We all have innate creativity and imagination, but we must flex these ‘muscles’ regularly to keep them in shape. Now, more than ever, we need these powers to be in top form because they’ll carry us through times of uncertainty and rapid change.(more…)
‘Tis the season for personal goal setting, resolutions, planning, and good intentions. What a pity that February arrives, and most of our goals have already hit the dust! The percentage of change plans that falter is staggeringly high. Are we all so lacking in willpower and determination? Or could it be that the way we set goals is the problem?(more…)
You want to believe in the best of everyone, give people a second chance, and take them at their word, right? So it isn’t easy to do the opposite. But with some people, that’s what you have to do.Read more: Are your alarm bells ringing?
We’ve only lately come to recognise the damage that bullies cause and even more recently to understand their relationship to the sociopath (those with ‘antisocial personality disorder’). Both terms are often misunderstood: bullies are generally thought of as loud, aggressive, and rude, while we imagine sociopaths to be those more extreme characters we see in the movies or on the news. Some are like this. But only a few. The rest are less noticeable – and more successful.
It’s estimated that around one in 25 people is a sociopath. Many of these are in positions of power but by no means all. You will know some. They could be friends, family members, colleagues or your boss.
It’s challenging to identify a sociopath. Contrary to common thinking, they usually hide behind a charming mask. They know how to manipulate their way into lives, hearts, minds, purses and positions of power. They bully subtly through coercion. They have no conscience, no empathy, and no moral compass. They fool people. If you express doubts about them, others will likely not believe you.
If your alarm bells ring, listen to them. Whoever they’re ringing about.
If your alarm bells ring about someone, only get further involved once you’ve had time to observe them, if that’s possible. Sociopaths tend to give themselves away before too long. And you’ll recognise the red flags once you know what behaviour to look out for.
If you’re already involved with one, you must take steps to protect yourself, depending on your situation. You might be dealing with a bully at work. Or a personal relationship that seemed so sweet has started to feel threatening. Maybe you realise that an old friend has always manipulated you. Or you’re seeing a therapist who you feel uncomfortable about. The sociopath is likely to make it hard for you to extract yourself from the relationship; they need to be in control. Be warned; they don’t play by common sense or decency rules.
The antidote to this extreme kind of behaviour is trusting yourself:
- Trust your intuition.
- Trust that events happen as you experience them, not as someone else interprets them.
- Trust your assessment of someone – not what others tell you you should think.
- Trust that someone is as they are, not as you would like or hope them to be.
The sociopath will use all your best, most human qualities against you – your conscience, the desire to give people a second chance, an instinct to help, a sense of connection to others, and your belief in the essential goodness of human beings.
What are the best ways to protect yourself? Please do some research into sociopathic behaviour so that you can recognise it. And listen to your alarm bells when they ring! Remember, trust yourself.
Received wisdom says that good people give others a 2nd chance.
This seems reasonable – doesn’t it?(more…)
I watched a film the other day called Buck – maybe you’ve seen it? It contains a powerful lesson about how to make genuine change.Read more: How To Change Behaviour For Real
It’s a documentary about Buck Brannaman, the real-life horse whisperer. There are several threads within the story, and the one I want to share is Buck’s inspiring approach to changing behaviour.
Buck travels the USA, giving clinics to “horses with people problems.” He transforms the behaviour of these horses in a matter of moments. He goes entirely against the grain of the accepted way of horse breaking – that is, imposing the human’s will upon it until it complies. Instead, he treats them with respect and uses gentle persuasion. Within minutes the horse drops its defensive behaviour.
The resistance is gone.
The horse can be itself.
Then, instead of the human dictating its behaviour, the horse is happy to be guided. And, together, human and horse dance.
As I watched, it brought to mind how we’re too often ‘trained’ or educated. The ways that we’re frequently ‘broken in’ or socialised.
Learning is a natural, enjoyable, thrilling part of being human, yet it seems to have become a chore. Too often, the teacher, trainer or coach will dominate us, infantilise us, or force us to behave in ways that satisfy them. And we’ll comply to get the star, the grade, the promotion.
As is shown in the movie, many trainers think this is the only way to make a change. Others are afraid that their students will become unruly if they don’t come from this angle.
Others enjoy the power.
But, as Buck’s horses elegantly demonstrate, there is another way.
If you’re going through any change programme, make sure you have a ‘Buck’ type guiding you.
You’ll recognise them because they won’t impose their will, they don’t let you know just how great they are, and they’ll guide you to change for yourself, towards yourself.