Neil Warner

Neil Warner

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Different Christmas Story

A Different Christmas Story

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How can you hurt the same person you love?

The experience of being in love with someone is a complicated near as you can be, the risk of getting deeply hurt grows.

In the dance between dependence and independence from the other, we can hurt this person by not showing enough love (to show that we can live without him/her) or by showing too much love (showing that we can be so needy as to be able to smother her).

Whatever the moment, there is always this tension, making of the relationship a bittersweet experience. Perhaps it's the same nature of this relationship, says Aaron Ben-Zeév, because this relationship involves our happiness and our life we have so much at stake and there is much to lose; we are more prone to experience this frustration, isolation and hurt. 

We are torn between two poles: mutual dependency can be comforting, but also suffocating our own sense of self. The exact degree of independence from each other allows us to keep a right amount of self-esteem....Is in this frame that we can see sudden anger expressions as ways of limiting the dependence and regaining a bit more of self-esteem. Anger in this case doesn't mean rejection or lack of love, but a healthy defense of our own inner a useful means to strengthen or readjust a relationship.

Understanding this complicated dance of independence/dependence is vital for the relationship survival. Thus, is necessary to change some frames of mind that tend to see the other’s need for some privacy as abandonment; and begin to see it as a necessary measure to regain sense of self…If we can see in this way our lover’s actions, we would be hurt less times by our own interpretation of self-preservation as hurt intended towards us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Research: can intense love feelings be your medicine?

Love emotions really can behave like a drug in your body, according to new research that shows feelings of intense love can relieve pain.
Researchers from Stanford University studied the link between love and pain by scanning the brains of 15 college students who all professed to being deeply in love. The eight women and seven men were placed in brain scanners that tracked their body’s response to pain — in this case a heated probe placed on the palm of the hand.

In this research, looking at a picture of a loved one, compared with watching a friend’s pix reduced moderate pain by about 40 percent and eased severe pain by about 10 to 15 percent.
Why is this happening? Romantic feelings activate the brain’s dopamine system, and produces a mood of happiness and pleasure like any other strong pleasure activity like gambling, doing drugs or participating in a sport you love passionately. The released dopamine interacts with other parts of the brain that release natural painkillers and voila! You have your own center for pain-killer production!
Having a strong romantic interest is not only good for your heart, but trains you to seek the feeling of being in love as a welcome change from the perception of a tired and sick body. 
Isn’t that the core message of romantic songs and stories? We can even compare the excitement of a new love in our lives to the "runner's high" produced by exercise...and understand why we all need a new love here and then, to revitalize our lives and bodies.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is cheating on your spouse caused by genetics?

Why do some men and women cheat on their partners while others resist the temptation?  We have thought all this time that the answer was located on individual will and degrees of individual sexual motivations....can it be determined by other variables?
A new body of research focuses on the "science of commitment." Scientists are studying everything from the biological factors that seem to influence marital fidelity to a person’s psychological response after flirting with a stranger.
Recent studies have raised questions about whether genetic factors may influence commitment and marital stability. Hasse Walum, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, studied 552 sets of twins to learn more about a gene related to the body’s regulation of the brain chemical vasopressin, a bonding hormone.
Over all, men who carried a variation in the gene were less likely to be married, and those who had wed were more likely to have had serious marital problems and unhappy wives. Among men who carried two copies of the gene variant, about a third had experienced a serious relationship crisis in the past year, double the number seen in the men who did not carry the variant. 
If there was such an easy explanation, like genetic predisposition, why do we humans see cheating as a moral issue? This is interesting research, but we need to know more to be able to leave cheaters off the moral obligation they violated, right? 

Monday, September 20, 2010

More stress being single than married?

Are you more vulnerable to life stresses
 if you are single?

A recent study has found that being married or in a committed romantic relationship alters hormones in a way that manages stress and brings a relaxed response to it. 
Is it probably because having a partner produces a sense of support and companionship with which to face life challenges? There is research supporting this point produced by Dario Maestripieri, at the University of Chicago
"The results suggest that single and unpaired individuals are more responsive to psychological stress than married individuals, a finding consistent with a growing body of evidence showing that marriage and social support can buffer against stress."
The cortisol levels (stress hormone) of single students were higher than those of their married counterparts...This research doesn't discriminate on the married life quality of non-single students; we know nothing of the variations according to the degree of companionship and support obtained from marriage, only that the fact of being married and not single helps a lot.
 Willing to manage your stress better by making your marriage work?  What about reading more about healthy relationships?

Monday, September 13, 2010

A successful marriage requires personal growth and development

We all need a lot of help if we wish to have lasting, loving marriages. Even from the world of business leadership, there are voices giving positive indications. For example, Shundrawn Thomas tells us that:
"While character is important, the ability to mold that character is paramount as well, Thomas said, drawing a parallel to marriage. “Are you still married to the same person you married five years ago? You’re probably not. You wouldn’t still be married. A successful marriage requires personal growth and development.

“This thought in your head that you can’t be anything different that what you were — if that is the position you take, you will not be effective as a leader.”

Does he mean that we need something similar to a business plan for our marriages? probably yes! At least, the assumption that a performing marriage is a contract based on the simultaneous development of both spouses, as people, is clear. Why and how we confuse ourselves thinking that we can continue as the same person we were ten years ago when the whole world is evolving around us? Perhaps because marriage is seen, basically as a refuge from life. 

Nothing can be farther from the truth, in is either both keep growing up and developing together, or one is left behind and as the gap grows, the estrangement between spouses grows, up until the "irreconcilable differences" perception settles in. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Assertive behavior promotes respect!

Assertion is the art of saying what you need or believe in a way that other people can hear you clearly. When you have family conflicts, this ability is essential for effective problem-solving.

Otherwise, you will do something like: submit yourself to the unjust situation, or try to "win" over the other side. Neither of them are good alternatives, because someone will lose. Having a family member lose sends the message that this person is sub-par, not worthy of rightful treatment, and breeds contempt and revenge for the future.

Also, it is important that you develop a sense of your personal rights as a dignified person; and firmly believe that your rights, needs, and dignity are just as valid and important as anyone else's, regardless of age, power, role, or gender. Everybody's rights need to be respected.

Want to know a bit more about assertion? This is the way to assert yourself:

a) Be clear about what is irritating you. If someone in the family is using your things without permission, or not replacing them, then there is the possibility that you are getting angry.
What is the behavior that you want, instead of this? Be clear on what you want: respect? a dialogue about your needs?

You need to define a change that you need from someone, and/or to set limits with someone who's behavior is unacceptable or hurtful to you.

Begin describing the negative behavior in clear words:

"When you take my best dress and wear it to a party without my permission, as you did last night..."

Then declare the impact (or damage the behavior caused you) on you:

"I feel that you ignore my needs; I was planning to use that dress, and had to go with an old one to my date."

Now, say what you expect from this person:

"I need you to (agree to make a specific behavior change): "don't use my things without my permission."

Your purpose is not to blame, or to start a new dispute, but to deliver information about the impact of their behavior on you.

The way you present yourself: as a conscious person knowing what she wants from the other, is what causes the corrective impact.

Messages centered on the "I" pro noun, delivered calmly, with steady, non-apologetic eye contact - have a better chance of being received as information, and not criticism.

Setting limits to abusive behavior in a family is the best way to prevent conflicts....and being assertive is the language you need to use frequently. Want to know more? To manage relationships better