“What do People Want to Hear?” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Pink Flower in Garden, August 2012

Throughout my life and through my life experiences, I have generally found that people only want to hear “good” things.¬† That is, it seems that people only want to hear what is good, pleasant, positive, or uplifting to them in some way.¬† Those who have had much life experience, whether they are younger or older, can share that not all life experiences are good, though it is still important to be able to share about them with others.¬†

People generally seem to love the “feel good” communications, messages, and information that they receive and/or share.¬† I admit and agree that I enjoy such information just as much as any other.¬† However, in order for people to remain “real,” we must¬†understand that in order to continue growing, developing, and improving ourselves, we must also recognize, realize, and deal with experiences, issues, or concerns that are hurtful, painful, and potentially negative.

Because there may be a tendency for people to avoid or shut out information that they do not want to hear, there may also be a tendency to “blame” or “revictimize” the individual who has experienced a painful situation.¬† It sometimes seems that the person who has been hurtful to another has not at all been hurt by the situation that he or she caused, but actually feels good about it and such situation may have served to boost their own ego.¬† Psychological research has reflected this in the case of bullies who interact negatively with their targets.¬† The bullies feel good and get an ego boost, while the targets feel badly and are hurt by it.¬† Similar research has reflected this phenomena in sexual predators.

So, what do people want to hear?¬† I think the answer is that people generally want to hear about good and wonderful things, and may not have the training necessary to be equipped to cope with things they don’t want to hear.¬† As a result of some of my own life experiences and those of others that have been painful, in sharing about them, I have found that there are a very few who are successfully able to hear, listen to, and cope with the knowledge of and information about them.¬†¬†¬†

This, therefore, creates a very small number of people with whom one can relate about deep and serious issues.  Sometimes, then, it is necessary to seek professionals with whom to communicate with such issues when others do not understand them or may make them worse.  When people do not present an understanding about the issues, they may also unnecessarily misjudge the person who is simply the messenger, the one who is simply providing the information.  Then, they may inaccurately associate the messenger with the issue that was presented and about which they do not want to hear.

Red Flower in Garden, August 2012

There is alot of information out there.  Some of it is good, and some, not so good.  Within it all, however, I believe there is some good that can be made out of it or that can come from it.  Yes, people generally feel good about positive, pleasant, and happy situations.  However, we can also come together in genuinely caring community and loving fellowship when we recognize and deal effectively, positively, and successfully with issues that have a negative or painful impact.  Since we are all different and unique, but also similar, each individual may have his or her own views on what constitutes successfully and positively coping with something.

When we mobilize to help survivors of natural disasters, that is a reflection of something good coming from a painful situation.  When we listen to others and guide them in ways of helping themselves rather than denying them or shutting them out, those are ways of bringing something positive to a situation or experience.  When we use our gifts and talents to help others who are in need, who are impoverished, who are in pain, and who are suffering in some way, we are showing the genuine care and love to others that God intended us to use.  These are the good things that people want to hear that can come from situations and/or experiences that have potentially been hurtful or painful.

When people blame, punish, misjudge, or revictimize others because of hearing what they don’t want to hear, they are not using their natural gifts and talents to help, assist, and support others in finding a better way to help themselves.¬† It is in these situations when people potentially try to “fix” a situation without adequate care or understanding that the situation may potentially be made worse.¬†

Sometimes, when people hear what they don’t want to hear, and react negatively to it, an opportunity for growth, development, and knowledge for something more positive may be lost.¬† This also reflects that people hear what they want to hear, even though they may not understand the true message.¬† It also reflects that people may react negatively to a situation simply because it is something that they don’t want to hear.

Pink Flower in Garden, August 2012

Life is full of things that we want to hear and that we don’t want to hear.¬† How we cope with and communicate with others about such information can make all the difference in either helping or hurting another.¬† We must first take a close look at ourselves and analyze how we process and cope with information – that which we may view as positive, negative, or neutral.¬† And, we must realize that life and all of what we experience in it are learning experiences.¬† We can make it good or bad.¬†

We can take painful experiences, and work to make similar, future¬†situations better for others.¬† We can take happy experiences and work to share the joy in them with others.¬† We can decide only to be open to and “hear” the good about situations and experiences.¬† We can filter out what we don’t want to hear.¬† Or, we can “hear” what we don’t want to hear¬†and work to make future, similar¬†experiences better for ourselves and others.¬† What do you want to hear?

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“Money Talks: The Decisions of Wealthy School Benefactors may not be in Everyone’s Best Interests” By Michele Babcock-Nice

Money Talks: The Decisions of Wealthy School Benefactors may not be in Everyone’s Best Interests

By: Michele Babcock-Nice

April 10, 2012

There has always been the age-old issue of money being the decision-maker when it comes to wealth, power, influence, and issues. More than one person and friend has advised me that one person cannot change the system, that one person cannot change others’ corrupt and/or unethical practices.

As a person who visualizes a situation and wants to improve it or make it better in some way, I have realized as I have gotten older that – unless I am also extremely wealthy and had money that could talk – my voice is often just a lone whisper in the wilderness. However, I do have a voice, and I enjoy expressing myself in the desire to be heard.

So, while I may not be able to open others’ eyes to unethical, immoral, and/or incorrect practices, I can remain a role model and leader for positive change, for speaking out about the truth that others don’t see – or refuse to see, and for my gift of natural insight into myself and others. It is important for us, as such role models, to express our views and perspectives so that others may be offered alternate snapshots of the world around us.

Also I have gotten older, I have also realized that in sometimes being unable to influence and/or convince others of a better, or more moral, ethical, or correct way, one may be forced to walk away from a situation. I may be wrong, but I believe that sometimes, there is no helping a situation. There may be too many people who share the same beliefs, and those beliefs may be the majority view, whether or not the majority upholds moral, just, fair, and ethical standards.

In education, particularly in schools in which wealthy benefactors have enormous power and influence, those benefactors may or may not have the best interests of the school and/or students in mind. In fact, if such benefactors are leaders of a large and powerful family and/or extended family – such as those comprising of 100s or even 1,000s of members – it is those benefactors whose influence and power will be most felt, whether good or not.

This is why it is of advantage to students, parents, educators, community members, and others to consider every side of a viewpoint or situation. Just because money talks does not necessarily mean that it is a good thing. It may only be a good thing for those wealthy benefactors of a school of which their children and/or relatives attend. They may view things on a completely different level than the common, average, ordinary person since their wealth, status, power, and influence may be so far-reaching. This, then, is not necessarily good for the common person because his or her needs and issues may not be adequately recognized, addressed, or attended to.

In particular, in deciding on a school at which to send your children, and/or choosing a school at which to work in any capacity, one must do as much research as possible and consider all sides of any issue. Of course, there are going to be good and bad things to consider about anyplace, though one must pay particular attention to those issues that have caused conflict and/or that are controversial, as well as the manner in which they were handled. If serious or controversial issues are silenced, and/or if honest, competent employees are falsely disgraced or bullied, our eyes must be opened to the truth that others try to prevent us from seeing and understanding.

As someone who tries to think positively about everything and see the best in others, it is sometimes a rude and painful awakening to realize that not everyone has the best interests of others in mind. Particularly in the situation of those who are extremely wealthy and whose money talks, people must be aware that such individuals may have their own agenda and may be acting in their own self-interests, which may not be the best for everyone. Whether in the area of education or any other profession, it is important to be knowledgeable and aware of these situations.

Author’s Note: Also posted on Twitter and LinkedIn under “People Against Retaliation and Bullying,” April 10, 2012.

Book Review of “Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction” by Dr. Mic Hunter (Review by Michele Babcock-Nice)

Book Review of

Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction

by Mic Hunter

(Review by Michele Babcock-Nice)

 

Dr. Mic Hunter has a wealth of knowledge and experience in psychologically-treating individuals who have experienced sexual trauma, sexual abuse, sexual dysfunction, and addictions.  He believes in the positive influence and effects of people practicing The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as adapting them to psychologically-based issues in addition to alcoholism. 

In his book, Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction, Dr. Hunter has again applied The Twelve Steps, as well as many valuable, beneficial, and thoughtful workbook-style questions in the treatment and recognition of family sexual dysfunction and individual sexual dysfunction as a result of the former.  Dr. Hunter identifies and describes family sexual dysfunction, including many different styles and characteristics of it that are helpful for readers to know, understand, and reflect upon. 

Dr. Hunter goes further by identifying and describing adult child issues related to family sexual dysfunction, unhealthy and healthy aspects of adult sexuality, and applying The Twelve Steps to family sexual dysfunction Рas an individual Рas a method of recovery.  He not only identifies The Twelve Steps for use in conjunction with recovery from family sexual dysfunction, but also describes how they apply to recovery and provides personalized workbook questions for individuals to answer in an effort to identify, recognize, contemplate, and recover from past sexually dysfunctional experiences.

Dysfunction prevents the fulfillment of needs in a reasonable manner, and may include extremes of behavior.¬† This also applies to families.¬† In a sexually dysfunction family, there are attitudes, behaviors, or other interactions and communications that have a negative affect on the family members’ sexuality (p. 1).¬† Rather than enjoying sexuality, “they end up being hurt by” it (p. 1).¬†

Dr. Hunter identifies and describes “three basic extremes [that] are common in sexually dysfunction families: the overvaluation of sex, negative attitudes about sex, and sexual shutdown” (p. 2).¬† In families that overvalue sex, “sex is the most important thing in life” (p. 2).¬† People in such families have “sexuality as the predominant focus of most interactions,”¬† and “they sexualize their emotions” (p. 2).¬†

In sex-negative families, “sex is something to be feared, because it is seen to be dangerous, perhaps even evil” (p. 4).¬† Dr. Hunter shares that such families may “enforce rigid rules about sexual behavior,” and when a person violates those rules, he or she feels unworthy and ashamed (p. 4).¬† In the sexually shut-down family, “there is a nearly phobic response” to sex (p. 5).¬† People in such families are hard at work in repressing their sexuality, ignoring children’s sexual development, and pretending not to notice sexual develop changes (p. 5).¬† There are also families that combine the dysfunctional styles.

Members of the adult self-help group, Adult Children of Sexual Dysfunction (ACSD), identified ten main characteristics related to family sexual dysfunction when they were young, such characteristics affecting their behavior.  Some of these characteristics include experiencing confusion or shame about sexuality, a lack of healthy or nourishing touch, and the experience of difficulty in establishing relationships that are intimate (p. 8). 

Dr. Hunter goes on to identify, describe, and discuss each of the ten characteristics pinpointed by ACSD and provide his helpful, reflective workbook questions that personally assist individual readers in remembering and recognizing past sexual attitudes and/or experiences within their families.¬† A few of Dr. Hunter’s questions in relation to these described characteristics include: “When you think about the other gender, how do you feel?” (p. 24); “How do you react now to being touched by others?” (p. 37); and “What relationship patterns have you noticed in your life” (p. 47).¬†

Importantly in regard to the tenth characteristic of confusing sex with emotions, Dr. Hunter identifies and describes different types of intimacy, including physical, sexual, mental, emotional, and spiritual.¬† One of the results of the tenth characteristic may be that people “sometimes leave groups or end friendships when they start to grow close” (p. 71).¬† Also,¬†those who sexually abuse children may misunderstand sexuality and sexual boundaries by stating that they are being intimate with the children (p. 71).¬†

Dr. Hunter states that “perhaps the most destructive consequence of living as a child in a sexually dysfunctional family is the development of a shame-based identity” (p. 73).¬† Even when the child grows into adulthood, he or she continues to be ashamed.¬† Such identities stem from relationships that are abusive or neglectful (p. 73).¬† In order to heal from the affects of such experiences, Dr. Hunter states that “safe, nurturing person-to-person interaction” is required (p. 73).

Following this, Dr. Hunter introduces The Twelve Steps as a guide for recovery from family sexual dysfunction.¬† He identifies and describes each of the Steps, as well as associating his helpful workbook-style questions with them.¬† For examples, in the area of powerlessness, Dr. Hunter asks the reader if he or she could obtain nourishing touch as a child (p. 81).¬† In relation to admitting our defects, Dr. Hunter asks the reader to write a list of his or her character defects and to give examples (p 109).¬† Regarding the experience of a spiritual awakening, Dr. Hunter asks what the reader understands about his or her past, and it’s effect on one’s present lifestyle and experiences (p. 129).

I recommend Dr. Hunter’s book, Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction, to those readers who are interested in discovering and healing from their past that may include sexual dysfunction, individual sexual dysfunction, and/or family sexual dysfunction.¬† I also recommend Dr. Hunter’s book for reading by anyone who desires to increase their knowledge about the impact, influence, and effects of general attitudes and behaviors about sex.¬†

For the person who is seeking to recover and heal from past sexually dysfunctional experiences, Dr. Hunter’s book is a treasure trove of understanding, knowledge, examples, questions, insights, and suggestions for recovery regarding it.¬† For the reader who may simply be interested in increasing his or her knowledge related to sexuality, Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction is a valuable work on understanding different attitudes, interactions, communications, and behaviors regarding it.¬†

Therefore, again, Dr. Hunter has tackled an issue that likely causes discomfort and pain for many, though he also provides the power of healing psychological understanding, insight, and recovery to it.¬† This is another of Dr. Hunter’s valuable books on issues related to sex and sexuality, and how readers can increase their enjoyment of sex by working through past experiences that may have been negative or dysfunctional.

Please Note: New copies of this book are available for $5.00 each by directly contacting the author at: Dr. Mic Hunter, 357 Kellogg Boulevard East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101.

Reviewer’s Note: Quoted material is included in this review with permission¬†by Dr. Mic Hunter.

Source

Hunter, M. (1992).  Joyous Sexuality: Healing from the Effects of Family Sexual Dysfunction.  Minneapolis, Minnesota: CompCare Publishers.