Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
Last week I wrote that what we say to others, and the way we say it, might evoke emotions in our listeners that may or may not be what we intend. It can also say more about us than we want to reveal. Thinking before we speak, especially to people who do not know us well and will therefore judge us by this first impression, is vital. Since we all bring our emotional history to everything we hear, it is so important to be sensitive to how others will hear and interpret what we say. But what responsibility do we have as listeners? Do we have an obligation to examine our reaction to words that inflame us and be introspective, instead of accusatory about our reactions?
In last week’s article, Sadie* was livid at Joyce’s* response to information she had forwarded to her. Instead of thanking her, Joyce just gave Sadie a job that would help Joyce stay on task. This made Sadie livid. She felt that Joyce saw her as a person with nothing but free time, someone to be ordered around at Joyce’s behest − an underling that could be asked to do the jobs that Joyce could not be bothered with, and certainly not her equal.
As Sadie and I talked, I discovered that Sadie had recently left her job and was now self- employed and worked from her home. Since this change, Sadie felt that people often saw her as a person who was not employed at all, and assumed she could often do what others with “regular” work hours could not. Since leaving her former job, she had often been bombarded with requests to volunteer and she thought she perceived resentment when she had to refuse. Sadie’s former job had given her public status, whereas her self- employment has left her without her past reputation or prominence. Could this have played into her reaction to Joyce’s statement?
We all bring our emotional history to every conversation. When we are talking to friends, we can often bypass minor comments that would set us off if made by someone we hardly know, or who we liked less. But when our sensitivities are ignited by others − especially people we barely know or possibly dislike, all the emotional baggage we carry explodes and translates into anger at what we think we have heard and what we think it says about us.
Though Joyce’s reaction to Sadie’s information may have been inappropriate, perhaps she was rushing about and doing several things at once. Perhaps she could not jot the date down and felt Sadie was just the type of person who would be nice enough to not mind helping her out, and whom she could rely on. What Sadie took as a personal attack on her schedule and status may have had nothing to do with Joyce’s perception of Sadie, and everything to do with Joyce’s own lack of efficiency and skills.
When we react strongly to what is being said to us, a signal needs to go off in our heads that tells us to withhold judgment of the speaker, and do some introspection instead. It is a tremendous opportunity for self-discovery. We can learn so much about ourselves when we examine the cause of our reaction. What is it about the statement that was just made that bothers us so much? What can we learn about ourselves, and our feelings of inadequacy that prompted such a strong, emotional response?
Is there something here we need to work on, to improve, or just need to accept about ourselves? Is our reaction based on reality or some long outdated value that is no longer relevant to this time in our lives? When we look inward instead of outward, we give ourselves the gift of potential personal growth that we so quickly expect of others and often ignore in ourselves.
Just as we need to be sensitive to the emotions of those to whom we are speaking, we must consider how the listener might react to what we are saying, because it may say a great deal about who we are. We also need to examine why we are reacting so strongly to what has been said to us. It will also go a long way presenting ourselves in a more positive light to those around us, because how we listen and react to what we hear, tells us − and everyone around us − a great deal about ourselves. It may even say much more about us than we’d like.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dear Dr. Yael:
Do you really believe that the Internet is the reason why the divorce rate is so high among young couples? This may be so in some cases, but what about the fact that many singles are pressured to get married at a young age despite not having any idea what they are looking for in a mate? And add to that the fact that many are pressured to make a decision about marriage after dating for a very short period of time.
From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.
Shel Silverstein’s 1974 poem “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is intended to paint a magical picture of a world of peace and serenity far away from the “black and dark streets.” At the time, perhaps the end of the sidewalk was a place that was “measured and slow.” Today, however, for many parents, where the sidewalk ends can feel like a scary place.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.
Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.
Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.
I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.
Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.
Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.
Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.
Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/the-unstated-message-part-ii/2009/01/07/
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