Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category
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.
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.
Just when you feel those slight moments of weakness, take a moment to listen to this…
When do you know that a relationship is over? This is a question that plagues 90% of my relationship challenged clients. The answer is 42 (if you got that then you are a geek). Actually the answer is…that’s up to you . In my opinion. it’s when your relationship needs are no longer being met and your partner and you are no longer able to find a place where you maneuver to a world that they could be met. In other words, you’ve grown far apart that the distance is to vast to bridge.
Now for many, this distance can create a place of indifference which feels much like neutrality or a desert. For some it can feel like a war zone of scorched earth and for others it can simply feel like the comfort of and stinky old college sweat shirt.