(I) Tune Out We can learn to tune out our disturbing traits, such as obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Saying STOP IT to ourselves, turning our heads to situations we need not be disturbing, such as children's messy play. When we realize children develop a higher IQ in a complex messy environment than a simplified overly neat environment we try harder not to over clean and thus restrict their play. Or with anxiety we can proceed to do something even if we feel fear or discomfort, such as saving our children from a feisty neighbor or dog. Realizing the dangers of actions and environments to loved ones or self can motivate us to do the uncomfortable but needed thing to do by tuning out or overriding the uncomfortable.
(A) Free Will Will Free is obtained when you can control your widgets or instincts and urges so that you can get the most out of any situation rather than have conflict. You will be free to use diplomacy and to nurture others to better the situation. For a better view of Free Will see Psychotoons Cartoon at http://psychotoonsconsciousness.blogspot.com/ (B)Risk and the Fuse Box The fuse box is a built in switch that turns off fear. It is a survival mode that helps you do what is needed in a very fearful situation. If you have gathered all your children out of a fire and the heat is forbidding and all of a sudden you hear a little voice in the fire call your name for help and you suddenly see one of your children is missing your fear leaves as you run in and get them. Your perspective on the value of a family member and disaster of harm to them gives you the courage to risk lots of things. But you must feel the love and urgency. Use that to help get yourself, say as a mother, into college to build a better future for your children.
(II) Improve Widgets
(1) Ant and Bee:
(a)Improve the Senses I covered ethnography in improving the Biological Personality. Basically it is keeping count of all the factors in the environment that may affect the behaviors or others. Time of day, day of the week, month, season, year. So a child's behavior has patterns and changes over time. Also who else is in the house, school, or any other area of their life. Foods they eat, interactions and play activities, games, and entertainments. So far so good, other factors can be your mood and behaviors around them. It goes on and on. So if you take closer count, say write it on a calendar, say every time they have a tantrum, you will begin to see it occurs when they are tired at night, or with too many people around etc. Once you see the pattern you can intervene and during those times you can meet their special needs, such as giving them more calming love or quiet time, and the tantrums end and you do not have to take extreme measures to counter act their bad behavior by time outs or spankings etc. THIS is true with adults. We so often expect that they act great no matter what, but truth is they may too ignorant of their own patterns to know how to calm themselves when say they are overly tired and rattled. We need to help each other with observations, a thousand eyes see more than one, a thousand ears...etc. When we begin to understand others it gives us power to navigate with them. Our personality is more functional. When we have seen enough patterns we begin to see the other persons life scripts and we can begin to predict their next actions more accurately. By the way, we need to observe ourselves too. This will give us more power to change our patterns and be more calm, pleasant, and able to meet daily challenges.
(b) Active Listening Active listening is basically letting the other person talk long enough to allow you to focus in on the emotional themes of their stories. They may talk about their husband not taking out the trash when asked to and it seems like that could be remedied by him simply responding to her requests in a timely manner. But as you listen to her emotion you may perceive feelings of abandonment, feelings that he does not care enough to meet her requests. If you respond to the feeling instead of the garbage not being taken out in a timely manner, she will elaborate on that emotion and it may lead the fact that he did not get an anniversary gift, or he does not come home on time, etc., that leads to the same emotion. Now the problem is seen as much deeper and wide spread. Now as you actively listen to him you may get a story about how controlling she is, how irrational she is in her requests, or a dozen other stories. But if you pick up the overwhelming emotion that he can not handle her emotions of intimacy you then know to look in his past for overwhelmingly emotional drains, perhaps his mother was very emotional and he learned to ignore her for little boy survival. Now the problem is deeper and you may want to help him get over the childhood fear of his mother's woes.
(2) Macho: Control Fears
(a) Know Your Ghosts Past With or without counseling, review your past and identify anyone who took away your dignity, happiness, or free choice to grow. These are the ghosts of your past that haunt you and put you into flashbacks of emotional helplessness, after all, you were a kid in those days and of course you felt helpless in the world of grownup giants. Weapons they used were, guilt, shame, intimidation, violence, or ridicule to just mention a few. They discouraged you form being yourself, they redefined you as the bad people. Probably they did this because they seen you as like the people in their past who were their ghosts of fear. You did not have to have been like those in the past, you just had to be in their lives. This is why we eventually forgive them once we feel safe from them, we can see how ignorant they were and how helpless they felt to have picked on a little kid. Remember all people do what they think is right for the time and place, but if they do not do what works they are ignorant. All people want to do what will work for them to grow and be happy. And loving our children works very well. They were so ignorant and weak they could not do that. Be aware of these ghosts so they no longer make you do harmful or hurtful things to others, in other words do not become the ghosts of others' past.
(b) Coming Back to Reality Once you have identified some Ghosts of the past it is time to tell them they are only in the past, that you are no longer a child, and that the person you are projecting on, as if they were those ghosts, are not the people of the past. Lets say a man projects on to his wife that she is just like his mother and is controlling and he feels helpless. He may have to say to himself when he is feeling controlled and looking at his wife, 'You are not my parent and I am not a child.' Then he can realize that he is in the moment with a person of his own age and near statute, that he has more bargaining power then he did as a child, that he can reason at the same level as his wife, that therefore there is hope, and that she needs him as much as he needs her. As a child he needed his mother to survive. Now he can relax more, let his brain open up and function as an adult, rather than as a small child, be non defensive and engage in a normal conversation rather than a desperate child fighting for dignity and unconditional love. You may say it sounds too simple. It is simpler once you get rid of the defensive feeling that came with your flashback. You can even begin to predict that your wife will also calm down, be able to dismiss her ghosts of the past and also be more reasoning. Fights for one's life leads to irrational moments from the past. Two calm people can be very rational.
(c) Predicting When you can predict yourself, that is your to be emotions and actions under certain or different situations, and when you can predict others emotions and actions, then you can engineer the environment and your responses to get the results you want. This is power. The broader the understanding and prediction the broader your power. You can motivate yourself, get the needed education to enter the profession you want, and with social skills work your way up the ladder of success as you wish to define it. You can also keep your marriage together, and by so doing keep yourself happy with little chaos and drama and be able to focus on your goals and accomplishments. No more roller coaster of chaotic hit an miss relationships that drain your bank account and emotional stability. Also your children will be better loved, better educated, and not as abused by you or tons of other people one meets in chaos. In other words, you can have it all. The American dream and not the American mess of crack and crash. You can not have all you want if you operate from your defensive lower nature, lies, greed, justification, and bulling. The lower nature is not very well connected to intelligence and thinking clearly. It takes both natures, the upper nature to create and the lower nature to guard against others lower natures that may be trying to bully you. The Psychotoons series of blogs and web sites can help you begin to understand yourself and others so that you can grow psychologically and be free of past ghosts and other irrationalities that sabotage your efforts to be happy and successful and that waste your precious time and addict you to dead end behaviors, such as drinking, gambling, sex offending, or relationship drama.
(2) Cuddles: Learn to Love Learning to love is all about forgiving and forgiving is about predicting. We forgive children because we realize they are limited in their understanding and that they will grow and change to the better. Therefore we are not real defensive against children. But when it comes to adults we have some stubborn assumptions or stereotypes. We feel adults 'should know better.' We do not realize the extent of others ignorance, even if the ignorance is to not think about others in a realistic way. We also assume they will 'not change.' We therefore get defensive, feeling helpless against their bias. In reality we are looking at our own ignorance and unwillingness to change. Diplomacy and empathy are lost arts. When we act or talk in such a way that the other person does not get defensive, nor do we, the brain remains open and pliable. We are all in a position to talk and solve our problems and differences. When we make quick judgement and work ourselves into a defensive stance our brains close down leaving the survival mode in place, the Freeze mode, shut down to look for areas of escape, then if that fails, the Flight mode, we leave, if that fails, the Fight mode, fight to the end. Many many people leave out the Freeze to think mode and the Flight mode and go straight to the Fight mode. That is a bad habit. To learn to love one must stop and think about the other and ourselves and how to relax and allow love to return. If we think about the other person and nurture their needs our nervous system can no longer go into fight mode, it turns off our defensive anger and allows our natural ability to love come back.
(3) Geru: Learn to Learn
(a) ABC's We talked in Biological Personality that 'a' the act that someone does is not 'c' what causes your anger or frustration with them but 'b' your belief that they 'should' or 'should not' do something, as you believe, and that frustrates you. With family comes a whole tradition of 'shoulds' and 'should nots' and if you ignore them you are a perpetrator and others in the family will be your victims. If you miss the traditional family gatherings you better have a good excuse that makes you a victim of circumstances as there may be no other rescuer. You can carry the enigma for the rest of the generation. As petty as it may seem you really are the perpetrator. The crime was you failed to see the dynamics of the family games that assures everyone their needs will be meet for family interaction and recognition. Rather than fight family traditions you need to lean how to learn about them. It's time to be empathetic and challenge all your negative thoughts about family and see these people as legitimate people with convoluted rules and regulations. Use ethnographic techniques to figure out dynamics, who speaks to who about what under what circumstances in what time frames. Keep written or unwritten notes, look for patterns called traditions, and remember you are working with a group of people who all write the rules with their emotional needs and those needs are as legitimate as your own. This is hardest with in laws as you did not grow up with them, but men, if you do not, you have bitter times ahead and the ones who have to endure the pain of that will be your own children. Now, if you divorce, the dynamics of visitation can be very very complicated. By ignoring them you transfer all the pain and sorrow to your children who live in two different worlds that are really connected by invisible family ties and rules of engagement in the wars of split families. End the war for them, figure out what needs to be done to keep the peace and your children will not only be happier but will have learned the great skill of family dynamics from you and it may help them not to have a split up when they grow up. So you need to work on empathy, take ethnographic notes, see patterns, and challenge your negative thoughts about others. All people do what they think is right for the time and the moment. If they do not do what works it is from ignorance. Learn to learn.
(b) Play Play is the natural way the brain works, that is why children play. Laughter is the natural antidepressant of the brain. When families or couples play and laugh together they have a better bases and better resources to stay together. Play takes a certain amount of humility or it is not play but tyranny. In play you can order someone around as you both have smiles and nothing is entrapping. Take away the smiles and the other feels trapped by demands. In play people can learn each others boundaries and even push them a little. The response of the person being pushed is still smiles, but mixed with warning grimaces. To learn to play you have to give up defensive pride, anger, and other behaviors that are not play like and learn to relax and enjoy the moment. All of these are healthy for everyone. Thus we get the saying, families that play together stay together.
(c) Backward Learning Front ward learning is being told what works, given a task, and by golly it did work and you learn really fast. Backward learning is when you have no idea why you do something and to gain insight you wait for the bad behavior, such as fighting and blowing up with your spouse or parent, and then try and remember what happened just before it, and just before that, and well, the memory is not so great. So you wait for the behavior to start to happen again and you should be aware that it is coming when you get to the point of last memory of what happens just before the blow up. Now, you look back to what happened just before that point. And again the memory is good for only one or two recollections. So you wait again and become aware of the dominoes falling at the last point of memory, then repeat the process until you have identified all the dominoes and perhaps the first domino. Once you have identified them you can begin to take a serious look at ghosts of your past and follow the tips in (2) (a) above, know your ghosts that give you flashbacks and lead you down the path of blowing up at others.
(4) Turtle: Patience Building There are times we must have patience or we loose out. Especially if you are impulsive, patience is a virtue. What calms you? What ever it is, if it is healthy and acceptable, you need to practice it and use it when ever it is feasible. This may be deep breaths, certain pleasant thought, thinking of something totally irrelevant to escape the crises of the moment, counting sheep, what ever works. It may help to look around and just enjoy the Zen moment, or thinking of the bigger picture, the future, or any time when the present situation will end. Some people pray, others think of helping the person causing the current crises. When we nurture others it tends to calm us and gets rid of anger. Try the ABC's above. Rethink your time line and figure in the new problem's benefits and time used. If possible soft music, darkened room, a movie, call a friend, pet your cat or dog, feed your pets, play with the kids, or hold a baby. Your body (the Myself) is robotic and even though you know you (the I) are tricking it with techniques from (the Me and its bag of tricks and memory) it does not care and responds to your input by producing calming hormones. Over time you get better and better at it. Remember, you (the I) is in control as long as you are awake and conscious. Also, if anxiety is the cause, it can not last forever, the mind will take breaks from exertion. So relax and patience follows.
(5) Rabbit: Acting On It Procrastination occurs when there is little motivation, no need or reward big enough to overcome inertia, a fear greater than the need, or ignorance on how to proceed. To get motivation one has to cognitively see or work up enough relevant reasons to proceed, that can be that the dead line is near. If one does not know how to proceed they will have to research it more, see the bigger picture of how it works into the bigger scheme of things and work out the details. But one of the most common reasons for procrastination is fear of proceeding, feeling the task is too great to succeed. The best cure is to break it down into smaller and smaller steps until you feel the steps are easy and will not cause lots of anxiety. Anxiety is the culprit, as we survey the project we get overwhelmed, we want to do it in a short time and it may just take longer, so we procrastinate until the fear of immediate failure drives us on. But if you do small steps the anxiety will not build up and if it starts to we have taken too big of a step. If we let anxiety build up it will overwhelm us and we will be immobile until it drains off, and that can take a long time as the body must heal from the damages of dread. One of the common sources of anxiety is from the ghosts of the past, of parents or others telling us we will be failures. Or we still hear their mockery of others who commented as we stumbled in our child efforts to figure things out . See the steps above for overcoming the ghosts of the past (2)(a).
(a) Practice 'Practice makes perfect' is an old saying that carries a lot of truth. We never question practicing sports to get better, or any other physical activity. We know that if we 'don't use it we loose it'. The same holds true for the brain, use it or loose it. Connections between nerve cells increases when they are used and un- connect when they are not used. It is not the the number of cells you have that makes you brighter but the number of connections. If you want to be a more friendly personality you need to practice being so. As you practice with everyone, I emphasize everyone or at least 90 percent of others, you will get versatile and be able to go to greater and greater heights in socializing. How do you practice socializing? Start with simple chit chat such as the weather, then when getting bored with that advance to talk of the surroundings or similar circumstances, next will be other things you have in common such as foods or activities, next will be places you have been. This will have a natural progression according to who you are and your interests and who they are and their interests. As you get more advanced the subject may advance to politics. If you survive that, sharing childhood may be next or even precede politics. Once you are more trusting of each other because of common backgrounds you may advance to religion and spiritual matters. They are at the top of trust, bearing your soul. If you are both feeling safe and are still excited to share more of everything you probable have or are close to the starting of a good friendship. Always remember to include laughter and fun, that is what binds people together. The center of peoples experience and lives and the way they think is play and laughter. It makes working together and living together a lot easier.
(b) Risk There comes a time when you have to just try. Lets say you want to practice being social, or practice riding a bike. You know what to try and it is safe, you just are anxious about it. Let us say you have already broken it down into smaller steps. Well, it is time to take the plunge. You have to dive in feet first and try it out. When you fail miserably you need to review what you did, what seemed to work, what seemed to not work, and you try again. Is that not how you learned to walk, talk, and do other things. So you try again. Now you have more data to think with. So you tried to talk to new people. With the first person some things you said went over well, others dragged. With the second person it was different. How did they differ and how were they alike in success or failure. Then hypothesize why the difference. One was male and the other female, or age difference, or ethnic origin. Time to try again, with the same people or others. Look at your data and try again. If it is a physical activity you do the same strategy, even the ethnic origin. Some Yoga moves are easy for some ethnic groups and hard for others because people are built differently. Large thick legs versus long skinnier legs. Where did Yoga originate? Some people grow up doing Yoga and their bodies have adapted by altering, just like people who play the piano at a very early age will have a larger span from their little fingers to their to their thumbs, they also will allocate more brain space for the moves and music. The body and mind are very adaptive. Which means with practice you may overcome the ethnic or early experience difference that put you at a disadvantage to begin with. The process goes on and the more you try and then analyze the closer to understanding you come and the better at it you get. Be careful not to come to conclusions too early, that can be biased and stereotyping, always keep an open mind or you will stop learning. The more you try and analyze the better. Remember to also take note of your own reactions of being shy, nervous, or shaky. When do they occur and when do they not, with whom do they occur. As you take note of your own reactions you may start to see the ghosts of your past are the problem, say you feel men of a certain age are more scary then other ages. Check out ghosts of the past above (2)(a).
(1) Spiedie: Being Honest
(a) Monitoring Self We have to monitor what we are perceiving, feeling, thinking, and saying or doing. If we do not monitor ourselves we become sporadic, irrational, and chaotic. We will tell huge stories, we will lie, cheat, and steal. Our lower natures, more hard wired then our upper nature, may take over depending on the threat or lack of it. Empathy is our guide to what others are feeling and our conscience our guide as to what to do. We must be monitoring them too to see the best strategy and actions to take. If we are disassociating with others due to the ghosts of our past, or if we are born psychopathic, we are lost as what to do and we depend on our beliefs of what to do. Those beliefs, if they are not based on empathy, love, and cooperation, may lead us to use aggressive responses or no response at all which may lead to undesirable consequences. It is important that we are looking and listening to the right things, others, monitoring our emotions to be effective according to the others emotions, that we have a belief system that is sophisticated enough to negotiate or maneuver, and social or other skills to follow through. In other words we need our upper nature widgets healthy, balanced, and skilled to control the lower nature. All the tips in these pages are aimed at that result.
(b) Could it be bipolar lying for me? Telling the truth in relationships with others is very important. If we do not tell the truth the other person lives in a false world and can not make the correct decisions. They can not help us or network correctly and it weakens everyone involved. If a person is bipolar and in a manic state their brain can go so fast that the consciousness can not monitor what is being said or even what they do. This is when they may tell whopper stories or have rages. When it is really going fast they may not even remember what they said and did. If you fall into these categories you may need medication to slow the brain down. Another benefit of the medicine is that the chemical imbalance that causes the manic or depressive state may also cause other things to go wrong with the body such as hight blood pressure. Getting on the right medication may help your health and give you longer life.
(2) Raccoon: Caring for Others
(a) Getting over Disassociation or F-it Attitude We should not be greedy, we need to share. There is power in numbers. We need others whether we
like it or not. We are genetically a herd animal. Our bodies produce healing chemicals when we are close to others in a loving way. We heal faster. We learn from others, even if we learn what not to do from their failures. We are dependent on others. The world has more resources than our little worlds. We may
have little need to socialize from our genetic makeup or from bad experiences.
This usually occurred in childhood when we lived among giants that frustrated
us and learned to turn them off or to hate them. Now, as adults, we are not
longer victims of them. They are our size and their negativity limits them. We
are now in charge of our own lives. We are free to rise above their problems.
It is time to do so. They need our help, not the other way around.
The F-it attitude is called disassociation. It is like a
fuse box in the brain. When emotions are on overload and we are afraid to
proceed with them the brain turns them off, much like in a fire, it is too hot
to approach, but it we hear a loved one, such as a child, call for help inside
the burning house we will run in and get them. After we are back out the fire
will again be forbidding. As a child, if the emotions are dangerous, and we
turn them off we now have to make a choice to love the feared one anyway or to
hate and want to harm the feared one. Circumstances and personality will have determined what we did. As adults we have the choice to see they were, and perhaps
still are, like little children trapped in their own little world of dangerous
ghosts of the past. We can see that we no longer are and so choose not to hate,
avoid, or otherwise limit ourselves to that childs world of the past.
When we have to deal with them and feel intimidated we need to say to ourselves, 'I am no longer a child and they no longer have power over me.' Then we must risk and proceed to interact with them from the advantage point of an adult to another adult, or to an adult who is crippled by their past. The next step is to share with them. We should not be greedy with our perceptions, feelings, thoughts and experiences or resources. If we are, then we are still little children trapped in our inability to see beyond the moment. I am talking from a point of view that our interactions do not physically or politically put us in danger, that our fears are from the past and not realistic. It is at times hard to tell the difference between what is realistic and what is not. That is why all the other tips above and below are pertinent. Read on down or read on up.
(b) Building Trust Mutual trust comes with mutual predictability. Honesty is a must. Lies and fantasies do not lead to predictability. You can trust as far as you can predict. If you take good notice of how others see the world, what they look for, how they react emotionally to different values and events, how they construct a model of the world, their beliefs about events and the world, and lastly, how they react to people, things, and events, then you can begin to predict. The biggest mistake I see people do is not to take into account past behaviors. If a person has hurt others in the past they probably will again unless there was some sort of intervention or therapy that worked. We must take into account what others are capable of doing and take precautions to prevent them from happening again. Then we can be more trusting of coming events. Read the other tips and question others to see if they meet the standards set in these tips for careful observations, honesty, emotional maturity, integrity,better thinking, and wiser actions.
(3) Crow: Being Realistic Come on now, be realistic. This is a sore spot for a lot of people as they love their biases and fantasies. When you know you are looking at things in a weird way and still insist on doing so you need to take a look at the ghosts of your past. Why do you fear being realistic. What are your fears. Where did they come from. We not only need to look at the world with cause and effect but with statistical probability. Things don't just happen nor do exceptions happen as much as the rule. By the rule I mean by statistical probability. We often look at exceptions as the rule. Take for example use of illegal drugs. Someone says they are safe because so and so has used them for years and they are just fine. Even if that were true what does statistics say your chances are? So and so may have lowered their IQ by 20 or 30 points by using drugs. But you do not know that. Studies show that drug use does on the average lower your ability to use intelligence. So if Einstein had used heavy drugs he may have held down a job but he would not of changed physics. Your friend may hold down a job but he may have been able to do much more. What are the chances the drugs did not effect him or her? None, but there is a variation in the amount of damage by anyone person's use of the drug, legal or not. Until you read the studies you do not know.
Another faulty thinking we have is that we see why we do things but not why other do the same. So we excuse ourselves but blame them for doing it and often we attribute their actions to emotional reasons such as you wanted to hurt my feelings. Again, you need to look at the ghosts of the past to begin to see why you take the stand that you do. We need to look into why they do those things, what is their perceptions, ghosts of the past, beliefs, or abilities. I am not saying we have to totally excuse them or say they are not responsible for their actions but we need to see their limitations and be realistic about what they can and can not do. We just need to stop and think before we pass judgement one way or the other.
(4) Coyote: Being Assertive Assertiveness is being pushy without being aggressive or loosing your temper. Sounds crude but I do not always like sugar coating concepts. In life we have to push or be pushed. It is inevitable. We can do it with grace and nurturance or we can be aggressive and violent. The latter is usually counter productive. When the Lower Nature goes after what it wants with deception, greed, irrational justification, and brute force it is aggressive. When we are pushy using our Upper Nature of clear perception, fear for others and love for others, belief systems that protect others, and gentle actions that also protect others we are being assertive. To talk assertive we use the same formula, "When I seen, heard or otherwise perceived such and such, I felt fear, love, etc., thought such and such, and so acted such and such." No lies, no greed, no blaming, no striking out. Then the other party can in turn can say, they perceived, felt, thought, and acted such and such. Now the table is open to negotiate how to change the environment and each others perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and actions so that both parties are happier. It is actually quite simple and easy to do if we leave out the deceptive aggressive games we like to throw in for revenge on the ghosts of our past. That is where all the drama and confusion comes from.