Posts Tagged People

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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Can Partner Lose His Interest in Boys?


I have a partner and we have been together for 15 years. I was 18 when we met and he was 33. Our whole relationship we have struggled with his attraction to younger men. He dated a 16 year old for 6 months when he was 31. We have went to a therapist over it and they have told me that since he has been with me he has not made any advances onto a young boy. But I catch him watching 12 year old boys wrestle, kiss or anything else he can find on youtube. I am not sure what to do. I love him and we have a life together, but this worries me.

A: It should worry you. Being sexually aroused by young boys is not a benign paraphilia. A young person could get hurt. Your partner could land in jail. At 18, you fulfilled his fantasy of being with a young boy – and you were legal. I’m concerned that 15 years later, now that you are clearly an adult, sex with you may not be enough to gratify him.

It is true that as long as someone has strong impulse control, he may never cross the line. However, some of the leading researchers who study pedophilia believe that indulging in watching such videos is a slippery slope. It encourages an objectification of young boys and reduces the older person’s ability to empathize with what they might feel if he approached them. Further, being with a lover is not a reliable deterrent for inappropriate or illegal sexual activity.

It’s not enough to hope that because he’s with you, he won’t act on his impulses. It’s important that he has a clear plan for staying on the right side of the line. That includes having empathy for children, having a well articulated plan for keeping children and himself safe, and being clear that he does have control over his choices. If that hasn’t been talked about specifically in therapy, it should be. If the therapist isn’t comfortable with a frank and detailed conversation about it, please find a therapist with expertise in the issue.

People do have control over their proclivities. But they have to be committed to it. I hope your partner is being honest with himself and with you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Am I Anorexic?


Hi I’m 15, female, 5’2 and 87. I’m completely obsessed with food. It literally rules my life. I stay up all night thinking and planning what I will eat the next day. I love making food for others but I never eat it. I find it hard to eat over 400 calories a day. I am on my feet every minute I am awake, I never sit down. I workout and exercise also. Not as much as I should. I cancel plans with my friends because I’m afraid they will make me eat or I will be confronted with food. I have constant urges to throw up but I never have. I also self harm by cutting.
I cancel all plans with friends also because I hate being social. I’m a nice person, I just get nervous around other people. I hate staying the night at other peoples’ houses because I have certain routines that I do every day.

I’m constantly sad. Nothing makes me happy. Not even going on vacations or “fun” trips to the mall or amusement park. Being with friends doesn’t make me happy, it just makes me freak out. I constantly think people are judging me. What the heck is wrong with me?? Eating disorder? Anxiety? OCD? Depression? I’ve taken many online quizzes and I’ve scored high on all of the above disorders. I haven’t been to a doctor in over a year, I’m afraid they’ll force me to gain weight and eat. I have insomnia also. Please help. I feel suicidal all the time but I’ve never attempted. I feel like I’m constantly bothering people.

A. I am sorry that you are suffering. You asked about whether you have anxiety, OCD, depression, or an eating disorder. I cannot know with certainty. What fundamentally seems to be driving your behavior is anxiety and fear.

You also seem to lack self-esteem. You are constantly worried about what other people think of you. You worry that you are “bothering people” which may indicate that you consider yourself unimportant.

You are not functioning well. Your eating or sleeping patterns are unstable and you are experiencing significant mental health symptoms, all of which are disrupting your life. You need help. Receiving help at this time is especially imperative because you admitted that you are considering suicide. People often consider suicide when they feel as though they have no other option or they don’t know what to do.

I would advise you to see a mental health professional. You should also have a physical evaluation by a medical professional to determine what damage your body has sustained. Undergoing those evaluations will help to determine your psychological and physical health status.

Accessing professional mental health treatment is the wisest and most efficient approach to your problems. Asking for help may be difficult but force yourself to do it anyway. There are many people who have had very similar problems, received help and their life has significantly improved. If you are willing to seek professional help, then you can expect the same, positive outcome. There is a great deal of hope if you are willing to seek treatment. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Do I Have an Issue?


Hi, I’m 14. I’ve been in high school for about a year now. I started becoming very very lonely. I used to go out with my “friends”. Now I stay home every single day & it’s summer. I sometimes cry myself to sleep because I feel so unwanted! My parents are divorce, I live with my dad & my dad HATES my mom. I haven’t seen my mom in 4 years. Witch probably makes me so emotional. I sometimes even cry because I don’t think I feel love or understood by anyone. I don’t like talking a bout my feelings to people because I feel unwanted, I feel like they won’t care. I keep so much to myself. It brakes me. I believe my dad is Bi-Polar & has anger issues, witch could be a reason why I get mad very easy. I hate my body so much! I’m fat! Im very insecure. I have so much emotion in me. I’m always sad, I could be happy for one minute then back to sad. I also sleep my whole day away.

A. It seems as though you may be experiencing symptoms of depression. You have negative thoughts, you don’t feel good about yourself and you are withdrawing from friends and family. Your feelings may be related to the breakup of your parents’ marriage or their contentious relationship. They may be so focused on battling each other that they are neglecting your emotional needs.

Another aspect of this problem is that you have been without your mother for four years. It is unclear why you have not seen your mother for such a long time but this likely is contributing to your problems.

I would strongly advise you to speak to your father or other members of your family about the possibility of professional help. Don’t ignore these problems. Your symptoms need to be addressed. It seems as though your father is currently unable to meet your emotional needs and if that is the case, then you should seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist can assist you in developing coping skills and the processing of your feelings in a psychologically healthy way.

If you feel uncomfortable approaching your father about this issue, then as soon as school begins next month, speak to a guidance counselor. The guidance counselor could assist you in addressing these problems or refer you to a mental health professional.

In the meantime, force yourself to be in the presence of others. That may not be easy but do it anyway. The less that you are isolated, the better. Isolation increases the likelihood of negative feelings. I would also encourage you to begin writing in a journal. A journal could be helpful in a number of ways including being a release for your emotions and documenting your symptoms. When and if you have the opportunity to meet with a mental health professional, having those notes from your journal could greatly assist the therapist in determining what might be wrong. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Are You In a Healthy Relationship?


Are You In a Healthy Relationship?

by YourTango Experts

Are You In A Healthy Relationship?This guest article from YourTango was written by Susan J. Elliott.

In the years I’ve been counseling and coaching, many people say, “I know I’ve been in sick relationships, but I don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like.”

There are many long and complicated answers to this, but there is also a simple one: healthy relationships make your life larger and happier; unhealthy relationships narrow your life and make you crazy.

Healthy relationships do not include mind games, mixed messages, or control.  There is not a back and forth or continual makeup and breakup, or “I’m sorry, please forgive me” every week or so.

 

In healthy relationships, there is a partnership and a nurturing by both parties of that partnership.  At the same time, each person recognizes the need to have interests and time away from their partner to nurture themselves. They don’t need to have the same interests, but rather the same view of life. Healthy love is about taking care of yourself and taking care of your mate… and those things are in balance to the point where they seldom collide.

What is Real Love?

Healthy people lead to healthy relationships and healthy relationships lead to real love.

Real love does not seek another person to fill up what we are lacking. It takes a complete, whole person to really love and overly needy people cannot do it. Real love is balanced. Both partners love in fairly equal amounts. While the balance may shift back and forth, it is not lopsided. If you love someone who is not loving your back, or not loving you the way you love them, then it’s not real.

When you place expectations on people to fill your empty places, that is not healthy. It’s nice to have a partner, a companion, someone to help you weather life’s storms, but it is not okay to look for someone to complete you or fix your broken places. That is not real love; that is dependence, co-dependence, and unhealthy neediness.

Real love does not play games, cause us to lose sleep, friends, jobs, money, time and value in our lives. Real love is an enlarging and not a narrowing experience. And finally, real love does exist. But it is true that in order to find the right person, you need to be the right person.

To be the right person you have to do your work, examine your failed relationships and, find the patterns. Go to counseling if you have historical issues. Find out why you are attracted to a certain type that is not good for you. And, at the same time, build your life so that you are an independent, interesting, and attractive person.  You will attract other independent, interesting, and attractive people who are capable of good and loving relationships.

As I say over and over again, water seeks its own level. If you are attracting and attracted to unhealthy and dysfunctional, you are unhealthy and dysfunctional. Do your work so that real love and lasting love has a chance to walk in.

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Is Medically Assisted Death an Individual Right?



Is Medically Assisted Death an Individual Right?

By RICK NAUERT PHD

Is Medically Assisted Death an Individual Right?

An issue that will likely come up in the U.S. health care reform debate has already raised its ugly head for our neighbors to the north.

The question, which has been partially reviewed in some progressive states, pertains to end of life care and personal freedoms. Specifically, is it legal for an individual to request medical assistance to die?

The topic is under investigation as a new report from Quebec that recommends medical assistance to die is expected to reignite the debate over euthanasia in Canada, say editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The Dying with Dignity commission of the Quebec National Assembly recently issued its report after two years of public and expert consultation and research.

Advocates of this approach argue that medically assisted death is a patient’s right. It should therefore be considered as an end-of-life care option rather than a criminal act.

“Many physicians and patients will find this a shocking prospect to consider,” write Drs. Ken Flegel, Senior Associate Editor, CMAJ, and John Fletcher, CMAJ Editor-in-Chief. “Frail, dependent patients often feel a burden to their families or caregivers, and the unspoken possibility of a quick resolution to their predicament may complicate an already stressful situation,” they write.

Experts say that if Quebec decides to adopt the recommendations, legal safeguards must be built in to protect health care workers and patients from potential abuses once the changes are made.

Public consultation in Quebec as well as national discussion and involvement of federal lawmakers are needed if changes are to be made to the criminal code.

“The ethics of euthanasia are a familiar debate in Canada; one that may have been theoretical, until recently, because of the tacit assumption that doctors do not kill people. In Quebec, the debate is moving from theory toward practice. Which way will legislation go? Will the rest of Canada follow? Those who care about the answers to these questions must speak up now, and with conviction,” concluded the authors.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal

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