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Take Your Own Advice! Nobody Else Can Use It So Well!

 

Road Rage As An Example

Road Rage As An Example

(Short;  but not too sweet.)

Do you ever listen to what you say to others?  Did you ever try to take your own advice?  What kind of advice you give can be very self-revealing.  Carefully done it is like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself reflected there, not someone else.

What are the problems that you see others as having that bother you the most?  Could it be very revealing to list them and see if you often have them too?  Make a list of the things that bother you the most.  Put them somewhere where you can look at them.  Either inside a cupboard door or the bathroom cabinet door  or out on a mirror where you will get a chance to look at it every day.

Ever hear someone say, “I don’t see why someone should do something or something should be done about that?, ” and it is clearly descriptive of what the person them-self needs to do or have done.

Don’t let yourself read this with a self-satisfied smirk as you apply it to someone else and forget who this is really about!  “You!”  Whose behavior can you really change?  “Yours!”

Mine is to tell the truth, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do, as I fear and think that I can’t handle rejection.  Why do we reject others, when we don’t want to be rejected ourselves?

Risky Business!

Do you do things everyday that could cost you your life or someone else’s life?  Do you do things daily that would or could cost you a lot of money?  Why do we take these risks?  Are we more moved by the possibility of instant satisfaction instead of safely curbing these impulses to avoid  future penalties?

Is it our inner voice that encourages or discourages this?  Do we listen to others and not our own common sense? Do we have a set of defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization in place to prevent our listening to warnings in our own head, in the media, or from our family?denialquote,Egypt

How few of the life promoting resolutions that get made at New Years ever come to fruition such as driving safely or living a more healthy lifestyle?

Also do we put our own lives first or do we satisfy everybody else’s needs and neglect our own which then justifies our breeches of safety when we do have a chance to do  something impulsive and costly when we feel that we have a chance to satisfy our own needs versus those of others.

 

 

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Happy, Happy, Happy!

My happy face anyway!.

My happy face anyway!.

Taking a Rocket Risk  ala  Mary Mcellehattan’s book,.  Going where my heart’s desire is.  Fuflilling my bucket list.  It may be my last hurrah; but I am going.  Learned a lesson.  Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

Create your own happiness.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.  It’s your decision.  It’s your life.  You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it.  Don’t lose the moment.  I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before.  Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good.  Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.

Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do.  Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process.  Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions.  Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience.  Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.?  Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company.   Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway.  Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.

Experiment!  Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group.  How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat.  Do you wait to see what others are

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

going to order first?   Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.”  I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season.  I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!

Planning a life experience like I am.  Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it.   It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want.  It’s your trip, it’s your budget.  What do you like best about visiting some other place?  I like to get to know the people and taste the food.  I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals.  I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local.  I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary.  I want to really experience the place while I am there.

Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.”  That negativity can last for a lifetime.  Who is being negative about this.  You oar someone else?  Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.”  Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do.  Does someone in your family have this power over you?  To whose benefit is it?  There was a cartoon character  that always had a rain cloud over his head.  This could be you if you let this happen.

“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!”  Have you heard that before?  Does it have to be true?  How about having a good time anyway.  Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing.  Don’t let this happen!   Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!

You Can Get Away With It! Or Should You?

Do you ever listen in on other people’s conversations or do you ever even listen to the comments you make about others in your head! How negative are they. Why does it make us feel better to put other people down? What does it say about us if we are always putting down, criticizing, and denigrating others and ourselves? Why are we constantly bringing down our own and other people’s self-esteem? Why is gossip only juicy when it is about bad things about others.rp_291253057_150_150.jpg This can be called being defensive or self defense doing this to others or yourself before someone else can. Or is this because we are in constant competition? Can we  only get ahead by climbing on someone else’s back. Why does it seem not to make us feel good by saying something nice about somebody and/or are we afraid if we say something nice about ourselves, someone else will put us down? Do we have to hurt others before they hurt us? Is this a good form of self-defense?

Worse yet we often do this by telling lies, not the truth. Lying is a bad habit whether it’s telling white lies, black lies or lies of omission instead of commission. We have built in lie detectors that we are born with but we are taught from early on not to trust our instincts about this. How convenient this is to help enable others to tell us what to think so we really don’t know how things are when it is convenient for them to do so. For example, child molesters find this very hand a very handy way to coherse children into being victims.

No mater how convenient it is for parents to tell a child a little “white” lie how destructive can it be when other people with not so good motives in mind to be able to get away with this. For example, have you ever heard an adult tel a child an untruth just to upset them and then the adult gets a good laugh out of the child being upset because they think what the adult told them was true. Does the child have gullibility or has the child’s basic sense of trust in others been broken?

face-partsSince when has it become funny to hurt others in any way? What does doing this do to civilization? Carelessly doing this for a joke or because it is easy or convenient provides a bad example. How often in the past have we heard as children be on your best behavior when adults did not follow that example themselves. Monkey see; monkey do? How often were we told to keep this a secret if we caught an adult doing this after telling us as a child not to?  Is this a double standard?

Since when have we learned that it doesn’t pay to be honest and that telling the truth can get you in trouble? What a distorted, dishonest, ugly world we live in. In business and politics today.  It is the norm not the exception that this occurs.  It is alright if you can get away with it and if they get away with it, most assuredly they will do it again and again and again as they think that they will get away with it again and again and they usually do.

 

also liars insist that others should tel the truth as they know it wil hurt them. If you are on the wronside of the right  side, you can’t “get away” with anything but it is no problem if you are not. . Why therefore is being politically correct a one way street?  Certain people, political groups, and religions get cited for this while others do not. The former can’t get away with it while the later can! What kind of an example of justice is this for our children? No wonder they grow up mixed up with no internal standards of behavior.

You Don’t See It (All) Coming

Oh, Oh, I have been thinking again and have just got to get it out where you and I can see it and read it.  So here again is another rough draft.

You don’t see it all.  Don’t you think that you could trip over something if you didn’t see it and you might get badly hurt.  Most of us do this all the time psychologically.  If it hurts to think of something, it is easier sometimes to forget it.  If we have a fault, it feels better to focus on the faults of others rather than our own.  Where do you think gossip c0mes from?

Gossiping

Gossiping

If we have a significant failure in our life or think we lack ability in an important area, we might overcompensate by focusing all our time and energy in another area where we think we are might be able to do better or there is less competition.  This often happens in families where an older sibling is a star athlete or straight A scholar.  Have you ever heard about a young girl who is attractive and limber and says she won’t try out for cheerleader because her old sister or cousin was one and she couldn’t compete.    Are we just fooling ourselves  (“Pride goeth before a fall”) or are we making it to a bad situation.

For example, frequently extremely talented people when their performances turn into money making propositions, often neglect to get good help in managing their assets and live in a fantasy land where they don’t have to think about things like that.  They often give over control of their own organization to someone else while retaining the right to spend what they earn as they see fit.  Can’t you see the train wreck coming in this type of situation?rp_300px-The_game_you_play.jpgFreud called these tendencies to avoid psychological pain and difficulties defense mechanisms.  They are projection, overcompensation, denial, repression, and rationalization.  As good a job as they do of protecting us, they can get in our way of living a full and healthy life.

For example, if you lived in an area with poisonous snakes denying that they lived in your part of the country, might lead to a dangerous surprise someday especially if you go to an area where these snakes are known to live and come out of hiding to lay in the warm sun because they are cold blooded creatures and you both pick the same sunny spot?! to sun bath.  In this case ignorance is not bliss.rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpgBlame rhymes with shame and that is what we feel when we do this.  Shaming is a powerful tool used by significant others and others in power over us to keep us from doing something or to get us to do something.  Shame seems to have no useful purpose but to thwart us in our desires.  Often this turns into a situation like in the story about the emperor’s new clothes.  The tailor had the emperor thinking that he had such a fine cloth to make him a new outfit that only very special people could see it and thus were able to wear it.  How the townspeople laughed when they saw him in the new outfit that the tailor had made for him and they could only see he had only underclothes.rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgWhat we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with our senses and what we make of them are our perceptions.  After you go to bed and turn most of the lights off, you won’t be able to see anything until your eyes adjust and then what you see will be mainly black and white and not as clear as you normally would see it.  Now do you know why toddlers see monsters and are afraid of the dark at bedtime.

Last night my little grand daughter was spending the night and sleeping on the couch.  She keep asking about that black thing over there in the corner and was not satisfied until I went over there and found what she was looking at, a dark blue throw in a heap on the floor next to Grandpa’s recliner.  Since she trusted me and I reassured her with my actions by checking it, she went to sleep.rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpgChildren are less stupid than we give them credit for being.  They know less than we do and may have put together what they know in a guileless way, but it still makes sense if you can see it from their point of view.  Unhappily sometimes it is easier to put these children off or tell them a convenient lie than to spend the time it really takes to understand and deal with the situation.  For example, the old there are no monsters under the bed comment which can lead to tears on the child’s part and frustration on the adult’s part.

Do we hide stuff from ourselves by using such things as defense mechanisms?  Then do they come back to haunt us in the future?  Maybe it is better when you do see it all, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us.  How often does one partner not see it coming when the other partner asks for a divorce and/or has an affair?  Yes, we do have to focus in order to get anything done like texting while driving but then we might fatally fail to attend to something else that was going on at the same time.

 

 

Adoption Of Slavery Eats At The Soul

Whenever man chooses to use some form of slavery to amass a fortune and gain power over others, he loses his soul.  In order to do this a person has to lie to himself, herself, or others to do this.  The most unfortunate thing is when a person lies to him or her self about what he or she is doing and comes to believe it.   The worst person to lie to is oneself.rp_300px-Accounting_bruce.jpgOne lie leads to another.  Watch the movie, 12 Years A Slave.  The plantation owner’s wife was led to deceive so she could keep her husband and plantation.  The plantation owner deceived himself and how he treated his mistress who was one of his slaves.  The slave herself lied to the plantation owner and those who lived on the plantation about her feelings about being forced to be his mistress.  The other slaves and the plantation owner’s wife didn’t know that the mistress was doing this against her will and she endured cruelty from the plantation owner’s wife, other slaves, and as well as the plantation owner himself.

What a life we live when first we practice to deceive.  Does the end justify the means?  How often do you lie to yourself or others in order to not feel guilty or shamed about something.  Especially if we are vulnerable to the judgment of others.  Rationalizing is giving a “good” reason for doing something that others will accept without criticism.  It also could be said that someone was justifying something they did.rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

Confession is good for the soul.  The place to start is with your own conscience.  Examine yourself.  Are you telling any lies of omission and/or co-mission.  Remember only a fool believes his or her own lies and lets them becomes his or her reality.  If you believe you can’t for give yourself for something you did or said, it is more likely that you can’t reveal  that you have been rationalization and justifying these things to others and yourself.  Your justifications and rationalizations you do reveal even to yourself what they really are lies.

Do you conveniently forget stuff you have done that makes you uncomfortable?  Do you tell a “made up” reason for doing something so frequently in order to be more comfortable, that you have forgotten the real reason.rp_300px-Boy_and_girl_from_Mauritius.jpg

As adults we often find it easy to bamboozle our  children and get them to believing something that is not true.  Then we laugh at how they react.  Sometimes they even cry.  Yes, it is easy to lie to children or to others who don’t know what we know; but should we.  Taking their innocence away from children is stealing using lies and deceit.  Children are not called “innocent” for nothing.

Charlatans and psychopaths know when they are lying, but they don’t care if they are telling the truth or not.  Do you?  Get something the “right” way or don’t get it at all.  When you lie, you lose everyone’s respect including your own.

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

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

Families

Families (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Guilt And How It Sidetracks Forgiveness

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Did you ever think about how guilt sidetracks you and keeps you from forgiving yourself?  Many people have difficulty forgiving themselves if they feel guilty about something.  This can be a tremendous burden to bear and it prevents many people from letting go and moving on.  Many people feel that in order to be forgiven that the slate must be wiped clean and the alleged transaction forgotten.  If they can’t forgive themselves and forget, why should anybody else forgive them?

For some people to admit that they might have done something wrong destroys their self-esteem and makes them feel valueless.  They are their own worst critics and to say that they did something wrong can be self-destructive.  Having done a lot of psychotherapy in my life and having been in psychotherapy, the things that are the hardest to admit are the things that we can’t stop feeling guilty about.  Often therapy reaches a stumbling block when one of these issues needs to be brought up.

Sometimes people admit that they secretly are their own worst critics.  Then it follows that if they beat themselves up about something, that other people should tell them that what they did was not so bad after all.  When this isn’t true, therapy often can’t move forwards.  The pain of the self-remorse is so great that they feel that no one would ask them to take the next step forward and say that what they did, thought, or said was egregious.  They think how can anybody love me if I did that if I can’t forgive and love myself?

What is worst is that sometimes in order unconsciously to prove that what they did was not that bad, they continue to do it.  Thereby burying themselves deeper and deeper in the morass of guilt and self-blame.  Take sexual harassment for example, the person involved can’t conceive of themself as a careless cad so they don’t change their behavior.  It was just a joke or something that all girls ask for by their behavior or form of dress.  They don’t realize that the buck stops with themselves no matter who the other person is or what the other person does.  Anyway it is just their perception of the other person that they are responding to and it may actually be schewed.

There is no one here on earth (except Christ, who is here only in spirit, but not in the flesh like the rest of us) who is blameless and self-sacrificing.  Mother Teresa admitted to faults and she was always working on them.  I am sure Pope Francis would say something much the same.

The key to changing this behavior is forgiving yourself and once this is done the repetition compulsion loses it’s steam.   This also makes it easier to forgive others when you realize that in some ways you are no different from them.  In Christianity, God offers forgiveness for people’s sins but often people don’t accept it because that would involve admitting that they really did something wrong.  Forgiveness is free; accepting it is personal choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anger Causes You Stress

Anger Controlls Him

Anger Controlls Him (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anger causes you stress.  Anger can eat you from the inside out..  It is usually not your servant.  Something happens and you have to blame someone, somebody else or yourself.  This (you probably think) will give you more control over your life.

Not that anger will solve anything especially if you don’t do something with it.  We have all heard of the flight or fight response.  Your body gets ready physically to do one or the other.  When these changes are short-term and occur when you are ready to use them, they can be helpful, not harmful.  If they result in a prolonged alarm response, then they can be harmful.  They are there to motivate a person to react.

Externalization therapy, ala Dr. Elisabeth-Kubler Ross, encourages the expression

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

of these sometimes harmful emotions.  You can beat a pillow, tear up a phone book, scream, or cry to release them.  Doing this can also result in other people in the group who are watching becoming upset about their own problems and needing to do some externalization work too.  No comments by the persons watching on the persons doing this technique are allowed.

Anger can be like a freight train coming toward you which increases in speed the closer it gets.  How can anybody be reasonable in this situation?  Yes, you can count to ten, leave the situation, decide to discuss the problem later when tempers are not hot.

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