Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

anxiety

When An Immovable Object Like You Can Not Be Challenged, It Is Difficult For You Or Possibly Them To Get Upset As There Is No Emotional Payoff And You Can Keep Your Cool

People count on the fact that you can be upset, that you will buy their spiel, that you can be made to leave them alone, or anything else that they want you to do or feel. Have you ever just observed what a person looks like they are feeling, what they are trying to get across and then decided that you are not going to fall for their ploy. Can you anticipate what they are going to do from what they look like, for example, a dark rolling thunder cloud? I once saw a woman who looked like she was dressed to impress and because of this, she was wanting to make the impression that she was upper class and expected to get her way. It was clear that she was going to get angry. You know what I did I quickly pushed my cart down another aisle in the farm store where I could avoid her and not become a part of her drama which she was intending to play out and win the upset of another person, mostly a clerk, but if not a clerk than another shopper like me. Ouch. She appeared to be extremely self-righteous, stately, and ready to blow up as soon as she ran into a ready victim, someone who would easily feel to blame for her upset and grant her desire to feel self-righteous.

Surprise, surprise, I do not always have to play the victim of someone else’s desires. I can be calm, I can leave the scene, and I cannot provide such a person with their reward by being a willing victim in their desired vignette. Another scene that I can sense coming is when my spouse is ready to judge me is when I know I have done something that he could accuse me of like eating the last piece of cake, of course, the smallest piece of cake, or not knowing where the car keys are or putting them up somewhere that I am not sure where I placed them. It is easier to admit what I am guilty of by confirming that I did it in a matter of fact way. Then the desired upset is difficult for him to carry out when I admit I am guilty in a matter of fact way. Then the desired drama is difficult for him to carry out. I, at the beginning, tell him I did the thing that he is anticipating that I did wrong without getting upset, feeling guilty, or getting mad at him for finding me out.

Meditation is a habit that can reinforce one’s ability to keep their cool. As in meditation, you can relax while letting your thoughts pass by while not attending to them. Also, you can develop the habit of choosing not to feel guilty or emotionally upset by letting your thoughts plague you til you begin to suffer. Focusing on a situation often does not do any good especially when you know what you should have done or what you ought to do in the future. Manipulators are good at predicting what people will do or feel and can accomplish their own selfish ends this way. For example, they can usually count on people doing the “polite” thing.

Count on developing your blank face as one form of defense with such people. “Oh, you were speaking to me.” Is another good line and form of defense and usually catches such people off guard. People like these count on getting another person’s or at least some person’s attention or (God Forbid) everyone’s attention. Who knows what potentially they have to sound off about and why they think they can count on having a willing victim or willing victims.

Practice being calm and being like a duck who can let the water run off of his back and being undisturbed. Potentially you can put off with dealing with some things later when you have more time to think and you are not being pressured to come up with a solution. Manipulators count on you to be bumfuzzled and unable to come up with an appropriated response. My poor deceased half sister-in-law counted on this to happen when in front of a crowd of people, she asked me, “Who cut your hair?” in a very critical voice and I was able to come up with an appropriate comeback, “Who asked you?” She counted on catching me off guard and she had a reputation for doing this kind of thing and getting away with it. Fortunately, I was able to come up with immediately an appropriate comeback. She always counted on her victim to not have a chance to think of something appropriate to say. Another way to have short-circuited her would to have sought out someone appropriate in the crowd and asked them what they thought of what she said or what they thought about how I looked. As mean as my sister-in-law could be and everybody knew it, surely some most would have come up something in my defense.

You do not have to accept being manipulated by such people; you just have to plan ahead to control your feelings and not become a victim. Sometimes you just have to leave and say to yourself or them, “I don’t have time for this”. If you feel you have to have an excuse to leave, say you are busy or say you are tired and have dealt with enough that day or you might have to be rude (think about how rude they are being) and say that the person is being rude or is trying to manipulate you or that they should get the h-ll out of your face; you don’t want to tolerate any more of their sh-tt that day.”

You can do the same thing with your own inner feelings and thoughts. Say, “I don’t want to feel that way anymore,” to yourself and/or, “I don’t need to feel guilty about that as I have already done that enough” and/or say to yourself “I am sorry for what I have done and have made my own personal spiritual or practical amends.” and/or “I realize I need to do something about that but it is not now time to do it” and/or “I have thought enough about it for this day or week or whatever and it is not helping me make any progress in my life to obsess about this now.”

Realize manipulators do not do this. They get their reward and do not waste time feeling bad about what they did. Don’t think a lot about being manipulated except for long enough to realize you what was done to you and do some to limit the damage if possible and momentarily if necessary. That is something practical that any victim would do especially if there are necessarily like any tie limits to do something like stopping a check from being cashed. Choke the lesson up to experience with your mistake as being an experience.

Some people do things that indirectly that hurts and they don’t understand that they are hurting themselves and others too. Indirectly it results in the angry dissolution of the relationship with the other person being blamed and the person who is mad at them does not understand that they did something themselves to harm the relationship too. It frequently seems to involve being able to read minds. If I do something for someone else who may need my help and they don’t realize that it is ultimately an imposition on me and they ask me to do it again without them realizing that was an imposition on me and I feel that they should not have asked me to do it again but they did not know that I was thinking that.

This set of behaviors seems to involves mindreading as a sport. I’ll do something really nice for you, but I want you to understand that you should never ask me to do it again because it was an imposition on me. Complicated, isn’t it. The only counteraction would be to call the person on it who did the favor if you get a chance to talk to the person again and suggest that they should have said, “No,” the first time or said, “I can do it for you this one time; but don’t count on me to do it for you, the next time you have that problem.” However, it may lead to a whole bunch of “shoulds” like who should be doing it for you instead of them, etc., etc.

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

Shame The Great Manipulator, The Great Trap Of Unworthness

I was raised on shame.   It was my claim to fame.  I was not recognised for what I did well, but for those things I did not do so well.  I was also convinced over time that I could not do them well and when that happened that people would give up on me.  I thought there were only so many things in life that other people would approve of and that I was not capable of doing them well enough to make other people proud of me.  I was recognised for what or where I could not meet up to other people’s standards and I felt like I was a great disappointment to my family so much so my relatives did not want other people to know that I was related to them.

I was so easily made to feel shameful that I was bullied, I was suicidal, and I was made to feel that I could never meet up to other people’s standards (of which there was only one set) and I would ultimately be rejected and thrown out on the street if that was possible.  There was only one person to blame and that was me and I didn’t know any different.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Worse yet I realized that in sexually inappropriate situations the victim (that was me) was always the one who should feel ashamed and had something to hide instead of the reverse.  Getting caught in a sexually compromising situation was something I should cover up, sneak out of, and pretend didn’t happen even though I now know it qualified as sexual abuse.   It was something to be covered up and forgotten if possible.

Brene Brown with her doctorate in Social Work found that we have three shields that we can use as shields against shame.  We can forget or not talk about what we see as a shameful situation.  Men will tell you that they are not comfortable talking about certain things that happened to them as they were growing up or even later in life such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and even had pushed these things so far out of mind that they did not remember them.

Another shield against shame mentioned by Dr. Brown was appeasement.  If someone is dissatisfied with you or something you have done, you try to make it up to them or make them so happy or satisfied in another way that they will forget that you did not or might not make them happy.  Another word for this might be “brown nosing”.

Another possibility would be going towards or against the person or situation that makes you feel shameful and take it out aggressively toward them or it.  This is the third shame shield mentioned by Dr. Brown.  Could the liberal Democrats’ behaviour after the election of President Donald Trump be an example of this?  Are they ashamed that their candidate did not win over such an unlikely candidate?

Sometimes our entire life can be motivated by shame and others can get what they want us to do by shaming us and can feel better about themselves by winning over us in this way.  I have often felt that being a woman, especially a woman professional, made me a target for this sort of thing.  If a woman can do it (what I did) it must be something easy to obtain and therefore not worth much.  The step between someone with a Masters degree and a Ph.D. must be pretty easy if she can do it.  I did not attend the graduation ceremonies when I received my doctorate (because it was not such a big deal)?

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.

Why People Can’t Change

Why people can’t change:

1.  They would have to admit they were wrong about something.

2.  They might have to make some other changes too.

3.  It would take too much time.

4.  They are waiting for somebody else to change first.

5.  They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.

6.  They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.

7.  Having to be always right even if it kills you.

Why they should change:

1.  To stop putting money down a rat hole.

2.  To become an example for somebody else.

3.  To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.

4.  To save more  time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.

5.  To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.

6.  To learn something new.

In the long run there are great benefits:  For example, learning to drive as an adult.  Erased my dependency on others.  Gave me freedom.

amygdala

 

 

 

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.

Shame, Shame, Shame On You, Not Me

Have you ever been publicly shamed by somebody when you were especially vulnerable and unable to defend yourself?  Do you know who ought to have been ashamed for doing this?  Probably that person, not you.

Have you ever goofed, made a mistake, or have been unable to control a situation,  not because you didn’t want to but because you couldn’t at that moment.  Some people are blind to their own mistakes but can see those of others in H-D or 3D for those of you who don’t have it yet on your TV.

These people can be merciless and drive people away from places where they have as much right to be as the other person.  This often happens in family restaurants and places of worship.  These critical comments are usually not accompanied by an ofter to do what they can to help in the situation.

These people often wear blinders to their own faults and to those of others close to them.  This is especially true when this is behavior that they might have had problems with once upon a time.  People can be especially intolerant of the behavior of children and infants when they are no longer dealing with them.  They tend to forget what it was like to have kids and how hard it is to be a parent.

People have a tendency to only comment on what they see is wrong and not be aware of what is really going on that might prompt them to  be more understanding.  You never might really know what is really going on in a situation that might prompt the behavior.  We were celebrating a birthday at a nice restaurant when my grandson threw temper fit after temper fit and nothing worked as far as disciplinary techniques were concerned.  Later, when he got home, he was violently ill.  No one could have predicted that.

Remember,  build people up.  Don’t knock them down.  What would you want others to do for you?  Truly gracious people don’t need to do this to embarrass others.

 

 

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.

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?