Relationships by MikeJenny



Presented by:
David Rattray
Aboriginal Counsellor – Secondary
Fort St. John, B.C.
School District No. 60 {Peace River North}
Ph: 250-785-8324
Fx: 250-785-0846

                                    Table of Contents
  1.   INTRODUCTION:                                                          Page   Use
1.1    Love is…. Love is not….                                                  3
1.2    Quiz: What Are My Chances of Ending Up In An Unhealthy Relationship?     4
1.3    Quiz: Are You „Hooked‟ Into an Unhealthy Relationship?                   5
1.4    Personality Traits and Relationships                                     6
1.5    Relationship Profiles                                                    7
1.6    Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship                                8
1.7    Characteristics of an Unhealthy Relationship                             9
1.8    Women: Why Do You Need a Man To Make You Complete?                      10
1.9    Men: What Are Women For?                                                11
1.10   How Does He/She Treat You? Then….and….Now                               12

2.1    Men and Women….From Two Different Worlds….                              13
2.2    Society‟s Expectations                                                  14
2.3    Developmental Stages                                                    15
2.4    The Brain                                                               17
2.5    Unhealthy Aboriginal Worlds                                             20
2.6    Me and My Family                                                        21
2.7    Co-Dependency                                                           22
2.8    He „Defines‟ Who I Am                                                   23
2.9    She „Controls‟ Me                                                       24
2.10   Why Flexible Boundaries are Dangerous                                   25

3.1    Women – Emotional Security                                              26
3.2    Men – Emotional Security                                                27
3.3    Emotional Intelligence                                                  28

4.1    A Healing Path                                                          31
4.2    Healthy Aboriginal Values                                               32
4.3    Loving Being Alone                                                      33
4.4    Communicating With Respect                                              34
4.5    Cultivating More Female Friends                                         35
4.6    How to Be a Friend                                                      36
4.7    Meditation                                                              37
4.8    “Reshaping” Your Approach to Relationships                              38
4.9    An Aboriginal Approach to Centeredness                                  39
4.10   Finding Beauty in Self and Others                                       40
4.11   Setting Realistic Goals                                                 42

1.1   Love is….

   Love is not….

1.2   Quiz: What Are My Chances of Ending Up In
                  An Unhealthy Relationship?

                                      “Others” Actions Impact You….          No       Yes
1.  Parent(s) having addictions
2.  Friends with negative attitudes/negative peer pressure
3.  Growing up a „latch-key‟ kid
4.  Abuse in the home (physical, emotional or sexual)
                                     Activities You Are Involved In….
5. Drug use
6. Alcohol use
7. Smoking
8. Watching too much TV/video games
9. Selling drugs
10. Several sexual partners = „recreational sex‟
11. Failing or dropping out of school
12. Anti-social behavior = stealing, fighting….
13. Running away from home
14. Depression
15. Suicidal
16. Cutting/burning self = self-mutilation
17. Drinking and driving
18. Self-centered = thinking only of self
19. Feeling stressed on a regular basis
20. Looking good on the „outside‟ but feeling bad on the inside
21. No „real‟ friend you can always count on
22. „Blaming others‟ for your misfortunes/problems in life
23. Can‟t stop thinking of your pain unless you are drinking, or high….
If you said yes to:

       0      You will likely avoid unhealthy relationships
       1-2    You might avoid unhealthy relationships
       3      You are moving into „dangerous‟ territory
       4      You will have unhealthy relationships unless you deal with the pain in
              your life
       5+     There is way too much pain in your life….

       Please note this is an „approximate‟ scale – it has not been standardized but it does give a
       good indication of how few of the issues listed are needed to create the potential for
       unhealthy relationships

                        1.3Quiz: Are You „Hooked‟ Into
                          An Unhealthy Relationship?

                                                 When He/She is Away….      No      Yes
1. You are always waiting for him/her to call or come over
2. All you do is worry while you wait
3. You drink or do drugs because you feel empty inside
4. You feel your „possession‟ is missing
5. You hold a „pity-party‟ with your friends, or alone
6. You are planning to „get even‟ by….
7. You are glad he/she is gone but….you want him/her to come back
8. Your life is put on „hold‟ while he/she is away
9. He/she is always phoning to find out what you are doing
10. He/she cheats on you and you know it
                                            When He/She is With You….
11. You are always telling him/her you love them, waiting for him/her to
     say they „love you back‟
12. You pretend you are sick so he/she will stay with you instead of
    doing something with their friends
13. You „stick like glue‟ to him/her
14. You „interrogate‟ him/her when they come back from hanging out
    with their friends
15. You threaten to „kill yourself‟ if he/she leaves
16. You seduce him to keep him
17. He/she tells you what you can and cannot wear, or do
18. He/she puts you down verbally in front of his/her friends
19. He/she puts down your friends
20. He/she makes you feel „less than‟ by what they say, or do

My experience says if you said „yes‟ to Numbers 1, 2, 11, and maybe 13, you are not necessarily in
an unhealthy relationship…. BUT if you said yes to almost any other question, you are very likely in
an unhealthy relationship. Why?

                   1.4   Personality Traits and Relationships
Not all of these personality traits apply to each person, but there will be „clusters‟ that show there are

Some personality traits which are common in those who end up in unhealthy relationships:

          An intense need for love and affection
          Low self-esteem
          Drug and/or alcohol dependency
          A background where there is physical, emotional or sexual abuse
          Codependent
          A strong need for relationships to validate who they are
          Inability to set and maintain personal boundaries
          Difficulty expressing anger – tendency to explode or to hold it in
          Loyalty to their boy/girlfriend takes priority over emotional or physical wellbeing
          Belief that „It will change if I just try harder!”
          Repeated attempts at leaving the relationship – inability to follow through with leaving
          Extreme jealousy
          Intense fear of abandonment
          Unrealistic expectations of a relationship (to „fix‟ them or solve their problems)
          Need for power or control
          Abuse generally increases when boy/girlfriend leaves
          Suicidal attempts

What are some of the personality traits of people who avoid unhealthy relationship?

       Personality Traits                 Why are these personality traits healthy?
Self-confident                      Inner strength;

                                1.5   Relationship Profiles
Note: some of these may apply more to males, other may apply more to females

Healthy….                                                               Healthy
                               Good, clear, open communication
                                               Trust both ways
                                          Faithful to each other
                    Enjoy spending time away from each other                       O
                                  Treat each other with respect                    N
                              Solve conflicts in a positive way
           Respects each others‟ space = who you are as a person                   A
Some Warning Signs = Get out Now!                                                   N
                 Puts down your friends                                            T
           Wants to be with you ALL the time                                        I
              Criticizes the way you dress                                         N
                 Goes back on promises                                             U
                   Jealousy „pops up‟                                              U
                                                                                   M

 Lies to you
 Puts you down verbally
 Blames you for his/her behavior = excuses
 Makes all the decisions about what the two of you do
 Decides who you both hang out with
 Isolates you from your friends
 Controls, is possessive and extremely jealous
 Depends completely upon you to meet social/emotional needs

Dangerously Unhealthy….
                                  Cheats on you = sleeps around      Dangerously
                Says you are crazy/plays dangerous mind games         Unhealthy
                                             Physically abusive
          Pressures for sex, or makes sex hurt or feel humiliating

              1.6   Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

Communication          Communicate in an open and honest way
                       No put-downs, especially when fighting or angry

Trust                  Aren‟t jealous or possessive
                       Doesn‟t think you are being unfaithful when apart
                       Someone talks „bad‟ about you he/she will not believe it

Honesty                This goes along with trust because it‟s tough to trust someone
                        when they aren‟t being honest

Commitment             Willing to make positive changes for the good of the relationship

Support                There for you when you want to celebrate the good times
                       There for a shoulder to cry on during the tough times as well

Respect                Respect each other‟s opinions, feelings, goals and decisions even
                        if you don‟t always agree

Non-Threatening        They don‟t use a negative approach for getting their own way or
Behavior                to control you
                       Silence can be a negative approach if there is communication
                        that needs to take place

Shared                 They take responsibility for their own actions and feelings
Responsibilities       Don‟t blame you if they lose their temper or make a bad decision
                       They take responsibility for their own happiness, it isn‟t your job

Continue with          You can enjoy doing things without each other and can hang out
their own friends       with other people without you or your partner getting upset or
and interests           accusing the other of cheating

Self-esteem            Your self-esteem has room to grow when you are together
                       No need to control your partner

What are some other characteristics of a healthy relationship?

             1.7   Characteristics of an Unhealthy Relationship
               Affection = hugs, kisses, holding hands…..
               Not Alone = with him/her constantly
               Social life = hanging out with his/her friends and often just the two of us
               Feel loved = Sometimes the love for my partner is very strong
               Someone to care for = I can give him/her all kinds of love
               I fee needed = someone who depends/cares for me

                    My PROBLEM is….
Negatives:           I feel „adrift‟ without him/her
                     I need to be loved by someone
                     He/she defines who I am = I don‟t know what I think/feel
                     I feel so insecure inside that I don‟t want to look for
                      another partner – he/she „will do‟
                     I can‟t stand being alone

  In this relationship, I:
   I can‟t let him/her go = I love him/her so much, I can‟t see myself without him/her
   I can change him/her = He/she will go to counselling for me
   He protects me = No one bothers me because he‟ll kick their ass!

         In this relationship, my partner:
          Cheats = sleeps around and gets mad when I ask him/her about it
          Drugs & alcohol = consumes and may even sell
          Lies = denies the bad things he/she does
          No job/not in school = failing in school, if even going. Always quits/gets fired
          Abusive = Shoves/hits
          Immature = hangs up the phone when angry
          Will not talk = refuses to talk when we‟re dealing with a problem
          Controlling = tells me what I can and can‟t wear, who to see……

  In this relationship, both of us:
   Have no trust = we know the other is cheating
   Are jealous = we can‟t talk with anyone of the opposite sex
   Don‟t respect each other = we constantly insult each other
   Have low self-esteem = we look good on the „outside‟ but feel „bad‟ on the inside

    1.8   Women…..Why Do You Need A Man To Make You

                Unhealthy                           Healthy

Is the title respectful? Disrespectful? Explain….


                       1.9   Men…..What Are Women For?

                Unhealthy                           Healthy

Is the title respectful? Disrespectful? Explain….


                      1.10   How Does He/She Treat You?
                              At the Start        Now

How does he/she
treat you?

How does he/she
treat your friends?

How does he/she
„control‟ you?

How does he/she
make you feel?

How has your
thinking about the
changed since you
started going out?

How has your
thinking about
yourself changed
over the

What else has
changed since you
started going out?


            2.1   Men & Women….From Two Different Worlds
Please note these are generalizations and are included here for discussion purposes. Recognize role
overlap, role reversals, stereotyping, and so on……

    Men                      Example                 Women                Example
Wallet             Black or brown with the        Purse          It carries lots of items.
                   bare essentials
Practical          Wants to solve a problem       Emotional      Needs to discuss a
                   in a few minutes                              problem for a long time
Personal           In relationships, end up       Partner‟s      Ends up focusing more
needs              focusing more on self          needs          on the needs of partner
Buying shoes       Buys the first pair that fit   Buying shoes   Tries on many pairs and
                                                                 ends up buying the first
Asking for         Hates asking for               Asking for     Will ask as soon as she
direction          directions – will drive        directions     realizes she‟s lost
                   around lost
A problem          Focuses on one problem at      Many           Gets overwhelmed by
                   a time                         problems       lots of problems
Talk               To solve a problem             Talk           To relate or to „figure it
                                                                 out‟ = takes time

What do these types of differences imply?

Scenario…. A guy says to his girl, “Let‟s have sex.” She responds, “I don‟t know.”
He gets upset because he thinks she means no. He gets mad and says, “Forget it.” They end up
arguing. What happened?
               The man expressed his feelings but the woman is not sure if she wants
               sex – she needs to think more about it, but he doesn‟t give her time
               before he gets mad = argument

Possible solution:
               Man talks more about it, or leaves it for awhile, not assuming she
               doesn‟t want sex but is actually not sure. Or he could try something
               romantic to help her prepare more…

                            2.2   Society‟s Expectations
Please note the following are general statements that have some validity when viewed from a
Canadian cultural perspective….

                                 From a Woman’s Perspective….
Much of society is based on a male-female relationship = a couple
       Many holidays/activities have single women stand out – such as anniversaries, proms,
          children‟s birthdays, dances….

It‟s „almost expected‟ that a woman is „connected‟ to a man and that a woman‟s worth is
defined by this relationship
         “How many men have asked you out?”
         A make is making a „come-on‟ to a female and she is told by her friends, “You should be
           flattered he‟s making a pass at you.”
         “Who asked you out?”

Women are often shown as being „submissive‟ in relationships/activities
     “He‟s so strong, he‟ll take care of me.”
     Helplessness – One woman said, “I can change a tire but if I look helpless, a man will
        stop and do it for me.”

Many women‟s sense of security increases when she is in a relationship
      “I‟m not alone when I have a boyfriend.”
      “He‟ll always be there for me.”

                                  From a Man’s Perspective…..

Men are seen as being in positions of power/control over women
       Many magazines/movies show men in positions of power/control over women
       „Men don‟t cry‟ is a strong message males receive from a very young age

Men are seen as players
       Men are seen as „studs‟ when they have many sexual partners but women are seen as

Other observations……

                                2.3   Developmental Stages
Studies have shown that people develop certain functions during critical periods of their lives – most
at a very early age…..

          Critical Periods for Some Aspects of Brain Development and Function

   Ways of

  Peer Social

                   0   1    2     3     4     5      6    7     8     9        10

                                                  AGE (Yrs)

                                 (Based on Early Years Study – Final Report)

                                       Critical period for development
                                       Critical period wanes
                                       Very limited to no development

     How early the brain develops = by ages 5-10 brain functions/responses are developed
      By age 5 your emotional control patterns are developed and by age 9 the way you respond
       emotionally is „set‟
      By age 2 your habits are being formed and by age 5 they are basically „set‟
     Implications for teenage behaviors = patterns set early in life
     Habitual response to anger learned by 7 years old!

Study after study indicate the following „trends‟:
    There are „critical‟ time periods for the development of all (?) functions
    Much/all of the critical time periods occur in the first 2 to 3 years of life, with much
      happening in the womb
    Once the critical time periods for brain development have passed, it is possible, for some
      functions, to be developed but not to the brain‟s „full potential‟
    Much of a „person‟s outlook on life‟ is set by age 5-7-10 years old
    Brain development is highly vulnerable to environmental factors, from a very early age
    Brains get „wired‟ from experiences and responds to those experiences in certain ways
    Negative experiences early in life have a profound impact on a person that are difficult to
      overcome later in life
     Loneliness, anger, etc. develop very early in life, as does a person‟s “typical” way of

Antisocial Behavior…
   Rutter has reviewed several longitudinal studies on criminal activity and antisocial behavior of
     youth. He concluded that repeated criminal activity by youth often has its roots in disruptive
     behaviors in preschool = end up in prison, violent relationships, abusers, …
 Disruptive behaviors, on a consistent basis could include:
        bullying
        fighting
        lying
        negative view of school
        sent to the office consistently
        lack of friends
     Much of this has to do with a lack of a sense of belonging – which can carry through to

Implications for Relationships… (the following generalizations „generally apply‟):
   Brain development is highly vulnerable to environmental factors, from a very early age,
      which means if you were raised in a loving, caring, supportive home with little/no
      violence/etc. you will be able to relate in healthy ways to others.
   Brains get „wired‟ from experiences and responds to those experiences in certain ways =
      „good experiences‟ = healthy relationships BUT „lots of bad experiences‟ = high risk of
      ending up in unhealthy relationships
   Consistent negative experiences early in life have a profound impact on a person that are
      difficult to overcome later in life -----but not impossible!!!!!

                         Unhealthy upbringing = Unhealthy relationships
                           Healthy upbringing = Healthy relationships
        If raised in an unhealthy world you MUST work very hard at ‘breaking the cycle’

                                      2.4   The Brain
The brain has four lobes:

The brain can also be divided into three parts = the triune brain:
 R-complex – the part which deals mainly with self-preservation and preservation of the species.
   It contains „programs‟ responsible for hunting, homing, mating, establishing territory, and
 limbic system – deals with emotional feelings that guide behavior
 cortex – problem-solving, thinking, memorizing device which includes most of our human
   qualities such as language, reason, symbols, culture…

                                                               Rational thinking/etc.


A person who has experienced many „negative‟ experiences and responds in anger may:
 develop strong pathways through the limbic system and very little into the cortex.
 respond quickly and emotionally to stimuli = they do not ‘stop and think’ = live in an emotional
    world that often does not help them deal with problems.
 the limbic system (not the cortex) rules their lives

What needs to happen is interventions, like counselling, which teach the person how to deal with
situations in their lives. To have healthy relationships, one must be able to think through experiences
before being „sucked in‟ by emotions…..They need to develop stronger pathways between their
limbic system and the cortex…

The Limbic System

   deals with experience and emotions and as such is our „emotional brain‟
   consists of several different components, all of which have their own „responsibilities‟
   is the central processing unit of the brain that deals with information received from events,
    memories of events and emotional associations to these events
    experience of emotions goes back and forth between the frontal lobes and the limbic system
   when a person experiences a stimulus, the limbic system is the first to respond (in other words, it
    responds before the cortex, which is the rational part of the brain)

Here are a few components of the limbic system, with their main functions:

    COMPONENT                                        FUNCTION
Amygdala                   gatekeeper to the limbic system
                           information is passed to the amygdala from the sensory areas
                            (vision, sound, touch, taste and smell) areas of the brain and
                            sends the messages to other parts of the limbic system to
                            produce emotional arousal
                           where fear learned from experience is stored
                           the amygdala discerns the emotional significance of the
                            stimulus and what kind of response is necessary
Hippocampus                acquisition of new memory traces in the brain
                           converts short term memory into long term memory
Hypothalamus               Is a control center with 3 major outputs:
                           Sends hormonal and neural signals to the pituitary gland –
                            which acts as the switch for the endocrine system
                           Sends commands to the autonomic nervous system which
                            controls various bodily functions including sweat, blood
                            pressure, heart rate, etc
                           Drives actual behaviors (4 F‟s = fight, flee, feed and sex)
                           = „survival center‟

Communicating between the limbic system and the cortex…..

                             Something stressful/emotional

                                   Limbic System



           Healthy Response                           Unhealthy Response

      The limbic system                     The limbic system does not
      ‘communicates’ with the               communicate with the cortex so
      cortex and so a healthy               unhealthy ways of responding
      solution is looked for                happens. Remember, if lots of pain,
                                            there are „freeways‟ in the limbic
                                            system but „goat trails‟ to the cortex =
                                            often deal with stress or problems in
                                            negative or unhealthy ways

It is critical for people who grew up in unhealthy environments to be able to problem solve in
positive ways. Most of the problems they encountered they would have responded with quick anger,
swearing, throwing things, crying, or other unhealthy ways. What happens is the limbic system (the
emotional part of the brain) responds and one ends up in an „emotional state‟ without letting the
cortex get involved.

When the cortex gets involved, one looks for positive solutions. One can think, talk about (without
getting overly excited), and look for healthy solutions.

                       2.5   Unhealthy Aboriginal Worlds
In unhealthy aboriginal peoples, families or communities there will be an ‘overlap’ of the healthy
and unhealthy – it’s not one or the other. In unhealthy environments the negatives generally stand
out way more than the healthy components. Even in unhealthy environments there will be aboriginal
people struggling to create a healthier community.

          Neglected
          Little food in the house while parents are drinking
          Beat up as opposed to spanked
          Sexually abused
          They in turn abuse others

       It hurts when a child believes parents love alcohol more than them
       Parents shouting/swearing/putting down child – especially when „hung over‟
       Broken homes

        No sense of belonging
        Wounded spirit

Abuse results in:
       Feelings of displacement, not belonging
       Helplessness, no future
       Loss of shared cultural values/activities
       Lack of personal/group strength to address issues of concerns
       Addictions = drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, emotional, power….
       Poor sense of self, no, or limited self-worth
       No vision of the future = no hope
       Know right from wrong but choose to do what is painful
       Strong sense of rage towards self and others, put-downs are common
       Suicide/attempts are common because of helplessness
       People in pain often hurt those they care for, and themselves
       Often have unhealthy relationships because they don‟t know how to deal with pain in
          their lives

                                    2.6   Me and My Family
There are many commonalities that are found in unhealthy families. Here are a few common ones:

     Topic               Characteristics                               Example
Common              Denial                          “I didn‟t do it.”
family              Unclear boundaries              “I don‟t know where to draw the line.”
behaviors in        Extremes in conflict            “Too little discipline, too much discipline.”
unhealthy           Unclear communications          “We‟re constantly sending mixed messages.”
homes               Lack of communication           “He‟s shut down and won‟t talk about it.”
                    Unpredictable                   “I wonder if she‟s in a bad mood today?”
                                                    “It‟s your problem, not mine.”
                    Code of silence
                                                    “Don‟t tell, it‟s our secret. No one needs to
                    Role reversal
                                                    “I have to baby sit my mom and help her deal
                                                     with her problems.”
As you grow         Don‟t trust                     “I can‟t trust anyone, not even my girlfriend.”
up, you will        Avoid expressing feelings       “I can‟t say how I feel, I don‟t know.”
continue to         Poor/low self-esteem            “He can find a better girlfriend than me.”
„bring your         A feeling of helplessness       “I can‟t help it, when she calls, I run.”
family/past‟        Difficulty with honesty         “I don‟t know what I believe.”
with you....        Suspicious                      “I know she‟s cheating on me!”
                    Difficulty with
                                                    “He‟s my tenth boyfriend this year.”
Personality         Control                         “I can take care of it.”
traits taken on     Numb                            “I don‟t care, it doesn‟t bother me”
in order to         Super responsible               “It‟s my fault, I shouldn‟t have let him go out.”
survive AND         Addicted to crisis              “I love a fight! I get a rush from it!”
they still follow   Counselling                     “I‟ll help you through this problem.”
you around          Rebel                           “I‟ll show them!”
today UNLESS        Fighter
                                                    “Get in my way and I‟ll kick your ass!”
you do some         Hiding
                                                    “I‟ll just hide here, maybe no one will see me.”
thing about it

In order to survive in an unhealthy family, you may have taken on roles that helped you survive...
BUT....these same roles and attitudes may prevent you from having healthy relationships.


                                  2.7    Co-Dependency
Very briefly….

What creates a co-dependent relationship?

          Major emotional pain in a person‟s past
          The pain is not dealt with
          Often the pain happens in childhood, when one doesn‟t have the skills to deal with it

During abuse, what kinds of things happen:

          Feelings of displacement = not belonging in a healthy way to the family
          Vulnerability = not able to protect yourself
          Abandonment = no one around to help
          Awareness = aware things are not „right‟
          Lack of trust = don‟t trust anyone
          Fear, guilt, anger, rage….
          Pretending = pretending everything is fine
          Blocking = blocking out memories

What does a healing journey look like?

          Speaking and feeling the truth is the only path to recovery
          Explore the past with a competent helper = stop pretending
          Explore/understand the „hidden/forgotten‟ areas of your life
          Accept responsibility for your actions, your life
          Learn how to forgive
          Find the beauty in your life
          Share your pain with others…

A „healthy flow‟ would look something like this:
        Reach out = asking for help….having your voice heard….recognizing support
        Allowing others in = seeing a positive future…humanity of others…reconnecting
        Down the path of healing = from loss of faith/trust to a sense of spirituality…from being
                                    Stuck to unstuck…from a lack of belonging to a sense of
                                   place…from powerlessness to self-awareness….
        Giving back = many people who have lived in a co-dependent relationships end up with
                        A strong sense of community and often end up helping others….

                           2.8   He „Defines‟ Who I Am
Many women (not all) define themselves sexually or in terms of their interactions with men….

    Topic                     Unhealthy              What Does Healthy Look Like?
Security         I need a man to make me feel
                 complete = my identity is
                 wrapped up in him. He‟ll protect
Proof I can      If he dies, I can‟t go on living.
love             He‟s everything to me
Good looking     TV/etc. gives the „model‟ of what Example: Looks are not important.
                 to expect in a man in terms of     How he is „inside‟ is way more
                 looks/etc.                         important…
Emotional        On the first date you say, “He‟s
commitment       everything I dreamed of.”
                 I‟ll do anything for him.
Obedience        We do everything he wants to do.
moving into      When he asks you to do
control          something, even if you don‟t want
                 to, you always do it.
Not lonely       When he‟s around I don‟t feel
                 When he‟s away I sit and wait for
                 him to call.
Sex is a         If I don‟t have sex with him he‟ll
measure of       leave me.
love             When we have sex, I know he
                 loves me
Knowing self     I don‟t really know who I am!

How else does he define you? How do you break/deal with it?

                              2.9   She „Controls‟ Me
Many men (not all) either control women, or let women control them…

                                    Men Controlling Women….

    Topic                  Unhealthy                What Does Healthy Look Like?

Good looking    TV/etc. gives the „model‟ of what   Example: Looks are not important.
                to expect in a woman in terms of    How she is „inside‟ is way more
                looks, behaviors, etc.              important…
moving into
Not lonely
Sex is a
measure of
Knowing self

                                    Women Controlling Men….

    Topic                  Unhealthy                What Does Healthy Look Like?

Good looking    TV/etc. gives the „model‟ of what   Example: Looks are not important.
                to expect in a man in terms of      How he is „inside‟ is way more
                looks/etc.                          important…
moving into
Not lonely
Sex is a
measure of
Knowing self

                                2.10   Flexible Boundaries
Note: The gender flips between male and female….

  When we first started going out, my                           Today…..
              „rules‟ were…..
No sex for at least a month                    I slept with him on our second date
She can‟t boss me around!                      She constantly tells me what I can and
                                               can‟t do
I will continue to hang out with my friends    We hang out with his friends and most of
and he will hang out with his friends          mine have „faded away‟
I don‟t care if she talks with other guys      I get jealous when she talks with even my
                                               best friend
We‟ll give each other space when we need       She makes me phone her 100 times a day,
it                                             always telling her where I‟m at and what
                                               I‟m doing
I like wearing tight jeans and snug t-shirts   He gets mad when I wear certain make-up
with my make-up, so I will continue            and he throws a fit if I wear tight clothes.
dressing this way and wearing make-up          He says I look like a hoe
We agreed we wouldn‟t „smother‟ each           She‟s really jealous and controlling
other, like we see so many of our friends
If he cheats on me, I‟m history, I‟m gone      I can‟t leave him even though I know he
                                               has slept with several other chicks – they‟re
                                               all skanks – he loves me

How do boundaries become so flexible? When are flexible boundaries healthy? When are they

                     3.1   Women - Emotional Security
         I MUST understand my emotions
         I MUST become secure in myself
              Emotional liberation….
              On my own terms….

                           A Woman Who Understands Her Emotions
                                 And Is Secure In Herself
                               Has The Following Qualities….


                       3.2   Men - Emotional Security
         I MUST understand my emotions
         I MUST become secure in myself
              Emotional liberation….
              On my own terms….

                             A Man Who Understands His Emotions
                                    Is Secure In Himself
                                          Has The
                                   Following Qualities….


                             3.3   Emotional Intelligence
               The Emotional Competence Framework – Daniel Goldman

                                PERSONAL COMPETENCE
                     These competencies determine how we manage ourselves.

                Knowing one‟s internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions
Emotional awareness: Recognizing one‟s emotions and their effects
Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one‟s strengths and limits
Self-confident: A strong sense of one‟s self-worth and capabilities

                      Managing one‟s internal states, impulses, and resources
Self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check
Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity
Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for personal performance
Adaptability: Flexibility in handling change
Innovation: Being comfortable with novel ideas, approaches, and new information

                     Emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate reaching goals
Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence
Commitment: Aligning with the goals of the group or organization
Initiative: Readiness to act on opportunities
Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks

                                  SOCIAL COMPETENCE
                    These competencies determine how we handle relationships

                        Awareness of others‟ feelings, needs, and concerns
Understanding others: Sensing others‟ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest
                       In their concerns
Developing others: Sensing others‟ developmental needs and bolstering their abilities
Service orientation: Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customers‟ needs
Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people
Political awareness: Reading a group‟s emotional currents and power relationships

                                             Social Skills
                        Adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others
Influence: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion

Communication: Listening openly and sending convincing messages
Conflict management: Negotiating and resolving disagreements
Leadership: Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups
Change catalyst: Initiating or managing change
Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships
Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others toward shared goals
Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals

What has all of this stuff on emotional competence got to do with me??????

LOTS!!!! In order to deal, in a positive way with relationships, one must be „at least‟ somewhat
emotionally competent….for example:

                                      Unhealthy Solution…..

        I am having a fight with my girlfriend….we’re arguing….she’s crying…threatening to break
up….I’m mad….I say I don’t care…(but I really do, but I’m hurting and so I’m going to hurt her)….I
leave, all mad, angry, swearing….going to get drunk….maybe pick a fight…maybe pick up a girl for
the evening…I feel helpless and frustrated….MAD/ANGER/PAIN….Emotionally not sure what to

Personal Competence:
   Self-awareness                   I have not clarified my emotions…I want to solve the problem
                                    but I am too angry/hurt to look at my feelings and their impact
                                    upon her
   Self-assessment                  I don‟t know what to do….I don‟t know my strengths to help
  Self-confidence                   I feel worthless, helpless….I can‟t solve this problem
  Self-control                      I am out of control…
  Trustworthiness                   She can‟t trust me…She knows I‟ll do something wrong
  Conscientiousness                 I am finding excuses to drink/fight…
  Adaptability                      I can‟t handle arguing with her….I need a way out…
  Motivation                        I don‟t have the energy, commitment to change….
Social Competence:
  Understanding her                 I am so stressed, I don‟t feel any of her pain, only my own…
  Communications                    I can‟t talk to her….I am too wrapped up in my pain
  Conflict management               I can‟t solve this problem….I am afraid…
  Building bonds                    I‟ve broken our bond….and can‟t fix it

                                        Healthy Solution…..

I am having a fight with my girlfriend….we’re arguing….she’s crying…threatening to break
up….I’m mad….I want to tell her to get lost but I don’t because I know I’m mad, hurt, and angry….I
know I’ll regret it later….I tell her I’m going for a walk….As I go to leave she threatens that if I
leave to never come back…As I leave she cries and says she’s sorry and begs me to come back…It
makes me more frustrated…I need to get away to think…I turn off my cell phone because I know
she’ll call and argue some more…As I walk around, I think all kinds of negative thoughts, such as:
breaking up, telling her off, drinking, getting into a fight, and so on….Slowly I begin to discard these
ideas as inappropriate…I see her side of the argument and realize where both of us went wrong…I
begin to plan how I will say I’m sorry…I know she doesn’t want to break up, that she said that in the
‘heat of the moment’….I calm myself down and return to ‘patch things up’….

Personal Competence:
   Self-awareness                    I know I have to get away to deal with my emotions…I know if
                                     I stay we will end up in a worse fight
   Self-assessment                   I know we need time apart to work through our own issues
   Self-confidence                   I feel confident that I know what to do
   Self-control                      I can get control of myself…
   Trustworthiness                   She can trust me that I will do what‟s right…
   Conscientiousness                 I take responsibility for my actions…
   Adaptability                      I can deal with this….I‟ve never had a girlfriend before who
                                     was so angry/aggressive when we disagree, but I can deal with
  Motivation                         I want this relationship to work, and I‟m prepared to work at it
Social Competence:
  Understanding her                  I can feel her pain and confusion…
  Communications                     I‟m ready to listen to her with an open heart
  Conflict management                I recognize we‟re in a conflict and I am comfortable that we can
                                     deal with it in a positive way
   Building bonds                    I left so we wouldn‟t break our bond…It‟s easier than
                                     rebuilding them later!

What are some of the main differences between the two examples?

                                   4.1   A Healing Path

A Healing Path requires slow work on yourself....often with the support of at least one other person –
who is healthy

Some things that may prove useful include:

An understanding of unhealthy relationships
   An understanding of unhealthy relationships – and what makes them unhealthy
   Why you get into them
   Your family helps „shape‟ how you respond to relationships – but this „shaping‟ (if negative)
      can be undone

An understanding of who you are as an individual
   What are your assumptions around relationships
   What makes healthy relationships?????
   Who you are as a male/female
   What are your true feelings/beliefs/values...
   You deserve to be in a healthy relationship
   The ability to understand your emotional make-up and how to change what needs to be
   How not to be controlled by fear of losing him/her, or being alone, or afraid of looking at

How to truly live instead of existing for ‘him/her’
   How to truly live instead of existing „for him/her‟
   „Letting go‟ of the painfulness of your past
   The ability to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them
   You need to „chip away‟ at unhealthy relationships – they don‟t automatically „go away‟

  Other important concepts:


                         4.2   Healthy Aboriginal Values
To name a few....

 Value/Belief                              Details
Spiritual          Many Aboriginal cultures see the world from a
Worldview           spiritual point of view. Euro-Cdn society sees
                    mostly from a scientific worldview.
Sacredness of      Women are considered sacred in many Aboriginal
Women               cultures. With this belief, women must be treated
                    with the utmost of respect, dignity, etc….
Spirit of a        Children were/are considered gifts from the creator. Nourish your spirit!
Child/person       If the spirit of a child is nourished, his/her mind and You are special!
                    body will grow strong.                                  Find time to be alone
                   Each student‟s spirit must be honored, respected….
Wholeness          The entire world of the Aboriginal person must be
Respect            Each individual person needs to be shown the
                    utmost of respect. They respond likewise.
                   When people are in emotional pain they need a
                    tremendous amount of patience and understanding
Individuality      Each person is an individual but is also connected
                    to their family/community but there is no duality.
                   “Soft” individualism
Finding            Every person is beautiful, and this beauty must be
Beauty              found and encouraged to grow
Bodymind           There is no duality of mind and body, they are one.
                   There might be a separation between bodymind and
                    spirit – as many Aboriginal societies see the spirit
                    leaving the bodymind
Humor              It‟s important to be able to use humor in healthy
Aunt/uncle         Aunts and uncles were important teachers because
Mentality           parents were too emotionally involved, as were
                    grandparents. Aunts and uncles were „just right‟


                               4.3   Loving Being Alone

                                 IF being alone = FEAR

   Fear of losing him/her:                         Fear of looking at yourself and not
                                                   liking what you see....
   “If something happened
   to you, I don‟t know
   how I can go on!”

                                                             MUST look
                                                             inward to find
                                                             out who you are

Why Am I Afraid of Being Alone?
  Often see loneliness as a permanent state = “I‟ll never get a girlfriend”
  I‟m a loser = “If I‟m alone, others will think I‟m a loser.”
  I feel left out = “When I go to parties, all my friends are connected, I feel alone.”
  Can‟t stop thinking about him = “When I‟m alone, he‟s all I think about.”

Advantages of being alone:
   I can do things I want to do
   I can learn a new sport, a new instrument, a craft....
   I can look „inward‟ to find more about myself
   I can see myself as a fascinating person
   I can work at changing things I don‟t like about myself

                        4.4   Communicating With Respect
How does one communicate with a boy/girlfriend in a respectful way?

There are several „commonalities‟, such as:

When we argue           No put-downs
                        Express personal feelings but at the same time respecting
                         partner‟s space
                        Walk away if too angry/emotionally involved
                        We both know we‟ll be there for each other afterwards
                        Never say hurtful things even if partner does
                        We are both willing to compromise
                        Supportive
                        Willing to listen to partner‟s point of view and not try to „steam
                         roller‟ over their point of view
                        Willing to allow partner to leave to cool down, knowing a better
                         solution will result
                        We don‟t try to „control‟ each other when we argue
                        Openness and honest are cornerstones
                        When he/she is not willing to „back down‟, I must be willing to,
                         even/especially if I am right
                        We have faith in our relationship and that we can work through
                         this problem
                        We know problems will arise in relationships
                        We don‟t hold a grudge for long time periods
                        We try to solve our problem without getting emotionally

When we‟re              This is the time to build/rebuild our relationship
getting along           Willing to make positive changes for the good of the relationship
                        There for you when you want to celebrate the good times
                        We take responsibility for what we said, and did, during our
                        We don‟t control each other and allow each other space
                        We respect each other and find ways to support each other

                           4.5   Cultivating Female Friends
Positives....                                              Negatives....
  Have female experiences in common                         May be „interested‟ in your
  Can talk about males from a common point of                boyfriend
   view                                                      May spread rumors
  Emotional similarities                                    May tell other girls your
  Will be there for you when needed                          secrets should you no longer
  Can be yourself                                            be friends
  Can share information of the opposite sex                 “Feeds‟ off your pain
  Can „hang out‟ without emotional pressures               
  Not emotionally connected like with a                    
   boyfriend                                                
  „Compare‟ notes about men

  If you are in-and-out of unhealthy relationships.... One of the most important things about having
  female friends is the ability to talk about/compare your worlds and views of men. It can also help
  you „redefine‟ yourself...

  Some of the qualities of a positive female role model:

  Some ways a positive female role model can help me with my relationships:

                                4.6   How To Be a Friend
If you know someone who‟s being abused, here‟s what you can do to help:

      Be there for your friend, without giving advice (unless requested) and believe what he/she is
       telling you
      Don‟t advise your friend to break up as he/she might not listen and „blame‟ you
      Acknowledge your friend‟s confused feelings
      Don‟t try to tell your friend how to feel
      Remember, it‟s possible to love someone and still have them hurt you
      Encourage your friend to seek help from someone with the skills to help them
      Find written information on abusive relationships and share it
      Attend workshops on relationships to learn more
      Don‟t make victim statements such as, “Why do you let him/her treat you like this?” “What‟s
       the matter with you? Why don‟t you break up?”
      Support your friend unconditionally
      Allow your friend to make his/her own decisions, and respect them, even if you disagree
      If you disagree, politely explain why and don‟t make a big thing of it
      Be as honest as you can with your friend but just as important, be there unconditionally

If you know someone who‟s abusing a boy/girlfriend, here‟s what you can do to help:
     Tell your friend very clearly that his/her behavior is wrong
     Don‟t make light of abusive behavior
     Support your friend‟s partner. Let them know abuse is wrong
     Find written information on abusive relationships and share it
     Attend workshops on relationships to learn more
     Encourage your friend to see professional help
     Call the police if you witness physical violence, at the very least, try to get your friend‟s
       partner out of the dangerous situation and talk about it later

Why is it important that you „get involved‟ in a positive way with unhealthy relationships?

                                       4.7   Meditation
Meditation is a healthy way to deal with stress and inner peace. There are many different books, and
approaches to this subject. Here is a „thumbnail sketch‟....

        Topic                                            Brief Description
What is Meditation         Experiencing the mind when it is not dominated by its usual mental
What does it do?           Helps us calm down... lets us see the world more clearly... objectively
                           look at our emotions... moves us to positive thoughts....
How do I start out?        To meditate requires one to relax and focus our mind upon a chosen
                           topic. Sit quietly and make the body go quiet by focusing on it and then
                           become aware of distracting thoughts....
Conscious vs               The conscious level = thoughts, emotions, feelings we are aware of
unconscious levels         Unconscious level = memories, fears, emotions that lie below the
                           conscious level. Meditating allows us to access the unconscious level
What is mindfulness?       It means putting the mind into the present so we can be engaged in what
                           we are doing...We‟re aware of our body, feelings, mental, and aware of
                           what we are thinking and observing...Puts us into the „now‟....
Emotions                   Emotions are like thoughts, they come and go, and we are not our
                           thoughts or emotions...Meditation helps us look at our thoughts and
                           emotions in a calm way – so we can better deal with them – by looking
                           „gently‟ at our negative emotions/thoughts = look at them without
                           judging, without fear, without fighting, simply look without blaming...
What are the basic         (Very briefly) Sit with back erect...Legs where comfortable...comfortable
steps?                     clothes...start with 5-10 min...sit still...three deep nose, hold,
                           out mouth....focus by concentrating on relaxing each part of your body,
                           starting at toes...tighten them and relax...move to calves...thighs...up to
                           head... turn emotions inward and be aware of your thoughts and emotions
                           that flow through them and let them float – or flow away
                           without judging/etc...focus on being objective...when you feel
                           uncomfortable, sit through the urge and notice how you can resist such
What are some of the       Mental concentration....breathing....focusing the „restless‟ mind....
„essentials‟ of            focusing through aches and pains...harmony of self....stillness and silence
meditating?                ....letting negative thoughts and emotions „float away‟...developing
                           positive emotions....spiritual awareness....calming of the mind and spirit

Please note, this is a very brief, poorly described example of meditating....IT WORKS!!!! Learn how
to use meditation to help you deal with problems/joys in your world......It‟s worth the effort!

4.8    “Reshaping” Your Approach to Relationships
      My Relationships are Usually Like   What I Want My Relationships to be
                   This...                             Like....


               4.9   An Aboriginal Approach to Centeredness

Please note….there are many ways to explore centeredness from an aboriginal perspective




                            6 Months                     1 Year                5 Years




                   4.10   Finding Beauty in Self and Others
                                 “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall....”
Look in a mirror and say, “I love you!”
       Eyes are the window to the soul
       I‟m O.K. with some of my flaws
       What do I need to do with the ones I don‟t like?

                                  Surface                                        Surface
          Positives                  Or                  Negatives                  Or
                                  Values                                          Values
I like my hair                   Surface      I don‟t like my nose               Surface
I care deeply for my friends     Value

Look at your positives = your beauty.....
Look at your negatives....Are your negatives realistic? What things need changing?

Finding Beauty Assumptions we make shape how we interact in our world:

1.    We must find the beauty in every individual person and use it to improve their
      educational experiences.
2.    All people are beautiful and have the potential to learn and change.
3.    Everyone is responsible for their choices and for their actions. We must teach this.
4.    All people know what they want.
5.    Students like it when their beauty is pointed out to them.
6.    The school system must respect the beauty of the individual and use it in the directions in
      which the student wants to positively apply them.
7.    Problems/conflicts are seen as opportunities to create personal relationships.
8.    There are two types of learning. The first is the learning of knowledge, which is our current
      focus. The second is the learning about ones beauty/capacities, which is the education of the
      spirit/potential of the individual, which needs to be focused upon.
9.    Students who have problems in their lives often stop seeing themselves as beautiful, valuable,
      or able to make positive choices.
10.   To find beauty in someone else is to allow our beauty to show….

   Partial Snapshot of Your World-view….
   Philosophically Speaking….

   Topic                 Question           Y       N       0…10          Comments
Body-Mind      Are they „connected‟?
Spirituality   Do you believe in a
               „Higher Power”?
               Do we have a spirit?
               Does spirituality play a
               role in your life?
Soul           Do we have a soul?
Personality    Do you see the world as a
„type‟         beautiful place?
               Or…. more from a
               negative perspective?
               Do you enjoy challenging
               Are you afraid of the pain
               that is in your life?

   Practically Speaking….

   Topic                     Question                   Y    N     0…10     Comments
Family          Do you love your family?
                Is it easy to find their beauty?
Friends         Do you love your friends?
                Is it easy to find beauty in your
Self            Can you look in the mirror and
                say I love you, you‟re special?
                When someone annoys you, do
                you get annoyed?
                Do you have a mission
                statement that guides you
                through your life?


           In order to find beauty in others, you must first find it in yourself….

4.11   Setting Realistic Goals
Some of My Strengths Are....

Areas I Need to Work On.....

                     Some of My Short-term Goals Are.....
       (Afterwards, pick 3 or 4 you feel are the most important to start with)

                     Some of My Long-Term Goals Are…
       (Afterwards, pick 3 or 4 you feel are the most important to start with)

NOTE: For many, just outlining the most important short and long term goals is enough for them to
focus on dealing with what needs to be done. For others, they need more detailed, specific

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