A. Choosing the people with whom one is to associate. One should
associate with people who will guide one’s life along a path that is
prosperous and constructive, by avoiding false friends and associating
only with true friends as follows:
1. Recognizing the four kinds of false friends or enemies in the guise of
1) The out-and-out robber, who only takes from his friend, has four features
(1) He thinks only of taking.
(2) He gives just a little only to gain a lot.
(3) Only when he himself is in danger does he help his friend out.
(4) He associates with his friend only for his own sake.
2) The smooth talker has four features:
(1) He talks only of what is done and gone.
(2) He talks only of what has not yet come.
(3) He offers help that is of no use.
(4) When his friend has some business in hand, he always makes excuses.
3) The flatterer has four features:
(1) He consents to [his friend’s] doing wrong.
(2) He consents to his doing right.
(3) He praises him to his face.
(4) He disparages him behind his back.
4) The leader to ruin has four features:
(1) He is a companion in drinking.
(2) He is a companion in nightlife.
(3) He is a companion in frequenting shows and fairs.
(4) He is a companion in gambling.
2. Knowing of the four kinds of true friends or friends at heart
Narcissism: Inside the Lonely, Envious World of the ‘Perfect Ones’
Healthy narcissism is an accurate picture of the self properly valued, without shame and without overblown estimations. But most of the time when we talk about narcissism we’re thinking about the other kind, where the person thinks he or she is perfect in every way; you are just the opposite, a total loser, and the “Perfect One” is an expert at making sure you feel that way. Now, I’m not saying this is a plot, something done on purpose. It can be unconscious, but that doesn’t make it easier to live with.
Everyone knows a Perfect One, and might even admire the person a little. Perfect Ones are always in the know, or seem to be, but what they know best is how to take the bad feelings they have about themselves and shovel them onto whoever is around and ready to accept them. They lower your feelings about yourself so they can feel better. Putting you down raises them up. And if you’re lacking in self-confidence, you’re their perfect companion.
Could that be you? If you’re self-confident and aware of your abilities, taking credit when it’s coming to you should be a pleasure. But if you lack self-confidence, accepting a compliment can be pretty hard. Instead of feeling good, you may even feel ashamed. How come? And can you do anything about it? If you sometimes react with feelings of discomfort or shame when you’ve done something really well and been told about it, you may be responding to early feelings of worthlessnessthat were part of faulty family situations. Maybe your parents lacked self-esteem, too, and passed that on to you, or maybe you’re related to a Perfect One who trained you to be his or her audience, or perhaps you endured bullying in school. Perfect Ones make good bullies.
It could be that when you were a kid you were subjected to the envious feelings of others, so every time someone tells you something good about yourself you don’t believe it, or you expect something bad to happen, because that’s how you’ve been trained, so you’d rather put the spotlight on someone else, and who better than a Perfect One? Perfect Ones expect all compliments to come their way. If this applies to you, try to figure out who around you might be part of the problem. You can talk to them about it, but—even better—you can talk to yourself about it, remembering that what Perfect Ones are saying has more to do with their own feelings about themselves than about you. In fact, if you listen to the negative things they say, you’ll learn a lot about their secret, shameful feelings about themselves, proving that, deep down, they know they’re not really perfect after all.
Shame and narcissism are fellow travelers, a continuum of feelings about the self. Picture a seesaw with shame on the bottom and narcissism on the top. Envy accompanies the up-and-down actions of the seesaw. Perfect Ones feel envy all the time, and process that feeling by making others feel envious so Perfect One can feel superior. Perfect Ones’ feelings of superiority go with the expectation that they are better than everybody else and deserve favorable treatment in the world. They use others to get what they want, they believe they have it coming, and when they don’t get what they think they deserve they react with intense anger, called narcissistic rage. Perfect Ones don’t see others as equals; they see others as tools. Their internal feelings about themselves are unsteady, and they have to work hard to keep feeling good.
We’ve been talking about a make-believe person called Perfect One. The use of the word “one” is important here. Think ONE. A universe of one, where Perfect Ones want YOU to love THEM, but they are not capable of loving you or anyone else back. It’s a pretty cold world when you are the only Perfect One. If you’ve spent any time with Perfect Ones, you may have felt very lonely. Inside, the Perfect Ones feel lonely too, because no one is good enough to share their world. You might feel sorry for them, but don’t let the Perfect Ones take advantage of your ability to feel for others. Perfect Ones are expert manipulators.
After you have learned the game and how it’s played, you can stop playing with Perfect Ones and find humans who aren’t perfect but play fair. You’ll have a better time all around.
Remember my image of the seesaw? Perfect One on top? Well, Perfect One will fall down with a thud when you get off the seesaw. And then you can get back on and come to a good balance with someone else.
By: Acufinder Staff Writer
More than 95 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders ranging from constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. In fact, more than 35 million physician office visits a year are due to gastrointestinal complaints. Reports are confirming that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can offer relief from even the most complex digestive problems.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Disorders
Evidence that Oriental medicine has been used for digestive disorders can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas for borborygmus (rumbling or gurgling in the intestines), abdominal pain and diarrhea with pain are discussed.
According to Oriental medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a central part in the health and vitality of the body, taking a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and qi (energy). Many schools of thought have been formed around this organ; the premise being that the proper functioning of the”‘middle” is the key to all aspects of vitality.
By taking into account a person’s constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan is designed specifically for the individual to bring their “middle” back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system. A variety of techniques can be used during treatment including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore digestive health.
T. Boone Pickens on how to save millions on your divorce
Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is clearly a man who knows a good deal when he sees one.
That’s why he used a collaborative divorce approach in his recent parting of ways from his fourth wife, Madeleine.
Pickens told a room full of lawyers about his experience Friday during a lunchtime panel in Dallas.
The State Bar of Texas didn’t let me into the room for his talk, saying it was a paid, private event, but I was able to grab a couple of comments from Pickens on the way out of the Hotel Palomar.
The collaborative approach saves both money and emotional wear and tear on families, the energy tycoon told me.
“Collaborative law keeps everything on a high level, and everybody cooperating,” Pickens said.
I asked him how much the collaborative approach saved him?
“Money?” he deadpanned. “About $100 million.”
He cracked a smile and revised his answer to “several million.”
Pickens is such a believer in the process that he gave the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas $100,000.
Pickens, who’s fond of saying “the first billion is the hardest,” said his second divorce was the toughest. He didn’t use the collaborative approach on that one.
Any chance he’ll marry again, I asked, feeling a bit funny about raising the question.
“No plans,” Pickens said as he walked out of the hotel, “but don’t rule it out.”
The State Bar of Texas and Collaborative Law Institute of Texas sponsored the conference. For more on collaborative law, click here.
Bill covers health care, law, education and nonprofits.
Why Do Women in Committed Relationships Lose Sexual Desire?
September 2nd, 2011
By Jill Denton, LMFT, CSAT, CSE, CCS, Sexuality / Sex Therapy Topic Expert Contributor
Click here to contact Jill and/or see her GoodTherapy.org Profile
How often do you want sex? And is that enough? Not wanting enough sex is the big problem for most women who consult me as a clinical sexologist. And most sex therapists will agree that having a low level of sexual desire is a problem. But the majority of these women are heterosexual with male partners who are – you guessed it – complaining. Lesbian couples don’t usually present with similar problems. So I guess I should say “relatively low levels of sexual desire!”
Over and over again I’ve found that moving in together does create a drop in frequency of sexual activity for all couples regardless of gender. Long distance romance remains exciting because it provides space and distance interspersed with sexy weekend liaisons. But which is “normal” – the level of desire we experience early in a relationship or what unfolds later on?
Women’s desire levels are generally lower to start with. And we don’t need decades of research to know that men usually think more about sex, fantasize more about it, work harder to get it, place more importance on it, initiate it more often, and masturbate more. What seems to ignite desire for women is the excitement and novelty of a budding new romance.
This is why couples therapist Esther Perel points out that “good intimacy doesn’t always guarantee good sex.” Her book Mating in Domesticity is a classic that I recommend to couples struggling with these issues. In it she points out that “the very elements that nurture love – reciprocity, mutuality, protection, closeness, emotional security, predictability – are sometimes the very things that stifle desire.”
Because we tend to be caregivers, women take care of our menfolk in committed relationships, much as we take care of children and pets. So these guys start to feel like a brother or worse yet a child, and sex with family members is a definite no-no in our culture. Children and pets need caregiving, which we provide as an act of love. Sexual desire requires that our lover does not need us.
Researcher Marta Meana’s recent study documents a severe decline in sexual desire among 19 married women. For some, formalizing their relationship as marriage made sex so available and so sanctioned that it lost the forbidden and erotic quality that had formerly ignited passion. For other women, overfamiliarity with their husband led to a decline in romance and in sexual experimentation, as well as a loss of motivation to care for their appearance now that they had “hooked their man.”
A third group of women reported that holding down a job, being mom, and being a wife was overwhelming and “highly desexualizing,” making it extremely difficult to shift into romantic mode after changing diapers and fulfilling their professional roles. Many of the participants in all three groups specifically noted that while they were committed to their marriage, they thought desire would return if someone new came along who desired them.
As Meara puts it, “Women want a commitment because it signals they are uniquely desired. But once a commitment has been made, your guy is stuck and the meaning of commitment changes. In women, desire may be driven to the same extent as it is in men by novelty and excitement and a stranger thinking they are hot.”
Over and above anyone else, we are our own point of reference for how sexy we are. Feeling good about ourselves emotionally and physically appears to be a bigger mediator of female desire than men’s. This certainly bears out in my conversations with female clients.
Recently, for example, a woman told me that she no longer wanted to have sex “on top” of or astride her mate, “because my stomach sticks out and it would look terrible to him from that angle!” He shook his head, “Honey, I probably don’t even have my eyes open … that used to be your favorite position because it felt best to you … what else could possibly matter?”
What do the rest of you think about all this?
©Copyright 2011 by Jill Denton, MFT, CSAT, CCS, therapist in Los Osos, CA. All Rights Reserved.
The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”
Five Steps Divorced Parents Can Take to Cool Down Holiday Conflict
We all have idealized images of the holiday season–perfect gifts and the warm glow of togetherness. But the gap between expectations and reality can be huge when parents are recently divorced, and grief, anger, and bitterness can intensify holiday stress. Your ex can seem particularly impossible to communicate with, and every conversation emotionally triggering.
Whatever you call these reactions– triggers, hot buttons, hooks–you know when your ex says or does something that “makes” you freeze in fear or hit the roof in anger. It is possible, however, to “cool down” these hot buttons, improve your conversations, and increase your holiday serenity in the process.
Here are 5 steps for cooling down holiday-intensified triggers.
- Identify your hot buttons. We can’t change our response to hot buttons unless we know what they are. So, we start by thinking of a situation where your ex pushed your hot button. What did s/he do or say that set you off? Think about the facts (what happened or what was said) and feelings (how you felt, reacted.)
Now what? Unfortunately, other people generally won’t stop pushing our buttons once we’ve uncovered them, even if we ask nicely. So, I recommend steps 2-5.
Step 2 Tell your own story.
The next step is to understand the story you are telling yourself about what your ex’s intent was and what he/she thinks of you. This often involves some variation of your belief that he or she must think you are unimportant, incompetent, stupid, unlikable, or unworthy or a bad parent.
These internal stories are hurtful, and give hot buttons some of their power.
Step 3 Explore your underlying emotions (backstory).
Our childhood and earlier adult experiences are the true source of the intensity for current hot buttons. If your ex’s words or actions remind you of earlier hurtful events in your marriage or with other family members, or if the situation seems to repeat a negative pattern you’ve experienced somewhere before, you will probably react to the sum of all of those incidences, not simply to the present trigger. Looking at these past patterns increases your conscious awareness and understanding of what’s fueling your intense responses.
Step 4 Imagine a different story
After we become aware of the story we are telling ourselves, the next step to imagine a different story. This could mean shifting our vision to enter the other person’s perspective or changing our self-story for the better. You have a story you tell yourself and others about your ex, what you blame him/her for, why he/she is wrong, and how this fits into holiday issues.
But your ex most likely has a completely different story about your relationship and what happened. Can you step out of your narrative and imagine how they would tell this story? Can you find a more benevolent interpretation of what they said, did, or want–even if you don’t think it’s true?
Step 5 Change your response (Act as if)
The final step is to change your response; in effect, to unhook the hot button. Assume for a minute that the interpretation or positive aspect you investigated or invented in step 4 is correct. Then, use this perspective to slow down and change your response.
It takes willingness, courage, practice, and support to make these changes in how you respond. But even if you’re sure your ex is criticizing or obstructing you, choosing to act as if the better story is true can help you detach, communicate calmly, and stay serene and self-loving during the holidays.
Lorraine Segal is a conflict coach, trainer, and mediator specializing in transforming communication and resolving conflict for co-parents. Her business, Conflict Remedy, is based in Santa Rosa, California. She also teaches in the conflict resolution program at Sonoma State University.
To receive her free report, “Tips to Start Co-Parenting after Divorce, visit www.ConflictRemedy.com/co-parenting
Some ideas for this article came from the following sources:
Developing Your Conflict Competence—Craig Runde & Tim Flanagan
Difficult Conversations; How to Discuss What Matters Most–Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen
Radical Collaboration—James Tamm & Ronald Luyet
“Hot Buttons: Five Simple Steps Guaranteed to Cool Them Down”-Lorraine Segal
Came across this recently and thought it was quite interesting. Rubin Anlacan Jr. the Business Coach has some fabulous articles to follow. A must read site.
How to Talk to Your Boss… Without Getting Fired!
There are times when we feel upset at work, and we would want to let our boss know how we feel.
Sometimes, we have a very good idea to help improve the company, but it is the opposite strategy that the boss would want to implement. At times we would want to open up to our superior, without making it look like we are contradicting his opinions.
Here are a few suggestions on how to talk to your boss without being too confrontational:
• Be polite. Always give respect, do not be overly familiar, and avoid sarcasm or offensive remarks.
• Be professional. Present yourself in proper business attire, and look at him in the eye when talking.
• Don’t oppose, just suggest. You may have a better idea, but disagreeing with your boss might hurt his or her pride. Make him or her feel important.
• Be direct to the point. Do not waste his or her precious time.
• Be ready to listen. When speaking with your boss, be attentive, make eye contact, and show that you are interested.
• Timing is essential! If you would want to ask for a raise, for example, make sure your company can afford it. Never ask for a pay increase just after the company has announced layoffs.
• Do not bypass. Observe the proper chain of command. You can hardly do a worse thing to damage your relationship with your boss than to talk to his or her own boss about your ideas.
• Be prepared to handle a negative response. Unfortunately, even with your best effort there are times when your boss cannot grant your wishes. Plan to end the meeting on a positive note; there is always a next time!
• Show your appreciation. Do not forget to thank him or her for giving you his or her time to let you air your views.
Remember also that you just do not talk to your boss when you are asking for something. Be fair, if errors occur at work be ready to admit your fault.
Approach your superior right away and own up to your mistake. Take full responsibility and present suggestions on how to rectify your mistake.
It may be difficult to approach your boss, but always remember that open communication and a proactive approach can help make discussions easier and, eventually, more successful.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.
Todays Thought: I trust the intelligence within me. Whatever is happening out there is only a mirror of my own limited thinking.
There is enough room for all ideas and experiences:From your non-physical perspective, you understood that there is room enough in this expansive universe for all manner of thought and experience. You had every intention of being deliberate about your own life experience and your own creations, but you had no intentions of trying to control the creations of others.