Overcoming The Need To Please

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development16 Comments

Highly sensitive people have many ways of handling their nature and the overwhelm that they experience. Being different means that relationships are often difficult for us. We often feel at a disadvantage in relationships feeling one down because we feel disrespected. There are many reasons for this. Our compassionate non-competitive natures seek mutuality in a one-upsmanship world which does not respect our kindness. So we often want the respect we deserve but cannot claim. So we seek ways to achieve social acceptance. Pleasing is one of those ways. Do You Feel The Need To Please? The need to please comes from our need to establish and maintain the interpersonal bridge with others. there are many ways that the interpersonal bridge is created and sustained. Most of the time there is some kind of shared experience or other kind of bond created through: blood relationships being neighbors school and school activities shared interests work community activities shared values shared life experiences Highly sensitive people have trouble with the interpersonal bridge because often their values are different from those around them and also because they are different and experience most things differently it is hard for them to bond over shared experiences. Many times HSPs are loners but not by choice. The weakness of the interpersonal bridge is something that we live with each day and it is often a source of feelings of vulnerability. We do not fit in and know it. We suspect therefore that we are unwelcome. Coming To Terms With The Challenges Of Being Different Being different does not necessarily mean that we are unwelcome. Humans are notorious for comparing themselves to each other so we may remind others of undeveloped aspects of themselves and in that way create feelings of discomfort. That is not our fault but … Read More

Are You Really Inhibited?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

Are you  inhibited? What does inhibited even mean? Is it just another one of those value judgments that we use to hurt each other? What Does Inhibited Mean? According to the Free Dictionary, to be inhibited is to restrain, to prohibit and forbid. Inhibited also means to act with self consciousness rather than naturalness. Merriam-Webster defines inhibit as “to discourage from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints.” So to be inhibited is to lack spontaneity and to be subject to inner and social conventions. It sounds like an infection! Inhibition Is Not A Trait Inhibition is essentially social restriction. It is how we turn people into participants in a culture and economic system. In many ways, inhibition becomes a form of self discipline that can be false. There is nothing wrong with self discipline; however, misdirected self discipline is destructive. Inhibition is a society’s way of laying claim to our energies. How Inhibition Takes Hold Inhibition take hold through numerous forms of social control: values  accepted ideas about purpose roles rules approval and disapproval rewards and punishments These are substantial forms of social coercion and inhibition. How Inhibition Is Experienced Internally we experience social expectations as a wall of some kind. Since humans learn through imitation, we inevitably acquire the walls that are given to us as children by imitating adults. Our brains send us an error message if we go against our inherited “self” or what is expected of us. That means that biologically we are wired to conform. If your early training was rigid and perfectionistic you may have developed some very restricted ways of living, so you will experience your inner critic taking over the minute you deviate from the script. Is Materialism Another Form Of Inhibition? Western society currently devalues some inhibition because it is … Read More

How Prejudice Creates Grief

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

We are all born into a world filled with and built on prejudice, which the dictionary defines as preconceived ideas. We are all socialized into the existing prejudicial arrangements. Although we cannot escape the reality of prejudice in the human condition, we can challenge it. Before we can, however, we need an understanding of prejudice and, if possible, some new insights. 5 Reasons Prejudice Exists There are five important reasons why prejudice exists: we use categories to quickly process information. Our threat processing minds use categories as a defense against outside threats. We learn that a hot stove can hurt so hot stove is a category of potential harm. From our earliest days we are building up an inventory of causes of potential harm. Some we learn from experience and others are passed down to us from our family and social group. Sometimes we question our perceptions and assumptions. Most of the time, however, we probably do not question what we consider to be potentially harmful. Since we are all vulnerable creatures we often protect ourselves by being “safe rather than sorry.” we survive through the support and protection of our social group or “tribe.” We adopt  the attitudes and beliefs of that group as a way to maintain our membership. We are built to live in groups. One way we know that is that our brains give us an error message when we deviate from group norms, according to research on how brain supports social conformity. So not only are we meant to live in groups, but our brains reinforce our conforming with our group. Not to do so will raise a perception of threat in the mind. We will continue to feel a threat whenever we act outside of group norms unless the consciousness of the group changes. groups … Read More

Do You Need To Win?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

Do you need to win? Do you feel pressured to win? Do you feel left out in a culture that creates winners and losers? Where does this fixation on winning and losing come from? Why do we compare ourselves to others and rank each other? And why is this such a problem for HSPs? Where Does Winning And Losing Come From? Winning and losing is about more than a set of values. They come from the survival and economic needs of a society. Once a society knows what it needs, it creates the organization to answer that need. As the complexity of human societies increased, newer more complex social structures have developed to create different trades and disciplines to serve the needs of the society. Each society creates winners out of those that further its survival interests however they are expressed. In some societies, that expression has been extremely violent, particularly if war was a constant.  In those situations, “winners” and the most highly regarded would likely be the warriors. The social organization in a society often becomes solidified when different groups form subgroups within a culture, affecting the growth and mobility of its members. So what started out as a way to make life work often turns into a source of deep social friction and pain. Effects Of Social Stratification Social organization affects how we perceive our possibilities in life. By accidents of birth, we inherit a set of social expectations, and commitments which may or may not serve us. Our birth affects the resources available to support our lives and therefore our ability to thrive. Unfortunately our options at a young age are often created by our circumstances. There Is More At Stake Than Status Ranking systems can affect our ability to survive, so they matter. They also matter since there is more … Read More

Is Poverty A Fault?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

Do you ever feel that it is wrong to be poor? Do you sometimes feel that to be poor is a mark of failure? Several days ago I read an article by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed In America, that challenges the common views in the United States about wealth and poverty. She demonstrates how poverty evolved from being a condition of someone’s life to a cultural idea.  The change in our definition of poverty grew out of a book published the 1960’s and written by Michael Harrington. It was titled:  The Other America. The book asserts that the poor are different from everyone else and interprets poverty to be a result of a flawed character. In other words it is wrong not to be wealthy it is a fault to live modestly if you are not greedy there is something wrong with you circumstances do not result in poverty; it is an innate condition coming from poor internal controls and profligate habits. It is interesting that this book was published at the time that many individuals in economic minorities were entering the economic life of the country. Blacks, hispanics and women were moving from dependent roles to full economic citizenship just as poverty and wealth were being redefined! The “wealth is good” mindset served a number of purposes: it made an economic safety net the problem of the individual rather than the community. So any safety net was an act of generosity not a matter of responsibility or good citizenship. it immediately diminished any individual or groups who were not wealthy. each individual had to take care of their own safety net, which creates a hoarding mentality. as our population exploded, supply and demand created rising prices.  In order to take proper care of yourself, you needed more and … Read More

Can You Identify These 5 Different Types of Loyalty in Your Life Or Our World?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

Loyalty is one of those complicated subjects that can touch a nerve. It is like a two edged sword; it can help us and make life worthwhile and also hurt us.   Loyalty is an important subject that is worth thinking about because issues of loyalty are part of our basic social fabric and always have been. Loyalty comes in many flavors and means different things to different people. Ideas about loyalty have changed as we humans have changed. Here are five different ways loyalty is employed in human culture: for some, loyalty is an absolute whether it is loyalty to a tribe or religion. Loyalty under these circumstances means loyalty not only overtly to the group, but also the beliefs, practices and expected behaviors. Since groups that seek absolute loyalty create dependency in their members, escape can be difficult. loyalty demands can manifest in rules and role requirements that have nothing to do with the individual’s abilities. These kinds of demands can feel like a kind of rejection of the individual, a yoke of slavery to group norms. for others, loyalty is extremely conditional. This is the type of person who operates on the “what have you done for me lately?” premise. The point of view of this kind of loyalty is economic rather than institutional. others think everyone deserves at least some loyalty since we are all “in this” together. The point of view of this person is universal. another type of loyalty is loyalty based on the inherent dignity of all living creatures, a kind of transcendent  and transpersonal loyalty. This is the most spiritual kind of loyalty. Loyalty on a one-on-one basis isn’t too difficult and is sometimes straight forward and based on the quality of the relationship. However when you add the complex expectations of … Read More