Tag Archives: Self-help

HOW TO THINK ABOUT COMMUNICATION

“What we have here, Scotty, is a failure to communicate.” or so I think Captain Kirk of the US Enterprise once remarked.

Quotes about failing to cmmunicate

Emotional fitness Training thought

Not getting the response you want? Revise, recycle, try harder. Speak softly; speak loudly. Use more words;  use fewer  words. Calm down, heat up. Speak from your heart; speak from your brain. Try humor. Try an occasional swear word. After three tries agree respectfully to disagree at least for the moment.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Please Practice Kindness by sharing all you find of value on the internet including this post.  All crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.”Comments say you have read and thought about the post.Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.Stay strong, it is not always easy.

Katherine

This post was inspired by a WordPress Daily Prompt – History of Language – Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”

As noted  in my non-fiction post third time is an out. For important matters three outs is an inning, nine innings is a game — well, sometimes.

LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Tips for Combatting Prejudice – Yours and Others

I look out of my window, I see a dark skinned man wearing a hoodie looking back at me. Trouble? No he is just making a cell phone call and staring mindlessly in my direction.  But yes, I did know a moment’s fear.

#Quotes about prejudice

EMOTIONAL FITNESS THOUGHTS

When we label one person as a member of a group we are being prejudiced.Whenever you place one person in a group, you are making a generalization and that is prejudice. As defined by the social psychologists, “Prejudice is an unjustified or incorrect attitude (usually negative) towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group.”

I am not saying labels don’t have some value, but I like labels to be seen mainly on files, and even then only if the label reflects what the file actually contains. I don’t think I am alone in the world when it comes to finding my files often contain items totally at odds with the label on the outside of the folder.

What has gotten me thinking about this? The recent political debates, but also a WordPress Post asking me what I saw when I looked out my window. The introduction to this post is what I saw.

Actually, this is a post I had started many weeks ago as a response to the fact that most conversations seemed to end up putting labels on one person or another.  This includes conversations heard or seen at the movies, on the TV, heard on the radio,  read on various email lists, discussed  over lunch or dinner with friends, and in daily conversations with my husband.

In a number of these conversations those who strongly disagree with me call me Baby-killer, Christian Conservative, Islama-phobic Jew, Racist, Nigger Lover, Radical, Bigoted Hillbilly, Reactionary, Pacifist, Conservative, Stupid, Card Carrying Republican, Card Carrying Democrat, Tea Party Girl Patriot, Member of the Moral Majority, Slut, Sinner, Communist, A Goody Two Shoes, Bleeding Heart and Ignoramus.

Contrarian would fit me best, for in most conversations I knee jerk defend whoever is being attacked. You will not be surprised to know that one of my mother’s nicknames for me was “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.”

WHAT CAUSES PREJUDICE

At the heart of all this labeling is the ancient brain’s fear when faced with the contradictory or unknown;  want an easily understood and predictable world. To have a sense that is the real world, our brain loves categories.

As children we tend to believe “what is is normal.” It takes the expanding mind of the adolescent to begin thinking that was is “normal” actually might not be what should be. This probably is as much a factor in the turmoil that some adolescents experience, as the confusion created by raging of hormones.

Moreover, the more another’s beliefs contradict something held dear to your heart, the more your world of beliefs de-stabilizes. Your whole internal world shakes when you start to doubt your beliefs.

Jerome Kagan, Harvard researcher, says uncertainty distresses us particularly uncertainty about our strongly held beliefs. He also notes that one way to get rid of the distress is to blame the person making us uncertain. We get angry instead of frightened. For many anger feels better than fear.

We handle fear of the unknown by clinging to the known. That explains why many of us gather in our own tribes and clans and  avoid getting to know those in other tribes.

At our primitive brain level we are all prejudiced. What varies, or which prejudice operates most strongly, is what we  learn and that often depends on what our parents or others in our surroundings teach.

The fact that the content of our prejudices is learned is cause for hope. Learned behaviors can be unlearned. We owe it to our children and all children to take active steps to unlearn our conscious and unconscious prejudices. Here are some tips for reducing the prejudices that try to control or boss you.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Tip one: Know the beliefs dearest to your heart. These are the ones that will probably lead to anger or righteous indignation on your part. I’ll admit, it works that way for me. Knowing that at least keeps me somewhat more open to trying to understand another person’s point of view.

Tip two: Open your eyes a bit to the less savory elements of your heart-cherished beliefs. Rather than responding with an either/or approach, try thinking yes/and …  Yes, religion is useful for teaching some values but religion can also be a tool for feeling morally superior to others. Yes, the United States can behave just as badly as many tyrannies, and the United States also is more religiously tolerant and more devoted to freedom of expression than those same tyrannies.

Tip three: Speak out against obvious prejudices. You will not always be heard but some will think more about what matters

Tip four: Practice kindness in your everyday interactions with every one you meet.

HERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS FROM THE SOUTHERN POVERTY’S LAW CENTER Web page

Their belief is that the main way to fight prejudice is to increase your personal knowledge of other people and cultures. Here are some of their suggestions for doing that:

  1. Attend services at a variety of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples to learn about different faiths.
  2. Shop at ethnic grocery stores and specialty markets. Get to know the owners. Ask about their family histories.
  3. Learn sign language.
  4. Make it a point to break bread with a member of another ethnic group.
  5. Attend a play, listen to music, or go to a dance performance by artists whose race or ethnicity is different from your own.
  6. .Take a conversation course in another language preferably one that is spoken in your community.

There is a personal benefit to be gained by following any of these tips. You will reducethe stress of uncertainty  and you might make a new friend or two.

PARENTING ADVICE

Too many openly or quietly teach hatred. Do not join them. All children need a safer and more tolerant world to become the best s/he can be. Hatred diminishes all.

If you practice the tips above, you will be teaching them to your children.  As they age talk more openly about prejudice and how it can boss us.Finally, take them with you when you follow the Southern Policy Center’s Tips.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Please Practice Kindness by sharing all you find of value on the internet including this post.  All here crave recognition.A like says “Thank You.”Comments say you have read and thought about the post.Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.Stay strong, it is not always easy.

Katherine

 LINKS OF INTERESTThese links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

How to Use Memories to Stay Strong

Memories serve to keep us safe. As Mark Twain noted no cat sits twice on a hot stove — that also means no cat sits on a cold stove.  More to think about:

Quotes about memories

Emotional Fitness Training is designed to keep negative feelings from controlling. Memories trigger feelings, some good, some bad. Looking for the lessons  found  in your bad memories marks you as emotionally fit,  what others call Emotional Intelligence.

Memory books strengthening  your ability to find the lessons bad times bring. Here is a quick Emotional Fitness Training look at Memory Books.

WHO SHOULD MAKE A MEMORY BOOK?

Everyone and parents in particular.

If you are a parent, try to make a family memory book.  Start with creating your own book and encourage your child’s other parent to do the same. Build on those two as you create a Family Memory Book.

Some parents start their child’s memory book, but as soon as the child can, he or she should be part of creating his own memory book as well as contributing to the larger family memory book if one is being kept.

SOME EASY IDEAS TO GET STARTED

Start with a memory box. Use it to gather items that you think might  belong in a memory book (like party invitations, pictures, various reports, notes, etc).

Do not collect only happy memories. As Stephen Levine author of A Year to Live, noted “Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it. (74)”

When going through a trauma put items in the box that can be used to make a memory page at some later date when the pain is less and you want to hold on to the good.

Establish a routine for making memory book pages.  Some devote one evening a month to sorting through the boxes and making one or two memory pages; others make it birthday, holiday, after a vacation or other special event activity

USING YOUR MEMORY BOOK TO STAY STRONG

 Review it off and on. When making a new page is a good time to flip through it quickly. Focus particularly on the good memories. Those are the ones you want to strengthen.

To so with full awareness.  That is done by meditating before and after the exercise.  Sound too difficult?  Not once you have learned and practiced  EFT’s One Minute Meditation.

Do not neglect bad times, particularly the  bad times  that have  you reeling and not able to do much but crawl ahead. While enduring a bad time try to call up a similar bad time you survived and hold it in your heart as tiy sat  “I am a survivor, and I will survive this.”

Once you can function a bit normally, write about this bad time and add it to your memory book. Doing so moves the healing forward.

However, do not dwell on the bad endlessly.  One of the problems with talk therapy is that it focuses often on just the bad stuff. Good for a time when the bad stuff first occurs.  Not good if not  used to learn lessons and reaffirm you strength and let you move on.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Please Practice Kindness by sharing all you find of value on the internet including this post.  All here crave recognition.

A like says “Thank You.”

Comments say you have read and thought about the post.

Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.

Stay strong, it is not always easy.

Katherine

This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt: Memory on the Menu by Ben Huberman Which good memories are better — the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

 

 

5 Ways to Combat Loneliness

Loneliness is a fact of life. Visits all – sometimes when we are alone,:often when with another.  How much it hurts is mostly up to you.

Ways to make the most of loneliness

Many things accentuate loneliness. Just being alone lots; being the odd person out in any group;  and saddest for all, not being heard or understood, particularly by someone you love.

Myths and media add to  loneliness’ pain. Believing “The Happy Every After” myth dooms one to loneliness when the bad stuff intrudes as happens in all relationships. The happiest of married couples find this out when one of them dies. That may explain in part why 50% of  long married spouses die within six months of each other.

The media inflicts its pain by reinforcing:The Happy Ever After” myth as it hawks images of happy people,  laughing or playing with at least one other happy, laughing playing partner.

My lonely times started when I was seven and had to change schools. I was the first new girl in my class and not welcomed. In time, I found friends. then in my teens also found my one true love which lasted four years, but when it ended the pain seemed at first to be a for ever after one.

In time, I moved on to other loves,  but remained unmarried until in my early thirties. That made me “an odd one out” at a time when women’s primary goal was marriage and motherhood.

Marriage and motherhood brought joy and wonder. Marriage and motherhood also brought times of great loneliness.

Now I am growing more deal by the day . The  loneliness of not being heard as well as not hearing once again makes me the odd person out and lonely, particularly in crowds.

As Kate Locke, deaf from childhood, noted “Many people don’t realize just how difficult deafness can be.  It is a hidden disability, an isolating disability, because it is one of communication.”

She describes a situation I am coming to know all too well; she was a college student at the time:   “… one day I really thought I had a relevent and interesting comment to make about a topic we were discussing. So I put my hand up, said my bit, and there was silence. The lecturer looked at me in a funny way, and said: “I just said that.’I was so embarrassed. I never made another comment or participated in that class again.”

She also thought seriously of committing suicide during her college years. I urge you to read her blog The Isolation of Deafness and Considering Suicide. 

Whenever I open my mouth thinking I have heard what is going on, I am opening my heart to “funny looks.”  Even among those who I know love me most get a look that says I am the odd one out. In public many are polite, but the hurt remains and so I grow more silent every day.

The following tips, while not magic, help me.

Emotional Fitness Training Tip One: Examine your beliefs about loneliness, “The Happy Ever After Myth”  and what matters.  Doing so will reduce unrealistic expectations and keep you from “awfulizing” when lonely.

Psychologist Albert Ellis coined the term awfulizing. Awfulizing is a form of  twisted thinking that turns grains of sand into boulders blocking your path. Think of a teenager who won’t leave the house because of a pimple no one else notices.

I am not suggesting a Pollyanna solution. Loneliness is painful. Nonetheless, your thoughts, beliefs, and actions have the power to worsen or relieve that pain.

Emotional Fitness Training Tip Two: Have a life mission.  Mission statements are big in the business world, and where I first encountered them. However, once I thought about my personal mission, my life acquired a focus that gave  me a better sense of who I am, what I stand for, and how I want to be as a person.

As one poet  said, “I have to live with myself and so I want to be good for myself to know. ”

If you like who you are, being alone moderates loneliness.

Emotional Fitness Training Tip Three: Set SMART goals. Your mission defines who you are, but goals are the smaller way stations of life. SMART Goals are also a business tool, but again, one that works for individuals also.

How to set SMART Goals

Emotional Fitness Training Tip Four: Get a hobby, in fact get two.  Make one of your hobbies something that takes you totally out of yourself into another place or world. The hypnotists call this a trance state.  Reading page-turning books do this for me. A good novel or well crafted mystery and I am involved with the characters and, so for the moment,  forget all but the most horrendous of life pains.

Make the second of your hobbies, creating something. Obviously, blogging does that for me, but so does crocheting. Both give me a sense of purpose. Crocheting has an added value as it has a  meditative, soothing quality; and finally in time I end up with something concrete that I can take pleasure in having created.

Emotional Fitness Training Tip Five: Practice some Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises. In fact practice all Twelve.

12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exerciises

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Please Practice Kindness by sharing all you find of value on the internet.  It is easy and lifts the poster’s spirits. All here crave recognition.

A like says “Thank You.”

Comments say you have read and thought about the post.

Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.

Stay strong, it is not always easy.

Katherine

This post was somewhat inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt.  Futures Past – As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision? (Thank you, mirakraz and tori23, for inspiring this prompt!)

Not that I followed the post, but it did prompt my thinking about growing as a human being.  Here is a direct answer about  my first dream of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was taken to the movie National Velvet when I was eight years old. From then on all I wanted to be was a jockey.

By the time I was 11 years old, I was 5’8″ and still growing. Despairing, I spent quite a few evenings sitting in bed after lights out, with a huge dictionary on my head, hoping to keep the inches from piling up. Hurt my neck and I gave up that dream.

Then I wanted to be writer, but had dyslexia and when college was done the only job I could get was as a Social Worker. Lucky me that was my true vocation.

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.