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How to mend navigation: 1. How to mend * 2. Models of mending * 3. How to be a grown up * 4. Hold me tight * 5. Becoming vulnerable * 6. Emotional bids * 7. Constructive fights * 8. Exits from intimacy * 9. The answer
Last edit of this page 29/11/2012
'My friends are my estate.' Emily Dickinson
'All love that has not friendship for its base, is like a mansion built upon the sand. 'Ella Wheeler Wilcox
'Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.' Socrates
'Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade.' Shakespeare
More quotes on friendship here.
Tough love = correction + kindness + dignity + endurance
Tough love usually comes up as an issue when someone else is out of control.
Tough love can apply to another adult or to a child, and also in relationship to one's self. For example, when a part of our self is out of control - ignoring the dictates of wisdom or acting against one's better judgment.
Exercising tough love in a relationship requires some form of intentional dialogue.
Exercising tough love with oneself requires self-reflection, and self-compassion. Compassion for one self tends to be late developing.
These provide the basis of sustainable friendship and self-care.
Needs, wants, interests and motives
Often tough love is about letting go of wants that masquerade as needs, rather than hanging on to them.
- We tend to believe what we want. It's the map of our world.
- We can be very attracted to things and to people we want.
- These wants become more believable and
- more urgent the more we want them.
- They become our truth for as long as we want.
Being kind to oneself and loving oneself as well as another, can mean saying no to things we or they 'want' and habitually think we or they need.
To say no we have first to differentiate wants from age appropriate needs.
- Wants are limitless and may never be fully satisfied.
- Needs are must haves in order to live a recognizably human life.
- Needs are limited and can be satiated.
First step - work out the difference between our wants and our needs.
Second step - find a line that will mostly distinguish a want from a need. For example, wanting sexual expression and needing a meaningful connection. Needing food and wanting sugar. Wanting to buy a house or land, and needing security.
There are boundaries around there that can signal a crossing from one to the other. This is tricky when both coexist such as needing touch or affection and wanting sex.
Third step - establish the inner and outer boundaries that honour the difference.
Finally - maintain and defend those boundaries.
We practice this both within ourselves and with the other.
Truth is few of us ever think about this stuff until we have to.
Applying tough love with our friend, partner, parent or child will always require clarity within oneself. They will, each in their own way, test the boundaries or push the limits.
Sometimes testing it fiercely, as if their lives depended on it.
Especially when they are confused between wants and needs.
I'd like to say children are less able to make the distinction between wants and needs, but in practice adults get just as hooked in believing their wants are in fact survival needs.
Differentiating those needs and wants, interests and motives is an ethical and an economic challenge where perspectives are influenced by age, gender, class, culture, and ethnicity. More on this below.
Rescuing or trying to fix the source of distress is usually less effective than a tough love approach.
Tough love encourages the growth of a stress hardy or resilient self, one that has learned optimism.
Optimism does not equal positive thinking. Positive thinking does not significantly affect your life. Seligman would argue that it doesn't matter how many times you repeat a positive mantra to yourself. He identified three primary elements of our explanatory style: permanence, pervasiveness, and personalization. Our current tendencies (in use of these explanations) dictate our level of optimism. Siegelman
Respect and dignity
Tough love requires respect and dignity.
- Respect is an attitude of admiration or esteem, which circumvents reason and logic.
- Dignity is the quality of being worthy of that respect or esteem.
More on respect in how to mend a relationship.
I have summarized tough love as equal measure of kindness, correction, dignity and endurance.
I think it is more likely formed in combinations of all seven attributes: dignity, humility, correction, endurance, compassion, discipline and kindness.
In Luria's kabala each of these is paired with the other (e.g. humility with discipline). All of those pairings together describe tough love, but the practice is in the guts.
And it can be gut wrenching.
Sometimes it is useful to think of the soul as a repository of inherent optimism, preexisting wisdom or innate understanding.
We notice this in kids born with a remarkable inner knowing or with a precocious gift. We find awareness of it growing in kids with terminal illness.
In this sense, soul holds us in a tough love framework, one in which we choose what we actually need rather than what we think we want.
However, it is not useful to think of soul in a causative way such as when you face social injustice or genocide, for instance.
People don't ask nor deserve a runaway train trashing their lives nor a betraying spouse turning their home into a place of treachery. Surviving the experience itself may grow wisdom but it is mad to believe our 'higher self' or 'karma' calls it down on us as if 'we had it coming'.
Bad things happen to good people.
Good things happen to people who knowingly and repeatedly inflict harm.
Facing human rights violations requires tough love to handle the complex, moral dilemmas like those facing UN Peacekeepers.
A list of principles:
- Tough love is saying no when the yes would be much easier, but would make the person or oneself more dependant
- Tough love knows that help freely given can create dependency
- Tough love is non-manipulative and unconditional
- Tough love offers empathy, but not sympathy
- Tough love is nonsupportive of victim stories
- Tough love offers support and courage, but not help
- Tough love encourages strength not weakness
- Tough love doesn't worry that you might make a mistake
- Tough love encourages free choice and the learning that comes from making mistakes
- Tough love opts for growth in consciousness
- Tough love says, “If you eat biscuits in bed you sleep with the crumbs.” Let the natural consequences flow.
- Tough love knows that you must learn how to lose before you can win
- Tough love knows that security is in letting go, not in hanging on
- Tough love demands responsible behaviour
- Tough love doesn't do for them what they can do for themselves
- Tough love expects civility, cooperation and courteous behaviour
- Tough love respects their rights and commands the respect of self and others. Source.
Two examples of what it is not:
Not by grasping, nor by theft nor hiding away.
Not by abuse nor by terror.
The human needs theory of conflict
Interests, needs, and values are three concepts that underlie most conflicts, yet are often confused.
The term "interests" is generally used to refer to the things people want in a conflict. They are often, though not necessarily, material. They are generally negotiable - people are willing to trade more or less of one interest for more or less of another. Yet conflicts are often defined in terms of incompatible interests. It is assumed that there is only so much of something (money, land, jobs, etc.) and the more one person or group gets, the less the other side gets. Thus, framing conflicts in terms of interests often yields a "zero sum" or "win-lose" situation.
Needs, on the other hand, are also things people want in a conflict. However, they are usually not material things, but intangible things such as security, identity, and recognition. According to John Burton, one of the leading human needs theorists, they "reflect universal motivations. They are an integral part of the human being."
Needs differ from interests in several important ways. First, they are nonnegotiable. People will not trade away their identity or their security. Identity and security are so fundamental, so necessary to all human satisfaction, that people will do almost anything, even things that violate fundamental norms, or diminish their ability to attain their interests, in an effort to obtain their fundamental needs. A second difference is that needs are usually not mutually exclusive.
Analytical problem solving is a social-psychological approach to dealing with deep-rooted, protracted intergroup and international conflicts. Initially developed by Herbert Kelman and John Burton, this technique is based on the human needs theory of conflict, which says that most deep-rooted conflicts are caused by one or more person's or group's inability to obtain its fundamental human needs - for instance, identity, security, or recognition.
By identifying the underlying needs that are lacking, parties are often able to redefine the conflict in a way that facilitates joint problem solving and collaboration, when such was impossible before. This is especially true when conflicts are defined in terms of mutually exclusive interests. Unlike interests, needs are usually mutually-reinforcing, rather than mutually exclusive. .. a great deal of emphasis is put on identifying and examining each parties' perspective on the problem, including the parties' values, interests, prejudices, hopes, fears, and needs.
As with transformative mediation, emotions are not avoided, but are dealt with directly. Much emphasis is put on mutual recognition of the needs of the other party and empowerment of the parties to approach their mutual problem in new ways. Source
The most basic concept underlying marketing is that of human needs. Human needs are states of felt deprivation. They include basic physical needs for food, clothing, warmth and safety; social needs for belonging and affection; and individual needs for knowledge and self-expression. Marketers do not invent these needs; they are a basic part of the human make up.
Wants are the form taken by human needs as they are shaped by culture and individual personality. A hungry person in the United States might want a Big Mac, French Fries, and a Coke. A hungry person in Bali might want mangoes, suckling pig and beans. Wants are described in terms of objects that will satisfy needs.
People have almost unlimited wants but limited resources. Thus they want to choose products that provide the most value and satisfaction for their money. When backed by buying power, wants become demands. Consumers view products as bundles of benefits and choose products that give them the best bundle for their money. A Honda Civic means basic transportation, low price and fuel economy; a Lexus means comfort, luxury, and status. Given their wants and resources people demand product with the benefits that add up to the most satisfaction. Source
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