or say takes me over the edge and I am ashamed of my self afterwards to have such little ones see or hear such a thing or things.

Families

Families (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

I am on my best behavior (Wouldn’t you be?) with my grandchildren.  I want to show my adult children that I have truly grown up since I raised them and am providing a good example to their children now no matter what I was like in the past.  I can forgive myself for what’s happened in the past and do better, but can my children forgive me?  Will I be jealous if  I see them do a better job with their children than I did with them?

Is there such a thing as being too nice!?!  Wouldn’t you just like to let go, but not in front of the grandchildren!  The longer I live, the more responsible I become and I am not as easy on myself about forgetting to do things, not getting things done, and giving up when I have a problem to solve or something that I have put off mastering.  I think I am ready to take a vacation, not from life (I am not suicidal), but from everyday life.

It is amazing how easily a cuss word comes out when you thought that you have literally forgotten how to use them and I could shake a fist at somebody who has ticked me off after being in a confining SUV with a crying baby on a long sixty mile trip home from the hospital after having had surgery by failing to fill my prescription (on the third try through the drive through) so I would have pain medicine when I finally got home.  Nor do we live close to the pharmacy.

DriveThruPharmacyMainImageAnger has a lot to do with control.  Yes, it involves self-control but it also involves retaining control when you can and need to have control over your own life, thoughts, and feelings.  Too much Mrs. Nice Guy.  Was that my problem when I blew up?

Did I fail to stand up for my rights?  As an adult, setting boundaries for children.  As a customer, letting a business hold me hostage when I was supposed to be served by them?

 

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Chained Emotions

Do you have chained emotions?  Yes, you do.  chained-emotionsEvery time you get to feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless when you look at something or think of something.  These are learned reactions and while they might have been appropriate when they first occurred, they are not helping you now.  I can leave the moment and ruin the day I am having when I do this.  I also can just let my imagination run away with me and after living in the past and reliving past disappointments, I can envision myself in the future having the same unfortunate things happening to me again.  No wonder I just can’t see any hope for me in my situation.  I can easily list the things that I can think of or see in my ordinary life or on TV or the internet that do this to me.  I have frustrating appliances that are on their last legs and feel extremely deprived because I don’t have new ones and anticipate the problems I will have when they “conk” out.

You have heard of self-fulfilling prophescies well I am creating them when I think this way.  I may feel bad when some “bad” thing happens but why does just the thought of something like that happen to elicit such a strong emotional response.  In psychology, it is called conditioning and it’s a learned response associated with a certain stimulus.  When this happens then whenever that stimulus appears again real or imagined, we automatically have that response.  What we focus on we get.  That is a self fulfilling prophesy.

Stop feeling what you don’t want to feel, stop being dragged down by past emotional reactions.  For example with a failing appliance, be thankful that it still works and lasted so long.  Be grateful for every extra load of dishes that get washed or cup of coffee that gets made.  Pretend this is not really your house so it doesn’t matter what the appliances are like.  Think of how much nicer the new appliances will be when you get them.  They will be spanking new, work perfectly, and save you lots of time.  You can get just what you want.  Go shopping but only with a positive attitude.  You know it pays to shop around.  Who knows you might find a bargain!  Remember that new car smell, the pristine appearance of a newly painted wall, how much fun you will have trying out a new appliance.  Focus on this not on that.

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Handling Your Emotions

English: Diagram which shows links between emo...

English: Diagram which shows links between emotions, feelings and expression. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Handling your emotions can be difficult because their origins are in both your conscious and unconscious minds and even when you are aware in your conscious mind why you think you may be feeling a certain way, you may not be right.  A lot of associations are made early in life before you even go to school.  Many associations are being formed in the brain long before we can actually think and/or talk about them.  Understanding why something happens is limited or if explanations are formed, they may not always be correct.  This is why child abuse can be such a powerful influence on children.  For example, a child may wrongly assume that there was something they did or thought that was the reason for the abuse.  Children are very vulnerable and when there is no one there to protect them, they may feel deserted and frightened especially when they can’t help themselves.

Often as adults we feel that our feelings are caused by something “out there” and that justifies what we do in response to express or act out those feelings.  Often that feeling that there is something out to get us stops us in our tracks and we becomes unrealistic in our thinking.  We often think there is no way out and we are helpless.  This is often a flashback to childhood when thinking that way was elicited by the fact that we did not have a lot of experience finding solutions to problems and did not feel very capable of solving our own problems.  We were often in situations where we had to wait for help to come from outside ourself.

Say, “I think I can; I think I can”, like the Little Engine That Could instead of, “I can’t.”  We aren’t helpless when we experience emotions.  We just think we are.  We are just under the influence of unconscious learned associations.  Think before you react.  Did somebody really hurt you or do you just think they did?  You can learn to control yourself and to use your emotions instead of letting them use you.

 

 

 

 

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