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Do You Respect Yourself As Much As You Respect Other people?

rp_300px-Grad_Students.jpgWhen  someone is rude inappropriate or disrespectful to you, are you too embarrassed to speak up for yourself or are you afraid that the other person might get angry at you?  Some people count on you doing this so they can keep on doing what upsets you either to you or others.  Sometimes we feel “we got it wrong” and if we said something we might be made to look foolish.

From the female point of view, some men think that they can grope a woman or cop a feel and the women won’t act like anything is wrong.  Somehow taking the blame on themselves, not putting it on the offender.  The offender sometimes says, “You liked it.  I can tell.”  They believe women somehow are inviting them to do this and they are just doing what the women want them to do but are afraid to say.

rp_8779146668_6e5def7ac9_n.jpgShould I list the men who have done this to me?  Also, some sexual talk, pictures, videos, and movies are off-putting to some women rather than arousing.  But we don’t want to rain on a man’s parade and let him do it and even watch, I would say sometimes uneasily,  ourselves.

Has woman’s lib gone too far?  Are women thinking that under the new era, that women should be more sexually active and cooperative when they are not comfortable doing it?  Is groping by your male seatmate in the back seat of a car while another couple makes out in the front seat satisfying or uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassing?

rp_5307249644_41b9ef6f0f_m.jpgThe woman’s idea of a sexual relationship is that it involves at least mutual affection, mutual sexual attraction, comfort, and privacy.  Some women up the amp even more and want the penthouse suite so to speak, etc.

Women can be very cautious about expressing their wants and desires sexually and it may be something they have not had practice doing.  Men like to express their dominance in a sexual relationship for bragging rights to other men (that’s a no-no) and the secure feeling that they are right about what their opinions are about what makes for great sex (for him) and they won’t take no for an answer.

Another true story, I had a professor like that and it was difficult for my office manager friend to keep him in secretaries he was so disgusting and predatory.  Yet, the rest of the office (mainly men) thought he was a great guy.  He was actually inconsiderate and self-engrossed.

emotional-abuse-disney-princess-16471851-496-479Did he try something on me, yes, and I did not consider him attractive or available (he was married and had a family) even though I was divorced at the time.  During that time there, I met a much younger man with whom I was comfortable with and who was attractive in a cozy comfortable way.  I wasn’t a cold fish, the professor was not my cup of tea and he was nasty to women and I didn’t like him or like to be around him.

True story, I was in a small crowded attic room with this professor and other students.  Several students and this professor were smoking.  My eyes started to water.  I am not a smoker.  He told me to take my contact lens out if the smoke was bothering me and that day, I was wearing glasses.  I said nothing.

11478115084_52613dd791_zHow much is allowed to go on; because we don’t speak up.  I once told my guiding pastor that it did not seem polite to start a ruckus in church but some people deserved ton be confronted.  I was not denying them Jesus but doing what Jesus did with his disciples when they were not doing the right thing,  They were ordinary men who sometimes got off in the wrong direction and Jesus knew what they were doing or were going to do and told them that.

What have I got to lose if I do this (speak up in public), maybe just self-respect.  Don’t let others “buffalo” you into accepting something from that them that you feel is wrong and should be stopped because somebody is or will or could be hurt.  We even though we are innocent bystanders sometimes have to confront the problem we see happening in front of our eyes even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

Once a man (I’ll call him a young man because he has a lot of growing up to do, was “high” in front and was very self-satisfied about how he was when he was high and even proud of himself.  I do like and love the guy but he can be exasperating sometimes.  I confronted him about being high (he thinks I am a nerd and don”t notice when he is high) and his “false” self-confidence and narcissistic attitude was really phony and annoying.

 

Some Beliefs That Keep You Down

  1. control freak That you have to control others or they will control you.
  2. . That others can make you feel bad.
  3.   That many people in this society (including you) are of little value.
  4.    That only a dope gives to others not expecting to get anything in return.
  5.   That you have to be what you have been conditioned to be from birth.
  6.  That what  you see, hear, or perceive in any way must be the same as everybody else.
  7.  That the theories about life and the universe that others have are the only ways to view them.
  8. Sheep go where they are told to go, eat what is provided for them to eat, and ultimately give their lives so that somebody else doesn’t have to.
  9. That you are destined to be alone and you are lucky if you capture anybody’s attention, no matter how little and no matter how long.
  10. That those who think that they are supposed to control us, know more than we do.

Don’t Let Other People Get You Down

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpgAre you observant? sensitive? and/or vulnerable to other people’s problems?  Do the people around you often wind up raining on your parade?  Fear? frustration? anger? Almost all negative feelings can be catching.  Should you stay in such a situation because you feel that you have obligated yourself to stay?  That has often been my situation in the past….

I have walked out on one movie in my life.  I usually feel that I have to stay because I paid for it or because somebody else told me it was good.  I didn’t trust my own judgment!  However, there was one movie that mesmerized me and it was three hours long.  I didn’t move for three hours and suffered the consequences when I could hardly get up at the end!

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgI have learned to dodge people especially strangers when I see them coming towards me with a storm cloud surrounding them.  I know that I am not a part of their problem and I don’t want to become a part of their problem.  Sometimes I have seen people come for an evaluation and I just positively know that they want to and probably will make a complaint about me to the agency that referred them.

Sometimes it’s a parent or a relative of the person referred.  To them, I am a “professional” target.  They want to prove me wrong and possibly to get me in trouble.  I have played “turtle” with these people and kept my head in my shell to avoid conflict and did not confront them about their attitudes because that is what they seemed to want.

rp_333788350_150_150.jpgThere are also “poor me’s” who want to share and share their problems with you in order to ultimately prove they are unsolvable.  As both of you become more and more depressed in the process, no progress is made and perhaps the process has gone backward.

Don’t be a mirror and reflect other peoples’ problems.  Don’t soak up “bad” feelings and experience a downer.

On the other hand, be careful and don’t get sold on something another person is extremely positive about and make decisions you can’t back out of later.  Say let me take a minute, let me think about that, I’ll get back to you.  Even better say it is a decision you can’t make until you consult with another person you are involved with whether it is a financial planner,  spouse, or boss.

Genuine feelings can be shared and it can be a great experience whether it is happiness or grief.  I once cried with one of my daughters over a lost relationship.  I never regretted that.  Sharing feelings can be relationship building.  You also don’t want to be a cold fish that never seems to care about anything.  Sometimes food can’t be enjoyed because the person eating it can’t taste it.

Exhilaration can be catching.  Have you ever laughed so hard that you couldn’t catch your breath?  One of the most solemn persons I know grew up in an orphanage.  He or she did not do without the necessities of life or responsible caregivers, but there was something lacking in his childhood and it was the mutual sharing of feelings.

Boundary Problems?

With what is going on in Europe now with boundary problems, it is getting more and more clear that having little or no boundaries makes them vulnerable to people who will take advantage of that.

taking-advice-badgeDo you feel that you are a pushover?  Why are you a pushover?  Is it because you want people to like you.  Can’t you think of a reason not to do it?

You think you are a good person and that others are good people too.  Not setting appropriate boundaries leaves you wide open to people who don’t think like you do.  It also leaves you wide open when you should be setting boundaries like with children and people who work under your supervision.  Are you the kind of parent or boss who often winds up picking up after their children and/or doing someone else’s work along with your own?rp_23219947_8c2cef7e59_m.jpg

How long can you do this type of thing without feeling angry?  “Read my lips” no more “nice” guy or girl.  You also lose people’s respect too.  I have grandchildren and I can tell who does and who does not set boundaries with the grandchildren by the children’s behavior.  You are courting chaos when you don’t do this.

Righteous anger?  Is that possible?  Is it polite?  When we continue to let people take advantage of us (and we know it) aren’t we lying?  Isn’t this a “sin?” of omission?  So this person or child takes advantage of us figuring we don’t really say what we mean.

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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?

 

Continuing Growth Is Necessary For A Psychotherapist

loud-noisesNo, once chosen the profession of a psychotherapist or counselor requires continuing growth.  Sometimes in surprising ways.

Freudian psychotherapists have raised the subject of transference in the relationship between a therapist and a client.  Transference can go both ways.  Something about the client makes them see the therapist in a certain way.  Sometimes something about the therapist makes them see the client in a certain way.

Education in a profession such as psychotherapy can lead the practitioner to believe they must present themselves as  experts in the field and as not vulnerable to the types of things that bring ordinary clients into therapy.  This can lead to rationalization and denial on the therapists part.

Rationalization means that the therapst can create a good explanation as to why he or she is not vulnerable to the types of problems his or her patients have.  Denial can also result from the taking of this position and it can cause therapy to not move forward for the client.

Personal growth is one way possibly to help stop this from happening. Does the development of one’s self-concept and concept of life stop with attaining one’s maturity whether at 18, 21, or 35?  No, it does not.  Our perspective on life constantly changes with new experiences.

Honestly does a psychotherapist think that they can understand exactly how they learned to be who they think they are and stop growing.  Wouldn’t personal growth experiences for psychotherapists help with this?

Is there only one answer?  Hasn’t science found this out.  What things did scientists believe were true when your parents were children and what have you or your children learned in the present that scientists’ did not know or believe then?

Remember the old saying, “Do as I say!” not “Do as I do!”

Also the more defensive barbed wire a therapist puts between him or herself and what he or she is asking their patient to do, the more “phony” and indefensible they become as therapists.

New learning and new growth leads to enthusiasm to carry this over into the psychotherapist’s work.  Insights developed this way can help a therapist be more responsive in therapy.   I now hear and see more things than I used to see or hear in everyday interpersonal interaction.

For example I can still learn from a four year old that grandma is not always smiling and looking happy when she thinks she is especially when I am feeling that I am working at something and forgeting to enjoy doing it.

 

 

Hypocrites? (Warning X-Rated?)

When  man “fools” around, he is just being a man.  When a man gets it on with a  woman he considers “easy”, he will often say later, when men are talking about women who are wh–res or sl-ts, that she is one of them.    What does that make him?  Some men have sex with a willing woman and then put her down for doing it.

What about countries where women who are the unwilling victims of rape are considered to blame for what happened, not the man who did it, and are put to death.

Aren’t men more easily turned on by physical things or how a woman looks to them and what they fantasize about her and then they blame the woman for leading them on when she refuses to cooperate or reciprocate their ardor.  Women are more carried off by romantic notions and anticipated intimacy.

Why can’t a woman be more like a man (from “My Fair Lady”, the musical) and why can’t a man be more like a woman?  Men and women are different in terms of what physiologically arouses them.  This is why it takes longer for a woman to be ready for intercourse and longer to “come” to orgasm once she is aroused and her partner could become impatient.

Thus women sometimes “fake it” because the woman wants to please the man in order to support the relationship which is import to her.  Women are often more concerned about pleasing others and putting the needs of others first before their own in order to do this.

Thus communication is important for the relationship,  Sometimes men and sometimes even women expect the other person to instinctively know what turns the opposite sex on.

No wonder women when talking to other women talk about how they “fake” orgasms and they are more likely to have had “unwanted” sex especially the first time.  Men have often had more solo practice at coming to orgasm and arousing themselves then women have so they may be more “ready” for sex than the woman is and can make a woman feel guilty if she doesn’t comply with their desires.

Sometimes a relationship implicitly implies that a couple will have sex.  This can be the origin of a “date rape”.  This can result in a man using the less than gracious “come on” line such as, “You wanna?” after a long, boring, and tedious date during which the man got drunk and ignored the woman.

Are there precious and gracious men out there?  Yes there are.  Ones who use rose petals and candles to set the stage (often for marriage  proposals).

Atmosphere can be very important.  Don’t choose a fishing camp or a hunting lodge for your first encounter whether before or after marriage.  The back seats of cars and the typical bachelor pad are often not very romantic.  In the front seat, the steering wheel and/or the gear shift can get in the way and the smell of dirty socks and well worn running shoes is often not very pleasant neither is a bare mattress that may have never seen sheets..  Nor is the possibility of a roommate snoring prone in the next bed or carrying on with another girl on the couch in the next room.

 

 

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.

Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella (Song Lyric)

Facial Expressions?If you smile with your eyes, you are not telling lies.  What do you think?  We have been trained to give a false smile if we want to be polite or to not offend somebody or to not be seen as unfriendly.  Most people smile just with their mouths when they do this.  Do you smile with your whole face?  Do you just “beam” when you do this?

Many of us practice denial most of the time and say we are happy or not mad when we really aren’t.  How do we get trained to do this?  I see many people with unhappy, sad, or “down in the mouth” looks on their faces and when i “call them on it” they deny it.  Who are they fooling? or do they really think that they are not showing their real feelings?

Children are great “truth” tellers and objective observers until they learn how to be polite and lie about what they feel, see, or think.  How often are you congruent?  That is how often does your facial expression or body posture match the content of what you say you are feeling inside or how you feel about someone else or something else?

How often do we really look into someone one’s eyes and see what is actually there.  From early on in childhood, we camouflage genuine feelings in ourselves and even punish others, especially children, for saying or acting like what they really feel.

An animated face conveys interest in someone or something and verifies what the person is saying with their voice.  How often do we call people on it when they don’t do this even though they say that they really feel involved and interested?

Once you give up this pretense of being polite and telling white lies, people often think you are acting childishly and not like a grown up when you actually have grown up and are now dealing with reality.

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.