Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

by Brittany Wong

Not everyone you find yourself attracted to is necessarily the right person for a relationship.

Below, therapists and other relationship experts share seven signs the person you’re seeing is too self-centered for a long-term relationship.

1. They care more about your career than your character.

If you never feel quite good enough for your partner — and she’s much more interested in what you do than who you are — consider it a big, glaring red flag, said Karyl McBride, a therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family.

“The ‘what you do’ may be status-oriented qualities, like looks or career accomplishments, but often it is about what you ‘do’ for her,” she said. “You will find that your partner is not as interested in who you really are as a person because she lacks the capacity to emotionally tune in and provide empathy. In this situation, you don’t feel seen or heard and often feel invisible.”

2. You feel controlled by their many rules.

People with narcissistic personalities put high expectations on others — and when you fail to meet those expectations, judgement almost always follows, said Jan Hill, a Toronto-based counselor and author of Happy Sex: Putting Passion and Play Back into Your Relationship.

“To help you meet those expectations, people with big egos establish rules,” she said. “For example, one narcissist I know wanted his girlfriend to give him 24-hour notice if she was going out with her friends and he wanted to know where she was going. Meanwhile, he maintained spontaneity in his own social life.”

Relationship rules that aren’t applied equally “create resentment, anger and shut down any possibilities for real, respectful and honest love,” Hill said.

3. Your partner prioritizes “me” over “we.”
Your partner should value your opinion, embrace a team mentality and consider the collective couple when making decisions, said Samantha Burns, a Boston-based relationship counselor and dating coach. When you’re with a quality partner, your happiness matters just as much as hers.

“If she doesn’t stop to think about your preferences, she likely won’t be able to prioritize your happiness at any point,” Burns said. “This can lead to dissatisfaction, disconnection and a potential breakup.”

4. They sabotage your success.

A narcissistic personality will share the spotlight, but only up to a point. The second your success starts to overshadows his there’s bound to be trouble, Hill said.

“If you have your own career aspirations and your success could take the spotlight off him, he will sabotage you,” she said. “One classic sabotage technique is this: just before your big interview, your partner will make a demand of your time or have an emotional fit that will distract you from your goal and you will fail to achieve to the best of your potential because you were too busy helping out.”

5. They never ask, “How was your day?”

Getting home and ranting to your partner about subway outages and your crappy workday is one of the great joys of life. You deserve someone who not only asks, “how was your day, honey?” but actually listens to what you have to say, even if your response is 90 percent complaining, Burns said.

“It’s hard to feel like you really matter to someone who always dominates the conversation — it’s as if you’re only there to stroke his ego,” she said “To be with someone who never stops to ask about how your day was is a red flag. The one-sided dynamic can leave you in the shadows and unhappy.”

6. They talk over you.

Good luck getting a word in edgewise; a self-centered partner seems to enjoy the sound of her voice a lot more than yours, said Debra Campbell, a psychologist and couple’s therapist in Melbourne, Australia.

“And when you disagree, your partner is more concerned with defending her position than acknowledging your point of view,” she said. “Feeling heard is a vital part of feeling loved, so the result is usually to feel emotionally sidelined when a partner consistently doesn’t listen well.”


7. You have to beg your partner to do things you want to do.

Compromise is essential in any healthy relationship. It should worry you if your partner doesn’t care about your opinion, isn’t willing to take “no” for an answer or guilt trips you into making decisions, Burns said.

“You shouldn’t have to beg, nag or pull teeth to get your partner to participate in your activities, whether it’s the vacation spot you’ve been dying to get to, or the restaurant you want to try for dinner,” she said. “Your needs and wants are just as important as hers and you will likely grow resentful if your mate can’t create a healthy balance of compromise.”

By Rich Cholodofsky

A Monessen man convicted of the robbery and assault of a 91-year-old Rostraver woman was sentenced Thursday to serve up to 40 years in prison. About an hour later, Greg Howard appeared in another Westmoreland County courtroom to marry his girlfriend.

Howard, 47, had nothing to say standing before Judge Rita Hathaway as she ordered that he spend at least 20 years behind bars for the October 2014 home invasion that left Frances Tekavec severely injured and her savings stolen. He was given credit for the time he has served in jail since early November.

“Thank God she is here today and didn’t die in the incident,” Hathaway said.

Howard’s silence was in sharp contrast to his demeanor during the three-day trial in July in which he served as his own lawyer. Howard gave a rambling closing argument during the trial, referencing Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and other cultural icons. It took jurors 43 minutes to convict Howard of robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy.

During the trial, prosecutors said Howard and two other men broke into Tekavec’s home. The men used a Levin’s furniture truck as a ruse to get into the home by asking her to sign a fake delivery receipt, according to trial testimony. Witnesses said they took $13,000 and jewelry and left Tekavec lying on her bed with her ankles and wrists bound.

Tekavec identified Howard as one of her attackers. She made no comment in court on Thursday, but Hathaway read a letter she wrote about the impact of the crime.

In the letter, Tekavec said she is now confined to a wheelchair, and because of the injuries she suffered in the attack, she is in constant pain and is restricted from performing basic personal chores, such as brushing her hair.

“Certainly there are very serious effects she has suffered because of the crime committed against her,” Hathaway said.

Defense attorney Tim Dawson asked that Howard receive concurrent sentences because two other men were more responsible for the violence.

Charges are pending against co-defendants Lamont Dixon, 35, and Branddon Danilchak, 28.

Howard was allowed to wear civilian clothing in court instead of a prison jumpsuit. Deputies said Howard remained shackled during a brief wedding ceremony later in the afternoon presided over by Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

The ceremony was attended by five deputies and the bride’s baby, who was born last month.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/9191589-74/howard-gets-prison#ixzz3nbzLDYFm

by Peter Mellgard

Back in the 80s there was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who confessed to a professor that he hadn’t quite figured out “this sex thing,” and preferred to spend time on his computer rather than with girls. For “Anthony,” computers were safer and made more sense; romantic relationships, he said, usually led to him “getting burned in some way.”

Years later, Anthony’s story made a big impression on David Levy, an expert in artificial intelligence, who was amazed that someone as educated as Anthony was developing an emotional attachment to his computer so long ago. Levy decided he wanted to give guys like Anthony a social and sexual alternative to real girls. The answer, he thinks, is sexbots. And he’s not talking about some blow-up doll that doesn’t talk.

Levy predicts that a lot of us, mostly but not exclusively shy guys like Anthony, will be having sex with robots sometime around the 2040s. By then, he says, robots will be so hot, human-like and mind-blowing under the sheets that a lot of people will find them sexually enjoyable. What’s more, Levy believes they will be able to engage and communicate with people in a meaningful, emotional way, so that guys like Anthony won’t need to worry about real girls if they don’t want to.

To give a robot the ability to communicate and provide the kind of emotional satisfaction someone would normally get from a human partner, Levy is improving an award-winning chat program called Do-Much-More that he built a few years ago. His aim is for it to become “a girlfriend or boyfriend chatbot that will be able to conduct amorous conversations with a user,” he told The WorldPost. “I’m trying to simulate the kind of conversation that two lovers might have.”

Levy admits that “this won’t come about instantly.” Eventually he wants his advanced conversation software embedded in a sexbot so that it becomes more than just a sexual plaything — a companion, perhaps. But it won’t be for everyone. “I don’t believe that human-robot relationships are going to replace human-human relationships,” he said.

There will be people, however, Levy said, people like Anthony maybe, for whom a sexbot holds a strong appeal. “I’m hoping to help people,” he said, then elaborated:

People ask me the question, ‘Why is a relationship with a robot better than a relationship with a human?’ And I don’t think that’s the point at all. For millions of people in the world, they can’t make a good relationship with other humans. For them the question is not, ‘Why is a relationship with a robot better?’ For them the question is, would it be better to have a relationship with a robot or no relationship at all?

The future looks bright if you’re into relationships with robots and computers.

Neil McArthur, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the University of Manitoba in Canada, imagines that in 10 to 15 years, “we will have something for which there is great consumer demand and that people are willing to say is a very good and enjoyable sexbot.”

For now, the closest thing we have to a genuine sexbot is the RealDoll. A RealDoll is the most advanced sex doll in the world — a sculpted “work of art,” in the words of Matt McMullen, the founder of the company, Abyss Creations, that makes them. For a few thousand dollars a pop, customers can customize the doll’s hair color, skin tone, eyes, clothing and genitalia (removable, exchangeable, flaccid, hard) — and then wait patiently for a coffin-sized box to arrive in the mail. For some people, that box contains a sexual plaything and an emotional companion that is preferable to a human partner.

“The goal, the fantasy, is to bring her to life,” McMullen told Vanity Fair.

Others already prefer virtual “people” to living humans as emotional partners. Love Plus is a hugely popular game in Japan that is played on a smartphone or Nintendo. Players take imaginary girls on dates, “kiss” them, buy them birthday cakes.

“Well, you know, all I want is someone to say good morning to in the morning and someone to say goodnight to at night,” said one gamer who has been dating one of the imaginary girls for years, according to TIME Magazine.

And there’s Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend, apps that connects you with a real, paid human who will text you so that you can prove you have a girlfriend or boyfriend to nosy relatives or disbelieving buddies. At least one user, a culture critic for the Washington Post, confessed she might actually being in love with the person on the other side who, remember, is being paid to satisfy customers’ desires. They’d never even met.

McArthur and others suspect that there might be people for whom a sexbot is no mere toy but a way to access something — sex — that for one reason or another was previously unattainable.

When it comes to the disabled, McArthur explained, there are two barriers to sexual activity: an external — “they’re not seen as valuable sexual partners” — and an internal anxiety. “Sexbots can give them access to partners. And they are sort of a gateway as well: disabled people could use a sexbot to build confidence and to build a sense of sexuality.”

“When it comes to sex,” he concluded, “more is better.”

It’s a new and emerging technology, but let’s nip in the bud,” Kathleen Richardson, a senior research fellow in the ethics of robotics at De Montfort University in England, told the Washington Post. Richardson released a paper this month titled “The Asymmetrical ‘Relationship’: Parallels Between Prostitution and the Development of Sex Robots.”

“I propose that extending relations of prostitution into machines is neither ethical, nor is it safe,” the paper reads.

And the ethical questions extend beyond machine “prostitution.” RealDoll, the sex doll company, refuses to make child-like dolls or animals. But what if another company does?

“It’s really a legal, moral, societal debate that we need to have about these systems,” said Matthias Scheutz, the director of the human-robot interaction laboratory at Tufts University. “We as a society need to discuss these questions before these products are out there. Because right now, we aren’t.”

If, in the privacy of your own home, you want to have sex with a doll or robot that looks like a 10-year-old boy or virtual children in porn apps, is that wrong? In most though not all countries in the world, it’s illegal to possess child pornography, including when it portrays a virtual person that is “indistinguishable” from a real minor. But some artistic representations of naked children are legal even in the U.S. Is a sexbot art? Is what a person does to a sexbot, no matter what it looks like, a legal question?

Furthermore, the link between viewing child pornography and child abuse crimes is unclear. Studies have been done on people incarcerated for those crimes that found that child pornography fueled the desire to abuse a real child. But another study on self-identified “boy-attracted pedosexual males” found that viewing child pornography acted as a substitute for sexual molestation.

“I think the jury is out on that,” said McArthur. “It depends on an empirical question: Do you think that giving people access to satisfaction of that kind is going to stimulate them to move on to actual contact crimes, or do you think it will provide a release valve?”

Scheutz explained: “People will build all sorts of things. Some people have made arguments that for people who otherwise would be sex offenders, maybe a child-like robot would be a therapeutic thing. Or it could have exactly the opposite effect.”
McArthur is most worried about how sexbots will impact perceptions about gender, body image and human sexual behavior. Sexbots will “promote unattainable body ideals,” he said. Furthermore, “you just aren’t going to make a robot that has a complicated personality and isn’t always in the mood. That’s going to promote a sense that, well, women should be more like an idealized robot personality that is a pliant, sexualized being.”

As sexbots become more popular and better at what they’re built to do, these questions will become more and more important. We, as a society and a species, are opening a door to a new world of sex. Social taboos will be challenged; legal questions will be raised.

And there might be more people — maybe people like Anthony — who realize they don’t need to suffer through a relationship with a human if they don’t want to because a robot provides for their emotional and sexual needs without thinking, contradicting, saying no or asking for much in return.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/robot-sex_55f979f2e4b0b48f670164e9

Thanks to Dr. Lutter for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

By Allen Frances, MD

There are 3 consistent research findings that should make a world of difference to therapists and to the people they treat.

1. Psychotherapy works at least as well as drugs for most mild to moderate problems and, all things being equal, should be used first

2. A good relationship is much more important in promoting good outcome than the specific psychotherapy techniques that are used

3. There is a very high placebo response rate for all sorts of milder psychiatric and medical problems

This is partly a “time effect”—people come for help at particularly bad times in their lives and are likely to improve with time even if nothing is done. But placebo response also reflects the magical power of hope and expectation. And the effect is not just psychological—the body often actually responds to placebo just as it would respond to active medication.

These 3 findings add up to one crucial conclusion—the major focus of effective therapy should be to establish a powerfully healing relationship and to inspire hope. Specific techniques help when they enhance the primary focus on the relationship; they hurt when they distract from it.

The paradox is that therapists are increasingly schooled in specific techniques to the detriment of learning how to heal. The reason is clear—it is easy to manualize technique, hard to teach great healing.

I have, therefore, asked a great healer, Fanny Marell, a Swedish social worker and licensed psychotherapist, to share some of her secrets. Ms Marell writes:

Many therapists worry so much about assessing symptoms, performing techniques, and filling out forms that they miss the wonderful vibrancy of a strong therapeutic relationship.

Thinking I can help someone just by asking about concerns, troubles, and symptoms is like thinking that I can drive a car solely by looking in the rearview mirror. Dreams, hopes, and abilities are seen out of the front window of the car and help us together to navigate the road ahead. Where are we going? Which roads will you choose and why? It surely will not be the same roads I would take. We are different—we have to find your own best direction.

If we focus only on troubles and diagnosis, we lose the advantage of capitalizing on the person’s strengths and resources. If I am to help someone overcome symptoms, change behaviors, and climb out of difficult situations, I need to emphasize also all the positives he brings to the situation. Therapy without conversations about strengths and hopes is not real therapy.

And often most important: Does the patient have a sense of humor? Laugh together! Be human. No one wants a perfect therapist. It is neither credible nor human.

Symptom checklists and diagnoses play a role but they do not give me an understanding of how this person/patient understands his world and her troubles.

And don’t drown in manuals, missing the person while applying the technique.

People come to me discouraged and overwhelmed—their hopes and dreams abandoned. Early in our time together, I ask many detailed questions about how they would like life to change. What would you do during the day? Where would you live? What would your relationship to your family be like? What would you do in your spare time? What kind of social circle would you have? By getting detailed descriptions, I get concrete goals (eg, I want to go to school, argue less with my parents, spend more time with friends).

Almost always, working with the family is useful; sometimes it is absolutely necessary. What would be a good life for your child? How would it affect you?

Sometimes our dreams are big, perhaps even too extravagant; sometimes they are small and perhaps too cautious. But dreams always become more realistic and realizable when they are expressed. Sharing a dream and making it a treatment goal helps the person make a bigger investment in the treatment, and to take more responsibility for it. He becomes the driver and the therapist may sit in the back seat.

Because my first conversation is not just about symptoms and troubles, we start off on a basis of realistic hope and avoid a negative spiral dominated only by troubles. Problems have to be faced, but from a position of strength, not despair and helplessness.

Having a rounded view of the person’s problems and strengths enriches the therapeutic contact and creates a strong alliance.

Thanks, Ms Marell, for terrific advice. Some of the best natural therapists I have known have been ruined by psychotherapy training—becoming so preoccupied learning and implementing technique that they lost the healing warmth of their personalities.

Therapy should always be an exciting adventure, an intense meeting of hearts and minds. You can’t learn to be an effective therapist by reading a manual and applying it mechanically.

I would tell therapists I supervised never to apply what we discussed to their next session with the patient, lest they would always be a week behind. Therapy should be informed by technique, but not stultified by it.

See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/couch-crisis/magical-healing-power-caring-and-hope-psychotherapy?GUID=C523B8FD-3416-4DAC-8E3C-6E28DE36C515&rememberme=1&ts=16072015#sthash.2AOArvAW.dpuf