Education Improvement Self...
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'education improvement self'

EDUCATION is what we all need in order to IMPROVE, so as to get to our better SELVES, which will allow us to live out the best life we can.

Now I realize the above may sound obvious, but I find that, quite often, just because something is obvious, that doesn't necessarily make that obvious thought an often-thought-about thought.

So in this article, I'll present what I regard to be one of the MOST important psychological theories I know of, meaning I think everyone should be educated about it in order to improve upon their selves.

But, as I most often do with my writing, I'll work gradually towards said theory.

Education Self Improvement

Contributers And Feeders

For most of my life, I divided individuals into those two ever-so-common categories: Givers and Takers.

Why?

Because it seemed like a perfectly accurate way of...

* viewing humanity

* better understanding humanity as a result

* knowing who to avoid and who not to avoid as a result of the result

* etc

Also, it gave me a reason to often feel sorry for myself, knowing that I lived in a world where I naturally 'give' and certain others naturally do almost nothing but 'take'; take from both myself and other people who are also givers.

Then I realized I was wrong.

Not dead wrong, but sometimes it’s the slight differences that make all the difference.

Put simply: in aligning my beliefs to this Givers and Takers theory, I was slightly wrong in at least three very important respects.

1) The terminology is not quite correct. People should preferably be referred to as Contributors and Feeders.

2) Nobody is JUST one or the other.

3) Nobody is just one or the other because NOBODY can be just one or the other.

In regards to the first point though, I prefer using the words Contributors and Feeders because Givers and Takers sounds too literal in the wrong respect.

To my ear and mind, it's as if Takers are those who receive specific goods, whilst Givers release specific goods from their possession, and it is all done in almost a clinical manner, as though items are being passed from hand to hand in a businesslike or robotic fashion. My proposed terminology - it could easily be argued - sounds just as literal, but I think it better suits MORE situations in regards to the type of creature we humans really are: beings who are ultimately primal in that we are all born with a list of basic ‘needs’ that must be met before our ‘wants’ can be fulfilled, of which many people have many wants. Perhaps more fitting terminology could be substituted in place of Contributors and Feeders, I’ll admit, but I am happy using these words for now because they paint, in my mind, the most accurate image of what Takers generally are - Feeders of energy and ideas - and what Givers generally are - Contributors to the good of many, as they more naturally feel inclined to contribute than not.

Mostly though, the term Giver has become synonymous with 'a good person who is often taken advantage of', whereas the term Taker has become synonymous with 'a bad person who takes advantage of good people', and this is a very incorrect idea of what it means to give and take. Givers and Takers are not two separate types of people, or two types of actions; they are two pieces of a two piece puzzle, which needs to be put together carefully for one’s life to be in harmony. If a person is described as a Contributor or Feeder, it is not that they are JUST one of these character types; it’s that they GENERALLY display one of these character types in unhealthy proportions. They're out of balance, and in many various different degrees.

All of us need to feel mentally stimulated by others, but hopefully we can all ALSO mentally stimulate other people.

All of us need to give unconditionally occasionally, but we all ALSO need others to sometimes give to us unconditionally, because this is what gives us a deeper sense of security... far deeper, in fact, than any insurance firm will ever be able to provide you with.

That said, let’s examine how the process of finding a balance between Contributing and Feeding should play out in every person’s existence.

From The Day You're Born...

When life begins, a baby is mostly a Feeder, but this is good, because it's an ABSOLUTELY necessary quality to have at this stage in one’s life, and can help hugely in nurturing that sense of self-confidence. Babies obviously need to take far more than they give, and none of their Feeding is done with conscious ill intentions. When a baby cries hysterically, it is never to irritate, it is because the baby has a need that cannot be met by his/ her own person.

And as life continues - as children become more capable - they should also be allowed to become EXPONENTIALLY more independent. They should start CONTRIBUTING as much as they Feed, in other words.

In case you read the above sentence with the same amount of emphasis in your mind as the previous sentences in this article, I implore you to read it once more, as the previous sentence is the most important one I’ve yet written.

It is my belief that when a parent keeps their child dependent on them, it goes against that child’s survival instinct, which is usually when children, as a result, also develop emotional issues of many different sorts... outbursts of anger, lack of confidence, etc.

Genetic life wants conscious life to be strong, and that means that conscious life must learn how to be strong by ‘going it alone’ when the time comes; so a parent’s ‘helping their child’ too greatly and too often, WHEN it is no longer necessary, is normally the catalyst that most hurts the child’s confidence levels and - as a result - very often their ability to relate to the world and others.

But it’s all about balance too.

Obviously it’s only when children have enough knowledge of the world, and are powerful enough in their character and stature, that they should be given full/ almost full independence.

And judging when a child should be given more and more independence is obviously different in all cases, but there are two vital tools you can use to assist their potential, and these are the tools of CONFIDENCE and UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT.

Don’t make the mistake of simply ‘having confidence in your children’ though.

Show your children CLEARLY (with words and through actions) that you have confidence in them, and give them all of your unconditional support in their endeavours to become independent, never for a moment allowing them to believe that the failure of a task is a greater issue that the act of independently attempting the task itself in the first place.

'Trying' is ALWAYS more important than the possible failure that may result.

Yes, it is easy to be dependant on others, but it is only independence that brings a true freedom of the mind.

And when a child finally grows into adulthood, that adult should then be a balanced individual who Feeds as much as he/ she Contributes.

If that adult has become so independent that he/ she Contributes too greatly though, and doesn’t have the good sense to enjoy life’s many pleasures enough, refuelling as often as is needed to maintain a healthy level of health, then he/ she will develop stresses and irritations that will often manifest in other ways. On the flip-side: if an adult has never learnt true independence, then he/ she will likely take too much pleasure in the world, but feel undeserving of it, because he/ she doesn’t really believe he/ she deserves it or could have accomplished it on his/ her own merits. This adult will also develop stresses and irritations, ironically, but which will lead to other forms of self destructive behaviours, which will almost certainly be equally bad.

The happy adult is the balanced adult: the adult who Feeds and Contributes, knowing that Feeding is necessary for life, and Contributing is necessary to sustain life in a community of others who hopefully also Contribute in their own unique ways.

So the theory of Yin-Yang is correct in this sense (as I find it so often proves to be in so many other senses too).

You contribute to the Earth and in return it gives you back fruits and vegetables to feed upon. You then feed on these foods so that you can live and once more be able to contribute to the Earth so that it can once more provide you with fruits and vegetables to feed upon.

Nature dictates that you give AND take in order to live.

If you do not, you will cause an upset in the balance of your own life and in the lives of others.

One more time for emphasis (and maybe because I also just love hearing the sound of my own written voice so much)...

You contribute to society, and society, in turn, provides you with a number of necessary supplies and certain wanted comforts so that you can live. You are happy and healthy as a result, so contribute to society once more, and society also once more provides you with the necessary supplies and certain wanted comforts to continue living. When everyone applies this philosophy to life, everyone is happy, and everyone is happy with everyone else.

Simple.

Play nicely with life, and life will play nicely with you.

Take too MUCH and give too little, and you’ll throw a great deal out of sync in the bit of reality you have taken residence in, but also in your own life.

Take too LITTLE and give too much, and you’ll throw a great deal out of sync in the bit of reality you have taken residence in, but also in your own life.

Find balance and try not to let others unbalance you if they themselves are out of sync, whether it’s because they Contribute too greatly or Feed too much.

Life is maths, you see?

What I have found, unfortunately, is that most people are too greatly out of sync. In other words: those who Feed more than they Contribute often Feed too much, and vice versa.

So how do you become that near-perfect being... that person who Contributes as much as he/ she Feeds?

Before I tackle that, let me get to one other thing first.

Many couples often seem totally different to each other, yet have the most magical relationship, so certain people would give credit to that old adage that ‘opposites attract’.

That said, the opposite of this ‘opposites attract’ theory is also true.

An equal amount of couples, that share the same interests, seem to have magical relationships too because they can ‘relate’ to each other in so many ways.

So which of the above formulas works the best?

For a long time I wondered this, then realized there is no answer because neither hypothesis is actually correct to begin with.

Yes, ‘opposites attract’, but only sometimes. And yes, ‘those with the same interests can share their lives more closely’, but only sometimes.

The success of a relationship has very little to do with either of the above theories therefore, and far more to do with what specific most valued values two people share that are alike. If you live by the same ETHICAL CODE as someone, this will usually make for a solid relationship, although I’ll admit that’s not all there is to it either; it’s just possibly the biggest factor in determining whether two people will work out well together or not.

And this ‘sharing the same values’ recipe is not just a formula you would apply to those who are physically intimate with each other. Friends who are truly ‘tight’ usually also share a common system of moral thought.

But it is not just that people should share the same values in order for them to form a healthy relationship; it is more important that those values revolve around the two people both being balanced individuals.

And now for the part of this article I’ve been most keenly wanting to reach!

A HUGELY Valuable Psychological Model

There is a theory in psychology called The Transactional Analysis Theory (developed by Eric Berne) wherein the Parent-Adult-Child model (alternatively known as the Ego-State model) of this theory will help you to more clearly see people as they truly are.

In life, and in varying situations, each person becomes - usually only to a degree, of course - one of the following three 'characters’ based on their history, although none of us are just the one character all the time either.

1) The Parent: this character type can be something of a dictator, and is often pushy because he/ she may not fully trust others to do what they have to do.

2) The Child: this character type can be quite selfish, and feels that the Parent character type is unfair and cruel to him/ her, so this character type puts up defences that unfortunately also very often block out room for self-improvement.

3) The Adult: this character type is neither a dictator (like the Parent character type), nor selfish (like the Child character type), but wanting to be clear with him/ herself and with others. This character type is not defensive because he/ she does not take things personally, and he/ she acts as a mediator between the Child and Parent character types of him/ herself or in relation to other people.

If you can think more-often-than-not with your Adult mind, you can 'speak' to your Child or Parent mind (or both of them) trying to temper their attitudes if they have become extreme in some negative respect, or if one of them is becoming your dominant personality.

That said...
* if your Parent mind is independent, but not a dictator, then you would do well to leave him/ her alone.
* if your Child mind takes an appropriate amount of pleasure in the world, but never at the expense of others, then you can leave him/ her alone also to be him/ herself.

What I love about this theory is that it fits so perfectly together with my theory of Contributors and Feeders in that survival dictates that IF the individual is to continue living, then he/ she must act like the Child (be selfish at times), but if the community is to survive, the individual must sometimes act like the Parent (be responsible by co-operating and helping others in the group). The problem is that both of these survival techniques - which are both incidentally working towards the same end-goal of merely trying to live - are in strong opposition to each other, therefore we need the Adult mind who says, "one's peaceful and successful survival depends on the individual (governed by the Child mind) but also by the group (governed by the Adult minds) working together because they amount to wanting the same thing for the individual... a good life."

So when you feel your Child mind Feeding, but it’s not in a way that is destructive, let it be. But when it becomes something nasty, use your Adult mind to think about why your Child mind is becoming out of control, and use logic and understanding to stop the Child mind from hurting himself/ herself/ others.

Likewise, when the Parent mind is controlling a situation that may need it, this is to be expected. But when the Parent mind is doing this, but causing another conflicting situation to arise as a result, examine the Parent mind's methods with the Adult mind, and find a solution that satisfies the Parent mind's needing to control a situation, but not making somebody else (or a group of other people) angry in the process.

Ultimately you need to be a balance of everything in life, and you do this by admitting we all have a Parent mind at times (which is sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing) and a Child mind (which, too, is sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing). However, it is only the third mind (the Adult mind), which we also all have, that you can use to bring things to a calm state again, because this is the mind that you choose to be OBJECTIVE with to the BEST of your conscious ability.

Simple!

For theoretical examples (and case studies) of Transactional Analysis, you can find many all over the Internet by simply scouring for them.

If this is too much of a bother though, then stay tuned, because I plan on giving examples from my own life concerning this theory, but in a later article.

Right now my Child mind is wanting to watch a movie!

And my Parent mind, seeing how late it is, is not entirely happy with this, but my Adult mind has said to my Parent mind that 'he' must just relax in this instance because my Child mind doesn't ask for a lot, and this isn't going to kill me or hurt anyone else, so we should all just chill and be happy and give me this little pleasure.


OTHER RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

* Psychology VS Self Improvement

* The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

* Happiness VS Contentment

* Character Defects

* Finding Reliable Sources

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REFERENCES:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis#The_Ego-State_.28or_Parent-Adult-Child.2C_PAC.29_model