Coping Skills Quotes

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Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life's important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.
Fred Rogers
I wonder what kind of upbringing is worse for a human. The kind where you’re sheltered and loved to the point that you aren’t aware of how cruel the world can be until it’s too late to acquire the necessary coping skills, or the kind of household I grew up in. The ugliest version of a family, where coping is the only thing you learn.
Colleen Hoover (Heart Bones)
The conundrum of sanity and insanity, is that it serves us to be some of each. It's really only a question of degrees. You cannot possibly be 100% adjusted and live in this INSANE world. A little bit of crazy is a coping skill.
Kelli Jae Baeli (Too Much World)
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life. I'm still hoping that perhaps someday I'll learn how to use willpower like a real person, but until that very unlikely day, I will confidently battle toward adequacy, wielding my crude skill set of fear and shame.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
The most common emotional defense is avoidance (an ineffective coping skill for any stressor) as expressed through denial (e.g., "That wasn't really bad, I barely remember it").
Brian Luke Seaward (Managing Stress in Emergency Medical Services)
A BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS I: You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself. II: You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior. III: You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems. IV: You have the right to change your mind. V: You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them. VI: You have the right to say, “I don’t know.” VII: You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them. VIII: You have the right to be illogical in making decisions. IX: You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.” X: You have the right to say, “I don’t care.” YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope - Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Females with ASDs often develop ‘coping mechanisms’ that can cover up the intrinsic difficulties they experience. They may mimic their peers, watch from the sidelines, use their intellect to figure out the best ways to remain undetected, and they will study, practice, and learn appropriate approaches to social situations. Sounds easy enough, but in fact these strategies take a lot of work and can more often than not lead to exhaustion, withdrawal, anxiety, selective mutism, and depression. -Dr. Shana Nichols
Liane Holliday Willey (Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life)
Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity--precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with tthe heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness.No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering. The first step in building up presence of mind is to see the need for ii -- to want it badly enough to be willing to work for it.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
Art altogether is nothing but a survival skill, we should never lose sight of this fact, it is, time and again, just an attempt -- an attempt that seems touching even to our intellect -- to cope with this world and its revolting aspects, which, as we know, is invariably possible only by resorting to lies and falsehoods, to hyprocrisy and self-deception, Reger said. These pictures are full of lies and falsehoods and full of hypocrisy and self-deception, there is nothing else in them if we disregard their often inspired artistry. All these pictures, moreover, are an expression of man's absolute helplessness in coping with himself and with what surrounds him all his life. That is what all these pictures express, this helplessness which, on the one hand, embarasses the intellect and, on the other hand, bewilders the same intellect and moves it to tears, Reger said.
Thomas Bernhard (Old Masters: A Comedy)
Growth occurs when we discover how to remain authentically ourselves in the presence of potentially threatening things. Maturity is the possession of coping skills: we can take in our stride things that previously would have knocked us off course. We are less fragile, less easily shocked and hence more capable of engaging with situations as they really are
Alain de Botton (Art as Therapy)
What I do know is that there’s no need to panic, or do more than I can cope with right now. For the time being, I plan to simply get my life in order and learn some new skills, choosing from what’s available.
Michiko Aoyama (What You Are Looking for is in the Library)
Fear and anxiety affect decision making in the direction of more caution and risk aversion... Traumatized individuals pay more attention to cues of threat than other experiences, and they interpret ambiguous stimuli and situations as threatening (Eyesenck, 1992), leading to more fear-driven decisions. In people with a dissociative disorder, certain parts are compelled to focus on the perception of danger. Living in trauma-time, these dissociative parts immediately perceive the present as being "just like" the past and "emergency" emotions such as fear, rage, or terror are immediately evoked, which compel impulsive decisions to engage in defensive behaviors (freeze, flight, fight, or collapse). When parts of you are triggered, more rational and grounded parts may be overwhelmed and unable to make effective decisions.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
You are being manipulated when someone reduces, by any means, your ability to be your own judge of what you do.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
One of the most important aspects of being verbally assertive is to be persistent and to keep saying what you want over and over again without getting angry, irritated, or loud.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Changes in Relationship with others: It is especially hard to trust other people if you have been repeatedly abused, abandoned or betrayed as a child. Mistrust makes it very difficult to make friends, and to be able to distinguish between good and bad intentions in other people. Some parts do not seem to trust anyone, while other parts may be so vulnerable and needy that they do not pay attention to clues that perhaps a person is not trustworthy. Some parts like to be close to others or feel a desperate need to be close and taken care of, while other parts fear being close or actively dislike people. Some parts are afraid of being in relationships while others are afraid of being rejected or criticized. This naturally sets up major internal as well as relational conflicts.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own psychological well-being, happiness, and success in life. As much as we might wish good things for one another, we really do not have the ability to create mental stability, well-being, or happiness for someone else.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
If you do not recognize your assertive right to choose to be responsible only for yourself, other people can and will manipulate you into doing what they want by presenting their own problems to you as if they were your problems.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Giving reasons during conflict to justify or defend a viewpoint is just as manipulative as giving reasons to attack that viewpoint. Neither of these routes is an honest assertive I want that can lead to a workable compromise of interests to quickly resolve the conflict.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope - Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Others hide from being real by filling the air with words; the more words they throw out, the less actual communication happens and they are left with only an illusion of connection. This is the intimacy they so ardently seek but with these coping skills find so elusive.
David Walton Earle
Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity--precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with tthe heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness. No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
Complex PTSD consists of of six symptom clusters, which also have been described in terms of dissociation of personality. Of course, people who receive this diagnosis often also suffer from other problems as well, and as noted earlier, diagnostic categories may overlap significantly. The symptom clusters are as follows: Alterations in Regulation of Affect ( Emotion ) and Impulses Changes in Relationship with others Somatic Symptoms Changes in Meaning Changes in the perception of Self Changes in Attention and Consciousness
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Maybe I lacked coping skills. Maybe I was weak. I cared for people for no better reason than they seemed to care for me, acknowledge me. It didn’t seem so dangerous at the time.
Mark Slouka (Brewster)
Parts of you are phobic of anger and generally terrified and ashamed of angry dissociative parts. There is often tremendous conflict between anger-avoidant and anger-fixated parts of an individual. Thus, an internal and perpetual cycle of rage-shame-fear creates inner chaos and pain.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Changes in Meaning: Finally, chronically traumatized people lose faith that good things can happen and people can be kind and trustworthy. They feel hopeless, often believing that the future will be as bad as the past, or that they will not live long enough to experience a good future. People who have a dissociative disorder may have different meanings in various dissociative parts. Some parts may be relatively balanced in their worldview, others may be despairing, believing the world to be a completely negative, dangerous place, while other parts might maintain an unrealistic optimistic outlook on life
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
the ability to cope effectively with daily problems and responses does not depend on willpower. Solving problems and tolerating distress requires skill power,
Valerie Porr (Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change)
Love with open hands, with an open heart, knowing that what is given to you will die. It will change. Love anyway. You witness incredible pain in this life. Love anyway.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK)
Many of us learned that keeping busy…kept us at a distance from our feelings...Some of us took the ways we busied ourselves—becoming overachievers & workaholics—as self esteem…But whenever our inner feeling did not match our outer surface, we were doing ourselves a disservice…If stopping to rest meant being barraged with this discrepancy, no wonder we were reluctant to cease our obsessive activity.
Maureen Brady (Beyond Survival: A Writing Journey for Healing Childhood Sexual Abuse)
Alterations in regulation of affect (emotion) and impulse: Almost all people who are seriously traumatized have problems in tolerating and regulating their emotions and surges or impulses. However, those with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders tend to have more difficulties than those with PTSD because disruptions in early development have inhibited their ability to regulate themselves. The fact that you have a dissociative organization of your personality makes you highly vulnerable to rapid and unexpected changes in emotions and sudden impulses. Various parts of the personality intrude on each other either through passive influence or switching when your under stress, resulting in dysregulation. Merely having an emotion, such as anger, may evoke other parts of you to feel fear or shame, and to engage in impulsive behaviors to stop avoid the feelings.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
You can start training yourself in this Stoic practice of objective representation right now by writing down a description of an upsetting or problematic event in plain language. Phrase things as accurately as possible and view them from a more philosophical perspective, with studied indifference. Once you’ve mastered this art, take it a step further by following the example of Paconius Agrippinus and look for positive opportunities. Write how you could exercise strength of character and cope wisely with the situation. Ask yourself how someone you admire might cope with the same situation or what that person might advise you to do. Treat the event like a sparring partner in the gym, giving you an opportunity to strengthen your emotional resilience and coping skills. You might want to read your script aloud and review it several times or compose several versions until you’re satisfied it’s helped you change how you feel about events.
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
I was seized by doubt. Should I have come here? But going back was impossible. I had fled a known terror, and perhaps I could cope with this unknown terror that lay ahead.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
grandmother used to say, you can always find something wrong with someone else if you really want to.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
If we want to improve, first we have to recognize our own maladaptive coping skills, called codependency, then change.
David Walton Earle
Taking a pill is passive. In contrast, psychotherapy puts the patient in charge by instilling new coping skills and attitudes toward life.
Allen Frances (Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-Of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life)
Dissociative parts of the personality are not actually separate identities or personalities in one body, but rather parts of a single individual that are not yet functioning together in a smooth, coordinated, flexible way. P14
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Personal struggles, mistakes, and perseverance are part of every person’s life story. A proper mindset can turn failure into a gift. Specific human qualities such as intelligence and adaptive skills can be cultivated through applied effort to assist a person overcome a resounding failure. Each person would be wise to ask how does a person cope – grapple – with failure? We derive strength from our struggles.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I think there’s something seriously wrong with a society that thinks it’s wrong to tell the truth, because it could potentially hurt someone’s feelings. You’re not doing anyone any favors if you don’t allow snowflakes to develop coping skills, by shielding them from uncomfortable thoughts.
Oliver Markus Malloy (How to Defeat the Trump Cult: Want to Save Democracy? Share This Book)
Changes in the Perception of Self: People who have been traumatized in childhood are often troubled by guilt, shame, and negative feelings about themselves, such as the belief they are unlikable, unlovable, stupid, inept, dirty, worthless, lazy, and so forth. In Complex Dissociative disorders there are typically particular parts that contain these negative feelings about the self while other parts may evaluate themselves quite differently. Alterations among parts thus may result in rather rapid and distinct changes in self perception.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Our increasing use of drugs to treat these conditions doesn’t address the real issues: What are these patients trying to cope with? What are their internal or external resources? How do they calm themselves down? Do they have caring relationships with their bodies, and what do they do to cultivate a physical sense of power, vitality, and relaxation? Do they have dynamic interactions with other people? Who really knows them, loves them, and cares about them? Whom can they count on when they’re scared, when their babies are ill, or when they are sick themselves? Are they members of a community, and do they play vital roles in the lives of the people around them? What specific skills do they need to focus, pay attention, and make choices? Do they have a sense of purpose? What are they good at? How can we help them feel in charge of their lives?
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Somatic Symptoms: People with Complex PTSD often have medical unexplained physical symptoms such as abdominal pains, headaches, joint and muscle pain, stomach problems, and elimination problems. These people are sometimes most unfortunately mislabeled as hypochondriacs or as exaggerating their physical problems. But these problems are real, even though they may not be related to a specific physical diagnosis. Some dissociative parts are stuck in the past experiences that involved pain may intrude such that a person experiences unexplained pain or other physical symptoms. And more generally, chronic stress affects the body in all kinds of ways, just as it does the mind. In fact, the mind and body cannot be separated. Unfortunately, the connection between current physical symptoms and past traumatizing events is not always so clear to either the individual or the physician, at least for a while. At the same time we know that people who have suffered from serious medical, problems. It is therefore very important that you have physical problems checked out, to make sure you do not have a problem from which you need medical help.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
By measuring risk, we can develop coping skills, challenge our abilities, increase our strength, and allocate resources prudently. In essence, life is one constant series of risk calculations as we determine what we will do.
Connor Boyack (Children of the Collective)
The damaging part of learning to live your life in two parts , whether in reality or fantasy, cannot be underestimated. It is an infectious skill that you learned, one that would eventually spread beyond the bedroom of your life. Life wasn't ever what it seemed on the surface. Nothing could be trusted for what it appeared to be. After all, you weren't what you appeared to be. In learning to hide part of yourself, you lost the ability to trust anything or anyone fully. Without knowing it, you traded humane innocence for dry cynicism.
Alan Downs (The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World)
You as a whole person are thus unable to reconcile conflicts about anger and learn to tolerate and express anger in healthy ways. Inner turmoil and dissociation are maintained.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
People with Asperger’s or autism expend a huge amount of mental energy each day coping with socializing, anxiety, change, sensory sensitivity, daily living skills and so on.
Laura James (Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World)
Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity,precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with tthe heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness.No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering. The first step in building up presence of mind is to see the need for it, to want it badly enough to be willing to work for it.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
Responsibility in children starts with the parents' attitude and skills. The attitudes include a willingness to allow children to feel all their feelings; the skills include an ability to demonstrate to children acceptable ways of coping with feelings. The
Haim G. Ginott (Between Parent and Child: Revised and Updated)
Disease and distress need to be healed. Yet over a lifetime, the key to well-being is a person's coping skills. With poor coping skills, you become prey to every accident, setback, or disaster. with strong coping skills, you become resilient in the face of misfortune, and resilience has been shown repeatedly to be present in people who survive to great old age with a sense of fulfillment.
Deepak Chopra (Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges)
French parents don't worry that they're going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can't cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn't teach it.
Pamela Druckerman
Specific parts of you personality may be angry and are usually easily evoked. because these parts are dissociated, anger remains an emotion that is not integrated for you as a whole person. Even though individuals with dissociative disorder are responsible for their behavior, just like everyone else, regardless of which part may be acting, they may feel little control of these raging parts of themselves. Some dissociative parts may avoid or even be phobic of anger. They may influence you as a whole person to avoid conflict with others at any cost or to avoid setting healthy boundaries out of fear of someone else’s anger; or they may urge you to withdraw from others almost completely.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
People with Complex PTSD suffer from more severe and frequent dissociation symptoms, as well as memory and attention problems, than those with simple PTSD. In addition to amnesia due to the activity of various parts of the self, people may experience difficulties with concentration, attention, other memory problems and general spaciness. These symptoms often accompany dissociation of the personality, but they are also common in people who do not have dissociative disorders. For example everyone can be spacey, absorbed in an activity, or miss an exit on the highway. When various parts of the personality are active, by definition, a person experiences some kind of abrupt change in attention and consciousness.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
The manipulative behavior prompted by these expectations can also be seen in the general nonclinical population. These childish expectations and their consequent behavior deny us much of our dignity and self-respect as human beings. If we have the same expectations about ourselves as our manipulators do, we surrender to them our dignity and self-respect, the responsibility for governing our own existence, and the control over our own behavior.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it... Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced... And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool—for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful... And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line—unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive—even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources—not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self—struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence—you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself.
Ted Hughes (Letters of Ted Hughes)
Most dissociative parts influence your experience from the inside rather than exert complete control, that is, through passive influence. * In fact, many parts never take complete control of a person, but are only experienced internally. * Frequent switching may be a sign of severe stress and inner conflict in most individuals.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
the narcissist has learned that other people do not always do his bidding or meet his demands in the way that he expects. He has, therefore, developed formidable manipulation skills, at times deceitfully, to achieve his goals. Sometimes these skills are a highly developed ability to charm and bring others under his spell or influence.
Eleanor D. Payson (The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family)
Running is not magic beans and I now know that I can’t expect it to inure me to the genuine sadness of life. But throughout tough periods in my life, and without realising it, I had finally acquired a coping skill, one that has helped me every day since I found myself on that floor, wondering how I’d ever get up. It’s something that has taken me out of my self-made cage, propelled me towards new jobs, new experiences, real love and a sense of optimism and confidence that I can be more than just a woman with crippling anxiety. It has given me a new identity, one which no longer sees danger and fear first. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I ran myself out of misery. It has transformed my life.
Bella Mackie (Jog On: How Running Saved My Life)
However they coped, children are not wrong to have learned to do what they could.
Na'ama Yehuda (Communicating Trauma: Clinical Presentations and Interventions in Traumatized Children)
People have to go through skillful frustrations, otherwise they have no incentive to develop their own means and ways of coping with the world. - Bruce Lee
Shannon Lee (Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee)
Simply read a child’s story that he or she is writing for school, and you will discover some of the inner struggles with which the young person is trying to cope.
John S. Savage (Listening and Caring Skills in Ministry: A Guide for Groups and Leaders)
Get ready for change Identify what you need to change Let go of old habits to make room for change Learn new coping skills Incorporate the changes into your life
Steven M. Melemis (I Want to Change My Life: How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Addiction)
Until they enter elementary school most youngsters are motivated by the challenge itself, not by stars or grades or rewards. This is called mastery motivation and is the form of learning most likely to lead to both engagement and persistence, and ultimately to expertise.
Madeline Levine (Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More Than Grades, Trophies, or "Fat Envelopes")
Boredom presents a very real, if insidious peril. To quote Blaine Harden from the Washington post:“Boredom kills, and those it does not kill, it cripples, and those it does not cripple, it bleeds like a leech, leaving its victims pale, insipid, and brooding. Examples abound...Rats kept in comfortable isolation quickly become jumpy, irritable, and aggressive. Their bodies twitch, their tails grow scaly." The backcountry traveler, then, in addition to developing such skills as the use of a map and compass, or the prevention and treatment of blisters, must prepare mentally and materially to cope with boredom, lest his tail grow scaly.
Jon Krakauer (Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains)
The major stumbling block for coping well with our conflicts in living with each other is set up when we interfere with another person’s decision-making process, when we routinely manipulate our fellow man’s wants by making him feel anxiously threatened, guilty, or ignorant.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
The right to be the final judge of yourself is the prime assertive right which allows no one to manipulate you. It is the assertive right from which your other assertive rights are derived. Your other assertive rights are only more specific everyday applications of this prime right.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
I don’t believe that God’s up in heaven making things go terribly wrong in our lives so that we learn better manners and better coping skills. But I do believe in something like composting for the soul: that if you can find life out of death, if you can use the smashed up garbage to bring about something new and good, however tiny, that’s one of the most beautiful things there is.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
My favorite summary of the concept of defining your own responsibility for the problems of others was given in a joke, current several years ago. After being surrounded by 10,000 hostile Indians, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and remarked, “I guess this is it, Kimo Sabe. It looks like we have had it,” whereupon Tonto, surveying the impending disaster, turned and replied, “What do you mean we, white man?
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
When people recover from depression via psychotherapy, their attributions about recovery are likely to be different than those of people who have been treated with medication. Psychotherapy is a learning experience. Improvement is not produced by an external substance, but by changes within the person. It is like learning to read, write or ride a bicycle. Once you have learned, the skills stays with you. People no not become illiterate after they graduate from school, and if they get rusty at riding a bicycle, the skill can be acquired with relatively little practice. Furthermore, part of what a person might learn in therapy is to expect downturns in mood and to interpret them as a normal part of their life, rather than as an indication of an underlying disorder. This understanding, along with the skills that the person has learned for coping with negative moods and situations, can help to prevent a depressive relapse.
Irving Kirsch (The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth)
With improved coping skills forged through my midlife crisis, I now listen first and do not control, and I allow these now adult children to come to their own conclusions about what they want for their lives.
David Walton Earle
Some dissociative parts of the personality, living in trauma time, may experience the same emotion no matter the situation, such as fear, rage, shame, sadness, yearning and even some positive ones just as joy.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
What I do know is that there’s no need to panic, or do more than I can cope with right now. For the time being, I plan to simply get my life in order and learn some new skills, choosing from what’s available. I’ll prepare myself, like Guri and Gura gathering chestnuts in the forest. Because I never know when I might find my own giant egg.
Michiko Aoyama (What You Are Looking for is in the Library)
My mother once told me that trauma is like Lord of the Rings. You go through this crazy, life-altering thing that almost kills you (like say having to drop the one ring into Mount Doom), and that thing by definition cannot possibly be understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. They can sympathize sure, but they’ll never really know, and more than likely they’ll expect you to move on from the thing fairly quickly. And they can’t be blamed, people are just like that, but that’s not how it works. Some lucky people are like Sam. They can go straight home, get married, have a whole bunch of curly headed Hobbit babies and pick up their gardening right where they left off, content to forget the whole thing and live out their days in peace. Lots of people however, are like Frodo, and they don’t come home the same person they were when they left, and everything is more horrible and more hard then it ever was before. The old wounds sting and the ghost of the weight of the one ring still weighs heavy on their minds, and they don’t fit in at home anymore, so they get on boats go sailing away to the Undying West to look for the sort of peace that can only come from within. Frodos can’t cope, and most of us are Frodos when we start out. But if we move past the urge to hide or lash out, my mother always told me, we can become Pippin and Merry. They never ignored what had happened to them, but they were malleable and receptive to change. They became civic leaders and great storytellers; they we able to turn all that fear and anger and grief into narratives that others could delight in and learn from, and they used the skills they had learned in battle to protect their homeland. They were fortified by what had happened to them, they wore it like armor and used it to their advantage. It is our trauma that turns us into guardians, my mother told me, it is suffering that strengthens our skin and softens our hearts, and if we learn to live with the ghosts of what had been done to us, we just may be able to save others from the same fate.
S.T. Gibson
Pain is a predator when we run from it, it will inevitably chase us down and catch us in its clutches. The goal isn't to wallow in the pain or to avoid it, but rather, to move through it. Pain only holds us hostage when we get stuck in it or try to repress it. Pain is a part of the human experience. Life is a bittersweet journey. Developing the ability to learn from our pain and to cope with it, effectively, is one of the most empowering gifts we can give ourselves.
Jaeda DeWalt
Some dissociative parts of the personality, living in trauma time, may experience the same emotion no matter the situation, such as fear, rage, shame, sadness, yearning and even some positive ones just as joy. * Other parts have a broader range of feeling. Because emotions are often held in certain parts of the personality, different parts can have highly contradictory perceptions, emotions, and reactions to the same situation.” * This explains many feelings, emotions, and doubts about the unknown haunting us at times. * Awareness and discovering the inner world may help, tremendously.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
A good mentor does not simply go through her life hoping that others will pick up what she knows, but is actively engaged in helping others learn. She is tuned in enough to notice what skills are needed and is patient enough to teach them.
Jasmin Lee Cori (The Emotionally Absent Mother, Second Edition: How to Recognize and Cope with the Invisible Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect (Second): How to Recognize ... Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect)
You do not respond to your critic’s statements of wrongdoing with denial, defensiveness, or countermanipulation with criticisms of your own. Instead, you break the manipulative cycle by actively prompting further criticism about yourself or by prompting more information about statements of “wrongdoing” from the critical person in an unemotional, low-key manner.
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope - Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
Then you will make a law that they shall have such an education as will enable them to attain the greatest skill in asking and answering questions? Yes, he said, you and I together will make it. Dialectic, then, as you will agree, is the coping-stone of the sciences, and is set over them; no other science can be placed higher—the nature of knowledge can no further go? I agree, he said. But to whom we
Plato (The Republic)
As an adult, emerging from the ether's of an abusive childhood, i found myself left with a constant craving for protection, safety and security. I spent many years living my life, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I needed to control everything, in an effort to prevent any harm from coming my way (even though control is an illusion). It took me many years to realize i had to become that safe harbor for myself. And that part of becoming that safe harbor was not about avoiding life, but rather, developing the confidence and coping skills to know that i would have what it takes to find my way through life's inevitable trials and tribulations.
Jaeda DeWalt
Hayes and his colleagues have distilled these insights into seven skills for coping with loss. In more than a thousand studies over thirty-five years, they’ve found that the acquisition of this skill set predicts whether people facing loss fall into anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse—or whether they thrive. The first five skills involve acceptance of the bitter. First, we need to acknowledge that a loss has occurred; second, to embrace the emotions that accompany it. Instead of trying to control the pain, or to distract ourselves with food, alcohol, or work, we should simply feel our hurt, sorrow, shock, anger. Third, we need to accept all our feelings, thoughts, and memories, even the unexpected and seemingly inappropriate ones, such as liberation, laughter, and relief. Fourth, we should expect that sometimes we’ll feel overwhelmed. And fifth, we should watch out for unhelpful thoughts, such as “I should be over this,” “It’s all my fault,” and “Life is unfair.” Indeed, the ability to accept difficult emotions—not just observe them, not just breathe through them, but actually, nonjudgmentally, accept them—has been linked repeatedly to long-term thriving.
Susan Cain (Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole)
Winslow says I don't understand plotting and probably I don't - I have been congratulated many times on the skill shown in my plotting when I knew damn well that the story in question had not been plotted in advance at all. My notion of a story is an interesting situation in which a human being has to cope with a problem, does so, and thereby changes his personality, character, or evaluations in some measure because the coping has forced him to revise his thinking. How h copes with it I can't plot because that depends on his character, and I don't know his what his character is until i get acquainted with him. When I can "hear the character talk" then I'm all right - he works out his own salvation.
Robert A. Heinlein (Grumbles From The Grave)
coping with strong emotions is a learned skill, one that requires parents and other adults to be good coaches.
Tim Clinton (Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships)
For children who depend on mentally escaping into their minds to survive, imagination can become both refuge and desert island.
Na'ama Yehuda (Communicating Trauma: Clinical Presentations and Interventions in Traumatized Children)
And then there's this: no matter how many bullshit stories you have or don't have, there are no guarantees in life. Nothing is owed to us. That "not knowing" is scary, but the tools to help us--writing, breathing, yoga, connecting--are all we have. And honestly, sometimes the tools are Netflix and coffee as well as breathing and yoga and writing. But we must have tools.
Jennifer Pastiloff (On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard)
Each being is, exactly as you are, the sole centre of a Universe in no wise identical with, or even assimilable to, your own. The impersonal Universe of Nature is only an abstraction, approximately true, of the factors which it is convenient to regard as common to all. The Universe of another is therefore necessarily unknown to, and unknowable by, you; but it induces currents of energy in yours by determining in part your reactions. Use men and women, therefore, with the absolute respect due to inviolable standards of measurement; verify your own observations by comparison with similar judgements made by them; and, studying the methods which determine their failure or success, acquire for yourself the wit and skill required to cope with your own problems.
Aleister Crowley
The act of consciously and purposefully paying attention to symptoms and their antecedents and consequences makes the symptoms more an objective target for thoughtful observation than an intolerable source of subjective anxiety, dysphoria, and frustration. In ACT, the act of accepting the symptoms as an expectable feature of a disorder or illness, has been shown to be associated with relief rather than increased distress (Hayes et al., 2006). From a traumatic stress perspective, any symptom can be reframed as an understandable, albeit unpleasant and difficult to cope with, reaction or survival skill (Ford, 2009b, 2009c). In this way, monitoring symptoms and their environmental or experiential/body state "triggers" can enhance client's willingness and ability to reflectively observe them without feeling overwhelmed, terrified, or powerless. This is not only beneficial for personal and life stabilization but is also essential to the successful processing of traumatic events and reactions that occur in the next phase of therapy (Ford & Russo, 2006).
Christine A. Courtois (Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach)
A good pilot knows her skills, has confidence in the machine she is flying, and is aware of what actions are required in case of a hurricane, or in case the wings ice over. Therefore she is confident in her ability to cope with whatever weather conditions may arise—not because she will force the plane to obey her will, but because she will be the instrument for matching the properties of the plane to the conditions of the air.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Levine said that when we parent this way we deprive our kids of the opportunity to be creative, to problem solve, to develop coping skills, to build resilience, to figure out what makes them happy, to figure out who they are. In short, it deprives them of the chance to be, well, human. Although we overinvolve ourselves to protect our kids and it may in fact lead to short-term gains, our behavior actually delivers the rather soul-crushing news: “Kid, you can’t actually do any of this without me.
Julie Lythcott-Haims (How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success)
Maybe it was being orphaned and alone all my life, but I always steeled for the worst outcome I could envision. That way I could shrug and be almost happy with anything that fell short of the worst. It was a peculiar life skill and one I had gotten damn good at.
James Anderson (The Never-Open Desert Diner (Ben Jones, #1))
The capacities that develop in the earliest years may be harder to measure on tests of kindergarten readiness than abilities like number and letter recognition, but they are precisely the skills, closely related to executive functions, that researchers have recently determined to be so valuable in kindergarten and beyond: the ability to focus on a single activity for an extended period, the ability to understand and follow directions, the ability to cope with disappointment and frustration, the ability to interact capably with other students.
Paul Tough (Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why)
Our inner experience is that which we think, feel, remember, perceive, sense, decide, plan and predict. These experiences are actually mental actions, or mental activity (Van der Hart et al., 2006). Mental activity, in which we engage all the time, may or may not be accompanied by behavioral actions. It is essential that you become aware of, learn to tolerate and regulate, and even change major mental actions that affect your current life, such as negative beliefs, and feelings or reactions to the past the interfere with the present. However, it is impossible to change inner experiences if you are avoiding them because you are afraid, ashamed or disgusted by them. Serious avoidance of you inner experiences is called experiential avoidance (Hayes, Wilson, Gifford, & Follettte, 1996), or the phobia of inner experience (Steele, Van der Hart, & Nijenhuis, 2005; Van der Hart et al., 2006).
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
We began crafting ways to apply defusion and self skills to coping with the fear and pain of acceptance. Learning to defuse from the voice of the Dictator helps us keep a healthy distance from the negative messages that pop uninvited into our minds, like “Who are you kidding, you can’t deal with this!” It also helps diminish the power of the unhelpful relations that have been embedded in our thought networks, which are often activated by the pain involved in acceptance. For example, the relation between smoking a cigarette and feeling better will be triggered by the discomfort of craving a smoke. Reconnecting with our authentic self helps us practice self-compassion as we open up to unpleasant aspects of our lives, not berating ourselves for making mistakes or for feeling fear about dealing with the pain. We see beyond the image of a broken, weak, or afflicted self to the powerful true self that can choose to feel pain.
Steven C. Hayes (A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters)
He told me his story, a South African story that was all too familiar to me: The man grows up under apartheid, working on a farm, part of what’s essentially a slave labor force. It’s a living hell but it’s at least something. He’s paid a pittance but at least he’s paid. He’s told where to be and what to do every waking minute of his day. Then apartheid ends and he doesn’t even have that anymore. He finds his way to Johannesburg, looking for work, trying to feed his children back home. But he’s lost. He has no education. He has no skills. He doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know where to be. The world has been taught to be scared of him, but the reality is that he is scared of the world because he has none of the tools necessary to cope with it. So what does he do? He takes shit. He becomes a petty thief. He’s in and out of jail. He gets lucky and finds some construction work, but then he gets laid off from that, and a few days later he’s in a shop and he sees some PlayStation games and he grabs them, but he doesn’t even know enough to know that he’s stolen something of no value.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
All things being equal, you should be able to trust most of your feelings. But if they derive from dissociative parts of yourself that live in trauma-time, that is, are not oriented to the present or are hyperfocused only on specific aspects of an experience to the exclusion of others, these thoughts are more likely to be inaccurate and not fit with current, external reality.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Normally, as we grow older, we become progressively skilled in coping with life. In most departments, we acquire techniques on which we can fall back when interest and attention wilt. It is part of maturity that there is always some reserve we can tap. But this is not so in prayer. It is the only human activity that depends totally and solely on its intrinsic truth. We are there before God, or rather, to the degree that we are there before God, we are exposed to all that He is, and He can neither deceive nor be deceived. It is not that we want to deceive, whether God or anybody else, but with other people we cannot help our human condition of obscurity. We are not wholly there for them, nor they for us. We are simply not able to be so. Nor should we be. No human occasion calls for our total presence, even were it within our power to offer it. But prayer calls for it. Prayer is prayer if we want it to be.
Wendy Beckett (Sister Wendy on Prayer)
Gerontologists studying the aging process find increasing evidence that most of us will age with a fair degree of success. There’s far less institutionalization and disability than one might have guessed. While the size of social networks shrink with age, the quality of the relationships improves. There are types of cognitive skills that improve in old age (these are related to social intelligence and to making good strategic use of facts, rather than merely remembering them easily). The average elderly individual thinks his or her health is above average, and takes pleasure from that. And most important, the average level of happiness increases in old age; fewer negative emotions occur and, when they do, they don’t persist as long. Connected to this, brain-imaging studies show that negative images have less of an impact, and positive images have more of an impact on brain metabolism in older people, as compared to young.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Imperfection is not our personal problem—it is a natural part of existing.” Not being willing to accept imperfection creates imperfection. Inflexible preoccupation with your body shape keeps you struggling around food—and often leads to eating disorders (Fairburn 2008). When you define yourself by your shape and are unwilling to accept certain aspects of the way you are, you are likely to resort to harsh efforts to control your body by restricting your food or by overexercising.
Jennifer Taitz (End Emotional Eating: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Cope with Difficult Emotions and Develop a Healthy Relationship to Food)
•   The loss of a guaranteed economy and thus job prospects; •   The loss of confidence in government, since no one now knows how to cope; •   The loss of understanding between generations, exacerbated by emerging technologies; •   The loss of communication skills in a rapidly changing world; •   The loss of old moralities; •   The loss of US dominance in a world of wars we cannot win; •   The loss of our conviction about exceptionalism that was, we thought, immune to violence; •   The loss of a center that no longer holds; •   The loss of old certitudes; •   The loss of a viable “natural” environment; •   The loss of a world peopled only by “our kind.
Walter Brueggemann (The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipating Word)
WE HAVE SEEN HOW PEOPLE DESCRIBE the common characteristics of optimal experience: a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing. Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted. An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult, or dangerous.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
More panic. More emergencies and disasters. Soon, emergencies fell into a sort of natural ranking: drop-everything emergencies, do-what-you-can emergencies, and you’ll just-have-to-wait emergencies. Disasters, too, had their own ratings: unavoidable, did-the-best-we-could, my fault/your fault. Then there were godlike moments when a decision had to be made as to who most deserved to die. By the afternoon of her second day, Dtui wondered whether her heart had shrunk. She felt less. People had become less human. Death had become less of a tragedy. Her patients weren’t blacksmiths or housewives, they were percentages. “With this little skill and this little pharmaceutical backup, this patient—let’s call her number seven—has a forty percent chance of survival.” It amazed and saddened her that, in order to do her job properly, she had to stop caring.
Colin Cotterill (Disco For The Departed (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #3))
Lareau calls the middle-class parenting style "concerted cultivation." It’s an attempt to actively "foster and assess a child’s talents, opinions and skills." Poor parents tend to follow, by contrast, a strategy of "accomplishment of natural growth." They see as their responsibility to care for their children but to let them grow and develop on their own. Lareau stresses that one style isn’t morally better than the other. The poorer children were, to her mind, often better behaved, less whiny, more creative in making use of their own time, and had a well-developed sense of independence. But in practical terms, concerted cultivation has enormous advantages. The heavily scheduled middleclass child is exposed to a constantly shifting set of experiences. She learns teamwork and how to cope in highly structured settings. She is taught how to interact comfortably with adults, and to speak up when she needs to. In Lareau’s words, the middle-class children learn a sense of "entitlement." That word, of course, has negative connotations these days. But Lareau means it in the best sense of the term: "They acted as though they had a right to pursue their own individual preferences and to actively manage interactions in institutional settings. They appeared comfortable in those settings; they were open to sharing information and asking for attention It was common practice among middle-class children to shift interactions to suit their preferences." They knew the rules. "Even in fourth grade, middle-class children appeared to be acting on their own behalf to gain advantages. They made special requests of teachers and doctors to adjust procedures to accommodate their desires." By contrast, the working-class and poor children were characterized by "an emerging sense of distance, distrust, and constraint." They didn’t know how to get their way, or how to "customize"—using Lareau’s wonderful term—whatever environment they were in, for their best purposes.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Imagine the daughter of a narcissistic father as an example. She grows up chronically violated and abused at home, perhaps bullied by her peers as well. Her burgeoning low self-esteem, disruptions in identity and problems with emotional regulation causes her to live a life filled with terror. This is a terror that is stored in the body and literally shapes her brain. It is also what makes her brain extra vulnerable and susceptible to the effects of trauma in adulthood.                              Being verbally, emotionally and sometimes even physically beaten down, the child of a narcissistic parent learns that there is no safe place for her in the world. The symptoms of trauma emerge: disassociation to survive and escape her day-to-day existence, addictions that cause her to self-sabotage, maybe even self-harm to cope with the pain of being unloved, neglected and mistreated. Her pervasive sense of worthlessness and toxic shame, as well as subconscious programming, then cause her to become more easily attached to emotional predators in adulthood. In her repeated search for a rescuer, she instead finds those who chronically diminish her just like her earliest abusers. Of course, her resilience, adept skill set in adapting to chaotic environments and ability to “bounce back” was also birthed in early childhood. This is also seen as an “asset” to toxic partners because it means she will be more likely to stay within the abuse cycle in order to attempt to make things “work.” She then suffers not just from early childhood trauma, but from multiple re-victimizations in adulthood until, with the right support, she addresses her core wounds and begins to break the cycle step by step. Before she can break the cycle, she must first give herself the space and time to recover. A break from establishing new relationships is often essential during this time; No Contact (or Low Contact from her abusers in more complicated situations such as co-parenting) is also vital to the healing journey, to prevent compounding any existing traumas.
Shahida Arabi (Healing the Adult Children of Narcissists: Essays on The Invisible War Zone and Exercises for Recovery)
Flow is an extremely potent response to external events and requires an extraordinary set of signals. The process includes dopamine, which does more than tune signal-to-noise ratios. Emotionally, we feel dopamine as engagement, excitement, creativity, and a desire to investigate and make meaning out of the world. Evolutionarily, it serves a similar function. Human beings are hardwired for exploration, hardwired to push the envelope: dopamine is largely responsible for that wiring. This neurochemical is released whenever we take a risk or encounter something novel. It rewards exploratory behavior. It also helps us survive that behavior. By increasing attention, information flow, and pattern recognition in the brain, and heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle firing timing in the body, dopamine serves as a formidable skill-booster as well. Norepinephrine provides another boost. In the body, it speeds up heart rate, muscle tension, and respiration, and triggers glucose release so we have more energy. In the brain, norepinephrine increases arousal, attention, neural efficiency, and emotional control. In flow, it keeps us locked on target, holding distractions at bay. And as a pleasure-inducer, if dopamine’s drug analog is cocaine, norepinephrine’s is speed, which means this enhancement comes with a hell of a high. Endorphins, our third flow conspirator, also come with a hell of a high. These natural “endogenous” (meaning naturally internal to the body) opiates relieve pain and produce pleasure much like “exogenous” (externally added to the body) opiates like heroin. Potent too. The most commonly produced endorphin is 100 times more powerful than medical morphine. The next neurotransmitter is anandamide, which takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “bliss”—and for good reason. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid, and similarly feels like the psychoactive effect found in marijuana. Known to show up in exercise-induced flow states (and suspected in other kinds), this chemical elevates mood, relieves pain, dilates blood vessels and bronchial tubes (aiding respiration), and amplifies lateral thinking (our ability to link disparate ideas together). More critically, anandamide also inhibits our ability to feel fear, even, possibly, according to research done at Duke, facilitates the extinction of long-term fear memories. Lastly, at the tail end of a flow state, it also appears (more research needs to be done) that the brain releases serotonin, the neurochemical now associated with SSRIs like Prozac. “It’s a molecule involved in helping people cope with adversity,” Oxford University’s Philip Cowen told the New York Times, “to not lose it, to keep going and try to sort everything out.” In flow, serotonin is partly responsible for the afterglow effect, and thus the cause of some confusion. “A lot of people associate serotonin directly with flow,” says high performance psychologist Michael Gervais, “but that’s backward. By the time the serotonin has arrived the state has already happened. It’s a signal things are coming to an end, not just beginning.” These five chemicals are flow’s mighty cocktail. Alone, each packs a punch, together a wallop.
Steven Kotler (The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance)