Posts Tagged ‘Adler’

Self-acceptance is a requirement in knowing how to get along with oneself.

Many of us as children learn we are not “good enough” as we were. If only we did things, better, faster, smarter, developed special skills and ability, only than we would “amount to anything”. Being human was not enough, and in our educational system hardly anyone is good enough as he is. We learn the fallacious assumption that improvement comes by being dissatisfied with our self. We develop a master-slave mentality and treat our self as a bad coach treats his players. We have no idea how to treat ourselves as a good friend.

We do not believe that anyone who is sure of himself and satisfied with his ability can function more adequately than some one who constantly berates and treats one self as inferior. We must constantly prove our worth. Yet, in contrast, it’s the feelings of adequacy not inadequacy that leads to successful endeavor.

How do we achieve a sense of adequacy?

1. The first step in developing a sense of adequacy is recognition of the fact that we have a prejudice against ourselves. We do not believe we have worth by the mere fact of being human. We must be “better” or the “best” and whatever we do. Functioning and contributing are not good enough.

2. The second step requires that we repeatedly ask ourselves: “Am I adequate or insufficient?” For those of us who regard anything less than perfection as adequate, this question is repugnant. These individuals lack the “courage to be imperfect.” Everything that anyone has every done, could be done better and improved upon.

3. To create adequacy we must recognize that whatever we contribute is useful. Usefulness alones gives meaning to life. However our prestige-status seeking society is not satisfied with just being useful. We have to be “better” and do “better’ than others or we have no worth. If we are not better than we are a failure.

4. Finally we must get beyond Success and Failure. No one is given continuous success or failure. It is human to make mistakes and humanely impossible to avoid making mistakes. Its not the mistakes that cause the damage its our interpretation of the mistakes that harm our feeling of adequacy. True character shines in how we handle our disappointments. If we learn to take our mistakes in stride without fear of humiliation, loss of status, we can continue to function, contribute, with a sense of adequacy. If we permit our self to become discourage, ashamed, and humiliated we lose our resources and cannot correct our errors. Discouragement is to lose the joy of living, the pleasure of doing things. Even though we think our concern stimulates our abilities, in actually lessens them, and our worry takes away the joy of living.

Adapted from Social Equality by Rudolf Dreikurs, pp. 9-11.

I had a very interesting experience last Saturday morning. I was making breakfast at home for Lori and myself. Lori and I have been married for 21 years, and this was shaping up as a typical Saturday morning. A quick breakfast together, followed by an hour or two of household chores. Lori was sitting with her laptop, at the breakfast counter, totally engrossed in working on a holiday show for the students at Alfred Adler Elementary, so the breakfast preparation was left to me. As I was making the eggs, I remembered a work email I had forgotten to send out, and was mildly annoyed with myself over this omission. I then glanced at Lori happily typing away, completely oblivious to anything else other than what she was creating. That is when it happened. Obi Wan would call it “turning to the dark side”. Alfred Adler called it feeling “less than”. My thoughts went, “Why isn’t SHE helping out with breakfast?” “No wonder I forgot that email. I am doing more than my share. ” etc, etc

Within a minute or two, I had talked myself into a very bad place. All too often, when I get myself in this state, I make a sarcastic joke, and damage the most important relationship in my life.

This time was different. I looked again at how happy she was to be doing exactly what she was doing in that moment. I thought about how much she gives of herself to the school, how hard she works, and her passion for giving each student a chance to be involved. Anger??? I no longer recognized the feelings of the previous few minutes.

Alfred Adler spoke of conjunctive versus disjunctive emotions. Those that pull us together, or push us apart. Rudolf Dreikurs said thought and emotions always work in tandem. Thought provides the direction, emotions provide the force of our movements. My thoughts, as evidenced by my self-talk, had provided direction toward some strong disjunctive emotions, and subsequently, just in the nick of time I might add, some strong conjunctive emotions. Our self-talk can induce disjunctive or conjunctive emotions towards ourselves as well.

So as the holidays are upon us, and we are all busily rushing about trying to do all that we do at this time, as you interact with the ones that matter the most to you, as well as your fellow man at the mall, at home, at work; remember the old adage, “guard your thoughts”.

We wish you many happy thoughts, and (the natural consequence) conjunctive emotions,
Greg and Lori DeCosmo

One of the most important propositions, which underlie the entire idea of cooperation, is the ability to participate in the give and take of life. To achieve a satisfying marriage of equality and cooperation, which in turn will lead to felicity and lifelong happiness, it is necessary for you to give in—TO REFUSE TO FIGHT- and to GO ALONG WITH YOUR MATE- out of strength and confidence and not out of weakness. By taking the position and keeping to it, you can change, improve, and save your marriage. Your stubbornness, being always “right,” and demanding your own way, and the like will doom your marriage to unhappiness.

We may pretend we are happy and nothing is wrong, but we can’t pretend to be healthy; we don’t have that kind of control over our physiology.

William Glasser, Choice Theory, p. 85

We are always better prepared if the marriage of our parents has been harmonious. Children gain their earliest impressions of marriage from the life of their parents. If the parents are not able themselves to cooperate, it will be impossible for them to teach cooperation to their children.

R. Dreikurs

1. Stop criticizing. Not an easy step to take. However, it is an effective beginning
toward changing the lines of communication from negative to positive.
2. Restructure relations. Tell your teenager at a quiet time that you have been
thinking things over and wish to make some changes in your own attitude.
3. Establish a relationship of equity with your teenager. This, of course, does not
mean that you, the parents, should give the child things which are excessively
costly or service which puts you in the position of servant.
4. Set some logical limits. For example discuss where you think he or she should go
socially, the appropriate hour for getting home, and the number of times per week
for going out. If all are quietly talking and trying to solve the problem, letting go
of the power struggle between each side, it is possible to reach some agreement.
5. Once an agreement is reached the teenager should then take the
responsibility to carry through. It should not be the parent who has to ask,
“Where are you going?” or the child who asks, “May I go to Ann’s house?” The
teenager should simply state, “I am going to Ann’s house and will return at
10:30.” In turn, the adults should tell there teens where they are going and when
they expect to return home.
6. When you talk, state your feelings, but do not imply that only you are right.
7. Listen to what your teenager has to say. Do not interrupt. Take the time to think
about what has been said and ask the same courtesy for yourself, but stress that
what you say is only your opinion.

For more suggestions check out the library on our website.

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish
ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends
and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by
the smallest people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for the underdogs anyway.

What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight,
Build anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

Author Unknown

Kindness implies a genuine respect for another individual. It does not require submission.
Rudolf Dreikurs

You cannot deny the power of social networking.

20+ years ago, someone would give you a phone number if they wanted you to contact them.
10 years ago, it became an email address that most would hand out first.
Today, it’s a “friend request” on a social network!

Carter & Evans Marriage and Family Therapy has joined the Facebook community: Carter & Evans on Facebook

We will be using Facebook and our Blog here to keep our clients, friends, and partners updated with news and events for everything from local group meetings to resources for learning more about Adlerian psychology.

We look forward to seeing you!

Carter & Evans Marriage and Family Therapy
Tampa, Florida