Independence vs. Intimacy: Since women often think in terms of closeness and support, they struggle to preserve intimacy. Men, concerned with status, tend to focus more on independence. These traits can lead women and men to starkly different views of the same situation. When Josh’s old high-school friend called him at work to say he’d be in town, Josh invited him to stay for the weekend. That evening he told Linda they were having a house guest. Linda was upset. How could Josh make these plans without discussing them with her beforehand? She would never do that to him. “Why don’t you tell your friend you have to check with your wife?” she asked. Josh replied, “I can’t tell my friend, ‘I have to ask my wife for permission’!” To Josh, checking with his wife would mean he was not free to act on his own. It would make him feel like a child or an underling. But Linda actually enjoys telling someone, “I have to check with Josh.” It makes her feel good to show that her life is intertwined with her husband’s. Advice vs. Understanding: Eve had a benign lump removed from her breast. When she confided to her husband, Mark, that she was distressed because the stitches changed the contour of her breast, he answered, “You can always have plastic surgery.” This comment bothered her. “I’m sorry you don’t like the way it looks,” she protested. “But I’m not having any more surgery!” Mark was hurt and puzzled. “I don’t care about a scar,” he replied. “It doesn’t bother me at all.” “Then why are you telling me to have plastic surgery?” she asked. “Because you were upset about the way it looks.” Eve felt like a heel. Mark had been wonderfully supportive throughout her surgery. How could she snap at him now? The problem stemmed from a difference in approach. To many men a complaint is a challenge to come up with a solution. Mark thought he was reassuring Eve by telling her there was something she could do about her scar. But often women are looking for emotional support, not solutions.When my mother tells my father she doesn’t feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The way we communicate
with others and with ourselves
the quality of our lives
Everybody lies. It may only be “white” lies, but everyone tells lies or “omits the truth” sometimes. We start lying at around age 4 to 5 when children gain an awareness of the use and power of language. This first lying is not malicious, but rather to find out, or test, what can manipulated in a child’s environment. Eventually children begin to use lying to get out of trouble or get something they want. White lies, those concocted to protect someone’s feelings, are not a big deal at all. The person, however, who seems to feel compelled to lie about both the small and large stuff has a problem. We often call these folks pathological liars (which is a description, not a diagnosis). They lie to protect themselves, look good, gain financially or socially and avoid punishment. Quite often the person who has been deceived knows that this type of liar has to a certain extent deluded him or herself and is therefore to be somewhat pitied. A much more troubling group is those who lie a lot — and knowingly — for personal gain. These people may have a diagnosis called antisocial personality disorder, also known as being a sociopath, and often get into scrapes with the law. Lying often gets worse with the passage of time. When you get away with a lie it often impels you to continue your deceptions. Also, liars often find themselves perpetrating more untruths to cover themselves. We hold different people to different standards when it comes to telling the truth. We expect, for example, less honesty from politicians than from scientists. We have a vision of purity about those who are doing research, while we imagine that politicians will at least shade the truth about themselves in order to get elected. Why do we dislike liars, especially sociopaths, so much? It’s a matter of trust. When a person lies, they have broken a bond – an unspoken agreement to treat others as we would like to be treated. Serious deception often makes it impossible for us to trust another person again. Because the issue of trust is on the line, coming clean about the lie as soon as possible is the best way to mend fences. If the truth only comes out once it is forced, repair of trust is far less likely. Dr. Gail Saltz on The “Today Show”
No man has a good
to make a successful liar.
Everything was enemy to me. I used denial as a defense mechanism, a way to preserve my ego and pride. I would not admit to myself that I was weak and needed help. This is how I built my monsters. I started to self medicate. Towards the end of high school and the first semester of college, I used alcohol heavily at the worst times. I would seek it out on the weekends and drink alone in the corners of house parties and in the back seat of parked cars. This was not a social activity. I smoked cigarettes in the same secretive way. When I had happy and together moments in life, I abstained from drinking and smoking – to this day, I don’t enjoy either. When I was in the valleys – when I hurt – alcohol and cigarette tobacco always arrived. The emotional abuse I saddled on those around me remains the worse product of my depression. I allowed depression to burden not only me, but two girlfriends, my family, and my closest friends. One girl could not deal with it and ended up leaving me. The other stuck around longer, and I abused her emotions without knowing it. I was terrifyingly cold and unfeeling, even as she broke down into tears and begged me to say anything. I made her feel responsible for anything that went wrong in my life. I left her more than once without warning, but would soon come back and manipulate her damaged emotions to get back together. All of it was a way for me to artificially build myself back up. I was trying to destroy my depression, but I ended up harming the most vulnerable people in my life. Cowardice and dishonesty dictated my thinking. What underlies all these abuses is a fundamental disgust and anger with one’s self. I manipulated the emotions of everyone around me to bring them down to my level and feel better about my station in life. Admitting my weakness terrified me so much that I went out and tore away. The booze and cigarettes, I think, show a self-destructive streak common to all those who suffer with depression. Although the exact motives for self-destructive thoughts vary, they usually revolve around the ideas that a man cannot deal with such a great burden or, as in my case, that a man is not worth it, that he does not deserve to live because of such weakness. . By S.M. Leahy http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/09/01/dealing-with-male-depression/
I didn’t want to wake up.
I was having a much better
time asleep. And that’s really sad.
It was almost like a reverse nightmare,
like when you wake up from a nightmare
you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
There’s the waitress who refuses to look in your direction. The oaf who drifts across the highway without using his blinker. And the cheerful, recorded voice that draws you deeper and deeper into voice-mail hell. The most minor annoyance can send us into a fury. But have you ever stopped to think why we get angry? What is anger, anyway? “Anger is a natural emotion,” says Charles D. Spielberger, PhD, a research professor of psychology at the University of South Florida who has studied anger for 25 years. “There is nothing abnormal about it.” Anger might be normal, but it does affect you physically. When you get enraged during a traffic jam or at your kid’s soccer game, your hormone levels increase, your breathing quickens, your pulse and blood pressure soar, you start to sweat, and your pupils dilate. Basically, your body is gearing up for action. This is the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response. Spielberger says anger has an evolutionary advantage: “Fear and rage are common to animals, too, because it helps them to fight and survive.” The problem is that, nowadays, anger isn’t always so useful. Most of us don’t run into man-eating tigers standing in line at the DMV. The physical effects of anger on your body can be lasting. Some studies have shown a connection between anger and high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease. One study found that people highly prone to anger are three times as likely to have a heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease as less angry people. So what’s the solution? Should you cork up your anger or regularly blow your stack? Experts say neither. Whether you hold it in or explode in a rage, frequent feelings of intense anger may pose the same health risks. The key is to make your anger constructive. Spielberger says that the first step is self-awareness. Don’t allow yourself to fly into a rage. Instead, be conscious of your anger. Stay in control. It’s the only way to figure out exactly what is making you angry. Once you can identify the real problem, you can try to solve it rationally instead of getting pointlessly furious. If you’re angry with someone, talk about it in an assertive, but never aggressive, way. If a certain situation sparks your anger, learn how to prepare for it — or better yet, avoid it — in the future. By R. Morgan Griffin http://men.webmd.com/features/what-does-anger-do-to-your-health
Anger is an acid that
can do more harm
to the vessel in which
it is stored than
to anything on
which it is poured.
A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The strain and upset of a major breakup can leave you psychologically and physically vulnerable. Treat yourself like you’re getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, minimize other sources of stress in your life, and reduce your workload if possible. Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or breakup. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward. Pay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you even though it may be different from what your ex or others want. Say “no” without guilt or angst as a way of honoring what is right for you. A divorce or relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy. Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a separation or divorce, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions. Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope. When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings. A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past. When you’re going through the stress of a divorce or breakup, healthy habits easily fall by the wayside. You might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. Exercise might be harder to fit in because of the added pressures at home and sleep might be elusive. But all of the work you are doing to move forward in a positive way will be pointless if you don’t make long-term healthy lifestyle choices. Source: Mental Health America http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm
Forgiveness is not the misguided act
of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior.
Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek
that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred.
Rather it is the finishing of old business
that allows us to experience the present,
free of contamination from the past.
“We used to talk all night, but since we’ve talked so much, we have nothing else to talk about.” Well, this is a crossroad that every couple has to go through. You have been together so long, you have spent so much time together, you have run out of things to talk about. This is very simple to get over. But first, we must look at why you have run out of things to talk about. Ultimately, if you don’t have anything to talk about, you are becoming numb to the individual. If you truly love them, you will always have something to say to them. Even it is just “I love you.” Your conversations might not be as dynamic and powerful as they were in the beginning of the relationship. And this is simply because you know each other very well, and before you didn’t. So it was automatically exciting and intriguing. But you must realize this, and rest in the fact that you are with this person. Though you might not have deep thoughts to divulge to this person anymore, because they know them all, you still have things in common. You still have things to discuss. Some couples can sit in a room and not say a word to each other for three hours – and that’s fine with them. This is because they are grounded in the foundation of their love, and they know that though they aren’t saying anything, they are both thinking about one another. But if you feel that the lack of constant conversation is hurting your relationship, take the initiative. Make a point to talk with your partner – even if the conversation starts out light and frivolous, it will end on a good note – hopefully. And this will keep you both in each other’s mind. Remember, don’t wait for them to talk to you – talk to THEM!! The most vital and important reasons that relationships fail is because they communication that is happening is because people aren’t following “The Golden Rule.” I know you all know what I’m talking about; we learned it in kindergarten – “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” If you follow this statement, your love life as well as every other part will benefit greatly. But the sad truth is, people aren’t honest. They cheat themselves as well as others. They are self-centered jealous feigns. So no wonder none of us have a satisfactory relationship. We must stop and think – how do you want to be treated in a relationship? If you apply your standards of what you want to your partner, they will ultimately reapply them to you. You are in control of how your relationship will be. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
the termites of
A self-loathing person, by definition, feels essentially inadequate in some way. I say “essentially” because this is a feeling that is deeply ingrained and therefore resistant to persuasion or evidence. No matter how successful the self-loather is or how much praise he or she receives from other people, something prevents the self-loather from believing he or she has value or worth. If the self-loather wants to overcome this problem, he or she will have to get to the source of the self-loathing—most likely with the help of a therapist—rather than simply try to beat it down with praise. Just as you can’t tell someone suffering from depression to “cheer up,” you can’t tell a self-loather that “you’re great.” Both problems run much deeper than that. In the meantime, however, there may be a way that the self-loather can look at himself or herself that can help to lessen the feelings of inadequacy. Ironically, it is based on humility, which self-loathers often have lots of. But instead of humility about one’s attributes and abilities, let’s think about humility with respect to self-knowledge, or recognizing that we don’t know ourselves nearly as well as we think we do. When we say that people see us differently than we see ourselves, we may be assuming that our self-perception is accurate or “correct” and other people’s perceptions being not only different but “wrong.” But there is no right or wrong way to see you… Taken from an article by Mark D. White, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201306/do-the-self-loathing-see-the-same-self-others-do
If you had a person
in your life treating
you the way you
you would have
gotten rid of them
a long time ago…
Self-critical over-achievers are not the only ones that lack self-compassion. Some of the kindest people do as well. (Associate professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas, Kristin Neff’s) work confirms this observation: There is no correlation between the trait of self-compassion and feelings of compassion towards others. Many people, women in particular, are far more compassionate and kinder towards others than to themselves. Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned. It is a practice that can help us all become less self-critical and, by preventing the stress and turmoil thereof, allow us to be happier, more successful, and of greater service to others. Self-compassion does not mean we stop working hard and aiming for success. Instead, it is a change in attitude and is linked with greater well-being as well as superior performance outcomes. Nor does self-compassion imply self-indulgence. For example, a parent who cares about her child will insist on the child eating vegetables and doing her homework, no matter how unpleasant these experiences are for the child. Similarly, taking it easy on yourself may be appropriate in some situations, but in times of over-indulgence and laziness, self-compassion involves toughening up and taking responsibility. When you are motivated by self-compassion, you understand failure not as a painful indicator of defeat but as a learning opportunity from which growth can follow. Whereas self-criticism leads to painful and self-defeating emotions in the face of failure, Self-Compassion therefore embraces challenge. People with higher self-compassion are therefore more likely to improve their performance after failure! Moreover, by preventing the defeating effects of self-criticism, self-compassion allows us to maintain peace of mind and thereby retain our energy. By remaining calm and understanding in the face of rejection, failure or criticism, we develop level-headedness, strength and emotional stability which allow us to have higher well-being and to be more productive and successful. From “Overcoming Shame: The Powerful Benefits of a Little Self-Love” by Emma Seppala, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201211/overcoming-shame-the-powerfulbenefits-little-self-love
Most men lead lives
of quiet desperation
and go to the grave
with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau
Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective. Constant worrying takes a heavy toll. It keeps you up at night and makes you tense and edgy during the day. You hate feeling like a nervous wreck. So why is it so difficult to stop worrying? For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—they hold about worrying. On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop. On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep worry going. But positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind. Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm
If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such
that you can do something about it, then there
is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable,
then there is no help in worrying.
There is no benefit in worrying
Dalai Lama XIC
Want great marriage advice? Ask a divorced person. People who lose the most important relationship of their life tend to spend some time thinking about what went wrong. If they are at all self-reflective, this means they will acknowledge their own mistakes, not just their ex’s blunders. And if they want to be lucky in love next time, they’ll try to learn from these mistakes. Research shows that most divorced people identify the same top five regrets—behaviors they believe contributed to their marriage’s demise and that they resolve to change next time. “Divorced individuals who step back and say, ‘This is what I’ve done wrong and this is what I will change,’ have something powerful to teach others,” says Terri Orbuch, a psychologist, research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and author of the new book “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.” “This is marriage advice learned the hard way,” she says. Dr. Orbuch has been conducting a longitudinal study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, collecting data periodically from 373 same-race couples who were between the ages of 25 and 37 and in their first year of marriage in 1986, the year the study began. Over the continuing study’s 25 years so far, 46% of the couples divorced—a rate in line with the Census and other national data. Dr. Orbuch followed many of the divorced individuals into new relationships and asked 210 of them what they had learned from their mistakes. (Of these 210, 71% found new partners, including 44% who remarried.) This is their hard-earned advice. Of the divorced people, 15% said they would give their spouse more of what Dr. Orbuch calls “affective affirmation,” including compliments, cuddling and kissing, hand-holding, saying “I love you,” and emotional support. “By expressing love and caring you build trust,” Dr. Orbuch says. She says there are four components of displays of affection that divorced people said were important: How often the spouse showed love; how often the spouse made them feel good about the kind of person they are; how often the spouse made them feel good about having their own ideas and ways of doing things; and how often the spouse made life interesting or exciting. From “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577544951717564114.html
When in a relationship,
never ever commit
when your very intention
is to cheat.