Archives for posts with tag: Health

When we reach our thirties and forties, many of our friends and acquaintances have most likely gotten married and already have kids or are having kids.  Being single among our peers might make us stand out like a sore thumb and make us wonder whether there might be something wrong with ourselves–and similarly others might have the same thoughts about us.  After all, if we were probably more emotionally skilful or otherwise appealing, shouldn’t someone have snagged us by now?

It might also make us emotionally inept.  Lacking experiences, we might be wont to believe the anecdotes of our married pals who do not have a successful marriage and therefore have the time to still hang out with us and ‘kiss and tell’ so to speak.  The successfully married ones are less wont to tell interesting stories or spend time elaborating about the virtues of being single or go on about the woes of being ‘too loved’ by their wives that they feel that they are emotionally tethered and unable to be free.

We must beware of drinking water from a polluted well even when it’s the only one available.  At the risk of stating the obvious, these unhappily married people are the polluted wells I speak of, they are widely available and have the time to share their emotional toxins and negative thoughts and woes with anyone who would care to listen, and we might think that their tales are cautionary and informative of what might be to come for ourselves.

We must not seek advise or tips on having a healthy relationship or marriage from people who have failed miserably at it, despite their protests that they had nothing to do with the pitiable state of their relationship and claim to be the hapless victims in the situation.  As a friend, perhaps we might lend an ear to them if they need to share their story but we must discern that their predicaments need not create a map of fear in our heads about what relationships might be like–and make us cling to being single and causing us our chances at having a happy and healthy relationship.

When we drink (or take advise) from ‘polluted wells’ (negative people) we are setting ourselves up to fail by being contaminated by their thoughts, behaviours, and misconceptions.  We have probably lived in this world long enough to know that each experience requires our participation and it is very rare to find a relationship failing at the hands of merely only person.  We may wish to provide more wholesome point of views to our unfortunate friends and help them improve their relationships instead of enabling their negative thought patterns, or even worse, adopting their tainted view on relationships.

Do not seek advice about health from a sick person.  Do not seek guidelines on a successful relationship from someone who has failed/failing/ailing relationships.  It is simply this simple.  If we forget this fact, we will doom ourselves to follow in their footsteps and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for allowing it.

(c) Niconica 2013



Perhaps there is some virtue in dragging out a situation for longer than is needed, but I can’t seem to see it.  I think that there are some things which have gone out of fashion together with the horse and carriage, and the manual churning of butter.  While advertising seems to extol the values of good old fashioned processes, I think that extending a courtship past a certain point just feels pointless and reeks of disrespect for the time and feelings of the other person.

Time is money and in the realm of budding relationship it also equates to emotional investment which is the currency of emotional connections.  The more time spent on getting to know the person may just equate to more emotional pain when the bandage is suddenly ripped out and the final results kick in.  I think that past a certain point, mulling over the viability of a relationship is just plain indecisiveness in disguise.

When we get to a certain age, we have an idea of what we prefer and it’s just insulting to claim to have no idea what one feels.  If it happens to be true then we might be emotionally retarded and that is just another matter entirely.  Nevertheless, it’s never too soon to to cut someone loose when we don’t have the intention of carrying through a committed relationship with them.  It’s cruel to drag a situation on with no intention of taking it to a more serious level.

We live in a fast-paced world whether we like it or not and when we take too much time to decide on whether someone is right for us, we might risk disrespecting their precious time and inadvertently lead them on–and this is just plain wrong and many other things along those lines.  It is true that only fools rush in but at the same time, taking too long is just similarly foolish, but only in a different manner.

It’s all well and good to go at snail’s pace during the time when there was still no electricity or even no internet, but in this day and age where everyone needs to earn a living and is not merely in a manor waiting for their servants to cater to their every move, we must be mindful of the opportunity costs our dillydallying may be causing the other person–or even ourselves if the other person decides to go for other options due to the prolonged mind games and lack of emotional clarity and direction.

(c) Niconica 2013

I can understand mulling over big purchases and researching before finally buying them because money does not grow on trees, but for some reason, I cannot understand when this attitude spills over to the realm of dating and picking a mate.  Logically speaking, since our choice of a life partner can make or break us, it is not something which can be entered into cavalierly and requires careful thought.  So perhaps a prolonged period of observation and interaction is justified before making any conclusion.

Be it that it makes sense to be cautious about our selection of a mate, I also believe that there is only as much as we can find out with observation and surface interaction and sometimes, it’s better to start dating seeing each other exclusively in order to find out more of the nuances up close and personal and whether we can live with these quirks. There is only as much detail that “window shopping” for a partner can provide and sometimes, we must simply make up our mind and jump in.

It is way too idealistic to think that upon a few interactions and with simply dating or being just friends that we can determine whether this person is the one whom we would be willing to make a life long commitment to.  It’s a romantic idea but it cannot hold up to reality because assessing from the entry point, it does not give us enough details or insight to make an informed decision. It also places too much pressure on the person whom we are considering to be able to measure up to whatever phantom criteria we fancy they must meet.

Experience is the best teacher and it is the same way with relationships.  if we choose to merely be friends or date indefinitely, it wastes precious time and is counterproductive to our aim of getting to know the person well enough to know whether having a relationship with them would be feasible in the long run.  Nothing replaces the actual experience of being in a relationship to find out whether the relationship can stand the test of time, it is not something which can be preempted and prejudged.

It puts an inordinate amount of pressure on ourselves too when we nurse the odd idea that if we enter into a relationship with someone that they would be ‘the one’ we are to make lifelong commitments too because we must always consider the inherent reality of life which is that everything is subject to change.  We may change our minds further down the road but it does not mean that we should cheat ourselves out of what can be a potentially beautiful experience.

In thinking that we must research for as long as we can before determining whether we are to go into a relationship, it shows that we are risk averse and that we which that our decisions be final and lasting.  It is understandable that as humans, we value security and permanence, however it may be too much weight for the reality to bear.  In order to experience life to the fullest, some measure of risk must be taken and we must give ourselves the leeway of making mistakes.

Finding an ideal partner who will be our first love, our first relationship, and our lifelong partner till death do us part would be a dream come true indeed, however, this scenario is too perfect that it would be very rare for it to be that way.  When we get attached to such standards, we sometimes forget that we are ourselves fallible and imperfect and expecting everything to fall into place in an ideal and dreamy manner is indulging in daydreams which, as pleasant as they might be, are a waste of time and would be detrimental to our finding someone who would hold up to the light of day as our romantic partner.

After a reasonable period of observation and interaction, it might be best for both parties to make up their mind and decide whether to give it a go, or just let it go.  Having uncertain situations drag on for an unspecified amount of time does not benefit both parties involved and furthermore reflects a lack of respect for the other person.  It might also cause the other party to perceive this lack of respect for their precious time and encourage them to move on.

(c) Niconica 2013


9781593375850_p0_v1_s260x420 images-9 9780313392733_p0_v1_s260x420

I’ve recently come across these very interesting books by author Jon P. Bloch.  I am impressed by his insight into human nature enough to wish to read all of this non-fiction books.  If you enjoy reading my blog, I think that his books will appeal to you.  They are well written and insightful.  I have not finished reading all of them yet but I would like to share them with you.  He is no stranger to the pain and emotional strife caused by emotional vampires and soulless emotional predators and is kind enough to share his insight with the rest of us who might have had to deal with difficult people to say the very least.

I have finished reading The Everything Health Guide to Adult Bipolar Disorder and am now reading The Loveless Family.  He is able to relay quite well the convoluted psychological dynamics which exist in dysfunctional and loveless families.  We might sometimes wonder whether we are being too needlessly suspicious or untrusting of people, but when we come across his descriptions of these dodgy characters we have grown up with, we start feeling a bit more sane.  We realize that we might not have been imagining the ill intentions after all and it might not all be in our head that certain characters we have encountered in our lives are not unique to our own experience but do exist empirically.

I am looking forward to reading Handling Difficult People and I shall share my thoughts about it too.  From what I have read so far, it is bound to be an interesting read.  Thank you Jon P Bloch, Ph.d for making us feel that we are not alone in our difficult experiences.  I look forward to reading more of your books along the same topic as the books above.

(c) Niconica 2013

Just like that, someone can transform from a stranger to a friend, or even mean something more to us and as much as we would like to quantify or qualify the reasons for it being so, the reasons which we come up with do not suffice to describe or justify how we feel for the person.  It just happens like that, in the blink of an eye… and sometimes it disappears just as quickly as well.  It almost seems like a random divergence of possibilities and causes which result in what we feel or experience as true–without any guarantee of how long it may last or where the attraction may develop.

We proceed from leading our mundane lives to having an infatuation for a person whom we might previously have not known or cared whether they existed or not but now, we cannot get them out of our minds–and it happens just like that.  In such cases, we might feel confused as to how to act or react to our feelings and try to pinpoint which factors have contributed to the developing of romantic inclinations for a certain person and while there may be several points to consider, it might simply be a matter of chance, a passing fancy–or if it turns into something worthwhile, a matter of fate.

It’s hard to know what the ultimate outcome it from this side of the infatuation and yet the anticipation and hope fills us with excitement and we allow ourselves to be alternately elated and crushed in a rollercoaster of emotions in our interactions with the person based on whether they respond to our bids for attention.  Each non-reply to an SMS, a message, or an email, feels personal and monumental and calls to mind the popular book/saying that perhaps the person is “just not that into us.”  And most likely it might be true, but we cannot help but hope against hope that maybe, perhaps, just like that, they would also reciprocate our sentiments.

(c) Niconica 2013


What do we do with the broken pieces of our relationships? Is there any chance of assembling them back together into something coherent or workable? I’ve recently had the excruciating experience of trying to work through issues with someone and it ended up pretty much the way it started–proverbially still shattered and in a thousand pieces, if not even worse.

I have a few guesses as to why the issues were not resolved–and it is not because they couldn’t be resolved, but it was because our own personal issues were in the way and we were not on the same page. On the surface, we both agreed that perhaps it was time to have “the talk” and try to work through or discuss what had been troubling us, but when it came down to it, one of us didn’t mean it and/or wasn’t ready to be honest about the issues or be on the same page.

When this happens, instead of kneeling down on the ground and helping each other pick up the pieces, we end up cutting ourselves when we are not careful or using one of the loose shards as either a destructive weapon or as an object for self-defense.  There were too many factors which contributed to the failure of the crucial and very difficult conversation–among which are pride, ego, dishonesty, a lack of trust and openness.

Whatever went wrong, the broken pieces still lie there without being swept up or tidied… and it is very painful to not be able to reach an agreement with someone about how to fix a relationship when someone is not ready to be upfront about crucial issues or even the premise of the discussion.  If the basis of the discussion is denied, then anything that ensues after that becomes moot.

So, here I am with the broken pieces and unsure of how to proceed. It can be said that we should recognize a lost cause when we see one, but on the other hand, it can also be said that perhaps with a little bit more discussion and determination, an agreement can be reached… Who knows, but perhaps when there is an impasse, it’s best to pause and regroup and see it how it goes before reentering the “discussion” as it were; lest it feel more like a battlefield.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

When any relationship is built, it is important–and necessary–that it be built on solid ground. This entails being clear on what the relationship is and where it is heading and being able to communicate it to the other person unambiguously.

If one or the other party is not on the same page as to what the relationship is and where it is heading, then it cannot be considered that the relationship is on solid ground… and yet many a relationship has been built on such precarious premises.

So let’s back up a bit and examine whether it is worth proceeding with the pseudo-relationship and ask ourselves whether we really deserve to be in such a position.  It is imperative that before any lasting foundation is built–metaphorically or otherwise–that we check for solid ground, without which it might be wise to seek another more conducive site to build our lives and dreams on.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

In a relationship, sometimes it’s not so much the actual presence or absence of the person or the frequency of interaction as much as the feeling of safety where it is understood that one won’t be rejected or abandoned.

The fear of rejection or abandonment can be so primal and embedded that to admit it would make one unbearably vulnerable that despite its relevance to the dialogue, it would be the last thing ever to be discusses or revealed.

This factor then makes the situation more complex in that the other person involved is not aware of the crucial element to be considered and would in effect be feeling rather confused about the dynamic of the situation.

When a person in the relationship is acting out, before anything else, it needs to be established that the relationship is a safe place where issues can be brought up and discussed and the concerns would be treated seriously without the other party leaving or rejecting the other.

Usually a safe zone is established by making a commitment to the other and while ultimately there are no guarantees, the context of the commitment creates a safety net for both people to interact… More so than if there was no agreed upon commitment or relationship.

So in undefined or “it’s complicated” pseudo-relationships, things tend to get messy precisely because of the lack of the safety net which a mutually committed relationship provides.

This then entails that one or both partners must constantly watch out for themselves because any moment could be the last moment in the relationship.

And as time passes and the situation gets more serious and/or convoluted, the hidden vulnerabilities surface and cause more tension without being able to be addressed properly without entwining serious risks in the pseudo-relationship.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

There’s a difference between speaking and communicating.  We learn to speak at a young age and sometimes, we never get around to learning how to communicate.  We have the mistaken notion that communicating is achieved through merely expressing how we feel and this is simply not the case.

Randomly or indiscriminately expressing how we feel or think can be likened to, as distasteful as it may sound, ‘Verbal Diarrhea.”  It is a symptom of an unhealthy thinking pattern and can be destructive to relationships and friendships.

Communicating entails prior thought before words spill forth from our lips and we must be prepared to be responsible for the results and the effect of what we say.  Every single random thing that crosses our minds do not have automatic validity to be uttered, because, admit it or not, a lot of rubbish goes through our head in the course of even a few minutes.

When we attempt to communicate to another,we must be careful and think about what we really truly feel without wanting to manipulate the other person into responding the way we want them to because as common as this move is, it’s ultimately counterproductive to having an authentic relationship.

Sometimes, what we have to say might not be the most pleasant to another’s ears and instead of sweeping everything up and hiding them under the rug, there are some things which much be communicated but in such a manner where the other person would not find it threatening but firmly enough that they take it seriously.

It is often the case that when we are at the point when we are having an important conversation with our loved one that we are unsure about how we truly feel or what we want from the situation apart from the general feeling of being happy, sad, angry, etc. about a situation and it would be good to acknowledge this to the other person that perhaps one would need a minute or two (or a day or two) to figure out what one would like to convey instead of just speaking for the sake of speaking without care for possible collateral damage.

What we must remember about love and communication is that they are not two separate things, we must communicate with love and prudence.  We must not take for granted that just because we can speak that we would automatically know how to communicate properly with another.

When it doubt, pause, and ask/research/read before speaking.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Let’s admit it, as we walk down further on the road of life and accrue more experience, we come across our fair share of characters and there would at least be a handful of these which are comprised by cruel people. Cruel people, and their victims, would oftentimes claim that they are not cruel per se but they are just misunderstood.

The defense usually goes like this, “I/He/She/It am/is not cruel, it is simply what I did that is cruel.”  What a way to deflect and blame it on something else. It has often been the case that when the act is proven by public consensus to be cruel and there is no way out that the person committing the cruelty admits to the cruelty of the act, but detaches from it by maintaining their pure white innocence.

It does not take an expert psychiatrist to figure out that there is something wrong with the disconnect in how they think and how illogical they are–or perhaps they are not illogical but just expert at deception to both others and themselves, and this is how they continue their cruel existence, inflicting their manipulative and disturbing presence upon others, while all the same time maintaining a self-image that they are right or even worst, that they had no choice but to perpetrate the psychological/physical/emotional/verbal cruelty upon others.

It is not about suddenly becoming an agreeable doormat or being as meek as a lamb, but it’s about being able to get one’s point of view across without causing harm to others.  There is a way to communicate and exist in the world that is not at the expense of others’ sanity and well-being and this possibility has clearly not been conveyed or accepted by them. The zero-sum game where one wins and the other loses is a thing of the past and there is such a thing as a win-win situation, if only these people could open their eyes to it.

However, if they are already adults, it might be a bit too late or at least very difficult to rectify this cruelty–short of lobotomy.  Somewhere along their personal histories was someone who was very cruel to them as well and this produced wounds which reached far into the future with far-reaching consequences, damaging these people enough so that they themselves become the monsters which once victimized them, as much as they don’t want to admit it.

It is in these series of complex cause and effects that it can be claimed that cruelty is contagious to a certain extent–albeit only with people who have weak emotional immune systems.  The cruel treatment in their childhoods or formative years resulted in a scar or trauma so deep that the person never recovers from it and spends many years in the future reacting to the trauma and making other people pay for their pain.

This being said, people who stronger and more resilient immune systems, even after being afflicted by cruelty in their vulnerable years, do not turn out to be the monsters who harmed them and prevail to be better, wiser, and more understanding people.

Therefore, it’s not really an excuse when people blame their past experiences or people for how they turned out to be, you don’t blame the monsters for turning you into a monster–you have turned into a monster because you have allowed them to get the better of you–more to the point, they got the best of you.

There are people who have been through even worst and have not turned out to be the equally or more cruel than the people who have preyed on them, it is not because they have some magical capability–they are as human as you or i–it is because they choose to remain human and not turn into an unspeakably horrid human being.

How about you? What do you choose?

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s