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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.

 

 

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

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.

The Three R And R’s

Rest and Relaxation, Rules and Regulations, Rights and Responsibilities.  Which one don’t we need?  How about a vote?

My vote is for Rules and Regulations.  They are something we can do without if we have established Rights and Responsibilities.  Values and Morals are internal standards established by the soul to live in this world with other souls.  Values and Morals generate what a soul considers to be individual rights and to be the accompanying responsibilities that go with having these rights.self discipline

Rules and Regulations are established only for people who do not have values and morals or who do not have the same values and morals and fight over them.  A strong commitment to a set of rights (the amendments of the constitution) and responsibilities makes having rules and regulations almost unnecessary.

Rest and relaxation enable us to continue doing these things that we consider the right things to do.  God established Sundays as a day of rest.  A period of time when relaxation, not responsibilities, takes the fore front.  We must care for ourselves like we care for others.  For example, what good is an exhausted caregiver to the one who needs care?  We also need a time to go over our values in life and to determine if we are still adhering to them.

We also used to be “on duty” when we were at work, not wasting time looking at social media (which we can do after work) or texting and at 5 P.M. we were off duty and free to see our friends and family and catch up on things at home as well as clean up and get a refreshing night’s sleep.  Parents are not supposed to be “mystery people” who pick up and drop off children somewhere and bring them home only to sleep.  Worse yet no one needs an exhausting commute to and from work or shift work that upsets a person’s internal clock.

Nothing Is More Enticing Than Negativity Especially In These Trying Times

Versus Bad Vibrations

Versus Bad Vibrations

This may not cheer you up and make your day; but you and everyone else needs to hear it!  Have you ever seen Bubble Guppies (you would have if you had grand babies the same age as mine)?  On Bubble Guppies there was an episode which featured Mr. Grump Fish.  Do you know him or is that you some days?

Mr. Grump Fish was not very attractive.  That’s not very surprising is it?  Oh, he wasn’t particularly handsome and he wasn’t particularly ugly until you noticed the grouchy expression on his face.  Also he wasn’t especially good company and prolonged exposure to him was definitely a “downer”.

I have had some people for friends that when I called them, would often tell me the same depressing stories over and over that to them justified their conclusion that the world had given them a bad rap.  It was difficult being sympathetic because these people felt that anything they had tried failed and would do so in the future.

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

Have you noticed that gossip is mostly negative and would do things that would hurt the people’s reputations that were being talked about.  Why does saying something bad about or to someone else make people feel good?

Now Mr. Grump Fish, of course, was not very good company; and when he entered a room, he could clear the place just by his mere presence let alone by what he could contribute to the conversation.

Do you feel you would be considered a “goody, goody two shoes” if you did just the opposite.  That is said something nice about somebody and/or remarked about how good you felt that day?  Remember you feel just exactly what you think.  Negative thoughts breed negative feelings.

Yes, bad things are happening in the world, but dwelling on them when you are not being constructive will bring you down.  This is just what the enemy wants to do if they can’t kill you or hurt you otherwise.  No, we shouldn’t act ignorant let our fears keep us in the dark; but we can keep our morale up and fight the cloud of negativity that the enemy is trying to cover free nations with.

 

 

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Sometimes It Is Hard To Be Me

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

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

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

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

"Let me see here,"

“Let me see here,”

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

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

 

 

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

If You Go, You Usually Have To Come Back Again

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

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

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

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

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

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.