Having explored many different areas of life and having come to the conclusion that there are:”Different Strokes for different folks,” I suggest we embrace diversity. Just because we are used to something doesn’t mean that there isn’t another way to do it that is accepted elsewhere.
For example, I was invited to a friend’s for supper and there was no silverware. I then realized it was normal in this household for people to eat with their fingers. I come from a German background and in that culture, there are few if any physical displays of affection in adult social situations. A person like me feels embarrassed when we get around people from a different European culture where this is done freely and easily.
Babies die if not given affection: cuddling, cooing, etc. This is called marasmus. Yet something so vital to human life is something most of us have to learn to live without. I remember trying to give my dad a hug as an adult and he shied away from me. It’s only in sexual relations and with very young children that this is allowed.
Who knows what science will say about this in the future? And how vital it may be found to be to human interaction and human thriving.
I can’t remember how many times that males in my life wanted “to cop a feel” without getting any permission. It usually was at the beginning of something that the male thought might eventually lead to sex. It usually left me cold especially if I did not find that person attractive and/or I was involved in another relationship. It led to feeling used, not cared for.
I do “healings” and even with that, I can sense when a person feels okay about me healing them or when it would gross them out or otherwise be unacceptable.
It is unfortunate that some people when bad things happen in order to explain unexplainable things they make connections that make themselves feel really guilty when they actually might not be so. Unfortunately, bad things happen over which we seemingly have no control. This especially happens when someone dies unexpectedly.
From an early age people often makes inaccurate connections between when something bad like this happens and something that they have done unfortunately when they did not know that the unexpected would happen.
This especially happens when someone is grieving and did not know before the person passed away that the person would die unexpectedly. Perhaps there was a family celebration that was not so happy because someone’s feelings got hurt. Being that we often have great expectations for such occasions, this often happens when things don’t meet our expectations and our feelings get hurt or we get mad about something.
Most people know that this will often blow over and be forgotten before the next big family celebration. Then something bad happens and the person blames his or herself for it happening or for not having treated the person who dies unexpectedly right!
A person’s sudden passing is upsetting enough without adding the factor in that one of the persons doing the grieving feels that he or she had a part in it which they now regret. The origin of this problem is often that the person who feels bad would rather they had something to do it rather than it happened for no reason or if by chance a person is not on good terms with the person who passes unexpected and now wishes that he or she had not been that way considering what happened later even though he or she didn’t know that would happen at that time.
It is important to forgive yourself like you should or would do for other people.It is, even more, important to do so if you realize that you had no intention to hurt the person that passed away as you thought this person would be around to make it up if necessary. Don’t blame yourself for something over which you have no control!
With what is going on in Europe now with boundary problems, it is getting more and more clear that having little or no boundaries makes them vulnerable to people who will take advantage of that.
You think you are a good person and that others are good people too. Not setting appropriate boundaries leaves you wide open to people who don’t think like you do. It also leaves you wide open when you should be setting boundaries like with children and people who work under your supervision. Are you the kind of parent or boss who often winds up picking up after their children and/or doing someone else’s work along with your own?
How long can you do this type of thing without feeling angry? “Read my lips” no more “nice” guy or girl. You also lose people’s respect too. I have grandchildren and I can tell who does and who does not set boundaries with the grandchildren by the children’s behavior. You are courting chaos when you don’t do this.
Righteous anger? Is that possible? Is it polite? When we continue to let people take advantage of us (and we know it) aren’t we lying? Isn’t this a “sin?” of omission? So this person or child takes advantage of us figuring we don’t really say what we mean.
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I 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.
I once attended a cancer support group at a hospital as an invited speaker. I did something I had never done before and have not done again. I don’t know why. Maybe lack of confidence in myself and my abilities.
What I did was bring a bottle of hand lotion and had each of us massage each others’ hands with the lotion, finger by finger, in the center of the palm and on the back of the hand and all around the wrist. I was gentle. We all were. It was relaxing and comforting and it made us all feel like part of the group.
Later I joined a church where foot washing of each others’ feet was part of a ceremonial “meal” conducted twice a year at Easter time and Thanksgiving like Jesus had done to the disciples at Passover. I was somewhat embarrassed and uncomfortable, but I did it and allowed it to be done to me. I never did it again.
How little are we afraid to reveal to others so much so we won’t touch each other in a loving and caring way unless the being receiving the care is paying for it (manicures and pedicures and often unsatisfying massages).
Touching is often used a passage way to our most vulnerable parts with little or no intention to nurture, comfort, support, or protect? Is this why much of the physical contact we get as an adult is so compromising and sometimes unsatisfying especially for women.
P.S.: My friend gives the most satisfying scalp massages when she shampoos my hair at her salon.
What do you think?
When feelings aren’t wrong in therapy and might be a warning sign:
As a therapist, I have been in psychotherapy working on my own issues.
It seems that the first thing a therapist might say is trust me, I only want to help you.
So you entrust your soul to a therapist you don’t know who you think has the appropriate credentials to help you solve your problems but who in the end only creates more problems for you.
Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
Here is my story:
The details are fuzzy but they often are when dealing with sexual abuse. One of the first things this therapist told me was that he found me sexually attractive and this made me feel uncomfortable; but he reassured me that I shouldn’t feel that way as it was a compliment.
Months later, maybe even a year later. I came back to see this therapist at his invitation to let him know how I was doing after I had completed therapy with him.
I opened the door to his office and saw him lying on the floor with some pillows around him and he said,”Come here. Let me touch you.” I don’t remember the rest of what happened. I was at the very least surprised and disconcerted by his proposition.
I don’t remember the rest of what happened. The details are fuzzy and any attempts I have made to create a time line has been even more confusing. It took years for me to remember this and by then it was too late to do anything about it.
What is appropriate and what is inappropriate in therapy?
Common sense would tell you that touching, especially titilating touches, are not appropriate either during or after therapy while the client still relates to the therapist in the therapist role.
Sexual abuse victims are extremely vulnerable to this kind of thing and the practitioner’s code is “Above all else do no harm”.
Do you see how this orientation on the therapist’s part could have rended most of the therapy ineffective? maybe even harmful to me?
Therapist’s have a big responsibility and they must constantly monitor their feelings towards a client and seek supervision if they are unsure about this.
Clients place a big burden on the therapist and there has been a code of ethics created for him or her to follow in their relationships with a client. It would seem to be easy to do this if the therapist has common sense and a personal code of conduct not only as a therapist but also as a human being.
The biggest trap is transference in the therapist-client reationship. This happens when either the therapist or the client perceives the other person in the relationship as being like someone from their past and acting toward that person like he or she would with this figure.
Therapists should be trained to avoid this trap and to use this information about their own possible transference to promote healing in the client versus letting it happen on their part and disrupting and corrupting the relationship.
Love and lack of love are motivating factors in this life. Can we do without love and if we do, can it result in a life of overwhelming depression, sorrow, hate, and terror. Children in orphanages in the past died of mirasmus or lack of love even when their basic needs were met and there was no time or place for love and affection once these were accomplished.
How can you give love when you don’t know how to receive it. Basically everyone wants to be loved even if they don’t know it. Giving love to oneself and others is one of the most basic tasks in life and yet it is often the least rewarded by sources outside the self.
It is the most rewarding thing to do personally and a smile, a loving glance, a simple compliment can be given without expectation of reward or recognition. For one example, children passed lovingly from lap to lap in a family gathering and held so closely that one might not know which child actually belongs to which loving family member unless one knew the families present.
Resentment, abuse, doing without the basic necessities of life while others take more than their share and often even waste much of it. A commune type of life style or living in or near a close family constellation can promote the idea of sharing and generosity and teach that making others happy is just as rewarding as selfish motives could ever be.
Warm fuzzies and cold prickles are the invention of a witch in a story by Claude Steiner who can’t sell her potions and spells when people were able to give warm fuzzies freely away and there was always more of them left to share after some of them were given away. She then spreads the word that that isn’t true and people only have a limited number of warm fuzzies to use themselves and to give to others. Then she is able to sell cold pricklies which feel like warm fuzzies initially but quickly turn into something that requires that the person needs more which the witch happily sells at a price.
The warm fuzzies were always free and people were generous with them because they never ran out. The witch, however, told the people that they should save the warm fuzzies and give fake warm fuzzies (or cold prickles) which she manufactured and sold because people only had a finite number of warm fuzzies and should save them for themselves and immediate friends and family members. Read the story on the web as it has a happy ending when someone exposes the lies that the witch told in order to increase her business.
Why shoudn’t you be generous with your love? You can start it by just thinking, “I love you,” when you see or think of someone. If you get braver you might say, “I love you”, outloud as someone leaves instead of just saying, “Goodbye.” You could say it to yourself as you look in the mirror. The more you do it the easier it becomes and you might start to benefit from the good vibrations that this generates in others. Oh sure there are people who are so far into being negative that this doesn’t work with them; but don’t let that stop you because many other people will respond positively.
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.
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.
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.
Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
No one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.
When man “fools” around, he is just being a man. When a man gets it on with a woman he considers “easy”, he will often say later, when men are talking about women who are wh–res or sl-ts, that she is one of them. What does that make him? Some men have sex with a willing woman and then put her down for doing it.
What about countries where women who are the unwilling victims of rape are considered to blame for what happened, not the man who did it, and are put to death.
Aren’t men more easily turned on by physical things or how a woman looks to them and what they fantasize about her and then they blame the woman for leading them on when she refuses to cooperate or reciprocate their ardor. Women are more carried off by romantic notions and anticipated intimacy.
Why can’t a woman be more like a man (from “My Fair Lady”, the musical) and why can’t a man be more like a woman? Men and women are different in terms of what physiologically arouses them. This is why it takes longer for a woman to be ready for intercourse and longer to “come” to orgasm once she is aroused and her partner could become impatient.
Thus women sometimes “fake it” because the woman wants to please the man in order to support the relationship which is import to her. Women are often more concerned about pleasing others and putting the needs of others first before their own in order to do this.
Thus communication is important for the relationship, Sometimes men and sometimes even women expect the other person to instinctively know what turns the opposite sex on.
No wonder women when talking to other women talk about how they “fake” orgasms and they are more likely to have had “unwanted” sex especially the first time. Men have often had more solo practice at coming to orgasm and arousing themselves then women have so they may be more “ready” for sex than the woman is and can make a woman feel guilty if she doesn’t comply with their desires.
Sometimes a relationship implicitly implies that a couple will have sex. This can be the origin of a “date rape”. This can result in a man using the less than gracious “come on” line such as, “You wanna?” after a long, boring, and tedious date during which the man got drunk and ignored the woman.
Are there precious and gracious men out there? Yes there are. Ones who use rose petals and candles to set the stage (often for marriage proposals).
Atmosphere can be very important. Don’t choose a fishing camp or a hunting lodge for your first encounter whether before or after marriage. The back seats of cars and the typical bachelor pad are often not very romantic. In the front seat, the steering wheel and/or the gear shift can get in the way and the smell of dirty socks and well worn running shoes is often not very pleasant neither is a bare mattress that may have never seen sheets.. Nor is the possibility of a roommate snoring prone in the next bed or carrying on with another girl on the couch in the next room.