What can a dog park teach us about bridging great societal divides? Brilliant talk. I cannot think of a more appropriate time in our lives to hear this message. There is a difference between US AND THEM and US VS THEM. We all can go beyond our own identities and ‘packs’ to find common ground with those we may disagree with on personal, work-related, social and political grounds. We are all humans after all – this human identity is common to us all…
Santa’s making his list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice this year. Will you find you or your partner on the naughty or the nice list? Check out OneLove Foundation’s naughty and nice lists to find out!
The Nice List
1. You accept and love your partner for who they are, including their quirky qualities!
2. You don’t make jokes at your partner’s expense and you can have constructive conversations if something is bothering you in the relationship.
3. You trust your partner and don’t get suspicious of what they’re doing when you’re not around.
4. You and your partner make relationship decisions together with neither person feeling like they have no say.
5. Your relationship doesn’t feel like an emotional roller coaster. You keep your cool when you argue, drink, or get upset.
6. You and your partner are both happy with the amount of time you spend together and the amount of time you spent apart. You have your own life outside of your relationship and can balance a love life and a personal life.
7. If there’s a problem in the relationship, you and your partner can have a constructive conversation about it without fear of retaliation.
8. Your friends and family like your partner and your partner encourages you to maintain healthy relationships with these very important people in your life.
9. Your partner respects your decisions. They don’t tell you or make subtle hints about what you can do, what to eat or wear, and who you should talk to or be friends with.
10. You know your relationship is making you a better, happier person. You have no doubts about whether or not it’s right for you.
The Naughty List
1. Your partner tries to hide or change you instead of accepting you for who you really are. Your partner makes you feel like you need to change to keep them satisfied.
2. Your partner nitpicks and criticizes you more than you’d like.
3. Your partner is always wondering or worrying about what you’re doing when you’re not together.
4. Your partner is the one calling all the shots and you feel like you need to follow along to keep the peace.
5. Your partner wants all of your time, but you want a little more time to yourself. You don’t bother talking to them about it because you know they will overreact or, if you do bring it up, they lash out at you or make you feel guilty for wanting some time apart.
6. Your partner makes you feel responsible for their happiness or success.
7. Your partner makes you wonder if you’re the problem in the relationship and they blame you for everything.
8. Your partner doesn’t get along with your friends and family.
9. Your partner tries to control what you do, who you spend time with, and who you talk to. They’ll tell you an outfit doesn’t look good so you change, ask you not to talk to someone they perceive as a “threat,” or tell you what parties you can go to.
10. Your partner is belligerent and out of control when they drink.
If you find yourself thinking, “that’s my relationship” after reading this naughty list, start the New Year by addressing this and seek professional help if needed.
Credit: OneLove Foundation
“The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening…”
Solomon Ibn Gabriol
Have you ever noticed that the word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’? Are you here to listen? Are you open to learning, growing and hearing?
Sigmund Freud once said that “the great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’
We don’t know for sure what response he got when he posed that question to Princess Marie Bonaparte. It seems highly likely she replied “reliable orgasms”.
While this might be of importance to many woman, I’m not convinced that’s all they want. To me Bonaparte was responding more from a perspective of a researcher rather than a woman. She was doing a research on orgasms at that time.
As Randolph M. Nesse points out in his book Good reasons for bad feelings: insights from the frontier of evolutionary psychiatry “birth control and disease prevention have made sex more available to more people more often. … Opportunities for sexual relationships are now a world marketplace of desire and deception, from Match.com to Tinder.” Does this make women happier in life? Does this make men happier?
For some it probably does, while for others I think Bryan Adams’ song reflects it the best.
Women do want to be understood, cared about, respected, wanted and loved. I’m sure a lot of men want that too…
What about you? What do you want?
Feeling understood and fully accepted as you are is crucial to your well-being and enduring sense of security. Let’s consider a few reasons why:
1. You’re known.
When you experience being misunderstood, the connection between you and the other person is (however temporarily) severed. You’re by yourself, “dis-joined,” cut off.
2. Your identity is confirmed.
Having others see you as you want and need to be seen verifies your sense of self. It assures you that who you believe you are is understandable and acceptable. To feel truly “gotten” is to feel deeply, rewardingly validated.
3. You belong.
Feeling understood connects you to others, allowing you to feel welcome.
4. You’re part of something larger than yourself.
We all need to feel that we’re related to a community of (at least relatively) like-minded individuals. Such an expanded perception of self helps to make our lives feel more meaningful, more purposeful — and it contributes to a sense of personal value as well.
5. You’re accepted.
Feeling understood is in many ways tantamount to feeling accepted as you are.
6. You’re empowered.
If you feel understood, you’re not groping your way in the darkness. With others’ respectful willingness to recognize you and your intentions, you’re empowered to attempt, and accomplish, things that you otherwise might not be driven to do.
7. You understand yourself better.
If someone says, “So, in other words, it sounds as though you must believe [X] because you seem to be implying [Y],” it’s quite possible that their synopsis of what you shared actually goes beyond what you yourself had realized. In adding something of their own intuition and experience to your utterance, they may help you better comprehend the deeper, more personal ramifications of what you’re communicating.
8. You experience more satisfaction in your relationships.
Feeling understood prompts you to relate more fully to others, to show more willingness to be open and vulnerable with them. As Carl Nassar (“The Importance of Feeling Understood”) astutely observes: “When we feel understood . . . we show [others] our true selves—flaws and all. In turn, they are more likely to be vulnerable and honest with us. This helps us connect . . . on a deeper level, improving the quality of our relationships.”
9. It becomes easier for you to accept yourself
When you feel truly understood, it becomes easier to accept yourself just as you are. If others can understand you and accept who you are, you should be able to, as well.
10. You’re shielded from the depths of depression.
Depression is closely tied to feelings of separation and estrangement. So feeling understood and connected to those around us may be one of the best safeguards from entering this so torturous, agonizing state.
The first criteria of a fulfilling relationship is to be truly understood by another person without trying too hard. And the second is to be accepted without judgment for who we truly are. Understanding and acceptance are the essentials of any fulfilling relationship…
Do you feel understood and fully accepted
Do you need to compromise the REAL YOU to be loved…?
Spotted this poster on Facebook today. So true and so well said…. It is so important to keep an eye on the nearest and dearest, talk to them about it and share our experiences…
Just a few months ago we received a note from our children’s college – a young man of their age ended his life. One of my children knew him – he was in the same year…. Then my other son, who lives at the University Hall of residence, mentioned that he decided to become Resident Assistant (RA) so he could help younger students who are struggling… They already had cases of students cutting themselves there…
There were times I just wished I could run away and hide – I was still laughing, I was still joking… Glad there were people in my life who helped me get through it, who helped me find my way…
Feeling depressed or suicidal is not a character defect, flaw or weakness. Lots of people who were experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts have no history of mental illnesses, drugs or alcohol abuse. It is just sometimes people get lost in life and can’t see another way… Listen to them carefully and help them gently to get back onto their feet and find their way…
We all can make a difference in someone’s life…
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
Peter F. Drucker
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.…”
(From Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, 1600)
On some level we are all facing fear – afraid of being seen for who we truly are. Afraid of seeing ourselves for who we really are…
As Christine Hassler notes in her article The Power of Vulnerability “most of us can relate to times when we expressed an emotion and it was not received well, so we develop suppression techniques. Although it may seem like we are protecting ourselves, suppressing our expression erects walls around our hearts and reinforces beliefs about it not being safe to share our genuine feelings with another. As a result, we form relationships that are based more on fear than love…
But we cannot truly experience the delicious emotions that a relationship offers if we are not authentic. I invite you to read the word “intimacy” as “into-me-see”. We create intimacy with others when we allow ourselves to be seen. Vulnerability is our way to break patterns of avoiding being truly seen for fear of how we will be received. If you are protecting and guarding yourself, you are unavailable for intimacy…
From Raw for Beauty
Don’t let fear stop you when it comes to being raw and real with others. To fully feel the love and connection we all yearn for, vulnerability is required. Think of someone you feel very close to. There have been times when you have shared a feeling with that person that felt risky to expose, yet when it was received with love, rather than judgment, your relationship got stronger. Vulnerability connects us. It is a great gift we give to another person when we let them see behind any masks or walls of emotional protection.”
“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that YOU are.”
Don’t judge yourself and don’t care what others think…
Your life is your arena: eliminate all fears and self-doubt and enter it with confidence and self-worth.
Just be yourself and follow your passions and dreams…
“Great art speaks a language which every intelligent person can understand.”
Hope you’ll always have someone willing to hold your hand…