Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Posts tagged ‘Communication’

Only One Step to Happiness: End of Story

rel ships happyOver the last 20 years positive psychology and positive thinkers have suggested that by simply following a number of steps ‘Happiness’ is in our grasp. Who would not like the idea?  But wait a minute …. if there were only 3, 5, or 7 steps to Happiness, would people not have achieved it by now? People are not stupid – at least not the majority. So what is wrong with the picture?

Happiness is not a commodity, a trade-able good that can be acquired by following a prescribed formula – like how to start your car’s engine. (more…)

The Art of Listening

woman-listening“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.

In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)

Auckland Three Principles Group for Sustainable Wellbeing: Why not to look back

2011-05-Monster-MAC-Bike-punctureThe Auckland Three Principles Meet-up Group (check out here their website)  is a place to learn about and deepen your understanding of the Three Principles as formulated by Sydney Banks and practiced today in many countries by a growing number of facilitators / coaches / counsellors in a wide number of contexts: business, personal growth, prisons, schools, families, sport, and high performance activities.

We had an interesting meeting last Friday during which we explored how people sustain their well-being. I would like to share one topic that comes up really frequently and … hence again last night as well: Why it is not useful to look back!  It is easy to say “don’t look back – you are not going that way”, but people seem to get caught in trying to understand the thoughts that caused their distressing feelings. (more…)

#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast

stormy weatherMost people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.

Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. (more…)

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong

wrong rightNumber two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.

To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless.  (more…)

The Secret to Harmony in Relationships

swansSometimes our relationships are nothing like we’ve imagined it. Sometimes we come to a dead-end and find that we don’t have a clear idea where to go from here.
What is the secret of people who have great relationships, who have loving intimate partners, get along well with their kids, have friends who are fun to be around, and colleagues who are supportive and co-operative?
A common misunderstanding is that you have to find the ‘right’ partner, the ‘right’ boss to work for, the ‘right’ friends. And if that is not helping, you have learn how to communicate better, how to listen actively, how to challenge effectively – in summary  how to do things right.

The Brain Loves Gossip



Do you love to gossip and feel a little bit guilty about it? I do. Usually, gossip is connected with some inferior way of communicating with and about others, mother told us “You shouldn’t do!” Now, I found this delightful artlicle with a passage from the book “Your Brain at Work”.

Your brain is immensely social. If you were a wolf, large parts of your brain would be devoted to getting resources directly from the wild. You would have complex maps for interacting with the physical landscape, like maps for sniffing out a distant meal and others for finding your way home in the dark. As a human, especially when young, you get your resources not from the wild, but from other people. Because of this, large amounts of human cortical “real estate” is devoted to the social world. If you work in an office, you could probably close your eyes and describe ten people around you, how important they are in relation to each other and to you, how they feel today, whether they can be trusted, and how many favors any of them might owe you. Your memories of your social interconnections are vast.

Gossip is something that the brain likes to do. As neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman says, “Four out of five processes operating in the background when your brain is at rest involve thinking about other people and yourself.”

David Rock suggests that people love to go on social networking sites because they give them the opportunity to check out what other people are up to and spread a little bit of gossip. Kind of what I am doing right now: gossiping on about a paragraph that put the workings of the brain into words that put a smile on my face.


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