Category Archives: Psychology

Friends and depression

eeyore-1

I love this passage, and really want to share it with you today. I’ve suffered from depression myself, and I know many other people with some form of mental illness. This piece shows how important friends are, and no matter what is going on with us, we all deserve to have good friends 🙂 One of the most common pieces of advice I give to my callers is to reach and create new friendships. It’s SO important to a rich life.
“It occurred to Pooh 🐻 and Piglet 🐷 that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats 🎩 and coats 🧥 and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood🌲 to Eeyore’s stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.
“Hello Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Hello Pooh. 🐻 Hello Piglet 🐷” said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice
“We just thought we’d check in on you,” said Piglet, “because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.”
Eeyore was silent for a moment. “Am I okay?” he asked, eventually. “Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That’s what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All.
Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now.”
Pooh looked and Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.
Eeyore looked at them in surprise. “What are you doing?”
“We’re sitting here with you,” said Pooh, “because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.” 💜💚
“Oh,” said Eeyore. “Oh.” And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.
Because Pooh and Piglet were There.
No more; no less.”

A.A.Milne
E.H.Shepard

How to handle difficult relationships

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This can be a challenging time of year for everyone and their relationships. We can feel stress, old, unresolved anger and grief from our past. Uncomfortable feelings rise up from our families, old friends, past lovers, current lovers, business partnerships, roommates and coworkers.

These unprocessed emotions can’t be solved overnight, but if you’re dealing with someone who is sick, strung out, toxic or crazy, it’s best to detach with love. Just having this course of action might give us all some comfort and support.

Read this from “The Language of Letting Go”. It could give you a valuable course of action:

“Detaching in Relationships
When we first become exposed to the concept of detachment, many of us find it objectionable and questionable. We may think that detaching means we don’t care. We may believe that by controlling, worrying, and trying to force things to happen, we’re showing how much we care.
We may believe that controlling, worrying, and forcing will somehow affect the outcome we desire. Controlling, worrying, and forcing don’t work. Even when we’re right, controlling doesn’t work. In some cases, controlling may prevent the outcome we want from happening.
As we practice the principle of detachment with the people in our life, we slowly begin to learn the truth. Detaching, preferably detaching with love, is a relationship behavior that works.
We learn something else too. Detachment – letting go of our need to control people – enhances all our relationships. It opens the door to the best possible outcome. It reduces our frustration level, and frees us and others to live in peace and harmony.
Detachment means we care, about others and ourselves. It frees us to make the best possible decisions. It enables us to set the boundaries we need to set with people. It allows us to have our feelings, to stop reacting and initiate a positive course of action. It encourages others to do the same.
It allows our Higher Power to step in and work.
Today, I will trust the process of detaching with love. I will understand that I am not just letting go; I am letting go and letting God. I’m loving others, but I’m loving myself too.”

Wearing Black

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My EP from 2005. This picture is from our photo shoot in the Castro in 2002. Chuck Butter and Liz Rose

Black is almost all I wear, honestly. I’ve often wondered why this is the case. Most of my friends wear nothing but black. What’s going on? I like what this article has to say:

“Colors excite our minds in various ways, and how we react to some of them can tell a lot regarding our personalities.

One study states that black is seen as ‘serious’ and ‘reliable,’ which means confident:

colors

 

The study states: “Black is Best Most of the Time.”
“Throughout all our survey, black came first or second in most “good” traits (for example confidence, intelligence and sexiness) and barely figured in the “bad” traits (arrogance). It wasn’t a particularly good performer in the “generosity” scale, however, coming second to last after brown, but it’s hard to imagine is being any other way. Try getting your kid to sit on the knee of a black-clad Santa.

Benevolent nocturnal visitations aside, black is the colour to wear when you’re trying to impress, reassure or woo. There’s a certain trustworthiness about it on a person that would make you hand over your life savings and thank them for the privilege.”

More from Maria Hakki:

“Black is generally an indication of “seriousness” and reliability”, so it stands at the top of the list of colors that both sexes find beautiful.

Why?

The answer is simple. Confidence. Almost half of the women and 64% of the men participating in the study think that black emits self-sufficiency. It is the most beautiful, bold, confidence-boosting and calming color that exists.

Those who wear all black are also usually very sensitive, a bit unstable, and want to draw attention on who they are and what they are trying to achieve in life, rather than on their appearance. Another study stemming from color psychology, says that people who love black often have a desire to reclaim their power.

Johnny Cash said: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion – against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

 

 

Hell and back

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“Lost” by Charles Bukowski

they say that hell is crowded, yet,
when you’re in hell,
you always seem to be alone.
& you can’t tell anyone when you’re in hell
or they’ll think you’re crazy
& being crazy is being in hell
& being sane is hellish too.

those who escape hell, however,
never talk about it
& nothing much bothers them after that.
I mean, things like missing a meal,
going to jail, wrecking your car,
or even the idea of death itself.

when you ask them,
“how are things?”
they’ll always answer, “fine, just fine…”

once you’ve been to hell and back,
that’s enough
it’s the greatest satisfaction known to man.

once you’ve been to hell and back,
you don’t look behind you when the floor creaks
and the sun is always up at midnight
and things like the eyes of mice
or an abandoned tire in a vacant lot
can make you smile
once you’ve been to hell and back.

“Lost” by Charles Bukowski, from Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

Fallon, Hart & the terrifying baby ostrich

ostrich

OK this is hilarious. Who knew Kevin Hart was so terrified of wild animals… even a baby ostrich chirping happily in Robert Irwin’s arms (yep that’s the late Steve Irwin’s son)!

It’s been an intense week for all of us, and Pluto (major purging), is stationary Direct this weekend, so here’s my attempt to lighten the mood a little! I hope you enjoy this and laugh as hard as I do when I watch it!

Intimacy

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“We can let ourselves be close to people.

Many of us have deeply ingrained patterns for sabotaging relationships. Some of us may instinctively terminate a relationship once it moves to a certain level of closeness and intimacy.

When we start to feel close to someone, we may zero in on one of the person’s character defects, and then make it so big it’s all we can see. We may withdraw, or push the person away to create distance. We may start criticizing the other person, a behavior sure to create distance.

We may start trying to control the person, a behavior that prevents intimacy.

We may tell ourselves we don’t want or need another person, or smother the person with our needs.

Sometimes, we defeat ourselves by trying to be close to people who aren’t available for intimacy – people with active addictions, or people who don’t choose to be close to us. Sometimes, we choose people with particular faults so that when it comes time to be close, we have an escape hatch.

We’re afraid, and we fear losing ourselves. We’re afraid that closeness means we won’t be able to own our power to take care of ourselves.

In recovery, we’re learning that it’s okay to let ourselves be close to people. We’re choosing to relate to safe, healthy people, so closeness is a possibility. Closeness doesn’t mean we have to lose ourselves, or our life. As one man said, “We’re learning that we can own our power with people, even when we’re close, even when the other person has something we need.”

Today, I will be available for closeness and intimacy with people, when that’s appropriate. Whenever possible, I will let myself be who I am, let others be who they are, and enjoy the bond and good feelings between us.”

– The Language of Letting Go

different relationship needs of men and women

This is so insightful about men’s and women’s different needs in relationships… what do you guys think?

 … from alarajrogers

 

“Oh my God this actually explains so much.

So there’s a known thing in the study of human psychology/sociology/what-have-you where men are known to, on average, rely entirely on their female romantic partner for emotional support. Bonding with other men is done at a more superficial level involving fun group activities and conversations about general subjects but rarely involves actually leaning on other men or being really honest about emotional problems. Men use alcohol to be able to lower their inhibitions enough to expose themselves emotionally to other men, but if you can’t get emotional support unless you’re drunk, you have a problem.

So men need to have a woman in their lives to have anyone they can share their emotional needs and vulnerabilities with. However, since women are not socialized to fear sharing these things, women’s friendships with other women are heavily based on emotional support. If you can’t lean on her when you’re weak, she’s not your friend. To women, what friendship is is someone who listens to all your problems and keeps you company.

So this disconnect men are suffering from is that they think that only a person who is having sex with you will share their emotions and expect support. That’s what a romantic partner does. But women think that’s what a friend does. So women do it for their romantic partners and their friends and expect a male friend to do it for them the same as a female friend would. This fools the male friend into thinking there must be something romantic there when there is not.

This here is an example of patriarchy hurting everyone. Women have a much healthier approach to emotional support – they don’t die when widowed at nearly the rate that widowers die and they don’t suffer emotionally from divorce nearly as much even though they suffer much more financially, and this is because women don’t put all their emotional needs on one person. Women have a support network of other women. But men are trained to never share their emotions except with their wife or girlfriend, because that isn’t manly. So when she dies or leaves them, they have no one to turn to to help with the grief, causing higher rates of death, depression, alcoholism and general awfulness upon losing a romantic partner.

So men suffer terribly from being trained in this way. But women suffer in that they can’t reach out to male friends for basic friendship. I am not sure any man can comprehend how heartbreaking it is to realize that a guy you thought was your friend was really just trying to get into your pants. Friendship is real. It’s emotional, it’s important to us. We lean on our friends. Knowing that your friend was secretly seething with resentment when you were opening up to him and sharing your problems because he felt like he shouldn’t have to do that kind of emotional work for anyone not having sex with him, and he felt used by you for that reason, is horrible. And the fact that men can’t share emotional needs with other men means that lots of men who can’t get a girlfriend end up turning into horrible misogynistic people who think the world owes them the love of a woman, like it’s a commodity… because no one will die without sex. Masturbation exists. But people will die or suffer deep emotional trauma from having no one they can lean on emotionally. And men who are suffering deep emotional trauma, and have been trained to channel their personal trauma into rage because they can’t share it, become mass shooters, or rapists, or simply horrible misogynists.

The only way to fix this is to teach boys it’s okay to love your friends. It’s okay to share your needs and your problems with your friends. It’s okay to lean on your friends, to hug your friends, to be weak with your friends. Only if this is okay for boys to do with their male friends can this problem be resolved… so men, this one’s on you. Women can’t fix this for you; you don’t listen to us about matters of what it means to be a man. Fix your own shit and teach your brothers and sons and friends that this is okay, or everyone suffers.”