Archives for posts with tag: psychology

Yes I’ve emerged from the black hole once again.  Life has gotten in the way somehow–and we all know that when it rains, it pours and one misfortune can easily call up a bunch of other misfortunes in a short period of time, sweeping us away in a torrent of self-pity, regret, anger, and depression as we constantly ask ourself “Why did it have to happen to me?”  There is no satisfactory answer because the presence of the misfortune in and of itself will eclipse any philosophical or religious feel good point of view shared with us.

While it seems that the path of least resistance is to just allow the downhill slide of emotions, sometimes we are fortunate enough to be in the midst of people who will not allow us to go down that road.  They will try to pull us out of our misery with advice and attention and discussion but we may resent them for being cheerful or optimistic and think that they would not know how it feels unless they are in our situation.  It is most likely true that other people do not know or will not know how we really feel unless they themselves have gone through what we have gone through–but what are the chances that they go through the exact same thing?

Nonetheless, it doesn’t make their well wishes and good intentions any less viable.  After all, in the midst of misfortune, being able to keep our wellbeing and sanity would already seem like a huge blessing and sometimes, it is.  It’s a great starting point for being able to pick up the pieces and get past the rubbish and the rubble of whatever has occurred.  We must take our lessons for people who are doing well in life mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and physically.

It might seem to us that it’s sheer accident that some people are doing well and some people aren’t.  It might seem that it’s all the luck of the draw. However, once we have gotten sick and tired of our whining and wallowing in our own misery, and we are lucky to not have drowned in it, we might realise one thing about these people–Winners do not wallow.  They survive not by sheer chance or laziness.  If we examine their lives, they have a lot of setbacks as well–on different scales and of different qualities as our own, but one thing you won’t hear them do is bring it up over and over again.  They do not drag around the corpse of defeat and misfortune with them and that makes all the difference.

If wallowing were a sport, I might be a professional at it  However, it’s a profession that doesn’t have a good return of investment so I have to rethink this preoccupation.  Less wallowing might not ward off life’s challenges but it doesn’t help as well, it also makes our disposition sour and disagreeable and causes life to be more unpleasant. While there are a lot of things which are not going quite right, and while there are a lot of things which still want for improvement, we can make it easier for ourselves to look at people who have made it and be inspired by their example.

Undoubtedly, people who have it together have other qualities and habits which make them thrive in life, but even if we learn just one thing from them for starters is that they do not make it a habit to wallow in misery and replay the past in their heads, they are fully in the present moment with their eyes set on the future, no matter how hard or difficult the past has been, they do not let it factor into their present endeavours.  This is something worth striving for–a step in the right direction.

(c) Niconica 2015

It seems that somewhere along the way the real essence of weddings has gotten lost in the billion-dollar wedding industry.  We are being sold a dream and a fantasy while we lose our grips on reality on one of our most important life decisions.  There are only a few things more important that selecting our life partner and we must not get lost in the illusions which popular media and society have created.  

We may be exposed to Western television series which portray divorces to be as casual as break-ups, but we still live in a society where divorces are not legally allowed and annulments are mentally, psychologically, and financially costly.  With this in mind, our society encourages the idea of lavish weddings which may allow the faint-hearted to lose their grips on reality.

The wedding is not the endgame.  It’s just the beginning.  Therefore impractical notions should be checked at the door.  We cannot judge the quality of a relationship or a marriage on how much the weddings costs and how flamboyant the celebration was.  These are not definitive factors of what is more important–the relationship of the couple and their marriage and family life together. 

Truth be told, the wedding is merely a means to and end–which is joining ourselves legally with the person that we love and being able to start society sanctioned life and family together.  It was probably a bigger deal in the olden times when there was no indoor plumbing, no vaccinations, no electricity, and no modern conveniences–therefore weddings were a means to literally surviving. 

I think that we have, as a society, become obsessed with the trappings that we have lost the point entirely. We must endeavour to always keep it real. 

(c) Niconica 2014

No one can argue that it would be great to be wealthy.  Having money certainly makes many facets of life more convenient but there is a fine line between owning money and letting money own you.  We must always keep ourselves in check whenever we succeed because there is a higher risk of losing our path when we succeed than when we fail.

When we fail, we are all too aware of the stark realities and perhaps we might tend to lose hope but nothing is as dangerous as getting the wealth, power, or fame which many aspire for.  There is a saying which goes “Be careful what you wish for.  You might actually get it.” It’s certainly ironic but there is always a certain ring of truth with ironies and it can be said about money, fame, and power which are not intrinsically negative but has a higher tendency of causing us to deluded or lose touch with ourselves or where we began, and this is where we end up losing our way and before we know it, we have lost our souls.

Losing ours souls doesn’t come in one fell swoop, it’s a gradual process of adjusting our moral and ethical boundaries for “just a little bit more” until the boundaries blur and actually disappear and we transform into something which we have never imagined ourselves turning out to be when we were starting out.  We might actually become one of those people whom we despise when we were on the outside looking in… This is where the victims turn into the perpetrators, more often than not.

We must then ask ourselves–is all the worldly gain we wish for worth the price of our humanity?

 

(c) Niconica 2014

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One of the realizations this book has given me is that there are many people with difficult personalities and these purported humans have turned into monsters in the own right and it would save us a world of heartache if we gave them a wide berth and do not attribute their bad behavior to anything that we might have said or done.  They could have been born that way or have gradually transformed into what they are now due to their past experience and it is not our responsibility to rehabilitate, to coddle, or to indulge them by being willing victims to their personality.

It is almost a certainty that they will move on and look for other targets or victims if we do not allow ourselves to be their prey du jour.  They will most likely not be conscientious about the damage that they have inflicted upon us and even if they are “blood relatives” it is no excuse to allow them to emotionally pummel us with their issues.  I highly recommend this book–it is insightful, witty, and helpful.  As I was reading through the different personality types, many such characters in my life have popped up into my head.

As is stated several times in the book, it would be a difficult feat to rehabilitate or to change any of them since their pattern of behavior is already deeply ingrained within the fabric of their psyche and it would be to our benefit to recognize them for who they are and learn to manoeuvre around them and get on with our lives with as little interference or interaction with them as possible.

Two thumbs-up! A highly recommended read!

(c) Niconica 2013

 

 

It has been said that idle minds are the devil’s playground and it certainly applies in the realm of romance when we are suffering the pangs of unrequited love.  If we are mature enough to not stalk or prostrate before the object of one’s affections and beg for their love or attention, then we must know that keep ourselves occupied with something other than thoughts of the person whom we believe has ‘broken our hearts’ is the best way to deal with this.  It does not pay to go down the road of wishful thinking nor speculation as to why we have found ourselves in such a predicament.

The facts are clear when the person is not inclined to reciprocate our feelings–we need not delve into their inner thoughts not intentions because no good can come of it.  We must also avoid thinking that there is something that we can actually do to win their affections because once it becomes very clear to us that it is a lost cause–it often is a lost cause.  It can be hoped that we have lived in the world sufficiently long enough to harbour a realistic worldview which includes knowing that there are many things–in fact, most things–out of our control, and this just happens to be one of them.

As much as we would want things to turn out a certain way because we are convinced that they are our soul mates or that they are perfect for us, we must swallow the painful truth that they cannot be perfect for us because no one is perfect as well as the fact that they cannot be our soul mate if we don’t even warrant a strong or intense romantic response from their part.  True, soul mates can come in the form of friends, but that’s another topic altogether.  Back to the topic of dealing with unrequited love, we must strive to channel our frustration elsewhere and it would be good if we use the energy towards something which benefits the world in general such as volunteering for worthy causes, or raising funds for a non-profit organisation, or even, simply by donating time, money, or goods to charity.

There are many things which are out of our control.  We cannot make someone who doesn’t love us, love us… But instead of becoming a whirling dervish of gloom, we can instead choose to give happiness to others who need them even more instead of sulking and pining to the detriment of our own physical and mental health–as well as those who are around us who have to put up with our black moods.  Ideally, we must learn to accept the situation and let go of it but it might be too much to ask so perhaps keeping busy would be a better immediate antidote which might lead to eventually being able to let go.

(c) Niconica 2013

Perhaps it is because we are used to the constant motion around us–fast food, fast internet, fast love–that when everything suddenly falls quiet, we go into a tailspin and we wonder what is going on.  It incites anxiety and even panic.  It does happen though and more than once, and to more than just us, that communication with a certain romantic interest suddenly stops, and we wonder whether they have fallen into a black hole or have been eaten up by wolves or something.  As painful as it may be to hear it, chances are, they are completely fine and have all their limbs intact; it’s just that their opposable thumbs or any other finger is occupied with whatever is holding their attention instead of sending us a quick e-mail, a short SMS, or giving us a call as we might have wished.

They have not fallen into the black hole, but we have.  We have fallen into the void.  We find ourselves stuck and lost in a vacuum wondering what happened and what it is that has occurred to cause the ceasing of all communication and we wonder what we have done to cause it.  We then sink into a depressive reverie which we should eventually manage to extricate ourselves from, for our own good.  They might have a perfectly good reason for not contacting us that has nothing to do with us, or on the other hand, they might just not be inclined to continue further contact with us because we might have fallen into the background noise in their lives, or they might actually be avoiding us.

Short of confronting them about not being able to warrant their attention, or manipulating them, we must eventually come to terms with the fact that we cannot fore anyone to sincerely communicate with us.  Manipulation and guilt trips backfire on us because it takes too much trouble to sustain and even if we have the energy and the time to do so, we would know deep inside that whatever they are giving us is not out of their own volition and this will eventually consume us–if it doesn’t, it should. It is not pleasant to be in the chasm of not knowing what is going on and why we are not hearing from them, but we must grapple and eventually accept that this is out of our control, and what is in our control is our own lives, and our own actions.

It may not be easy to reconcile the painful sensation of being rejected, ignored, or overlooked but if we have at least three decades in us or more, chances are, we have survived worst than this communication blackout and we will just learn to call it a day and move forward.  We can tell ourselves that we have given our best effort to earnestly initiate a romantic connection with someone and it has not been reciprocated.  And this is all we could have done, because there is such a thing as free will and it is crucial to be able to respect and remember this fact.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

I wish I came up with that title–but nope, Adam Phillips, the genius that he is, came up with it first.  This book is in a word… “Superb.”  If you would want another word, I’ll throw in… “Sublime.”  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sojourn into the surreal and fascinating terrain of the psychology of the human mind.

The word “Sanity”, like the word “Love” is a much-abused word used to mean anything that the speaker wants it to mean to their own ends.  Much literature has been devoted to extolling and vilifying madness and there has been many medical texts and practitioners devoted to the study, cure, categorization, and exploration of madness or insanity; on the other hand, “sanity” has been taken for granted and/or overlooked as a vague concept of anything madness or insanity isn’t.

If, as a society, we focussed more on learning more about different kinds of sanity and exploring sanity, what are the possibilities? If we were all educated and aware of different forms and modalities of sanity, there might be more of an option to emulate and facilitate it…

Imagine what the world would be like then when people fully understand sanity and come face to face with it, instead of seeing it as a vague concept of something desirable somewhere in the background and grasped upon when needed to promote one’s agenda.

An intelligent, timely, and relevant book… a must read!  Two thumbs-up!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to images

Another outstanding book by Barbara and Allan Pease… no wonder it is hailed “an international bestseller” and rightly so… This is another case for putting gender psychologically on the table as a mandatory subject for K-12 education… As much as we’d like to say that men and women are all the same because we are human… biology would disagree with us and it’s time that we open our eyes as to “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps.”

A dysfunctional society is a product of maladjusted families and parenting… The core of the society comes down to how “mom and dad” brought us up and as much as we don’t want to acknowledge it, gender differences lie at the very heart of it all, at the most raw and fundamental level.  This is not to say that gender psychology should replace traditional therapy and psychology, but it’s something that has to be considered in the equation of achieving harmonious relationships and communication which then translate to more cohesive families.

I am not saying that this is a solution to the whole “world peace” issue but it’s definitely something to be considered when we think about normative education for children.  The reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic serve their purpose and should not be abandoned, but perhaps, we can add a bit more into the mix by adding the psychological facets of what biological differences imply.  However, it can be argued that this might lead to even more sexist behavior… and there can be a case for that, as there can be a case for everything…

What has to be weighed is whether the benefits of equipping people (not just children) with the knowledge of how to relate to the opposite sex, so to speak, and aid in more amicable gender relations, would outweigh the disadvantages of people using the knowledge to generalize and manifest their personality defects–which is a different topic altogether.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Healthy Boundaries

It has often been said that “Good fences make for good neighbors.” I believe that this is very true and applicable to human relationships and emotions. It is when the boundaries are blurred that we start thinking that people are either our possessions or extensions of ourselves that every starts to go a bit awry.  To have good friendships and relationships, it is imperative that we know when we stop and where the other begins.

When we over-reach beyond our boundary and start to exercise dominion over others and their lives and wishes, we are paying them a huge disrespect by proverbially kicking them off the driver’s seat of their own life and self-righteously taking the steering wheel.  Shouldn’t we already have our hands full with maneuvering our own life without needing to add more to our already heaping plate of concerns and issues.

The moment that we forget that “the other person” is an individual who has a right to exercise their own sound or faulty judgement over their own life, it is a slippery slope which eventually becomes a mad dance of attempting to exert our own power and control over the other and bending them to submit to our will–and then we wonder why they are evading us, silent, or keeping secrets from us. Once we forgot this basic decency and respect of the other as their own person, it is a step further from our own humanity since disrespecting another’s distinct humanity is not exactly commendable.

For people who are on the other side of the fence and find themselves on the receiving end of such control, passive-aggressive manipulations, and unsolicited advice, it would be time to learn to exercise your own judgement and reinforce your own boundaries by erecting a healthy fence between oneself and the would-be dominator. This does not mean becoming rebellious or aggressive, but merely not letting the person get their way and their judgements in without putting one’s own judgement and well-being into primary consideration.

In saying all this, it would be easy to mistakenly conclude that I am promoting a indifference towards the plight of others and I must say at this point that this is the last thing which I am encouraging in anyone. I believe that we can offer our help and suggestions when asked, but we must learn to step back and respect the person’s choices and not get frustrated or punish them for not doing as we have told them to or not acting as we would like them to act.

If another has said their piece and thrust their unsolicited opinions towards your direction… Step back, regroup, and exercise your own sound judgement without being bullied into a certain course of action.

If you’ve said your piece, and shared your solicited point of view… Step back, let go, and let be.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

What is popularly defined as “love” can be the authentic version or “infatuation” the bootleg version of it.  Unfortunately, at the onset, it is hard to tell which is which is which… and as with most things, the passage of time serves to separate the true from the false… with a lot of casualties on the wayside.

Romantic love, with the above consideration, is both a delight and a delusion, with only time to serve as both its arbiter and judge.  It is fortunate that, as much as we would like to believe, things do not happen in one fell swoop.  As the events progress, we get little hints and clues of the symptoms of the nature of the relationship, and we can take action accordingly.

It is hardly this simple though since when we find ourselves to far into the delights or the delusions of “love” to take action… whether it is through actual emotional blindness or contrived blindness so that we would be able to cling to the relationship or the object of our affections for one more day… until the one more day stretched indefinitely and goes past the point of no return.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s