Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 10 – Issue 3 – March, 2011
Residential Psychodrama Training in Crested Butte, Colorado – June 23-25 or 26 – Psychodrama, Energy Medicine, Yoga and Meditation – Learn while enjoying nature. Each morning Rami facilitates meditation and yoga. Kathy will direct psychodrama enactments for personal growth. The last (optional) day will be training based on workshop content. Facilitated by Kathy Norgard, PhD, TEP, & Rami Katz, LPC. E-mail: Kathy to register by May 1.
Debunking Myths – You Have to Defend Yourself
Myth: If someone says something about you that isn’t true, you must correct it immediately and forcefully or you’re admitting that it’s true.
Fact: Most of the time, defending yourself will lead to an unnecessary argument. Let’s say, for example, a wife claims that her husband is lazy. He, as you might suspect, will disagree and feel the immediate need to list all the things he’s done lately that have required hard work or sustained effort. She, then feels the need to point out all the times when he avoided work or neglected something she considered very important, and we’re well into an argument. What is more important is not that the husband convince the wife he’s not lazy, but to really find out why she feels that way. He needs more information and the moment he begins defending himself, he is no longer really listening and he will not really get the information he needs.
Let’s say she calls him lazy and he doesn’t argue, but rather, adopts a look of concern and asks her to say more. She may reveal that he refused to put gas in the car, even after she reminded him twice that the car needed gas. Now the husband can start to figure out what happened. Maybe he forgot. Maybe he wasn’t actually listening to her when she mentioned it. Perhaps he got confused and put gas in the wrong car. In any case, though, it’s not a matter of laziness. It might be forgetfulness or inattention, but it’s not necessarily laziness. If he continues to listen and she goes on to tell him how she told him about it last night while he was watching his show and he nodded, so she thought he understood. Now, he may very well remember what happened. She started talking to him in the middle of his show, he did not want to be interrupted, and he just nodded, but didn’t really know what she said. That might be a television addiction, taking his wife for granted, or just poor judgement, but it probably still isn’t laziness.
Meanwhile, the wife just heard herself say she told him while he was watching television and she might have some realization about how futile that was on her part. She may realize that it was a mistake to talk to someone watching T.V. or to accept a head nod as an affirmative response indicating full understanding. She now has the freedom to take responsibility for her part, but if she were arguing, she would never be able to admit it. So, she realizes she told him at a time when he wasn’t paying attention and will make an effort in the future to wait until commercial or ask for the TV to be paused or turned off before speaking. He recognizes the folly of nodding without knowing what he just agreed to, and they have a solution for the future. They’ll both go forward understanding that it had nothing to do with laziness and he never did have to deny being lazy to accomplish that.
February Discussion Question: If you could re-live a week of your life, without changing it, what would you choose to re-experience?
This, somewhat edited response, is from L.A., long-time reader in WI: What would I gain from living it again? And I can’t change it? I don’t see the need. I already lived it once. It is not like I am choosing a time to go back and change something that would change the outcome of my life. Just experience something again? For a whole week? Nope Nothing to gain by re-living something. It doesn’t do anything for you. Make you sad to think about a different time? If you live through it again, if may make you feel regret or sad that things aren’t they way they were at “some point” in my life. My answer is definitely still a no, none, been there, done that.
New subscriber P.W. offers this: I would go back to the day in th 5th grade when I finally stood up to J.S. at lunch. He had been terrorizing me for weeks and was much larger than me. I had absolutely had it with him and decided to take my life into my hands and just stand up to him and not back down no matter what happened. He actually got scared and backed down and never bothered me again. I have no idea what else happened that week, but that day would be worth repeating!
Thanks for the great submissions! Great Answers! Your exclusive Dr. Marlo prizes are on their way!
March Discussion Question: What if your best friend were considerably younger than you?
E-mail answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org and answers will appear next month. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them. Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our Brand New 2011 Temporary Tattoos!
Thought For The Day: Normal people experience a wide range of emotion every day, week, month, and year. If you aren’t, look at what’s getting in the way.
PERSONAL GROWTH EXERCISE
To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise. These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services. The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs. E-Coaching Sessions are available for $50 each.
The Littlest Teachers
Think now of videos you’ve seen where some adult, in all seriousness, asks important questions to children 5, 6, 7, or 8 years old. Bill Cosby and Alan Funt were notorious for this sort of thing. Some of the children’s answers were hysterical in their outlandishness, some were profound and surprising given the tender age of the respondent, and some are so simple they are laughable, indicating the children’s inability to fully comprehend the world’s complexity. These shows are, of course, edited so that the most entertaining answers are broadcast and any correct, or plausible answer rejected for being boring. When you try this yourself with real children, the answers are generally not terribly entertaining, but they are frequently profound.
Your task this month is to consider a few problem areas in your life and go ask a child what you should do about the problems. Obviously, do not go find a 5-year-old and ask him what you should do about the fact that your husband spent his last paycheck on prostitutes and gave you a sexually-transmitted disease, but even that sort of question can be asked generically to a 5-year-old as follows: What if my husband took all his money and visited another friend and the friend was sick and so my husband got sick and then he came home and got me sick? What do you think I should do? A 5-year-old will give you a common sense answer like: You probably better go to the doctor and your husband better go to the doctor, too. That seems so simple, but aren’t people in that situation often so ashamed of their situation that they overlook the obvious immediate concern that both parties be treated medically?
If you are having trouble putting money away for retirement, ask an 8-year-old what to do. He may reply – you have to put it in the bank, which again, seems so simplistic as to not even be worth mentioning, but the fact remains that you probably spend $50 cash on useless things in a month and that if you just put it directly into a bank, you’d have it at the end of the month.
So, think of a few concerns that you have and go ask the advice of a kid. Put the question into simple terms that are age-appropriate and really listen to what they say, even it if sounds too simple to be useful. The littlest teachers often have much we once knew, but have somehow forgotten.
For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you! We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to). Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com. (Offer Expires 4-08-11)
E-Coaching! Try it Now!
Not every problem is a mental illness. Not every issue is a trauma. Not every botherment is an emotional disorder. For life’s daily issues and for personal growth, now there is E-Coaching! Dr. Marlo Archer offers a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth. We are offering the 10-Session package for $500. Begin by calling 480-705-5007 to make a $500 payment, then send an e-mail to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!
Publish Your Work – Promote your Practice – Two ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $25, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included). We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions. Send creative contributions to: email@example.com.
Dr. Marlo in the Media
Read Dr. Marlo’s article, “Volunteering Pays Off” in the March issue of Together Arizona Newspaper. Click here.
Looking forward to a spectacular spring in the desert! –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.
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