It seems that we are re-discovering the undeniable fact that men and women are actually quite different. And we are beginning to develop a coherent and compassionate understanding of healthy, normal male emotion, behavior, and relationship dynamics. Man’s earliest ancestors lived in a harsh and hostile environment that placed a high premium on physical strength. The strong survived, and the weak lived exceedingly brief lives… Because he was the fighter and because he was the provider, it was inevitable that the male came to be responsible for woman’s welfare. This is the historical reality. Gender differentiation evolved out of actual physical, perhaps physiological, necessity. This biological foundation, along with recent findings from modern brain science, helps to explain why men do what they do, feel what they feel, and how they struggle with confusing, even conflicting contemporary role demands and expectations. Men have primarily been defined by their work roles (along with conquests and success in business, sports, wars, and other ventures), not by their role relationships within families or other social groupings. Historically, men were dominant over women, driven primarily by physiological factors, and the major forces of historical change were conducted by powerful male rulers and military leaders, a male-dominated church, and other powerful men. In the modern era, male stereotypes developed as a result of cultural ideals created in literature, movies, and television (cowboy, romantic hero, soldier, 1950’s family man, and even the angry, bigoted archetypes like Archie Bunker). Currently we are influenced by post-feminist stereotypes such as the bumbling, ineffective and inarticulate man, or just the insensitive “cave man” who “cannot communicate”. The role of men in the workforce, relationships and society has changed dramatically in recent history, as a result of revolutionary economic and social changes. Until very recently, there was no need or expectation for men to communicate in an intimate manner. There was no historical necessity for men to talk about their feelings, to be emotionally sensitive to others, or to “validate” women or children. From article by Richard J. Loebl, LCSW, PA http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-men.html
Feelings are not
supposed to be logical.
Dangerous is the man
who has rationalized
The stereotypes of reserved men and emotional women are widespread and do affect the way young boys and girls are raised. Some researchers argue that we may be ingraining gender differences that do not naturally exist by accepting and passing on these stereotypes to our children. Other researchers believe these differences have developed due to the evolutionary roles placed on men and women to survive and thrive. While researchers debate these gender differences, they agree that the differences ultimately can have a negative effect on members of both sexes. Some research has found that the differences may be rooted in cultural stereotypes. For example, women are perceived as being more emotional and behave that way because it’s believed that’s what women do, while men express emotion only when the situation warrants it. Parents may have a hand in promoting these gender differences, expressing disapproval with boys who cry or express other “weak” emotions while shrugging off similar behavior in girls. Other studies posit an evolutionary cause for these gender differences in emotion. Men serving as hunter-gatherers needed to take more risks and be more dominating, while women who stayed home and cared for young needed to be more nurturing and cautious. These roles have resisted change as human society has progressed, and indeed, progress may cause these roles to become even more pronounced. Gender differences in emotional processing and response have direct consequences on the physical and emotional health of men and women. Overly emotional women tend to be at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, while men who repress their feelings tend to be at greater risk for physical ailments such as high blood pressure, and also tend to indulge in more risky behavior and vices such as smoking or drinking. Others believe that parents can help dull or negate these stereotypes by refusing to reinforce them. Whether you’re trying to bring up children without gender stereotypes or looking after your own emotional health, be aware of these gender differences and how they affect both men’s and women’s experiences of the world. From an article by Dennis Thompson Jr. http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/gender-differences-in-emotional-health.aspx
Women need to feel loved
and men need to feel needed.
Rita Mae Brown
The Five Levels of Truth-Telling:
First, you tell the truth to yourself about yourself.
Then you tell the truth to yourself about another.
At the third level, you tell the truth about yourself to another.
Then you tell your truth about another to that other.
And finally, you tell the truth to everyone about everything.
Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God II
If you do not tell the Truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. Virginia Woolfe
The Light is more than some abstract, unknowable energy force. Light is Truth. If Light is truth, then darkness must be lies. Each and every lie we tell to ourselves and others casts the shadow of separation upon us. Every time even the most minor deception is revealed and the truth is made known we are re-united with the Light. So, Let there be Light. Those are the words by which you can create your own magnificent world. Renee Bledsoe
There is no such thing as
an inconsequential lie.
Obsessiveness is common in many ways – not being able to sleep at night because of hurting someone you love, for example, or developing a childhood fascination with dinosaurs that never leaves and you eventually become a paleontologist. Then there is an addiction to obsessiveness which stifles creativity. Obsessiveness is not only boring, it also lacks any faith in process. Process is always out of your control. You must be open to finding out what will happen instead of seeking a false sense of control. An example of this false sense of control would be to think: If I always know where you are, you can’t have an affair. Part of the control of obsessiveness is to nurse hurt feelings, exaggerate disappointment, and constantly blame the other for not coming to the rescue. Obsessiveness is very interesting because there are two sides to it: the positive side is creative passion that helps you know what really matters; the negative side is an addiction which makes you unable to prioritize anything. As a result, things have the same weight. Is s/he having an affair? Obsessiveness is a focus on what is NOT. Truly focus on the here and now in the moment and the obsession will change itself. Obsession is a substitute for action. Both polarities of obsessiveness are available. What is more mentally healthy, especially as we age, is sorting out what is important and what to let go of. Ultimately letting go is the final lesson of death. One of the many wonderful aspects about raising children is that elegant dance of knowing what’s important combined with the letting go work of adolescence and not knowing. The not knowing leaves room for respecting their choices as different from your own ideas of who they should be. Too many parents stifle and interrupt children’s abilities to make their own mistakes and their own choices. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is like theft.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Speak up and make sure you are one of the balls you juggle in life, instead of leaving yourself out. The best cure for codependence is authentic disagreement. Healthy conflict is not a betrayal of trust and niceness as is so often believed in this culture. Healthy conflict keeps dialogue intact and trust can build based on a more real relationship. The work of understanding differences is worth it in order to beat back anxiety & codependency. Those who are codependent are very afraid of being alone; there is a scramble to stuff someone else into the emptiness within when a relationship breaks up. People who are codependent mistake enmeshment for love and can’t bear to be without it. We should all recognize the old saying “you can’t love someone else unless you love yourself” as true. Being alone is one way to learn how to love yourself. Face your fears and try learning to enjoy life alone without the safety factor of a built-in partner. Give up the people-pleasing and hiding behind the false 150 watt smile. Risk more disagreement. Be willing to not be liked instead of being a chameleon. Ultimately, people who are codependent have done themselves the greatest injustice by losing track of who they are. Pay attention to being annoyed. Underneath feeling grumpy is a buried want that you are ignoring too easily. Speak up to undo the legacy of codependency. Anxious people swallow their own truth which is very stressful. It’s scary in the short-term to be more authentic, just try to remember there are tons of long-term payoffs that will make it worth it. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
I don’t have to agree with you
to like you or respect you.
Love is very aware and discerning. In fact, we are much more aware and discerning in the absence of fear. Fear limits our world view and life’s infinite possibilities. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, fear can blind us to all the possibilities except a few versions of the old fight or flight alternatives. Inevitably when we undo the fear, we find a different way of “being” with the situation and other alternatives arise. Often we don’t have to figure it all out ahead of time. We can just trust that by showing up without the fear and being centered we will know what to do and say in the moment. It’s not that we get smarter in the absence of fear, we just regain access to the inner wisdom that was always there and was concealed by fear. Another way that fear limits us is by shutting us off from the opportunity to try new endeavors, meet new people, entertain a new point of view, challenge old beliefs, travel, experience new cultures, discover what makes our heart sing, take risks, and step outside the box. Fear also gives rise to and strengthens the ego. Ego is another tricky word that has several definitions… It is the part of our mind that judges us and others, moves toward separation versus unity, is quick to go to fear, anger, sadness, guilt, etc., spends all its time in the past or future rather than the present moment, takes a lot of things personally, anticipates the worst, never forgets a slight or embarrassing moment, sees us as victims, and on and on it goes seldom allowing us a quiet moment. The ego doesn’t trust Love. It thinks that it is us but doesn’t know the truth of who we are. It’s an illusion of who we are. The ego’s voice is not our own even thought it operates in our head. The great thing is that we don’t have to listen to it or follow it any more than we have to listen to a person who constantly lies to us and tries to mislead us. http://www.yoursecretgarden.org/Articles/20.htm
Fear is faith that
it won’t work out.
Sister Mary Tricky
Forgiveness doesn’t come automatically – but the party who wronged you does not have to ask for forgiveness for you to give it. The party who wronged you doesn’t even have to admit they made a mistake or did anything that requires forgiving. The party who wronged you doesn’t even have to make amends in order for you to forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give to another, but rather something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. Forgiveness IS a choice – you have to choose to forgive and let go of the pain. Reconciliation and forgiveness are two separate things – they are not mutually exclusive. Forgiving someone does not mean you have to reconcile with that person. If the other person has wronged you so severely that you simply could not trust to allow this person in your life in any capacity – reconciliation is not possible, but forgiveness is. Forgiving doesn’t mean opening yourself back up to be hurt again. Forgiving doesn’t mean allowing the other person’s behavior to continue. For reconciliation – the other person must admit their wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, and then they must take action to prevent that wrongdoing from happening again. Reconciliation requires both you to forgive and the other person to take action. Forgiveness on the other hand doesn’t even require the other person at all. http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
People have to forgive.
We don’t have to like them,
we don’t have to be friends with them,
we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages,
but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget.
Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet,
too much for our wings to carry!
C. JoyBell C.
+ Intimacy = abandonment. This is why the closer you become, the more they act out around you. Other people can’t tell–it’s your little secret.
+ I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me. So there is something wrong with you for wanting to be with me.
+ People you care about constantly send out invisible infra-ray signals they will reject you, and it’s up to you reject them before they can reject you.
+ If someone doesn’t want to spend every minute with you, they don’t want to spend any time with you at all. There is no past or future, only right now. Here comes another text, phone call, and demand.
+ Any distance between us (even a difference of opinion) is a sign the relationship is falling apart. Don’t need your own space–even in your mind.
People with attachment issues seek intimacy, but at the same time they’re uncomfortable with it because they’re so preoccupied with fears of abandonment. This makes it hard to feel close, but also hard to stay away–the “I hate you-don’t leave me” riddle. Chronic feelings of emptiness also drive this negative cycle. Emptiness drive borderlines to seek emotionally intimate connections—even if it means negative emotions. When things are calm, even in a secure relationship, they may feel empty and insecure inside. So they create a conflict in order to feel more emotional intensity and connection even though this pushes people away (which is the opposite of their intent). But this emptiness keeps popping up inside, driving them to seek intimacy even in bad situations. By Randi Kreger, author of “Stop Walking on Eggshells” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201202/problems-emotional-intimacy-typical-borderlines-and-narcissists
The reason many people in our society are miserable,
sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy
attachment to things they have no control over.
“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?