Which Hot Button Words Are Dealbreakers in Relationships? (I’ll say “fava beans” and “Chianti”)

Words Can Change Your Brain

I was reading about certain words that should never be used in advertising because they yield poor results. The article pointed out that people are far less likely to click on the word “submit” on a web site because it is too committal. As an alternative, “click here” is better, and “click here to receive whatever is being offered” is better yet. The article went on to point out how language can be a turn on or a turn off when making decisions.

As I read, I started to consider some of the keywords that don’t fly too well in the realm of relationships. I couldn’t help but ponder words like “obey,” for instance; a word that was once the norm in traditional wedding vows (and may still be in certain circles). Using “obey” in the realm of relationships is a deal breaker for many of us, including several terms that mean something similar. (Ironically, when I looked up synonyms of “obey”, “submit” came up!) Even reference to the “head of the household” can be an indicator of a power hierarchy. If this is okay with you, no problem, but if not, paying attention to this kind of terminology may assist you in avoiding some major struggles.

In my work as an online dating advisor, I would guide people to watch for the themes they, or the people they were interested in, posted in their profiles. I encouraged them to watch for the underlying messages that they were sharing through, often unconscious, choices. Repetitious sexual content, mention of alcohol and drugs, complaints about previous partners, a clear portrayal of low self-esteem, or elevated ego are all little red flags to watch for in an online write-up. Even in our face-to-face relationships, we all drop indicators of our beliefs and attitudes everywhere we go through our language and choice of words.

Some words aren’t the issue themselves, but rather the problem arises with the timing of their use. For instance, “love” — a word we clearly associate with relationships — can serve as a bomb if dropped too soon or a detriment if not used soon enough. “Commitment,” “monogamy,” and “marriage,” can freak people out when thrown around too early in the dating process, as well. And equally, at some point in the relationship, a lack of willingness to use these terms may be a deal breaker.

What we call each other at different stages of the relationship may also be an indicator calling for attention. Referring to your date as your “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend” can cause just as many problems as referring to your boyfriend or girlfriend as your “date” or your “lover.” Your level of commitment, or lack thereof, is revealed in your choice of labels, as is how you define the relationship.

How we refer to sex may also be a trigger. For some calling it “making love” (instead of sex) may be an issue, while for others it may be exactly the other way around.

How we talk about previous partners and past relationships can also reveal hot button issues. I have a friend who is adamant that people should refer to their previous husband or wife as “former spouse” rather than their “ex”, as he feels it is far more honoring of the major role they have previously played. While you may prefer not to honor those that have come before you, the truth of the matter is that in time you may be the next on the “ex” list wishing for more honor.

For me, a hot button is to refer to breaking up as “dumped,” as in “I dumped him or her.” We dump trash, not people. Using this term for breaking up can be an indicator that the respect levels of people and relationships may be sorely lacking.

People will often reveal early in the relationship where the big issues will lay ahead simply in their words. The problem is that we don’t often listen, or pay attention until the situation gets out of control. While everyone’s hot button issues may be slightly different, we would all benefit by paying a little closer attention to what is said, what is meant, and what is being revealed.

Rather than just considering what your hot button issues are when someone else utters them, be sure to practice awareness of the words you use as well — the words or the timing of your words, that may be pushing others away. Your own clarity and impeccability with the alignment of your words and your intended meaning will set the tone of deeper discussions, and greater understanding.

What are your hot button words or terms in the realm of relationships?

This post courtesy of Spirituality & Health.

from World of Psychology http://bit.ly/2pJKde4


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List

Which one is the “I love you, man”?

Binge_BSPThere are certainly different types of drunks. “Sober Dave is boring, you should hang out with Drunk Dave, he’s wild!” or “She is usually a sweetheart, but watch out, she’s a mean drunk.”

Having documented the transition to our drunk alter-egos for 100s of years, we are no strangers to the concept of drunk personality types. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that alcohol can change our personalities from a sober type to a drunk type.

 

Today, research pioneered by University of Missouri graduate student, Rachel Winograd, supports the existence of at least four categories of drunk personalities. Importantly, she reveals if one’s type of drunk personality puts them at greater risk of alcohol-related harms (e.g. regrettable sexual encounters or drunken injuries), as well as alcohol addiction.

A group of 187 pairs of undergraduate drinking buddies answered questions linking their drunk personality to the “big five” personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). Cluster analysis of these answers led to the description of four main drunk personality types as outlined below.

Not only is it a bit of fun to ask, “What kind of drunk are you?”, the drunk personality research field holds promise for the development of novel interventions to help problem drinkers.

Drunk Personality Type 1: The Ernest Hemingway

As Ernest Hemingway wrote, he ‘‘can drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk.” Thankfully, this is the most common drunk personality type shared by 42% of the undergrads, who reported behaving roughly the same and only slightly changing when intoxicated.

Compared to the other personality types, the personality factors that tend to change the most when drunk — i.e. conscientiousness (being prepared, organized, prompt) and intellect ( understanding abstract ideas, being imaginative) — do not change drastically. It is no surprise then that this drunk personality type was not linked with experiencing more negative consequences or alcoholism symptoms.

Drunk Personality Type 2: The Mr. Hyde

Unfortunately, the second most common drunk personality type (23% of the sample) is the monster of a drunk named after the twisted alter-ego of Dr. Jeckyll, Mr. Hyde. They are characterized by being less conscientious, less intellectual and less agreeable than their sober selves or other drunk personality types.

Their drunk personality being the perfect recipe for increased hostility when under the influence, they are statistically more likely to have alcohol use disorder symptoms (i.e. have a higher risk of alcohol addiction). They also suffer a whole range of negative consequences from drinking, from blacking out to being arrested for drunken behavior.

Drunk Personality Type 3: The Nutty Professor

This type of drunk, comprising 20% of the study participants, does a personality 360 [1] when they get drunk. They are particularly quiet and introverted when sober, but their drunken persona has a large increase in extraversion and decrease in conscientiousness (compared to the other drunk types and their sober self). This is likened to the the Disney character, Shermen Clump, when he transforms from taking his secret chemical formula in The Nutty Professor.

Despite having the most drastic personality change, Nutty Professors were not associated with experiencing more negative alcohol-related consequences from drinking.

Drunk Personality Type 4: The Mary Poppins

The least common drunk personality type in the study, found in 15% of the participants, was ‘The Mary Poppins. They are not only particularly agreeable (i.e. embodying traits of friendliness) when sober, they are also agreeable and friendly when drunk. Like Hemmingways, they also decrease less than average in conscientiousness and intellect when getting drunk.

Their drunken sweetness sets them apart from less agreeable Hemmingways. They are essentially the opposite of the Mr Hyde drunk type of drunk, resulting in significantly less negative consequences from getting drunk.

[1] Perhaps Dr. Clark meant to write 180, as 360 degrees is a full circle that brings you back to your original orientation. Or she was making a joke that I am too obtuse to get. Either way, I’ve left the original phrasing.

REFERENCES

Hemingway, E., & Baker, C. (1981). Ernest Hemingway, selected letters, 1917-1961. New York: Macmillan Pub Co.

Winograd, R. P., Littlefield, A. K., Martinez, J., & Sher, K. J. (2012). The drunken self: The Five-Factor model as an organizational framework for characterizing perceptions of One’s own drunkenness. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(10), 1787–1793. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01796.x

Winograd, R. P., Steinley, D., & Sher, K. (2015). Searching for Mr. Hyde: A five-factor approach to characterizing “types of drunks.” Addiction Research & Theory, 24(1), 1–8. doi:10.3109/16066359.2015.1029920

This guest article originally appeared on the award-winning health and science blog and brain-themed community, BrainBlogger: What’s Your Drunk Personality Type – Nutty, Naughty or Nice?

from World of Psychology http://bit.ly/2paelfh


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List