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


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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


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Believe in yourself? Sure. Believe yourself? Maybe not.

try again give up keep going and trying self belief never stop bHow much do you trust your own opinions? Do you feel that your beliefs and worldviews are based upon an “evidence file” of real facts? Most people do — and if asked to justify their position on big issues like politics, religion and life they would be able to hit you with a list of supporting facts and arguments. It’s the same for the smaller things too; people are usually very good at justifying their actions based on a reasonable-sounding chain of logic.

But are our opinions really as solid as we think they are? Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t always “believe yourself” without giving your opinions a second look.

Illusory Patterns

The human mind loves patterns. We love it when things fit together nicely and we’re innately primed to spot and recognize recurring patterns and ideas in the world around us. We’re so good at it that we can identify patterns even when there aren’t any.

Research has time and again shown that people will extract meaning from “noise” or meaningless sets of data. People see patterns and pictures in TV static. We see trends and themes in randomly drawn lottery numbers. We draw connections between unrelated images and call it fortune-telling. We see the face Jesus on a slice of toast.

This becomes an issue when we apply this same principle to our important life experiences. If the human brain is naturally good at finding patterns where none exist, it can link pieces of information which on their own are perfectly true but do not logically follow on from each other. This leads to forming conclusions which do not reflect reality.

This fallacy of over-generalization and forming beliefs on isolated facts is the basis of stereotyping. Maybe you’ve had a bad experience when visiting a certain town, or with someone of a certain ethnicity. Maybe you know someone who has had a similar experience to you. In your mind these small, isolated incidents paint a much broader picture that leads you to conclude that everyone from that town, or everyone of that ethnicity are just as bad as the one you came into contact with.

Making Facts Match Belief

Once a belief is formed in your mind, it’s very hard to shake. People like information that matches their pre-existing beliefs. This confirmation bias leads us to pay particular attention to information that confirms what we already know, while ignoring or discounting info which would conflict with our previously held views. Not only that but we will bend over backwards to make new information fit within our existing concepts.

Imagine a town where two politicians are running for mayor. At one end of town the existing mayor is holding a rally. He proudly states that during his last term he cut unemployment in the town by 10 percent, thereby proving that his policies are working and that he is the only man for the job. The room erupts in applause and cheering.

On the other side of town his rival is holding a rally. He says, “In his entire term my opponent only managed to cut unemployment by a minuscule ten percent! If a moron like him can achieve that much, think how much a genuinely hard working, forward thinking politician like myself could achieve!” The assembled crowd roars in agreement.

When preaching to people who have already made their minds up two people can take the exact same bit of information and use it to draw entirely opposite conclusions. And most people listening will be totally unaware they’ve done anything illogical in believing them. So all those facts and figures you have in your mental evidence folder might need a second look — you could have mentally shoehorned them in there so as to protect your established view of the world.

Mental Illness and Believing Yourself

All of this becomes a much bigger problem when you throw mental illnesses like anxiety and depression into the mix. These conditions bias your thinking towards the negative- they make you far more likely to interpret events in a negative way. If a friend doesn’t respond to your text, most people would think they were just busy, but someone with depression would take that as evidence that they aren’t really your friend and hate spending time with you. They then might start to form illusory patterns based on a few unrelated incidents- thinking that everyone they know secretly hates spending time with them.

Depression causes you to believe negative things about yourself and your value as a person. When “I am worthless” or “everyone hates me” is your starting point, confirmation bias becomes highly damaging because it makes you interpret every situation as validating your negative view of yourself. If people do choose to hang out with you- they’re only pretending to like you. And if they don’t- then you were right all along. With the filter of mental illness over your perception it doesn’t matter what happens, it all looks and feels the same.

Conclusion

You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to fall foul of the occasional faulty assumption or over generalization. From time to time everyone makes this kind of mistake and ends up believing negative things about themselves or the world around them. Learning to take a second look at your opinions rather than seeing them as infallible can free you from all kinds of damaging beliefs.

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


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How Music Can Boost Your Mood

Paralyzed by worry.Overcome with regret.

Fraught with rage.

Down in the dumps.

Have you ever felt stuck in an emotional state that you can’t seem to get out of? If you’ve felt this way before, you may have even wished that there was a way to turn these emotions off entirely.

With colder temperatures outside and fewer daylight hours, the winter months can be especially tough to trudge through. Just like the weather outside, we may often feel powerless to change the emotions we feel on the inside. Calling upon our favorite music, however, just might help us to transform the winter blues into a different sounding tune.
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While seasons shift gradually, our inner emotional states can change rapidly, like the channels on a radio or a TV. Think of your mind as a radio. There is a vast and constant amount of information to digest and process. Sometimes we might get stuck on a certain song or station, hearing the same thing over and over. If you’ve experienced this kind of rumination or thought-looping before, you know it is an unwelcome and negative cycle. When this happens, anything that helps us to switch to a different channel can provide emotional relief.

Sometimes when we get in these entrenched states, it can be difficult to dig ourselves out. We may start listening to negative messages that have been internalized and deeply ingrained within our minds, (consciously or unconsciously) playing them on repeat. The good news, however, is that we actually have the power to shift our thinking. We have the ability to bring ourselves away from the destructive noise of our own cognitive distortions and into the sweet sounds of serenity.

Music can be a useful tool in helping to turn down volume on the (often irrational) song or story that’s being played incessantly. While muting the unpleasant tracks we’re so accustomed to hearing in our minds and boosting the sound on some uplifting tunes, our favorite music automatically becomes a natural mood enhancer.

  1. Plug back in 
    When we feel disconnected or burnt out, listening music can help us to feel more grounded and aligned — physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. When we feel inspired or uplifted by the sound or the lyrics of a song, it can result in a truly profound experience. When we are moved by the music we hear, we gain a greater understanding about ourselves. With that comes the ability to foster a better sense of connection to other people and the world around us.
  2. Flip the Switch 
    Much like meditation, putting on our favorite song or playlist can take our minds out of the vicious cycle of regret, worry, or fear, and help us to refocus our attention on the sound and rhythm of the song, even if just for a short while. Almost instantaneously, we have the ability to bring our minds away from the trap of its constant mental chatter, and into states of present moment awareness and enlivened being.
  3. Feel the Beat 
    The mind and body are connected. Music often makes us want to move, inspiring us to dance or exercise. This helps release endorphins and serotonin in the brain, so we feel better and adopt a naturally more positive outlook. Combining music with movement is a potent way to improve your mood with the potential for long lasting effects.

Each of us may have different taste in music, but we all crave many of the same things, including happiness and belonging. Music can help us strengthen the bond we have with ourselves, and ultimately, with each other. While listening to our favorite music in solitude may be the perfect antidote, some people find that the energy and vibrations that abound at live music shows are powerfully therapeutic. No matter where you are, it’s important to remember, that if you’re feeling a particular emotion, you are surrounded by human beings everywhere who have felt that same emotion before.

All of these ideas depend on what works best for you and what makes you feel good. Not sure what music to put on? Try checking out Spotify and Soundcloud to explore new artists and songs that might be appealing to you.

Of course there is no magic remedy to alleviate all emotional pain when going through a difficult experience, but we can make small choices that add up over time to contribute to our overall well-being in a big way.

Just like the seasons, our emotions will come and go. If you’re having difficulty shifting out of a particular emotional state, grab that remote and switch the channel on your thoughts. Program your mind just like you would program your favorite radio stations and let the music guide you to a better place.

from World of Psychology http://bit.ly/2krjz37


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The 3 Most Dangerous Things to Say in a Relationship

Man Covers Mouth After Smelling ShoeAlmost every relationship article mentions the big C: communication. But what if your words are doing more harm than good?

Language is a powerful thing, and what you say to your partner on impulse could be doing a great deal of damage. Here are the top 6 most dangerous phrases to slip from your lips.

1. “You Always… You Never…”

The classic communication killer. Nothing is more guaranteed to aggravate your partner than to hear this kind of sweeping generalization. The problem with “You always…” “You never…” is that it’s so easy to let slip in the heat of the moment, and what your partner hears is “You’re useless. You always disappoint me.” Even if it’s over something as trivial as doing the dishes.

You may be frustrated, and simply wanting to make a point, but what the other person hears is an attack on his or her very character. And that hurts. Lines of communication clamp shut with a vengeance. Your partner will automatically become defensive and is unlikely to really hear another word you are saying.

Hyperbolic criticism like this only serves to push your loved one away and won’t get you any closer to having your needs met.

What to say instead:

“I feel ‘x’ when you do/don’t do ‘x’… How can we sort this out?”

“I really appreciate it when you do ‘x’.”

As you see, starting with “I” rather than “You” is often a good start! Beginning with “I” turns your words from a blanket accusation into an invitation to talk, and to come to a resolution.

2. “I don’t care.”

This is a no-brainer. Your relationship is based around caring, so why sabotage it with this thoughtless phrase? To say “I don’t care” in any context — I don’t care what we have for dinner, I don’t care that the kids are fighting, I don’t care where we go later — automatically implies a lack of emotional investment in the other person, and in your shared life, even if that’s not true.

The most important predictor of a long-lasting relationship, according to John Gottman, is quite simply whether or not couples regularly perform simple acts of kindness, such as showing interest when the other points something out, or wants to tell them something. If your partner makes a bid for your attention and you react with “I don’t care” (either spoken or implied) — it’s going to inflict damage.

What to say instead:

Pretty much anything, as long as it conveys interest and involvement in whatever your partner wants to share with you!

3. “Never mind… it doesn’t matter.”

Of course there will be times when you genuinely mean this. But too often we use these words in a dismissive sense, eg. “Never mind, I’ll just do it myself”, or “No point talking about it!”

Both phrases in this sense imply that you are rejecting your partner’s input, deliberately shutting them out. It can also be passive aggressive — trying to make an implied point about your partner’s behavior, or attitude, rather than having a frank and upfront conversation.

What to say instead:

“I would really love to get your input on ‘x’…”

“I’m in a tight spot here, please can you help me out?”

And don’t forget to say thank you! Such a small thing, but makes all the difference. Unsurprisingly, couples who thank each other regularly feel more supported and appreciated, helping them to get through tensions when they do arise.

No doubt, we all have times when our partners frustrate and annoy us. Expressing that frustration might just seem like speaking your mind, or being honest. But oftentimes, it’s just not constructive.

Ask yourself, “Is this a real issue or just a passing annoyance?” If the answer is the former, try to use neutral, constructive language that focuses on actions rather than character, and avoids placing blame.

That doesn’t mean you should watch every word you say, all the time. But a little bit of sensitivity around hurtful phrases goes a long way. And making an effort to reinforce your love with positive phrases — “Thank you”, “I love you” — is worth it a hundredfold.

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


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