Differing Brains For Introverts and Extroverts

Differing Brains For Introverts and Extroverts

New articles on introversion and extroversion range from glorified personality quizzes (31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert”) to history lessons (16 Outrageously Successful Introverts). Most are packaged with the assumption the reader understands the basic concept of introversion, and already has a pretty clear idea of whether he or she is an introvert or an extrovert.

Scroll through the comments sections and you will find quite a few readers—even introverted ones—don’t appreciate being put in a labeled box. For every grateful response from a self-professed introvert, you’ll find several responses along the lines of, “No one is always extroverted and no one is always introverted,” and, “I consider myself an extrovert but a lot of these introvert traits apply to me.”

What does neuroscience have to say about all this? Do the brains of introverted people really look and behave differently from those of extroverts? And if so, what might those differences mean? Thanks to brain imaging techniques, we are able to prove there actually IS a difference.

Introvert v. Extrovert

When Carl Jung coined the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” in the early twentieth century, he emphasized that introverts aren’t necessarily shy or insecure—nor are extroverts necessarily empathic or loving. The distinction between the two, Jung wrote, “lies mainly in the fact that introverts get exhausted by social interaction, while extroverts get anxious when left alone. Introverts need solitude in order to recharge, while extroverts draw energy from socializing.” This to me explains why many couples get into trouble! How much do you know about the way you and your friends, partners (or potentials) gain energy? Find out more  in Exploring Intimacy: Cultivating Healthy Relationships through Insight and Intuition.

Public vs Private

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Public vs Private

The launch of Sheri Winston’s book was successful. My visit with the father of my grown children also went well at beautiful Pipe Lake near Seattle. A weekend like this pushes my public vs private conflict big time. I have always been open with my kids, there is very little they do not know about me and my life including my sexuality. It is one of the reasons my marriage ended.

I believe”sex” and intimacy issues are a normal part of life. Honesty and openness are my highest values in every relationship.

Because of this I am honest about my attraction to women as well as men. In many circles this is a no-no. You are supposed to choose. Make one commitment to last the rest of your life. It used to be like that for heterosexuals, however today they have more freedom than when I was growing up.  Homosexuality is also more acceptable. But the stigma around loving more than one remains, although this too is changing.

Polyamory is becoming a choice for many. What is your honest choice?

 

 

Guest post by Scot Hannon

Masterful, highly competent, loving coaches understand how precious relationships are  to people and that interpersonal issues can be socially or emotionally difficult, often painful. These coaches help their clients understand that interpersonal issues, *just like career and job issues*, can be made into *concrete goals*.A masterful and loving coach could ask the following self-reflective questions: How are you with the people in your life? How can you improve your relationships? Is there a particular relationship about which you feel anxious or sad? How can you improve your relationship with that person? Is there a particular behavior you could change to help improve that relationship? How might you go about initiating a dialogue with them about improving your relationship with them and eliciting more love?
The coach would hold the space for the coachee to contemplate.

A masterful and loving coach hears that a particular relationship is difficult and gently probes to make sure that the interpersonal frustrations and emotions get articulated as *specific issues* that can be converted into goals, not left as amorphous complaints. These goals, when acted upon, can then transform the relationship, which brings more relatedness, love and happiness, not only to both people in that relationship, but indirectly to their wider community of friends and family.

WELL SAID!

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5 tips for parents to help their teens overcome learning difficulties

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Teenagers who experience serious and ongoing difficulties with the different areas of learning are said to be suffering from a learning disability. In addition to struggling in school, they may also be undergoing social and emotional pressure. Most adolescents who have this problem are often unwilling or hesitant to approach their parents as dealing with this difficulty can be frustrating to both of them. But avoiding it does NOT solve the problem.

Parents who see signs of learning disabilities in their kids should not panic. They should understand that this is not uncommon and there are ways to overcome these difficulties. When teenagers start to show signs of learning difficulties, parents should keep the lines of communication open. Talking about the problem can be challenging, but it is the first and most effective way of arriving at a solution. It is up to the parent to address the problem.

Understanding the Cause

The first step in helping your child is to accept that s/he may be suffering from a learning disability. Denying the possibility that they may be going through a tough time will not help ease the burden. Ask questions about what is going on, in what ways are they struggling? Once you have acknowledged the problem, explore resources to find out how you can help.

Talk to Your Teen about the Disability

Talking to your child during this time may be both tricky and taxing. However, it is the only way you can both agree on how to come up with a solution to the problem. Keep the communication lines between you and your child open at all times. Make your child feel that you can be a confidant willing to listen and understand, and to find solutions.

Identify Your Teen’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As a parent, you should be aware of what your teen is good at and what areas they need to work on. This way, you can come up with activities to highlight strengths and improve  weaknesses. A great website to discover Multiple Intelligences is www.literacyworks.org. Do not forget to make your child feel accepted and not to focus what s/he can and cannot do.

 Seek Help from Experts

It is perfectly acceptable when parents do not immediately know what they can do to assist their child. Extra help is offered by health professionals and experts who understand the problem better than anyone. These people are trained to identify learning disabilities, and they studied ways to treat them. Consult with your child’s teacher or a psychologist. They can recommend professional assessment tests for your child.

 Choose the Right School for Your Teen

Addressing a learning disability is not limited to the home. Parents should choose a school that has an effective program for teens having difficult time learning. These children should be kept in an environment where they can work on their weaknesses while developing their strengths. Find more information at www.helpyourteennow.com.

Help your teens remember they are loved for who they are, not for their accomplishments or failures. We are all different in how we learn and process information. Keep looking for the best fit in a school setting.

Desire is Natural

Sexual Desire is Natural and Beautiful

Guest Post by Fred Burks

The drive towards sexual connection between two people who are strongly attracted to each other is a natural and beautiful part of our biology and of being human. The urge to merge is what keeps the human race going, as that is where we all came from when our parents surrendered to it. Sexual desire is a divine gift which inspires us to seek out deep connection.

Yet the carnal power behind this intense drive all too often causes some to go unconscious and to do things they later regret. Particularly for some men, once sexual desire kicks in fully, trying to stop or control it can feel like not scratching an intense itch or trying to stop a sneeze about to happen. They feel powerless to control it.

For both sexes, this powerful drive can shut down the conscious, thinking mind and the sensitive, loving heart. It can and sadly has led to acts as intense as sexual abuse and rape around the world. Herein lies the root of much psychological and emotional wounding on both individual and collective levels. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

As I’m fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when these powerful sexual urges arise, I’m thrilled to have found ways to dance with and channel this powerful energy that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I’m feeling attraction, but to all in my life. Primarily by holding a strong intention to be ever more conscious and by studying practices like tantra and sacred sexuality, which give ideas on this, my life and relationships have changed in awesome ways.

The ability to stay conscious even in the midst of intense sexual connection has left me feeling more free and alive than ever. I trust myself now that I won’t do something I will later regret. Yet I also know I can still experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This has brought a deep peace, joy, and excitement about life that I doubt I could have experienced otherwise without spending years in an ashram or meditating in a cave.

Great book review with interesting twist

 

BOOKCultivating Healthy Relationships offers an interesting series of meanderings and explorations through diverse wholistic healing discussions. Many interesting ideas are proposed for understanding and appreciating the body (physical and energetic)-emotions-mind-relationships-spirit connections.

In reading this book, I am reminded of when I first struggled to learn the game of bridge. It was difficult to understand bidding when I had not yet understood the values of suits and the hints that are implied in responses of partners to previous bids.

Suzann Panek Robins has much of value to share, and brings to the table a wide variety of sources to explain aspects of the holistic spectrum. Her basic focus is Freudian and Jungian, but her wide-ranging explorations cover numerous other psychological systems of psychology – both from conventional and complementary/alternative sources.

This rich feast will be best appreciated by those who have a fairly good basic understanding of what I call the wholistic spectrum of healing.

Review by Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM
Internatiional Journal of Healing andCaring, Editor-in-Chief

 

End of the world as we know it?

The buzz about the end of the world in Dec. 2012 reminds me of the split between mind and body. Is this a political or a metaphysical question? We never actually know what is going to happen next, no matter how much we plan and prepare.

When we take a vacation, we trace our route and say we want to be at one place on this date, and another on that date. Mostly it works, but sometimes there are unexpected turns in the road and magnificent things to see and do that were not planned. Other times mistakes are made and we have to retrace our route, or we lose “time” because we lock the keys in the car, or we sleep poorly because we picked the wrong motel.

When we go to work day after day, mostly we know what to expect and it can be exciting when something different occurs. Sometimes the phone suddenly rings and every thing we planned to do changes. Other times, it is the same ole, same old. One never knows. However, we continue to have expectations and to set our intentions about how we want something to work. If we can live in the mystery of not knowing what is around the next corner, we can always be excited and surprized by what happens. When we have expectations, we are often disappointed.

Which way would you rather live? In disappointment or surprize and excitement? I am one of those people who don’t like surprizes, but I don’t like to be disappointed either, so what is a girl to do?

I like setting my intentions and then love with my arms wide open, letting happen what ever happens and surrendering to the moment. This is not always easy, but recent health problems have left me not knowing what is going to happen next. I am learning to live in the mystery and allowing myself to be pleased with the outcome, what ever it is . This has forced me to slow down and take what comes. It is a hard lesson. My body and mind are not in agreement. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and other times my whole self says, “Let’s go!” Yet I don’t have an ounce of energy to follow through.

How does this work for you? And what do you think is going to happen next? I’d love your comments!

An insider’s wishes for successful gay marriages

Exploring Intimacy means allowing for In–to–me-see…

Gay marriage has become legal in several states. We are finally seen as equals and this move was way overdue. Now that many have taken the leap into marriage, or are considering it, I want these unions to last. Not just to endure over time, but to thrive and grow. (Let us prove the conservatives wrong).

Many people (especially in the LGBTIQP communities) crave intimacy, yet go about it in self-destructive or at least self–defeating ways. The crystal meth epidemic in New York is one example. I want us to see ourselves as better than that, and be a strong healthy community, in mind, body, and spirit. Communities are made up of people who truly care for one another.

To me most people give up on relationships way too easily these days, or else they hold on to the idea of “until death do us part” that our parents held so literally. Too often we give up on blissful connecting with our partners and settle for the daily grind of getting through the tough parts, not really connecting in deep heartfelt ways.

The most consistent relationship you will have in your life is the one with yourself.”

This is a really important place to start. Self-love is not shallow, ego driven, narcissism, but a self-care that helps you make good decisions, and sets a standard of how you want to be treated by others.

We connect with people on different levels. At first, we might be attracted on a visual, physical or intellectual, mental level, then we come to know their heart and we fall in love on deeper levels. This helps build a mature lasting love. When we start to tap into new unexplored traits and characters of our partner, we build something new together that doesn’t leave either one behind.

Many avenues can lead to intimacy and getting in tune with your partner or spouse. Here are three easy questions to consider when opposing egos create a power struggle.

Step back and ask:

1. “What would be best for the relationship”? Unless you like playing tug of war, it is so much easier to both get on the same side of the rope and pull together! See your relationship as a third entity worthy of time and care.

2. “Is this really going to matter a year from now”? If not don’t get all heated up about it, know when to apologize, and when to accept forgiveness. I am a big fan of fresh starts.

3. “Am I telling everyone except my partner that we have problems”? The best path to intimacy is to build trust by sharing your thoughts and worries. Opening up makes space for the other to share also.

A simple pause can create meaningful unions that will last as long as you both are willing to do the work it takes to communicate openly and let the love grow.

Reverend Kyle Applegate is an Ordained Inter-Faith Minister and registered in NYC as a marriage officiant as well as a certified Tantric Coach, LGBT Diversity Awareness Educator, and Sexual Healer. He served on the leadership team of national and local Polyamorous Organizations. Kyle is also a member of the Transgender Community Advisory Panel for Callen-Lorde health center in NYC.  

Contact him at: kyle@sacredjourneyhealing.com