Sexual pillar of a relationship

sex

Although I believe that sex should be more done than talked about, I decided to write an article on this topic. I meet often with people who have problems in this area. Whether it is a different sex frequency between partners, unexpected downturn in one of them or avoiding intimate contact and close relationship completely.

Personally I have not experienced any major problem in this area, which is why I do not support the proposition that the quality of sex mirrors the quality of a relationship. People can have great sex, but still can be unable to build a relationship on that. Although the quality of the relationship can be identified by the depth of intimacy, I think it is not completely related to sex.

Imagine that you have a sexual relationship with an older, married man. You are longing for him, seeing him sporadically and sex is passionate and your entire relationship is built on it. You spend days and nights dreaming about your partner and your sexual adventures, secretly hoping that one day you will be together. And then you really become partners.

Still your relationship is passionate, you are attracted to your partner and have enjoyable sex, but you will find out that you disagree in many other areas. The man has friends who are not interesting for you and likes to spend weekends in the countryside, you prefer partying in the city. Trust is also not absolute, because you started the relationship by cheating someone else. Do you think that such a relationship is deep and full of intimacy when you have great sex?

Components of sexual compliance harmony

According to me, sex makes roughly one-third of a relationship. Yes, I am a woman, for men it may be a higher percentage, after all, each of us can perceive it differently. Into sex – intimacy category I include the following:

  • Trust between partners,
  • sexual attraction,
  • consensus on what they like or are willing to   try,
  • frequency that is satisfactory for both,
  • willingness to give as well as take,
  • and entertainment.

How to maintain a happy sex life with a partner? Do not expect me to describe any awkward positions from the Kama Sutra or complex tantric massages, thanks to which a frigid hag becomes an affectionate and sex-obsessed vixen. Below are the things that I consider important for partner intimacy in general. Maybe some of you will take the opportunity to review your existing dogmas. In fact, sex is full of them.

  1. Talk, talk, talk

    I do not mean specifically during sex, although it would be certainly appreciated by some men. Talk before sex, after sex and especially about sex. Ask a partner what he wants, what he likes, what he have watched somewhere, what he would like to try, what he ever dreamed of, what are his secret wishes, how could you surprise him. Encourage him in openness, let him say anything.Many people think that they know how things are, because they watch porn or had enough partners. But they could not be further from the truth. Sex is such an individual thing, that we can hardly guess what pleases our neighbor. Openness about sex does wonders. Before purchasing handcuffs and a mask, ask a partner, what he desires.

  2. Be open to new things

    Many people think, that in order to be creative enough they need to know three different ways to satisfy their other halves. Some even believe what pleases them is fine, but what pleases others and not them is somewhat aberrant.You don’t have to immediately throw yourself into doing everything your partner desires. Especially if one of you is more conservative and the other more adventurous. But don’t refuse completely any discussions on this topic.

    Maybe you can find a common field, perhaps you can agree to a compromise, perhaps you can try one of your boyfriend’s idea, and he will try yours in return. If you show your partner that you are open to debate he will certainly appreciate it.

  3. Try to please each other but never demand anything your partner does not want

    If your partner is not in the mood to have sex, do not request it. This is one of the few things that I consider to be an absolute killer of passion. If you are tired in the evening and your partner will insist, maybe you will do it for him, but it certainly will poison your mood. On the other hand, if you are not in the mood for a longer period of time and you see that your partner is, do it for him. Omit your pleasure if you don’t want it, and concentrate on him. Then he may wash the dishes instead of you or make you breakfast.

  4. Make clear what is not acceptable for you

    If you know that proposal by your partner could hurt your feelings, tell it right at the beginning of a relationship.Would you, for example, mind a proposal from your partner for threesome with one of your friends?
    Do you mind to know that your sweetheart is also attracted to someone close to you?

    If you are unsure of the tact of your boyfriend or girlfriend, it is better to put some things clear in advance to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.

  5. Surprise your partner

    At least sometimes. Take a trip into the countryside and seduce him on some deserted place, put a miniskirt and heels and wait for him with his favorite dinner, walk in his baggy shorts and a used T-shirt (yes, it works too), be dominant for a change or buy a romantic gift for your girlfriend.It doesn’t have to be perfect or obstinate: just the fact that you try something unusual, can be fun and nice. New shared experiences will bring you closer. It is great to keep playfulness in a relationship, and when we can play better than during sex?

  6. Do not take sex for granted, as marital obligation or necessity

    Appreciate your partner, if you like sex with him, work at it, so the sparkle will not fade. Do not take yourself too seriously and search only your satisfaction. Occasionally be unavailable for the partner or mysterious. Try to spice up your sex life before one of you gets bored. Instead of overcoming problems, it is easier to prevent them.

  7. Do not manipulate your partner with sex

    It’s not a gun or a business article, if you are not prostitute or porn star. Once you start considering sex as a favor or as a mean of obtaining money, expensive gifts or control over others, the spontaneity and joy disappears from it.Can you think of other important points to spice up sex life?

    This article mainly concerns us, the common people who are not experts on sex or sexual abstainers. Probably you cannot find anything revolutionary here, but I can assure you that if you bear these few simple points in mind, you will have fun with your partner. Sex itself does not make a relationship, but why not to have a one-third of it without any problems?

Catfish

Nowadays many people use online dating. We all know not to go on a blind date to someone’s house, not to get in a car with a stranger. But this article will be a little different story. A new trend appeared in the USA recently. It is called “catfish” (the name originated from the film, which was shot by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman). If you are interesting in the article, watch the movie as well.

Catfish, is an English expression for a person who pretends to be someone else through social media. Perhaps you can imagine how it goes. A man on online dating or Facebook creates an account under a different name with photos that he stole from someone else. Sometimes people establish fake accounts to lure others with intimate photos, to write obscene messages or get back on someone. Usually people lie about age, weight or their marital status.

Nigerian scam

In the US, however, it became a profitable business. Actually, not so much in the US, as in Nigeria. In Nigeria, there are organized groups that sit in an internet cafe and open accounts on US online dating sites. The intention is to meet elderly Americans who crave partner, love and understanding. Scammers strike initial contact with them and the relationship starts to be very emotional quickly where they talk together several times a day via e-mails, text messages or calls. The scenario is then almost identical. The fraudster claims to be in Nigeria or elsewhere abroad, and waits for the release of a sum of money so that he could return to the US. For various reasons, he needs money for lawyers, fines, tickets etc. Usually the victim sends some money. And then begins a vicious circle. Fraudsters claim various dramatic events – accidents, illnesses, imprisonments, arrests at the airport, deaths in the families – because the victim does not want to admit that they were duped, they send the money and believe that when their partner manages to arrive back to US all the money will be returned. I think, it works on the same principle as the slot machines, the more people “feed the machine” with money, the more they do not want to admit that the money would never be seen again. The difference is that the slot machine won’t promise to spend the rest of its life with you. And yet, a lot of people throw their entire savings to it. So it is logical that the “catfish” scam can work as well.

Although it’s sad, at least there is a clear intention from the fraudsters why do they pretend to be someone else and build a relationship with the victim. I guess you can say that at the moment someone would ask for money, communication would stop immediately. Good for you. What if they would not ask for money?

New trend

There is a second trend. People strike false relationships with others, only to satisfy the need for emotional proximity, entertainment, dominance or adrenaline. I’ve seen some videos where people on Facebook added a person they did not know. Based on their attractive photos they began to communicate. The person never asked for money or inappropriate pictures, so there was no reason to balk. So as that they usually began a friendship that over time became intimate. Some victims started to share their everyday problems, confide to them daily or even had phone sex. They found in their partner understanding and closeness, even if they never saw each other. When they pushed the impostor to meet, he usually after several excuses staged a serious illness, the death of his character or similar event, which was communicated to the victims through fictitious family members. The victims in these cases were shocked by this tragic event. When they discovered that that person did not even exist, they were confused, felt abused and it undermined their ability to trust others, lowered their self-esteem, sometimes even lead to close oneself from the world and fall into depression.

Why to lie and fake an intimate relationship with someone for several months? Scammers were usually led to do so by the need to escape from the dull reality of their lives … They could be described as emotional vampires. Often, their lives were so boring and frustrating that they created a fictional character that was interesting, amusing, had a life full of successes and adventures and they so much delved into their new world, that they became dependent on their role and had a problem to end their fictitious life. It is interesting that in the cases I saw the cheaters were women who impersonated men and followed an intimate relationship with women, even if they were heterosexual. Generally, the victims were usually women and men, mostly young, beautiful and intelligent, like many of us.

So how do you avoid disappointment or abuse from predators who want to mess with your feelings?

1. Do not share too much with strangers on the internet. It’s okay to complain in a forum where people encountered similar problems in life. Do not complain about your problems for long time with only one individual that could exploit your information and manipulate you.
2. If you get acquainted with people through online dating services do not run long conversations before you meet. People can act in written form quite differently than in reality. Always arrange a meeting after few days in order to limit the exposure to the possibility of being disappointed if the reality is somewhat different than your expectations.
3. Do not strike intimate relationships over the phone or Internet. If you did not see the person in real life, never cross the boundaries of intimacy.
4. If your partner has another excuse every time he cannot see you, he probably does not want to. Put your ultimatum on how many times you ask someone to meet before giving up.
5. If you have children, you are responsible for them. Although children can nowadays use the Internet, or computers in general, better than some adults, they do not have enough sense to discern who communicates with them over the network and what behavior is inappropriate. There are monitoring systems that will tell you which sites your children spend time on or you can choose to have your computer disconnected from the Internet after a few hours.
6. Communicate with your children about the possible dangers of the Internet, pay close attention to how much time they spend in such activities and whether they have enough friends or hobbies outside the online world. Watch out for any changes in their behavior and habits.

Do you think it cannot happen to you? I personally had one unpleasant experience. I met a guy from online dating, which was actually verbally aggressive and very annoying, although at first glance seemed like a nice person. Have you got yourself some interesting or unpleasant experience online?

Create your safety break

vytvorte si zachranou brzduIf I think of when we cross our boundaries, I can imagine several situations and reasons why we sometimes “slip” and also several ways to avoid violations of our good intentions. To me, our willingness to violate the boundaries varies with age, experience and perhaps an effort to eliminate unnecessary stress in life.

When was the last time you did something you later regretted? What made you cross the line? What were the consequences?

According to me we frequently violate our principles when we get angry, sad, frustrated … so after prolonged period of stress or under the influence of emotionally charged situations. Our decisions can then be abbreviated. We can verbally attack someone, go to the bar to get drunk and overdo it or cheat a partner with whom we do not see a future and we desire the relationship to end. Crossing borders, however, may have other causes. For example, at the moment we have shifted the perception by the influence of alcohol / drugs or other substances, we are frivolous, we may be influenced by our friends, who consider such behavior as normal, we may be enticed to try something new or prohibited, feel the excitement and adrenalin. Part of all border crossings is adrenaline, but in addition it also brings a lot of trouble. Let me give you two examples.

Alcohol – we go to the bar and spend a fun night out with friends, we dance, we meet an attractive person. The second day we have a terrible hangover, but we remember a nice party full of adventure and fun. Next time we expect the same thing. Thus, we go back to the bar, overdo it, do not have too much fun, spend too much money and the next day we feel terribly. We think it was not worth it. And so it flips until we realize that the negative experience outweighs or we find an attractive alternative that meets our needs better. Sometimes this might be accelerated, when while being drunk we do something that is sufficiently shameful, when we injure ourselves, when we have health problems or another strong motivation. I know some people who have stopped drinking hard liquor after spending a night on intensive care with blood poisoning, after infidelity while being drunk or they danced naked on the table in front of a bunch of lawyers. Everyone has different limits and everyone enjoys the state of intoxication differently, someone is not interested in drinking at all, someone drinks often, but does not exceed their limits and to someone alcohol can cause big problems. I will not speak about alcohol dependence, border crossing while being addicted is a totally different issue.

Infidelity – here it is similar, the first time you may find it exciting, you may be ashamed or just don’t think about the consequences, and if you get away with it, you may think that nothing had happened. But the opposite is true. Something happened, even if your partner would never know. Infidelity mostly affects you. Maybe after the first infidelity you’ll begin to think that you got away with it and you’ll try again. You may be frustrated with yourself, maybe you start to feel sorry for your partner who does not know, you may need to lie and disrupt the trust between you two, maybe the relationship that you did not take too seriously in the beginning, becomes a long term relationship and your partner will find out someday, maybe the one with whom you cheated with, will demand things to be resolved and mess with your partner. Life is unpredictable.

What we can do in order not to cross our own limits too often?

  1. Where’s my border? Remember where you have your limit … Do not take the boundaries of others, do not care what is right according to your neighbors or society. What is important is how you feel when you do the thing. If you like to be kinky, eccentric or unfaithful and you are not ashamed of it, it’s your decision. If you try to do what others want for you, but you do not agree with it, you’ll probably cross the border frequently. During tense moments or in situations where your controls weaken, you will show your true self. Prefer to accept your real self than adapt. The more honest you are, the more likely you will be happy.
  1. What I get from it? Think about the reasons for crossing borders. Let’s say that you are getting drunk or cheat on your partner. Why are you doing this? What are you compensating? Do you feel that you are not attractive to others? Do you crave for the attention of men/women and their admiration? Are you trying to see what you can get away with? If you find out what you are missing, maybe you can think of another way to fill this need without the stress and guilt. You can get attention needs satisfied by successful professional career, playing in a band; you can talk to your partner about your needs or find another one; you can get excitement from travelling or extreme sports.
  1. Is it worth it? Think about the implications, if you breach the border. And do it even before the tempting situation arise. If you go to a party with intention to switch off, especially if you start throw shots into yourself while passing the welcome door, it is more likely that you will “slip”. If you go to a party with intention to have fun, drink decently and talk with interesting people, it is less likely that you will start off with a double tequila. Likewise, if you decide to cheat your partner. Think calmly, what positives and negatives it can bring to you if you pass that border? Would it be tragic if he/she finds out or you would not care so much? Are you able to accept that after the cheating, the trust between you and your partner might be disturbed for the rest of the relationship?
  1. What you do not want to admit to yourself? If you have trouble crossing the border in certain situations or in certain challenging times, it is necessary to solve the core problem, not just your actions. Let’s say you have a problem to deal with breakups, after you quickly plunge into new relationships, which quickly ends and you then feel abused and you regret it. Alternatively, after the break up you drink more alcohol and behave promiscuously. Better than deal with why I went to a party and found a partner for one night stand and how to prevent it next time, you should realize that after the relationship you have a greater need to prove that you are still desirable to the opposite / same sex and this behavior is not functional. It brings only short-term gains, while long-term losses. You can then replace the one-night stands with getting to know new people in another way – to sign up on dating services, tango or discharge the frustration in a gym.
  1. Make a plan for crisis situations. Example – you have a team building party. You do not want it to end at ten o’clock by vomiting on your director’s footwear or having sex with the receptionist which is smiling so nice every morning. Plan ahead. If you are at an event where there is plenty of alcohol, eat, do not drink hard liquor, mix wine with water. Alternatively, if you know you have a problem to stop drinking alcohol when you begin, do not drink at all. Sometimes it is easier to admit that some things are better avoided altogether, than being constantly exposed to dangerous situations.

If you cross the border and hurt someone, accept your behavior and bear responsibility for it. If you’ve cheated your partner and know that the relationship does not worth continuing, because you do not care much about it, break it up. If you want to stay with him, be honest and take steps to ensure that it never happens again. If you got drunk at a party, acted stupidly and you are now embarrassed for it, apologize and make clear, that you know what went wrong. When you deny your behavior and downplay it, it will probably happen again. However, if you choose to accept it and face the consequences, it is more likely that you won’t make the same mistake next time.

Are we really adults?

are we really adults

There are often different advices on what we should or should not do as strong and balanced individuals. But what, in my opinion, is not the behavior of adults? What do you think is typical for adulthood? Maybe maturity, wisdom and experience? For me it is mainly the responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones.

The examples which are given below are perfectly acceptable at the time of our adolescence and the search for identity, they belong to the maturation of personality or search for the meaning of life. In adulthood, however, we should avoid certain behavior, because it is especially hurting to ourselves.

In my opinion it is:

• Generalize

Some people consider their opinion to be true for the reason that they think that it is. They probably heard this opinion somewhere, maybe took it from their parents, school teachers, friends, maybe from television. Oftentimes, however, this view may not be generally valid. Instead we should be able to think in context, listen to the people around us or try to see things from different perspectives and create our own picture. Instead we generalize, we repeat the opinions of others and condemn. Maybe it’s a vestige of our upbringing, according to me, not very good education system, where thinking independently was not supported. As adults, we should try to look at things from multiple angles and also respect different opinions and experiences of others.

• Act in a passive-aggressive way

Revenge, slander as well as ignorance or spiteful behavior belongs to immature individuals. If we have a tendency to act like that even after reaching adulthood, it means we are jammed in child defiance.

As adults, we should have enough perspective, be aware of triggers that evoke a sense of anger, aggression or despair and learn to process them in a way that will be healthier. We should be able to express our wishes and needs and not belittle others. Maybe we will not manage this always, but this behavior should prevail. An adult should be able to admit his own weaknesses and their defenses and stop the wrong doing immediately.

• Be impulsive

In adolescence parties, drugs or sexual experiments come as fun or as an enriching experience, something new, revolt against society or parents, or just exploring the possibilities and expanding horizons.

However, if during adulthood nothing changes and we continue to organize endless parties, and we are not able to be faithful to our partner or overuse marijuana or other drugs, then that behavior is to be reconsidered. We can hardly create a happy life or family if we cannot avoid unhealthy lifestyle, which has an enormous impact on our psychological health.

• Don’t acknowledge our mistakes

As small or teenagers we do not have enough experience to know that we are responsible for our own problems. Probably in the beginning we blame others, but with gaining experience, we get insight into our own behavior and should be able to reflect on our own mistakes and learn from them.

Also, we should learn that however others treat us, it is always up to us how we react to it. As adults, we should be able to recognize our mistakes and apologize for them, not endlessly repeat them.

• Care only about ourselves

As children, we can be egocentric and request everyone to take care of us. In adulthood, however, we should be able to not only receive, but also give. From a child’s self-interest we should grow into empathy and give back to our parents all what we got from them or others as kids. If we stay in the children’s self-centeredness we will grow into narcissistic manipulators that will suck and thrive on others and only take advantage of them.

• Have no goal in life

It is okay during adolescence to not have a clear goal in life, to live from day to day, to have fun and not think about the future. The older we get, the more we should learn not only to experience the present, but also think about the future. Being in our thirties and missing a decent job or education, not knowing what we want from life, seems not exactly satisfying. Of course, it is not just about materialism, but rather the ability to be self-sufficient and live a happy life, whatever purpose we’ll choose.

• Complain and never change anything

As adults, we should know that our actions speak louder than words. It does not mean that we must always act without having our problems or feelings discussed first. On the other hand, if we constantly talk about the need to break up with our boyfriend, stop drinking or smoking, start to exercise, lose weight or learn a foreign language, and we do nothing about it, sooner or later we probably annoy others. We all know what is good for us, the point is to make it happen.

• Blame our parents for our falls

I am constantly seeing how a lot of people still in adulthood blame their parents for all sorts of hardships that happened in their life. Even despite the fact that they helped them many times. It is understandable that we, as children, perceive it as injustice if parents are unfair. We have a problem to cope with it because we want to see our parents as perfect. The older we get, the more we can perceive parents as ordinary people, which in fact they are.

Only few of us had really bad childhood that was so affected by maltreatment, that they have the right to condemn them for it. This applies particularly to emotional abuse, physical abuse and similar inexcusable injustice. The rest of us, however, should be able to cope with the acts of our parents ourselves. Maybe our parents were not able to properly express love, maybe they were too authoritative, workaholics, alcoholics, materialists or hypersensitive hysterics.

We should bear in mind that no one taught them how to raise us. Our parents did mostly what they knew or could best. Therefore, at least in adulthood, we should have an understanding for them and be able to forgive them for the wrong things they did to us.

All the above are behaviors which I see very often in people already in adult age. I write about it because, in my opinion, it has quite a significant impact on our psychological health.

Of course, we’ll never be perfect, and probably sometimes we‘ll sway by minor transgressions against our good intentions, but it’s more about not be dragged thru life without a direction. We should have insight into the behavior that harms us, we should be able to affect important events and live our life as we wish.

Find out who you are in 5 minutes!

game pic If you enjoy playing games, this test is right for you. You will have a lot of fun and you may also uncover some hidden mysteries about others. That you don´t believe me? Try it! You might be surprised.

There is no right or wrong answer. Dream for few minutes and let the imagination work. You can write down the answers or just remember them. Focus on details. It does not have to make sense. The best is to play it with your friends and compare the results.

So let’s begin.

1. Imagine a desert so wide that your eye cannot see the end. In the desert is a cube. Your first task is to describe the cube. How big is it? From which material? What is the color and consistence? Where is it located?

2. That was easy, right? So let’s move to the next one. You are looking on the desert and cube and you notice a ladder there. Second task is to describe the ladder. What is it made of? Is it robust or fragile? What is the position towards the cube?

3. Now add to the image a horse. (Yes, I know it is a desert, but no one said, it should make sense). Describe the horse. What is his position towards the cube? How does he look like? What is he doing?

4. We are almost done. 🙂 Your penultimate task is to imagine flowers and describe them. Where are they located, how they look like, how many are there, what is the connection to horse and cube?

5. So in this moment you should have a desert with cube, horse, ladder and flower(s), correct? Finally, imagine a storm. What kind of storm is it? How far or close to cube and horse? How damaging or peaceful is it?

If you came so far you are about to learn something interesting. But I should warn you, once you read the results your ability to play is damaged forever. So if you were just reading thru, go back and try it now.

Results

The cube is you

The size of the cube relates to your certainty or uncertainty. Small cubes means you are unsure of yourself, big one means certainty, very large may refer to how egocentric you are. The material relates to your openness, see thru cubes represent open people with clear values, opaque are more protective of their thoughts. Is your cube shiny? Than you are a positive person who tries to make others happy. Made of stone? You might be more protective and resilient.

The trick is that if you are asked to imagine an abstract object – your mind tries to project its own identity into it.

The ladder represents your friends

Is the ladder leaning to the cube? Then your friends depend on you and are close. Is the ladder strong or fragile? Is it tall or small? Does it lie on the sand far from the cube? I think you can make your own conclusions.

The horse represents your partner – real or imaginary

The type of horse shows a lot about what are you looking for in a partner. Some people are imagining a beautiful horse full of life, some steady work horse and others unicorn or pegasus. It is up to you to make conclusions. More interesting might be how the horse behaves towards the cube. Is he turning the back on it? Is he affectionately touching it or biting it or is he inside to be protected from the desert?

The flowers represent children

The number of flowers relates on how many children you wish to have. Some people might see only one flower and others might see many flowers all over the cube and horse. The color and vitality of the flowers relates to the happiness and prosperity. The placement towards the cube and horse might reveal interesting ideas. Does the horse eat the flowers?

The storm represents threat

This refers to the current state of the person and how they perceive risk in life. Some might see a distant storm moving away from the cube and horse, some may find the storm as thunderous apocalypse with flash and ice hailstones pelting their fragile cube and horse. Those people might be in a difficult situation in their life.

How does this work? People tend to project themselves onto abstract objects as cube, their affections onto animals (horse), their need to nurture into something which requires a care (flowers), ladder resemblance the support of friends and storm a sense of danger or worries.

So is it all correct? Of course not. This is a game, although this kind exists in various forms for thousands years. And if nothing else, you will have a laugh and may start a deep conversation with a friend or partner about their dreams and goals in life.

My dear psychopath…

my dear psychopathOn this fictitious letter to, I would like to show that we can meet people who are a bit beyond the average very easily and they do not need to be a mass murderers or criminals. Some research acknowledges that with some degree of psychopathy may suffer one in every thirty people, so it is likely that we might have such person at work. However, it is up to us whether we can discern what lies behind their pleasant and decent mask. Only we can avoid abuse or injuries stemming from a relationship with someone like that.

… I decided to write you a letter, because I don’t want to continue communicating with you in the real life. We have tried many times. Many times we set boundaries and rules that we always broke. Fortunately, because of that I could have drawn a strong enough line after what little we had in common. Not everyone is so lucky. On the other hand, I do not regret anything, it was a valuable experience.

 
Why I use the word “psychopath”? Maybe you’re just a self-centered, manipulative or less sensitive. Maybe it’s little bit more. Remember I told you once that you were a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Since then it has remained in my head. Hunter waiting for his prey. But that’s not all. There are other reasons why you could be one of them. Here they are.

• If people get to know you in a close relationship, you’re completely different than it seemed. Your life is a sham. You act as a quiet, kind man. Someone once said that you could be locked up only for excessive politeness. In fact you do not act with respect to others, you can be aggressive, dominant and you enjoy to control others. You are not ashamed to be amoral and act on your urges.

• You love to play games. Everyone has, to some extent, like playing games. Yours, however, are built above everything else. Do care only whether the other is a challenge for you and whether you can beat them. The feeling of victory excites you.

• You are self-centered and prone to narcissistic narratives. However the lives of others have little interest to you. You don’t dare to tell stories that make you a spineless man or mentally disturbed individual, and neither you realize in what light they are portraying you. You find them interesting, you like to shock others. That’s why you told me about your mistresses, sexual deviances, demonic possessions…

• You can offer your company, support, even pretend to have feelings, but only if it means that you will get for what you asked. You are certainly not devoted husband, loving father or a reliable friend. Others are there primarily for you, not the opposite. Trust is an unknown word for you.

• You lie and cheat. There are times when you will agree on anything, just to get what you want, and then you break your word. “I am a man, those are not to be trusted.” The fact that you’re not completely unknown man, at that moment, seems irrelevant to you. Likewise you do not follow your beliefs. While you are the faithful, moral values ​​are strange to you.

• Empathy is unfamiliar word for you. Even any feelings are taboo. You cannot understand that you can hurt others with your actions and if so, you do not know how it feels.

• If someone asks or expects something from you, they usually do not get it. Conversely, if those expressed admiration and flattering, they might reach almost anything. Associated with reverse psychology, which is a challenge for you to play, it’s a clear path to success.

• You are a loner. Your relationships are superficial, just like ours. You do not want to have a deep emotional bond, because than could happen, what you fear most. Others might find out who you are, and leave you. It happened once before, when your brother was born. You felt pushed away. Maybe that’s why you’re doing everything not to repeat the feeling that you love someone and need them, and they will not return it back to you.

• You have no conscience. All you are doing is justifiable. You think that you deserve more than others. You are never ashamed of your actions or apologetic.

• You cannot talk openly and honestly and be accountable for your actions. You are constantly hiding behind irony and hyperbole.

• Not to be only negative, you have certain advantages, for example, you’re intelligent. In addition, you have no fear of rejection. You do not take things personally. “No” to you is not an obstacle but a challenge. You have enough patience to go for your goal. You love risking and adrenaline.

Thanks for reading, my dear psychopath. It is very difficult, if possible, to have a relationship with someone like you. But you know that. Therefore, you are looking for those in which you have control, where you are able to use the partner and you don’t have deeper feelings than it is save for you, as you admitted.

Be prone to psychopathy is of course not just bad. Certain professions attract such people. Imagine if your surgeon would collapse under great stress, would be unable to decide coldly, without emotions, would be too sympathetic with a patient … In some situations, it is certain plus to be not empathetic and coldly calculative, but I’m not sure if this is the case of a partnership.

How to deal with passive aggression

how to deal with passive aggressionPeople react quite often to my articles about passive aggression with questions of how to deal with it, whether they recognize it in themselves or in others. Passive aggressive behavior is common among adolescents. They feel misunderstood, may have a tendency to be brutally honest, don’t do things because we expect them to do. They want to act “independently”, but are not able to free themselves from the dominant parent or other adults who they still have to obey. This behavior creates frustration on both sides.

But it is not only the adolescents. Passive aggressive behavior is common between partners, neighbors or even work colleagues. These are the elements of such behavior:  ignorance, slander, spiteful acts, sloppy work, delays, talking behind someone’s back, sarcastic remarks, etc.

Passive aggression is typical for people who are close to someone or even in a dependent relationship where one enforces its needs through strength or superiority and the second feels unappreciated, misunderstood or unnecessary, but cannot leave the relationship or change the energy in it.

How to fight passive aggression, if we recognize it in our behavior?

• An important step is to recognize the signs of passive aggression and have a desire to work on ourselves. For passive aggressors, it is common to see the fault in others. They feel that others do not understand them. They think acting differently is not a choice. Often they are under pressure from the people surrounding them, which they cannot handle, they feel cornered, threatened.

• Work on your self-esteem. Passive aggressive people are often those who are not too confident and they are trying to convince others of their superiority, manipulate them, hurt them, return to them the perceived injustice. Paradoxically, they may let themselves be manipulated or abused and are unable to break free from the overpowering person.

• Learning to communicate in an effective way. Passive aggressive person should learn to communicate in a way that will be valuable, to show respect to themselves and to others. These include clear and understandable formulation of needs, humor that does not offend others,  the ability to reject others without guilt, feeling empathy, acceptance of different opinions, etc. Instead of being ignorant or revengefull, such an individual should learn to respond appropriately and immediately, without exaggerated or suppressed emotions. They should learn to cooperate with others, as well as stay distant from a person that has long disregarded their needs and wishes (children gaining of independence from their parents, breaking free from narcissistic individuals who are prone to manipulation…)

• Learn to distinguish themselves from others without their demeaning. Devaluation of others is often the result of passive aggressive behavior. Person feels attacked or threatened and does not know how to act otherwise than defend in a passive or in an openly aggressive manner. It may not be about physical harm, but their values​​, beliefs, self-image or feelings may be threatened. Passive aggressive people often regress to the previous developmental stages – behave childishly. An example may be a spouse, which instead of standing up and stopping their wife’s verbal attack in person, rather ignores her attitude at that time and slander her in front of friends or “forget” to pick up the kids from school. Passive aggressive individuals rather take revenge instead of solving problems right away.

 Passive aggression in others.

Whether you have a partner, father, colleague or class mate who shows signs of passive aggression, I’m sure you are wondering what to do in such a case. First of all, you cannot change their behavior unless they want to change it by themselves. On the other hand, you can do several things that will make your life easier.

• Identify the signs of passive aggression which are bothering you and tell it to the partner. For example, if you don’t like sarcastic remarks about your character or intelligence, is good to refuse this behavior in the very beginning. “I do not like this kind of humor, I would appreciate if you don’t joke this way.” If you let your partner to do so, stopping him later will be far worse. As people grow up they are accustomed  to some patterns of behavior  from their family so it is possible that our partner may find perfectly fine behavior that is uncomfortable for you.

• Try to show sympathy and understanding. Passive aggressive individuals feel that no one cares about them and that no one takes them seriously. It can significantly ease communication, if you show interest in their opinions and listen to them carefully. In this case, it will reduce stress and frustration and open some space for dialogue where you can agree on a common solution. If the passive aggressive individual is involved in the decision, it is likely that they will actively work towards the decision’s goal.

• Passive aggressive behavior is often triggered by a directive manner of conduct that requires absolute obedience and subordination, where there is no room for discussion. Try to avoid such an approach. Everyone deserves to know why they need to do this or that and how they can make their own contribution. If such a people see that you, unlike the others, believe in them and not treat them as children, it is possible that they will not want to disappoint you.

• Try to keep a distance from such individuals. Since the communication with passive aggressive people may be exhausting, it is possible that it would be easier to keep the distance from them. Especially if it is, for example, a colleague who sabotages our work, who is often late or cancels at the last minute on agreed things. Never continue an argument that passive aggressive individuals begin. It won’t lead to a satisfactory outcome. They only try to make others suffer as they do. And if their behavior triggers anger in someone, they act as very surprised, although they did it for this purpose in the first place.

Whether you recognize passive aggressive behavior in yourself or in your loved ones, do not take the behavior of others too personally. If you will, instead of childish insults and effort to be superior, treat others with respect and dignity, it is likely that they will act in the same way with you.

What is the name of the German…

alzheimer

What is the name of the German who is hiding my things? I’m sure you have heard this joke. And you probably have laughed at it even if someone from your neighborhood suffers from Alzheimer.

The civilization diseases are starting to be part of our life – until it knocks on our own door. It is enough to turn on the television, open a newspaper or go out on the street . I myself come from an average Czech family. One grandmother suffered from late dementia, the other from dementia of the Alzheimer type. I guess it is also waiting for me there. I have to say that my grandmothers lived relatively happily in a family environment, until their deaths.. When Alois Alzheimer diagnosed this disease in the early 20th century, it was an unusual and rare handicap. With the extension of the age and the growing number of seniors it becomes one of the most common causes of death. Although not yet known what causes it, the number grows with age. Every 5th person over 80 suffers from Alzheimer’s, and these cheerless rankings are headed by women.

How to avoid this disease as long as possible? Here are a few recommendations. Do not be fooled that they might sound trivial, try to go through and really think about it:

  • Pay attention to the composition of your diet. § Be active, inquire about your surroundings.
  • Play sports, work physically.
  • Cultivate your relationships, hobbies.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Read, solve crosswords, train memory.
  • Watch out, if you suspect something wrong with you, solve it as soon as possible.
  • Keep joy in life, take things easy.

I added the last point as a bonus point. That may not protect you from the disease, but it certainly will improve the quality of your life . Try to look at things from the bright side. Alzheimer’s disease is a serious and unfortunately all too common. But a person who suffers from it, has no knowledge that they are ill. No wonder it is said: Happiness is simply good health and a bad memory. And when disease touches your family, try to be patient. Define rules for how you will approach such a situation at home. Love and care is needed throughout life, but there will come a time when we cannot do it without the help of our close ones.

Breakup

Break up - RozchodI was wondering recently, if there are specific types of people who excel at different stages of a relationship. I think so. What we can learn from those, who manage well break ups?

Some people go best with the beginnings – brilliantly handle the initial meetings, know how to charm, behave casually, can entertain. Personally, I do not like beginnings so much. I’m the worse in managing uncertainty and usually look forward to be at least somewhat clear, not to wear those rose-colored glasses or be influenced by an increased amount of dopamine, which blinds us. Other people may excel in the course of the relationship. They do not make big mistakes, give the other space and at the same time are not easily vulnerable. They can support their partner and maintain their interests while working on their self-development. And some people manage breakups very well. It is sad but also part of a relationship. How to cope with it?

The ten advices … and a bonus in the end

1. Relationship, to me, is necessary to save it and manage it before it completely falls apart. If your partner announces that he has already given up and does not want to continue, the best is to accept his decision. Of course before that, one or several long discussions can come. But if you see that the partner does not intend to keep working on the relationship, it is necessary to accept it.

2. You agreed on breaking up. Now the emotional acceptance of the situation will probably begin. Try not to oppose your emotions, but do not make a scene in front of the partner or publicly through social networks. Call your loved ones who will support you through this difficult moment. Cry while on the phone with your friends or somewhere alone. Sometimes it’s hard, but your partner will probably be very uncomfortable to see you completely crushed and it would be better to spare him, especially if you already tried everything to save the relationship.

3. If you live together, try to agree on moving out. Even if your partner will offer shared housing, do not accept it. Once you have ended the relationship, it would be very difficult to continue with the same closeness, which common housing would provide. It is reasonable to arrange the distribution of goods, strictly and fairly if possible. You do not need his support. Prefer to borrow money from other close ones.

4. Think of the partner as a person, whom you respect, but your life does not depends on. I personally keep communicating with my exes on a basis of friendship. This friendship, however, has its own rules. It is not everyday contact, which could be interpreted ambiguously. On the other hand, if I need to solve something with an ex, I’ll contact them like any other man. So I will not deliberately avoid them.

5. Save yourself and them fromyour emotional outbursts while intoxicated or under the stress of loneliness, depression or inability to cope with the breakup. Nothing will drive away your partners more than bombarding them with text messages meaningless to them, for which you probably never receive an answer. Never blame them for the end of the relationship nor make them feel guilty. Breakup is always a matter of both.

6. Continue to communicate with their friends and family, but not about your relationship. I personally maintain contact with those I love, even after the breakup. The fact that we ended the relationship, does not mean you cannot call his parents or siblings, especially if they are keen to remain in contact.

7. Do not accept things that you are uncomfortable with or you are not sure where will lead. Which means no sex after the breakup. You’re not so desperate for sex to have it with your former boyfriend. Either find someone else, or do not have sex at all. The world will not stop turning.

8. From time to time have contact with your exes. Especially, if it is Christmas, birthday or they have to make an important life decision. Let them know that you still care.

9. If you see them, act friendly. A hug, a kiss on the cheek or other friendly gesture is fine. Joke how you used to. Do not expect anything more, nor let anything more to happen. Show your former partner, that you’re on top of things and even if you still love them, the relationship with them is already out of your expectations.

10. Do not play the role of victim. Work on yourself, share with your former boyfriend your successes or achievements, have fun with them, share interesting things or plans. Do not rage over the past. Also do not overly talk about your new acquaintances. Just the fact that you have someone or not is enough. You can discuss details of a new relationship with friends or with the Ex but after a longer time.

If you have chosen a partner for some reason, spent some time with them and share your life, I do not think that they would become a bad people after the relationship finishes, even if they could somehow hurt you. If you show them that you can cope with the breakup, probably they will continue to behave respectfully. Finally, you can get a great friend and the longer time after the breakup, the more you may realize that it was the right choice.

Here is the last tip: If you partner realizes the situation and wants to return, make sure you first make things clear to what would be a good change. Personally, I’m going back, if the situation resolves soon after a breakup with a partner I still have a bond with. If it is a long time after the breakup and something fundamental does not happen there is no reason for me to renew the relationship.

Secrets of Attraction

law of attractionImagine that you have a tool that will make you attractive to others. What do you think it could be? Money, intelligence, beauty? The answer is much simpler. It’s your attention. You may have an empty bank account or unfinished high school, and even then be attractive to others and inspire them to desire you.

Recently, I was thinking how annoying it can be when a person ignores us. Almost all of us have experienced this. We naturally long for the attention of others. We might be in a relationship and feel that our partner ignores us or does not spend enough time with us. We tend to feel angry, offended or lonely. Sometimes it’s even preferable if our partner fights with us or criticizes us rather than ignore us. Conversely, if we are angry at someone and talking or arguing does not help, it is often more efficient to stop paying attention to them and give them space to think.

Where our desire for the attention does arises from? I think it could be linked to our needs during childhood when we were completely dependent on our parents’ attention. Lack of interest from others was life threatening. As children we might felt helpless when our parents forgot us in a kindergarten or unhappy when they did not have time for us because of their workload or when they quarreled and could not perceive our needs and satisfy them. In adulthood we are able to satisfy most of the needs ourselves. But not the need of love and attention. We still want to be special for someone. This will remain even if we will be materially secured, live in a safe environment and have our values and hobbies. Not even strong social ties can replace the necessity to be loved and feel being important and special to someone. Our own value is often confirmed through relationships.

Dosage of attention

Countless “seducing techniques” are based on this principle. Pay attention, cut it off, resume and so on. My friend calls it a “feeling of loss”. We call it “playing hard to get” at work. Why we do not care about someone and for someone else we will act like fools? When is it helpful to pretend to be unavailable and when to lavish the other one with attention?

My opinion is, that it is necessary to arouse the interest first. It can be anything but the other person has to be somehow attractive for us. He can see something that others didn’t notice; he can show us that he’s better than us in some way and/or that he is interesting. Generally speaking, it should look like that the person is different than the others and may have some value for us. Initially it is more efficient to be nice and friendly and only later, when our object of interest notices us, to be somewhat unavailable. As reported by Jeremy S. Nicholson on the Psychology Today website, unavailability of others creates wish and desire. If we are only nice and will try to meet all expectations and needs of the others, we’ll probably become friends. There will be no tension and desire between us. On the other hand, if we play from the first moment unavailable, others may perceive us as arrogant, which reduces our attractiveness. An advantage of a person showing emotional distance is that he inspires a kind of uncertainty to the partner regarding to what extent he is loved.

If we’ll express our love early on, the object of our desire will be pleased, but he will not think about us. However, if our feelings are not declared than our potential partner spends more time thinking about how it really is. And the more time he would think, the more it will seem to him that there must be “something” about us, if he cannot get us out of his head. Conversely, if we have a partner who does everything for us without us even expressing our wishes, we adapt our expectations to this behavior and this signs of love can be overlooked.

Meeting the needs versus their rejection

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to change a friend to a partner?  Ever felt that girls always choose naughty boys (and boys choose bitches) over those nice ones? Why is this so?

People need refusal to create desire and passion. When we satisfy someone’s needs we create trust and affection. Unfortunately, these two tendencies are sometimes contradictory.

I think it is important that there is a balance between teasing, rejection and meeting needs. If someone is always ready to fulfill our wishes, without expecting anything back, it will not arouse our desire. This situation is typical for friendship when our friends are available when we need them. But there is reciprocity based on different elements, we do not need passion.

If, on the contrary, our partner will always reject our needs, not being available to us or readable, it wakes in us the great wave of desire and interest – but in fact after such a relationship we’ll end up left with anger, frustration and animosity. There will be a lack of satisfaction and trust. Such relations are passionate but we can behave very irrationally in them.

To sum up, being friendly and helpful as well as being unavailable at some stage of a relationship can pay off. I’m not saying that someone cannot have a relationship, which is from the beginning open and accessible, which fulfills all the wishes of the partner and creates boundless longing for him, but the question is, what about those other relationships ?

So for all those who have ever formed a friend instead of a partner, lost their partner’s interest or their idol did not consider them attractive enough: try to think that maybe you have done too much.

Full-time or part-time?

Full time or part time? - Hlavní poměr, nebo vedlejšák?

I recently explained to my friend, what benefits can have a relationship without commitment. I have described to her a relationship of several months based on intimacy, friendship, and no limitations in other fields. The friend of mine did not understand. She never had such relationship and could not imagine why a person would want one. In frustration I thought of comparison with an employment as main occupation or just part-time and since that moment it was clearer. The more we talked about different relationships, the more it seemed to us that a relationship is quite similar to a job.

Imagine a long relationship as the main job. Some people simply seek nothing else than this. They do not want part-times, or one-time jobs that will end after a few days (or nights). The only thing they want is to have their dream job and devote fully to it. The idea is laudable, but has several drawbacks.

You might have experienced it: Going to interviews, working on your idea, but the offer does not meet your needs or you are not accepted. And you don’t know why. Maybe you do not have enough experience, maybe they are looking for a man without one or maybe they are just looking for someone who will be a different personality or just a temporary work. So you are going from an interview to an interview, but you dream job is nowhere near.

What to do next? Given that you are jobless, you start to be nervous over time. Why they never want me? Why does some of the work will prove to be completely inadequate? Will I find the right one sometime, or do I have unreasonable demands? You become frustrated. In addition, you do not want die of hunger, and so comes into consideration several possibilities.

You take whatever comes along (one night stands, short-term romances)

You will take any opportunity to earn extra money without certainty that it will be for longer. You will be entertained for a moment, diversify the unemployment, get a little money. But it has also its negatives:

  • You will succumb to the offer of the moment and you’ll be glad you have at least something, but usually that is the extend of it.
  • From such work (relations) you will not get the work experience relevant to your dream job, nor will it bring longer satisfaction. Rather, it will bring frustration and a constant need to look for next one.
  • You will have no clue what it means going to work every day (to lead a normal life with partner).

You can find a long-term part-time job (love affair, friends with benefits, relationship without commitment)

Sure, your dream job is nowhere near. But you will come across to an offer, which, while not ideal, can satisfy you for some time. You do not want to sit at home and do nothing.

  • You will get some re-assurance that you will survive longer periods without much stress.
  • You’ll get the experience of long-term work, habits that relate to the work process, communication and so on.
  • You learn to tolerate that even if it is not ideal, it can have its positives. You will not have exaggerated expectations (it’s still only temporary).
  • You’ll gain new experiences. The temp work may be completely different than the work you are pursuing. You can extend your horizons.
  • While employed temporarily you are free to seek full-time employment, pursue your hobbies and you don’t need to limit yourself too much. Nobody expects it will last forever.
  • You know it’s just for now, so you can fully enjoy it.

Negatives:

  • This problem may occur if you want to make from the temp work a main job after few months. If you got this for the purpose of a side job, you can hardly push the employer to give you suddenly a full time.
  • Although the work will fulfill you, someone else will have to leave the company to empty position for you. However, even then the employer might hire someone from outside because the temps are usually not subject of the same requirements.
  • Someone might be looking only for temp works and one time jobs. Few employers will hire a person who never had a real job (and does not have age for that).
  • If you get used to work only partially, full-time work will mean too much limitation for you.

You will search only for main job (serious relationship, exclusive relationship)

Usually, the most desirable option, if you want to find full-time employment, you will not take short-time jobs or long term part-times. You will focus on what you want and hope that you will find it.

  • You will really enjoy your first real job. Everything in it is new. You’ll do it to the fullest. You will be excited about it, even though later it would be considered average.
  • If you have one job for a long time, it tells other employers that you are loyal, you can work with full attention, you can compromise, you are steadfast and not changing job according to your mood, which is a big plus.
  • Satisfaction from fulfilling work, joy, confidence, appreciation in it.
  •  If you have enough patience, one day you will get your dream job. Even if only because a better candidate might fall out, or because you can start right away.

Negatives:

  • Cons of this option are cases where, although you have full-time employment, it is totally unsatisfactory. Because you are afraid to be unemployed you do everything possible to stay in it.
  • You are afraid to give notice until you are sure you have other work. But no employer likes to hear that you are looking for work elsewhere. You might get fired.
  • Unsatisfactory job makes you so busy that you probably have only limited opportunities to look for better work elsewhere.
  • If you only had one or two jobs in your life so far, you may actually not know that you would be much happier if you were doing something else.
  • If your dream job is nowhere near and you look only for main jobs, you may accept worst job just to have something. Starving or dying alone is probably not an option. Such work is likely to be stressful. The employer will not appreciate you. You will not succeed in your requests.
  • Conversely, if you seeking a work that is beyond your capabilities, you will not appreciate the work that is right for you and you don’t have enough experience to recognize it.

I’m sure you’d find a lot of other comparisons. You might want to argue that a relationship cannot be compared with work, because love has a different value than employment. However, aren’t there people who have a deeper emotional connection to their work than their partner? Do we not feel inferior without work as well as when we are not able to establish a good relationship? Aren’t those two examples essential to our lives and can they evoke a strong emotional reaction in us or destroy us in the same way as lift us and fill with happiness?

Showing emotions pays off

show emotions pays off

If we hug someone and smile at them, we don’t need to tell them that we are glad to see them. Conversely, even if we reject someone because of time reasons, but warmly and cordially, our communication will likely be perceived as genuine lack of time not as an attempt to get rid of them.

Imagine that you are on to a visit of a good friend, whom you have not seen for a long time. You are looking forward to the visit, you expect your friend to be happy, because he often calls and talks about how wonderful you are and that he misses you. When you get to his place, you do not have a chance to talk in private. So you watch his expression. But you cannot read surprise or joy, his expression is bland. What do you think of first? Probably something like “a bad timing?” “Does he have any problems?” “Maybe we have not seen each other for so long that we felt apart”. Not until you talk with him, you will find what’s really going on.

Another example is your colleague, let’s say Karl. His expression is predominantly rigid, sometimes he laughs at his own jokes, never communicates using personal contact or excessive gestures. Karel comes to work in a sleeveless shirt one day, which you consider to be the relic of years gone by, so you exaggerate commenting on him and say: “Hmmm, this shirt is really sexy “. The only thing that you will achieve, however, is that the fellow acquires other similar t-shirts and will wear them more often.

Emotional intelligence

Expressing feelings and reading the body language of others, is something that we learn since our childhood. It is all about imitating our parents or other role models. As children in an insecure situation, we turn to them and by facial expressions and other non-verbal gestures try to identify whether the situation is safe, threatening, unpleasant, whether the parents are happy or ashamed. Many of us, however, are growing up in an emotionally impoverished environment, and therefore we are often unable to learn to express emotions or to recognize them. Great influence has also whether in the family we talk about emotions and therefore we are able to verbalize it. If we grow up in an environment where one or both parents cannot express emotions, we will later have problems express them in others or “read” them. In this context, I was surprised to read that if a person suppresses expression of certain emotions, this can reduce also the actual feeling of them. Most of us have probably heard about the James- Lange theory, which is supported by many studies. It says that not only emotions affect our facial expressions, but also our expression can influence how we feel. When you start to smile, your mood should improve. This is called the facial feedback. Similarly, but in the long term, if we suppress some emotion outwardly, we can actually feel it less. Anja von Kanitz writes in her book “How to develop your emotional intelligence”, that people who outwardly put on impassive face of a lackluster expression can feel their emotions less intensely and may even “unlearn” feeling some emotions completely. Then someone can grow nerds that others consider typical IT guys or antisocial intellectuals like Sheldon Cooper.

Why to be readable

At this point, I will not discuss how to learn to express our emotions. I would like to focus on why its suppression leads to some problems in communication with others.

  • If we have a lackluster face expression, others will have a problem understanding if we appreciate their company, whether or not we want to talk about a topic or if we do certain things out of politeness or pleasure.
  • If we communicate with others and our non-verbal responses do not support our words, our speech will never have the same impact. Most people first perceive attitude and body language, expression or tone of voice, words are the last detail. It is the same with ambivalent bond, when words say one thing and nonverbal signals the other.
  • People will not feel comfortable in our presence. They will not be sure if we are bored or have a bad day, even when we are in fact happy. Maybe they will have a problem to understand how we mean some things.
  • If we hug someone and smile at him, we don’t need to tell him that we are glad to see him. Conversely, even if we reject someone because of time reasons, but being warm and cordial, our communication will likely be perceived as genuine lack of time and not as an attempt to get rid of him.
  • Even if we have a bad day, there is no need to deal with it with  poker face. Weeping for each abandoned kitten might be too much, but rigid expression is likely to be understood as an emotional coldness and indifference.
  • In certain moments, it is of course necessary to distance ourselves from our emotions and act rationally. For example, disliking our supervisor and showing it to him, is probably not entirely reasonable. It is very important that we should be able to do it consciously, not because we cannot or we are afraid to express our feelings.

Personally, I do not think that expressing emotions is the domain of women. I have a lot of male friends who are very good in processing and expressing their emotions. Even if your role models were not expressing their emotions and you grew up with the same behavior I don’t think that it is irreversible later on. The more we are able to authentically express our feelings and also regulate them, the better will people feel around us.

Find your own manipulator

find your own manipulatorWe can bump our head against a wall only a few times. Sooner or later it will hurt us.
To “bang someone’s head against a wall” is an English expression that means to cope with insoluble problems or obstacles or unnecessarily waste of time. This may relate to anything, but it evokes mainly unbalanced relationships to me.

It does not have to be life threatening, as in the unfortunate celebration of Valentine’s Day at home of the runner Oscar Pistorius. Some tragic consequences, however, in such kind of relationships can be happen to all of us.

Many of us have met a person who behaved unfairly to us in some point of our lives. They may have used us emotionally, physically, mentally or even financially. If you have not, you can congratulate yourself.

Unequal relationship is like a game in which we are unwilling puppets and in the effort to change things we hit the wall – the wall of our own inability to escape.

If we have ever faced this relationship, we know that we cannot win. It does not matter if we try to be nice to our exhaustion, help, argue or recede endlessly. None of this matters. Manipulative partner must always win, and they do not care what havoc they leave behind. They are trying to alter our values, needs and desires – to their own. And it’s working, because they know exactly where to push to get their way.

In this example I offer three types of personality manipulators. Are you able to you find yours?

Self-centered

  • It ‘s all about drawing the attention, the pomp, the audience, they need someone who will admire and follow them.
  • They choose professions where they can dominate the weaker, abusing their power or system.
  • They won’t be grateful to their partner for their support and hard work.  For this manipulative person his/her favors always come first.

Parasite

  • They do not care whether they abuse their mother, partner or friend, until their needs are met they will carry on.
  • Unlike narcissistic person (self-centered) they do not thrive applause, but they need somebody they can take advantage of.
  • They can create a sense of closeness with anyone, especially if they find the one who meets their needs.

Emotionally unstable

  • They leave us emotionally empty, exhausted.
  • You’ll never know what mood they wake up to, they blow up and will curse because of insignificant things and then act as if nothing had happened.
  • They must always be in the center of the perception of their partner, they take for granted that their partner will focus mainly on them.

How to cut the strings from a person who manipulates us like a puppet? Do not try to satisfy, help or fight them. You cannot win, only minimize losses by leaving.

Open your heart

open your heartIs it better to be naive with an open heart or emotionally cold and analyzing? Recently I was talking with a colleague at work, whether it is better if we had been hurt a few times, because we are honest or whether it is better to build walls around ourselves which are not easy to penetrate.

I, as a representative of openness value, would rather suggest the first option, despite the cost of minor heartaches. And that supports more than one reason. But let me begin with two examples.

Since high school, Anna had a problem obeying authorities. She resented being told what to do, which happened at school quite often. At work, it was similar. Usually she did not address the work issues to her superiors, because she feared that it would have eventually turned against her or that she would annoy others with her issues. In recent work, however, she did act on opposite way. On the very first problem with a colleague she decided to trust the manager for the first time and solve the situation with his support. Within her surprise, nothing of what she initially feared had happened: her relationship with her fellow colleague did not suffer and her manager supported her from that point on.

Another example is on personal relations field. A girl, let’s name her Bara, is beautiful, intelligent and talented. Her father was not much interested in holding the family; she had never felt his support, and, in the end, he left them. Bara feels that nobody will love her enough and that guys are not to be given much value. Now she is choosing counterparts, who impress her, but at the slightest lack of respect or flaw, she leaves. Once she finds the ”perfect” man, he usually disappoints her. In conclusion, all men surrounding her seem to act as if they do not respect their own partners, and this way her distrust is confirmed.

Do not be afraid to look stupid

What are the pros of having confidence in others and see them under a better light?

1. Whether we are optimistic and love the people around us, they will probably behave similar to us. Simple act of transmission. People do not love us for ourselves, but for how they feel in our company. On opposite side of the medal, by tiring people, oppressing or depressing them, we will attract only people with low self-esteem – others will not last for long.

2. Being open and expressing our feelings might not be the safest way (there can always be rejection, misunderstanding or disappointment); on the other hand, if this occurs while establishing the relationship, probably we will avoid more “losses” later.

3. Often people are afraid that they will look weak if they act innocently. After all, the world around us is so hostile. I think the opposite is true. Nowadays I would rather consider some people as weak if they are constantly kicking around themselves or degrading others.

4. It may appear silly having a better opinion about others, when they don’t have the same about us – I mean those who naturally assume that others do not worth much – but isn’t, indeed, more fun to talk with people rather than about them?

5. Keeping distance from others is fine, if you don’t know them. But we should not automatically assume that they will behave like someone who had disappointed in the past.

6. If we were used by others, whether it is for financial help, casual sex or satisfaction of other needs, it is not them to blame but ourselves. Someone can be open and warm and even though avoid those unpleasant experiences. Trust does not mean surrender or sacrifice.

7. Emotionally cold and closed individuals most probably are attractive initially, whilst establishing an intimate relationship. It’s not easy to approach them. We are unsure on what to think about them. They are a great mystery. But we also don’t know what lies inside.

8. In case we decide after a few disappointments to conceal our true feelings, to  be distant, to not trust others and use similar defensive strategies, others will find us either superior or they will entice to conquer us. Difficulty may be encountered when we disclose our feelings to such an “explorer” and we start to trust him/her. Our relationship dynamics may change and it is quite possible they will leave us, inadvertently harm or disappoint us. But is it their fault? After all, they met, from the beginning, a very different person.

How much trust is too much?

In my opinion, the problem arises and should be faced when we exaggerate with the confidence we give to others; when we expect others to have the same values as we do; when we let them influence our life and we start playing the role of defenseless victims. More often, people who naturally trust others don’t get disappointed, unlike those who don’t show trust. Such people are easy to be disappointed, as they expect others to be perfect. For them, any error is an insurmountable problem. However people are not perfect. They do not always behave according to our needs. What others do usually has nothing to do with us. We all act depending on our own values and beliefs; we can hardly change someone else’s.

Cheating

Cheating - Nevěra

Is monogamy possible? My opinion concerning cheating the partner has been always strict: if you think to do it, your partner is probably not the right one. But, is it really so simple? Is infidelity a personal problem or can be pointing to different signs? Can we forgive our partner after having done that and live same life as before? Is cheating a man’s privilege or does women cheat as well? If your partner cheated once will he, or she, do it again?

People have many different approaches. Some people consider kissing as cheating, others tolerate one time flaws easily. Living a monogamous life is surely possible, but it may not be so exciting and you will need to be mature and have a partner you love and respect. Infidelity, in my opinion, produces too many problems. What if my partner finds out? What will my close circle of people will say if I tell them? What if the person, I cheat my partner with, will demand to solve the issue?

So what are the reasons to cheat our partner?

First of all, it might be different whether we cheat our partner after few months of relationship or after 10 years when we live separate lives. There’ s a big difference, for example, if we get drunk and never see the person again, if we fall in love with someone or if we cheat constantly but we are contented with our relationship and we don’t want to change it. Here are some reasons why people have an out of the relationship sex:

1) People who lack attention and beat their insecurities by having sex with other people.

2) People who don’t care about their partner. They are selfish and do not think about their partner’s feelings. They give in to their impulses.

3) People for whom one partner is not enough. Monogamy is not for them and they will always have more partners.

4) People frustrated in their relationship, who are bored, lack sex etc. but they are not brave enough to end it and find better partner.

5) People who are content in the relationship for a long time and fall in love with someone else, but don’t want to destroy the family.

6) Many other reasons.

If your partner cheated on you it is necessary to realize that more important than the question of “will I be able to trust him again?” is the question “what has contributed to the situation?”.

Apart of that, infidelity reflects the state of your relationship, it also speaks about your partner. If he is a pathological liar, an alcoholic or had affairs from the beginning of the relationship, it is up to you to tolerate his mistakes or look somewhere else. But if your partner is not like that, you

may consider thinking about the reasons which led to the infidelity. Even if you don’t forgive him, you may realize what to do differently next time. I think we should never blame the cheater for everything. If he is always the wrong one and the rest of the world is correct it may be sign of immaturity.

Also, the idea of evil cheating men and good women who do not cheat, is not ideal, or somehow, doesn’t sound correct to me. Maybe women cheat less, but that’s maybe because they hide it better or probably just because they are more afraid of others’ reactions or judgment; they are more scared of social consequences, or they may realize that the revelation of their infidelity hurts and they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. However, if you’re the one who’s cheating the other, maybe you should consider the following questions:

* Why do I cheat on my partner, what am I missing in my relationship? Is it impossible to improve the relationship or why do I not simply break up and start trying to get into a better one in which I can feel happier?

* How would I feel in my partner place?

* Does it really worth it? What if my partner discovers it later on? How would be the their reaction? How will I take it?

* Why would I stay in a relationship with someone whom I do not respect enough to be faithful to?

If you have a friend that is cheating or being cheated on

* Would I like to know it, if my partner was cheating on me?

* Is it my concern, what my friend is doing?

* Will something change if I am honest by letting this information come to the betrayed one?

Infidelity in a relationship might be impulse to break-up, to solve issues or to realize our own mistakes. Most people most often don’t act until it is too late and infidelity comes to light, or the partner breaks it up. But cheating should not be considered as a normal behavior and we need to face the situation to acknowledge that infidelity brings out several consequences.

We should consider if there is a better solution: Can we be honest to ourselves, to our partners and to people around us? In fact, we should. No one wants to be the last one to know he was betrayed by his partner.

Is divorce the right solution?

is divorce the right solutionNew alarming statistics on divorces are processed every year. There are about 30 thousands divorces per year according to Czech Statistical Office. Even more, Czech Republic is one of the countries where number of divorces is almost equal to the weddings. Why do we divorce so much? Everyone longs for harmony and deep bounds with somebody, but on the other hand our nature is to be independent and free to decide for ourselves. We tend to exchange freedom for love and intimacy in the beginning of a relationship. With longer suppression of this necessity we start to feel frustrated wishing to be able to take our own decisions again. There should be a certain equilibrium which would keep both partners equal in marriage. If it is disrupted, conflicts emerge and they tend to escalate. Usually when the marriage problems are in a downwards spiral which cannot be inverted, the divorce is on the table.

Which behavior indicates that the relationship is over?

  • Exhaustion or one-way investment into the relationship.

Marriage is usually built on concrete grounds of mutual respect and acknowledge that each one can rely on the other. You can imagine marriage as a jar which is filled with things which each partner do for the other. On crises, they can withdraw from the jar for some time. If the jar is not filled back in, or is filled in only from one partner, the relationship will start cracking apart and hostility will find its way between the two. If the jar will finally get empty, divorce will knock on the door.

  • If spouses start think about each other only in negative way.

Partners tend to focus on positive things and overlook the negative ones in the beginning of a relationship. But with the time both partners will start realizing details which did not have a matter before. From the little habits which could be seen before as impressive are now toxic flaws which drive them crazy. Instead of saying to themselves that today is not a good day they blame each other. One of the most common signs of upcoming divorce is lack of respect for the partner.

  • Problems are permanent.

Problems which are unpleasant but temporary can become permanent and partners can stop believing in their resolution during the marriage. These problems can be: cheating repeatedly, bad money handling, alcohol abuse, unreliability and more. Instead of short stress they bring a long term frustration, helplessness and depression. If the spouses stop believing that they can be happy again in the matrimony, there is probably only a way out of it.

  • Arguments become insoluble.

Arguments are normal part of a relationship. The problem comes out when they become the only communication between partners and do not resolve any issues. They are exactly the ones which never lead anywhere, they do not lead to reconciliation or release only to frustration, silence or tears. Instead of cleaning the air they build walls between partners. Avoiding any conflict with silence can be as destructive.

  • Children start to suffer.

When children start to suffer with hostility, aggression or fights of their parents, it is time to discuss divorce. If children see their parents struggle all the time, the emotion of fear, insecurity or sadness will overwhelm them. They do not know how to handle these feelings and often blame themselves as cause of the problems. Also parents who fight all the time cannot fill basic exigencies of their children. The most important are the feeling of safety and love. This experience can leave scars for the rest of their lives.

What to do next?

The most important question you have to ask is: “Did I do everything I could have done to save my marriage?”

  • On which level are you able to communicate with your partner, compromise and enjoy your free time?
  • Are you wasting your energy for resolving everyday problems or worrying about your future all the time and cannot focus on anything else?
  • Did you and your partner try to visit a therapist for couples?
  • Do you both know which problems are destroying your marriage?

Once you start thinking about divorce it is important to keep your emotions under control. You should rather focus on real problems so you won’t be feeling sorry later for wrong decisions. It is also possible to get advise from your close ones. But do not let them decide for you. Nobody can understand how YOU feel in the relationship and your partner can behave differently in front of other people and behind closed doors. If your partner does not know about your decision be prepared that the reaction may be very emotional. Even people who know that everything is not all right in the relationship they are usually surprised and devastated. Give your partner enough time to be able to go thru all the phases of coping with the situation, be open to discussions which may be long and exhausting and try to understand your partner’s reactions. Fast solution may not be the right one. If you have children, you should protect them with calm and unambiguous behavior and continuous proceeding ahead.


New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions - Novoroční předsevzetí

Many people make New Year’s resolutions every end of a year. I was always thinking  of it, a bit as a cliché. Sure, from now on everything will be different. We won’t drink alcohol anymore, we will stop smoking, we will exercise every day, find better job and become rich. But usually New Year’s resolutions don’t last for long. But this year I made few but even more than ever before. So, should we change our life completely starting 1st of January or is it foolish?

To look back into the past year has definitely some meaning. What have I achieved last year? What have I started and have to complete this year? What did not go exactly as I expected and I have to do differently next time?

Everyone interprets the end of a year in his own way. Most of us will probably, in a bit nostalgic way, think about the most important things we experienced. If the last year was a hard one, we can be proud that we survived. If it was successful, we can look forward to continue towards the same direction. If you belong to the group of people who are lazy and not very consistent, as me, here are few tips on how to fulfill the New Year’s resolutions.

1. Do not make too many radical resolutions at the same time. If you decide to quit smoking, to stop drinking alcohol, to start running 10km every day and lose 10kg in 3 months, your mind won’t be able to cope with all the stress. Let’s try to make small changes, step by step, they will kick-start the rest.

2. Do not set extreme goals which will lose their meaning with one mistake. If you set resolution to never put a cigarette into our mouth again it is very likely that with one slip you will dismiss the promise completely. The same is with everyday exercise.  Let’s try instead of “quit” to use “reduce”, instead of “exercise every day” to use “move more”.  That can mean everyday one cigarette less but also half of the amount or no smoking at all. Same is with the exercise. We can train for marathon or climb the stairs instead of using the elevator.

3. Write everything on a piece of paper. If you invent many great resolutions on New Year’s Eve it is possible that the next day they won’t make much sense as it is when you drink few glasses of wine. It is OK to wait till you get back to your old habits and have time to think carefully of what you want to achieve. Once written on paper you can go back to them later on and check out what you have already fulfilled or make some new resolutions.

4. Don’t forget about resolutions which will make you happy even they are not essential for your life. I divided mine into 3 categories: Most important, important and just for fun. If you make only resolutions which are not entertaining you may not even start with them. But if you put down things which will make you happy on their own, you will achieve them easier. Into my “for fun” category fall: to help an unknown person, to do something brand new, to break rules, to engage in some activity as volunteer etc. Try anything: holidays in the mountains, learn how to dance, cook Indian food…

5. Reward yourself for what you have achieved. It’s not important if the reward will be a party with your friends, a new piece of clothes or a nice evening with your partner. You don’t have to wait until someone realizes that you have achieved something. You can enthusiastically talk about what you have achieved and what adventures you came across. Who knows, maybe you will motivate your friends to join you.

6. The last advise is very easy – to start. It is not important where or how. The important part is to do the first step in some direction. In the end you might realize, that it is much easier than you expected.

Whatever New Year’s resolutions you have, do not be too strict with yourself. Focus more on strengthening the good habits than eliminating the negative ones. The changes will come in no time. Happy New Year!

Don´t Overestimate the Truth

From a young age, we teach our children that lying is bad. We want them to be honest and bear the consequences of their actions. We value honesty as a moral virtue. But is the truth always more important than empathy or the intention to help someone?

pravda

The research of Bella DePaulo, a sociologist, shows that almost everyone lies. In her study she asked a group of 77 students and 70 people of various occupations to write down every time they lied during their ten-minute interactions with other people. The experiment lasted for a week. The results show that only 1% of the students and 8% of the people of other occupations did not lie. So the question is not WHETHER we lie, but HOW MUCH we lie, and what kind of lies we tell. DePaulo distinguishes two groups of lies.

White lies and well-intentioned untruths

  • These are usually harmless lies, which we tell our loved ones to make them feel better or to avoid conflicts.
  • We use them when we care about the person. We also use them to make ourselves look better in the eyes of others, or to achieve what we want.
  • Examples of white lies: ‘You look great.’ ‘I know exactly how you feel.’ ‘You couldn’t have done anything to prevent.’

Big or serious lies

  • Lies that destroy trust between people.
  • They are frowned upon by the society.
  • The most frequent ones are about love affairs.
  • They are meant to cover up for transgressions which we do not want to take the consequences of.

Lies are usually told by people who are very dependent on their self-image, who want to appeal to others, manipulate them or otherwise benefit from them.

Mobile radiation, truth or myth?

mobile radiation or not

Sometimes we are so convinced of our opinions that nothing is able to make us change them. We tend to make any information fit our own schemes and interpret it to conform to our own world view, completely disregarding what the information was really meant to convey.

I talked to my colleague the other day about the impact mobile phone radiation has on our health. According to him, mobile phones cause extreme damage to the brain. He prefers not to bring his phone to work at all. It made me wonder what are the results of studies dealing with this issue. The most extensive study observed 12 thousand people from 13 different countries and the data was then processed by scientists from 7 institutions under the World Health Organization. The scientists attempted to find a link between using mobile phones and brain tumors. The results show that mobile phone radiation has no effect on brain tumor development. Previous research states the same. Even biologists claim that the radiation levels are too weak to cause any harm to the brain.

The power of belief

Do you think that these studies will be able to change the opinion of those who fear the negative impact of modern technology on our health? Probably not, from what I could see. I sent the study to my colleague, who replied immediately with: “My opinion doesn’t change.” He refused to even read a study that didn’t conform to his own beliefs. In some cases we care more about our own interpretation of certain facts than about the facts themselves. I studied the topic further in order to understand my colleague’s opinion:

  • Radiation is invisible, we can’t touch it, and that is why it scares us.
  • Scientists discovered that the word radiation itself is often associated with scary things, such as the atomic bombings of Hirosima and Nagsaki or the Chernobyl disaster, cancer and genetic mutations, all of them things that frighten us.
  • Mobile phone radiation is a popular topic with the media. The media often like to present speculation rather than any actual proof.
  • The research conducted on animals suggests that radiation can weaken the walls of brain vessels and increase the susceptibility for illness. However, these findings have never been confirmed in relation to people. The authors of the research admit that the human body may be able to cope with this without any problems.

Why are you angry?

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Have you got an adolescent at home who gives one-word answers for everything and always takes a long time to do anything? Does your colleague at work drive you crazy with not doing anything properly? Do you keep these thoughts to yourself and merely drop sarcastic remarks, while positively seething inside? These may be the signs of passive-aggressive behavior.

Passive aggression is described as an intentional but concealed way of expressing negative emotions, such as anger, defiance or hostility. It is usually expressed in an environment where we are forced to obey an authority and we are afraid of a conflict. It can be related to work, home or relationships. Examples of passive aggression can be found in boss-employee relationships, parent-child relationships and the relationships between spouses, partners, colleagues, etc. How do we know if passive aggression is an issue we or someone close to us should be concerned with? The following statements are examples of passive aggressive behaviour; however, the context and the tone in which they are uttered are also important:

“I’m not angry”

The trademark sign of passive aggression is the denial of anger.

“OK, as you like.”

I don’t care. Passive-aggressors think that it would make their life even worse, should they openly express their emotions, so they make the impression that they agree with things they are internally opposed to.

“I’m coming!”

A person gives verbal consent to something but delays in doing it. They are the masters of procrastination.

“I thought you knew.”

They hold back important information in order to prevent a problem.

“You always need to have everything perfect.”

If they cannot delay a task, they use a more intricate method: they would perform the task on time, but poorly.

“Gladly.”

They would agree to help someone, but afterwards they would do everything in their power to prevent any kind of help.

“I was just kidding.”

Passive-aggressive people use sarcasm. It is an expression of hostility through a socially acceptable form.

“Why are you angry?”

Their biggest weapon is not to show their emotions. They always point out when someone else loses control.

by Radka Gottwaldova