From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for the ‘Emotions’ Category

“What hurts them”

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me-

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the Nazis.

Ask me if I am a racist or a bully or a prejudiced person and promptly I would reply “NO, I am neither of the three.”

I am an educated person who believes in equality and respects individuals. People are going to accept it as that is the shallow truth. But, if I take the below questionnaire honestly, my answer will be clouded by doubts.

  • Have I ever played with a person’s name or made it subjective to my humor?
  • Have I ever generalized in negative terms about any race or ethical group, disabled, elderly or other people different from ourselves?
  • Have I ever embarrassed someone by calling attention to some of their personal characteristics, mistakes or condition of their lives, families or friends?
  • Have I ever blamed a mishap, misconduct, dispute, loss in competitions on one or few people other than me?
  • Have I ever purposefully ignored or not included a certain person or group of them in my daily activities?
  • Have I ever made or been a part of something which have made a person or few of them so uncomfortable that they have to leave a group?
  • Have I ever made fun or ridiculed the beliefs, clothing, customs or personal habits of a person?
  • Have I ever used my or a friend’s social status to coerce others to do what I wanted them to do?
  • Have I ever forcefully or by other forms of intimidation discouraged or prevented a person or a group of them from participating in a discussion or speaking their minds in social interactions? tumblr_lrbqahrztb1qc2ckz

Be honest to yourself and if your answer is something which is making you not able to meet your eyes…Start the Process of CHANGE!

Every family,group, community,organisation has a culture. People are expected to fit into this culture forgetting their true self. If a person is not able to trust me, we would make him feel miserable because we have been given ourselves a right to make sure the trend is followed. The first step is to become AWARE of the pressure we put on people to behave in the way we want them to. And next time before you do it, just stop for a minute and think if the same happens to us, would we be able to be handle it.

Remember all of us have this innate need to progress and be a better person. This process relies on change, which is an  everyday process. We will have days of our highs and lows but as long as we are working on becoming a better person, we are moving forward.

“We apathise they abuse”

I read a book today. It is called “The Kid Trapper” by Julia Cook. I need to share the jist of it and the situation of this boy ( being a counselor even I know someone like him).

This boy who was trapped in a sexually abusive situation.

How did he get into it?

Simple easy steps which works every time

A friendly stranger makes you feel special

Invite you for a fun time in his place ( or a secluded one)

Let you do something, you always wanted to, but your parents never allowed you to do so

And once you are done, his game begins

Because you did something, you don’t want your parents to know you have to fulfill his wish

The wishes will grow & grow

This is the moment you know, you are TRAPPED

He will make sure you never talk to anyone about it and feel dirty and responsible for the situation. Trust me, that is his power and his biggest weapon. Your fear and shame. picture-to-represent-child-poverty-581748424

You feel your parents/loved ones will hate you if they would come to even know about it but that is your biggest mistake. They love you and they would never be able to forgive themselves if you won’t reach out to them. The moment you’ll talk, the web will disappear.

Parents/ Adults/loved ones:

Do you know?

There is no specific description of an abuser. He could be anyone and anywhere and most of the time he is a very close one.

Be there for your child. Give him the strength to reach you. Be a friend, who doesn’t even need words to feel the pain of his loved one.

Sometimes, because of our own fears, we convey this message to our children that talking about sex ( or sexual abuse) is unacceptable. We believe in the ostrich syndrome…lets dig our heads in the sand rather than looking at the problem.

Though it sounds rare but this is the most common type of abuse which exists anywhere & everywhere!

Please, lets accept this as a fact that sexual predators do exist among us, rather than feeling ashamed and going in a cocoon about it because without this acceptance we will never be able to feel comfortable in talking to them about it and consequently will not be able to equip our kids with the necessary skills to identify and deal with them.

 

 

Rogue Relationship

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear of unknown.

If any of these rings a bell, break the chains and start living your life from today. Let go of it because this relationship is like a virus, which will eat you and make you forget to live the only life you’ve got.

I know saying it is really easy while even thinking of implementing makes you shiver. Take the step to liberate the real you. In the beginning, go through the process of  healing which may involve grieving for your dead relationship but all of this will actually empower you. You would love to find your confidence again and letting go of the shame & guilt developed during the relationship.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Warning: Before taking the step be sure that you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t take a low phase as the whole relationship. Be objective and if you can’t seek external help to decide. This post is strictly for those you are a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

 

What to knit your life with?

Have you ever felt drained sitting next to a person while some just refreshes you?

Life is simple ; each individual is unique, no two can be the same . A logical question should be “Why are we called social animals then?”

It’s the connections we have with individuals at various levels. We humans have social needs which are fulfilled by these connections. But the million dollar question is could you fill all these places with any random person? To answer this  I have to ask you one thing, could you put any piece to a puzzle and make a sane picture?

There is a  click with some people and it has nothing to do with how similar you are . You connect  with someone and find that person fulfilling a certain social need of yours making you more contended and happy but that doesn’t mean he/she is the only one for all your needs. This person is just a part of a whole huge picture which is made of many such connections. You connect with someone as a friend, someone else on an intellectual level while someone looks after the call of your heart and so on. 

But there is also a major unsaid pressure from the society on us to form these connections. It is not necessary that at the beginning of our journey we would find the exact piece to fit in the puzzle of our life but when we see or assume these pieces fitting in other people’s life we force to fake these bonds. Our hunger for social satisfaction also forces us to make hurried decisions. We make friends with whom we aren’t comfortable, we become close to people with whom we have few/no things to celebrate about.

This pressure is on both introverts & extroverts. As an introvert, you are pushed to be with people, even if it drains you and you aren’t comfortable with them. You are refused to wait for beautiful connections to happen which makes you enjoy your solitude more and more. While an extrovert, due to his compulsion to be around people, finds lots of them but end up feeling still lonely most of the time.

This in place of making us more contended, takes away the zeal out of our life. The human threads which are supposed to support us actually burdens us. We forget our individuality and instead of growing start carrying baggages. Sometimes we find the bonds which make us stronger but lose them with time and in search of the same kind of support find people who are not our match.

If we are in such a kind of relationship, are we doing justice to it and the other person/s involved in it. I am sure he/she is tolerating us the same way, we are tolerating them in our lives. This whole arrangement is unhealthy. The beauty of relationships and human connection is lost. Wake up before it’s too late and you become responsible for either hurting someone or ruining your experience as a result. Wait for the right piece for your puzzle and trust me it is worth waiting!

Enjoy your solitude and grab opportunities to connect with people with similar thought processes or for that matter someone with whom you can just have FUN! Never rush yourself, everything has a time. When we are waiting we feel that it is never going to end, this makes us impatient resulting in bad choices. But, that doesn’t mean that when something/ somebody does make sense, you still wait for the perfect one ( we all know no one/ nothing is  perfect). 

Life is all about trials & errors. Start living and exploring new human connections, even if it is not going to be your life altering relationship, it sure will teach you some new things.

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”
― Albert Schweitzer

When Sincerity Stings

 

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. – Oscar Wilde

I was forced to actually be empathetic towards a sincere close one today. This empathy was forced because it actually overlapped with sympathy. If you are confused by the way I am using this great attribute of sincerity, let me tell you how difficult it is for a sincere person to lead a happy and contended life.

You must have heard about what is inside affects the outside. In other words, your inner self reflects on the outer world. You take the whole world the same way you are. So, it is not a shocker when a sincere person expects the same kind of treatment from the whole world.  Though their experiences have tried to wake them up a lot of times and they have even tried and made ample resolutions, still once comfortable they go back in their usual comfort belief system ( of the world being almost as sincere as they are).

They wait for people to do their part they carry out theirs, which most of the time doesn’t happen. It only frustrates them, disturbs their strong principles and sometimes even make them sorry for being sincere.

They need to understand the world is not going to go by their script. The only thing flexible or one can change is your attitude towards life. I am not asking you to be insincere but urging you to start the process of understanding the coexistence of good and bad. If you are sincere, great for you but that doesn’t mean the world is going to be the same. You are going to get a mix. Be prepared for different degrees of sincerity and accept it.

One more thing which we need to understand is sincerity is also subjective. Your meaning of it could be totally different from how someone else defines it. There is also your sincerity priority; something for you could be of high priority in your sincerity barometer while the same thing could be of medium or low priority for a friend. For eg., for some ppl being sincere in a relationship is top most priority while some feel professional sincerity is a must. If both will be together they are going to doubt each other’s personality finding each other being insincere in life. Try to start looking at the whole picture and not blinded by few situations!

A  sincere friend  of mine ( who goes through this situation on a regular basis) suggests that take your experience as a learning process and build your predictor chart of a situation or a person. He does that combined with his intuition and it really helps him deal with various new challenges of life.  If you assess a person as a threat to your sincere world, maintain a logical distance. It makes sense because as we know, we can never change a person and if his behavior is a threat to our peace, change yourself ( by changing the situation as much as possible).

After saying all of this, I would like to end this post by addressing all my sincere close ones; build strategies, make resolutions do whatever you want but the next time you are put on test, you’ll be  hardcore sincere again as it runs in your blood and that is why you remain so dear to us 🙂

 

 

Is it a Pretty Ugly World?

 

For every Scoundrel, there is a hero;

For every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader;

For every enemy there is a friend.

Of late, I was quite bothered by my life’s experiences. Either I was being taken advantage of or a close one was getting duped. It was varying from a small level to being critically harmful to my sanity. As I have shared earlier I am a heart person and all of these incidents were really pulling me down and giving all ‘brains & logic people’ ( who care for me) reasons to point of  my naïvety.

Thanks to Mr. Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son, which I came across today, I am still a believer. Let’s be honest to ourselves and reflect on our life. Isn’t it true that because we have a few bad experiences with people, we start doubting each and everyone. When was the last time you felt like a fool in doubting someone who actually helped you and proved you wrong?

It is like a tainted glass which is in front of us all the time. We see everyone through it. We also remember these bad experiences too vividly which leads us to actually put the good ones in the back of our mind or forget them altogether. Media also has a major role in this. Any negative incident has to be sensationalized and given full coverage and the positive ones are generally boring. It is repeated so many times  in front of us that we take it as a fact of life that this is a BAD BAD WORLD!

One more reason for us to be apprehensive is ‘ NO ONE LIKES TO BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF’. Whenever we are cheated, it leaves with a feeling of us being outsmarted. We feel like a fool, so it is better to be careful than sorry. I wouldn’t trust than be hurt again.

But my question is, is it healthy to live in a world which you can’t trust ?

I would say NO!

Imagine a world where you have no one you could trust and you are always on the lookout for the stabbers. How would you feel? It would lead you to actually lose your sanity. There will be unhealthy doubts, apprehensions, reluctance, suspicion & skepticism. It would become a really dark place, where you would forget how to LIVE.      It starts showing on your health too  as depression, blood pressure, stress and above all paranoia. 

 

Let’s embrace the world of duality. It is a world of both good and bad. If you have been pushed by one person, another will come and hold your hand. Please don’t shut yourselves from the positive experiences and interactions because of the fear of the negative ones. Humanity is beautiful, go ahead and experience it with open arms and the world will be yours!

 

The simple choice of happiness- Part 2

While reading the spiritual section of my newspaper today, I came across this incredible concept of happiness/unhappiness genes. This was an article by Mr. Rajiv Vij. It made so much sense, forced me to revisit my approach in dealing with happiness.

Presenting my adaptation of happiness/unhappiness genes, which actually is a sequel of my earlier post; The simple choice of happiness!

According to this article, some people are born with the happiness gene. They do get affected by sad or unhappy incidents but that doesn’t mean they get stuck there. You must have met or know a person like that. It also makes you wonder, how does Mr. X remain so cheerful at all times? The reason is out now…Mr. X is one of the lucky few, who are born with the happiness gene.

But, what about the rest of us?

Mr. Vij has put our influences for happiness under five main categories, coined under the acronym of ‘ MOODS’.  Understanding these will definitely facilitate the concept of choosing happiness.

1. ME : ‘ ME’ is our self centered instincts to take things personally.

Remember the famous poster in almost every other room which used to state our basic attitude of ‘ WHY ME?’   

How many of us could actually say with full guarantee that we take criticism very positively? Leave alone criticism, even a casual remark brings millions of doubts in our mind. We question ourselves at every step of our life. It is also very difficult for us to take compliments genuinely. We are always doubtful. We are scared of our successes and failures.

In our strides we understate the successful or happy moments ( Trust me, we get ample of it)  but as soon as there are tough situations we exaggerate it, making our life look like a journey full of thorns. This leads to the next section of O.

Mr. Vij says that we are not unique in any situation, whatever happens to us is universal. I would also like to add that we need to accept the world of duality. Pleasant lies side by side with unpleasant moments.

2. OVERWHELMED: The tendency to get totally consumed by unpleasant events.

It’s interesting to observe how we separate our positives in life from the rest of the events while as soon as it is negative, it wraps our whole daily life. We become sad and insist to be counted as born unlucky. Even if something pleasant happens we stop ourselves from feeling the happiness.

I would say always remember that positive thoughts decreases in half, while negative thoughts increases in double fold. Try to isolate life events, don’t let them overlap. It is a conscious choice which requires everyday effort.

3. OBSESSIVE:  This is our strong need to be perfect.

As in one of my posts, what if…if only? I talked about having an imaginary perfect world. We keep on comparing our present  life with this imaginary world. Whatever we have got , we are not happy, as it is not perfect.

It’s simple, if you want to be happy and contented, stop looking for it. When you look for something, you always have set parameters, let go of your criteria.

4. DIY:  ‘Do It Yourself’ yourself. No one should know that we are dealing with a problem. This thought again emerges from thinking that we are unique in our experience. We take it as a personal defect if someone comes to know about our struggle. We like to indulge in our problem, maximizing it by not sharing it with anyone.

The best way to empower yourself is by accepting our problem and seeking help. This needs a lot of strength and courage.

5. Set in Stone: The innate belief that the effect of any negative event will last forever. It feels that the journey of our life will be stuck with the unpleasantness.

Our life is divided into phases. Change is the only constant, it is always the darkest before the dawn.

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.
Charlie Chaplin

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