“Crosswords”

I spy on with my little eye on :

It’s a young couple, married since lessthan ten years.

Saturday night

After dinner, he washes things in the kitchen in a fever

He has something in mind He’s embarrassed He’s turned on

She is on the sofa with a crosswords magazine

She yawns a bit and she yawns again deeper

Here he is he sits next to her on his bent knee

He’s on her side and a little above her

Trying now to help her – with the crosswords

But inside he has something in mind an elesextricity it is

Exciting images flow inside him he can’t stop them

Belly, movements, dance, propositions, smiles

He thus doesn’t know what to do with his own arms, hands

Breathing louder hidden

Having to find a balance between genuine tenderness

(a hand over her shoulder and he should have put some music here)

and genuine horniness

(but not toofar not toofast because he thinks

she’ll beangry she’ll sayno, she’ll say unnodding :

“I’m tired”… “Not today”)

Therefore he asks himself where to put his ownhands

Hands in her hair seems awkward : normally he is not “this” tender, right?

Hand on her thigh could be dangerous triggering a nogesture, a closing

He needs to be on the exact border, between tenderness and his own need of

Belly, legs, movements, dance, propositions, smiles

She is like a weirdbomb for him

A dreamycomplex mechanism to put kindnesscoins in, delicately…

“Try this word, honey : g-e-n-u-i-n-e”

Hey it works! Bravo!

She smiles and writes the word andbut yawns and reyawns deeper

He’s embarrassed

Stares at nothing then yawns too

“Let’s go to bed”

(he’ll try there

kindly)

…Would I want to date her today if I had never met her?
…Would I want to date him today if I had never met him?

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Sharing space but nothing else

First I found this painting from Belmiro de Almeida (how, why, I don’t remember).

Wondered about what happened in this couple. She cries or at least is weighed down, but by what? And this man is smoking, thinking, probably powerless/helpless, but who knows? Maybe he’s angry? “Here we go again…”.

Is it a break up, a betrayal, jealousy, boredom, romantic disappointment?

Maybe like in Chekhov, it’s just some tears, because of the “something’s lacking in my life” syndrome?

My researches showed me the second painting : a crying woman, a “vacant look” man, and flowers on the ground. Mhhh, who copied the other?

Then I thought about Hopper, of course, with no tears but only a… moment.

I remember that some (female) friends of mine told me many times than their guy “wasn’t really talkative”.

Thus I remembered the “bored couples” series, photographed by Martin Parr – who is a love because he includes himself in the series (he is on two photos of the four I found for you). Parr showed many times he’s a part of what he sees…

 

So is it even an article? No I don’t think so! I cobbled these together :

  1. To remember I should find more paintings on this topic (I tried and failed today)
  2. To think about the idea I found in the Parr link : monogamy is maybe dumb
  3. To remember that my lady likes my random lectures (I’m a chatterbox)
  4. To go on liking the “what happens here?” in Arts
  5. What if a man was crying, and a woman sitting aside, indifferent?
  6. To remember I have to take care of my partner, even if she’s a real “handful”
  7. To pass it on to you : what ideas did you get, reading this?

 

Take care! Have a nice day!

JP

 

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Bored Couples on Display in Public Places

Judgmental

ONE

Decades ago, a was in love with a painter, who one days asked me – a bit solemnly – what I was thinking about her recent work.

Then, the day after, I told a good friend that I didn’t say the truth. I didn’t like her recent work that much, but “I couldn’t have the heart to tell her”.

My friend gave me a roasting (is it the correct way to use this idiom?), and told me something I never forgot :

“When you’re asked that from a person you love, you have to tell the truth, silly!”

I think he was right. And I never forgot this good lesson.

TWO

I talked one day with someone who explained me that the first quality of her husband was “he is not judgmental”.

This annoyed me a lot because I don’t understand why and how should this be a “quality”.

Secondly, we… don’t even have this word in French! Therefore, WordReference and other sites tend to turn around it : “To have a tendency to carry critics”, or “To be fast to make value judgments”. Pfff!

THREE

Thus, my brain works and tries to understand why and how non-judgmental could be a “quality”.

If you ask someone to be non judgmental, is it because you are a mess, a complicated drama person, or a weathercock nobody can understand? Or is it because you have terrible flaws? I can imagine a drunk asking for that… “He doesn’t judge me, phew!”. Is it because YOU are judgmental therefore your man can’t be (because you don’t like to fight)?

So : a non-judgmental person is perfect! He never bothers you, right?

FOUR

All of this aside, it’s very surprising, because I think (like my friend at the beginning) that an important quality of a spouse (besides kindness, honesty, etc) is exactly to BE judgmental.

It means that he sees you, he values you, he wants to understand you, he likes to talk about these things, he wants your couple to be better, etc. Judge, think, connect, talk, ask : that’s couple life!

Hence, for me, to be non-judgmental in a couple is a bad sign. It shows that you lost the spirit of your lover. Or that you did put her on a pedestal, where she is “what she is” (she’s a handful, awe), and you can’t even really get, reach, understand her.

Or maybe that you accept her and everything from her, “she’s always right”, to have some peace and quiet.

If you judge, you’d be attacked as a demon, you should be reeducated. You don’t understand her.

FIVE

Ever heard of a double bind?

Value your man because he’s non judgmental, then reproach him to not get you, to take you for granted.

What kind of ohlalala gap is that?

A good path towards craziness (or depression, or violence), double bind is…

(you can also have sex to shut it off)

SIX

I ask and will always ask my wife to BE judgmental. “Stay connected, love, this is our stairs strategy : tell me what’s good, what’s wrong or weird, let’s talk! I hold you hand. Let’s talk. And tomorrow, my turn, OK?”.

She needs to be valued, recognized, seen exactly as she is, complicated but genuine. She’s amazing!

OUTRO

I maybe don’t get how “judgmental” is radioactively charged in English. Therefore I don’t understand this word. What do you think?

And I am really convinced it’s an important problem. Judge me. Please do! It means you see me, it means we’re interlinked.

Thanks for reading!

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The “Let’s make it a dance” tool

Hefez : La Danse du Couple (really need a translation?) is a book written by a couples therapist. He says that a couple is an impossible thing to build and to live – the other one never “fits”.

Therefore, we all have to think, watch the other and our alliance, and realize that there are stairs to climb, paths to invent, that we have to think and “find a way”. All this gestures-mess is a DANCE.

“Let’s make it a dance” is a tool which says :

“When it’s difficult somewhere but you have to insist and you have to stay in the system, just accept and absorb the difficulties – and invent a dance. Your dance. It’s a mess, but you can dance it, smile, and climb the stairs”. And ignore the others. Nobody can understand your own dance. It’s a secret.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : tammygucci

From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Counseling for couples : “Please become someone else”

Yes, yes, it’s a mess. It hurts. Toxicity and boredom alert! She wants to find the “second wind” of your marriage, le “second souffle”. “Counseling?”, she says? Your answer is YES. You’d better!

Then you have to “tell your story”, then listen to huge bullshbleep from a “professional”, many times.

Then, home, you try to do “as if” – at least for a few exhausting months. You know your flaws, right? You’ll “work” on them. Be ready. You’re on a mission now.

Let’s make it short :

“Please become someone else”

So here you are, with a list of “things to change” for your wife. “People can evolve!”, she says! You have four choices :

  1. You obey. Beck and call. Do that, and this too. Bravo! Your flaws vanished into magic. You will get tears of joy from her eyes, great hashtags on her social medias (#bestmoment #happymarriage), and a little more hanky-twalala-panky, probably. Reward it is.
  2. You really do “as if”. It’s about acting, now. It’s impossible to change really, because of course nobody changes, ever, but you can really do “as if”. You want to keep her, right? It’ll last the necessary length of time… until she sees it. Then you’re on you own.
  3. You say firmly “no”, and you’re done. Conflict and drama. Hold the wheel, buddy! Maybe find another therapist, later. A better one, OK?
  4. You run away and find an easier companion. Breathe. Life is made of dotted lines, after all. Next!
  5. Alcohol, accident, heart attack (or other self-sabotage), or any other boring “I go out” : anything DIY in the garage, work-out, biking, duck hunting. Some people even have two bedrooms!

Your choice?

Tools :

This was of course a sarcastic text. There are good professionals. Most of them are good listeners. They take big money to do that and that’s normal. Then, they will probably try to make you understand this : Your spouse won’t change, you have to accept your couple-dynamics.

“But wait, this means I should change myself ? You just said it’s impossible!”

Well : welcome into marriage!

In French we say :

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop – “Shoo away your nature, it comes back at full tilt”

Well, I think you say “The leopard can’t change its spots”.

Can he?

 

Have a nice day!

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<< Please become what I want you to be >>

“Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon”. #Cioran #Quote

Emil Cioran (1911-1995), De l’inconvénient d’être né, part VIII :

Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon.

Typically Cioranesque : Two lines, irrevocable, interesting.

This quote contains two things, right? Today I’ll let got the second one, to focus on this :

Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian

I think it’s true. I think also it’s a pattern, a dial you can apply on other fields : couple and marriage, companies, partnership.

When this “structure” is done, tired, exhausted, rotten or worn out, many things can happen. The simplest one is to decide to destroy it. But many times – it’s so human – nobody can decide. It just goes wrong, more and more.

Awaiting a barbarian is awaiting an external element, who is new, and has this barbaric quality : he dares, he brings some chaos, or at least some fracture. He disturbs.

Then you extend the possibilities : rebuild Rome or not. Some windows were opened, some doors. You can mutate. You can be lost, cut from the rest, you can dance with the barbarian, you can kill him and insist on the past.

Awaiting another revealer?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : littlemessofpetals

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a “You’re crazy” point in almost every #argument

The “You’re crazy” point in an argument, everybody knows that.

It’s very similar to the Godwin’s Law, an Internet adage which asserts that “If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler“.

It’s almost a law for “violent communication”. Instead of talking, telling your truth, have “impeccable words”, you just say to the other one “You’re crazy!”, “You should see a therapist”. Or worse : “I’ll put you in a mental institution”. That’s it.

I do think that, at this point, you should stop arguing and take a deep breathe. If you think it’s possible, try to make the other person to talk about himself instead of putting labels on you.

Yes yes, that’s the door to go outside of this.

But… Does the other person want it?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski

 

 

Fly off the handle and consequences

In France we have a different expression for “Fly off the handle” or “Blow his top” : Sortir de ses gonds

The “gonds” are the “door hinges” in French. So when someone is very angry we say “He’s out of his hinges”. In a way, I like this idiom. It means… “Ho ho…”. What can happen to a door out of its hinges, after all? It could be noisy, right?

So when someone blows his top, if there’s no plates flying, he or she SAYS things. And if you have a little common sense, you just don’t listen, or if you listen, you don’t answer. Because top blowing words fly off the handle over the roof, right?

Don’t pay attention. It’s a steam thing. Smile, but don’t show it : inside your belly.

But

If you need it, smash it back. Be angry. Scream louder. You are badly offended! Your feelings are hurt!

You can take seriously what shouldn’t been taken seriously, just because

  1. you need it for a purpose
  2. you’re a dramatic person
  3. you’re stupid

Nooo : let it fly. It’s a steam thing…

Thanks for reading!

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Light a fire under my fantasy flaw : Words VS Action

This article was triggered by a friend in the USA, telling me that many men from other countries asked her to visit (all this linked to love and attraction, etc…), but… “Who takes a plane to visit ME?”.

I read many interviews of filmmakers, who love to write stories and scenarios, and like to work for days on the editing process, but these directors hate shooting because it’s a compromise of their script – or at least they find it boring and complicated. You’re surrounded by a huge team who spend their time to fix problems, right? With actors who are fragile, lost, or complicated. They know they HAVE TO do it, though.

I think I’m this kind of guy. This is a flaw, and this is bad. I tend to live in a fantasy world. I like ideas, books, and metaphors. I like to say “Let’s keep it a dance”, but I don’t propose real tango lessons. I fantasize about traveling but I don’t even have a passport! I’d love to visit Luca (Italy), Yalta (Ukraine), or Petaluma (California)… and I don’t even have a car.

I’m not a doer, I’m not a strong person, I’m a dreamer and we dreamers tend to overthink instead of moving our asses. I know it can be felt as a betrayal by action people…

I should light a fire under my ass (ohh these American idioms with the word “ass”) but I don’t and won’t. Somebody could light it for me, but that’s lazy to easy to say that, right? And if I don’t move it could hurtburn my bottom, poor me! Condemned to stand up for the rest of my life…

Nevertheless, I think that you could find a sidekick lover, a partner who likes your conversation and dreaming capacities (fair’s fair), who settles in, takes their place next to you, not to become an engine or a pusher, which would be exhausting, but who knows you well enough to guess when to trigger this lever they know about. A single well placed sentence and a dreamer can become a strong action happy man. Tadaaaa.

OK, too easy, and lazy, right? It was probably…

…a dream 🙂

Have a nice day!

(Fair’s fair… I like this one!)

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Stalking Curses & Sisyphus’s like Loneliness : Chronicle 5

I already wrote a little article about this question : Why do people blog? Why do people post on Instagram? It was a long list of hypothesis, but at the end, I bet that people post to be loved. I read this week that the worse thing for depression is Instagram (because, as I guessed well, people often want to show to the world that they are “very happy, blessed by life and in love”, which makes the viewers jealous or at least a bit depressed because themselves are obviously NOT that happy, right?).

You click a hashtag, randomly, and you see billions of pictures. Why do people post on Instagram? The key word is “motivation”. Some take pictures and post them to :

  • Get followers
  • Share their work
  • Meet people with same interests
  • Indicate to others how happy and blessed they are
  • Show how interesting they are
  • Make people laugh
  • Show their “beauty”
  • Reveal beautiful places they visit
  • Indicate they are in couple, in love
  • Indicate they are sad, alone, or tired
  • Put a stalker in pain
  • Show their artistic talent
  • Show their project

Etc! One good question is :

When you post something somewhere, are you aware of your audience, or do you work only for yourself, your happiness?

I watched Paterson and I immediatly thought about another movie : Dead Zone : Christopher Walken is in coma for many years after a car accident. His wife remarry. Then he wakes up. His loneliness is then unbelievable (and the actor fantastic at it). It’s a world of ice. And he has a power to see the future…

Paterson (Adam Driver) is terrible alone too, but it’s VERY different. He has a beautiful young wife, a job (he’s a bus driver), some friends in a bar, and he writes poems. He’s quiet, modest in a modest life – he doesn’t talk much about his poems (though he continuously meets other people – a rapper, a little girl, a japanese man – interested in poetry). He writes in his bus, while he has lunch, in his basement. Nobody reads his poems. He sees struggling people around him (two young men lost with flirting, a colleague and his numerous family problems, a broken-hearted black man in the bar) and stays impassive and calm, benevolent. Idem with his girlfriend (who is a sweet dreamer, a dabbler artist). We all see he is not really connected, to anybody. He just goes on with his life, quietly putting words in his little booklet…

Walken and Driver are standing up. They are the loneliest characters I’ve seen ever (well, apart from Tennessee Williams’ plays). Both find something to do, though. They find their “mission”. The first one leads to drama (it’s from a Stephen King novel, after all). The second one is revealing a “way of being in the world” : being there without being very concerned (cf Inside Sidestepping) or affected. It talks about Sisyphus and about the Waldgänger, too…

It broke me heart, yesterday night, like a Chekhov or a Carver short story can do…

Slide, mortals, don’t bear down

 

Thanks for reading! Have a great week-end!

 

(I love this little dances of words too : Walken and Driver/Driver plays a bus driver/Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey/etc)

 

 

 

 

Wealthy Valet

A few days ago I talked with an aged funny married couple, who explained that they have two divorced daughters, in their thirties, complaining that they don’t find any suitable guy to date.

Both told me something like : “OK, the guy must be : handsome, interesting, wealthy, great in bed, protective, obedient, kind-hearted, with feminine qualities, while giving them big space when then need it”.

“Where is my Prince?”

Then they finished by : “Well, my dear, this kind of wealthy valet doesn’t even exist!”.

Who knows, though? How to lower expectations in love or marriage? What kind of doors/choices are dancing here? Can we cross out some qualities in the list? Why? What if the wealthy valet type says “No”? Why would men be frightened by such a program?

By the way, is “to make do” really a verb?? (question from the French). I found :

“We’re striving to make do with less”.

Bonne journée !

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” – H. Skipper

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” is a quote by Howard Skipper, an American doctor.

Here I try to extend this pattern, replacing “model” by cousin ideas : “pattern”, “structure”, “map”, etc.

So what? A “model” is not the real world, it’s a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

A MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY, right? A map is a LIE, it doesn’t give you changes, colors, moods, light, temperature and life. But it’s a useful, thought, for a purpose…

You can be very serious while modeling things (in Science) and an architect will build models (in cardboard or on computers), but you can also be a little casual “just to see what you’ll see”.

For example you can see each of these things : a school, a couple, or a battle, as : a machine, a living creature, a computer, a kingdom or a business company. If you “apply” your model, you’ll rule out something, but you’ll find interesting things too. Then, trash the model. Because it’s a LIE, of course!

A model is a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

It can be using a structure and also “a way to explain how it works”, moves and evolves. Let’s use the model of “a business company” to study “a married couple”. Who’s the CEO, how does the money flow, what are the goals, etc…

It can be more like a skeleton, a complex map of “what it is”, or a single archetypal word :

  • Mauss studied suicide or gift and made entire books about these. A way to search for “what is common”, the “fundamental characteristics”.
  • Simmel studied the bridge : it links two territories, it is a territory itself, it “shows itself” as a bridge, and it is a “will of connection” (over a river, for example).

Yes, this leads to Archetypes (Jung)

a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype (model) which other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate

To Forms in philosophy (Plato)

pure forms which embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing in Platonism

and to the most precious diamond : the Symbol.

a symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.

(All quotes from Wikipedia – I bolded some words)

Questions :

Who’s right? Skipper who uses the word “lie”, or Plato and Jung who seem to seek a “pure form”? Is all this a search for a link, common aspects in different things, or are these just tools to explore a concept , moving aside difficulties and details? Are you more interested in details, or structures? Why do we say that there are only a few ways to tell a story (Google : Seven Basic Plots)? What are the “order” games like MBTI, Zodiac or Enneagrams? Is a symbol the tiniest and more radioactive possible model?

Let’s say you’re introvert, fast, jealous, a father, a murderer or a valet. Is it a lie, because it’s true but way too simple (and a label on your face) – then you list the subtilities, the movements, the reasons, etc -, or is it a funny truth which could lead you to make decisions, or find other archetypes to think about?

You can also read : Ecceity

Yeahh, overthinking, I know…

Thanks for reading!

#angel

 

 

 

Unconditional Friendship

“Unconditional love” is a beautiful romantic story, and the idea of marriage will fascinate me forever. I am casual for so many things… I do think that some commitments need some solemnity, though.

There’s unconditional love in other places : a mother and a child, for example.

In this little text I imagine an unconditional friendship. In a life, it’s possible to meet a person so important, as a friend, that you could imagine something like a high range commitment, a bond, something so strong that it gives each other a strength – yes, it’s like a spouse who you know is here standing next to you, whatever happens.

Your believes differ? You take a big decision? You fight around ideas? Good! You can fix everything, and you will, because you know that you both dance with this strong and respectful “engagement” – you just invent it everyday, with absolute freedom, and no cage ever, inner or real.

Thanks for reading!

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Giberrishing management and other relationships

Erving Goffman explored it a long time ago in books like The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. I copy paste wikipedia :

Goffman believes that all participants in social interactions are engaged in certain practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others. This led to Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis. Goffman saw a connection between the kinds of acts that people put on in their daily life and theatrical performances.

So : life in society is a theater.

In relationships, there’s often a gap between an ideal and… reality. It can lead to drama, or to theater : wear a mask. Acting like you are supposed to do.

In management, it’s the same! One day you realize that your manager is managing as if he was believing his sh*t. And if YOU are the manager, well…

Where else?

Everything is fine, right?

Dials :

So what? It can be useful, to be “in peace”!

Where is our theater? What happens when masks fall, and why? Anger? Steam? Change?

Why and how can we become ourselves suddenly, and what would be the consequences?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : myivoryroot

The Splendid Paradox of #Divorce

I never married, and I will never understand the idea of divorce, it’s like a loop in my head. Why would you ever consider to divorce… since you are married??! Isn’t marriage a commitment? Then, well, it’s exactly it : when you meet a problem, some difficulties, betrayal, whatever, you’re supposed to work on it, right? Because, well, you’re MARRIED! So yes, I realize that I’m much more solemn than I should be. Or not : I never married, after all. Voilà!

Tool : what is a commitment? As it IS a commitment, what can it bring to you? What if you feel prisoner, in a cage? What if a commitment was REALLY a commitment, which means that you can’t even have the possibility to consider there’s a way to change or cut it? Can this happen in friendship, like the “Best Friends Forever” you hear in teens’ mouths? What if it was a real commitment?

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Instagram : ___bodylanguage___

“Do you, Herf, take Bosha to be your wife?” – “Absolutely!”, or “Hell, yesss!”?

“Do you, A, take B to be your wife?”, I think it’s the way this guy asks you that in church, right.

But you HAVE TO answer “I DO”, right?

What if you could answer what you want?

  • Oui
  • Hell YESSS!
  • OMG, of course…
  • Why not?
  • Yep
  • Ohlalaaaa
  • Obviously!
  • What do you think?
  • No. Yes! Just kidding
  • Interesting question…

What would you add?

 

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Instagram : birdsnakes

 

Paul-Jean Toulet, #French #poetry #poem

Toute allégresse a son défaut
Et se brise elle-même.
Si vous voulez que je vous aime ;
Ne riez pas trop haut.

C’est à voix basse qu’on enchante
Sous la cendre d’hiver
Ce coeur, pareil au feu couvert,
Qui se consume et chante.

Paul-Jean Toulet

 

I try a translation :

All glee has its fault
And breaks up itself.
If you want me to love you;
Do not laugh too loud.

It is in a low voice that you delight
Under the winter ashes
This heart, like the covered fire,
Who consumes and sings.

hallieartwork_-__everything_about_you_sparks-_if_they_stuck_you_in_the_dark__you_d_glow___

Instagram : hallieartwork

 

“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure #Watzlawick #Change

More of the same thing is what I call a “wrong tool”. It means : INSIST. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s stupid. Push push and push in a dead end. Seems easy, but we all do the same mistake.

The pattern is simple :

You have a problem. You think you have the solution. You act. It fails. So you think you have to insist, push, go stronger, “more of the same thing”. you fail.

The problem is “you think into the box”, and you are SURE you have the solution, and that if you insist enough, you will get it. And it’s wrong!

It’s an old classic, told by Palo Alto therapy searchers and Paul Watzlawick. If you want to save your couple, if you want to help someone, if you want to flirt, if you want to talk to someone who doesn’t want to talk : STOP. The solution? It’s at the end of this article!

The book? Paul Watzlawick : Change. Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution.

The author gives an example (which I translated rapidly) :

A teacher in a class has a single kid “with problems”. She asks to meet the parents and learns that he has huge issues, comes from a broken family and is very lonely all the time. So she tries her best to take care of him and give the boy much more interest; but the solution is worse : his notes crash, he is more alone. She insists and it goes into a dead end. The therapist says that “the more of the same thing” she does, the worse it’ll go (what she does isolates the boy from the other kids, for example). She’s asked to ignore him. Only to compliment him if the notes are good. And it worked!

If a wife asks her husband to talk more to her, spontaneously, about his days or thoughts, he will tell little things as an effort, but he will feel more and more closed, which will… make the wife to be more focused on him, waiting, and “more of the same thing”, arguing continuously about why he doesn’t talk to her enough, which will embarrass him more and more, etc.

Chögyam Trungpa, who was a Buddhist Meditation Master, says that if someone answer “No” when you want to talk with him, you just have to disappear. If you don’t, if you insist, you just transform yourself into a nagging (oh, a new word!) Demon. He’s so right!

Of course you know the story of the bunch of guys flirting everyday with the beautiful lady in a bar, with no success. Only one guy understands the problem (“More of the same thing”). He just sits in the bar, no interest, showing his back to her. And paying her the most neutral way every night. And guess what? He become the only one who gets her interest…

The tool is also a dial :

It’s hard to detect when you insist “more of the same thing” stupidly, because you are SURE you’re about to succeed. Don’t be a demon. And think out of the box. Buy the book, by the way, it’s very good.

Thanks for reading!

#clown #lille3000

 

 

 

Break Ups & Taking Things into Consideration

This winter I’ve been invited for lunch by a couple, I spent a delicious day talking with them and other friends, and the lady of the house lent me a CD of the music composed by… her ex-husband.

I was amazed by that, because divorced people have a nasty tendency to hate everything linked to their ex-lover – they love solemn dramas, probably.

If your love has a talent (for photography, poetry, writing, composing, lecturing or singing), why the hell this person would become a Dumb Zero once the love story is over??? Mmhh?

“Taking things into consideration” is a simple good tool (we say “Faire la part des choses” in French, “to make portions of things” which makes sense, I think) :

Take the pie, cut the love off : the person stays the same! Magic!

“Listen to this CD, tell me if you like it!”, with a big smile : her ex was good in this area. And well, he stayed a good composer…

Or… if you said to your crush he/she’s a good photographer, and you really don’t think he/she is, it means that… oh no, no no no no no no : that’s impossible, right?

Thanks for reading!

 

#plis