From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for May, 2012

Partial Acceptance

If you’ve read my posts, you would know I am a firm believer in the first step of acceptance.

For any change in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for change.      

For any growth in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for growth.

For any desire in us, we need to ACCEPT the need for it.

Even for being at the same place, we need to ACCEPT that we are happy with our present state.

So, acceptance is the key but what is acceptance?

You’ll say when you realize and give your approval to a particular situation or thing. And it is so right, when we start gaining  insight of a situation. It starts from becoming uncomfortable with a certain thing/ situation, realizing that something is not right and some work need to be done.

Analyze the situation, understand the issue and then accept that we need to change!

A mother having problems with managing her child with a disorder, won’t be able to do the needful until she accepts that her child needs help. A marital problem can’t be sorted until the people involved accept that there is a problem in their relationship. You’ll only be happy if you accept your original self with your challenges and strengths.

As an individual, when do you feel complete and secure. When you accept yourself as you are without any ifs and buts but is it so simple to achieve?

We struggle with the acceptance with our excuses and reasoning. We accept our challenges but not fully and consequently our work with  them is also partial. We like to go for partial acceptance because it allows us to live in a fake world without dealing with our inner conflict. This also makes us look for recognition from others, makes us lose confidence in ourselves. We stop the process of growth because we start living in the denial of there is no room for improvement.

Think about it, when was the last time you accepted something without any buts. If you are honest to yourself, you’re going to have a problem in recollecting it. May be you were fully accepting but that lasted for some time and if the time length was long the acceptance was not 100%. The moment you start having problems with acceptance, your growth goes through a downfall. You start putting your reasoning and stop the process.

So, what is the way of working on acceptance?

Be honest to yourself and embrace yourself the way you are. There is no place for bargaining. The moment you’ll surrender you will see the possibilities. You enable yourself by giving the strength of acceptance and working on your limitations.

For eg., Tina needs to work on her empathy. She realized that  a lot of time she is insensitive to people’s emotions. In the beginning she had issues in accepting her insensitiveness. Whenever she tried, her brain told her yes you did cross the line but what about certain situations where you were not so bad. This struggle went on for a while, until she realized she really need to do something about her situation, otherwise would end up as a loner. She understood her need to surrender to her insensitiveness, which in turn will help her accept it and work on it.

Until you live in denial you are snatching opportunities from yourself for growth. You’ll keep on fighting acceptance of your challenges and would fail in leading a contended life leading to restlessness and confusion. You’ll try to find the answers without any success.

Do remember acceptance is a process and need to be worked on everyday basis. If you are ready for being a better individual come out of your partial acceptance mirage and then you’ll see there is no limit for growth!

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” – J. Donald Walters

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Why do people lie, when it is not even required?

I really liked this lady. Found her very friendly, charming and easygoing. She was so much fun to be with, real friend material. We started hanging out a lot together…and then it happened for the first time, she lied for no proper reason. It was a shocker for me because there was no need to lie in that situation but she did it. Then eventually a pattern appeared. She just lies, reason or no reason!

First it did put me off and I thought of just maintaining my distance but then I understood that this lady is also seeking a friend. She is lonely and slowly  understood the reason for people walking away from her. She complained about the world being devoid of genuine people, without understanding the simple equation of her getting back what she is throwing at the world. She has no clue why people are trying to get as far as possible from her. This lady needed help!

She  just isn’t able to STOP herself and as she lacks insight in her own self, consequently there is no reason to work on it in her life. In her perception the problem lies with the world and she honestly feels that people are not being straightforward. In a lot of texts this kind of problem is often referred to as compulsive lying or pseudologia fantastica.

The major issue with this condition is the inability to understand that there is a problem. It starts as a non conflicting way of getting what you want but slowly a person loses all sense of honesty. The person starts living in a fake world which is weaved by his or her own lies which in their minds is the reality of this world.

Does that mean the person is happy in this self made world?

The answer is NO!

A person who is used to compulsive lying is a very lonely and sad person. Because of the uncontrolled behavior, there is a dearth of people who even want to be with them. They hurt people and as a result have no real friends or loved ones. It is not that these people don’t want love or relationships, on the contrary they yearn for meaningful relationships and feel frustrated when unable to do so.Sometimes because of their uncontrollable behavior they are also not able to hold a job

The reasons of getting into this pattern could be numerous. It may be a  disturbed childhood, positive reinforcement to petty lying, need for approval, trying to create an ideal image and so on. The problem begins when you stop lying by yourself and it just starts governing you. You see yourself lying and you seriously aren’t able to do anything about it as it is beyond YOU!

The first step towards recovery is Acceptance! If you’re the person dealing with it, accept it and if it is a friend, have the talk.

The next step is to seek a therapist. I am from the school of thought which strongly believes that whatever is learnt, COULD ALSO BE VERY WELL UNLEARNT!

Good touch, Bad touch!

If you are a parent or a caretaker of a child, You should stop and certainly read this!

Being a parent, I know we just wish that there is no word as danger in their world but we know it is not possible. So, we should do the next best thing of either keeping away our kid from danger or make them ready to face it. Again the latter is only possible if we restrict our child at home, which consequently would stop their growth.  

If you think or even want yourself to be a good parent, you make your child prepare for this world in each possible way.

Now the question, I want to ask you today is, have you thought about making them strong enough to deal with a sexual predator?

I always say shutting our eyes doesn’t infer that the problem is not there. It just means that we refuse to deal with it. If you are one of those who believe that it can never happen to my child as we live in a protected world, I am sorry to break it to you but you are living in a delusional world.

I am not only talking about the evil-looking ‘wanted’ individual, whose very look starts ringing alarms but I am trying to bring your attention to the friendly, safe and nice looking individuals. Those uncles with whom we know everything will go just fine or that neighbor who takes care of our child, when we have to run for an errand.

How are we so sure that nothing bad is going to happen?

Do you know that statistics prove that more than 70% of the times, assaulter is a well-known person of the child.

Are you comfortable that you have a son and they are not the potential targets. You need to wake up, as the boys are as vulnerable as girls in getting harassed.

God forbid if it happens, our child will be able to handle it and also let us know about it? Are you sure that you have imparted sufficient knowledge for your kid to actually not feel guilty about it and have the confidence to share it with the right person?

The world is a beautiful place but we all know that bad exists with good. There are people who are mentally sick . The problem here is no one can look at a person and say that there is something wrong with him and my child is not safe with this person. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you haven’t yet started, begin it today. Talk about the real evil of this world and talk in their language. Some tips to get you started:

  • Introduce them to the dangers of this world and then move to this particular area.
  • Tell them the ‘ Must say NO areas’, which are a strict NO. No one could or should touch you there. These areas are the chest, the area between your legs and your bottom ( bums). If you have are difficulty in explaining it to your kid, show them this picture and tell them to make sure no one touches them in the areas covered:

Please make sure that the kids understand that any touch which feels uncomfortable or leaves them confused need to be discussed with you. Make them comfortable with it. Tell them, it is not and never going to be their fault if a person touches them in the inappropriate places or ways.

  • Teach them how to shout NO. If a bad touch happens they should repeat No and run away from the place as fast as possible.

From childhood, somehow we have conveyed this message to our kids, that saying ‘No’ is not a good thing. You should listen to adults and do what they ask you to. We need to make them understand that sometimes you need to say ‘No’ and stick to it. Mom is not going to be upset if she finds out about your ‘No’, in fact she is going to be proud of you.

  • They should identify a ‘Safe Adult’. Someone with whom they are able to communicate and feel safe. If they face any such circumstance, they should find their safe adult and share the experience with them.

Children take secrets too seriously. They seldom break them. Make them understand the difference between a good secret and bad. Any secret, which makes you uncomfortable or sad need to be only shared with your safe adult.

If you are a parent, see the signs. Children are like flowers, you can see them withering if tampered!

Relationship : What makes it work?

Relationship: is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This is a definition I got from the internet which actually describes the crux of relationships, but as an individual surrounded by it, we know it is not this simple.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. “- Anthony Robbins.

In other words, our relationships make us, who we really are! I have read somewhere this amazing comparison; Just as ants make anthills, human beings makes relationships.

All of us crave to make the most of each and every relationship in our life; be it a friend, coworker, family or a loved one. We try and try, most of the time oblivious to what exactly we are working on?      

We work really hard on different relationships and our roles in them. We try to be or get the best possible outcome from these relationships. It is what makes our support system, gives us strength to deal with life issues and be sane. But, have we ever wondered what is the source of having what we call as ‘Ideal Relationship’ ?

As I have already shared, It begins with You!

For the success of any relationship, we need to begin from within. Have you ever even considered a possibility of a relationship with yourself?

Working on our inner turbulence, the miscommunications and disparity of thoughts within ourselves. Have you ever heard more than one voice coming from inside you and sometimes it has reached to a level of chaos? Is there a problem cropping up in your relationships, which reappears even after great effort from your behalf? Are your relationships making you emotionally exhausted and you find yourself craving for space?

If these questions make you stop & think, then it is the time to reflect on your relationship with yourself.

Is this even makes sense because if we go by the definition, it clearly states that a relationship is only possible when more than one person is involved. But, let’s look at where is all this originating from? Isn’t it from a relationship we have so far conveniently ignored?

The way we treat ourselves, if someone else treats us even 1/10oth of that, we would kill that person! We have never given ourselves equal rights, let alone the privilege of a relationship. Imagine someone you won’t even give a second glance, you actually place yourself in the same category.

You are seeking answers in this world but the truth is, it lies within yourself. You’ll listen to anyone and everyone but would certainly make your inner voice shut.

Let’s get back to the Serenity Prayer, the only thing which we can change in this world is ourselves but sadly we spend most of our lives changing others. We keep on doing so ignoring the need to work on the relationship which could yield results.

Break the dynamics of any relationships ( as also shown in the picture) and you would find that the things which need to be worked on to achieve optimal relationship status is a quality you either need to change or inculcate.

Let’s give it a try. Start building relationship with oneself. Take some time out…Say hello to yourself. Let the journey begin!

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. “-  Wayne W. Dyer

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