Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘denial’

The ability to fast and smart decision making is one of the qualities employers are most looking for. Next to the decision making comes the problem solving. And they are right- those two capacities are basic for a manager, a sales person and many many others. They can boost the company’s results, create a new professional relationship or just the contrary- a lack of decision making ability can be pretty destructive for the employer. Therefore many people while looking for a job “advertise” themselves as able to solve all kind of problems in a reasonable (means fast) time.

Are these people also so good, so capable of decision making when it comes to their private lives? Astonishingly, often they aren’t. Managing thousands of dollars, being responsible for super important client accounts, making difficult negotiations seems to some of them a piece of cake, comparing to the need they encounter at home to make decisions concerning their personal lives, very often their relationships.

I believe that some people are hiding their emotional vulnerability or cowardice- let’s call it what it is- and as a result, they are unable to chose with whom they would like to share their lives, who do they really love, what is profoundly important to them at the emotional level.

There may be hundreds of reasons for these auto destructive behaviours. Some of them could be: psychological trauma, taught helplessness, lack of hope, egoism, fear of the unknown, inability to face the truth (until they are given no choice and they have to face it). While strong psychological problems need the help of a professional psychiatrist, other can be solved with coaching or by self-help strategies.

One of these strategies is to use the Mind Map. Mind Maps are extremely useful to organize ideas, make good notes, help you remember what you forgot, or solve a problem. You write in the middle of a blank page a word and start to concentrate on this word (or idea)- the things that will come to your mind may surprise you a lot. The Mind Maps, in the case of the decision making, would be similar to the pro/cons lists. If you have two options to solve the problem, you just write them all down, as they come, and then sum the points (can be: +/- or points for each choice, just like in a list). The solution that has more points “wins”. If the problem can have more than two solutions, do the same. It will be more complicated, but can also help to clear your mind. When you see all you were thinking about written down on the paper, it can become much easier. Below you can see photos of the Mind Maps from Tony Buzan’s book.

If what is causing your problem to make decisions is fear of the unknown, you might like to try exercises that will gradually make you step out of your comfort zone. For instance, if one fears loneliness, he can decide to stay alone at home every day for 20 minutes. The next week, he will try 30 minutes. In one month, he can stay all day alone. The initial exercises should prepare him to feel better when he will be the whole day alone. Then the fear of being alone can go away and deciding why he wants or not to stay in a relationship will be easier, because the fear of loneliness will not obstruct so much his point of view and feelings.

Very often people do know what they would like to do, how they would like their life to change but they face different kind of fears or had previous bad experiences with similar situations which make them unable to make a move. It’s the place for an action plan (see previous posts) where the Support Team will play a crucial role. The Support Team can create a safer place for the person and provide the motivation and strength they need to persist in action and achieve the change.

I am not really sure how can an egoist change. In the hypothetical situation of a married man who has a lover, whose wife discovers that he has an affair, who promises then to end it immediately and tries to reconstruct his marriage while still having an affair, I am speechless. It’s a simple question of making a choice and start an honest life, stop hurt people around him and he can’t. He doesn’t look for help either. He’s an egoist. A coward. And he can still make decisions at work, negotiating the thousands of dollars…

1. Mind Map from Tony Buzan’s book
1. Mind Map from Tony Buzan's book
2. Mind Map from Tony Buzan's book

2. Mind Map from Tony Buzan's book

3. Min Map from Tony Buzan's book

3. Min Map from Tony Buzan's book

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Grow up! This is a sentence most of us were hearing on a regular basis in our childhood. As a child, this is one of the things you desire most: to grow up- not only physically, but also in a different way. This process will open so many doors. Adults can go to sleep late or not at all, they can watch all the movies they want, they can go to bars, smoke cigarettes, go on a date, drive a car. For a kid this list is endless. And what happens once you are actually a “grown up”?

I like to observe people. To analyse them. To understand them. To learn from their mistakes (as much as I try to learn from mines). At the age of 20,I was a naive optimist, so it somehow impacted me strongly that so many people around me gave up on this idea of growing up and making themselves better people. Most of them, after their 18th, 21st or 25th birthday (or just after finishing studies and getting a job) didn’t feel the need to change. They were who they were. I remember trying to make some of them come back to the idea of growing up, but they wouldn’t listen, or they wouldn’t understand or they didn’t feel the need to change.

Eventually, with years going by, I saw them going through incredible problems and life situations that were so hard that they barely could stand it. Back then, I thought that they will learn something, they will think about what happened and why, get to some conclusions and want a change. That they will understand that growing up during our entire lives is so important and should be important for them. It was so logical. One person, particularly important to me, had shown signs of  wanting to get deeper, have a time of reflection. I felt so happy for him. When the “storm” in his life was gone, he forgot about our conversation and now I don’t think he is able to grow up.

Then I observed another simple thing. Some individuals, no matter what, no matter how full their schedules are, always find time to keep growing up. They start activities like learning a new language (at the age of 47), they think about how the priorities in their lives change, they want to try more things so they can keep discovering the world, they keep looking for God or they do everything they can to be in a constant personal development.

I am not sure if I am one of them. I certainly love to learn and love to think things over and over. I am looking for the answers to my questions. Or I am looking for the questions that need to be answered. I am actually able to make quite a big life shifts or decisions if they may enable my growing up. And then some friend, with one email and zero understanding touches this fragile and insecure part of me and makes me questioning every single of my decisions. I didn’t know how to deal with her and her email, so I decided to write a post. And guess what… I just found out (again) that I’m growing up, that I love it and that I should never stop it- no matter what others think!

Read Full Post »

denial…?

I see denial as a form of finding again this feeling of safety. It can be also comfortable- you pick up the comfortable instead of thinking about something that you might not like. It is also simply a way of avoiding pain- your instinct tells you that there is pain there; you avoid pain by not reflecting, not asking, not questioning. But one is always aware that he is in a strange state called denial.

Am I falling in denial? Are you? It’s easier not to see the truth, not to admit that something is wrong. You close your eyes and deep inside you hope for better. Is my kid taking drugs? Noooo, I’m sure he’s not and his strange behavior is only due to the fact that he’s a teenager. Is my husband cheating on me? Why would he, we’re such a good couple. He’s only got to work harder and can’t come back for dinner, be with his family. Is my business partner hiding something from me? We’ve worked together for so long, I shouldn’t even think this way.

On one hand, everything is a question of trust; there is no good relationship without trust. Falling into a paranoid state when everybody becomes a suspect makes it impossible to live, work, be together. But should the trust have some limits? Most people would say not- you either trust or not trust. I think there is a limit- it is the moment when you chose not to think about something, this short moment when your own voice tries to speak to you for the very first time about this „something”. When instead of doing nothing you should face your fear. Move into some kind of action.

On the other hand, trusting „too much” or „when you shouldn’t trust” does not allow you to be prepared to react correctly, to protect yourself, your family, to be psychologically ready for whatever is (or not) about to happen.

Just bare in mind that unfortunately, maybe this bad thing that you didn’t want to see, accept, that you never allowed yourself to really think about, maybe it eventually happens. Then it can almost destroy you…

And what if I am confusing denial with optimism? How to find the balance between what is reasonable thinking and what is paranoia or good wishing? The line seems sometimes to be thin. If a friend, a family member tries to talk to you, to “open your eyes” at what is evident to him or her, you might have someone to blame for the consequences of YOUR acts. You could tell this person that he’s responsible for what happened in your life. Or you can listen, think and answer.

I believe that sometimes it’s extremely difficult to have this strength, look in the mirror and tell yourself: it’s time I open my eyes. And assume the consequences. In a balanced way. Too much? Maybe.

Read Full Post »