Help Others More Effectively

Help Others More Effectively

Do you have someone in your family who just can’t seem to get their life together?  You might have family members who won’t engage in healthy behaviors, are depressed, and are often addicts.

Do you find yourself worrying about them so much that it is taking away from your enjoyment of life?   Do you feel compelled to help, yet frustrated, hopeless and helpless about the situation?

If so, you are not alone.  I regularly talk with anxious caretakers who want me to help their loved ones.   Some realize that they would be more effective as caretakers if

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From Trauma Drama to Ease in Relationships

From Trauma Drama to Ease in Relationships

I have a client who had 2 difficult housemates and didn’t feel like he could move.   He called them entitled, and he felt like they regularly demanded far more from him than they were willing to do themselves.    He often felt enraged, like a seething volcano about ready to erupt!  He didn’t feel like he knew how to react to these kinds of stressful relationships!

He felt resentful because he was doing a large majority of the shared responsibilities.   He was very concerned about saying something because he felt that, no matter how respectful he tried to be, they had a pattern of lashing out, being vindictive, or undermining his needs.

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What Makes Men Violent?

What Makes Men Violent?

When I heard about the last mass shooting in Vegas, I felt physically ill.  If the shooter was a Muslim or anything other than White, the media and politicians would label him as a terrorist.

If the shooter is White, they say that he has mental health issues.

But what has been the common denominator in 88 out of the last 91 shootings?  It is that the shooter is a male.

While most men are not violent, most of the violence is committed by men.   In fact, 90% of homicides are by men.   And it is time that we as a country start to address the underlying causes before more lives are lost!

So what makes men violent?

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Seven Underlying Causes of Racism

Seven Underlying Causes of Racism

Many of us are disturbed by the increase of racial tensions that seems to be permeating the news these days. What I find especially upsetting is that this racial divide, especially between Blacks and Whites has not seemed to improve in many parts of the country for centuries.

I think it’s time that we envision an America where we can see beyond race.

I want to live in a country where we value each other’s cultures and experiences, where we try to forgive both ourselves and each other for past wrongs, and where we can recognize our privileges, and support those who don’t have the same opportunities.

But to first stop racism, we first have to understand what causes it in the first place.

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The Real Reasons People Are Cruel

The Real Reasons People Are Cruel

I used to keep abreast of the news, but I find that I no longer can. Why? Because the news is barraged with reports of things cruel people said, cruel people did or cruel new laws that were passed, and I’m finding it too distressing to follow closely.

Similarly, I’ve noticed in my personal life and as a Holistic Brain Health practitioner, cruelty seems to be on the rise.

I was thinking this as I discovered the latest issue of Psychology Today, where the featured article discussed the rise of toxic behavior. According to the global communications firm Weber Shandwick, a record number of Americans (69% ) believe that American has a civility problem.   It was 65% is 2010.

So what is causing the increase in cruelty?

According to the research by Weber Shandwick, most people blame politicians and social media.   As I wrote in my article Why We Lack Control Over Our Thoughts, our environment and what we are exposed to has a profound influence on what we think. If we have any tendency to be cruel, the cruelty we see regularly in the news, in our social media and entertainment gives us unconscious permission to do the same.   We are not immune from our environment. If we were, politicians and advertisers wouldn’t spend as much as they do trying to influence us.

That being said, we don’t all respond to watching cruelty in the same way.

Interestingly, in a study published in 2014, researchers showed that watching violence activates the brains differently in aggressive people than calm people. Aggressive people had reduced activity in the decision making part of their brain (the orbitofrontal cortex), and more activity in the emotional center of the brain (the amygdala).   They also showed a rise in blood pressure.

So if aggressive people respond differently to watching violence than calm people, what makes people unkind in the first place?

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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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