A Flower by any other colour…

In these crazy times, as we spare a moment to remember those who gave their lives for our Country amid a General Election Campaign; we are surrounded by yet more controversy.

nature red art blue

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This time it’s the beautiful and delicate yet highly emotionally charged poppy.

Outrage and strong opinions ensued last week when a Rainbow poppy was touted on social media as the LGBT+ version of the traditional red poppy, supposedly to honour LGBT+ soldiers. This has since been disputed both by the British Legion and the LGBT+ community. Click on the image below for more info…

poppy

I want to touch on another view however.

I was encouraged and uplifted once again by the emotional maturity of the young adults I work with when this rumour began to fly around schools.

This generation are far more accepting than any other of any difference from human to human. They often refresh our minds by being so accepting that it barely gets a mention if another student is gay or bi-sexual, gender curious etc. It’s just the way it is.

I shouldn’t really have been surprised then that there was outrage and anger amongst my students around the rainbow poppy. here are some of the comments.

“We are all human beings no matter what, and whoever died in the war still died”

“Why do the LGBT+ community want to be different? I thought they wanted to be accepted?”

“Why is there a separate poppy? We’re all in this together”

We are all in this together, whatever this may be.

I suggest the politicians take a break from tearing chunks out of each other and take a moment to listen to the younger generation who, at the moment, seem to be showing us what the United Kingdom should really look like.

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. To find our more about Sarah, please see below.

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An Introvert’s Hell

Last weekend I was involved in Introvert Hell!

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My Son’s girlfriend, Chloe; who I love dearly, was 21. Of course, I live in a family of Extroverts and I had known for some time that the festivities would be very extroverted in nature.

Chloe, like many people, has a split family and so there were various events to navigate. The first, a smaller affair, a Sunday lunch in a local restaurant, was enjoyable.

I was flanked by my Son and Husband who, although both extroverts, both know how to help me cope. My Son dutifully engages me in low key, but interesting conversation and we enjoy guessing the personality types of the other guests. A good majority of the guests at this event seemed a little more towards introverted and so all went well.

The second meal was a little busier, but members of our family had also been invited. It was a lovely event and Chloe opened her presents at the table which provided a welcome break from chit chat. I managed that one too!

Now, for the third and scariest event… Cue scary scream!!!

woman in black long sleeve dress screaming

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The cocktail-drinking day out!

With karaoke!

Now all of you introverts may need to sit down for this one!

I need to explain first, that because I am an INFJ, I love people and I am often mis-interpreted by others as an extrovert. My best friend, Dawn still doesn’t believe me, but luckily, she just loves me for being me, whoever I am. And I love her for that.

I am not afraid to stand and deliver a speech in front of others.

I am not afraid to take the microphone and sing a karaoke song.

I am not afraid to join in a conversation.

But…

I hate noisy crowds.

I hate not knowing where I’m going or what time I will be home.

I hate standing around talking about, well, nothing.

Cue confusion and dismay from everyone else.

Cue my husband’s kiss of death comment – guaranteed to cause a row… “Just relax and try and enjoy yourself, you’ll get into it” I think I should get away with murder in a court of law following that comment!

To cope, I had to mentally split the day into hourly slots, making sure I was armed with train timetables for getting home. I also laid off the cocktails so I could drive home – escape guaranteed. I even indulged in photos! See uncomfortable photo below!

Angel Pic

I found a table to sit in every bar we visited, often alone while others stood at the bar chatting. I was comfortable in my static position, able to see coming and going and not stuck in the middle of a crowd. Thank god for phones so I didn’t look too out of place with my face in mine.

Then came the karaoke…place? I don’t know how else to describe a corridor of padded cells with excruciatingly loud music and even louder distorted microphones. In another dimension surely this would be a method of torture?

Another screaming rendition of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman anyone?

Luckily, I knew we only had a 2 hour slot so, again, I methodically split the time down and spent most of it hiding in the toilet or pretending to do something really important on my phone outside the padded cell.

I know most people reading this will be thinking “what is her problem?” or “how ungrateful” and that is because it is very difficult to explain to extroverts what a day like this is like for an introvert who is out of the introvert closet. I say this because there were a few other introverts in our party who were exhausting themselves by playing the extrovert game.

People often take it personally if I say no or duck out of an event early and this leaves me racked with guilt. “But you’d do it for me surely?” I try hard to be true to myself and my friends and family are gradually coming around, but it is still really difficult.

I will continue the struggle with the demon inside which is not my introversion but the guilt I feel for expressing it with others.

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. To find our more about Sarah, please see below.

If you like what you see here, please hit the “follow” button, leave me a comment below or contact me directly.

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52 – 48% Do the Pumpkins have it?

Double Double Toil and Trouble; Fire burn and Cauldron Bubble

William Shakespeare

What does Halloween conjure up for you?

photo of person carrying pumpkin

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For me? A happy memory of my Son and his friends dressing up and knocking on neighbours’ doors as we parents held a dutiful distance and drank wine from plastic cups.

For some, a blasphemous time where Evil lurks and danger is threatened to all mankind.

Is Halloween just another over-done, plastic, sticky waste of time or is it another day which encourages us to come together in some way?

At work this week, one of my young adults was distraught that her mother would not allow her to attend a trick or treat party at her friend’s house. I asked her why her mother had said no. She told me that her mother believed that Halloween was a form of worshipping the Devil. Having had a nasty experience herself with a Ouija board, this mum was taking no chances.

“And what does Halloween mean to you?” I asked her

“A chance to dress up in funny outfits and get free sweets” She chimed

I’m sure if we asked everyone, we would get something like a 48% vs. 52%

And should we banish Halloween or Stay with it?

Or are there more important things to worry about? …

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Common Parenting Mistakes – The Interfering Parent

TRAGEDY!!

Tap, tap, tap…

I’ve been putting off writing this article.

I decided to sit and have think about why that is.

With some help from the goddess that is Adrienne Mishler, I did her yoga practice for writers and decided to go for it!

As I write, I realise that I lost my confidence a little. Life and it’s surprises took control of me over the last few months and whilst I was in it’s grip, I thought I was in control and getting on with things.

It seems, I probably wasn’t.

It was only as I returned to my work, which I love; that I realised how detached I had been. It was easy to get back into my “day job” of counselling young adults, and their energy for life soon boosted my own.

Ok, now for writing…

The dreaded flashing cursor captures my gaze. “Go on!” it says.

I find something mundane to do and avoid it’s shame.

But today, I decided to start tapping – and it feels good.

Back to my original question. Why was it so difficult? I’m still not sure, because I feel better with every tap!

My message to you all is, tap tap tap away! By looking the thing we dread straight in the eye, we take it’s power and absorb it as our own.

Don’t be afraid to look into your own flashing cursor, things are never as bad as we imagine.

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Common Parenting Mistakes – The Interfering Parent

Before you read on, please know that all parents are amazing and all parents (with the very odd exception) do the job to the best of their abilities. At least that is what I have to tell myself every now and again!

Our parenting style will be a unique blend of our personality type, our upbringing and social factors; along with the personality of our little darlings. what could ever go wrong??

I have inserted a parenting mantra for you to repeat as often as you need to, it helps to say it in the mirror, or better still, video yourself saying it and play when needed!

Mantra of the Good Parent

“I am a good parent

I love {insert name of offspring} and {insert name of offspring} loves me

I want the best for {insert name of offspring} and I am capable of giving my very best

I respect myself

I respect {insert name of child offspring}

I accept our relationship is always changing

And this can be for the better

I am a good parent”

Now, you have prepared yourself to read on, parenting mistakes are almost always examples of parents overdoing a skill. In my field of work, there are no true mistakes, we talk about using a skill a little too much…

Today, we discuss the Interfering Parent

The Interfering Parent

“Leave me alone” is an all too often comment splurted or spat at us by our lovely offspring.

The interfering parent wants to know exactly what their child is doing every hour of the day. Who are they friends with? Who have they fallen out with? What are their teachers saying? These parents have to be involved with everything their child is doing.

selective focus photography of woman using smartphone beside bookshelf

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The scariest comment I hear from young adults is “Me and Mom (or Dad) are literally the same person” Queue vomit gesture!

Is this you? What are you creating / suppressing in your child? Please be honest here…ok I’ll help you out

  • you are disabling the growth of autonomy (the sense of self)
  • you are creating a co-dependant relationship which will end badly – FOR YOU!
  • you could be encouraging your child to lie to you
  • you are disabling them from the best way of learning – making mistakes!
  • you are disabling their growth of resilience
  • you are using your own personal time badly when you could be having fun!

There are just a few to be going along with

Now, if you need to, repeat the Good Parent Mantra! Ok, deep breaths here.

As I mentioned earlier. If you are inclined to this style of parenting, it helps for you to realise which of the abundance of skills that you have, you are over-using. And here is the good news…

The Skill of Caring

Yes! you’re overdoing possibly the most precious parenting skill of all. You’ve fallen into a funk and it’s time to get out for the sake of both of you.

How?

First of all, take some time to think about what you get from interfering…from now on we’re going to say over-caring.

You may want to think about your own childhood. Were things similar? Maybe if they were, think about how you felt and how you would have preferred things to be. How did you find you were helped/hindered by this?

Were things totally different? Were your parents distant or absent?

You need to understand that you are “getting” something from over-caring. It is satisfying something within you which means that your over-use of skills is starting to have the negative effect of becoming all about you and not your child. This is the opposite of what you want.

So now it’s time to really dig deep and ask yourself what you get from “over-caring”?

Does it make you feel Safe? Loved? Wanted? Needed?

Obviously, this answer will be different for everyone so once you have identified what you get from over-caring, you can look at other areas of your life where you might get some level of satisfaction.

So, I challenge you to a social experiment! Try backing off from your precious offspring in one or two areas for a week.

Keep a journal and note down what you did differently and how things changed if at all.

The way in which your child re-acts could help you to realise what they are needing more of and, more importantly, what you can give less of. It may also make you face up to what you need more of and how you can give that to yourself.

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