Evening friends. Spent the afternoon enjoying the company of friends and family. Including enjoying a lecture from the “love doctor,” Paul Zak PhD. Dr. Zak gave us a practice run on his upcoming lecture for TED in Scotland. He told us about the amazing hormone, oxytocin, which Dr. Zak tells us is the morality hormone. It increases any time we have increased social connection. Oxytocin makes people trust, empathize and have increased moral behaviors. Dr. Zak’s prescription is eight hugs a day (hugs increase oxytocin). Awesome.
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When we want to take what is good and leave the rest, to keep the best and let the otherwise character pathology pass us by, to make good memories with someone who torches the ground and air they breath, splits families and catastrophizes the little and ignores the big personal flaws – when we actually turn around and say with a fully informed consent, “I want us in each others lives,” make rules.
1. Take care of “Me” (bio-psycho-social)
2. Have walk-away power
3. Nothing violates what you say is impermeable; such as you and your spouse, your nuclear family, your home
4. Consistency combined with as blind a vision as you can bare
5. Take nothing personal
6. Pick your fights carefully
7. Let them save face
8. Set them up for success in your relationship
Each one of these generally takes hard work. Some of it will be natural and easy. A lot of it will be hard.
Setting boundaries for the other person helps them control their chaos and they’ll feel safer with themselves. The boundaries, when clear for a person with character pathology, helps them trust themselves more and subsequently us more.
Again, if these things seem exhausting and insurmountable efforts, it might mean that medically – emotionally and behaviorally …–> Go back to #1. Take care of “Me.”
Self-Care Tip – To connect because you want to even when you’d be advised otherwise, set your rules.
Today, I can’t get my thoughts away from the frolic in temperament-land.
Teacher, what must I do to be happy?
Who hasn’t asked this? I remember Nicodemus who asked Jesus,
Teacher, what must I do to be saved?
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I bet he was wondering, too, about happiness.
I’m not equating happiness with salvation or morality. I am saying this might have been a parcel of his question. Happiness is an emotion per our language and cultural definition. And we have enjoyed our path of discovery in seeing how emotions are tools we use to interpret the world around us. They are not universal or constant between us.
After I read,
Individualism, a stronger predictor of well-being than wealth,
in R. Fischer, PhD’s Meta-Analysis of Well-Being, I followed my thoughts toward the Jungian Typology of Temperaments. Remember our pasture and barn people? The Jungian Typology of Temperaments is our playground where we have a wish-basket equipped with supplies to become any variation we might choose of what our design requests. Read the article and you might follow a similar path of thought. Or not.
In case you’re wondering, and per Dr. Q (who is a poor statistician so take this for what it’s worth,) a meta-analysis is a study of studies. A meta-analysis brings together a number of studies that reflect a population of people and a methodology that is as objective as we can find. We compare them and through the tools statistics and logic offer, we make a summary conclusion.
If you are familiar with the tomatometer on RottenTomatoes.com, you already have a sense of what a meta-analysis does. (I love rottentomatoes.com.) There is more power in the indexed findings of many studies than in just one study. There is also more power in a fresh tomato than a rotten one.
- Do you see happiness as something that reflects your condition of spirituality and/or your condition of brain health? Why?
- What do you perceive brings you happiness? Please tell me your story.