“Why don’t men express their feelings?” Well, they do. Men just express their feelings differently. First of all, they have more control over their facial expressions, where most feelings are communicated. Women are what experts call high-expressers and externalizers, whereas men are low-expressers and internalizers. Men can substitute, neutralize or minimize their emotional expression through facial expressions. In contrast, women are an “open book.” Society conditions women to think they are the emotional gender. Women are taught a separate set of rules that allow a wider range of self-expression. Women aren’t as good at hiding their facial expressions… With men, it’s more of a guessing game. Self-expression isn’t purely learned. The different brains are also at work. According to Morgan Road in her book The Female Brain, “The areas of the brain that track emotion are larger and more sensitive in the female brain.” Men notice subtle signs of sadness in a face only 40 percent of the time, whereas women pick up on the signs 90 percent of the time, Road says. When you are expressive, people also know where you stand. This, in turn, increases their comfort level and feeling of familiarity. We are always suspect of the people we can’t seem to get to know. They won’t let us in, so what are they hiding? Adapted from the book “Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen” by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/he-speaks-she-speaks/201102/the-expressive-trap
They have the unique ability
to listen to one story
and understand another.
Every couple argues, and every argument affects their intimacy as well as the emotional distance between them. Some disagreements leave only minimal or temporary scars that fade with time. The couple’s love continues to deepen, seemingly undamaged. Unfortunately, escalating or stinging arguments can leave deep and lasting fissures that damage relationships. Many areas of conflict can determine the fate of a relationship, but the most crucial one is each partner’s underlying attitude is towards the other. Whether unconscious or intended, that core set of thoughts is often deeply embedded, pervasive, and negatively biased. As the argument heats up, one or both of the partners will fall back into this default position, dooming any hope of successful resolution. The longer people have been together, the more they are likely to repeat established patterns. These ritualistic interactions usually emerge slowly in intimate relationship but can explode early on if any differences are pronounced and passionate. Because they are often intertwined with positive aspects, they can often stay invisible too long, causing much greater problems down the line. When these internal, fixed attitudes are not identified and corrected, the partners in an intimate relationship do not realize how much power they have to affect their disputes. They do know that most of their arguments leave them drowning in whirlpools of confusion, often not remembering what they were arguing about, or why their resolutions didn’t hold. Taken from “Rediscovering Love” by Randi Gunther, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rediscovering-love/201208/do-you-want-stay-in-love-then-examine-your-default-position-when-you-
Why do people always assume
that volume will succeed
when logic won’t?
Reality check: You cannot change a situation or circumstance when you’re in the process of resisting it. Just as you can’t catch a beach ball if you’re holding another one in your hands, you can’t embrace something new until you let go of the old, stale, and painful reasons for and arguments about why things are the way they are. To be clear, I’m not saying that we should release everything to the wind, watching passively as the world and other people go by. Not at all. The opposite of control is not laziness or apathy. The opposite of control is acceptance. When you accept, when you give up the illusion of control, you not only discover the peace and freedom that come with it. You become — perhaps for the first time — truly empowered to handle any and everything that comes your way. Why? Because there’s no energy being dedicated to holding yourself back any longer. The emergency brake you’ve had on yourself and your life comes off, and you’re finally able to cruise forward with power, freedom, and the ability to express yourself fully and create in the world — a world that you now realize is filled with opportunity. So make peace with life. Accept yourself, others, and the world the way they are. Surrender to riding the waves instead of standing stubborn and still as they crash down upon you. When you do, the urge to control dissipates and freedom emerges. And along with it, the sense and eventually the knowledge that anything, and everything, is possible. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Some people believe that holding on
and hanging there are signs of strength,
but there are times in life when it takes
much more strength just to let go.
Yes, you want a great marriage, if the other person is like this, this, and this. Yes, you want a fulfilling career, on the condition that it will always be such and such. And yes you want children so long as X, Y, and Z. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have standards, hopes, and goals. We all do. But if you’re struggling — if you’re feeling out of, or the need for, control — it’s less likely that something’s wrong with the object of your desires and more likely that there’s something you’ve been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want. Including what might be impossible standards. Or, perhaps, a standard that shifts every time what you claim to yearn for gets a bit too close for comfort… When we long for things to be the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are, that’s not a quest for freedom. That’s resistance. Especially if what we want flies in the face of reality. What exactly is it that we are resisting? The circumstances of life. How we and other people are. What was. What might be. We resist life and other people. We resist the past and our future. We resist our feelings, thoughts, and even ourselves. We resist the truth. And then we delude ourselves into thinking that if we resist long enough, if we try to control hard enough, we’ll eventually be free. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while,
or the light won’t come in.
“I Feel Statements” are used in situations that are clear and fairly simple, when you what to express yourself and avoid a buildup of feelings without attacking or hurting the self-esteem of the other. I messages are used in more complex situations to clarify for yourself and the other person just what you are feeling when a) you have difficult negative feelings, b) you confront someone and want them to change their behavior, and c) it is very sensitive and important that the other person accurately understand. These statements take the form of “When you did that thing I felt this way. That thing is a behavior of the other person, and this way is your specific feelings. Here are some examples:
* “I felt embarrassed when you told our friends how we are pinching pennies.”
* “I liked it when you helped with the dishes without being asked.”
* “I feel hurt and am disappointed that you forgot our anniversary”.
It is called an I message because the focus is on you, and the message is about yourself. This is in contrast to a You message which focuses on and gives a message about the other person. When using I messages you take responsibility for your own feelings, rather than accusing the other person of making you feel a certain way. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D.
We are taught you must blame your father,
your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers,
but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault.
But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted
to change you’re the one who has got to change.
If you have mixed feelings, say so, and express each feeling and explain what each feeling is about. For example: “I have mixed feelings about what you just did. I am glad and thankful that you helped me, but I didn’t like the comment about being stupid. It was disrespectful and unnecessary and I found it irritating”.
* Express feelings productively.
* Respectfully confront someone when you are bothered by his or her behavior.
* Express difficult feelings without attacking the self-esteem of the person.
* Clarify for you and the other person precisely what you feel.
* Prevent feelings from building up and festering into a bigger problem.
* Communicate difficult feelings in a manner that minimizes the other person’s need to become defensive, and increases the likelihood that the person will listen.
When you first start using these techniques they will be cumbersome and awkward to apply, and not very useful if you only know them as techniques. However, if you practice these techniques and turn them into skills, it will be easy for you to express difficult feelings in a manner that is productive and respectful. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings
You cannot make someone love you.
You can only make yourself
someone who can be loved.
“Like everything in life, any time you take anything to an extreme—either you say “yes” to everything or “no” to everything—you’re going to be in a position that’s often untenable and often unhealthy,” says Dr. Nancy Elder, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. We can get stressed out by nearly everything on the planet: money, women, money, personal problems, money, etc. The largest, however, may be the actual drive to become successful. A work hard and ye shall be rewarded kind of thing. It’s tough to work hard when you have extraneous obligations getting in the way of your main goal, though. “The most important thing that people who [say yes or no] well is to temporize,” Elder says. “It’s important to acknowledge the request. ‘Yes I hear you asking this. Yes I hear you asking to put this on my plate,’ then saying, ‘Give me twenty-four hours to think about this.’” There’s an old Zen saying that goes like this: “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” Keeping focus is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s a necessity to get where you want to be, and the ability to say “no” when you need to is an overlooked, under-appreciated tool able to help us get to that place. What it comes down to—well, what everything seems to come down to—is attaining balance. It’s about being ever-conscious about your decisions and never letting your ideal endgame get out of sight…and keeping the path up there as straight as possible. By Gin A. Ando http://www.primermagazine.com/2012/live/the-importance-of-learning-to-say-no-the-power-of-learning-to-say-yes
Learn to say ‘no’ to the good
so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.
John C. Maxwell
Many people involved in long-term relationships find that they have given up their dreams, plans and future to “fit” into someone else’s. The difficulty in breaking up often stems from people forgetting how to be self-sufficient. This creates a fear of loss and insecurity, which fuels the desire to keep unhealthy relationships together. Dennis Neder, author of “Being a Man in a Woman’s World” says that we need to understand that we’re alone throughout our entire lives — even when we’re with someone else. “It’s not a bad thing,” says Dr. Neder, “in fact, it is quite freeing for most people.” Everyone experiences low points in their relationships. That’s normal and most couples work through these times. While the experts say there are no formulas for deciding when to break up, there are signs to watch for. If you experience more than a few consistently over a long period, it’s probably time to move on: You’re no longer getting what you want or need from the relationship. Let’s face it. If you’re not happy, chances are your partner isn’t either. You can no longer communicate with your partner. Everyone has different communication styles, says Laurie Moore, Ph.D., author of Creative Intimacy and Choosing a Life Mate Wisely. “However, you don’t want to spend all of your time in the relationship trying to communicate with each other. It’s just too much work. You no longer look forward to spending time alone with your partner. You may still have a good sex life, but you don’t talk to your partner. You prefer to spend time with other people to avoid being alone together. http://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/advice/when-is-it-time-to-leave-the-relationship.htm
At some point of your life,
you will become aware
that some people
can stay in your heart
but not in your life.
Sharing too much of yourself invites pity, scorn, ridicule and a variety of other adverse reactions from others. Sharing too little of yourself keeps others in your life at a safe yet unhealthy distance. We are all in this life together doing the best we can with what we have at any given moment. Why not let more people into your inner circle of shared feelings. You might be surprised at their support, love and acceptance. Balanced self disclosure builds bridges with others. Too much or too little builds barriers. This is true just as much in business as it is in your personal relationships. There is no sin in crying in public, sharing your innermost fears with those you trust and respect and hugging those that cross your path. On my recent trip to Buenos Aires I couldn’t help but notice how everyone kisses everyone when they meet or before they depart. It is a shame that in many parts of the world kissing and hugging is seen as unnecessary or taboo. It only took me a few hours to get into the mood of all of this kissing, especially the women. Try it, it’s really fun. Tim Connor http://ezinearticles.com/?Are-You-Expressing-Your-Feelings-or-Stuffing-Them?&id=295208
Our feelings are
our most genuine paths
Codependence is a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family experiencing great emotional pain. In most cases alcoholism, chemical dependency, or other addictive disease is at the source of the family pain. Codependent behaviors are a set of coping behaviors that are passed from generation to generation–whether or not addiction is present–in order to survive. Although the original alcoholic/addicted person may have been a great-grandparent, family members across the next three or four generations learn a set of behaviors which help them deal with the emotional pain inherited from the original dysfunctional family unit. These behaviors, although designed to relieve pain, create pain! They constitute a deeply embedded “cognitive set” upon which codependency or dependency disorders are founded. Whether or not addiction existed in our nuclear family, codependency is a deeply rooted compulsive behavior that is born out of a dysfunctional family system. Individual family members may or may not develop addictions. Symptoms of codependency (or dependency) disorders include: perfectionism, workaholism, procrastination, compulsive overeating, compulsive gambling, compulsive buying, compulsive lying, compulsive talking, compulsive sex, dependent relationships, over-possessive relationships. Other dependency disorders can revolve around acquiring status, prestige, material possessions, power or control over family members, co-workers, friends, authority figures, etc. From “Codependency: A Family Perspective” by Robin Norwood
You do anything long enough
to escape the habit of living
until the escape becomes the habit.