Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

Stress

Contact Comfort–Affection, Touching Build A Connection Between Two People

rp_300px-Friendship_love.JPGI 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 Being Nice Is Not Being Nice At All

Facial Expressions?Recently I saw a neighbor lady that I had not seen in a long time.  We did not click this time either; but I didn’t think about it.  I had tried to make conversation but it didn’t work out.

I didn’t think about it until some of my family was talking about her and something she said to a person at the occasion where I saw her who was recovering from a recent total rejection by someone he or she had been in a relationship with for a long time.

It was very hurtful to hear about because it was obvious that this person had come to the party to at least distract his or herself from thinking about their recent loss.  The lady’s tone of voice was very sweet and it was obvious that she probably would say, if asked, that she was just expressing her concern.

Again I didn’t think about it; but the family members talking about the interaction felt that what the lady did was inappropriate and reminded the person she was talking to of his or her painful experience and the fact that he or she might be not be over it.

It wasn’t til later today thinking over what was said that I remembered that I never felt comfortable around that person because I often felt that she was insincere, possibily even phony, when she was trying to be nice.

The way the person said what she said and the circumstances under which she said it made it difficult for the person receiving her inquiry to tell her to leave him or her alone as he or she did not feel like talking about it; but the damage had already been done.

What do you think?  You know what I think.  Perhaps this is judgmental of me but perhaps this is a reminder to trust your gut feelings.  If something feels wrong even if it sounds okay, it still might be wrong.  Could she have been faking it?  Could she have been passive-aggressive and by shoving the knife in a little farther reminding him or her of their sorrow?

 

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.

The Need For Security Comes From Within

Women, men? Does the need for security control your life?  Are you afraid to fight with someone because it might end your relationship with them?  Women, people who put you down, often the man in your life, often win a potential conflict with the first blow.  If he or she is mad at me, it is all over.  It is very convenient to make a complaint or even make an angry comment when asking about something you don’t like or understand.

Anxiety and fFear

Conflict seems to be more natural for men.  They can almost fight one minute and be friends the next.  It can get pretty brutal one day and the next they are back to being the best of buds.  Many women are different making a denigrating comment to another woman can end a relationship forever.  So how does a woman react when someone puts them down.  If they are depending on the relationship for support and security, they go into emergency crisis mode and/or feel “knocked up beside the head” by someone they thought loved and appreciated them.

Women can take a lot of negative comments from a man in a relationship often things the man forgets about as it wasn’t that serious to him or the man didn’t even realize the woman took it seriously or so hard.  Men are constantly jousting, jockeying for position, and they don’t even think that seeing things ( from this perspective) that it was taken seriously.

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?

 

Have You Been Brainwashed As A Child To Not Notice Certain Things?

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Have You Been Brain Washed As A Child?

It is likely that you have.

In order to understand our world, we quickly accept our parents and others views of the world and begin to reject or deny those things that don’t fit these preconceived notions.  How much evidence from our own senses do we reject in order to fit in?  Researchers have found that sounds not used in our native language atrophy  if we don’t use them.  How many other things atrophy from disuse.  Our caregivers teach us what to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to and thus, limiting what we take in in terms of our senses (normal vs. paranormal?).  Yes, if some limiting does not get done, a child will be confused by all the input coming from his or her senses and his or her ability to pay attention will be impaired.

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgFor example, still today professionals in my field, psychology, deny that children see monsters in their rooms when they try to go to sleep and give advice to parents that they should reassure their children, when this happens, that this is not so, and not to  encourage them to make a big deal of it.  This can make children doubt their senses and this can be seen as a form of manipulation.

rp_3112139566_2b90ffcc0e_m.jpg

When Things Are Black And White

Recently I have discovered that this is not true.  Things do look different in a darkened bedroom with only a little light from a night light or from the hall through a barely open door.  Our pupils dilate in these circumstance and we can see more with less light.  True, it is the multitude of  black and white sensors (which are called rods) in the retina that perceive this as they are the most sensitive in this type of situation of low light.  Also their accuracy in perceiving things is only fair unlike that of the cones which are not operating. Cones perceive things in bright light and do so with a lot more accuracy than the rods which take over and dominate when there is not much light.  Part of the reason for this is that there are more rods than cones.

Sweet Dreams?

Sweet Dreams?

I’ve tried this out in my bedroom in the middle of the night and things don’t look the same as they do when the room is well lite.  I often initially have difficulty figuring out what things are, even familiar things like my spouse laying besides me.  I am an adult and I know that this is happening.   What about about a child who naturally sees things differently when the light is dim and he or she may see formless shapes that don’t look familiar and is scared.  A parent denying that this happens doesn’t make it go away and further more it doesn’t change what and how children see in their dimly lite bedrooms.  It just encourages them to deny that what is really happening is true.

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Often the child learns that asking for reassurance doesn’t work.  It just teaches them to keep it to themselves and to be afraid of the dark like I was as a child.  The only time I could sleep comfortably is when there was another person staying in the room with me or when I had a low wattage light nearby where I could see it.  This fear can spread farther if parents’ continue to tell children to deny what they see and how it makes them feel.

Can You "See" What he is feeling?

Can You “See” What he is feeling?

For awhile there was a lot of research on the “double bind”and how it was often found in families of schizophrenics (which is a serious mental illness) and their ability to think and reason is also often impaired.  A family member would say one thing when he or she  obviously looked like and or sounded like he or she meant something else.  For example, by holding a small child at arm’s length and saying, “I love you.”  Sometimes adults’ think that they are being polite when they do this and often people are trained to not “see” this or if they do, to not comment on it.  This can completely mix up a child’s brain.   He or she can not be confident that what they are seeing and/or hearing  is what they are actually seeing or hearing.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Genuineness can become a rare commodity if this is constantly done.  The child’s gut feels one thing when he or she is told that the person with them is not feeling that way.  Lately people have been told to trust their intuition or instincts more.  So many people have shut off that “still small voice” so often that they don’t hear it anymore.  How often have we been taught not only what to think, but also what to feel.  Does the word “propaganda” sound familiar?  It starts when parents are uncomfortable with children who see and feel things  like they really are and that is not what the parent wants the child to see and hear.  This makes them uncomfortable because they don’t want a child to feel or think that way for some reason.  What is the difference, if any, between this and outright deliberate lying?rp_Feelings.jpg

We naturally are able to perceive many different things and people find it easier to deny this ability in others so they can control them, not only what they do, but also what they think.  We are not a bunch of sheep who must be herded in the direction that the “shepherd” wants us to go for his or her own convenience or nefarious ends.

How often have we heard the response, “No, I am not angry,” when a person obviously is.  Lying is often a convenient thing to do.  It aids in the manipulation of others and has almost become a way of life for many if not all people.  In this society we continually put people down and this most often happens after we have encouraged someone to tell the truth.

rp_Is-Status-More-Important-Label-LB-1981.gifDon’t put people down.  There are enough people doing it already.  Bring them up instead.  No wonder we are so sensitive.  Sometimes I feel that I should be wearing a suit of armor.  This is often done in childhood when it is most easily done.  Children are innocent and don’t realize what is being done to them.    Do people put other people down just so they can bring themselves up?  Sounds phony doesn’t it?

What do you think?  Continuing to explore this issue, was your childhood family motto:”Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?”  More on this in a future post.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

.

Sometimes It Is Hard To Be Me

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgSometimes it’s hard to be me.”  Do you ever think that especially after a hard day when you feel like you really got nothing done and several things have gone wrong?  I tried that out on some people the other day and they had to agree with it.

If you challenge yourself frequently to meet up to certain standards and set yourself multiple goals as well as take on too many responsibilities, you might feel that way.

rp_Anxiety.gifFrequently I suggested to people I saw for counseling that they set more manageable goals on which they could be better able to focus.  Simply the plan is to either to set a time limit on how long you are going to work on a given problem and then go on to something else or to determine what part of the problem you are going to work on and finish before going on to something else.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by not changing your goals when and if you realize that it is not possible to meet them on a certain day.  Everybody needs to experience a certain level of accomplishment and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you haven’t set reasonable goals.

"Let me see here,"

“Let me see here,”

For example when I studied for my licensing exam as a psychologist, I set my self a certain number of pages to cover a day during the week and if I reached that goal, I did not have to cover any pages on the weekend to make up for what I didn’t get done during the week.  Also I was just starting to juggle my new role as farm wife with that of fledgling psychologist.

Also don’t forget to say to yourself (when this is going on), “Take good care of yourself.  You belong to me.”  You get that?  This is “you” saying it to “you”!rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

 

 

How Demanding Or Neglectful Are You Of Your Partner?

rp_319628280_150_150.jpgDo you treat your partner like anybody else you know or are you less patient and more demanding?  Do you have higher expectations of him or her?  Are you sarcastic and critical of him or her? Honestly would you like to hang around you if were your partner?

Dear partner, to put the shoe on the other foot, why don’t you treat me like happyoldercoupleyou treat other people, your friends, other family members?  You are very likeable and courteous with people who come to our door or who you meet on the street.  I hear you having long conversations on the phone but you never tell me these things that you talk about.  I feel left out of the loop and that I often am the last person to find out something if I ever find out at all (even if it includes me).

not.talkI would love to have coffee with someone and find out how their day went and with whom I could share my troubles, no matter how small.  I am not seeking to blame someone and I only want to receive a little compassion for my troubles.  Life can be very lonely when you spend it this way day after day….

If You Go, You Usually Have To Come Back Again

rp_23219947_8c2cef7e59_m.jpgIf you go you usually have got to come back and take up the reins again. Most trips aren’t one way.  It seems often you can’t have one without the other.  Haven’t you noticed it often seems to take longer to get to a new place then it takes to go back?  Why is it we often focus only on the front part of a journey and when it is time to go back, we say wishfully I wish I didn’t have to go back.

Does the trip going home wear you out more or the trip getting there?  In my mind’s eye I can see the exhausted mother and father standing just inside the door with bags and suitcases and parcels all around them on the floor where they have just dropped them.  Think of the dirty laundry that has to be done and the work, school. and church or other social schedules that have to be resumed.

laughing_catFor example, what about a shopping trip to the mall or the home supply store?  Where do we put the stuff that we get?  When do we start the project (and finish it) that we got the things for?  What about when we get the credit card statement and have to start making the payments?  What if the clothes or shoes don’t fit and we find out that we overly optimistic about this  What if we got lumber or something else that needs to be the right width or length and we discovered we had mis-measured?

Don’t we always find going shopping rewarding as we get to see and think about all the things that are available out there.  Are our eyes bigger than our stomachs?  Have we bit off more than we can chew?   How about when you have a party at your house and have to clean up all the mess afterwards.?

Remember when you go, you have to come back!  Makes sense doesn’t it?  It usually is no laughing matter!