Posts Tagged ‘human relations’

Check this out about labeling our children, its only a minute.

By Timothy D. Evans and Raymond J. Corsini

Grousing is a common behavior that is highly destructive to relationships. It increases interpersonal conflict and provokes revenge while generating attitudes of resentment and no cooperation. Parents grouse at their children because they believe it will make them more responsible. One or both members of a couple may grouse at each other, convinced they know what is best for their partner. Despite its prevalence, grousing is a discouraging way of interacting. It destroys the potential for developing an encouraging and intimate relationship.

What is grousing? Webster defines grouse as “to grumble or complain.” It is related to the word “grouch.” Roget equates the term with “fret, chafe, frown, crab, or pout.” The usual synonym for grousing is nagging. The phrase, “Get off my back” means to stop grousing.

The initial step in encouragement training is to teach couples, parents, and teachers how their seemingly innocuous behavior irritates and discourages others. Nothing will improve in marriage until one starts working on him- or herself without trying to change the other person (Evans, 1989; Meredith & Evans, 1990). Marriage reconstruction requires the grouser to stop nagging, complaining, arguing, judging, criticizing, punishing, or rewarding (anything that irritates the other person). In short, the grouser needs to shut up and be pleasant.

GROUSING EXERCISE: An especially effective exercise for improving relationships entails the elimination of grousing for 4 consecutive days. After the therapist explains what it means to grouse, the following directions are given to couples or individuals: If you are guilty of grousing, are you willing to stop it for four consecutive days? If so, here is the assignment: You must stop grousing immediately and completely for four consecutive days. If you’ve been attacking, criticizing, yelling, reminding, nagging, threatening, bringing up the past, comparing, or pointing out mistakes, stop it now. This includes all negative behavior, no matter how “nicely” presented or well-intentioned.

Instead of grousing, act “as if” you are a sensible and self-controlled person who has decided to get off your spouse’s back and enjoy their company in spite of their shortcomings. You are not to do anything else other than to avoid grousing at your partner, child, or the person closes to you. After four consecutive days you have the choice of reverting to your old behavior.

You are only to participate in this exercise if you agree to do it for four consecutive days. This means that if you go for three days and grouse, you need to start over. You are not to perform this exercise with the intention of shaping-up the other person. You are changing your behavior because it is the decent and reasonable thing to do.

Assuming you follow through with this experiment, what might happen! There are several possibilities:

1. You will feel better about yourself. After all, who likes to be a prison guard monitoring someone’s behavior?

2. You will look better. Nags look like nags.

3. You will show/generate goodwill. Your mate will have evidence of your intention to improve the marriage.

4. You will become a more encouraging person.

5. You will reduce tension.

Your family will develop a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The Grousing Exercise is one that benefits everyone as both therapists and their clients can encourage themselves and their families. Practicing encouragement via the elimination of grousing is a win-win quality relationship proposal. ‘


Evans, T. (1989). The Art of Encouragement. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Center for Continuing Education.

Meredith, C., & Evans, T. (1990). Encouragement in the Family, Individual Psychology, 46, 187-192.

The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

[1] Appeared in: The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

“We too have the power to choose happiness over righteousness. Righteousness means remembering every time someone hurts us or disappoints us, and never letting them forget it (and—frightening thought—giving them the right remember every time we hurt them or let them down and constantly remind us of it). Happiness means giving people the right to be human, to be weak and selfish and occasionally forgetful, and realizing that we have no alternative to living with imperfect people.

Boston Globe columnist Linda Weltner makes the point in a story she tells. She remembers sitting in a park watching children at play. Two children get into an argument, and one says to the other, “I hate you! I’m never going to play with you again!” For a few minutes, they play separately, and then they are back sharing their toys with each other. Ms. Weltner remarks to another mother, “How do children do that? How do they manage to be so angry with each other one minute, and the best of friends the next?” The other mother answers, “It’s easy. They choose happiness over righteousness”.

The quest for righteousness estranges people each other; the quest for happiness enables them to get past their shortcomings and connect with each other. And strange as it may seem, happiness may be a more authentically religious value than righteousness. “

Harold Kushner, How Good Do WE Have to Be? pp. 108-109

Book available on our website.

I don’t know who or what put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t remember answering. But at some moment I did answer, “yes” to someone or something. And from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.

Taken from Dag Hammarskhold diary which was made into a book, after his death, titled, Markings

“People simply do not know the facts of life. Anyone who tries to find a place for himself will never find it, regardless how many degrees, regardless how much money, power, beauty, success, he may have amassed. Because unless he first realizes that he has a place by his very existence, if he doesn’t realize this, no attribute, no conquest, no skill, no achievement will give him the feeling of being good enough. Whatever he may achieve, it may not be good enough or enough of it, or whatever he may have gotten he may lose it.

It is this aspect of our society which makes us so neurotic, living in a neurotic society. As I pointed out in some papers, psychotherapy, counseling means fundamentally to extricate the child and the adult from the faulty values of our society, which we fortify in our colleges and our school more and more. This over-ambition which we instill in them which inevitably leads to a sense of failure. “If I can’t be the best, I am the worst.” And the schools contribute directly to the neurosis of our students. The harm which we are doing to our students is indescribable. It is hard to believe what goes on that people don’t see.

I remember one case of a 12 year old girl. The mother came and said, “She doesn’t apply herself. She doesn’t do well enough.” Actually, the child wasn’t too much interested in studying and she would barely do her homework. And I spoke with her. And I immediately realized what it was. The child was over-ambitious and so I asked her to tell me, “You don’t feel you are good enough for this school?” “No.” “Why are you not satisfied?” “I could be better.” “Well how good do you think you have to be to be good in your class?” And after a little prodding it came out, “I think perhaps the first or second in my class would be good enough.” And when I told it to her mother that she has to learn to be good enough as she is, she said, “The teacher who complains to me that my girl is not working up to her capacity is in the subject that my girl got an A-. Please, it was not good enough because you could have made an A+. The whole approach which we have in our classes stirring up this false ambition that if you can’t be the best academically, scholastically, athletically, then you have to switch to the useless side.

These mental tortures, and particularly at universities, are growing a generation of people who have to find their place. It is hard to believe what can go on without anybody crying out loud, “Let’s stop ruining our kids. Let’s stop giving them the feeling that they never can live up to what we the parents, the schools expect from them.” Dr. R. Dreikurs Social Interest in Children


by Raymond Corsini

If we could adhere to this one idea, the world would be a better place. Be less divorces, healthier children, less world conflict, our schools would be happier place, and more.

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

Featured in The Sandspur Magazine, Holiday 2004

I once had a couple seek counseling because he was convinced there was a correct way to decorate a Christmas tree. This created great misery for all the family members.

Sometimes the quest for significance consumes a person’s life. This is particularly true in the life of the perfectionist. For the perfectionist, its imperative that whatever they have planned, even to the smallest dinner party, must go perfectly, without a hitch. They make lists upon lists; in order to make sure whatever they do is flawless.

In general, people who strive for perfection unknowingly want to be the best. They tend to be overly responsible and find it impossible to compromise the standards they have set for themselves. Whatever they do, it has to be the best, not almost perfect, but perfectly perfect.

It is important the perfectionist comes to grips with the tremendous price they pay. The perfectionist will be over-involved, over-extended, bringing high level of stress, and fatigue to their lives. For perfectionists, they reason its only human nature to “do your best.” Perfectionists have such high standards they can never be happy, no matter how well things go.

Those who live and work with such a person often give up wanting to cooperate. They realize there is no way they can measure up to the high standards. Consequently, they may do nothing, and feel resentful of the perfectionist’s “goodness of excellence.” A healthier approach to finding significance is by having the courage to be imperfect. Instead of striving to do your best, simply function, contribute, and let the chips fall where they may. Learn to accept mistakes as a part of life. The only way not to make a mistake is to stay in bed all day. More damage to our self-worth is due to the interpretation of the mistake than the mistake itself. To make a mistake gracefully and without shame is an essential requirement for living.

Real happiness is not possible with unrealistic standards. To gain some sense of inner peace, we need to have a degree of self-acceptance. The most tortured and miserable human beings are those who strive to convince themselves and others that they are something other than themselves. They fail to realize that happiness lies in being ordinary and having others to love.

If you live long enough, trouble will reach you. Some individuals experience more heartache than others. It is not equally distributed. Trouble will occur because we are human. Perfectionism will not prevent bad things from happening, just like it could not prevent the Titanic from sinking. Perfectionism will create criticism and self-blame that leads to greater misery in the world. We are all going to make some bad choices and mistakes along the way, but that does not mean we are a mistake!