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Apologies For The Confusion- Is Slowly Coming Back Is Under Construction Is Under Construction

After being gone for quite a while, I am in the process of bringing it back.  That process, however, is a little messy, and some links may be broken, images may be missing, etc., while it’s ongoing.

Sorry about any irritation it might cause, but at the same time, I’m glad it’s coming back (and yes, this is the original owner/author).

Why Love Comes to Those Who Aren’t Searching

Guest Post – Secrets To Creative Dating!

What To Do When He (Or She) Cheats

The Easiest Way To Strengthen A Relationship

One Simple Step To Make Your Life More The Way You Want It

Visual Or Verbal Memory… How Do You Remember?

When you remember something, what is it that you remember?

Do you remember the actual way things looked, like a photograph or video?  Or do you remember a description of what happened, like a journal entry?

Memories form a huge part of who we are.  They are, after all, your history… all of the events that have led you to where you are today (all of the ones that you can consciously remember, at least).

The way that you remember your past has a huge impact on how you act and react to other people and the world in general.  It is often easier to attach emotion to already existing images, whether photographs, a movie, or visual memories, for instance.  At the same time, however, the depth of emotion attached is often greater with images generated from words.

It is easy to come up with examples.  You are far more likely to feel an emotional reaction to a story about a natural disaster when there is a picture or video of the aftermath.  Your connection with a character, or a story in general, however, is likely much greater when you read the book than when you watch the movie.

These are not universally true… the depth of emotion from a picture of your wedding night, or your baby’s first steps, or something similar may be as great or greater than the picture formed from a description of that.  You can also easily attach emotion to a story about a parent who lost their child without needing a picture.

These exceptions do more to show the general truth of the rule than they do to contradict it, however.

The two ways of remembering have an impact on the way we think, as well.  A person with a visual memory is, in general, considerably more likely to be able to deal with small details well.  The person with the verbal memory, on the other hand, likely finds it easier to do a quick analysis of large amounts of information.

Even more than ability, though, the two ways of remembering have a great impact on our preferences.  A person with a verbal memory may have plenty of ability to deal with small details… but is highly unlikely to enjoy it.  A person with a visual memory may be able to analyze large amounts of information, but not want a job that requires them to do so regularly.

The two forms of memory are not completely exclusive, either.  A person with a visual memory can still remember words and descriptions, and a person with a verbal memory can still remember pictures, and even more so, generate pictures from the words they remember to describe whatever it is.

Those of you with a visual memory may want to look closer at the second image in this article to better understand… that is a picture formed entirely from letters.  While this is not literally what people with a verbal memory do, it can make the idea a more concrete concept for people who do not remember in words.

The way you tend to remember things is not something that can be changed, though you can explicitly remember specific things in the other manner, if it is important.  I have a verbal memory, but I’ll never forget the way my wife’s eyes looked at our wedding, or the sight of my baby a few days old at home, or a few other of the most important moments in my life.  I’m certain my wife, who has a visual memory, could name a few things that she will never forget, verbally (though she may have a mental image of the words… I’m not entirely certain).

If you were to attempt to constantly remember things in whichever way is not natural to you, however, it would take so much ongoing mental effort that you would basically be unable to function at a normal level.  You would find yourself constantly mentally exhausted.

It is difficult, even when you know that someone thinks and remembers the other way, to truly understand.  It is somewhat like a blind person and a deaf person trying to communicate to each other the things around them.  The deaf person can try to imagine what sound would, well, sound like, and the blind person can try to guess what things would look like, but the concepts are so foreign that they are likely to be wrong more often than right.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t find a way to communicate, though.  It’s just that a large part of the way that one perceives things is missing from the way the other experiences them.  That means that things that are perfectly clear to one person may be confusing or completely misinterpreted by the other.

If you understand that the other person thinks and remembers in a way that is actually foreign to you, it can help you to figure out better ways to communicate with them.  It can help you to better understand and connect with them.  It can even help you to forgive them if you understand that what they did simply didn’t have the same meaning to them that it did to you.

PS – I have not conducted a scientific study, but based on the people I have known, visual memory is more common than verbal memory.  This seems, again from the people that I know, to be even more true for women than for men, though men still seem to more commonly have visual memory than verbal.

All of which makes me curious… which way do you remember?

Bleeding A Few Drops At A Time

We all have different sets of rules for blaming different people… one set of rules for those we love, one for strangers, one for those we actively dislike, etc.  There is another set of rules we all have, though, that is much harder to reconsider and change… the rules for blaming our selves.

When I say blame, I mean whether you truly believe something is the person’s fault or not.  You might say, for instance, that little Suzie shouldn’t have pushed the other child in her class… but if you are truly thinking “He must have done something to deserve it.”, you don’t truly blame her.

The change in the rules for whether or not you blame someone are pretty easy to predict when it comes to other people.  The closer you feel to them, the less likely you are to blame them for something.  If someone you love does something bad, you will look for circumstances and related evidence that shows, at least to you, that it is not their fault.  If someone you dislike does something good, you will look for circumstances and related evidence that shows, to you, that they had selfish motivations for doing so.

When it comes down to your own actions, the same sort of thing appears to apply, at least on the surface.  If you love yourself, you will look for excuses to not blame yourself for your own actions.  If you dislike yourself, you will find reasons to not even credit yourself for the good that you do.

In my experience far more people fall into the latter category.  They blame themselves for things where they would not blame anyone else for the exact same actions.

Part of this comes from the fact that we know, for certain, our own thoughts and motivations.  Few people truly have completely pure motivations when they do something, even something that seems completely selfless to others.  When you look at your own actions, then, you have all of that to associate with the action and take away the goodness of the action.  The same sort of thing holds true for bad deeds, as well… not only do you know what the action was, you also know all of the bad thoughts, feelings, etc., that went with it, making it even worse.

This is a vicious cycle, too… the more you blame yourself for everything you do, the less you like yourself, and the more you look for things you can blame on yourself.  You often even start blaming yourself for things that are outside your control… for the happiness of those around you, for instance, or your lack of talent in one area or another (you can gain skill, but not talent… to others skill may appear as talent, but talent is innate ability, without training).

Mostly this happens at the subconscious level.  You don’t even realize that you are blaming yourself for things that you would never even consider thinking was someone’s fault if the same thing happened to them.

This has a huge impact, but it comes slowly… it is an ongoing injury that only bleeds a few drops at a time.  There is no noticeable impact for weeks, months, sometimes even years.  It’s so gradual, in fact, that you often don’t notice it at all… you just get more tired, more easily overwhelmed, or angered, or other negative emotions and reactions.

Even if you only bleed a few drops at a time, you will eventually bleed dry.  Infusions from positive things happening in your life (finding your soul mate, having a baby, getting your dream job) can help out, but if you don’t stop the bleeding, even the strongest man will fall.

How do you stop the bleeding?  You can learn to focus on the positive things in your life, and that will generally slow and maybe even stop the bleeding.  If you really want to heal, though, you have to learn to take a step back from your life, mentally, and look at your self the way you would look at another person.

Would you blame your best friend for the fact that they had not fulfilled all of their dreams?  Would you blame your brother or sister if they occasionally fail?  If you wouldn’t blame someone else in the same situation, then you need to let go of the blame you are laying at your own feet.

It is hard to do this, and it is easy to slip back into blaming your self for everything.  It does become easier with time, though, and the peace that accompanies releasing the guilt and blame is nothing short of amazing when you first experience it.

Broken dreams, like broken toys, cannot be fixed while you cling to them.  You have to let go first… then you may find that they can be restored, sometimes better than they ever were.

Staring At A Blank Wall

Every once in a while, I find myself staring at a blank wall.

It’s just sitting there, giving no indication of direction, no hint of meaning, no hidden answers.  Often even the question isn’t there… or even the beginning of the question.

I solve problems.  I answer questions.  I fix things that are broken.  I see patterns in things, and seeing those patterns allows me to see what needs to be done.  A lot of my sense of who I am, of self, involves those things.

Sometimes, though, there’s just the blank wall to stare at.  There is no pattern to see.

This isn’t just that I haven’t figured out which thing to do next, but truly have no idea even where to look.  It all just looks blank.

I can solve nearly any computer related problem.  I can solve most relationship problems.  I can even figure out how to fix broken toys.  Even when I’m staring at that blank wall, I can solve all of these things for other people.

Sometimes, though, when it comes to me, I find myself staring at a blank wall.

In my own life I don’t always know what to do, or even who to ask or where to look.  It makes me want to look all the harder, but sometimes that is not the answer.

Sometimes you just have to admit the wall is blank… Sometimes you just have to accept that you don’t have the answer.

Sometimes now is a good time to start.

Oh, and if you recognize the feeling that I am talking about, here is one more thing for you… You are not alone.


Did You Choose Love Today?

Every day, with every relationship, you must choose… you can choose to actively move closer, passively let it sit, or actively push it away.

Two of those choices will lead to that relationship fading away, maybe slowly, maybe quickly, but it will eventually be a thing of the past.  Only one choice keeps your relationship together, moving forward.

This is true in any relationship, whether it’s business, family, friends, and especially your significant other.  The more you interact with someone in a positive, active way, the closer and stronger your relationship with that person will become… that’s why businesses with great customer service also tend to have highly loyal customers, but if that service drops off, so does the loyalty.  The couples with the strongest relationships are also usually the ones who find things to do together that they both enjoy.

Here’s how each of  the choices affect your relationships:

Love (Actively Moving Closer)

The very act of choosing to do something actively with the intention of strengthening your relationship opens you up more to the other person, forming new lines of connection that provide more ways to become closer, more of a foundation to build yet more lines upon.

There is an extremely important phrase in that last sentence that many people will pass right over… with the intention of strengthening your relationship.  If you do something, even something that seems right, for any other reason,  it will be at best passively letting it sit, and can even be actively pushing it away.  Other reasons include everything from feeling obligated to pity to trying to do the specifics of a guide to “getting closer” without understanding the meaning behind the words and actions.

Choosing love can be easy or hard, but it has to be your choice to truly work, long term.  The choices that you make have to have meaning to you… you have to desire to build the relationship, not just follow a set of instructions.

Marriage counseling, for example, can fit into any of the three categories… if you are both choosing to do it as a way to strengthen your relationship, it is choosing love, and it willstrengthen that relationship.  If one of you is doing it out of obligation, or to avoid fights, it is passive, choosing apathy, and does nothing.  If one of you thinks that it is a waste of time (or money), it will actively drive you apart.

Customer service is very similar… if your customer service person actively likes helping people, and identifies with the customer, it will strengthen that relationship.  If they are following a script, like most first level call center employees, it is at best neutral, and does nothing to strengthen the relationship.  If the person resents the job, even if they do the same thing as the first person who loves the job, they are likely to have a negative effect on the relationship between the business and that customer.

The choice of love, of actively strengthening the relationship, brings you closer.

Apathy (Passive)

As the Rush song says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”  That’s as true in relationships as anything else.

The thing that most people don’t consciously consider, at least not very often, is that all relationships naturally grow apart over time.  That’s because you get close as the people that you are at one point in your lives, but as your lives go on, you change.  You become different people, and without actively forming new bonds, those people are less and less connected… you simply shed some of the pieces of you where the bonds between you are anchored.

This is true in personal relationships from marriage to friendship, and in business.  How strong is your connection to someone you last saw five years ago, compared to someone you saw five days ago?  Which one are you most likely to think of?  Or for business, how much easier is it to sell something new to a customer you are actively involved with (in a positive way, of course) than someone you last spoke to three years ago?

The choice of apathy, or passively not doing anything, leads to weakening relationships over time.

Rejection (Actively Pushing Away)

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to actively push someone away without consciously deciding to do so.

You can do this when you are upset, hurting, or overwhelmed by things that have absolutely nothing to do with the other person in the relationship… you just act defensively, keeping them outside the “safety zone”.  You push them just far enough away to keep them from hurting you, which happens to be far enough away to start the whole relationship moving down the path to being history.

It can be from things like being resentful of where you are or what you feel like you are being forced to do. It can come from things not going right at home (for business) or at work (for personal relationships).  It can come from grief when someone close to you dies, or from simply feeling overwhelmed at all of the things that you feel you need to do (feeling like you are so far from where you “should” be, looking at the end point rather than the path to get there).

Rejection, in fact, is more often unconscious, or subconscious, than intentional.  You are far more likely to “take it out” on someone than you are to choose to push that person away from you.

The choice of rejection leads to relationships weakening quickly… so quickly it’s hard to believe when you look back.

Every day, in every relationship, you make a choice… did you choose love today?  What will you choose tomorrow?