HDFS 1070 Week 14 Notes (Exam 4)
HDFS 1070 Week 14 Notes (Exam 4) HDFS 1070
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Tabacchini on Friday April 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 1070 at University of Connecticut taught by Ronald Sabatelli in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Individual and Family Development in Human Development at University of Connecticut.
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HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 1 Divorce as a Trajectory Altering Event 4/25/16 Lecture Notes Divorce: we have been talking about the trajectory of individual and family development. Development from prenatal to old age and family transitions. There are disruptions that occur in the family life cycle or individual life cycle. Divorce is an example of a disruptive event that has both individual life implications and family system implications. Discussion of the National Divorce rate for first marriages. Why do we hold on to a negative perception of American Families? We hold to a more negative view to marriages than is really the case. The common understanding that exists in America around the divorce rate: if you ask most Americans they will say 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. This is not accurate. The actual rate of divorce is closer to 1 in 7 marriages. We want to make it more negative than it is. For some reason it sells newspapers, gets people paying attention to the news talking about things being worse than they are. The 1 in 7 divorce rate is much higher than in the 1950s which was 1 in 15. 75% percent of divorced women and 80% of divorced men remarry > Please note that these rates change dramatically for women as the age o Marriage is a desirable state for people. People want to be married. This is part of our life’s agenda to share an intimate relationship with someone and have that be permanent, exclusive, and enduring over time. If there is a workshop with adults on marriage, might ask you to write down 10 activities that you do that make you feel most alive. How many of those joyful activities require that you be married to do them? None of them. We marry because we enhance the things that we enjoy by having someone to share it with. By having an intimate partner that is part of our life and shares in the joy of the things that we enjoy. Marriage enhances the quality of our lives. The divorce rate is not as bad as we portray it to be. Note: what we are really focusing on is Dissolution and Disruption, Not Divorce Factors Mediating the Decision to Leave Focus in on what has to happen in order for people to leave an established relationship/leave their marriages. What needs to happen in order for them to want to separate rather than stay together. When talking about stability and instability, we want to focus in on 2 primary factors. These 2 sets of factors are what we need to understand why people stay in relationships over time and why they leave relationships. Satisfaction versus Distress o Satisfaction: if your experiences exceed your expectations in a broad and vast array of domains of your life, you’re satisfied, which promotes stability. Satisfaction promotes stability. When people are choosing to separate and divorce, they are possibly experiencing high levels of relationship distress rather than satisfaction. Relationship distress is categorized by people feeling there is no hope and no future in their relationship. The relationship is HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 2 characterized by high levels of negative sentiment override (NSO). This is referring to that situation where regardless what your partner does, you tend to frame it in negative ways. Looking only for the negative things in your partner. This overrides all positive sentiment. This is present in people who believe there is no hope and no future in their relationship. They are dissatisfied for a long enough period of time. They feel that everything sucks. This is one factor that needs to be in place in order for people to want to leave. Dependence o Dependence: being a function of the alternatives that you perceive you have available to you and the barriers associated with breaking up. o One of the things that operates in a break up is that not only do people have to be in a state of distress, but they have to believe that there is a better alternative for them out there than their current relationship. You can be unhappy and not believe there are better alternatives—not going to leave. People differ as the result of their developmental histories and their life experiences. They differ in respect to the alternatives that they believe are out there for them. And in addition, not only do people differ, but people differ as they go through the lifespan. Men and women differ as they go through the lifespan in terms of the actual available alternatives out there for them. It is not enough to say people are unhappy, they have to be unhappy and believe that there are better alternatives for them. Men at all stages of life have more alternatives that women. Men can choose from younger women. As you get older, you can actually go back younger acceptably as a man. This is not true as a woman. It is rare for a woman to actually partner with a younger man and be accepted by society in that aspect. Most women think that their alternatives are people their age or older, so there are always less alternatives for women. The older you are as a woman, the more gender factor comes into play. Relationship Dependence Alternatives Barriers: the cost of getting out. The economic cost, the violation of moral principles, your family and social network disapproval of you, the social sanctions that might occur, the loss of support and friend networks. The simple loss of pride some people feel because they have invested so much into their relationship and want to see it succeed— to watch it not succeed is a real personal cost for people. Alternative and barriers, which make up dependence are just as important as the satisfaction and stress levels experienced by a person. What you have to imagine is that there are distressed relationships that are stable and there are distressed relationships that are unstable where divorce occurs. The unstable ones are where alternatives are conceived to be better than the current relationship and/or the cost and barriers are not that significant. The distressed stable relationships know their life sucks but they can’t do better, so they stay. This is important because we commonly talk about how horrible it is for kids to experience a divorce. Being a kid in a marriage family situation where the parents are distressed but stay together because they don’t believe HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 3 they have better alternatives is worse than divorce because these are high conflict, high stress environments with no end in sight. Parents in high distressed but stable relationships are probably the least childfocused, the least empathic of all parents because their life is miserable and their misery floods their empathy and compromise their sensitivity. What Accounts for Rapid Increase in Divorce Rates Since 1970? Changes in Women’s Economic Standing: accounts for divorce rates going up. Changes in Women’s Educational Achievements: also accounts for divorce rates going up. Widespread Availability and Improvements in Contraception: reduction in family sizes and the numbers of children that women have. When you look back historically at marriages in the US, you can say that they were more stable and there were fewer divorces. But you can’t say they were happier. When couples were distressed historically, in particular women felt constrained to stay in those distressed relationships because they had a lot more children to take care of than today and they didn’t have an education and economical alternatives. Since the sexual revolution, women have more access to education, jobs, to money, which means better alternatives and fewer barriers to getting out of relationships. This is why there are higher divorce rates today—it is all about women’s lives being different. In China, India, South Korea: you see an exact mirroring of what happened in the US through the 70s90s—those societies were traditionally patriarchal and now there is an economic revolution that results in females having jobs, education, and alternatives. When they are in a bad marriage situation, they now get a divorce. This is why divorce rates are going up dramatically in those countries. This shows that historically there was a higher percentage of individuals who felt constrained to stay in their relationships. This is not better for society. How Dissolution of a Lifetime Partnership Impacts on Adults Need to be careful not to overgeneralize as there is considerable variance in reactions o Different in terms of how old they are and what their alternatives are at the time that they get a divorce. The greatest majority of divorces occur within the first 3 years of marriage. 70% of all divorces occur when people are married for 3 years or less. This means that the overwhelming majority of divorces occur among people who are relatively young, married for short periods of time, and are least likely to have children. They get caught up in the passion and romance of being in a relationship and slide into a marriage only to discover that they aren’t compatible. Since they are young, they don’t have a lot of economic barriers, so it is easy to get out at that point of time regardless of gender. The impact on the life trajectory of people is very different based on what stage of their life they get divorced. For some people it’s an opportunity for growth. For people in general, breakups are accompanied by separation distress. For many others there is Separation Distress HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 4 o Separation distress is a fancy word for anxiety that is specific to separation. It is the anxiety that goes handinhand with breaking up. Breaking up creates anxiety in peoples lives. How much it impacts on them has a lot to do with how much anxiety they experience and their capacity to cope with that anxiety. If you break up with someone, it leaves you feeling anxious. People who are in lifetime partnerships and who are getting divorced are divorcing someone who they thought was going to be their one and only. They were in love with and passionate about this person. When these relationships end people will be confused and disoriented about how it could get so bad—this creates the anxiety. This anxiety adds to the difficult experience. Factors Contributing to Separation Distress for Adults in General: Loss of Attachments o From when we were infants, we learn to associate attachment with security. When we are older we are attached to our mothers and our partners and to our way of life. All of those attachments are lost with a divorce, just like taking a blanket away from a baby. This is what it is like when the loves of our lives leave our lives. Erosion of Trust o Many people think that trust only gets compromised when you’re cheated on. This isn’t the only thing that compromises trust. The breakup of lifetime partnerships forces us to go back and rethink whether we should ever trust people, whether we can trust ourselves to know, and whether people can be counted on to meet our needs and expectations. This is like having the psychosocial crisis of trust all over again. People that are high in trust are hopeful. People going through divorces are pessimistic and negative because they lost hope. This is the crisis of trust. Identity Disruptions o Divorce also forces people to go through identity issues. Its like having a psychosocial crisis again around identity. It is easier for cope if they are in their late 20s than having that crisis in your 30s, 40s or 50s. This is because they have spent so many years organizing their identity around their life with their partner. There are identity issues that people have to contend with. Adults going through a separation forces them to go back and deal with psychosocial issues of trust and psychosocial issues of identity—hence will be anxious for a time until they work through those anxieties associated with the issues. Family System Reorganizations o Hard to generalize because if you’ve been married for only 2 years, the reorganization is a lot different than if you’ve been married 10 years/have children. Reorganization simplifies the process we are talking about here. We use terms to fail to capture the full range of issues involved. We are talking about totally having to redefine your family, boundaries, reorganize patterns of relating with extended families and friends, and reorganizing the HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 5 management of the physical house as well as the finances. Everyone knows that someone has to move out, live in a new place, and finances are separated —if you are in the middle of it you feel overwhelmed because there is such a pile up of emotional garbage. In the midst of all that, custody issues and co parenting issues are present for those who have kids. It’s a lot. Divorce doesn’t mean the ending of a family. The family system will just continue in a new form. It would be a mistake to say that there is no continuation of family system with inlaws, parents, etc. It does continue. Parents have to be committed to reduce anxiety and be open to redefining the family in a new and altered form. Talking about themes and boundaries, maintenance strategies, and maintaining strategies for people to feel loved and nurtured in spite of the fact that mom and dad no longer live together. It takes some time to get to that place. Indicators of Successful Adaptation within Adults: manage their way that allows them to move forward with their lives. When people get anxious, they get anxious about trust, mattering, and competency. When an adult is anxious about these things, they might make adaptations that are bad. Ex. Jump back in to a relationship that makes you feel that you matter. Decisions made in a highly anxious state are seldom constructive, productive and adaptive decisions. How do we know that someone is ready to move on and is coping with the breakup? Acceptance that the marriage has ended: there are a sizable percentage of people who have been divorced who still hope to get back together. This is not accepting. These people persist in their attachment and can’t let go of the fantasy. Ability to make peace with ex: anger is a secondary emotion. They are angry at their ex when they are anxious. When you get past the anger at the ex, it means you are managing your anxiety about whether you can trust, matter, and are competent. Only when you aren’t anxious about those things are you able to move into new relationships. If people are still angry, they are still anxious. Establish a realistic appraisal of one’s own contribution to the breakup: every breakup starts with blaming the partner. The truth is, for a relationship to go toxic, it requires 2 people to participate. It is helpful for people to develop a point of view of how they contributed to the demise of their relationship/what role they played. If you select someone as a life partner because you feel there are no other alternatives, you have some work to do before going on. For many of us, our own development experiences are factored into what went wrong in our relationships. Divorce gives us a wonderful opportunity for personal growth. You can learn something about yourself and learn why you are the way you are. Most people don’t take advantage of this and th blame their ex and see themselves as a victim. Ex. Woman who is in her 6 marriage and insists that she keeps electing the wrong person and it has nothing to do with her. examining one’s reasons for originally choosing the mate accepting one’s contributions to the dysfunctional interaction patterns exploring how one’s family of origin experiences may have played a role in the marital struggles. HDFS 1070 4/25, Page 6 What Keeps Ex’s from Containing Conflict or Making Peace? Gender issues Always being the anger of the anxiety. Every day in US, some man takes a gun and kills his ex wife and about 6070% of those men turn the gun on themselves as well. What happens to men when they are anxious from when they are little boys is that there is only one acceptable emotion: anger. To be emotional and anxious is feminine. Men spend a huge amount of time channeling their anxiety about how their incompetent and how they don’t matter and anxiety about trust into anger towards the person who messed up their lives (their ex). They don’t get control of that anxiety, which means they don’t get control over that anger. We see them acting in that anger in ways that are harmful to their exes. It is equally likely to say that women would be anxious, they might feel guilt, ashamed. They experience more secondary emotions that don’t channel them into being anger than men. There is an occasional woman that takes a gun and shoots her ex but those are a miniscule percentage of the cases that happen. Holes in Development Divorce on kids: kids need effective parents. An effective parent is one that is nurturing, empathetic, responsive, and caring. Kids need parents who reduce their anxieties about whether they matter, can trust their needs will be met, and whether they’re competent. In highconflict distressed relationships where people stay together, kids are exposed to parents whose anxiety can compromise effective parenting. When parents get divorced, obviously there is a disruption in the household, a change in parenting arrangements and many other things, which will create anxiety in parents which will then compromise the capacity for the parent to be an effective parent. Those who are childfocused can buffer the anxieties that kids experience. Its not divorce that is bad for kids, its ineffective parenting that is driven by anxiety that is bad for kids. You don’t have to have divorced parents to have an ineffective parent. Is is just likely that temporarily parents are going to be compromised. Educating parents about how the circumstances of genderspecific anxiety in their kids and how it manifests itself in their kids can help parents calm themselves, decenter, and become more childfocused. A child just doesn’t have the capacity to say to their parents that they need to pay attention to them more. Kids instead say that by hitting their sibling, kicking their mother, taking crayons and making pictures on the wall, etc. This is all saying that they are anxious and need more attention paid to them. Sabatelli, Ronald. “Dissolution as a Trajectory Altering Event.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut. Storrs. 25 April 2016. Lecture. HDFS 1070 4/27, Page 1 Death and Family Systems 4/47/16 Lecture Notes From a lifespan prspective, need to talk about death because it occurs to an individual that impacts on families and spills over onto multigeneraions. It is not a topic that people like to talk about but yet each and every one of our lives will be effective to some greater or lesser extent by the death of a significant other. It has an impact on the trajectory of our lives. Death has to be factored in to those shapers of development that contriute to uniqueness. General Discourse on Death within a Family Unique context of the family impacts on how the family system responds o Death is an event that occurs and is filtered through a family system. How death impacts on family systems is unique in some ways because of the unqeuness of the family system. o revisit the concepts of horizontal and vertical stressors Horizontal: stressors that occur over time historically. Families experience multiple deaths over time. Because of the emotional impact of a death, it also gets filtered through the vertical stressors that families experience. Coping at any point in time has something to do with how many horizontal stressors they are experiencing and the pile up of events and also by how that event is filtered through the legacy of the family. ex. Birth of a child, marriage, losing job, natural disaster, death, etc. Vertical: The more emotional evoking, the more it activates the family legacy. Ex. When an uncle dies, your grandparents’ relationships with him and the problems they have had all along activates emotion in the family system that creates a unique context. Can create anger. If he was the favored son, it creates a different legacy. Families are emotionally and dynamically complex. Because death has a high emotional impact factor, they spill over in a big way and influence the legacy and multigenerational dynamics in the system that then comes into people’s lives in unique ways. Ex. Mother goes through a 3 year depression because her mother who she had a good relationhip died and becomes unavailable to you as a child. death impacts on family members in unique and individual ways o when someone dies, every individual that has a relationship with that person experiences some form of greif. They go through a grieving process. It is a term to refer to the emotional shockwave that an indivudual experiences as a result of a loss of a person. Grief is a secondary emotion—it means that at the core of grief are various forms of anxiety. It impacts in unique ways because the death activates diff kinds of anxiety within people that manifest themselves in the grief that they HDFS 1070 4/27, Page 2 experience. Some people might feel anxious because they lost someone who made them feel like they matter (anxious about being abandoned). Could be that the person who died was someone who you trusted— anxious about how your life is changing without that person in it. A response has a lot to do with what role that person played in their life and what that death symbolized. Because it is a secondary emotion, there are others embedded in it. Sometimes people feel depressed, sometimes they feel euphoric, sometimes they feel angry, sometimes they feel shame, guilt, etc. All of these emotions are secondary emotional reactions to anxiety and they all can be accompanied by a death event. These secondary emotions are a way of coping with the anxiety of a death. Grief is a complex emotion that is made up of a complex of emotion which have a great deal to do with the anxieties we have to deal with when we lose someone. death can occur at any age o the age at which a person dies has a unique impact on family systems, context, and environments. The stress load of a death—when someone dies at old age, there is less emotion that is ejected and responsive to that death. When someone dies young, there is much more emotion and it goes through the family system and leaves an emotional imprint of the legacy of the family form generation to generation. death reverberates throughout the entire family system Family Tasks in Response to a Death 1. Shared acknowledgement of the reality of the death. Within a family system, when someone dies, it is a reasonable expectation that information gets communicated to everyone. Everyone gets an equal opportunity to participate in the burial, etc. Family secrets: what we discover in families that information about deaths is only shared selectively. Ex. Don’t tell the little kids in the family that someone has died. Young people are aware that someone is going on and there is a loss of a contact of a person, and aware that people are upset but not provided with the information that you need to make sense of that. Emotional events reverberate throughout the entire family—if you don’t give people an opportunity to process it in their way, it would tend to create a secret that becomes part of the legacy that might disrupt the family. Ex. Would be angry at the age of 15 if you just find out you had a sibling who died when you were young. This becomes part of the dynamics and legacy of the family. This makes your life unique. 2. Shared experience of the pain of grief. This is a common sensible unless someone says you need to be strong for the person who died. Cant experience your own loss, because your parent is too emotional themselves. This becomes unique context. One might resent being told they cannot share their pain, having to be the one who has to be strong for HDFS 1070 4/27, Page 3 everyone because can’t share your own experience. The patterns of communication reflect the patterns of dynamics in a family. 3. Reorganization of the family system. The process is more complex than it sounds because it doesn’t really address the full range of issues that go on when someone dies. It can change finances, patterns of caretaking and responsiveness, boundaries, themes, identities, emotional climate, maintencance of family system asll need adjustment mainly because people die at unique time. When people greive, if families are functionally supportive of one another during emotional evoking times, eventually people go past the greif and go on with their lives in contructiev ways. Ajustemtn is famicliated by being in the presence of supportive people. Sometimes there are people in the family that resent it when you move on and try to hold you back from getting past the grief and making you feel guilty for example wanting to date again/have fun in your life. There are other people that are pathologically grieving after 5 years for example and are still in an intense grieving state and spills over in all the primary and secondary relationships. Its about how it spills over. 4. Reinvestment in other relationships and life pursuits. Factors Mediating the Family System’s Response to Death (EXAM) 1. the nature of the death: sanctioned death vs unsanctioned death. unexpected death vs expected death. There are 2 different dimensions when talking about the nature of the death. If a death is expected, there is anticipatory grieving and emotion so it has less emotional spill over than an unexpected death. People can become grateful that a family member such as a grandmother has died because she has been suffering from cancer. Some people die in ways that naturally elicit support and caring from others (sanctioned). Elicit judgment and criticism, scrutiny from others which is an unsanctioned death. When your neighbor dies having committed suicide, that unsanctioned death changes the way you respond to your neighbor and you extend support to them. The family members feel shamed and judged. This is very different if someone dies from cancer or a heart attack— since it is a sanctioned death, people will respond differently. This speaks to the fact that families are in environments and the environments are severely impacted by the nature of the death itself. 2. the position of the deceased: understand that everyone is important, but some people are more central. Centrality: some people are more central to the overall functioning— hub of the family wheel. One of the reasons why men who are widowed remarry so quickly is because they are trying to replace the hub of the family wheel. Different when a mother dies than when a father dies. Sometimes a child can be the center of the family. Ex. Mother loses a child, pathological response to the death is to get pregnant again right away. If you are that replacement child, you would be in a unique place in that family because there is a whole history and legacy. HDFS 1070 4/27,Page 4 3. the family’s history of losses: some people would say that if you have losses in the past, you cope better. But we want to talk about the pile up of losses. If a family has a multigenerational system, there is a death in one generation and a death in another, etc. – we are talking about how the deaths pile up and create an emotional load on the family system. The reality in families is that members die close in time most often. Emotion is amplified if there is a pile up of deaths. 4. the openness and adaptability of the family: the fact that whenever you are dealing with a stress event, you need support. Family boundaires is most related to support. Some families are so closed off from others, they don’t get as much support. Turning towards others or turning away from others for support. 5. family’s societal, cultural, ethnic and religious context: some of us are embedded in families where there are strong ethnic or religious traditions in place to enable a family to cope with a death event because they provide support. 6. the timing of the death in the family’s life cycle: when you read about these things, the younger the child, the more stress is puts on the marriage and the more likely it will end in divorce. This is because, it defies your expectations. If you are married to someone one will be sad and grieving and the man is flooded so he distances himself from her. Eventually they grow apart and get a divorce. If you have adolescent friends who have died, this ripples through families and impacts how parents parent their remaining children. They change their way of giving autonomy to their children. To the child, it feels unfair and restrictive. In the prime of life, the repartnering patters are different. Men repartner right away when they lose a wife. Women take much longer and may never. This speaks to the fact that women have better supports available to them and somehow sexual relationship things aren’t as important as having support. Men are supporting the hib of their life. From 60 years on, women are may more likely to live alone wherease 90% of the men will repartner. These are different life ajustments. The death of young children o The death of adolescents Death of adults in the prime of life Death in old age here is a legacy issue fi you are angry with your mother your entire life, you will be angry with her when she dies. They die in a family context. o Widowhood and repartnering issues Sabatelli, Ronald. “Death and Family Systems.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut. Storrs. 27 April 2016. Lecture. HDFS 1070 4/27, Page 5 HDFS 1070 4/29, Page 1 Guidelines for Living 4/29/16 Lecture Notes We made uniqueness the unit of analysis in this course. It is the function of biological factors and ecological factors. Throughout this course, we have been talking about individual factors, life genetics, and environmental factors. We spent more time talking about environmental factors because once you understand the nature of genetics, it is part of a constant that is part of someone’s life time. Environment changes. Time changes our knowledge of these genetic factors and how it may change our knowledge of prevention in that regard. We are poised to be influenced by changes in the field of genetics. We are more so than ever before going to be able to identify possible genetic predispositions to certain developmental outcomes. Predispositions are only a certain subset of conditions that are tracked through genetics. If you have this cluster of genes, you are predisposed to have a certain disease or condition. This introduces a certain degree of certainty and uncertainty. It is like saying you are predisposed to something but it doesn’t mean its going to actually happen. There have to be environmental outcomes that make it actually occur. Ecological systems: the fact that each of us as individuals are nested in a system of systems. We are influenced by the policies and practices of the major institutions in society. We are also influenced by the interactions between those institutions. On top of that, we have personal relations with significant others. Significant others are both people who significantly impact our lives in positive ways and ones who do so in negative ways. We are exposed to both forces of influence continuously and progressively over time. Time and history are part of what we are considering. What has been happening now: we are in a political season. Political policies and practices of the people who are running for president influence the policies and practices in medicine, education, banking, and industry. They influence the exosystem. When people gain political power, they impact on ecological systems in our lives which further impact on our personal lives. o Politicsexosystemperson There are things happening all the time that have lifespan implications. Such as the Zika virus that is spreading today. There are times when we don’t talk about certain diseases because they don’t exist. Now we are talking about the newly discovered Zika virus, which crosses the placenta barrier and is transmitted from the mother to the developing fetus. The virus results in developmental mutations in affected babies. This will most likely be present in the US. People will be rushing to try to figure out a vaccine that prevents the virus from damaging fetuses. What history teaches us is that there will always be something else that occurs. Teen pregnancy birth rate: now 24/1000. This has already changed! This rate was recently 36/1000. This is a big change. It is not true that the reason for it coming down is because people are using contraception more reliably. It is coming down because less teens are having sex. Are kids less inclined because we have oversexualized our society? Are they just waiting longer? We don’t know. This rate is still going to be misleading because there are subpopulations in which the rates are double. In a way there is still a lot HDFS 1070 4/29, Page 2 that has to be done to lower the rate. We are estimating that teen birth costs the US economy (treatment in conditions that result from teen birth) about 6 billion dollars per year. Eliminating teen births will really change the economics of the country. Active consent laws: this is on the radar. An active consent law says that males and females or sexual partners need to have actively consented to sex before engaging in sex. An active consent law says that you have discussed in a consensual way about having sex and you have agreed to engaging in it. There is a lot of harassment and violence against women that goes unpunished legally because it is very hard to state factually and that a man has forced a female to have sex because he could say that she agreed and she could say she didn’t. Maybe they were in a situation where it implied sex—drinking and kissing. Courts have not been able to sort through this confusing scenario, so they have put these laws into place. This is symbolic of us moving forward and saying that sex is something people should talk about, consent to, and directly communicate about. In the creation of this law it is an assumption that we will provide people as they are developing with the skills they need to deal with these issues. These laws are based on the premise that from very young ages we are to educate people on sexual education, which is not true at the moment. We have not educated people to that extent. Sex education is not even close to where it should be about communication to a partner about sex. This law may cause a reorganization around sex education, but it will have to become rational: we have to acknowledge that kids will eventually have sex and we need to provide them with that knowledge. These laws are being driven by universities. That state of CT will have this policy in place before it is a law. This means that one can be accused of student misconduct before being prosecuted if it occurs before the law is put into place. At most times, women are assumed to be consenting because they are in a situation where sex is assumed to be taking place. Guidelines for Living 1. Understand the sources of anxiety, how it influences our lives, and how to contain it (it never get’s eliminated!) Almost every answer to questions about problems is anxiety! There are two primary emotions: anxiety and joy. The more anxiety one has, the less joy one has. Anxiety is behind most problem emotions and behaviors. When people are acting out, depressed, upset, etc., they have anxiety underlying those problems. Anxiety influences our lives in huge ways. It is important to understand the sources of anxiety that we have. There are external sources of anxiety. In the families that we grow up in and the environments that we grow up in there is anxiety about trust, mattering, and competence. If we are excessively anxious about one or more of these things, our behavior is less likely to be constructive and more likely to be selfdestructive. Our relationships, performance, and job success are likely to suffer. There is less joy in our lives if we are overcome with excessive anxiety. We have to learn how to identify the source of the anxiety (cognitive) and contain it (behavioral) cognitive behavioral therapy. Understanding how we are anxious, and how we behave when we are anxious, and what to do instead is necessary to make a change! 2. You cannot change the past HDFS 1070 4/29, Page 3 Whatever age you are, what we tend to think about in terms of our life, if only our past were different, we would be better off now. You can spend a lot of time wishing that your past would be different, but you can’t change it. It’s never going to be different, so what are you going to do about it now? You can only change yourself. People attached to the view that their parents fucked them up, that their life should be different, etc., need to realize that the only thing they can do is change themselves. You can’t change your past, your family, etc. Changing yourself may require that you see a therapist, a coach, a friend, or a mentor because the process of change is more difficult than we want to acknowledge. We need to do a little more thoughtful discourse on the process of changing the self and commit to the idea that you need help to change and its not a sign of weakness. We also need to create an infrastructure in society that is available for support because change makes people better and society better which eliminates problems down the road. 3. You can only change yourself Included in number 2 above. 4. Don’t chase distancers Emotional flooding: out of all of the different biological differences that we could focus on between men and women. The most important is that men are more easily emotionally flooded than women. Their brains are different in terms of how they process emotions. If you ask men too many questions and put too much emotion into that situation, their brains flood and they shut down. All he wants to do is distance himself to get control of that emotion. Women swim in a sea of emotion. If they don’t understand that there is a biological difference, they chase after him and continue flooding him. The more you chase him, the more you make him anxious and the more he gets flooded. It would be wise not to chase distancers. When you don’t chase, the people who are flooded calm down and come back towards you and you achieve the goal of the conversation from before. 5. Learn how to love Love is a secondary emotion. We need to be conscious and intentional when learning how to love. Joy makes love and anxiety makes anxietydriven love. There is concern about the people that just experience conditional love: love that reduces their anxiety. There is no joy in their life— just anxiety and anticipation about anxiety and more expectations about conditions and demands. When you expose yourself to situations where there are no conditions involved in being loving and intimate with someone— you experience joyful love. You need to be generative, kind, and have fun with a partner. Once you do that, that becomes the template for what you should do with your partners throughout your life. 6. Allow yourself to be impulsive People overthink things. Our generation is being socialized to overthink everything. We should do things impulsively sometimes. We should impulsively have fun. Trust your instincts and yourself. 7. Enjoy people more than work HDFS 1070 4/29, Page 4 Your job isn’t better if you don’t have the ability to get along with people. The enjoyment that comes from work comes from the relationships with coworkers. Not just the work. 8. Build longterm relationships People don’t really build and maintain and pursue friendships the way they used to. You should commit to long term relationships rather than losing track of them and losing them. 9. It is ok to retreat from a position you have taken People dig their heels in believing they can’t retreat. Sometimes there’s a wisdom in saying you are wrong and can back away from a situation. You should talk about it from a different point of view. The people that don’t retreat from the positions they take are the most anxious about their competence and whether they matter. When you don’t step away and back down or retreat, you are demonstrating your anxiety all over the place. 10. Look through your anger Anger is a secondary emotion. When you are most angry at people, you are most anxious. You should look behind that anger, figure out what you’re anxious about, embrace your anxiety, and work from there. This is a lot easier said than done. 11. Contemplate happiness – control your expectations Martial happiness/satisfaction/adjustment are based on expectations. People talk about happiness in a general sense now. They are organizing happiness around expectations. The basic premise here is that when we are unhappy, its because our experiences don’t measure up to our expectations. Sometimes this is legitimate: expectations are reasonable and people are not measuring up to our expectations and we have to learn to cope with that. There are other times when our experiences are not realistic because they aren’t realistic about how many things we should own and what we need to be happy, what we need from a relationship to be happy—we therefore have no hope of ever being happy. There is a certain wisdom in spending some amount of time when you are unhappy reflecting on your expectations. Material expectations are really a set of expectations that we should learn to adjust. People who have died would give anything to live again and live more simply than they did. 12. Contemplate death – pursue joy Reflecting on death provides us with a foundation to find out what is important to us and also creates a possibility to pursue joy. The single most important joy in your life are your relationships, your family, and your relationships with people. To have good relationships and joy in those areas, you need have knowledge of development, relationships, emotions, and family. Sabatelli, Ronald. “Guidelines for Living.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut. Storrs. 29 April 2016. Lecture.
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