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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Momentum or Prudence?

We might often hear about one or the other as what to go for, but both have their time and place! If you are always chasing and riding momentum, you might miss instances in which you should pause and gauge what is and could happen. And if you’re always treating everything with prudence, you might miss the forces that can propel you forward beyond what anything else could.

It is indeed tricky, and it is not about achieving a perfect balance between engaging in the two, but you can learn to switch between them when it is most appropriate and convenient.

Momentum is something that is formed internally and externally. Not necessarily equally; sometimes more on one realm than the other. Things fall into place and are in motion, working among them and for you, granting you the opportunity to make tremendous progress in one or more ways. It may get you to land nicely or to hit a wall. Crash and burn. You can’t always tell where it will take you, with what, how, and why, and that rises concern. Is this a chance you should take or a risk to avoid?

Prudence is more meticulous and thorough, and more within your control. Awareness is favored over venturing into the unknown. And that may be wise, to make informed decisions and prepare for any challenges that you may face or avoid them altogether if they are deemed unworthy. However, it becomes a problem when cowardice is mistaken as deliberation and dwelling is mistaken as calculation. Then it could go on for longer than it should and lead you to miss opportunities.

You’d be more naturally inclined to one over the other. And situations, as well, would evoke one more than the other. But it’ll serve you to distinguish when you can afford either and when either is most beneficial.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Who is Prone to Being Neglectful?

It can happen to anyone at some point, being or becoming neglectful. But if it’s something you’d rather avoid, on either end, here is who to be wary of.

• The Self-centered
They are the main character. You’re just the supporting cast. Or merely extras. In their view, your sole role is to serve them. And your whole worth is based on how much and how well you perform in that regard. They do not recognize you as a person with their own life to live. They won’t be grateful, nor reciprocal, because they are entitled.

• The Old-fashioned
Or just those with messed up beliefs, whether from the past or from the present. They lack nuance and roll on oversimplifications. Anything even just a little more complex is just too much and should not be accounted for. You’re being too sensitive, too frail, too whiny. No matter how grounded in reality you are or how evident it is that they are harming themselves and others.

• The Neglected
It happened to them, it should happen to you too. That’s what some of them end up thinking. Unless they steered clear of that line of thinking or worked on themselves if they wound up with it. Read “The Far-Reaching Effects of Neglect” for more on it.

• The Clueless
They… don’t know. They don’t know they are supposed to care. They don’t know how to care. They just don’t know. Maybe they were never taught or their brain never made the correct connections. They might be teachable. But you might run into a wall and find out that it is willful ignorance that they’ll hang onto. And after an age, you must wonder why they never learned. Apathetic much?

• The Occupied
They simply have too much on their hands already. Their plate is full. They bit off more than they can chew. Give them a hand or cut them some slack. They are already doing their best even if that’s not enough. Although it is indeed concerning that, the way things are going, barely anyone has the luxury to be there for another.

• The Depressed, Anxious, and/or ADHDer
They may wish it wasn’t like that. And they try, they try. However, they have executive dysfunction that interferes with their activities. Sometimes they believe they can do something, that looks doable, but then it turns out they can’t. They might try to push through or go around it, but their efforts are futile or fall short.

Lastly, it could go without mention, but relying on very young children and very old elders for tasks that they cannot fulfill is misplaced. Same for people with any other disabilities or handicaps that interfere with caregiving.

Not everyone can provide proper care, even if they want to. So delegate accordingly.

See also: What is neglect?

The Far-Reaching Effects of Neglect

Harmless as it may seem, neglect can have immense and profound effects on us that can last weeks, months, years, and even decades - more so if untreated.

Besides the physical and/or immediate effects that unmet needs and wants can have, some psychological effects that then shape our lives for longer include:

• Bitter Resentment
You become hateful or just indifferent toward others - especially those that had it better than you. You lack generosity. And even if you had some of it in you, you lack the abundance from which to give it. You know, consciously or not, that you deserved better or that it was your right. Seeking vengeance is tempting. May spite others at any chance you get.

• Isolating Hyperindependence
You accept what happened as something that happens. Your takeaway from it is that you cannot trust, rely, or count on others for much or anything at all. Perhaps believe it to be foolish too. Immature even. It may be to the extent that you view less independent people as lesser and may urge them to toughen up. Frustrated when anyone asks anything of you because you did it alone. Why can’t they? Could become prideful to the extent that it blinds you to help you do or have received.

• Unidirectional Compassion
Others matter, but you don’t. That’s the message you got. You may be quick to help others, probably gladly doing so, but have trouble asking for help for yourself (or even acknowledging your own needs, let alone wants). You too easily feel like a burden and try not to be one at all costs. You come last. Putting yourself first, at any point, might even have you believing you’re vile.

Or something along those lines. In some amount. Possibly a mixture, despite the contradiction.

Put in context, you could infer how this would shape your relationships with close ones, your family, your community, and society at large. And the consequences are, to say the least, not ideal. But most of all, your relationship with yourself is impacted.

See also: What is neglect?

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Oh No! Burning Out!

Careful! Even machines burn out! And you’re made of flesh. It’s okay to give yourself a break. Not only okay, it is required for your optimal functioning and to even function at all.

Regularly taking one or two days off a week is important. Occasionally taking a few days off every once in a while is important. Sporadically taking more than that to rest if you ought to is important. And religiously taking advantage of the holidays and other vacation days we have in a year to relieve and restore ourselves is important.

You can hustle, you can make every minute count toward a goal or ambition. But if you take it to a point where it ultimately leads you to break down. It is not productive, it is counterproductive. Furthermore, certain tasks require you to be at your best in order to perform them. Performing them while straining yourself won’t do. Could be disastrous even. Best not even attempted.

Different people and different careers or lifestyles have different amounts of execution. Some people can (and even are compelled to) execute for long while some do not. Some careers or lifestyles demand a great amount of execution while some do not. You must figure out and get to what suits you, pushing yourself only as far as you can handle. It may not be evident right away and you may bit off more than you can chew, or quite the contrary, but that’s something to monitor and make adjustments in accordance with.

It is tempting to compare ourselves with others in terms of who does most. And while an objective observation may be in place for various purposes, it shouldn’t be the reason to be unreasonably harsh toward ourselves or others. As long as it lets you survive and eventually thrive, you can simply aim to give your most and your best without harming yourself in the process.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Recognizing Neglect

Recognizing neglect can be not only difficult due to lack of clarity, but also avoided as it entails coming to the realization that you are either being treated poorly or treating another poorly - or both. However, it is still best to get to and have the truth of the situation to better proceed with it.

If you are dependent on another or another is dependent on you, that opens up the possibility of neglect. To what degree, that depends. Is what it is being relied on for common sense or has it been discussed? Even if it is supposed to be common sense, discussing it to be sure is always best. Yes, even to a little child, telling them “I am your parent, that makes me your caregiver, you can (and should) come to me for x, y, and z.” Along with telling them what other adults they can go to for more care. Alternatively, you could ask, if you’re in doubt, about how much you can count on another.

Once there has been direct communication about it, it is easier to spot when and where care, that you’re expected to receive, is lacking. Keeping in mind, however, that a person is not always able to quickly come through, if at all, for you. There may be more that they are juggling that is of the same or more importance or they may be having trouble themselves in some way.

However, if it is someone who has promised you this and that and then some more, causing you to rely on them for such, and they just show you over and over again that you are not a priority and they do not intend to keep their word (just benefited from your dependence on them and what came with it), you’ve got yourself a worthless piece of s***. And maybe they should be in prison along with compensating you with interests. But if walking away is all you can do, then let that be it.

Whether we like it or not, we are part of a collective. A human being on Earth, a peer, a teacher, a class or teammate, a coworker, a boss or an employee or a client, a partner, a parent or a child, an idol, a friend… And we do have the choice to be closely involved with others or not, being transparent about it. But there’s still going to be a bit of responsibility falling upon us regardless. And failing to tend to those or not, makes a difference.

See also: What is neglect?

What is Neglect?

Now, how can we define neglect? Put simply, neglect is the failure to care properly for someone or something. But what else is there to it?

Usually, we can consider an action or inaction as neglectful when there is some sort of duty or responsibility to care for the person or object, whether you signed up for it or it was assigned to you. This can get complex because there may be many factors involved to consider.

When you “sign up” to care for someone or something, you are basically telling everyone else that you will be taking care so they/others don’t have to. Any decadence or destruction suffered is then on you. You were neglectful while you were being counted on not to be and something was damaged or lost as a result.

When caring for someone or something is “assigned” to you, it could mean a number of things. You were at that time and place where someone or something needed care that you could provide for. That is a social and humane responsibility assigned to you. Another could be that you are a relative of someone or the owner or something and therefore you should be caring before others. That’s a civil responsibility assigned to you.

Let’s emphasize the ability to provide care, however. In the cases in which you are indeed unable to provide care, you are absolved of the responsibility - as that would be both unreasonable and unrealistic. But in many instances, that would then require you to admit that you cannot take care and/or call (or at least allow) for someone else to.

Neglect isn’t always a serious matter that leads to terrible consequences. But the times it is, it can be as bad, if not worse than abuse. E.g. Leaving a baby, a creature incapable of doing anything for themselves, alone for days. Letting a person in need of urgent medical treatment, in lethal danger, wait for too long. Disregarding an elder, whose motor and cognitive functions have severely declined, fend for themselves because you can’t be bothered to care.

Then, there are those actions and inactions that, while “normal” enough to not be reprimanded by most, are still neglectful. E.g. seeing somebody being mistreated and doing nothing about it because “it’s not any of your business” and it would be an inconvenience to you.

We are all neglectful to some extent because we are not superhumans. But we must watch out for extremes that cannot be justified.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Does or Doesn't? Messy Love

Love is messy. And may not even be love at all. And while it might be impossible to precisely quantify, we can at least make some distinctions and get a vague idea of where we and others stand in regards to it.

So here is a graphic to help you figure it out! It can be used within different contexts, not only the romantic kind. Asking yourself, “How much does this person (or entity) love & care for me and how much do they want and/or need me?” Then spotting where you are on the map.

People often confuse wanting and/or needing with loving & caring. And this is VERY DANGEROUS to do. Or they do tell them apart but still settle for the former without the latter. Again, TERRIBLE. Wanting and/or needing is essentially about getting. While loving & caring is essentially about giving. If you let others get away with only getting, they’ll practically suck the life out of you.

Furthermore, sadly, many people (myself included), end up in the bottom right square with their person. Either ‘cause the person was pretending that there was more to it or because they were convinced that they didn’t deserve better (or that it was unreasonable to expect it). In any case, it is a lousy place to be in. So don’t settle for just being wanted and/or needed. Of course you would be if you have valuable qualities! How low is your self-esteem to believe that’s enough?

For visual representation, you can ‘guesstimate’ and mark yourself in one color where you believe you are and mark the other with another color where you believe they are, keeping in mind the context you’re taking this in.

Furthermore, it might help to recognize that everyone and everything doesn’t have the same capacity to be invested. Some only go as far as the smallest square, being the most dispassionate kind. Others are more lukewarm than that and extend to the second square. And the rest are among the most passionate. There’s a chance you might wish to stick with your kind.

So here it is blank for you to try it. The results may slightly to wildly vary, depending. And may not be what you expect or hope for, but the sooner you face reality the sooner you can get to something real that’s worthwhile (or bring it there).

Love is indeed messy. So this is merely trying to make sense of what happens or is happening without getting too lost in specifics. But you could also note that there are times when the axes sort of compete and counteract each other, when what's in them is in some sort of conflict. E.g. There are times when you Love & Care so much that it seems as though you're indifferent in the Want and/or Need department. But it's just that that same Love & Care has suppressed, blocked out, or let go of that Want and/or Need. Alternatively, extreme Want and/or Need could throw out Love & Care to self-serve, acting from entitlement, disregarding the other or the relationship itself. Something to watch out for!

What Happens when you Fall In Love with an Artist?

Valentine sweetheart this, summer love that. But what about being in love with an artist? It largely depends on what kind of artist it is, but there are a few peculiarities that might be encountered when falling in love with an artist:

• Wondering if they’re in love with you or in love with love.
• Not knowing if they’re still looking for tragedy for their art or for their happy ending.
• Worrying you won’t be stimulating enough, that you won’t inspire them and can’t be their muse.
• Concerned you won’t be able to keep up with them or that you’ll be holding them back.
• While intrigued and fascinated by their interests, and respectful of them, afraid it’ll be discouraging that you do not share them.
• Bizarre, to say the least, people in their circle that you’re not sure you’ll be able to stand for long.
• Inability to comprehend how they could even like someone as simple as you.
• Being such a fan of their work that you dread the possibility of it ending or drastically changing once with you.
• Wanting to express yourself as beautifully to them as they do to you and failing to (not necessarily bitter or resentful about it, though).
• Having the subtlest of signs noticed and hoping they won’t be misread or more disturbing than they ought to be.

Additionally, unless they've made it blatantly clear that you are their priority and their past is in the past, it could be confusing when they go over or bring back artwork that was made for and encapsulates their story with others, likely reconnecting with it too. And it is something to learn to be okay with because they cannot and should not give up their history and the artworks that came out of it.

This is not to discourage anyone from loving an artist, of course. Just things that happen (and must be discussed at some point). But totally worth it when they’re genuinely loving.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

How Much do Facial Expressions Say?

Continuing with body language, there are also facial expressions. They can be considered part of body language but there’s an emphasis on them as they are usually a main focus when we interact with others or observe them. Thus, we can more readily notice and recognize the expressions and have at least a vague idea about what they signify.

Often, however, they are attributed moods and qualities that are not necessarily present, since facial expressions, and the magnitude of them, can wildly vary from one person to another. One person’s extremely happy face could be another’s barely pleased one. One person’s deep concentration face could be another’s quite displeased one. And so on. So it is important to take into account how a person, in particular, tends to express their thoughts and feelings through their facial expressions if we are to make educated guesses on what it’s going on inside of them.

Are they angry, sad, disgusted, confused, pensive, surprised, excited, happy? To what extent? Is it a mix? How are they usually by default?

Many, in their ordinary dealings, for one reason or another, valid or not, attempt to mask what is truly happening with them by simulating expressions. A task some masterfully succeed at while others miserably fail at. The acting is poor. Or it just doesn’t add up. In some cases, they might secretly wish someone would notice without being too terribly obvious about it.

Again, though, for optimal results in acting, don’t just change what is outwardly presented, change what is occurring inwardly and let that emanate. So that even muscles you didn’t know would operate would accordingly. And use this power for good, not for evil. Or for art.

On the other side of it, being able to grasp what facial expressions signify helps you be more considerate and sensitive to others’ states while exchanging with or contributing to them. Although you might not always get it right (and you could ask to be sure) or be able to respond properly to them (but maybe another time you will).

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Saturday, June 29, 2024

"IRL" vs "Online" Abuse

About “IRL” versus “Online” experiences... here’s a friendly reminder that they are interconnected, sometimes more than usual or than you’d believe, and affect each other.

Some people have these “lives” very separated so that they don’t touch each other as much. But other people have them very blended together (e.g. their RL work, family, and friends are online or accessible via online means). The latter becomes more of a thing as the world continues to rely and depend more on technology and the web. And in any case, even if you cannot directly affect the physical reality of someone, you can still significantly affect their mind and emotions (especially if they’re vulnerable) - which can consequently affect their physical reality. Not to mention, creeps are not as unlikely as one would like to believe and may creep as far as threatening your sense of safety for yourself and your loved ones (and yes, even invading your privacy). So while there’s still some distance, there’s still power that can be used and abused.

If you’ve experienced abuse right in your close surroundings, that is very likely worse if the person(s) exerting the abuse is just as cruel as someone who’d choose to torment someone via online means. However, it’d still be oversimplistic to dismiss “Online” experiences as not real enough simply because they happened online. Harassment is harassment regardless of where it takes place. If someone is being clearly and severely harmed by your actions and you continue to perform them, you do not get to claim you did no wrong because it happened while you were online and be correct about that.

This is a complex subject in which there are many rules and exceptions to all of them. Nevertheless, it helps to try to distinguish between when one is only having their ego offended and when one is suffering from crippling damage caused by malicious or disregarding individuals.

See also: What is abuse?