Conversation Pieces

Whilst we can discover many things about ourselves by listening in to our conversations with others, we can just as powerfully become conscious of hidden aspects of ourselves by tuning into our inner conversations with ourselves.

Examples of some of the things we say to others are:

  • ‘You never listen’
  • ‘You’re never there when I need you’
  • ‘You only think about yourself’
  • ‘You’re impossible to talk to’
  • ‘You’re sorry you ever got involved with me’
  • ‘You’re perpetually late’
  • ‘You think you know it all’
  • ‘You have no feelings’
  • ‘You make me so angry’

The messages quoted above are known as projections – messages about yourself that you unconsciously put over on others. When you come to a realisation that everything you say is about yourself and you replace the ‘you’ with an ‘I’ in the above messages, you then consciously see what you are saying about or want from another is what you need to say or give to yourself; the messages now change to:

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The Poisoned Chalice

At a recent mental health forum on ‘Depression in Rural Ireland’ held in Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Dr. Bhamjee, a psychiatrist, said that ‘there is growing scientific evidence that adding trace amounts of the drug lithium to a water supply can lower rates of depression and suicide. I’m not sure what research the psychiatrist was relying upon, because very up-to-date research goes quite contrary to the above quoted assertion. There is also Dr. Bhamjee’s unsubstantiated assumption that depression is a neuro-biological condition rather than an emotion that arises to draw attention to struggles within the individual who is distressed. Surely, the fact that the suicide rate increases by 25 per cent during times of international economic recessions points to and supports that depression is due to problems in living and not some theoretical chemical imbalance!

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Baby Speak

Infants are born with hopes and expectations. Their need to be loved, nurtured and safe are innate and they can intuitively sense when their essential needs for love and security are being met or not being met. While these set of expectations lie at an unconscious level, the baby hopes her cries will be heard, that she will be fed when hungry, allowed sleep when needed, that her gaze will be lovingly returned and smiles reciprocated.

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Whose Life Are You Living?

At the beginning of a New Year an essential question to ask is: ‘To this point in time, whose life have I been living’? At an unconscious, cleverly delusional level, many people believe they are living their own lives. However, if truth be told, few individuals live their own lives, but this is a highly challenging reality to accept and, not surprisingly, denial is the best form of defence. Nevertheless, it is not too difficult to determine whether you are living your life from the inside out or from the outside in. Individuals who conform to the beliefs, values, ways of others are definitely not living their own lives. Equally, those who rebel against how others live their lives and continuously criticise, judge and blame others, are, ironically, still living their lives from the outside in. Unconsciously, they are stuck in seeing others as being responsible for the sad plight of their own lives and they wait impatiently for others to change, rather than taking up the responsibility to live their own unique and individual lives.

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The Challenge of Emotional Wellbeing

Last week I wrote about the emotional debt that is owed to many Irish, European and non-European people. I also intimated that corporate and work practices are, at root, an interpersonal relationship between employers and employees and between employees and their customers. These latter alliances are the most robust aspect of economic activity and whilst techniques, strategies, structures and goals are important, it is through the quality of relationship within the work organisation and between individuals in the work organisation and their customers that such ‘head-sets’ are delivered. In other words, the leader’s ability to form relationship – alliances – is the most crucial determinant of his or her effectiveness. 

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