From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for the ‘Relationship’ Category

Why RESPECT?

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
~ Jackie Robinson

What is it that differentiates us from animals?

According to Kazimierz Dąbrowski, the ability of humans to inhibit and transform our lower animal instincts into “higher” forces is what separates us from animals.

Going by this definition, I understood one thing, that we are born with too many basic impulses. These need to be trimmed and tamed to form a beautiful personality. We are also born with a disregard for oneself, others and our environment. As we grow and start building our identity, we start realizing the importance of RESPECT.  It is a major building block of our character.

We are nobody without our self respect. We demand respect from others to make our self esteem grow. If we actually observe our actions on an everyday basis, we will realize that they are governed by the need to be respected. We do our best to earn it whether through our intellect, behavior, heritage, strength or sometimes even try to buy it.

But, this reasoning is at an advanced level, sometimes people aren’t able to understand it. They try to gain respect without bothering to actually pass it on. They aren’t able to appreciate the cycle of respect. It is not a material gain but like all other human values, it is spread through sharing. If you like to be respected, you need to start respecting others without considering their background.

What is RESPECT?

Respect is a need which comes from within, influenced by the way you are treated. It comes from  achievements, contributions & merit. It is not a feeling of fear or obedience. It is a regard of honor which no one could force to happen, but oozes by itself where it is due and then no one could stop it.

Respect is when we show a significant amplification of attention and care through words or actions towards people or our own self.

Respect is when we modify our behavior or choice of words in such a way that it exhibits  a significant increase in attention and care and is supplemented by a feeling of admiration for their suggestions, abilities and achievements.

While researching for respect, I realized one vital point. The meaning of respect varies with age and so does its treatment.

For a child, we generally think that it is as simple as being polite and courteous but actually it is much more complex. A child is very well conscious of whether he is respected or not?

Children deserve to be heard & be dealt in a thoughtful, civil manner. Disrespect a child and he will wait for an opportunity to do the same or worse with you. A child also learns the way he is treated and the way he sees others being treated. The seed of respect starts from childhood. It can’t be taught but it certainly could be shown.

For a teenager, Respect is basically when you consider their decision. When you show them your regard, value their point of view, give them the place of a young adult. Disciplining is not being disrespectful. Don’t ever think that if you will point out their wrongs, they will stop liking you. May be they will but they will definitely start respecting you!

For an adult, the definition of respect goes to a different level altogether. It is not merely a value or attribute but a self fulfilling process. An adult learns to start respecting oneself and takes it forward to other individuals, society and nature. It is a journey of self actualization, finding oneself!

Why RESPECT?

Because we all have worth and value as human beings.

Respect is talked about a lot, people use the word all the time to generate authority, fear, love, obedience but actually it is a culture. When it is present you take it for granted but the moment it is lost, every minute is a slap in your face!

Respect is a healthy choice. Now, we know that it is a cycle, you get respect when you give it. So, for inner peace you need to be respected and your worth as a human being need to be appreciated. The mere thought of being disrespected is intolerable by all of us. I would say start respecting each human entity. Resist your basic nature of payback.

Let’s start the culture of respect by being an example… BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!

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What if…If only?

What is the main thing which comes between us and our happiness? What is it, which stops us from living our life to its fullest?

A simple imaginative ever going comparison of  What if…If only?

Human Beings have this imaginative perfect world in which everything is great ( that is why it is perfect…Duh!). Now, in the real world, they tend to compare everything & everybody with their imaginative perfect world. Nothing real, obviously, couldn’t reach anywhere close to their perfect world counterpart and even if it does, the rating scale again goes higher.

This is true for all of us. How many of us can deny that they don’t have their perfect world in which everything is according to them, no one is there to stop them. We could have a villa full of servants, a beautiful partner without any conditions or could be the ruler of this whole world.  We also have perfect situations in which we win all the arguments and every time we open our mouth something witty or sharp comes out of it. No one can make a fool of us or disrespect us.         

Even though we very well know that its a fake world but in our real world, there is always an unconscious comparison going on. For everything, our mind whispers, what if….if only? This stops us from accepting the reality or being grateful for what we have but actually makes us unhappy, complaining and a cribber.

There is a very thin line between, when we dream of something and it is achievable and we aim for it and those situations which are beyond us. In these situations if we bring out what if…if only, it is only going to flood our lives with regret.  A very good way of judging whether you are crossing the boundary is checking with The Serenity Prayer. It’s the best tool to be as worldly spiritual as possible.

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.

You’ll find that happiness is right there, where you are!

“Happiness is making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.” – Unknown

Shut your Mind, Listen to your Heart!

“I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.

I want to think M&M’s are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care.

All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.

I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.”- Unknown

Have you really observed a child, he is blessed with the power of innocence and love. He does what he feels like regardless of whether he is making the right moves or not. He is governed by his Heart. I agree that you’ve to grow up and learn the way of the world, but in this learning we are also learning to be shrewd, opportunist and gaining baggage of stress?

Our adult life has become a chess board, where we are always playing against something or someone. There is always a race going on in which we’ve to be on top, in return even if it means stepping over someone else’s territory, we don’t mind. The world has taught us to think, see our gain in a situation and move forward to achieve.

Sadly, in all of this we lose our innate nature of trust, acceptance, unconditional love and the beautiful gift of innocence! We become slaves of our reasoning and mind. We all have the gift of having an inner voice. The voice which guides us, shows us the path of righteousness. We keep muffling that voice everyday, till we become accustomed to living without even realizing it is there.

We have become a human machine, happiness is there but with a condition. We become happy but it is so short-lived because it is always dependent on an outer reason, it seldom comes from within.

When we are born we are not bound with chains. We are like a free bird, which knows how to fly high and be itself but as we grow social conditioning starts tying us in chains. We have to be logical and find reasons in everything. This limits us to experience the whole realm of the beauty of life, as anything which goes beyond our explanation, is trashed by our mind. We also devoid ourselves from a range of emotions because that doesn’t go with our image of a reasonable adult.

When was the last time you heard your heart’s voice?

I know we have priorities and our duties, I am not saying leave all of it . What I am trying to convey here is learning to respond to these situations with the help of the voice which lies within you. I know it is difficult to rely on a voice for an important decision, so why not start with small matters and test the results. Go for a combination of both, strike the right balance!

The world is running after spirituality. What is it? It is not a huge complex phenomenon but a simple connection to oneself. If you want to minimize the inner turbulence, start depending on your inner strength. If something doesn’t make sense to you or you are not comfortable with a decision, pause and reflect and choose the path shown by your heart.

Your brain could let you down but your heart would never! When you’ll start living in harmony with yourself, you’ll see how it will spread around you…It is a ripple effect.


Why do we hurt those whom we love the most?

Have you ever seen best friends turning the worst of foes, lovers hating each other & brother becoming enemies? My guess would be, if you are a person who have spent a substantial amount of time in this world, you wouldn’t have only seen something like this but most probably have been a part of it.

First of all, this world teaches us to be very stingy with our love and even if we decide to spread it, trust is always an issue. Somewhere we come out of this muddle to start our journey on the path of love. This love could be for a friend, a sweetheart or a relative. We enjoy our journey till our loved one emotionally hurts us. Let’s be honest, we are human beings and sooner or later something will come in our relationship which would not please us. Two individuals could never exist simultaneously without differences.

What happens when we have a conflict with a person we don’t know very well? Nothing much, we end up criticizing the person, discussing it with a close one and totally forgetting about it.

But, what happens, when we have the same or lesser kind of conflict with a loved one?

WE WANT TO HURT THE PERSON MORE THAN THE HURT HE IS GIVING US!

It is better to hurt and make the other person go through the same hell you are going through, rather than being hurt alone. It is crazy to admit the power the other person has over you. You go into a rage and without thinking start saying or doing things which not only hurt you & the other person but also the relationship. Whenever we love a person we give a lot of power to that person and it frustrates us  when we don’t feel the same importance reciprocated.

Then comes the role of our EGO. After the episode, even if we feel bad and want to patch stuff, our ego doesn’t allow us to do so. We live with the bleak feeling which kills us, we want to be with the other person but decide to continue burning in the fire of rage even if it makes us sad and miserable.  ” I fed my EGO, but not my soul.”-Yakov Smirnoff

Then there is this expectation of being in a perfect relationship. We expect everything from one single person. We grow up with this fantasy, media makes it stronger, of having an ideal relationship which obviously means the other person need to be perfect. We can’t cope with our partners’ challenges & limitations, and that makes us mad at them. We start overlooking their positives and get caught in the web of negativities, resulting in us hurting our loved ones more and more.

We are also the closest to them, so they are the ones who know us best. It is inevitable that they are also aware of our limitations and if in a healthy relationship, they’ll share it with us. It is very difficult to take criticism from a loved one. We become vindictive and try to find immediate faults in them too, to get even!

It is always difficult to have an objective conversation with a loved one because we are always going to be in the same picture. Even after several rehearsals in our minds, most of the time a conversation ends up being an argument destroying mood as well as losing the whole point which needed to be conveyed.

All of this makes our hurt turn into Hate and the intensity of our feelings depends on how much we Love the person!

If you really want to be happy in a relationship, here are some steps:

  • Accept your partner with their challenges. No one is perfect…that goes for you too! If you feel you’re tolerating someone, maybe the other person is feeling the same.
  • Never react when you are angry because at that time your anger controls you!
  • The moment you  let go of your Ego, you’ll make space for your partner in your world.
  • Be open to positive criticism from a loved one.
  • If you feel your steps aren’t working, seek an objective view.

” Everyone says that love hurts. But that’s not true. Loneliness hurts, rejection hurts, losing someone hurts. Everyone confuses these with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes us feel wonderful again.” Anonymous

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

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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