Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Difference Between Being Nice and Being Kind

You've heard the phrase, "So-and-so is a really nice person," and probably thought nothing of it. In my work, though, I think a lot about what it means to be "really nice" as I see a major distinction between being nice and being genuinely kind.

The way I understand it, kindness emerges from someone who's confident, compassionate and comfortable with themselves. A kind person is loving and giving out of the goodness of their heart.
At the root of extreme niceness, however, are feelings of inadequacy and the need to get approval and validation from others. Overly-nice people try to please so that they can feel good about themselves.
Genuinely kind people are giving because it's in their nature to care, and since they have no ulterior motives, they aren't concerned with whether or not other people like them
.
Kind people can be assertive and set good limits. Nice people, on the other hand, bend over backward to be obliging. They deal with potential conflicts by placating the other person because they can't bear to have anyone upset with them.

Kind people have good self-esteem and because they love themselves as much as they care about others, they expect to be treated with respect. Nice people are desperate for approval, so they're often mistreated or taken advantage of.

Nice people tend to do too much for those who don't deserve it and are easy prey for users. They get into co-dependent relationships in which they care-take others in the hopes of eventually being cared for themselves.

This co-dependent interaction, however, is a lose-lose for everyone involved. The nice person fails to get the love and approval they seek, and the person on the receiving end never feels like they're getting enough care. Instead of being grateful, they become resentful toward the pleaser.
Kind people take responsibility for their own self-care. They're generous, even altruistic, but don't get caught up in a user-pleaser type of relationship.

The nice person is careful not to offend anyone and wouldn't dream of expressing a "negative" emotion. They focus on being good to others, to the detriment of their own needs. In fact, they're afraid to ask for what they want for fear of creating conflict.

Nice people stuff down their feelings, not wanting to be a bother to anyone, but the problem with this is that emotions can't be kept down indefinitely. Feelings and needs are meant to be expressed and when they're repressed, they find another outlet.

Being nice, then, has unforeseen consequences: it's painful to seek affirmation but receive contempt. Always holding back needs, feelings and opinions adds to their frustration.
Ultimately, the frustration grows into anger, but showing this anger is unacceptable to someone so invested in always being pleasant. They're compelled to suppress any "bad" feelings.
As the nice person continues to please everyone and the anger simmers underneath the surface, the pressure builds up. At some point emotions begin to leak, in the form of snarky comments, whining, needling, sarcasm, passive-aggressive behavior or even outbursts of rage.
When a nice person leaks resentment it's usually met with surprise or with more anger, which reinforces their belief that anger should never be expressed.

A vicious circle is created in which the nice person pleases others, becomes resentful, represses and then leaks their anger and then represses their feelings some more. As a result, I believe they'll often get caught up in addictive behaviors which are meant to compensate for their mounting frustration.
I have found that nice people will often turn to starchy, fatty or sugary "comfort foods" to help them to stuff down their anger and soothe their hurt feelings. They'll sometimes abuse alcohol or turn to tranquilizers to anesthetize their pain. Some will go on spending sprees, trying to buy themselves happiness.

The nice person is overly-invested in the emotional pay-off they're hoping to achieve by pleasing and taking care of others. They're also unwilling to face how much hurt or anger they're carrying. They're resistant to changing their behavior, despite the consequences of their compensatory addictions.
Kind people are happy people to begin with, and add to their happiness through acts of generosity and altruism. Nice people are needy people who inadvertently create more and more unhappiness for themselves.

The nice person has to understand that their self-worth can never be improved by being a pleaser. They must learn how to validate themselves independently of others, and let go of the co-dependent relationships which foster mutual animosity.

When the overly-nice person can let go of the urge to please, they'll be able to identify their real needs and feelings and begin to take proper care of themselves. They can find happiness in pursuing meaningful activities and relationships instead of giving too much, becoming resentful and developing nasty addictions along the way.
                                                                                                                 ED-

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Few Inspiring short Stories !



1. Shake off your problems



A man's favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice;
He can't pull it out no matter how hard he tries;
He therefore decides to bury it alive. 
Soil is poured onto the donkey from above.
The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it;
More soil is poured. 
It shakes it off and steps up;
The more the load was poured, the higher it rose;
By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures. 
After much shaking off (of problems)
And stepping up (learning from them),
One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.

2. The Elephant Rope



As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

3. Potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans



Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral:
In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?

4. A dish of ice cream



In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

12 Stages of Life

12 Stages of Life - By. Thomas Armstrong

Which stage of life is the most important?  Some might claim that infancy is the key stage, when a baby’s brain is wide open to new experiences that will influence all the rest of its later life. Others might argue that it’s adolescence or young adulthood, when physical health is at its peak.  Many cultures around the world value late adulthood more than any other, arguing that it is at this stage that the human being has finally acquired the wisdom necessary to guide others.  Who is right?  The truth of the matter is that every stage of life is equally significant and necessary for the welfare of humanity.  In his book The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life, he has written that each stage of life has its own unique “gift” to contribute to the world.  We need to value each one of these gifts if we are to truly support the deepest needs of human life.  Here are what I call the twelve gifts of the human life cycle:


1.      Prebirth: Potential – The child who has not yet been born could become anything – a Michelangelo, a Shakespeare, a Martin Luther King – and thus holds for all of humanity the principle of what we all may yet become in our lives.
2.      Birth: Hope – When a child is born, it instills in its parents and other caregivers a sense of optimism; a sense that this new life may bring something new and special into the world.  Hence, the newborn represents the sense of hope that we all nourish inside of ourselves to make the world a better place.
3.      Infancy (Ages 0-3):  Vitality – The infant is a vibrant and seemingly unlimited source of energy.  Babies thus represent the inner dynamo of humanity, ever fueling the fires of the human life cycle with new channels of psychic power.
4.      Early Childhood (Ages 3-6):  Playfulness – When young children play, they recreate the world anew.  They take what is and combine it with what is possible to fashion events that have never been seen before in the history of the world.  As such, they embody the principle of innovation and transformation that underlies every single creative act that has occurred in the course of civilization.
5.      Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8)Imagination – In middle childhoood, the sense of an inner subjective self develops for the first time, and this self is alive with images taken in from the outer world, and brought up from the depths of the unconscious.  This imagination serves as a source of creative inspiration in later life for artists, writers, scientists, and anyone else who finds their days and nights enriched for having nurtured a deep inner life.
6.      Late Childhood (Ages 9-11): Ingenuity – Older children have acquired a wide range of social and technical skills that enable them to come up with marvelous strategies and inventive solutions for dealing with the increasing pressures that society places on them.  This principle of ingenuity lives on in that part of ourselves that ever seeks new ways to solve practical problems and cope with everyday responsibilities.
7.      Adolescence (Ages 12-20):  Passion -  The biological event of puberty unleashes a powerful set of changes in the adolescent body that reflect themselves in a teenager’s sexual, emotional, cultural, and/or spiritual passion.  Adolescence passion thus represents a significant touchstone for anyone who is seeking to reconnect with their deepest inner zeal for life.
8.      Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35)Enterprise – It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job.  This principle of enterprise thus serves us at any stage of life when we need to go out into the world and make our mark.
9.      Midlife (Ages 35-50)Contemplation – After many years in young adulthood of following society’s scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding.  This element of contemplation represents an important resource that we can all draw upon to deepen and enrich our lives at any age.
10.   Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence – Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established themselves in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy.  All of humanity benefits from their benevolence.  Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others.
11.   Late Adulthood (Age 80+)Wisdom – Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others.  Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of life’s lessons.
12.   Death & DyingLife – Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living.  They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole.

# Since each stage of life has its own unique gift to give to humanity, we need to do whatever we can to support each stage, and to protect each stage from attempts to suppress its individual contribution to the human life cycle.  Thus, we need to be wary, for example, of attempts to thwart a young child’s need to play through the establishment high-pressure formal academic preschools.  We should protect the wisdom of aged from elder abuse.  We need to do what we can to help our adolescents at risk.  We need to advocate for prenatal education and services for poor mothers, and support safe and healthy birthing methods in third world countries. We ought to take the same attitude toward nurturing the human life cycle as we do toward saving the environment from global warming and industrial pollutants.  For by supporting each stage of the human life cycle, we will help to ensure that all of its members are given care and helped to blossom to their fullest degree.