Attachment

 

What is Attachment?

> The capacity to form and maintain healthy emotional relationships which generally begin to develop in early childhood.

> Enduring bond with ‘special’ person

> Security & safety within context of this relationship

> Includes soothing, comfort, and pleasure

> Loss or threat of loss of special person results in distress

What is the Attachment Theory?

> John Bowlby (1907-1990) British Child Psychiatrist/Psychoanalyst

> He was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.”

> Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life.

> According to Bowlby, attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child’s chances of survival.

> Disturbance/ Disruption of initial attachment bond between child and caregiver renders person insecure as an adult.

> The central theme of attachment theory is that caregivers who are available and responsive to their infant’s needs establish a sense of security in their children.

> The infant knows that the caregiver is dependable, which creates a secure base for the child to then explore the world.

Adult Attachment

> From our childhood experiences we develop schemas that are connected with dependability of others and the worth or ‘lovable-ness’ of self.

> These schemes are easily maintained across time into adulthood as they are reinforced over and over again.

> In the literature these schemas are referred to as attachment styles.


Types of Attachment Styles

(Hazen & Shaver 1994)

> Can I count on this person to be there for me if I need them?

> Are others trustworthy and responsive?

> Am I lovable and able to elicit caring?

ANSWER: NO

Avoidant

fearful- tend to recognize their need for others, but avoid others and frame them as untrustworthy.

Dismissing- Tend to deny their need for attachment and frame others as untrustworthy.

ANSWER: MAYBE

Anxious/Preoccupied

Tend to cling to attachment figures or aggressively demand reassurance, often fearing that they are somehow deficient or unlovable.

ANSWER: YES

Secure

Tend to believe that others are reliable and see themselves as lovable and worthy of care.

***A sense of security provides better

1.better Affect regulation

> less reactivity

> less hyper arousal

> less under arousal

> more acknowledgement of support seeking

A Sense of Security Provides

2.Better information processing

> more flexibility, curiosity, openness

> tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty

3.Better communication

> more ability to collaborate, to disclose, more assertive and empathetic

A Sense of Security Provides

4.Sense of Self (love)/ is more positive.

How This Applies to Adults

> Seeking and maintaining contact is viewed as the primary motivating principle from childhood into adult relationships

> A secure connection offers a safe haven and a secure base.(needs for connection, comfort and caring are key)

> Accessibility and Responsiveness builds bonds

> Separation Distress – a predictable process.

> Protect

> Cling and Seek

> Depression and Despair

> Dettachment

 

Attachment Styles are working models of self and others

> The way we see ourselves

> The way we see others

> The way we see relationships

> Predict the way we will respond

Role of Emotion

> Emotions will automatically arise when an attachment figure is perceived as inaccessible or unresponsive.

> Attachment Injuries

> An Attachment injury occurs when one partner violates the expectation that the other will offer comfort and caring in times of danger and distress.

> It is characterized by an abandonment or betrayal of trust during a critical moment of need.

> When a partner cries out for help and there is no response, the sense of basic trust that is the foundation upon which the welfare of their bond depends is shattered.

 

Secure Attachment

Believes and trusts that his/her/their needs will be met.

Parent: Quick, Sensitive, Constant

Child: Secure, Exploring, Happy.

 

Avoidant Attachment

Subconsciously believes that his needs probably won’t be met.

Parent: Distant, Disengaged

Child: Not very explorative, Emotional

 

Ambivalent/anxious Attachment

Cannot Rely on his needs to be met.

Parent:Inconsistent, Sometime sensitive, Sometimes neglectful

Child:Anxious, Insecure, Angry

 

Disorganized Attachment

Severely confused with no strategy to have his needs met

ParentExtreme, Frightened, Frightening, Passive

Child: Depressed, Passive, Angry, Non-responsive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REf: OTMH, 4th Floor., attachfromscratch.com

 

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Assertive Rights and Responsibilities

ASSERTIVE RIGHTS:
1. I have the right to put myself first. In fact, my 1st responsibility is to myself. Only when I am meeting my own needs adequately, can I give to others freely, without expectations.
2. I have the right to be treated with respect.
3. I have the right to decide what to do with my own property, body, and time.
4. I have the right to evaluate my own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and to take responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.
5. I have the right to make mistakes and be responsible for them.
6. I have the right to make self-evaluations without worrying about what other people think.
7. I have the right to not offer reasons or excuses for justifying my behaviour.
8. I have the right to make my own decisions, to make illogical decisions AND to change my mind. I have the right to change my mind after I’ve said YES.
9. I have the right to say, “I don’t know, ” “I don’t understand,” “I don’t care.” and “I don’t want to be involved.” Without feeling inferior.
10. I have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty or selfish.
11. I have the right to ask for what I want (realizing that the other person has the right to say no).
12. I have the right to have, and express my feelings.
13. I have the right to consider my own needs and to express my needs. I have the right to ask for help.
14. I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
15. I have the right to self fulfillment.
16. I have the right to be independent.
17. I have the right to dignity and self-respect.
18. I have the right to privacy.
19. I have the right to accept, or to refuse, challenges.
20. I have the right to change.
21. I have the right to choose not to assert myself.
ASSERTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. To assess my true feelings without exaggeration or under-estimating; to express my feeling(s) appropriately without demeaning someone else in the process.
2. To act in a responsible manner as much of the time as possible.
3. To think through my opinions and realize others can disagree with them.
4. To learn from mistakes, rather than punishing myself or others because of mistakes.
5. To reply as soon as possible or as soon as I am able, and without taking unreasonable amount of time.
6. To accept others’ answers respectfully.
7. To respect commitments to others as well as to myself; to allow sufficient time to fulfill commitments.
8. To think through my responses before answering.
9. To not impose my own values on others.
10. To express my needs and, if appropriate, work out a compromise.
11. To avoid “boxing in” myself or others by labelling or making judgement.
12. To acknowledge other’s choices and accomplishments.
13. To feel appropriate anger and sadness and to assert these feelings with the people involved.
14. To recognize anger, sadness, and joy, and see that these feelings do not interfere with others’ rights and responsibilities.

READ THESE ALLOWED TO YOURSELF:
My needs are equal to the needs of others
My needs are different from yours and need to be respected.
My recovery is the most important thing.
I can be assertive without being aggressive.
I’m moving forward in my life despite setbacks
I have the right to my own time.
I am not alone.
I am learning to cope with problems I cannot change/fix.
I am learning who I am and I give myself permission to do that.
I’m okay with nurturing myself.
I am learning to walk away from people and situations that no longer serve me.
I will be kind to myself.

ASSERTIVE STATEMENTS:
I can see you are angry/upset right now/and/or/ I am upset right now.  I need to take a moment away from this conversation.
That is a harmful comment.  That is a hurtful comment.
Will you lower your voice?  If you cannot lower your voice, I will
have to end the conversation.
Please take a  few deep breaths – you may not realize but you’re talking “at” me.
That makes me uncomfortable.
That’s unkind.
That’s not very nice.
I don’t appreciate…
That’s personal.
Wow, that doesn’t make me feel good at all.
That’s too far.

**step down approach – what your body language, and lower your voice, space the words out.**

Remember: It’s not selfless or selfish its self care.

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Grounding Techniques

Grounding Techniques are designed to help you deal with painful, overwhelming feelings. Grounding can be done anytime anyplace, anywhere. You can practice the skills privately and no one has to know or you can ask for support. Do not focus on past or the future stay in the present. Do not judge things as bad or good, stay neutral. Do not journal or think negative thoughts.

Ways to Ground yourself

Find a special place in your home where you have placed safe, soothing objects.

Play a category game with yourself, ie think of types of dogs, bands from the 80s, 90s, types of cars, etc.

Describe an everyday activity in detail to yourself or to someone else.

Say an affirmation.

Read something positive saying each word to yourself.

Think of something funny.

Count to 10 or say the alphabet S l o w l y

Run cool or warm water or your hands.

Hold ice cubes in your hands.

Carry a safety object with you.

Connect your body with the environment, ie I feel my feet making contact with the floor.

Eat, Walk mindfully– noticing the subtleties of the activity.

Focus on your breathing and accompany a positive, pleasant word with each inhalation and exhalation.

Say kind statements to your self.

Think of all your favourites, ie colour, food, animals, season, TV show.

Say a positive coping statement ie, this will pass, I can handle this.

Think of positive things that you are looking forward to in the future, ie social outing with a friend.

Make an index card or upload your most effective grounding techniques.

Think about people and animals you care about. Look at photographs of them.

List 5 things you see

List 4 things that you can touch

List 2 things that you can smell

Take one breath.

 

 

Reference: OTMH, Oakville

Relationship Needs

Emotional needs

Things to think about.

How do you and your partner/friend/parent/child etc, show respect for each other? How do you not?

In what ways do you and this person show appreciation for one another? How do you not?

How do you and this person meet each other’s emotional needs?

How could you and this person meet each other’s emotional needs?

In what ways do you and this person show trust for one another?

In what ways do you and this person not trust each other?

Sense-of-security Needs

How do you and this person support each other?

How can you and this person support each other better?

How do you and this person help each other feel secure in the relationship?

What else can either one of you do to help the other feel more secure?

How do you and this person show loyalty and commitment to each other?

What else can either one of you do to show loyalty and commitment to each other?

Financial Needs (if applicable)

What kind of financial goals do you and this person share?

What money issues do you disagree about most?

How do you manage the daily money issues? (paying bills, etc?) with this person?

How does that work for both of you?

How are your spending habits the same? Different?

How are your saving habits the same? Different?

 

Sharing Needs

Describe how you and this person share household and or other types of responsibilities?

In an ideal world, how could you and this person be more responsible?

How do you meet this person’s sharing needs?

How could you better meet this person’s sharing needs?

How does this person meet your needs?

How could this person meet your sharing needs?

 

Social Needs

What types of social situations do you and this person share?

What types of social occasions do you and this person enjoy and have fun?

What social happenings do you like that this person does not?

What social happenings does this person like that you do not?

How do you and this peson meet your social needs?

How could you and this person better meet your social needs?

 

Spiritual Needs

How are your spiritual needs and those of this person’s the same ? Different ?

What types of spiritual activities do you like to do together? (church, meditate, nature walks)

In what ways do spirituality and spiritual issues interfere with your relationship?

What spiritual values do you share?

What values do you each have that the other does not?

 

Dealing Effectively with Needs Problems

A simple process that can help you and this person more effectively with differences in your needs-sets include the following steps which can help you to understand each other’s needs and learn to accept and embrace your differences.

1) Understand your own Needs.

Partners who fight often fight over the same issues repeatedly. It is important to first understand what your needs are. Now that you have completed the assessment/reflections, what would you say are your greatest needs in your relationship?

2) Permit Yourself to Express Your Needs to the Person.

My needs:

Ex: I need him to WANT to know my feelings.

How can I express this need to my partner?

Ex: Since he doesn’t always listen to me, I’ll write him a note explaining how I prefer sharing my feelings with him more than anyone else.

3) Understand The Other Person’s Needs.

It is also important to understand what the other person’s needs are. Look back at the assessment you completed. What would you say are the person’s greatest needs in your relationship?

4) Listen To What The Other Person Needs.

Think about things that this person says that should give you insights into your partner’s needs.

My partner’s needs:

Ex: To spend an occasional evening with friends.

How My Partner Tries to Express This Need:

Ex: Makes excuses about why his friend’s need him to come over.

 

 

The present was in the potato (literally) :D

img_4093I admit, the 9 year old I reside with can gift wrap better than I. My skills aren’t lacking, there just burried under a thick layer of laziness and impatience 😉 . Who has time to cut neatly? Hand-eye coordination– who needs them when you have massive amounts of tape?! My priority was time management. I usually sandwhich a gift between two poorly, zig zagged, hand- ripped decorative paper and then I over indulge in tape to the point that even if there were 2 or 3 or 10 spots where wrapping paper did not reach, the thick layer of tape makes for a cool, foggy glass look 😉 it’ll keep the receiver teased. I also rarely ever wrap a present in its original box or form. I like to add random things like an oven mit or some random ornament I already own along with the real Christmas present as a way to distort the shape of the gift to keep people guessing 😉

This year– I was even more lazy. I was sooo lazy I decided to put my roommate’s present 🎁 inside—- a potato. 😉

I was unpacking groceries and thinking about what ornament/trick I would use to distort the shape of the bracelet pendant I was going to wrap for my friend. As I reached into the shopping bag, a potato rolled out. Inspiration began to spud!! 😀

So here is what I did:

I searched my bedroom and found an old decorative German beer stein as well as some marbles that I use for sound therapy. I found some paper and a pen and wrote a note in Japanese for my friend to decode (we are both interested in the Japanese language ).

I inserted the message into the stein, filled it with marbles, tossed it into a spare gift bag I had laying around, taped it up and put the faux gift under the tree to wait for its pray. (My lazy was was becoming a more thought-out plan as I went along)

Next, I took the pendant out of the original  ring box, wrapped it in Saran Wrap , aluminum foil, shiny paper, etc.

I got some of my roommate’s fav chocolates from the grocery bag

I found a book of mine

I got the potato, cut it in half, then carved a deep square into the middle of one half of the sliced potato. I stuffed the Saran/foil-wrapped pendant into the potato to check the size. It fit. I removed the pendant again and put the potato together and wrapped it in aluminum. I wrapped the book and the chocolates separately in aluminum foil too and put them in the fridge. The next morning (aka Christmas) I snuck into the fridge and placed the pendant back inside the potato.

When my roommate opened her faux gift , she had a priceless and very much confused expresseion on her face as she stared down at her stein full of marbles.

I said:”You lost your marbles! I found them for you!!” (Ref: the older gent who lost his marbles in the old classic movie, Hook/peter pan))

Eventually, she found the note.  I helped her decode it and off to the fridge she went. I told her two gifts in there were hers and they were in aluminum foil. She picked the book-shaped one (decoy/faux gift) and the weird, lumpy one (her chocolates) . The chocolates she loved and had a slight relief look on her face, which changed back to confusion when she unwrapped my book on G.I. Diets (lol) I almost lied and said “oh? Is this not one of the books on your wish list?” 😉  instead I just laughed at told her to keep looking. All that was left was a blue container and a wrapped potato. She asked nervously “um. – are you sure it’s in foil and not in this container?” I told her to take a look for herself and inside the container she discovered my delicious leftover lunch from the day before. So she picks up the only thing left (the foil potato) and looks at me amused and perplexed and laughs, “so my gift is a potato?” My eyes shine and I excitedly yell out in a AHA I pranked you accomplished tone — “NOPE It’s IN the potato!!!”  Mind apparently blown she looked down at the potato a little stubbed and pulls off the foil and the potato splits in half in her hand and voila!!!! Her little package with her pendant inside 😉  Hahaha 😀

We had a good laugh at how random and strange that whole experience was, but not before I told her husband that his gift (a gift card to Tim Hortons) was in the freezer .. gift card wrapped in Saran Wrap, foil, paper, ziplock bag, inside of a toothpaste box, tape, inside of a water bottle that was filled with water , inside of a bigger ziplock bag filled with more water which was now ice 😂

It was deff a strange adventure, but it sure kept the morning fun 🙂 I believe my expected ugly gift wrapping days are behind me and more amusing prank wrapping days are ahead 😉

Merry Christmas/Boxing Day!!!

Happy Holiday

Seasons Greetings To all non-Christian holiday goers 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions =  Unhealthy Thinking Habits

Do not/Try not to become overwhelmed by the many Cognitive Distortions that exist.

Pick 1 or 2 to work on. That’s IT! Pick easy ones to work on.

These are organized in a way to facilitate memory

 

The Common Ones

All or Nothing

Black and White Thinking

Exaggerating

Mindreading

Fortune Telling

Catastrophe Thinking

Feelings are Facts

 

Twins

Filtering (to ignore)

Magnification

Minimization

 

The Really Harmful ones (To self-esteem- to others)

Discounting the Positives

Labeling

Should Statements

Personalization

Blame

Unfavourable Comparisons

 

 

 

The Common Ones

All or Nothing/ Black-White Thinking

You see things or people in absolute, black or white categories. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as a total failure.

You define yourself or others in absolute terms such as good or bad, smart or stupid, introverted or extroverted, fat or thin, attractive or ugly, and so on.

Moreover, you may categorize your behaviour as being either completely acceptable or absolutely unacceptable, without acknowledging the many possibilities that lie between these two extremes.

More often, we exit somewhere in the middle of a spectrum versus on one side only. Much of this comes from perfectionist personality types where we have to be perfect or we’re a failure – there is no middle ground.

Example: I’m a failure. Example: I’m right

 

Exaggerating

To overgeneralize things. You often make a broad conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, it is expected to happen over and over again.

For example: You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat and will conclude that things will always happen that way.

You find yourself using words such as “always” or “never.”

Thus, you generalize one instance in the present to ALL other instances.

Pick out the overgeneralizations in this sentence:

“Everything always goes wrong for me.”

 

Exaggerating Hint Words

Words like:

Always, Never, Everyone, All the time, All woman/men, all “race”

Instead of:

Once in a while, sometimes, that individual, that specific incident, today

 

 

Mindreading

Inferring a person’s possible (usually negative) thoughts from their behaviour and nonverbal communication.

Taking precautions against the worst reasonably suspected case or some other preliminary conclusion, without asking the person.

Making negtive assumptions about what other people are feeling, thinking, and why they act the way they do, in particular, what they are thinking about YOU. Thus, you interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion.

Although it is true that people make negative judgements about others; chances are this occurs much less often, and what you’re assuming is far more negative than reality.

Examples:

They probably think I’m incompetent.

They noticed by hand shaking. They know I’m anxious. They think I’m pathetic.

They think I’m a “know-it-all.”

They are looking at me funny. They must think I look weird.

 

Mindreading Hint Words

He/She/They, Them, My boss thinks..

 

Fortune Telling, “Little What If Thinking.”

Also known as: Probability Overstimations

A probability overestimation is a prediction that a person believes is likely to come true, even though the actual likelihood is relatively low. Moreover, the prediction is that things will turn out badly. Said another way, an inaccruately high probability of danger is estimated. Example: A car weaves slightly in the lane next to you and you thnk, “That guy is going to hit me!Trying to kill me!

Hint: Did your self-talk start with “What if..”?

 

Catastrophe Thinking, “Extreme What If Thinking.”

The worst possible outcomes are predicted. Imagining that basic needs (safety, self-esteem, sustenance, etc.) are threatened.

Thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just umcomfortable. Most of the statements will overestimate a particular negative outcome and underestimate your ability to cope.

Example: A first year student began to get extemely anxious once she learned that she could not take all her courses. Her thoughts rose from an undesirable schedule to not being able to graduate and being jobless and homeless.

Furhter, you assume that if a negative event were to occur, it would be absolutely terrible and unmanageable. Below are more general examples:

Example: I won’t be able to handle it. Everyone will think I’m an idiot, I’m going to look stupid in front of the whole class, and no one will talk to me. I’ll be a social outcast.

 

Feelings are Facts:

Refers to the tendency to judge or evaluate something illogically, totally on the basis of your feelings. You believe, “if it feels likely, it IS likely. If it feels dangerous, it IS dangerous.” You assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are or will be.

Example: I feel terrified about going on airplanes. It must be very dangerous to fly.

I feel guilty. I must be a rotten person. It was my fault.

I feel angry. This proves I’m being treated unfairly.

I feel so inferior. This means I’m a second-rate person.

I feel hopeless. I must really be hopeless.

I feel anxiety. Something bad is goign to happen.

I feel ugly, so I am ugly.

Because I feel inadequate, I am inadequate.

I will never get well.

 

 

The Twins

Filtering (Selective Attention):

Focusing entirely on negative elements of a situation, to the exclusion of the positive. This is where you pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your vision of all of reality becomes darkened.

Example: You receive many positive comments about your presentation to a group of associates at work, but one of them says something mildy critical. You obsess about their reaction for days and ignore all the positive feedback.

Magnification (Minimization/ Mazimization)

Giving proportionally greater weight to a preceived failure, weakness or threat, or lesser weight to a preceieved success or opportunity, so the weight differs from that assigned to the event or thing by others.

Therefore, you blow things way out of proportion or shrink their importance. This is also called the binocular trick. When you look through one end of the binoculars, all your shortcomings seem as huge as Mt. Fuji. When you look through the other end, all your strenghts and positives qualities seem to shrink to nothing.

Hence, you exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, and/or you minimize the importance of your desirable qualities.

Example: Focusing on a personal flaw

focusing on another’s achievement and ignoring your own contributions

Focusing on someone else’s desirable qualities while comparing your own imperfections.

 

The Really Harmful Ones (To Self-Esteem and to Others)

Discounting The Positive:

You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count.” Discounting the positives takes the joy out of life and makes you feel inadequate and unrewarded.

Example: If you do a good job, you may tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done better.

When you disbelieve a compliment or positive appraisal.

When you give away or deny good things that come your way, such as gifts or compliments.

 

Labelling:

Labelling is an extreme form of all-or-nothing thinking. Instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser,” “a fool,” “a failure.” or “a jerk.” Labelling is irrational simply because you are important as a person. You are not only worthwhile by what you do. Only humans exist, losers, fools, jerks do not. These labels can lead to anger, anxiety, frustration, and low self-esteem.

You may also label others. When someone does something that bothers you, you may lebel that person, “she’s a nag” “He’s a freak”. In that moment, you see them as totally bad. This makes you feel hostile and hopeless about improving things and leaves little room for constructive communication.

 

Should Statements:

We have a list if rules about how we and others should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may believe they are trying to motivate themselves with should and shouldn’ts, and yet the outcome of using “shoulds” is the complete opposite. For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” “Musts,” “oughts” and “have tos” are similar offenders. Should statements, which are hidden perfectionist expectations, are incorrect or exaggerated assumptions about how things should occur. The emotional consequence is guilt. Lastly, when a person directs should statements to others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.

Example: He shouldn’t be so stubborn and argumentative.

Example: After playing a difficult piece on piano, a gifted pianist told herself, ‘I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes.” This made her feel so disgusted that she quit practicing for several days.

Example: I shouldn’t eat that doughnut.

Example: I should visit my family every Sunday.

This usually doesn’t work because all these shoulds and musts make you feel rebellious and you get the urge to do just the opposite.

Should Hint Words

Words like:

Should

Have to

Ought to

Need to

Must

Shouldn’t

 

Replace with:

I choose to

I hope to

I want to

I plan on

I am

(get into action )

 

Personalization

Personalization is the tendency to take things personally and make things about you when they are not about you. You may do this automatically without fact finding first.

To define further,

Personalization occurs when you hold yourself responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. You may take on all the responsibility rather than acknowledge the different factors that may have contributed to the situation.

Personalization also happens when you frequently compare yourself to what you are hearing and seeing, “That happens to me too”, “I have that”, “Wait,I have that”. “I’ve been there.” Essentially, making it about you.

Personalization also occurs when you think or believe what people saying or doing (e.g. laughing down the hallway, have a grumpy look on their face) is in direct reaction or relation to YOU.

If this is a habit for you, you are likely to find yourself overreacting to interpersonal interactions. That is because personalization confuses understanding and boundaries in relationships, especially around dependency and co-dependency issues.

It increases social anxiety.

It’s no wonder that Personalization leads to guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy!

Rule: Don’t personalize other people’s inappropriate behaviour.

Example: When a woman received a note that her child was having difficulties at school, she told herself, “This shows what a bad mom I am,” instead of trying to pinpoint the actual cause of the problem.

Example: When another woman’s husband yelled at her, she told herself. “If only I were a better wife, he wouldn’t yell at me.”

Example: My boss is in a bad mood today; he must be angry with me.

 

BLAME

When we hold other people responsible for our own pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem, we are doing a great injustice to ourselves and to others. instead of pinpointing the cause of a problem, you assign blame. This distortion robs you of appropriate responsibility, and prevents growth. Blame usually doesn’t work very well and will just get tossed back and forth without result or movement.

SELF BLAME: You blame yourself for something you weren’t responsible for or beat up on yourself relentlessly whenever you make a mistake.

OTHER BLAME: Some people do the opposite. They blame other people or their circumstances for their problem, and they overlook ways that they might be contributing to the problem.

Example: The reason my marriage is so lousy is because my spouse is totally unreasonable.

Example: I’m a terrible mother.

Example: I’m a lousy friend.

Example: Stop making me feel bad about myself!

Nobody can “Make” use feel any particular way- only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions (Byron Katie does a lot of this sort of talk). Only if we believe a persons negative perception of us do we hurt (ourselves).

 

Unfavourable Comparisons:

Unfavourably comparing yourself is like having a special magnifying glass that magnifies some things (your negatives, other people’s positives) and shrinks others ( your positives, other people’s negatives.) Try recognizing everyone (including yourself) as having unique strengths and weaknesses. If you have to compare, try to compare evenly – include both favourable and unfavourable comparisons.

Example: “She’s thinner, so she’s prettier and smarter; who cares if I have nice hair?”

Example: “He is more interesting and intelligent because he owns his own business; who cares if I make more?”

 

 

 

Reference: This material is from OTMH, Third Line,Oakville ON

 

Active Listening Skills Continued.

Listen to yourself:

Goal: To practice the skill of listening – good communication skills require the art of active listening.

Ask a friend to help participate in this wee little experiment. Allow you or your friend to be the designated listener, and the other is the talker. Later, reverse the roles.

Take for 3-5 minutes about yourself.

Pay attention to your thoughts when talking.

Having trouble? Start off with

Your Family

Your hobbies

Your pets

You’re favourite band (while you were growing up)

Travel

If you had a million (and 1 dollar)

 

LISTEN

L – ook and lean

I -gnore Distractions

S– uspend Judgement

T– ell Them what you’ve heard

E– xperience Their side

N– o interrupting!

 

The Goals of Communication

To better understand what another person is communicating

To relay your understanding to that person.

To improve relationships.

 

Active Listening

Attending Skills

Posture

Appropriate Body Motion

Eye Contact

Non disturbing Environment

Your handshake

Following Skills

Door openers

Minimal Encourages

Infrequent Questions

Paraphrasing and Reflecting Back

Discourages

Door Closers

Minimizing

Criticizing

Judging

 

Active Listening

Active listening is especially useful in two general situations

1) when you are not certain you understand what the other person means.

2) when an important or emotionally charged message is being sent.

Senders will often indicate that they are saying something significant by:

Directly referring it to as Worthing of notice, eg “it is vital for you to understand that..”

Repeating a message several times

Placing a point first or last.

Pausing or waiting for eye contact before speaking.

Speaking more loudly or softly than usual.

Speaking more slowly than usual.

When you are actively listening, you concentrate on reflecting on the feeling that others express, the content or both, depending upon what you think you may have misunderstood and what you consider most important. As yourself:

“What is he feeling?” “What is he trying to say?”

Consider: ” People won’t care what you know, until they know that you care.”

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

 

 

Reference: OTMH, Oakville, ON