Posts Tagged Job

Thinking About Giving Inspires People to Help Others


Thinking About Giving Inspires People to Help OthersResearchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan have found that reflecting on what we’ve given, rather than what we’ve received, may lead us to be more helpful toward others.

The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In the study, Adam Grant and Jane Dutton wanted to understand how reflection, in the form of expressive writing, might influence prosocial behavior.

They found that the receipt of gifts or favors from another person might cause an individual to be obliged to help that person, but the motivation to help doesn’t necessarily extend to other people.

Moreover, reflecting on what we’ve received from others may even cause us to feel dependent and indebted. This finding lead the researchers to wonder whether thinking about times when we have given to others might be more effective in promoting helping.

They hypothesized that reflecting on giving could lead a person to see herself as a benefactor, strengthening identity as a caring, helpful individual and motivating one to take action to benefit others.

In their first experiment, the researchers studied fundraisers whose job was to solicit alumni donations to support various programs at a university.

The researchers randomly split the fundraisers into two groups: One group wrote journal entries about recent experiences of feeling grateful for receiving a benefit and the other group wrote journal entries about recent experiences in which they made a contribution that enabled other people to feel grateful.

Grant and Dutton then measured how many calls each fundraiser made per hour in the two weeks before and the two weeks after the week that they spent journaling. Because the fundraisers were paid a fixed hourly rate, with no fundraising goals or incentives, the number of calls they made reflected voluntary effort to help raise funds for the university.

As the researchers hypothesized, the fundraisers who wrote about giving for just two or three days increased their hourly calls by more than 29 percent in the following two weeks. The fundraisers who wrote about receiving, however, showed no change in the number hourly calls made.

In a second experiment, the researchers randomly assigned college students to one of three groups, requiring them to list three ways they had recently given help, list three ways they had recently received help, or list three different foods they had eaten in the last week.

When the participants came to the university’s behavioral lab a few weeks later to pick up their payment for participating in the study, they were given a form describing the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. On the form, the participants were asked whether they would like to donate any portion of their $5 payment to an earthquake relief fund.

Nearly 50 percent of participants who had reflected on giving donated, compared to 21 percent in the beneficiary group and 13 percent in the control cohort.

Grant and Dutton believe that the findings from these two experiments have important real-world implications.

“Helping, giving, volunteering, and other actions undertaken to benefit others play a critical role in protecting health, promoting education, fighting poverty and hunger, and providing disaster relief,” the researchers write.

Experts believe self-reflection is a powerful tool to motivate helping and volunteering behaviors that benefit individuals and communities. And, as a general rule, we should reflect on positive experiences and think about what we’ve given to others—not only what we’ve received.

Source: Association for Psychological Science

Woman writing in a journal photo by shutterstock.

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Should I Have Thrown out my Parents?


I inherited a house I lived in for 12 years with my family, from my grandpa for taking care of him until his death. My parents constantly state that I stole the house from them.

My father lost his job and they moved in with us. They constantly verbally abuse me front of my children calling me improper names. My brother also moved in with his PitBull who attacked my 12 year old daughter and killed her guinea pig front of her. It took me 3 hours to calm her and my parents response was it was my daughters fault for holding her pet. I asked my brother to remove the dog.

We took my daughter on vacation so she can rest from he trauma; I asked my parents to please make sure the dog’s belonging is gone when we return. It was not; therefore I asked my father why very nicely and he attacked me. I had 5 witnesses and he swore that I will never be able to keep my house he will make sure of it. I asked him to leave the house and never came back. This is not the only time he has treated me this way. He hit me until I was 21 and when I was pregnant he cursed my child in my stomach hoping she would die front of strangers on the street. My mom also blames me for how my brother turned out. She says it is all my faoult because when I was 16 I worked too much instead of raising him right while she was at work.

I know I am abused but they always make me feel guilty and I forgive them. This time I am protecting my children who I raise with love and respect. Did I do the right thing by throwing my parents out? Also, I never asked my brother to leave but he broke many things in the house and told me he never wants to see us again. Should I report the incident to the police? Pitt-bull attack and vandalism?

A: Please listen to your own good sense. You are living in an environment of domestic violence. Just because these people are related to you does not, not, not mean that they are entitled to abuse you emotionally, verbally, and physically. You have been worn down to the point that you can no longer see clearly how badly you are being treated and you accept the blaming and shaming. You have nothing to apologize for! The abuse is now being extended to your daughter. Let the tiger-mom in you come out. She needs your protection.

You can’t just tell these people to leave. They will make you miserable. They’ve already shown they are capable of violence. You need support and legal help to separate you from this family safely. Please look at this website to learn how to go about getting the help you need.

If your family has access to this computer, delete this message and your inbox history and use the computer at your library or at a friend’s house to explore your options.

These people are dangerous. Protect yourself and your daughter.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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My Mother Replaced Me


I’ve never been really close to my mother. But just about a year ago we became even more distant, being that my brothers ex girlfriend has been living with her. My brother is in prison; he and his GF are no longer together. My mom says she just “likes” her and they have a lot in common. This young woman is 23, has no job, the mentality of a ghetto fifteen year old, and I strongly believe that she smokes meth and has gotten my mother hooked on it too (which my mom denies, but her rapid weight loss tells me otherwise). She lives off of my mom for free. My mom does not call me. She always finds an excuse as to why she cannot visit, the few times she has, this girl is always there. My mother also does not contact my grandparents anymore. My question is: Should confront this girl and tell her I want my mom back and she needs to leave? Or do I just forget about my mother and let her live her own life the way she wants?

A: Your mom has made her choice and while it is unfortunate, your brother’s ex is a symptom, not a cause of the problem. Your mom seems to have shut herself off from the family – and that includes you. You want what your mom could be, not who she is.

It is time to grieve the loss of the mother you never really had so you can move on. Once you stop trying to get what can’t be given you will no longer feel depleted. Let go of trying to get something your mom can’t give. In this way you can find positive, loving relationships instead.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Pregnant and Husband is Nonsupportive


Ever since my husband and I got married, I have been very unhappy in this relationship. I feel like I’m married to a teenage boy who is used to getting his way without giving anything back (he is an only child and was raised in a very permissive environment). I could go on about all the details of his controlling, manipulative, often times verbally abusive behavior, but I just want to give some background o f my current problem.

Although he has had a job throughout the majority of our marriage, In 6 years I have had to deal with him deciding to embark on a new career path 5 times; and in every instance,a great deal of money is required for things like the training or the equipment necessary. He basically becomes obsessed with his new endeavors, dedicating all his time and energy to them while neglecting any responsibilities and his current job. I have expressed how emotionally straining each new venture is on me, and he always promises that “this is the last time”. However, He always abandons these projects as quickly as he takes them on. A few months later, he will find something else to spark his interest and it starts all over again.

He has no shame in demanding more money and my undying support with absolutely no consideration of my feelings. I feel that he is not living up to his job as a husband, father and a supporter of his family by not providing us with stability and a steady source of income. He is constantly pointing the finger back at me when I protest to the unfairness of the situation, insinuating that I am a loser because he believes I’ve never worked or had a “real job” .

I have provided us with a great deal of financial support from the assets my mother left me when she died. I have sold almost all of the property, annuities and stock she left me (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars) to support us. Much of this money has gone to vacations and lots of “toys” that he wanted, such as a boat, expensive photography equipment, and a pickup truck, just to name a few. Although he never has had a problem spending this money, he continually points out that I did not actually work for it and am therefore still not contributing my share to the marriage by not always having a job.

I have worked on and off since we’ve been married, but the time I have spent not working has been at home taking care of our daughter. Even since she was born, I went back to work as a high school Spanish teacher. He was not at all supportive during this time, telling me that I was neglecting my family when I would stay after school school late or work on weekends to complete a teacher’s never ending tasks of lesson planning and grading papers.

I’m 35 weeks pregnant and am just about at my rope’s end as the arrival of our son nears. We moved to another city a few months ago after I sold a house I inherited from my mother; the sale enabled us to buy a new house and have a good chunk of cash left over. This money was meant to be a crutch while he looked for jobs and worked on the new travel business that he bought into in December. However, in 5 months, he has not spent a full hour searching for jobs, does nothing to help around the house, and has completely abandonded the travel business.- I have done the bulk of unpacking, most everything is still in boxes from the move. I have asked him repeatedly for help, especially because I am having a rough pregnancy with lots of back pain, so I am not physically capable of doing every bit of the housework. Yet he continues to ignore any housework and my requests for him to do specific tasks.

When he is not napping, which is quite often, he watches tv, reads, or plays on the internet. Any time not spent on these activities is spent on his newest endeavor – he wants to become a pilot! Of course, there is a costly training involved that will come out of the money from the sale of the house. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that we had agreed a good portion of this money would go toward the kids’ college funds. I became furious at his audacity to do this yet again, right before our son is to be born. I tried to compromise with him by agreeing to that he begin the training program after he gets a job and works for a while, just to make sure this is exactly what he wants to do. This is not acceptable to him, it has to be now. I finally broke down and agreed because he wouldn’t leave me alone about it, not even letting me sleep at night! So, the only time he does anything productive is when he goes to flying lessons at over $100 a pop.

The money is running quickly out and I just don’t know what to do now. Because my daughter was a csection birth, I will be having another when this baby comes. I know I am going to need to rely on him to help, as I am going to need to heal from the surgery. I won’t be able to do a lot of things, including picking up our 3 year old daughter! But at this rate, I feel like I can only count on him to contribute to the piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and trash he currently leaves me to deal with. Believe me, I know that we need serious help from a counselor if this marriage is going to work, but there’s only a few short weeks left before the baby comes. I need his help now! What do I do???

A: I’m so sorry you are in this situation – especially at a time when you are feeling particularly vulnerable. By your description, you are not married to a man. You are married to an overgrown teenager. You are expecting adult behavior from someone who sees no reason to be an adult. Why would he? He has been continually rewarded for his immature behavior with money, toys, and the freedom to do what he wants when he wants. It’s a nice life if you can get it. Well, not really. What he doesn’t understand is that he is missing out on the satisfactions of being a successful husband, father, and employee. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

It’s time for you to stop looking at him and to start looking at yourself. You can’t change him. He sees no reason to change. He avoids accountability by not staying with anything. He thinks it works for him. Sadly, you’ve gotten caught up in his game. You’ve always backed down from any limit you’ve set so he has no reason to think you’ll do differently now.

I don’t know what has kept you from being more assertive. If you haven’t been able to figure out how to draw a line and keep it, it’s time for you to get some help. Please find yourself a therapist to help you reclaim your self-esteem and self-respect. Your children need your mothering, not your husband. While you do your personal work, it might also be advisable to consult a lawyer about how to protect your remaining assets. If you do decide to separate, you don’t want to be penniless and dependent for child support on this overgrown child.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Shattered Hopes and Dreams


I had my dream and aspirations regarding my career for so many years which all got shattered due to my inability to pass the competitive exam. The aim which i always cherished didn’t fructify …Now i am in a state of despondency, frustration,hopelessness.Now i feel as if there is no purpose or motive of my life….

I am in my home along with my parents without any job….As i didn’t get the vocation i wanted…other things seems meaningless to me and moreover i don’t feel like joining any other sector…..The things which i always aimed at for the last 20 years were never achieved……(as far as my academics and my career is concerned).Each day seems like a day of burden and sorrow…i don’t like to talk to anybody nor i am able to enjoy with anyone because each time my failures crops up in back of my mind….My girlfriend too deserted me

Please help me how to come out of this despondent situation

regards

A: You do have my sympathy but I’m going to give you a little “tough love.” I think you are having a tantrum. You didn’t get what you wanted so now you are taking your mind and education and creativity “home.” It’s as if you are telling the world that because you didn’t get what you wanted, you aren’t going to contribute at all. I happen to think you – and the world – deserve better.

Please – get yourself an appointment with a career counselor. I understand you didn’t get the career you wanted. But the same training that you did so diligently for so long probably also prepares you for other opportunities. There may well be related options that you don’t even know about. Sometimes, people find there are even better ways to use their training. You won’t know until you talk with someone who has expertise in such matters. You certainly aren’t going to find a basis for success by sitting in your room feeling sorry for yourself.

I hope you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get motivated instead. Only you can turn this situation around. Find a therapist if you need some support. Please don’t let a setback this year become a basis for a lifetime of failure.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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