Why Our Responses To Abuse Vary

Why Our Responses To Abuse Vary

You’ve seen it before.   A man makes a comment that can be interpreted as insensitive or abusive depending on the listener, and every so often you hear a woman that rails into him, to just let him know how inappropriate he was. Seeing this is often shocking to those of us who are used to quietly taking it, wondering what we’ve done to justify his abuse.

Our responses to abuse can vary tremendously depending many factors.

A healthy response is one where we have a clear sense of when we, or others are being inappropriate. We know what we are willing to tolerate, and we don’t allow others to treat us badly.   We can assert our right to be treated well without being abusive to those we feel are mistreating us.

An unhealthy response can take many forms.

Maybe we walk away and take it personally, and start to wonder if the abuser’s accusation are true.

Maybe we don’t anything to the abuser, and start asking ourselves, our friends or even God whether we had brought this abuse upon ourselves.

Maybe we lash out and become just as abusive towards the abuser.

Maybe we hold on to the belief that the abuser deliberately meant to hurt us, when the truth is far more complicated.

Maybe we refuse to see our role in the abuse.

With some people and some situations, we might respond well, whereas with others we may lose our cool.

So what are the factors that determine how we respond?

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The Dangers of Avoiding Conflict

The Dangers of Avoiding Conflict

I grew up in a home where I was regularly yelled at for doing things like leaving lights on, for eating too much, or wanting too much. I was told that it was my job not to make my father angry, and so I felt like I was constantly stressed, and feeling like I was walking on egg-shells around the house.   I was taught that we had to respect and obey our elders, and the idea of standing up for myself was completely foreign to me.   Since I didn’t believe I would be able to avoid his anger, I tried to not have feelings and needs.   This set me up for a lifelong pattern of isolating when I was unhappy, and trying to deal with it on my own.

The problem with this model, is

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New Hope For Alzheimer’s

New Hope For Alzheimer’s

Do you know anyone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease?

Do you know anyone that has either in the family?

You’ve probably heard that there is no cure.   But as a Neuroscientist, Epidemiologist and Holistic Brain Health Practitioner, I am more optimistic about prospects for recovery than most Western Medical Doctors.  Why?

I’ve presented this information to several audiences, and was asked to make a video so that it can share with their loved ones.   If you know anyone who has a family member with Alzheimer’s, you will want to see this and share it with them!  Just watch the video below:

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When your loved one won’t go to the doctor

When your loved one won’t go to the doctor

Lois was starting to forget things.   First it began with forgetting names or words in the middle of a conversation. She quickly dismissed it as a sign of old age, and decided that it wasn’t anything to worry about.   But she started to get more embarrassed about her occasional memory lapses, and felt less and less inclined to leave her home for social activities.

She had been cooking for her husband John for years, but, her meals were becoming more bland. Sometimes she forgot vegetables, other times, she forgot the meat.

John noticed things weren’t normal, but he told himself, that these were occasional mistakes, and that it they weren’t a big deal.   Things were changing slowly. Lois had good days and days where she’d forget things or lose things.   But neither of them were ready to face the idea that there could be something much more serious that needed to be addressed!

old man confusedThen one day Lois went to the grocery store and didn’t come back for hours.  

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How Our Filter Messes With Our Relationships

How Our Filter Messes With Our Relationships

Years ago, I had a housemate that I could never seem to please. While I harbored no ill will towards him, he seemed to be offended at everything I said or did, regardless of my intention behind it. If I tried to apologize or explain my intentions, he wouldn’t hear them.   I started to feel like everything I did, regardless of my intent would be taken as being rude or inconsiderate, and I felt like I was walking on eggshells. It was exhausting!

In a calmer moment between us, I tried to explain to him that he (like everyone) has a filter, which paints our perspective about how we see the world. If there is someone that he has negative associations with in his past that I subconsciously remind him of, then he sees me through that filter.   I believed he had an opinion of me that he was subconsciously trying to hold on to, because he wasn’t willing to hear that my intentions were not what he perceived them to be.

This filter we have can make or break relationships.

You know what I am talking about. You’ve met people that you feel like you have to walk on eggshells with. You know people that get easily angered or triggered regardless of your intentions, right? On the other hand, you probably also know people who you can laugh and joke around with, and even tease, and they seem to be fine with laughing at their own expense.

Often times this filter changes regularly in the same relationships as well, and it all depends on our mood and the context.

We often forget this about this filter, but because it is SO powerful at shaping our story, it is important that we fully appreciate its impact.   Below is a true story about how it even shapes how we view an image!

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