Monday, July 26, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 5

There are things you can do to minimize the effect of social isolation as experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic. For one, select the behaviors you choose to exhibit with care, to avoid being incarcerated and placed in solitary confinement! This can result in the development of or exacerbations of many emotional problems including psychosis. There is an old saying, “Those who eat alone, die alone.” One of my favorite activities has always been eating with people I dearly love. Since I live alone, that ran into a cement wall when lockdown occurred. At first, I tried playing music while I ate. That probably helped my digestion but did little if anything for the isolation from human contact. My best solution was to find a documentary, favorite sit-com, National Geographic programs, or Blue Planet and watch that as I ate my meals. Not only do I find those programs very interesting, but the visuals and sounds of human voices made a huge difference. I no longer have a live dog, what with so much traveling, and cats make me sneeze and my eye’s run. I do have a fluffy white Persian “adult” toy cat that sometimes sits on my lap. Try strategies until you find what works for your brain. Know that when you reach out to connect with others, they can be benefited as well.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 4


Kinesthesia is my second sensory system and when my English heritage is showing, I am relatively uninterested in touch. When my French heritage pops up, I crave being touched and hugged by my best friends. When that is not possible, I recall in my mind’s eye what that feels like. I score as an ambivert, leaning toward the introverted side of the EAI continuum (extrovert, ambivert, introvert). Most of the time I am okay working alone—and do my best writing or composing in solitude. Periodically, I crave in-person connection and when that happens, I canvass my close friends until I find one who has time to connect with me in person. I am clearly auditory, and my best friends know that. Several times a week, my iPhone vibrates with a call from a best friend. It is a matter of knowing who you are, knowing what you need and what works for you, and taking responsibility to make that happen in a healthy and productive way.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 3

Other factors play into the impact of social isolation. These include an individual brain’s uniqueness. For example:

 ·       Sensory preference (60 percent of the general population is visual, 20 percent is auditory, and 20 percent is kinesthetic). Kinesthetics are very sensitive to touch and extremely discriminating about who they touch and by whom they are touched. They enjoy touch that they choose and reject touch that doesn’t “feel” right.

·       Familial and cultural imprinting influence how social isolation impacts the person, which is impacted on how much physical touch is familiar. Studies have found that Americans touch family and close friends once per hour when they are together. Brits tend to touch less than Americans or not at all. French and Italians touch family and close friends 100 times an hour.  

·       EAI preference, meaning whether they are extroverted, ambiverted, or introverted.


More tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 2

There are strategies you can embrace to minimize the effect of social isolation as experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Select the behaviors you choose to exhibit with care, to avoid being incarcerated and placed in solitary confinement. This can result in the development of or exacerbations of many emotional problems including psychosis. There is an old saying, “Those who eat alone, die alone.” One of my favorite activities has always been eating with people I dearly love. Since I live alone, that ran into a cement wall when lockdown occurred. At first, I tried playing music while I ate. That probably helped my digestion but did little if anything for the isolation from human contact. My best solution was to find a documentary, favorite sit-com, National Geographic programs, or Blue Planet and watch that as I ate my meals. Not only do I find those programs very interesting, but the visuals and sounds of human voices made a huge difference. Try strategies until you find what works for your brain.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Isolation & the Brain

I live alone and except for my cell phone, some zoom calls, and delivery persons, I have been isolated. My memory seems much worse that it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Some days I feel like I’m going crazy!

 You are not alone. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2018 found that 1 in 10 Americans feel lonely or isolated all or most of the time—and that was before COVID-19. Social isolation brings with it its own health cost and can affect mental health. The human brain is relational. Granted, different brains need more relational connection than others—but regular human connection is vital. A correlation between viral attacks on the brain and resulting mental-health symptoms has been well-documented since the 18th Century. Social isolation during the early postnatal period of development can lead to several abnormal and lasting behavioral and pathophysiological features resembling the core symptoms of some neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.  Estimates are that social isolation is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

 More tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Advertising & the Brain

I do not understand the reason companies show a picture on the Internet with a catchy title . . . then when you click on it the process begins with 6 lines about something entirely different with a “next” button—37 frames later you may get the answer to the first title question—or not. Drives me crazy! What’s the deal and what do you do?

 Since I am not privy to these companies, I can only guess it’s an advertising strategy—perhaps so you are exposed to all the adds surrounding the “6 lines.” This is my personal modus operandi: If I see an advertisement that looks interesting and I see “next”, I stop. The same with medical promotions that ask you to turn up the volume and listen, only to discover 57 minutes later that the answer is only available by purchasing a product. If the promotion offers a “script” I am more likely to read that and y to do that and have even made a purchase or two. Otherwise, my time is worth much more than that. If you really want to know an answer, google it. You’ll likely find it without having to sufferingly pace yourself hitting “next” or listen to someone drone on and on—unless you have nothing better to do. If you think that is harsh, remember that your time is valuable and does not last forever. Ask yourself, “How do I want to spend it?”

Friday, July 16, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 5

What can a parent do to avoid providing risk factors for a child to develop a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

 Some believe that narcissism in adulthood may be the response to anguish from a troubling, difficult, abusive, and inconsistent environment; one in which Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) occur. The healthier and more functional the parent, the healthier and more functional the parenting style is likely to be. For example:

 Be consistent, make sure your words and actions match.

Aim for balance, avoid erratic actions/reactions, unpredictability.

Be calm. Parental anxiety can trigger insecurity in children.

Be kindly realistic in terms of praise and criticism. Avoid extremes: lavishing exaggerated praise and/or criticizing them far too harshly.

Give loving attention. Negative attention is still attention.

Role model the behaviors you want to see in the child. Training by example is generally the most successful style.

The child is not “bad,” but loved, even when behaviors need tweaking. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 4

I do not understand the perspective that those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder have low self-esteem. How can that be?

Studies have shown that individuals with NPD do have low self-worth. This makes them hypersensitive to perceived criticism or defeat. They are prone to feelings of shame, humiliation, and worthlessness over minor or even imagined incidents. They usually mask these feelings from others with feigned humility; or by isolating themselves socially; or by reacting with outbursts of rage and/or defiance; or by seeking revenge. They utilize various strategies to protect the self at the expense of others. Although overconfidence tends to make individuals with NPD ambitious, it does not necessarily lead to success and high achievement professionally. Thus, they be unwilling to compete or may refuse to take any risks in order to avoid appearing like a failure. In addition, their inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements, or criticism, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional relationships with superiors and colleagues.

More tomorrow 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 3

What causes a person to develop a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

According to the DSM-5, the exact cause or causes are unknown. Potential contributors include: 

  • ·            Genetic changes and heritability
  • ·            Changes in the structure or functioning of the brain
  • ·            A parenting style either excessively pampering/spoiling or excessively critical (either can start a child on a journey of entitlement, an overestimation of his/her own abilities, the manipulation of others for his/her own ends, and a need to be viewed as better than everyone else). 

Risk factors may include: 

  • ·       Family history of mental health disorders
  • ·       Unpleasant family life during childhood
  • ·       Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACE’s
  • ·       Conduct disorder during childhood 

More tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 2

Is Narcissism heritable and is it increasing?

A study of 304 sets of twins examined genetic and environmental bases of two dimensions of narcissism: intrapersonal grandiosity and interpersonal entitlement. Study reports indicated: We are living in a narcissistic age. Narcissists attach superfluous importance and excellence to themselves at the same time they enjoy exploiting and manipulating others. Both grandiosity (23 percent) and entitlement (35 percent) were found to be moderately heritable, while simultaneously showing considerable non-shared environmental influences, meaning they were largely independent of each other in terms of their genetic and environmental sources. There is some sense that this disorder is increasing, partly perhaps because some think this is a Narcissistic Age--with competitive emphasis on individuals. The behavior typically begins by late adolescence or early adulthood and occurs across a variety of social situations.

 More tomorrow. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 1

These blogs are helping me identify some of my relationship problems and are giving me hope . . . it wasn’t totally “all my fault” after all any time I didn’t do exactly what one of my friends wanted me to do. Would you repeat a definition, please? 

There are more questions being raised on this topic than I ever expected! Glad to. Here it is.

Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration and attention (even negative attention is attention), inability to accept criticism of any type, and a belief that one is unique and therefore deserving of special treatment in recognition of their perceived higher status—along with low self-esteem that may be camouflaged. They tend to devalue, derogate, insult, and blame others, often responding to threatening feedback with anger and hostility. In severe cases, the individual views everyone as inferior and may be intolerant of being asked any questions or of any disagreements. More tomorrow. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

More Indian Hills Signs

 I think they are exceeding clever. I hope that “brain” does some more.

 I am going to start collecting highlighters. Mark my words.

When you said life would get back to normal after June, Julyed.

What do you call a hippie’s wife? Mississippi.

Nothing tops a plain pizza.

When you teach a wolf to meditate, he becomes aware wolf.

The girl in the middle of the tennis course is Annette.

Water is heavier than butane, because butane is a lighter fluid.

My son wants to study burrowing rodents. I told him to gopher it.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Narcissism, 9

Is there any treatment that can help individuals deal with a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Although there is no cure for Narcissistic Personality Disorder per se, treatment and therapy can help people manage their moods, change their disruptive behaviors, and treat comorbid problems such as anxiety and depression. When an individual wants to improve and is willing to work at altering thought processes and exhibited behaviors, it can be done. The brain has plasticity, meaning that it can rewire itself to exhibit more functional behaviors. Unfortunately, the reality is that those with NPD think they are just fine and blame everyone else for everything perceived as undesirable. Treatment and therapies may include: 

·       Psychotherapy is often a first line of treatment to help individuals understand their condition and learn to manage emotions appropriately.

·       Medications may be prescribed to manage some of the symptoms, especially if anxiety and/or depression are present.

·       Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful to manage thinking and behavior dysfunctions.

·       Individuals may need assistance in focusing on the treatment plan and being open minded about the benefits. They may need encouragement to discuss feelings and experiences with family members or trusted friends.

Learning the importance of and living a balanced lifestyle can be important as fatigue, loss of sleep, improper eating habits, and even dehydration can make it more difficult to manage emotions appropriately. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Brain and Narcissism, 8

Factors that have been identified as possible contributors to the development of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, include:

 An oversensitive temperament (personality traits) at birth.

Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback.

Excessive praise for good behaviors

Excessive criticism for undesirable behaviors in childhood

Overindulgence and overvaluation by family members or peers.

Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults

Adverse Childhood Experiences (e.g., abuse)

Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents

Learning manipulative behaviors from parents or peers

Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem

More tomorrow

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Brain and Narcissism, 7

When does a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) develop?

That is a complex question. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a complex condition that may be comorbid with other affective and personality disorders. The roots of NPD tend to reach back into childhood. The disorder itself may be diagnosed after age 18. A combination of multiple factors—environmental, social, genetic, neurobiological—likely play a role in formulating a narcissistic personality. There is evidence that NPD is heritable, and individuals are at a higher risk of developing the disorder if there is a family history of the disorder. Cultural elements are believed to influence the prevalence of NPD as well, since NPD traits have been found to occur more frequently in modern societies than in traditional ones.

 More tomorrow. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Brain and Narcissism, 6


What do I look for so I can avoid becoming personally involved with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)?

According to the DSM-5 Manual, a Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by overtly emotional and unpredictable behavior, a pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Those with a diagnosis of NPD typically exhibit many of the following symptoms: 

Exaggerate their achievements

Expectations to be recognized as superior

Need continual admiration from others

Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others

Fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.

A self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions

Sense of entitlement to special treatment

Expect other to acquiesce to them or be obedient to their wishes

Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain

Unwilling to empathize with feelings, wishes, and needs of others

Intensely envious of others

Tend to believe that others equally envious of them

More tomorrow.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Brain & Narcissism Revisited, 5

I made the acquaintance of a person who I just found out has been diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Trying to keep the relationship on track has been difficult. Is this something serious? Is there anything I can do to “fix” them?

It is important to realize that a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a type of mental illness. In the latest DSM-5 Manual. NPD is under the umbrella of Cluster B Personality Disorders, which also includes:

 Antisocial Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder.

You cannot “fix” another brain. The individual must come to the realization that his or her behaviors are resulting in broken relationships and be willing to seek help. It is important to recognize the symptoms so you can take steps to protect yourself as needed.   

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Brain & Narcissism Revisited, 4

What can you do when confronted by a person exhibiting narcissistic behaviors? First, recognize that it involves:

Their complete self-absorption (it is all about them)

An inability to manage anger

Low levels of self-esteem

Virtually nonexistent Emotional Intelligence skills

A failure to be empathetic

A definite tendency to blame others for everything

Poor coping styles with the ups and downs of life

Low motivation for improvement

Refuse to accept blame or responsibility when it is not yours. One problem is that someone with NPD tends to “hear a negative” even if none was intended. When I encounter narcissistic behaviors, I ask myself: “Will this matter in 12 months?” If the answer is no, I simply get through that encounter as soon and as gracefully as possible and immediately find something for which to be grateful—to keep my brain upshifted. If the answer is yes, then I address the issue functionally. Meaning, I set and implement appropriate boundaries to protect myself. When the narcissist is an adult family member, you can still choose to limit your exposure, set and implement appropriate protective boundaries, and avoid taking their narcissistic behaviors personally. More tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Brain & Narcissism Revisited, 3

The still-in-process teenage brain is rather narcissistic in its approach to life and living. The process of maturing the teenage brain is designed to move it away from narcissistic behavior to more balanced behaviors. This involves a learning process and the teenage brain either learns it or not. If the teenagers fail to mature and move to more balanced behaviors, they tend to become narcissistic adults. While narcissists are able to feel most emotions as strongly as do others, they seem to lack the essential ability to perceive or understand the feelings of others. As Martha Stout, PhD, has put it, narcissism is a failure not of conscience but of empathy. Emotionally speaking, narcissists don’t seem to see past their own nose, sometimes flying into narcissistic rages and then lacking the skills to repair the relationships that their anger damaged if not trashed. What to do? More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Brain & Narcissism Revisited, 2

An over-riding characteristic of narcissism appears to be a seriously over-inflated conviction of the individual’s own personal importance. In one sense, every person is important simply because he or she exists. In another sense, every person is simply part of the global village, and while each has membership importance this does not indicate dictatorship or royalty rights. Nor does the universe revolve around him or her (unless an unwise adult has indicated that it does in the immediate family system). Narcissistic people tend to have a compromised sense of self-worth. In order to feel adequate, they must find others incompetent and put them down (e.g., complain, criticize, gossip, show contempt). Because they tend not to recognize their own mistakes, they lack compassion for others and often do everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for their own behaviors. Highly insecure and never having learned how to fail, they try to be successful at all times and at whatever the cost (e.g., may lie, exhibit addictive behaviors, throw you “under the bus” in order for them to look good, or blame and try to make it all your fault or the fault of anyone else but theirs). More tomorrow. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Brain & Narcissism Revisited

In May you did a fascinating series of blogs on narcissistic behaviors. We have a son who we believe is exhibiting narcissistic behaviors. He is 37 and on a recent visit he became very angry and screamed, "I do not have a happy life and it is all your fault. After all, you had me!" Then he slammed out of the house, and we have not heard from him since. At least he didn’t go on international television and trash us! Can you say more about NPD? It is increasing?

It is very painful to have a child turn on you and complain about their childhood. A study in 2008 reported that the prevalence of lifetime Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD was 6.2 percent of the population in the USA. Rates were greater for men (7.7 percent) than for women (4.8 percent). NPD was significantly more prevalent among black men and women and Hispanic women, younger adults, and adults who were separated, divorced, widowed, and never married adults. NPD was associated with mental disability among men but not among women. A report in 2020 indicated that in clinical settings, prevalence rates for NPD can be as high as 15 percent¾so you likely know someone who exhibits narcissistic behaviors. It can be tough when that person is a close family member. More tomorrow. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Signs at Indian Hills

A friend of mine just sent me these. Some “brain” at Indian Hills is getting a lot of exercise.

 I pulled a muscle digging for gold. Just a miner injury.

If you have to wear both a mask and glasses, you may be entitled to condensation.

I never finish anything. I have a black best in partial arts.

I’m reading a book called “Quick Money for Dummies,” by Robin Banks.

Ghosts like to ride in elevators because it lifts their spirits.

Fungi puns are my yeast favorite. There’s too mushroom for error.

Lego store reopens after lockdown. Folks lined up for blocks. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Fathers and Parenting

A study published in the Psychology of Men & Masculinities reported that competitive and adventurous men make better fathers—when this is combined with a nurturing approach towards parenting. Fathers who reported being ‘real men’ also displayed good parenting behavior, however they were low in negative stereotypical masculine traits, such as hostile sexism or the belief that men should be the primary providers for the family, as well. Reportedly, the results surprised the researchers. The men who exhibited these positive male traits displayed better parenting behaviors, had higher quality interactions with their children, and were better at co-parenting. They tended to be really engaged with their children and were not checked out. Professor Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, the study’s first author, said, “These men are combining traditional aspects of masculinity with new nurturing ideals to create new fathering identities. They may be in the midst of transforming fatherhood.” 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Often after a big dinner there are some leftovers. I often enjoy them, especially if I can avoid cooking again for a meal or two. My family regularly turns up their nose at leftovers. I hate to waste food. Any ideas?

 Have you heard the saying that a rose by any name still smells sweet? Well, leftovers have been around for hundreds of years. Not the leftover itself, of course, but the concept. Long before there were refrigerators and microwaves, there still were leftovers. Only people back then did not call them leftovers. They called them by a French term, réchauffé. It means “to reheat or turn leftovers into a new dish.” Pronounced as “rey-shoh-fey,” the term refers both to the action of reheating leftovers and the leftover food itself. You could try turning your leftovers into a slightly different dish called Réchauffé. Some have said that calling your leftovers by a French name can make them (the leftovers, not the people) sound like some fancy gourmet cuisine. You can always try it!

Friday, June 18, 2021

More African Proverbs

More African Proverbs

 1.     The skin of a leopard is beautiful, but not its heart.

 2.     A happy man marries the girl he loves. A happier man loves the girl he marries.

 3.     What you help children to love can be more important than what you help them to learn in school.

 4.     If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Preteen Brain and Exercise

The data from the Boston Children’s Hospital analysis of nearly 6,000 early adolescents was quite clear—and somewhat eye-opening. Physical activity of any kind was associated with more efficiently organized, flexible, and robust brain networks, the researchers found. The more physical activity, the more “fit” the brain. It didn’t matter what kind of physical activity the children were involved in, it only mattered that they were active. Bottom line? Regular physical activity has positive effects on a child’s developing brain circuits. If the “family” can be active together, it benefits the adult brain’s as well. Richard Restak, MD, has stated that physical exercise is the best thing you can do to help protect good brain function. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Child Brains & Physical Exercise


I hate to admit it, but our family gets very little exercise. We want to spent time with the kids but since they like video games and table games, we mostly do those. We’ve all packed on a few pounds during the pandemic. Now that things are opening up, what should we do now?

 You are not alone with this type of scenario and in wondering what to do now. Exercising does not help you lose weight, per se. It can help build strength as you lose weight through positive lifestyle changes and help you maintain your weight within an optimum range. In a nutshell, physical exercise is critically important—for body and brain function. This has been underscored by research findings that were published in Cerebral Cortex May 14, 2021. A study at Boston Children’s Hospital reported an analysis of neuroimaging data from nearly 6,000 early adolescents (preteens). The analysis included brain imaging information along with the type and amount of physical activity each of the 6,000 adolescents engaged in on a regular basis.

 More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Matching a Musical Pitch

Matching a musical pitch involves an intricate coordination of several tasks within the brain:

 1.     When the brain hears a sound, especially if this occurs in the brain of a singer or someone who whistles, it first identifies the pitch.

 2.     Next it makes a decision about which vocal muscles must work together to reproduce that sound with an accurate pitch.

 3.     After singing or whistling the note related to that pitch, the brain evaluates whether or not the pitches match.

 4.     If yes, good. If not, the brain adjusts the vocal muscles as required.

The earlier a brain begins studying music, the more likely it is that it will match a heard music pitch accurately. One report I saw indicated that perhaps 529 genetic markers are associated with this ability. It is a complex process! You may want to google this yourself and stimulate your brain during the process.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Brain & Matching a Musical Pitch

I read somewhere that research at 23and Me has identified more than 500 genetic markers associated with the brain’s ability to match a musical pitch. 500? What takes 500 genetic markers to simply match a musical sound at the correct pitch?

Abilities to match a musical pitch tend to be a combination of genetics and learning with practice. It is not a simple process. Matching a pitch accurately is involved in learning to sing or whistle a song or tune. Matching a musical pitch involves an intricate coordination of several tasks within the brain. This is a complex process and appears to reflect genetic markers. For example, here are the first two tasks.

 1.     When the brain hears a sound, it first identifies the pitch. Those who study music are trained to do this so it happens almost automatically for musician brains.

 2.     Next, the brain makes a decision about which vocal muscles must work together to reproduce that sound with an accurate match to the pitch.

More tomorrow. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

African Proverbs

Some of you know how much I enjoy proverbs from different continents and countries. I find it intriguing to note that a similar sentiment or idea can be expressed so uniquely depending on the location on Planet Earth. A good friend of mine just sent me these. Enjoy!

 1.     If you think you are too small to make a difference, spend the night with a mosquito.

 2.     Hold a true friend with both hands.

 3.     When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.

 4.     A family is like a forest. When you are outside, it is dense. When inside, you see that each tree has its place.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Quality Time

Cambridge Dictionary defines “Quality time" as the time that you spend with another person, giving him or her your full attention because you value the relationship. Quality time requires that you are in the moment, present, and focused on the other person—personal or professional. I turn off my iPhone or let it go to voice mail if I am giving quality time. It is just a little signal that right now the individual with whom I am communicating is the most important person in the world to me. You know how you feel when you looked forward to chatting with someone and every time the phone whines, beeps, rings, squeaks, or vibrates, that person picks up, regardless of where you were in the conversation. It signals that the person with whom you are spending time, believes someone else is much more important than you are at that moment. Unless it is a true emergency or a long distance call you are expecting from another country, the body-language message is that you are “less then . . . “ to them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Phubbing and Relationships

In an article entitled “What is Meant by ‘Phubbing’ and Is It Ruining Our Relationships?” the author summed it up this way: “We don’t need a lot of research to tell us what we already intrinsically know, that if we want quality relationships in our lives, we need to make them a priority and focus our attention on them. Additionally, you cannot have a human, connected, quality relationship through a smartphone. You must look someone in the eye and connect one-on-one for a quality relationship. In case we didn’t realize it before, now we have the scientists telling us what we already knew.” Quality time is the only gift you can give another person that no one but you can give—your time.  More Tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


Similar problems with inattentiveness and disruption have been observed in work settings, as well. Some refer to that as W-phubbing. The brain was not designed to multi-task and when one or more individuals in a group are distracted by checking their mobile communication device, they may miss key points in a discussion or fail to contribute appropriately. Moreover, their W-phubbing (snubbing someone in a Work setting in favor of your mobile phone) can distract others. It can be particularly annoying to a speaker when the behavior of attendees indicate that their cellphone is more important than paying attention to the presentation. Have you been phubbed? Done any phubbing yourself? Use your brain to evaluate if phubbing is negatively impacting your relationships, personal and professional. If the answer is ‘yes,’ you may want to disconnect periodically from communication technology rather than risk strangling your relationship—or sending a nonverbal message that you might never put into words. More tomorrow 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Phubbing Threatens Human Ineractions

In an article from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology titled “The effects of “phubbing” on social interaction," the authors reportedly concluded that the importance of phubbing as a modern social phenomenon needs to be further investigated. This is because phubbing significantly and negatively can impact one’s perception of the quality of communication and satisfaction with relationships. Apparently, phubbing can threaten four fundamental needs of human beings: self-esteem, a sense of belongingness, meaningful existence, and control. When these basic needs are threatened, as they are when you are phubbed, the quality of one’s relationships are threatened. In addition, there can be a negative impact on one’s mental health, as well. Much in the same way as with personal relationships, phubbing can impact professional relationships, as well, making one or more of the individuals feel marginalized, unimportant, etc. More tomorrow. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Downside of Phubbing

The authors of the study on phubbing or P-phubbing found that—in terms of a romantic couple—the higher the incidence of phubbing behaviors, the more likely a romantic couple were to experience conflict in the relationship and have lower levels of satisfaction. “But they aren’t saying anything,” you may say.” Perhaps not verbally, but the nonverbal behavior sends a message to the other partner ‘loud and clear.' This implied message can reveal the partner’s priorities, suggest that the mobile device is more exciting than the person who is physically present, or that whomever is calling or texting is more important than the partner—or even a close or best friend. Unless I am out eating alone, my practice is to keep my mobile phone out of sight. On the rare occasions when I am expecting a call from overseas, I will tell my friend(s) in advance: “If my cell phone rings and it is an overseas call, I need to take it. Anyone else can leave a message and I’ll get to it later.” My little French grandmother used to say ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’ I want to honor and respect the individual I am with and the time they are giving to me, which is really all each of us has to give another—that no other person can—our personal undivided attention during our time together. More tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Types of Phubbing

Researchers have identified eight types of phubbing or P-phubbing. For example: keeping the phone in sight—if not in hand—while the individuals are together; answering the phone even when in the middle of a conversation; glancing at the mobile device while talking; texting a reply (often while saying aloud, "Keep talking. I'm listening), and so on. (Actually, the brain cannot truly listen and talk at the same time because both activities come from the same hemisphere of the brain.)The authors reported that while people often assume that momentary distractions by their cellphones are not a big deal, the more often a two-person’s time spent together is interrupted by the other’s cellphone, the less likely the first individual is to be satisfied with the overall relationship. A lower level of relationship satisfaction tends toward lower levels of life satisfaction. Ultimately, this can contribute to higher levels of depression to say nothing of relational discord. More tomorrow.