A lot of us have grown careless in what we say. “It wasn’t my fault we lost the game, I didn’t hear the whistle.” or “I was pushed over and my foot hurt.” Who has never made up an excuse to stop feeling embarrassed? This covering up may seem harmless enough but over time a … Continue reading Honesty – Is it really the best policy?
One of the conditions of effective counselling according to Carl Rogers is unconditional acceptance. Not judging others. Some people believe that unconditional acceptance can be a healing factor also in ordinary interactions of everyday life. For them this would involve practising forgiveness when someone hurts you, and giving encouragement to those who fail to show good behavior, and even not criticising those who do wrong.
But just how realistic is this approach?
Children and grandchildren can provide your child rearing with wonderful moments. Their spontaneity and sense of fun can brighten your day. But almost out of the blue all hell can break loose and they can be a real pain testing your limits and boundaries. What they want can be different from what you want. They … Continue reading Child rearing – What spiritual practice helps?
I know who my enemy is: the individual who maliciously damages my property: tramps all over the flower-bed in the garden: scratches the car with a key: trashes the home during a burglary. I feel angered by anyone who threatens to harm my sense of well-being. These are the people I want to complain about and get my own back on. So how on earth does one stop hating such people. How do you love your enemy?
There may be erotic attraction between a couple but is their continuing together an impossible dream? Is it unrealistic to expect two people to live together happily for the rest of their life? Erotic attraction and marriage These days in England for example, couples, more often than not, live together for some time before even … Continue reading Erotic can mean erratic.
Many of us are inclined to rebel when someone tells us what to do. We do not always take kindly to being told what is right and wrong sex behaviour. However, ethical living is part of spiritual healing according to the world’s spiritual traditions. Following a set of rules of conduct such as monogamy is … Continue reading Sex – Is it a spiritual matter?
Some people are just harder to get on with than others. Obvious examples are those who are highly strung, aggressive or manipulative. They may need spiritual healing, but what do we need? What is the secret to avoiding unpleasant scenes with people who cause us a bit of grief from time to time? To better deal with the awkward mob?
A clue can be found in the study of social perception. Research psychologist Daniel T. Gilbert, University of Texas at Austin has pointed out:
“We may strive to see others as they really are, but all too often the charlatan wins our praise and the altruist our scorn. Juries misjudge defendants, voters misjudge candidates, lovers misjudge each other.”
Social psychologists have researched the way we see others in terms of attribution theory. This is studying how people make inferences about the causes of a person’s actions. One thing they have observed is how our expectations about how other people will behave can distort our interpretations. We may assume that the little old lady who bumps into us at the supermarket is someone with unintended poor balance whereas the tattooed hooded youth might be thought to be trying to pick our pockets. Mistaken perception can thus arise from social stereotypes, such as race, sex and age.