Showing posts with label Isolation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Isolation. Show all posts

May 10, 2017

Fighting Domestic Abuse


I came across these excellent graphics used to educate and prevent against domestic dominance and abuse.

The first wheel shows how "power and control" are used to instill fear and dominate domestic partners as well as in an overall pattern of relationships with physical and sexual violence:

- Intimidation
- Emotional Abuse
- Isolation
- Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming
- Using Children
- Male Privilege
- Economic Abuse
- Coercion and Threats

In contrast, the second wheel displays positive patterns of "equality" in relationships and nonviolence and are marked by the following attributes:

- Non-threatening behavior
- Respect
- Trust and Support
- Honesty and Accountability
- Responsible Parenting
- Shared Responsibility
- Economic Partnership
- Negotiation and Fairness

Have you ever noticed a pattern of domestic abuse behaviors that include the following?

- Constantly lecturing on political views the other person should hold.
- Keeping them away from their family and friends.
- Controlling the major life decisions.
- Hiding money and accounts.
- Demanding the partner stay home with the kids indefinitely.
- Using emotional withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness to control.
- Requiring the other person to be available whenever they want.

Spouses and partners should be your best friend and not your servant or dog to kick when you get home.

Watch out for those who exhibit the bad behaviors and patterns of abuse and violence...and stay safe in good and healthy relationships! ;-)

(Source Photo: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project - Duluth Model)
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May 22, 2015

Can You Just Stop And Think?

So oddly, one thing that many people these days find really hard to do is STOP AND THINK.

What do I mean?

Be alone, do nothing, and just take the time to be with yourself and think.

--without your smartphone, television, music, game, or even a book. 

Just you, the four walls, and your brain...thinking, thinking, thinking.

Feeling a little jittery, scared yet. 

Why are people afraid to stop and think? 

Is it because within the thinking is some craziness, fear, anxiety, and even remorse?

Are there overwhelming feelings and thoughts about issues, events, people, and places that are unresolved and painful. 

Also, by ourselves and in our thoughts, we can realize how weak, vulnerable, and mortal we are. 

If we are here in our own heads, maybe no one will even notice we are gone or maybe no one will even miss us--maybe they'll replace us?

We're so easily ditched, replaceable, just another character in a long cast of characters.

When we stop and think, do we worry about all the other things we're not doing or getting done...perhaps, we don't have the time to think, because we need to be doing, doing, doing. 

And if we're not moving forward doing something, then we are being left behind!

But doesn't thinking lead to more purposeful doing?

A little upfront thinking and planning, maybe can save you some serious time wasted just acting out. 

Somehow, like a prisoner in isolation though too much alone time with your own thoughts is enough to drive anyone crazy, docile, and ready to behave just to get out, interact with other human beings, and doing something.

We need to stay active, not be bored, so we don't think too much.

When I was in the hospital recently, one orderly named Kelvin, saw me sitting there by myself thinking, and he said to me, "Oh no, you don't want to have too much time to think. Block those thoughts out of your mind. Why don't you watch some TV?"  

Smart Kelvin. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 5, 2013

Loneliness Is A Scream

One of the scariest things for many people is not being with other people. 

I don't mean intentionally not being with others--taking time away from the hustle and bustle for yourself--but rather being left alone. 

Think of the horrors of POWs kept in isolation, prisoners put in solitary, or just everyday kids icing out other children in school, adults marginalizing colleagues at work, and family members abandoning spouses and children at home. 


Elizabeth Bernstein makes the distinction between being alone (a potential voluntary state) and loneliness (when you feel that you are forced into an isolated state) in the Wall Street Journal today. 

It's an awesome article that explains so much about loneliness:

- We all experience loneliness from "homesickness, bullying, empty-nesting, bereavement, and unrequited love."

- Loneliness can occur when you are without anybody ("isolation") or with the wrong somebody ("dissatisfaction").

- It's a survivalist function and evolutionary to feel scared when your alone, because when you are "too close to the perimeter of the group, [then you become] at risk of becoming prey."

- Loneliness is also associated with memories or fears from childhood--when we were young and vulnerable--that someone wasn't there or going to be there to take care of us. 

- Too much loneliness is a "strong predictor of early death"--greater than alcoholism, 15 cigarettes a day, or obesity.

- Loneliness is on the rise, with "some 40% of Americans report being lonely, up from 20% in the 1980's" and this is correlated with more people living alone, now 27% in 2012 versus 17% in 1970.

- Loneliness can be placated by "reminding yourself you're not a [helpless] child anymore," building emotional health and personal self-sufficiency, doing things you enjoy when alone, and reaching out to connect with others. 

She jokes at the end of her article that when we aren't feeling lonely, we are annoyed that people just don't leave us alone.

This is a very real concern as well, especially with a multitude of family needs (significant others, young children, elderly parents), 24x7 work environments, and the reality of pervasive online communications and even invasive social media. 

Not exclusive to introverts, too much people can make us feel put upon, crowded, and even worn out--and hence many people may even run from excessive social activity and crowds.

Yet without a healthy dose of others, people can literally go crazy from the quiet, void, boredom, as well as from the real or perceived feelings that they are in some way unworthy of love or affiliation. 

So even though some people can be annoying, users, or try to take advantage of us, no man is an island, and growth, learning and personal serenity is through degrees of love and connection, for each according to their needs. ;-)

(Source Photo: here)
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November 3, 2012

Sign Language That Really Talks


There are over 40 million deaf or hearing disabled people in the world.

Many of these people suffer from not being understood by others and feel isolated. 

Four Ukranian graduate students have created the answer for them called Enable Talk--these gloves translate sign langauge into sound. 

The gloves have sensors including compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer that captures the wearer's sign language. This is then transmitted via Bluetooth to an smartphone app that matches the sign pattens to those stored (and which can also be programmed/customized) and translates it into words and sounds. 

Enable Talk gloves won the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012 student technology competition, and was named as one of Time Magazine's Top 25 Best Innovations of 2012. 

For $175 these gloves are an amazing value for the hearing impaired who just wants to be communicate and be understood by others. 

This is a great advance for the disabled, and I'd like to see the next iteration where the gloves have the translation and voice mechanism and speakers built in, so the smartphone and app isn't even needed any longer--then the communication is all in the gloves--simple, clean, and convenient! ;-)

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April 15, 2012

Beating Social Media Isolation

There is a debate called the "Internet Paradox" about whether social media is actually connecting us or making us more feel more isolated.  

I think it is actually a bit of both as we are connected to more people with time and space virtually no impediment any longer; however, those connections are often more shallow and less fulfilling.

There is an important article in The Atlantic (May 2012) called "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" that lends tremendous perspective on information technology, social media and our relationships.
The premise is that "for all this [new] connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier."

The article is very absolute that despite all the technology and communication at our fingertips, we are experiencing unbelievable loneliness that is making people miserable, and the author calls out our almost incessant feelings of unprecedented alienation, an epidemic of loneliness, and social disintegration.

Of course, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that almost everyone can share, but there are also numerous studies supporting this, including: 

1) Study on Confidants (2004)--showed that our average number of confidants shrunk by almost 50% from approximately 3 people in 1985 to 2 people in 2004; moreover, in 1985 only 10% of Americans said they had no one to talk to, but this number jumped 1.5 times to 25% by 2004. 

2) AARP Study (2010)--that showed that the percentage of adults over 45 that were chronically lonely had almost doubled from 20% in 2000 to 35% in 2010.

Some important takeaways from the research:

- Married people are less lonely than singles, if their spouses are confidants.

- "Active believers" in G-d were less lonely, but not for those "with mere belief in G-d."

- People are going to mental professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and counselors) as "replacement confidants." 

- Loneliness is "extremely bad for your health."

- Our appetite for independence, self-reliance, self-determination, and individualism can lead to the very loneliness that can makes people miserable. 

- Using social media, we are compelled to assert our constant happiness and curate our exhibitionism of the self--"we are imprison[ed] in the business of self-presenting."

- Technology tools can lead to more integration or more isolation, depending on what we do with them--do we practice "passive consumption and broadcasting" or do we cultivate deeper personal interactions from our social networks?

Personally, I like social media and find it an important tool to connect, build and maintain relationships, share, and also relax and have fun online. 

But I realize that technology is not a substitute for other forms of human interaction that can go much deeper such as when looking into someone's eyes or holding their hand, sharing life events, laughing and crying together, and confiding in each other.

In January 2011, CNBC ran a special called "The Facebook Obsession," the name of which represents the almost 1 billion people globally that use it. To me though, the real Facebook obsession is how preoccupied people get with it, practically forgetting that virtual reality, online, is not the same as physical, emotional, and spiritual reality that we experience offline.

At times, offline, real-world relationships can be particularly tough--challenging and painful to work out our differences--but also where we find some of the deepest meaning of anything we can do in this life. 

Facebook and other social media's biggest challenge is to break the trend of isolation that people are feeling and make the experience one that is truly satisfying and can be taken to many different levels online and off--so that we do not end up a society of social media zombies dying of loneliness. 

Social media companies can do this not just for altruistic reasons, but because if they offer a more integrated solution for relationships, they will also be more profitable in the end. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to h.koppdelaney)

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