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Month: November 2010

The Happiness Choice

“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.” –Stephen R. Covey, Author and Speaker This is a powerful freedom. And, from my point of view, another way of putting this is that the ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide our own intent: To protect against pain with our controlling behavior To learn about what is loving to ourselves and others When our intent is to learn about love, that is when we get to decide how others will affect us. If my intent is to...

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A Classification of Lies and Confabulations

A statement constitutes a lie only if at least one of the interlocutors knows it to be untrue, yet insists or assumes that it is true. If all the parties involved in the exchange know that the statement is false or if none of them know whether it is false or true, then it is fiction or an act of faith. Lies are about facts or about states of being. Lies that pertain to facts cannot be rendered true by widespread consensus. But with regards to lies about states of being, if the parties agree something to be the...

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The Psychology of Spree Shooters

Most spree shooters are loners. They are either schizoid (with deficient interpersonal skills) or paranoid and even paranoid-schizophrenic (psychotic, delusional). Their dysfunction is all-pervasive: their family life, career, romantic relationships, professional and material accomplishments are all adversely affected by their mental mayhem. They feel excluded and shunned and are profoundly ashamed of and frustrated with their inadequacies and with their sadistic, self-destructive, suicidal, and self-defeating “inner judge” (inner, introjected “voices” or narrative). This frustration builds up and results in pent-up aggression which ultimately manifests as furious, uncontrollable rage. The typical spree shooter is in love with all things violent: guns, the military, police work, virulent racism, and crime. Since spree shooters have no one to share their emotions with, these tectonic and volcanic shifts gets shunted (displaced): when the spree shooter seeks to explain to himself why he is so angry constantly, he blames it upon his ultimate victims and their behavior or idiosyncrasies. Members of despised minorities (Roma, Jews, blacks, homosexuals, etc.) are perfect scapegoats because their persecution is socially-sanctioned and the spree shooter catches two birds with one shotgun: for the first time in his life he feels that he “belongs”, that his conduct is socially-acceptable and peer-condoned; and he vents his fury on easy, vulnerable, risk-free targets. During the attack, the spree shooter feels elated and his anxiety relieved. Contrary to the persistent myth, the shooter...

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Getting Your Teenager Out of Bed

A lot of teenagers have trouble getting up in the morning. If you have a difficult, defiant or oppositional defiant teenager, it could be that getting your child up in the morning for school could become a daily chore that you dread. You go in his room, wake him up again and again, but he does not get up. Finally, you have to force him to get out of bed – cursing and screaming, yelling at one another – all just to get him to go to school on time. What exactly should you do about this? First of all we should examine this situation much more closely. Your teenager is supposed to go to school – that means he has to get there on time. It is his job to get there on time. Is it your problem or the child’s problem that he gets to school on time? If you look at it carefully, it is your child’s responsibility – you have been through school already. It is his job to make sure he gets to school on time and fulfills his responsibilities. The truth is that if you are making it your job to get your child up for school on time and not letting him take responsibility for that, then you have made it your job and not his job. That is really the problem....

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Fear of Anger – Yours and Others

Are you terrified of others’ anger? Are you afraid to open to your own anger for fear of getting out of control? If you grew up in an angry or violent home, there is a good possibility that you have a fear of both your own anger and others’ anger. Fear of Others’ Anger I grew up with a very angry mother and I was terrified of her anger. Her anger was irrational and it came out of nowhere. My whole body used to shake when she got angry. For years as an adult, I continued to be terrified...

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