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It’s Their Drama, Not Yours

I learned a valuable lesson today:  “It’s Their Drama, Not Yours!  I’m a fixer-upper by nature and it doesn’t hurt that I am in a helping profession.  “Did I hurt your feelings”  Whose feelings are they?  “You should have known in the first place that I didn’t want to do it!”  “So why didn’t you let me off the hook?”  Am I a bad guy because I should have known that even though they said,”Yes,”  They really didn’t want to do it.and they felt it was an imposition.

Now whatever you do, they get mad because you couldn’t read minds.  They take that load off their shoulders and put it on yours.  Now you end up feeling bad instead of them.  It is like a sudden rainstorm landed right above your head and you get soaked.  They wind up feeling better and you have accepted a part in their drama that you really didn’t want and really didn’t earn.

What if you had a really good time and thought they had too.  Whose fault is it?  It’s not yours and why didn’t they “fess up earlier that they didn’t want to be there.  Imagine you cooked a really good meal from a recipe you found and wanted to try and felt you had successfully mastered a good meal.  Then someone tells you that there was something in the meal that caused an untoward reaction in them and you should have known it would, but they didn’t remind you and ate it anyway.

Another person who ate the meal smiled and said that they liked it but really they didn’t like casseroles as they were a meat and potatoes type of person.  What happened is that you fixed a nice meal for a couple of ingrates.  What a waste of time! and now you get mad when you didn’t feel bad before.  Is it catching?  Drama attracts drama.  Sometimes no one is happy unless no one else is happy.

Is drama a disease?  Sometimes it is not so bad when the contagion involves happiness and success.  How about learning that someone is going to have a baby.  Whoops there was one person in the crowd who is childless and unable to get pregnant or better yet did successfully have a baby by in vitro fertilization and then lost it to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).  This can be a wet blanket and the person with the news now feels bad that they even mentioned it in front of that person.

Some people even stage a situation so they can create drama.  This woman had a display of fragile glass perfume bottles on a coffee table and almost the first thing that she did was to call the toddlers present attention to it and if they would not have touched the perfume bottles in the first scenario; but they will now.  Possibly it will result in a broken bottle or two, maybe the most expensive ones.  The payoff in drama is superlative and the instigator is super comfortable in her innosence, but the others don’t know how she did it or even that she set it up.

See the previous post, “Leave the Drama to the Lama”.  Feelings can be catching; but often not in a good way.  Have you ever left a group when an argument became heated.  Some of these situations can leave you shell-shocked with PTSD  (post-traumatic stress syndrome).  This is what makes soap operas so exciting.  What will they stir up next?  Calm down.  Go listen to some soothing music, take walk in the park.  Make a quick exit back to where you are feeling good again.  If someone had a bad cold would you stand close to them, kiss them or maybe even drink out of their glass.  You wouldn’t expose yourself to that so don’t expose yourself to somebody’s drama.

Sometimes drama is fun like in movies or books; but you know it is not really happening in front of you.  You might get scared, laugh hysterically, or even shed a few tears but you know down deep that it isn’t real.  If you tend to take some things seriously, then you might avoid certain types of stories.  Me, I don’t like horror shows.  There are enough really scary things happening in real life.  Has anyone followed the news lately?

 

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.

Take A Trip This Christmas And Leave Your Worries Behind

Take a trip this Christmas.  It doesn’t matter where you go  if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride.  That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow.  Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space.  We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.  The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner.  I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to.  It is out of my hands and I like it that way.  There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.

rp_300px-Face-smile.svg_.pngI leaving my worries and bills at home.  My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”;  and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home.    I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present.  I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers.   I won’t be rude or crude.  I don’t care which seat I get in the bus.  I won’t fight over a window seat .  I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing

I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously  happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough  and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind.  Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway.  Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen.  Give yourself a break.  If  possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can.  You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.

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.

 

When You Know You Are Alone in the World

i am in my world you are in your world-2-w_thumb[6]

How to make your life work for you.  What you can do to help yourself.  This is everybody’s responsibility to do for themselves.

When did you first realize that you were alone in the world?  Was it when your mother or father first put you to bed and let you cry yourself to sleep?  When did you first think about thinking (this is called metacognition)?  Was this when you first realized that you were a separate individual?  Rather lonely wasn’t it.  From feeling safe and warm cozy in our family to feeling cold and alone.

I first realized this when I went to school at age five.  I was on my own and my parents weren’t necessarily on my side.  I learned to keep secrets from them when what I did was not acceptable to them.  They were no longer always on my side.  They expected something of me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t produce.  I had a lot of spirit then but it usually led me to tears.  Was this the beginning of weltschmerz? (world pain).  I realized my parents didn’t understand me and probably never would.  How alone is that!

metacognition

metacognition (Photo credit: WOScholar)

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Creativity And Counterproductive Thinking

not who you are 344Is your thinking sometimes counterproductive?  Do you think the same old thing over and over and it doesn’t do a thing for you or your situation?  Do your thoughts often block your creativity and productivity?  How often do you think to yourself, “I can’t so why even try?”  It always keeps you from doing anything about it.

Counterproductive thinking often keeps one from thinking out of the box which is sometimes necessary to think of a solution.  Creativity is what it is all about.  Instead of thinking of one solution (even if tried and true) for a problem, think of many even if they don’t all work out then you have “exercised” your creativity.   I think the word is rigid for those who are stimmied when their planned for or go-to solution doesn’t work.

Some people have an incredibly difficult time changing gears when the first solution doesn’t work.  I always say, “If not plan A, then plan B.  If not plan B, then plan C and so on.”  The world is not designed so that “one size” fits all situations.  The brain continues to form new connections as long as you continue to use it.  Grow with me  Come share the excitement of a new ay of thinking, of possibility thinking.

Weddings are occasions when inevitably this type of problem occurs.  There seems to be at least one snafu.  The wrong wedding flowers arrive, the photographs don’t turn out, etc.  You can grin and bear it or try another way.  This ensures a happy occasion.  The guests might even think that you planned it that way.

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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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Past, Present and Future Which Is More Important To You?

Past, present, and future which is more important to you?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  You can’t change the past; you can just reinforce the effect that it has on you in the present and thus on the future.  Have you ever thought I can never live that down?  Do you realize that the person who hurt you has long forgotten about what they did and maybe even didn’t know or care at the time if your feelings were hurt?  The longer some people live, the more they have to regret.  Soon your memory is clogged with memories of the past leaving no room for the present or the future.  How many stories have you had repeatedly told to you by someone about their unhappy or unfortunate past?

Things of the present in front of the people o...

Things of the present in front of the people of the future (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or of the past, present, and future, is the future more important to you?  You may feel you have to be prepared for what misfortune the future might bring.  Worry can eat at your guts and tear at your insides and because of this are you really any more prepared when and if disaster does strike?  Yes, it might be silly or stupid to not plan at all for the future; but anxiety often does not help you to be anymore prepared for it.  In fact, anxiety can cause you to procrastinate in doing so and to wind up even more unprepared than you would have been.

Perhaps disaster does strike in the present moment.  Would you have paid an even bigger price if you had lived your life up to that point filled with dread for what might happen?  How many horrible things were created and experienced by your fertile mind when you could have been possiblely concentrating on the unspoiled peace and tranquility of the present moment?  In fact some people feel that the contents of your present thoughts have a lot to do with what will happen in the future, not only in a negative way, but also in a positive way.

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Recreating Your World, An End to Negativity

alwaysrememberfocusDo you know how much time we waste dreaming up worst case scenarios that fuel our negativity?  I do.  I have a family member who does that and on top of it he/she still practices the false belief syndrome of adolescence (that he/she always will get a raw deal in life) even though he/she is past thirty years old.  What you see is what you get.  Have you ever stopped yourself from doing this?  Have you ever thought for a moment and pictured a different scenario, one with a happy ending.  How does the scenario in your head affect your behavior, do you think it might mess you up, make you more anxious or less anxious?  Your view of whether you can succeed or not may control the amount of effort you put into something because you are thinking,”I won’t get it anyway?”  Do you prepare less?  Are you more careless with your responses?

Do we ever spend more time thinking or talking about how we would like something to be than about how we are afraid things might turn out creating more negativity?  Occasionally we might play the game of spending a million dollars in our heads.  Yes, we can have fun with that; but take it further.  If something is broken imagine it fixed or even replaced or even better yet replaced by something even better.

develop-realistic-expectationWe are forever putting what we call realistic limits on our imaginations.  We think this is not creating negativity, this is thinking realistically.  Did you ever do this as a child?  No, the more fantastic the better.  Didn’t you once think (like I did) that there were things in the White House that were so advanced and fabulous that even the rich and famous did not have them yet.  I figured the president could have anything he or she wanted and he or she would be the first one to get one when a prototype was made.

Have you ever in a prayer asked God for something or for something even better (letting God, not you, put limits on what you have asked for)?  There we are back in the cycle of negativity.  I have personally experienced remodeling and adding on to a house and then picking out the perfect floor plan and specifics for the purchase of  a double-wide.  In the first case, I drew a lot of plans.  One of which eventually became the basis for a new addition.  In the other case, I collected a lot of brochures and looked at a lot of double-wides by different manufacturers.  When I started doing both of these things, there had been no plans made to do either.  Initially I was just “wishbooking” (a term for what people used to do when they first got their Sears-Roebuck catalogs).

miracle-1In this economy, it sometimes seems hopeless to wish for the best possible thing to happen and then waste your time planning for it.  It is easy to create negativity. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find,” says the Bible.  If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when you get it?  Women, would you let someone else plan your wedding without any of your recommendations and also not be able to make any of the decisions?  Men, would you want to go on a hunting or fishing trip or a photographic safari without any control over where you will be going and what you will be doing?

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Cross Talk, Mind Chatter

mindchattercenterpointeCross talk and mind chatter represent the clutter of the mind.  Meditation developed my ability to clear my mind and turn off the conversations in my head.  My mind is usually not totally blank when I do this.  Especially when I am doing this while I am out and about.  I am aware and am able to remain alert for necessary stimuli.

I thought I had mastered the art of diminishing or even stopping the crosstalk and mind chatter in my head.  Then I realized that I was having a running commentary in my head as I was fixing myself some leftovers.  Every time I performed a necessary action like turn on the microwave, I told myself to do it.  I decided to experiment and go ahead and fix my bite to eat without having a conversation in my head with myself.  Miracle, of miracles, I could do it.

Where did that habit involving cross talk and mind chatter come from?  I usually don’t do that when I drive.  Yes, I am aware of what I am doing and what I am going to do.  Could it possibly be because there is less routine and more choices to be made when I am heating up something to eat?  Does driving involve more habits?

Also there is another factor involved in what I do in the kitchen.  I had to become more deliberate in my actions when I cooked and prepared something to eat.  Things I used to do around the house without thinking, I now had to think about because I developed physical limitations that I hadn’t had before.  I had to be careful how I did things and I had develop new ways of doing some things.  I think that this comes under the category of do-it-yourself occupational therapy.  To avoid an accident, hurting myself, or breaking or dropping something, I had to remind myself mentally to be more careful about doing some things.mindchattersleep

Now that I have formed new habits in this area,  it is about time for me to cut back on cross talk and mind chatter and “go it alone.”  Now maybe I can get in a meditative state of mind around the house.

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