Antisocial personality disorder is thought of as an uncommon …
Antisocial personality disorder is thought of as an uncommon …
Some people are simply irresponsible.
They may be careless and capricious or outright reckless. They “forget” about appointments. They’re chronically late. They neglect to plan ahead. They’re financially irresponsible. They don’t take care of their stuff. They make rash decisions that get them into trouble. They ignore deadlines. They act as though others should bail them out of whatever trouble they get into.
We all know people like this. And they’re not all adolescents. It could be a friend, a family member or a colleague. We may love them yet we experience them as terribly frustrating. We want to shake them. Yell at them. Knock some sense into their brains. But none of this seems to make a difference to them. They shrug it all off.
Why? Because they have Responsibility Deficit Disorder (RDD), a much-needed diagnostic category that I have just created.
Do you find yourself shouting at people?
The problem with shouting is that it isn’t really communicating — it’s being aggressive and intimidating. That clearly is not the best way to forge relationships. You may not think that you’re being aggressive, or acting unhealthily — but you are. And you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favors with your behavior.
When we communicate, there are a couple of thinking processes going on in the background: We have a goal or task we wish to complete in the interaction.
That goal is being driven by a set of personal rules and beliefs which are running on autopilot.
A game of catch goes nowhere unless you have a partner who catches the ball and throws it back to you.
Similarly, a conversation goes nowhere unless you have a partner who listens to what you’re saying and responds in a way that keeps the conversation going.
A good conversation is constructed by a speaker and a listener each doing their part. A great conversation is constructed with respectful, interesting, enriching content. You learn something. You teach something. Your knowledge increases. Your curiosity is piqued. You relish the time spent together.
The prototype for a great conversation is a couple in love. They make good eye contact. Listen well. Speak with enthusiasm. Value what the other person says. Feel valued by the other person. Disagree respectfully. Enjoy each other.
The prototype for a poor conversation is modern Congress.
I’ll be the first to admit it: I am sort of a sucker for consumer-friendly psychology magazines. Publications like Psychology Today are full of articles I either enjoy reading or using as fire kindling. Or, when I am really irritated by the content, writing articles on the topic. Like this one.
The article, published in Psychology Today, is titled “Ahead of the Curves” and the brilliant tagline? “Men know something vital about women’s body shapes that women don’t. Plus: How big hips make wise women.”
It is six pages long and features illustrations of women who look more like playmates than the women who have the aforementioned “big hips” and are “wise” because of it. One of the illustrations boasts a sexy blonde wearing a pastel-pretty bra and tight briefs. She is pursing her red lips — ready to kiss! She is rather revolting and her hips, well, they certainly are not wise.
That alone is irritating but this is the part that really makes me question my taste in literature: This lengthy article is written by two men.
One of the biggest — if not the biggest — barrier to practicing self-care is guilt. Women, in particular, feel incredibly guilty for tending to their needs.
And it’s not surprising. According to Ashley Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colo., “We are surrounded by overt and covert messages that encourage us to minimize our own needs and feel guilty when we engage in self-care.”
Food and relaxation are prime examples. “Think how many times a day you see some kind of reference to a woman ‘indulging,’ ‘splurging,’ or ‘sinning’ because she meets a basic need like eating food she enjoys or taking time to relax.”
There’s also the belief that taking care of yourself leaves less time and energy for others. But, as Rachel W. Cole, a life coach and retreat leader, said, “self-care is other care.” In other words, practicing self-care helps us help others more effectively. Below, Cole and Eder share other powerful ideas to consider if the palpable guilt appears.
Melissa and Tom (whose names have been changed to protect their privacy) argued as they drove to meet their vocal coach.
“Why do you want to sing The Wind Beneath My Wings?” she asked. “It’s such a cliché, and I’ll never hear the end of it from my Dad.”
“You’re not doing much better with that Shania Twain song,” Tom rebutted, “Everyone’s going to hear it and remember that Shania Twain’s husband left her for the assistant. Doesn’t bode well, does it?”
Melissa and Tom were determined to make their June wedding an entertaining event, complete with readings by Melissa’s sisters, both of whom are actresses, and additional music by Tom’s brother, who is a singer/songwriter. Melissa wanted to wear a green dress to symbolize her commitment to environmental issues, but Tom worried that people would think it was strange.
For couples, getting closer can mean many things. It might mean learning more about each other, sharpening your communication skills, deepening your emotional bond, fighting fair and just having more fun.
According to relationship expert Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D, the best way to get closer and improve communication is to “come to therapy with your partner.”
But there are many ways you can build closeness outside the therapy couch, she said. Here are five strategies to try.
1. Check in with each other daily.
“Leading couples therapists recommend creating an established time each day for couples to touch base with each other,” said Rastogi, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arlington Heights, Ill. For instance, family therapist William Doherty and his wife carved out 15 minutes after dinner for checking in with each other, she said.
Sometimes I worry that society is becoming immune to infidelity and cheating in a romantic relationship. We hear things like, “Half of all marriages end in divorce” and “Half of people in a relationship admit to cheating.” We become desensitized and perhaps a bit pessimistic by hearing these disheartening statistics repeated over and over again.
It’s become so bad that some people are even making up statistics to either sell their infidelity-helping or infidelity-fighting services. For instance, one common statistic I hear thrown out there is that 50 percent of relationships involve infidelity.
Sadly, that statistic is not based upon any scientific research. It’s something marketing companies just made up and use to scare (or motivate) people into buying into their service.
So how common is cheating, really?
Love gets you on the road to a healthy marriage. It can get and keep you in the game and help to keep you on the road.
Love is not enough, however, to play the game well. Love is not enough to get you where you want to go. Love is not enough for a healthy marriage.
Marriages are a test of our emotional and life skills. Since most of us were never taught many of these skills, it is no surprise that so many marriages, even those that are based in love, are a continual struggle and often fall apart.
The following is a list of various, interrelated emotional and life skills that are necessary for a well-functioning marriage. As you read through the list, ask yourself: Which of these am I good at? Which of these do I need to improve? Which of these are hard or nearly impossible for me? Are there any skills that I think are missing from this list?
Low salaries, lack of opportunity for advancement and heavy workloads have more than one-third of Americans reporting feeling chronic work stress.
And women are feeling it more acutely than ever. After decades of making progress in the work force, many women are feeling less valued than men, according to a recent APA survey on Stress in the Workplace. They’re feeling they don’t receive adequate monetary compensation for their work and feel that employers offer them fewer opportunities for internal career advancement than men.
Why are women feeling less appreciated than men, when it comes to compensation and why are they stressed by lack of opportunity?
Possibly because they are.
Most people have an appreciation for and an acceptance of that fact that a relationship doesn’t run smoothly on its own. It takes work, but how many people actually do any work? The answer is very few.
I find that people are coming to me with relationship issues over and over again. When I ask for some history or background, I inevitably see that there is no ‘relationship maintenance’ being done by either partner.
“Relationship maintenance” can be equated to a beautifully kept garden. It didn’t just grow wild and appear beautiful overnight.
It’s more than likely that there were some foundations put in place — for example, a strong surface to hold the garden seat in the peaceful sitting area. Some other areas where beautiful plants are blooming need less preparation. Places where where more wild or natural plants are living freely don’t require as much effort from you. In some parts of the garden there may be a special feature, maybe a water feature or sculpture.
These elements all go into making a garden complete. On their own they don’t look like much, but together they give the garden form, design and a life that can be interesting through all seasons, even when it’s cold.