Monday, 18 August 2014

A Q-Study In Social Relationships

Relate And Grow
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ― C.G. Jung

Relationships within the family are close,intimate,and largely open to evolving over time .However social relationships are those we form outside home.These are the friends you make,your professional,or business associates, your casual acquaintances,your neighbourhood groups,and various other formal ,and informal ones.Usually these relationships reach a stage of stasis with passing time.Growth,however requires constant renewal.And introspection is the most effective renewal for anything achieve-worthy. 

Social relationships help define our boundaries of truth.Staying in isolation is an option ,which even the most enlightened souls have seldom adopted.Rightly, it is social relationships that truly catalyse our intellectual,mental,and spiritual growth.

A question study (Q-study) of social relationships is worth the time and effort,if you are genuinely inclined towards self development,and raising your effectiveness.

Here are some searching questions about your social relationships. 

1.Am I happy in relationship with others?Do I like getting along with others?Or am I in  search mode ,hunting for perceived hurts,always on the guard?

2.How close do I feel one should get to others?Does closeness with someone hamper my normal functioning?Do I feel being guarded and distant is the best defence against “avoidable” mishaps in relationships?

3.What do I look for in social relationships?What is my focus on?Do I want to give mostly?Or take mostly?

4.Do I weigh social relationships in terms of “tit-for-tat” only?Give and take only?Or can I seek relationships as pure, neutral,pleasant interactions,which carry potential to help us grow and evolve ?

5.Am I touchy about what others say or think about me?Is  this an overarching consideration ,and always at the back of my mind?

6.How far back do I go in my memory normally ,in recalling  past unpleasant incidents with people?Do my memories go three years back?Five years back?Nine years back?How are those memories contributing to my present moment effectiveness?

7.Do I consider most people as generally selfish,unhelpful,scheming,unreliable,apathetic?Or do I think people are generally helpful,positive,unselfish,caring ?Whatever the attitude I adopt,how is it colouring my response to relationships?Am I aware of it?

8.Whatever others may actually think of me;what do I honestly think about how I appear  to others?This is important because my personal assessment is usually correct.What have I done to improve things,if they are not what I desire?

9.Am I polite and considerate with others about their needs in a social setting?Or do I brush aside their emotional and personal needs,because I feel they aren’t any more significant than me ?

10.Have I helped anyone without expecting anything from them?And after helping them have I made sure never to mention it in public or private?

11.Do I remember more good incidents about my social relationships?Or do I have a  vast reservoir of distressing ,anguished memories?How is my store of memories impacting my  social relationships in life?

12.Am I focused on judging ,criticising ,categorizing,and labeling people as good-bad,negative-positive etc?Or am I aable to accept people despite their differences;cultural,intellectual,mental,physical,material, etc?

13.Do I keep wishing for so-and-so to change in some way before I can feel comfortable in relating to them?Am I directly,or indirectly manipulative in some way in my relationships?

14.Can I feel good about others in general,or do I have very strict lines of demarcation ,whereby  I see relationships in black and white only?Either people are good or they are completely negative ?Do I harbor such sentiments?Where is it taking me?Do I nurse “borrowed beliefs” about relationships, like “there’s a bad world out there”, “people are out to fleece you” etc.?

15.Am I able to genuinely let go,forgive,forget past slights,misunderstandings?Or do I keep them alive constantly ?

16.Do I notice more praiseworthy traits in other people,or do I constantly seek out their weak,negative sides only?

17.Do I discuss other people,peers,subordinates,bosses,clients constantly?How much time do I spend discussing other peoples’ weaknesses?How much  time do I  spend speaking of their strengths?How is this trait affecting me and my relationships ?

18.When I am with others do I have good feelings about them ?Do I feel good about them mostly ?Or am I on a critical and judgmental  trip ?

19.Putting up a serious appearance is a sign of power ,ability,status etc.Do I tend to keep aloof just to maintain a facade?Can I be spontaneous in my dealings with others?Or do I feel comfortable in playing out a pre-mediated tape,of behavior,speech,and conduct?

20.Do I tend to avoid closeness and intimacy with others because I feel vulnerable.Do I fear others will take advantage of me,if I am too close to them?

21.Am I in the habit of displaying my alpha male side?Do I want to dominate others and then only feel satisfied?

23.Do I look forward to relationships only for personal gains?Do I seek relationships for helping others?

24.Do I have  a tendency to compare myself with others?

25. Am I genuinely interested in improving my relationships with others?What have I done so far about it?

Over to you my friends.............

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Query Into Self Esteem

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

— Charles Du Bos, French critic

Personal fulfillment is centered largely in our self estimate,which also translates into our self esteem.Self esteem is, subtly, a byproduct of the constant conversations we have with ourselves ,about ourselves.Whether we realize it or not, sizeable  shaping of self esteem happens through our questions.

Here are some interesting questions we can ask ourselves about how we handle self esteem.

1.Am I aware about my level of self esteem?

2.Do I accept my constant feelings of low esteem?Or do I intend doing something about it?

3.Comparing self with others is unhealthy .Am I ware of my comparative tendencies?

4. Fulfillment is also gauged by personal care. Have I done something exclusively for myself lately,or do I postpone my own fulfillment forever?

5.Do I give more importance to others’ opinions than my own,and dismiss my own ideas in the process?Have I convinced myself that most of my ideas and opinions are unworthy of expression?

6.Have I even considered that there are some simple daily actions  I can initiate to increase my esteem?Have I taken any actions so far?

7. Have I selected inspiring role models among other people, or do I  just subsist on a diet of comparisons in quiet desperation?

8.Do I focus on counting my past victories,past successes,and accomplishments?Or do I only emphasise my slips ups, and criticize myself for them?

9.Do I enjoy success,accomplishment,or do I only enjoy immobilizing myself over my past and potential failures?

10.Have I made an effort to accept compliments gracefully,and gratefully?Or do I mumble a “deflection” by attributing success to luck,chance,coincidence,one- off-stuff etc.?

11.Do I consider myself worthy enough to give frank  compliments and praise to others?Or do I fear my appreciation will be mistaken for my inability,and/or they are not necessary for others?

12.Do I constantly yearn for others approval and appreciation in everything I say or do?

13.Do I  give up easily where even a bit of extra effort is involved?Do I consider myself incapable of accomplishing complex tasks?And do I also disguise this train as disinterest in challenging activities?

14.Do I Identify myself with a strong image,a worthy image,a capable image,a growth oriented image?Or do I let myself just flit passively from situation to situation?

15.Am I usually helping others out of compulsion, or out of genuine need to do so?

16.Am I lookingafter my body,and personality or am I spending my time on only criticizing my poor looks all the time?

17.Am I genuinely committed to enhancing my self esteem or do I just read about it in news paper columns,motivational books,and interesting videos, and then swiftly get back to feeling low all over again?

18.It is well documented that addition of skills invariably lends to the quality of your life, and your confidence.Have I added any new  skills to my repertoire of abilities?

19.There are a  lot of things I  can do to work out creative options for raising my confidence levels.Have done anything in that department yet?

20.Do I give myself the chance to express myself openly,and stop feeling vulnerable,snubbed and dismissed by “significant others”?

21.Do I stay calm mostly ,even under testing situations,or do I work myself up and  get irritated too quickly?Do I put up a show of emotions to attract importance?

22.Striving for excellence is a sign of growth.Yet striving for comparative excellence or perfection is a distressing endeavour. What am I usually doing;striving for perfection or excellence?

23.A toddler gets up and falls down more than once.Yet every time she is encouraged for her efforts.And so the child learns to walk,in due time.Do I encourage my own efforts or  dismiss them as futile candy-fluff?

24.Faith in self is the beginning of all future achievement.On a scale of 10 how much faith do I genuinely have in myself?

25.While living life,even in good faith, inevitable mistakes and errors are possible. Do I forgive myself for these errors?Or do I beat myself up endlessly,disregarding constructive action for future growth?

26.Am I worthy enough to completely accept self,warts and all?Or am I suffocating myself with my “perceived” shortcomings?

27.Being firm is not necessarily being rude,and belligerent.I can be firm yet civil.Still, am I afraid to be firm before others,anxious over their disapproving responses?

28.Do I routinely consider myself untalented, “not smart enough” deep inside?Who is to define what’s  “smart enough” for me?

29.Deep within, do I feel less attractive than I should?And does it bother me so much that it interferes with my functioning?

30.Am I constantly struggling with some bygone past issue ,or fretting about some unforeseen future “eventuality” which is playing out in my mind?

31.Have I resigned myself to an unfulfilled future?Am I cynical about  fulfillment in the future ?

32.Can I expect good,remember good,focus on the good ?

33.What are my passionate interests or hobbies that enthrall me and fulfill me?Have I invested time in my interests,and my hobbies?

34.Can I let go of compulsion to control?

35.Am I envious of the attention other people get?And do I subject myself to unnecessary comparative evaluation?

36.Do I impose 'should' and 'must' statements on everything that I have done in the past or will do in the future?

37. About myself do I only tend to see negative stuff and focus on that only?

38.What I feel or think may or may not be authentic or true.Particularly negative feelings and concepts.Am I mistaking all my feelings and thoughts for facts?

39.Do I feel that if I  have to improve myself,and develop myself, all the time then I’m imperfect, not worthy enough?

40. Can trust myself to use hopeful statements, and repeat  facts encouraging facts about my abilities and prospects in life?

Over to you my friends.........

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Science Behind Inquisitiveness

The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers — Brian Greene

Research By Lowenstein
What's That Over The Hill ?

George Lowenstein in the early 90s,while studying the theory of curiosity discovered an interesting fact . According to Loewenstein, curiosity emerges  when we feel a gap “between what we know and what we want to know”. Loewenstein's model of curiosity highlights  the area of  “manageable gaps” in one's knowledge. According to him the urge for discovery increases as a person recognizes  that a gap exists between his current knowledge state and a desired knowledge state.

It is this “gap” that we bridge when we throw the hook of questions at our mind.Answers inevitably surface when we “give” a question.Our mind will provide answers to whatever we dwell on, so we need to be careful of what we choose to place our focus on.

Thinking In Question Answer Format

Questioning is a cognitive process and is a direct outcome of curiosity.It has been know to neuroscience for sometime now,that repetitive questioning energises curiosity further and inclines the brain to receive potentially useful answers.
When we think, we invariably do so in question answer format.Particularly when we are considering something that we haven’t thought of,or known, before; something fresh.And this is the zone,of development,of innovation,of new possibilities, and of growth.

kindling The Fire

There is a process of ignition which is set in motion in the brain.Neurologists call it “kindling”.Much like lighting a wood fire the neurons enter increased activity .If the question concerns the familiar there is an accelerated  kindling process. the more we repeat a certain thought pattern, the more readily that neural pathway fires in the future.  In other words, the more you have a thought pattern, the easier it becomes to have it again

Models Of Curiosity

This leads us to conclude that the more often we think along a specific track the more active is that specific neuro-pathway,and the more reinforced our beliefs.
Specific to curiosity, research tentatively establishes two prominent models;the curiosity-drive model,and the optimal arousal model

Curiosity Drive Model

This model states that the brain attempts to find answers because it is compelled to do so.This is because we are flooded with sensory inputs of experience constantly,which results in a sensation of uncertainty.To dispel it most living beings display exploratory and curious behavior.This exploration, of the novel surrounding or distant environment,mitigates the unpleasant state of uncertainty.

Optimal Arousal Model

The brain is wired to maintain an equilibrium between two extremes; arousal at one end and exploration at the other.If the the environmental stimulus is over arousing  then a withdrawing behavior emerges,and if there is an excess of boredom, the result is exploratory response.Eventually the brain is constantly balancing itself between the arousal and exploration states.That is why ,even in absence of  a stimulating environment the organism is in a state of exploration.

Over to you my friends.............