All Articles Tagged "behavior"

Get The Results You Want Without Criticism

December 6th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

Your son procrastinates. Your neighbors let their lawn grow too tall. Your husband forgets what you tell him. Your mother tells you how to raise your children. Ugh: which of those scenarios annoys you most? How do you react when it arises? Do you criticize the people involved, hoping your sarcastic comments will change their behavior? Here’s a secret: more than likely all the criticism in the world won’t change another person’s behavior. Want better results? Instead, try using this simple C.H.A.N.G.E. Method.

Let’s use the neighbor who waits too long before mowing the lawn as an example. While you read this scenario, imagine using this method for whatever pushes your criticism buttons.

Change your opinion of the bad behavior. Is this really your problem? The neighbor’s yard may be overgrown and unattractive, but it is not a reflection on your own meticulous care of your lawn. If the image of an unsightly lawn bothers you, put up a fence or a hedgerow. Drive to your house from the opposite direction so you don’t have to see the lawn that needs to be mown. Or quite simply, consider that this is not your problem and get on with your life!

Honor the person over the behavior. Maybe the neighbor has been sick and is unable to tend to his lawn. Maybe he has other worries that take him away from the lawnmower duties. You can’t possibly know why your neighbor’s lawn is unkempt unless you go over and talk, and merely telling your neighbor that his lawn is unsightly will only annoy him. However, offering to help your neighbor mow the lawn will show him that you care. Bring over a cake or a casserole to help him through a difficult time in addition to offering to mow the lawn. Or send your teenage son over to offer the services. Chances are, your neighbor will pay your child to do the job and in that case, everyone wins!

Accept the behavior you cannot change. Acceptance is a huge part of peace. If your neighbor doesn’t want your help, if he doesn’t see the same problem you see, or if he flatly refuses to mow his lawn more than once a month, then accept that this is his way of living. At least you’ll have an attractive lawn to look at next door during the few days immediately after he mows!

Notice the good behavior before the bad. The theory of leaving well enough alone does not work when you’re trying to change someone’s behavior. You’ll need to verbally reward your neighbor immediately after he mows the lawn with a comment something like this: “Wow! Your yard looks so much bigger today.” Or: “What kind of lawnmower did you use? My husband is looking for a new model and yours is so quiet I never heard you mowing.” In both examples, the focus is not on the fact that the lawn is now mown after four weeks of growth. The focus is on the nice front yard and well-oiled lawnmower!

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Surprise, Surprise: Study Finds Women Feel Guilty Cheating…Men Don’t

November 29th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From StyleBlazer

Promiscuity, do you engage in it?

An incredible study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior is making a pretty presumptuous argument the explain the sexual behaviors of men versus women.

After surveying over 24,000 people, researchers claim that women are genetically hardwired to feel guilt about promiscuous activity. “Prior sex researchers have focused primarily on the emotion of sexual attraction in sexual decisions,” said David Buss a University of Texas at Austin evolutionary psychologist who was involved with the study. “These studies point to the importance of a neglected mating emotion — sexual regret — which feels experiential negative but in fact can be highly functional in guiding adaptive sexual decisions.”


Learn How To Forgive In Your Relationship

November 1st, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

Is your resentment hurting your relationships?

With all of the problems in this world — along with the mistakes each of us make throughout our life — the need to forgive arises almost daily. However, forgiveness is often misunderstood an often not properly applied. So it’s a good idea to understand what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. It can bring you and those you loveto the light of a new day!

Conversely, a lack of this knowledge can hurt relationships in terrible ways. The symptoms of such hurt may take form in a wide variety of negative characteristics, most notably bitterness, envy, pride, and lust; though whatever symptom arises, it results in broken relationships. To stay away from such relational disaster, we must learn how to rightly forgive. Let’s take a look at what forgiveness is all about.

Forgiveness Does Not Excuse Behavior

This is an important point; especially when you want to forgive someone for a great injustice. We must realize that granting forgiveness does not mean that the injustice wasn’t grievous. When someone apologizes to you, have you ever responded, “It’s OK”? I know I have. That’s normal to say when you’re dealing with minor infractions. But when someone abuses, cheats, lies, steals, etc., these things are not simply “OK”, just because someone apologizes for them. In these situations, things may never be OK again between you and that individual… but you can still forgive, while knowing that what they did was wrong, and that it may bring consequences. This brings us to our next point.

Forgiveness Does Not Negate Consequences

Let’s say I lie to my wife, but then feel guilty and apologize for lying. While she may forgive me, it doesn’t mean that she trusts me. The natural consequence of my action is a loss of trust; therefore, for my wife to trust me again, I must earn her trust back. This has to do with justice, which can be pictured as an evenly balanced scale. So, if I broke trust, I must earn trust. If I was to break the law, I may still have to do the time for my crime, even though those I victimized may have forgiven me.


This Child is Bad! How I Learned To Deal With Other People’s Ill-Mannered Kids

October 2nd, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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bad kids

Babysitters, nannies, wet Nurses, teachers, educators and au pairs have made a career out of dealing with other people’s children. They understand the nuances of a child’s speech and expressions. They know when treats, verbal rewards and stickers should be given, as well as harsh tones, time-outs and verbal warnings. They know how to manage children, regulating a child’s time so that they achieve the optimum amount of fun, education and discipline. But for the rest of us who aren’t in that field, or even some of us who are, dealing with other people’s children is not a well-timed production– it’s a damn nightmare. Some of us struggle with wanting to curse a child out or lay hands on him/her, especially when that child is mouthy or even a little too touchy-feely themselves.

Some people have BAD kids, and they know this before they leave their children with you. They give you a brief, false perception about how their child will behave, perhaps saying that said child “gets a little energetic around lunchtime” and then hurry to leave. And as soon as the door shuts, the child comes alive like a Chucky incarnate, hell-bent on destroying the house and wrecking your nerves.

In my life I’ve had to deal with hundreds of children: nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and children I’ve worked with at camps, after-school programs and during tutoring. With all that said, I can still honestly say that I don’t completely know how to deal with some kids. Not even mentioning the countless children I’ve met with undiagnosed ADHD, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, OCD and other challenges, I’ve dealt with children who are so unbelievably difficult that it took me a great deal of time to understand what their issue was, let alone how to solve it.  I once dealt with a child who would scream for an hour straight before I realized that he was an easily frustrated child who sometimes needed time away from others so he could write and process his feelings. I have also dealt with a child who would suddenly go limp and act helpless, for no apparent reason, doing this because he was seeking the attention that he wasn’t receiving at home.

Most children simply want people to listen to them, because they often feel that most adults only demand things and set rules in place. One good trick when dealing with some children is to give them options. If a child does not want to participate in an activity, simply give them a choice between doing said activity or sitting by themselves –or doing something less favorable. Also, try to have real conversations with them. Children respond well to being asked questions about their interests and opinions. And, it never hurts to find out things about what they are interested in so that you can talk those things over with them. You don’t know how many cool points I’ve received for knowing the names of all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also, if you’re punishing or reprimanding a child, explain to them why, restating their name throughout, so that you know that they are listening. Remind them of any rules set in place, why it’s important that they follow rules and listen, and ask them why they broke the rules.

Often, I speak to children about respect and responsibility. I explain that respect is about listening, and that if I respect them, then they need to respect me. That means that I expect them to listen to me, and if they don’t, then I won’t listen to them when they’re in need; for some children, that’s enough. Responsibility is explained by telling children that they have control over things that they say and do, and they can be responsible by practicing self-control. Also, I tell them that they show responsibility by keeping up with their things, and making sure never to bother other people’s things that don’t belong to them. The spiel about respect and responsibility is repeated so much that some of the students I work with know it by heart, and others groan in anticipation of it.

Essentially, knowing how to deal with some children is as simple as treating them like an employee (who can’t be fired). Give them instructions, assignments and tasks, but try not to be too upset when they make mistakes. If they behave well then they should be rewarded, and if they behave poorly then they should be reprimanded. Allow the child an opportunity to be creative whenever possible, and praise them when they’ve done something well. I find that when it comes to dealing with other people’s kids, treating them like more than just a child, or a bad child at that, goes a long way.

4 Reasons Nice Girls Ruin Their Relationships

August 22nd, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Nice girls

Source: Shutterstock


From YourTango

It is no secret that giving is a very important part of being in a relationship. But what happens when you give too much? Is there such a thing as being too accommodating, or too nice?

I like to think positively about every situation. I try to be accommodating and understanding when something comes up in a relationship that is an inconvenience to me, or that requires making some sacrifice. And while I think this is an important personal trait, I realize that it can have some negative consequences when presented in excess. Here are four ways being too nice can ruin your relationship.

1. You’re not seeing the situation as it really is. When you’re always looking through rose-colored glasses, you’re missing the reality of your situation. Yes, it is important to focus on the positive. But it is also important to recognize the negative, and weigh it fairly. If you have your head in the happy clouds, you may miss signs that the person you are datingisn’t interested in you or isn’t being respectful towards you.

2. You’re not showing your entire self. After a few dates with someone recently, I realized that I had only shown the nice, accommodating, giving side of myself. The tough Brooklyn girl didn’t show up at all, and that’s just as much a part of who I am. Perhaps it was the type of dates we had, or the deep conversation we entered into. Whatever the reason, things have certainly fizzled between us and I wonder if my good behavior was to blame.

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Serious Question: What Is Mental Illness?

May 24th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: CBS

Source: CBS

Like many others, we watched Amanda Bynes appear in court this morning, tugging on her Halloweenish wig before she was whisked off to a psych ward. Immediately, the office, my co workers and I, started playing psychologist, talking about what could be going on with her, the child star we’d grown up watching on television. A couple of us were certain that what Amanda is going through right now is probably something mental. After all, Amanda Bynes had a very successful career back in the ‘90’s and was able to keep her composure for over a decade afterward.  Something had to have happened. My coworker and I speculated that Amanda was suffering from some type of mental illness.

But one of my coworkers couldn’t be certain. She questioned us, how do we know it’s mental illness? Aside from her family saying that she was bipolar and had stopped taking her medication, what evidence was there that she had suffered from some type of mental dysfunction.

I argued that the type of behavior she’s been exhibiting is consistent with someone whose thinking is off.

Then my co worker brought up a good point asking, if behavior like Amanda’s is due to a mental illness, how are we supposed to hold people accountable for their actions?

I argued that just because someone has a mental illness, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s carte blanche to behave any type of way. Somehow Chris Brown’s name came up in the situation and I said that based on the evidence in the way he attacked her, biting, punching, all while maintaining control of the car, blacked out in a rage, shows that he was out of his mind. Another co worker argued that because Chris had grown up seeing his mother being abused, his conditioning led him to believe that type of behavior was acceptable. I still say believing that behavior is appropriate is a form of mental illness. Not being able to control your anger is a mild form of mental illness.

And I don’t mean that because his mental state was altered, that he deserved to get off scott free.

Essentially, I was trying to argue that mental illness is not as uncommon or “other” like the media would make it seem. Any one of us could snap at any moment. Our brains our constantly receiving signals, reacting to hormones and processing information that will ultimately affect our behavior. An altered mental state doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in that state permanently. There are varying degrees of mental instability. And while someone who is depressed or schizophrenic or suffering from some form of dementia shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for their actions, there are altered states of mind that we can control and should subsequently be willing to suffer the consequences.

But that’s just my opinion. The truth is the mind is still such a mystery that it’s all just theory at this point.

What does mental illness mean to you? When is it appropriate to hold someone responsible for their actions despite mental instability?

Why Are You Waiting For The New Year To Act Right? 10 Ratchet Behaviors We Should Leave Behind in 2012…Starting Now

December 28th, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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A part of me is so happy to see 2012 leave, as long as it’s taking the “ChriannaRueche” love triangle,  Joseline Hernandez, the Romney family and the Twilight series franchise with it.  But seriously, something about 2012 made me completely disgusted with how African-American women are portrayed and more importantly what we prioritize.  This was the year of the booty shot fails, the stripper/sideline chick/baby mama, and the ratchet.  Sadly, it makes me wonder when we stopped wanting more for ourselves.  It’s like I looked up and one of the best things we had going for us was the cast and crew behind Scandal. Is that all we’ve got?  So not just for 2013, but starting right now, I propose our resolution be to stop engaging in the following ratchet behaviors:

1.  Knowing more about Basketball Wives than Obamacare.

If you can recite the names of all the characters on Basketball Wives, but can’t tell me any of the changes the Affordable Care Act made to U.S. health insurance, I’m going to need you to turn to CNN for at least five minutes a day.  When you become of age to vote, it’s definitely time to know how the economy, politics and world issues directly affect you.  You don’t have to break down the details of the fiscal cliff, but your knowledge of current events and economy should go beyond what you can write off come tax season.

Just Say No: When To Turn Down Your Boss

October 2nd, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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Image: Thinkstock

It’s tough to say “no” to your boss. But sometimes it’s necessary. Of course, you should usually try to accommodate the needs of your manager, but at other times it is actually more appropriate to refuse, says Susan Wilson Solovic, author of It’s Your Biz and CEO/co-founder of, small business TV network available on the Web. Why say no?  Because it is important to set boundaries — even with your boss.

“You should always say no to your boss when he or she is asking you to do something illegal or unethical. Otherwise, it’s difficult to refuse to do what your boss asks you to do. You may not always agree with the course of action he/she is taking, but that doesn’t give you the latitude to outright refuse to do the work,” Solovic tells us.

It is also okay to turn down an unreasonable request. Imagine your boss asks you to finish a report in too short a period of time. In order to do a good job at the task at hand, you will need to tell your boss you can’t meet his deadline. But explain your reasons and ask for more time, advises MSN Careers.

Bosses like people who disagree with them because many feel as though a healthy debate is a good way to come to the best conclusion,” Solovic points out. “But the boss is the captain of the ship and once his/her decision has been made, saying no may be viewed as insubordination and could ultimately cost you your job. So it’s important to understand when the line has been drawn in the sand. Choose your battles wisely.”

Keep calm when saying no. “It’s important (and wise) not to get emotional or angry,” suggests Solovic.

The best way to say no to your boss, according to Solovic:

1)    Against the law: If your boss is asking you to do something you believe is illegal or unethical, then you must be confident enough to explain your reasoning. Back up your position with factual information such as an employee handbook or a copy of a particular law. Under the circumstances, you should inform him/her that you plan to report the request.

2)    Impossible overtime: If you boss asks to you to come in over the weekend to finish a project but your daughter is playing in her first regional volleyball tournament, then explain your situation and offer to stay late the following week to ensure the work is completed.

3)    Above your pay grade: Sometimes you can say no to your boss when you feel the work is out of the scope of your responsibilities and expertise. Once again, make sure you are prepared to completely explain your rationale. You don’t want to be viewed as someone who isn’t a team player.

A Revolutionary Act: Being Yourself At Work

August 3rd, 2012 - By C. Cleveland
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At the workplace, unbeknownst to their coworkers, many black women are holding down a second job editing themselves. Whether it’s passing up fried chicken for lunch or feigning ignorance when the conversation turns to Love & Hip Hop, we tend to feel the need to adjust our behavior for mixed company. It’s a practice dating back to W.E.B. Du Bois’ concept of “double consciousness,” a “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.” As an upwardly-mobile people, we take great care not to reinforce stereotypes others have of us. Maybe it’s time we let them see the real deal.

I’m guilty of feigning a disability or two for the cause. I’ve pretended I was deaf to spare my co-worker the horror her remark mistaking Kelly Rowland for a member of TLC. I’ve improvised a bout of dementia to forget my manager fingering my waist length braids and asking if they were my real hair (I had a bob the day before). The tales of black women on their best behavior are plentiful and, at times, comedic enough to fill a Web series on the topic.

We work hard to play against the stereotype of the “angry black woman,” but to what end? A recent study found that black women are expected to be pushier at work and receive higher approval ratings when they are assertive. This is in stark contrast to the results for white women and black men, who receive backlash when they exhibit aggressive behavior.

The nice girl act isn’t exactly what our employers and co-workers are looking for. So, should we all walk in the office doing our best Oprah does Ms. Sophia impression? Those can’t be the only options for success. It’s about time black women break the cardinal rule of being black in the workplace – be yourself.

A Parent’s Worst Fear: How to Tell If Your Child Has Possibly Been a Victim of Sexual Abuse

July 30th, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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I can’t imagine how the parents of one of the many victims of Jerry Sandusky’s years and years of abuse must feel.  I swear I’d be in cuffs myself, because I don’t know if I’d be capable of thinking rationally after finding out anyone, let alone someone I once felt I could trust, had violated my child in such a way.

When those parents of underprivileged kids allowed their children to participate in the activities through Sandusky’s “The Second Mile” organization, like many parents I’m sure they saw it as an opportunity for their children to participate in something constructive that allowed them to stay safe from many of the dangers that are all too present in the inner-city.  They had no idea they were leaving their children with someone who may have had a more malicious impact than anything outside their door.  Molestation is so sinister because it devastates a child’s innocence and deprives them of their childhood. It’s so hard for children to make sense out of what love and intimacy truly are when an adult manipulates those feelings for their own pleasure early on.

Adult survivors of sexual abuse often experience feelings of guilt and shame.  Keeping a secret about the abuse is a heavy emotional burden that can manifest into physical symptoms from stress and anxiety.  The adult may grow to have an unhealthy outlook on sex and physical intimacy, and may find themselves engaging in promiscuity while questioning their own self-worth or a total detachment from sexual relationships altogether.

I cringe when I see the mom who allows the boyfriend she’s only been dating for two weeks to move in with her and her children.  It’s so important for parents to really take time to get to know the people who are in the lives of their children.  As much we teach children about “good touch vs. bad touch” and “stranger danger,” we have to remember we are sending our children out into a world with people who may mean to do them harm, and even scarier: People who don’t mean to do them harm because they believe sexual relations with a child is normal, most likely because they were once treated the same way.

Try to make yourself an approachable and proactive parent. Children need to feel comfortable being able to come to you knowing they can tell you about anything.  Predators use the weak relationships of uninvolved, unobservant parents against children who feel like they can’t come to their parents with information that might make them angry.  Even if you’re not angry at them, the child can feel that for some reason your frustration is their fault. Children should know your love for them is unconditional. Even if you’re a working parent pulling two jobs to put food on the table, make sure you’re constantly keeping an eye on your child’s behavior, so you’re aware of any changes that could signal something is wrong.  Sexual abuse may not always be to blame for changes in their normal pattern of behavior, but it does mean something is going on. Even if it means taking 20 minutes on the bus ride home or a call to grandma’s house to see how their day is going while you’re at work: TALK TO YOUR KIDS.

Pay attention if your child displays any of the following signs.  If you learn of any incident that is truly disturbing, make sure to keep your cool and proceed carefully so that your children aren’t more traumatized.  It’s easier said than done, but if you’re not around to protect your child, who will be?