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The Power of Saying No!

As far as my disposition and living style, I am a proponent that clear communication and fully showing up in all situations in life is the key to better relationships and healthy societal dynamics.

The vast majority of our population don’t spend much on reflection (reflection is different from rumination) or self-improvement, seeking self-knowledge to learn new communicative skills, or how earlier experiences affect the present moment. With knowledge, we can change. Everyone can change, and that change begins with setting healthy boundaries and how to say no.

Regardless of our culture or country of origin, cordiality and excuses are make-up to hide or camouflage conflicts. Why can it amplify communicational and relational issues?
Every human being possesses a different type of personality, and personality is genetic. Individuals who have a more assertive personality will come across as arrogant or aggressive, mostly if others around them are passive and don’t speak their truth.

In reality, cordiality as a social norm is a sort of passive-aggressive behavior that inhibits someone speaks their truth, and worst, allows people to get away with “bad” actions. Because if you warn them out, you are an aggressive bastard.

As I mentioned before, your personality is biological and genetic. So when you are born, you come into this world with a typical way of thinking, acting, and feeling. Of course, this can suffer some changes because of environment and experiences, but the foundation, the genesis stills there and is immutable. It also explains the attraction. Men, for example, are attracted to women with strong personalities, believe it or not, even if at the end of the day, because of social norms, they “chose” a more “suitable” persona.

When we say yes to things that we want to say no, we are submerging ourselves in lakes where, at first sight, inoffensive fishes would do no warm. But, in reality, the accumulation of yes’s that are no’s will turn little fishes into sharks. Stress is a shark and can kill. Continuous exposure to stress is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, anxiety disorders, and heart disease.

Let’s think about suicide. What is suicide if not the last door to escape painful realities? Suicide is a global problem, but what are the causes? Societal blueprints are one of them. The blueprint that everyone should be this or that way. They should get married, buy a house, have kids, and a job to sustain all of it.

The blueprint that man should toughen up and not cry (yes, society “wants” men to open up but not too much. Isn’t ready to fully listen to them). Suicide is the major global cause of death between the ages of 15 to 29. Did you know that new generations compared to previous ones are having less sex and intimacy satisfaction? Why? Should I ask!

It is important to say NO and express your wants without shame. When you say no, you are holding yourself and not perpetuating unnecessary behavior from others. To say no, try to answer the following questions as an exercise of reflection and self-conscientization: 

  1. This request or situation is hurting my core beliefs?
  2. This request, situation, or person is tearing me apart from my living purpose? 
  3. Is this person abusing my goodwill? 
  4. Do I want to do this or be somewhere else? 

The purpose of learning how and to say NO is the synonym of stopping yourself from putting the value of your life in the hands of people with doormat brains. Judgment doesn’t exist per se. Because someone who doesn’t know who he or she is is incapable of judging others. Think about this when you are ruminating about what others think about you.

Use the word No with consciousness and compassion. Remembering that if down the road someone leaves, that’s the selection process, not a loss. Be also thankful for the ones who gave new insight to your life, but also for their combative personalities. These combative people are necessary to eradicate emotional vampirism and abuse.

SAYING NO IS A GESTURE OF SELF-CARE!

With love,

Alexandra

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Avoidant Attachment Style, Core Wounds and How it Hurts Your Relationships.

It is simple to understand, at least I believe it is, that human beings are wired to bond and connect with others. John Bowlby cleverly found and explained to us that if in our childhood we had nonresponsive or ambivalent parents. There is a higher propensity to develop what he called an insecure attachment style. However, I want to point out that experiences of bullying at school or turbulent first romantic experiences can lead people to develop an insecure attachment style. The insecure attachment style is divide into three categories: 1. Avoidant attachment style. 2. Anxious Preoccupied attachment style, and 3. Fearful-avoidant attachment style.

Before we dive in, I want to enumerate two things:

1. When we are born, our mind is almost like a blank canvas.

2. Attachment style programming can be changed when people involve the subconscious mind in the healing process. Because our actions, words, and emotions are 97% correlated to the power of our subconscious mind over our conscious mind.

With this said, someone with an insecure attachment style learned from a young age that the world is a dangerous place, people are untrustworthy, and there is a prevalent building of assumptions around intimacy that pervasively will sabotage romantic relationships. Those assumptions around intimacy are:

  1. I’m unworthy of love. 
  2. People will use me.
  3. I can’t trust anyone. 
  4. I need to run away because if they see my true self, I will be rejected.
  5. When someone seems to be pulling away from me, it’s because I am defective. And so, I will need to chase or give more to get attention and love.

When talking about individuals who possess avoidant attachment styles, we are talking about someone who has coping mechanisms to buffering emotional pain and inflate the self to survive. Remember that, sadly, they didn’t have in the past someone who could see the child they were or who was able to respect or fulfill their needs. Babies, children require protection and a safe environment to thrive happily, needing someone to be around with enough skills to guide them through the confusing world out there.

So what are the core wounds of dismissive-avoidant individuals, and how it hurts relationships? 

  1. I will be abandoned by the ones I love. Because they didn’t have someone there for them, avoidant individuals developed strategies to survive and become the source of praise from their caregivers. So, more often than not, they will become highly successful in scientific areas or other environments that require only cerebral thinking, planning, action, and not much feeling. But the emotional side is repressed because of the programming “if I am vulnerable or I express my emotions I will be abandoned.”

  2. I am unsafe (physically or emotionally). One of the consequences of this core wound is the prevalent fight and flight mode. The fight and flight mode leads to anxiety, agitation, irritability, shame, and sadness. Although they need connection like anybody else, the deprivation from emotional attunement and possibilities to be vulnerable in the past make them hide things or run away at any threatening assumptions that can put them in a weak position. Remember that they might look charismatic and independent, but that over-independency hides a fragile self. 

  3. I am alone. Even though it is a core wound, it also represents what happens when overwhelming situations or conflicts arise in relationships. If for someone with an anxious preoccupied attachment style being alone hurts. For dismissive individuals helps them to regulate emotions and return to their normal homeostasis. 

  4. I am trapped or stuck. Ineffective communication and a tendency for nitpicking behaviors over their partners or people close to them lead to feelings of being trap or stuck in relationships. 

  5. I am misunderstood. Feeling misunderstood is dangerous in a relationship. It leads to disengagement, but also misinterpretation of someone’s behavior. Also, feeling misunderstood is connected to the fear of expressing opinions and needs. 

  6. I am stupid. Stupid is a feeling that arises when someone can’t accomplish or understand a task the right way. Or is highly critical and harsh on themselves. For avoidant folks, failure means shame, and being ashamed is also liked the feeling of being stupid. 

  7. I am defective. I am defective. I’m defective is a very pervasive core wound in avoidant individuals. The sense of defectiveness leads them to run away from people who they truly love. Once again, I would like to enhance that these individuals, the vast majority, grew up in cold environments where expressing feelings or being vulnerable was considered a weak strategy to grow up as a human being.

Bringing it all together, the combination of these core wounds is explosive for intimate relationships over time.
You might see your partner who has avoidant attachment style suffering but not accepting help. Perhaps he or she is shifting the situation, saying that you are being too sensitive or dramatizing things. Blame shifting, introducing jealously, or flirtation with others is common to gain control. Whatever is happening, never fall into the trap of taking the whole blame for the relationship falling apart.

From personal experience, I can tell you that we have to have self-control and try not to take things personally. Also, the enumerated core wounds can help you to identify, understand and help children at school if you are a teacher.

We can’t change people, heal, or save them from the fall because our responsibility is to show up consistently in relationships and intimate dynamics. Like we should do in all the areas of our lives. But as long as we are with them, we must lead the way and be there for them no matter what. Relationships are schools, so take the best of it!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Alexandra

references:

Man in The White Suit (1951) – Original Vintage Movie Poster adapted for educational purpose only. Available at: https://loveexcellence.co.uk/product/man-white-suit-1951-original-vintage-movie-poster

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Children and Education: The Emotional Understanding of Being Present for Your Child.

Although our children spend, nowadays, so much more time at childcare centers and schools, it is impossible to diminish the importance of having stable parents and households to thrive correctly to become emotionally mature.
According to research and experience of life, I can say that the prevalence of raising children with insecure attachment styles is quite high, even if you don’t mean it to happen.

Why? The answer is simple.

Parents should be emotional regulators and the prefrontal cortex of their children. Children’s prefrontal cortex will only develop between the age of 5 and 8, where you will see a major improvement in working memory, planning, selective attention, and inhibition.

Now, I believe that you also comprehend why having a good teacher at primary school will be a good ally and complement to the education provided to your children. However, sadly education system fails in this aspect when there is no regulation to see if teachers are emotionally capable of teaching or assist children and their necessities.

Returning to the subject families and attachment styles, if children prefrontal cortex starts developing after only the age of five and the parent fails to understand children’s needs and doesn’t soothe them correctly. Children will develop an insecure attachment style which will be avoidant or anxious or a mixture of both.

Children and future adults with avoidant attachment styles learned early on that they could only count on themselves. They are the kind of children who play the all-day alone in the bedroom and are apparently very independent. On the other side of the spectrum, children with an anxious attachment style require a lot of assurance and the certainty that they won’t be left alone or abandoned.

However, in different ways, both children seek love and protection from their parents or caregivers, reproducing unhealthy coping mechanisms to attain it.

When these children grow up and are adults, their relationships will be chaotic.
Avoidant individuals are moody and achievers. But also Too much rigid, possessing a higher tendency to run away from conflict letting things unresolved. Prone to fantasies while in relationships. They might miss or have a difficult time seeing the beautiful person in front of them while secretly thinking there might be someone better around the corner. Their fear of emotional engulfment and major commitments might make them run away from their partners, who will be left in profound mental confusion and heartbreak.

Avoidant individuals are very charming in the early stages of dating because of the hormonal cocktail running in their brains. But as soon this phase starts to fade away, the inconsistent behavior, the negative moods, and distrust treatment will begin because of FEAR and SHAME.

Finally, when it comes to anxious children in adulthood. They will test relationships and their partners most of the time because of abandonment fears. However, and this should be said, in most cases, they are phenomenal caregivers and very attune with other’s needs. The only problem is they neglect themselves and put others easily on the pedestal.

These attachment styles are easily drawn to each other in intimate relationships but without attunement and understanding. They might fail when the relationship power struggle stage takes place. Even if the relationship lasts, cheating might happen because they both need love in different ways. The dismissive partner loves through distance and the anxious partners through proximity.

Although insecure attachment styles can change, the reality is this can be avoided if we provide our children emotional support and attunement. More than spoil children with unnecessary presents or superficial conversations (asking if they have boyfriends and girlfriends). We must explain and guide them throughout life because our role as parents is never complete.
When your child is crying in the supermarket because he or she wants something, instead of denying his or her’s suffering, get down to his or her’s level calmly explaining that we might see many things in life, but we need only a few. If your baby is crying, don’t ignore it, don’t try to shut up the annoying crying, embrace and soothe the baby.

Also, teach your children the old ways to play with toys, permitting them to be free with responsibility. Children are born to be who they want to be, not to suppress parents demanding expectations.

The way you interact with them from a young age will be how they will interact with others in the future. So be wise, be present, with the understanding that you are responsible for the impact your children will have in the world and somebody else’s lives.

With love,

Alexandra

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He is Not your Guy, If?

Even though this might sound like an advertising quote, for men or even women in the dating realm is important they stop making assumptions about somebody else behavior. Getting real about your needs and wantings within an intimate relationship is the first step or key to move forward in the direction you want to be. Because the truth is knowing core needs or the requirements to feel safe in a relationship or by yourself isn’t only attractive. It will work as a selective process between who deserves to stay in your life from who doesn’t.

Here are some of the signs that he might not be your guy:

  1. He just ended a relationship or marriage. Even though he might tell you that he is just fine, remember that some men and even women are masters at suppressing their emotions. When someone comes out from a relationship, and if that relationship didn’t meet their most emotional or physical needs, they are thirsty for connection or validation without forgetting that everyone needs to go through the relationship grieving process. 

  2. He can’t handle your vulnerable moments. Be careful with the type of information you are sharing, but be sure to use it as a way not to test (don’t test men), but to see if he can handle your vulnerabilities and support you. By this, I mean I don’t want you to vomit your life, but I want you to bond for real, and bonding happens when you share the most vulnerable parts of yourself. If the guy withdraws, he is not your guy

  3. He is in a relationship with somebody else. It doesn’t matter if the chemistry is intense, nor that he tells you that he will leave the relationship he is already in. If he is already with someone, he is not your guy!

  4. He is hot and cold. Perhaps, in the beginning, it was super intense, and then after a while, he started to pulling away. When a man acts hot and cold in a relationship, he is ambivalent, showing clearly that, at least with you, he is not ready to have a meaningful connection. He is not your guy!

  5. He disconnects after having sex. If a man disconnects from you after having sex, he is not your guy and gave all the signs before getting involved with you. But, I want to point out something important here. Men after sex biologically are wired to disconnect. Although it seems ejaculation doesn’t influence testosterone levels, prolactin, and dopamine influence how men behave after sex. When he is pursuing, if you don’t build with that man a mental connection, when the orgasm is consummate, providing feelings of satiation and sexual gratification, he may pull away and not come back. Why? While pursuing and getting to know you, his dopamine levels are high because you are a fantasy, the drug that he wants to consume. Therefore the orgasm with you activates reward pathways in his brain (produce a similar experience of addiction and withdrawal), with dopamine dropping below baseline because of prolactin (satiation and sexual gratification hormone) production shooting up. (Kruger et al., 2003). So he may lose attraction temporarily but feel attracted to other women because the biological cycle begins again. During this period, you shouldn’t chase a man but let him go and live your life. If he does not come back, don’t blame him or yourself. He was not your guy!

  6. He is still building his living purpose. Maybe he just finished university, changed or lost his job, or didn’t found his ground yet. Either case, a man in these scenarios isn’t ready to settle down, even though he might enjoy your company or want to connect. Once again, men are wired to provide and protect, and this is intimately correlated with having a successful career or at least stable enough to receive you in his life. 

  7. He isn’t individualized from his family. If a man doesn’t have boundaries from his family’s opinions and can’t stand next to you, he is not your guy and will be a painful experience. Our family opinion is important, but how far is it reasonable? Do you want to go through it knowing that perhaps having his support will happen on rare occasions? Or people outside and their opinions will always have too much impact on your relationship?

To conclude this article, I don’t want you to blame men for their actions or yourself for choosing what some might consider wrong for you. Instead, I suggest emotional education, self-discovering, and the understanding that life is always moving forward. Life gives all of us, the ones who want to accept it, the opportunity to upgrade our beliefs and behaviors as a way to live accordingly to our authentic selves.

Women need to feel safe and protect by the men in their lives. However, they should let the right guy come in, and most of the time, that guy isn’t the one who gives stomach butterflies the right way.

Take good care of yourself!

Alexandra

References:

Kruger, T. H., Haake, P., Chereath, D., Knapp, W., Janssen, O. E., Exton, M. S., … & Hartmann, U. (2003). Specificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in menJournal of Endocrinology177(1), 57-64.

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Silence is a Lie!

May is the month of mental health awareness, and I couldn’t let this month vanish away without writing something about it.

I will use the quote of Jordan B. Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist, as it saves within it an important aspect of lives as human beings. Which is:


“When you have something to say, silence is a lie!”.

How many of us ever thought about it? How many of us had something to say but didn’t talk about it because of fear? How many of you silently covered injustices made by others. Or worst, did let others suffering injustices because of what could be the consequences of pointing out the truth?

Shutting up injustices, indignations, or diminish your voice as a way to please others is detrimental to mental health. Silence is a lie and can kill you. Why do you think that every day we see in newspapers cases of adolescents and adults killing themselves? Are they crazy? What leads someone to take away life as the last option of surviving the chaos?

When you have something to say, silence is a lie!

When you don’t allow someone to be who they are and express their needs, silence is a lie!

When you let somebody else opinions interfere with your living objectives, projects, and emotional well-being, silence is a lie!

When you nod your head like a puppet or ram saying yes when you want to say no, silence is a lie!

When you leave someone in a vacuum because you don’t know how to deal with their’s emotions and vulnerabilities, your silence is a lie!

When you let your bosses, teachers, intimate partners, family members, or communities get away with their abusive/toxic behaviors, silence is a lie!

Someone who wants to please everyone lives an entire life in constant disappointment. FACT!

WHAT IS YOUR VOICE? WHERE IS YOUR VOICE?

Throughout our lives, we will find people willing to sabotage, criticize or diminish the actions or words of others. It doesn’t matter. Why should it matter? Why should it matter for you if someone decides to disappear or pull away because he or she couldn’t handle your truth? This world has around 7 billion people living in it, and you can be sure there are plenty of them who would give anything to be with and cherish you.

Is your pain real? TALK ABOUT IT! Are you suffering because someone or something hurt you deeply? TALK ABOUT IT!

Mental health is a serious topic that we shouldn’t joke around. Mental health problems can happen at any age, and it is necessary awareness and more education about it. For example, kids and young adults spend most of their daily hours at school teachers. As teachers, it isn’t our job to educate ourselves continuously? And therefore, intervene in time and accordingly to support students emotionally? What is our role near families and communities in general?

The main message of this article is one:

When you silence yourself, silence is a lie! And your silence is the perpetrator of unlimited injustices and mental health issues not only for you but also for people in your community like you, men and women who want to express themselves, living their lives and dreams to the fullest.

With love,

Alexandra

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Decoding Women: Love, Timing and Why You Will Lose Us.

Ouso Escrever

I’m not the kind of woman who likes to gives a sugar coat to anything. Because the more we avoid reality, the more we will fall into unnecessary traps that can lead us to traumatic emotional experiences. My personal opinion is that men and women are experiencing what we might call relationships à la carte, which for some individuals, aren’t necessarily a good thing. But many engage in these relational dynamics in hopes that the other person will change.

The followed article is for emotionally healthy women and the guys who love us. It is an explanation why time matters for women and that we fall in love faster than you.

Enjoy!

  1. We like to hear from you every day. No, we don’t like it when you sleep with us and then disappear for days or weeks, giving us superficial excuses. When we have sex with you, we already are…

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75 Years Of Cher

What can we say about her? The fashion icon, the athlete, the singer, the actress, but after all, the resilient woman who turns today 75. 

Cher possesses within her and her long career an important and clear message. It doesn’t matter how much time it will take, as long as you know what you want and where you want to be. We are capable of everything. She had bankruptcy after her divorce from Sonny Bonno and in the early ’80s. She was married to the singer Gregg Allman for only one year, and yes, she had many relationships with younger men, and most of them well know in the public scene. Such as Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise. 

However, and even defining herself as a shy person, the reality is she became the first woman on television wearing fancy clothing showing the belly bottom. But also the first woman in the music industry who had a movie clip censored by MTV. Who doesn’t remember the famous clip for the song “If I Could Turn Back Time”? 

Living in this “phenomenal” era where everyone is editing their photos to attract superficial attention and validation, Cher is the personification of what self-confidence and beauty mean. 
The example of that you might lose everything in your life, but there will always be one opportunity waiting, which will catapult you to your path, to your correct direction. 

Everyone said that her career wouldn’t last. Everyone laughed when they saw her name on a movie screen. But she is here and still recording good music at her age. 

Like she said: “No matter what people say about you, and people have said some pretty terrible things about me, you just don’t give up.” 

Life has highs and lows, but never gives something that you can’t handle. So if someone can’t handle your low and weakest moments, that person can’t be part of your victories. Nor should you stay longer in situations that will only deplete or hurt you. 

At the end of the day, girl, thanks a lot for being my fashion inspiration. But also someone who stands out from the crownd without fear of speaking or pointed out what is wrong. That’s class. That’s a woman in her pure and brutal nature. 

And yes, Cher! “A man is not a necessity, a man is a luxury.” 😉 

With Love,

Alexandra

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Let’s Talk About Financial Abuse And Why It Matters.

“Keep in mind that a director can be held personally liable for actions taken by the company.”

Be it in intimate relationships or company environments, financial and power abuse is the daily bread of many people’s lives. It is serious, detrimental, impactful, and can lead to suicide if the person doesn’t have the necessary support in all life’s spheres to recover from pressure. While it is true that the way we deal with difficulties reveals a lot about our personality, it is also true that law and the system itself aren’t formed to protect people, quite the opposite.

Financial abuse is a form of control where someone deliberately feels entitled to interfere with their partner’s or company’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources (Adams, Sullivan, Bybee, Greeson, 2008). It also can involve behaviors in terms to sabotage and exploit financial resources, including employment. (Postumus, Plummer, Stylianou, 2016).

The literature is rich in defining what financial and power abuse is. But why are social and law systems lazy at protecting the victims?

The answer to the above question is simple to answer. Because and according to Braaf & Barrett Meyering (2010), economic abuse is considered one of the most hidden or subtle forms of violence. So the easiness to make CEOs responsible for company bankruptcy or label someone as financially dependent on their partner is quite prevalent as the abuse runs behind the scenes. And in companies matters, the abusers know that they will never be responsible for their actions, but the CEOs will. CEOs and directors are the legal faces of their companies for better or for worst.

As Valentine & Breckenride (2016) defended, financial abusers deliberately cause housing insecurities by not making rent or mortgage payments. But also, according to Breckenridge, Walden, & Flax (2014), interfere at workforce or company decisions sabotaging prosperity and the well-functioning. Or by making it impossible for family members to access education.

O’Reilly and Chatman (2020) pointed out that society tends to follow, enable and believe in dangerous individuals to organizations, institutions, and countries. Firstly, because of the misconception between what is a Transformational Leader and a Narcissistic leader. And secondly, because those individuals tend to be so charismatic that they can inspire others to pursue a collective goal even if it is a dangerous goal. However, companies can stop attracting these individuals by changing how they conduct interviews, creating what the authors called Structured Behavioral Interviews that focus on behaviors that reveal a candidate’s true intentions and character traits (entitlement, grandiosity, integrity, hostility). Those interviews also should include discussion of past experience because success isn’t a synonym of “clean path”.

“Once you blow the whistle, you’ve lost your career; you’re going to be deposed and dragged into lawsuits. This is going to take over your life.” by Dale Harley

Harley’s quote (2020), without referring to it, is talking about what you suffer when others enable what you are calling out. Enablers can be divide into three groups, according to Greenberg (2020). Enablers who take delight in ruining other people’s lives. Enablers who are vulnerable and don’t possess the strength to voice their objections and finally the ones who are on their way to becoming a predator themselves.

Let’s use now the enabling behavior in intimate relationships and companies. When you disclose to a close friend that you have been suffering in your relationship, your partner is withholding information and assets. But the other person invalidates or denies your reality by saying everyone in relationships lives that. That’s enabling and perpetuating the abuse.

If you are CEO of one company trying to recovering the company from a backseat, but someone external and without legal powers is acting as the CEO and doing negotiations at your back with the approval and alliance of others, that’s enabling. This enabling and abuse of power is what leads every day many companies and entire families to bankruptcy.

I was there, and I know how it feels! It is highly shameful, repugnant, and detrimental to mental health. It is unbelievable when governments want your company to pay absurd amounts of taxes, but in return, offer no protection against lawsuits. It is surreal when one judge says that everyone can cultivate the lands of your company. And use the water irrigation system in it because they want you to hire a lawyer, spend a bunch of years, money, health in the courts defending your LEGITIMATE rights.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Never have afraid to blow the whistle. Yes, we may lose our job, our “position”. But as long as you have health and your whole body functioning, WE CAN START OVER AGAIN!

Financial abuse is genderless, and in some cases, can have more serious consequences in men as they tend not to verbalize what’s going on. Or to have a net of sources where they can ask for help.

Signs of Financial abuse in intimate relationships according to Zeiderman (2021):

  1. Withholding money from you or requiring you to ask for money
  2. Controlling whether or not you can work
  3. Making sure that you spend down the money you earn on all the family expenses, but they save the money they earn in an account that you can’t access.
  4. Showing interest in your retirement funds or other funds more than normal.
  5. Insisting on knowing how every dollar or euro you earn is spent.



    I would add:

  6. Force you to work in the family business without pay?
  7. Refuse to pay bills for accounts that are in your name in order to ruin your credit?
  8. Asking you to be his or her’s guarantor without letting you know the conditions of the loan. Or access to any kind of information.

As I mentioned recently to someone, always be sure to take care of yourself and your assets by seeking professional advice in the “shadows”. It doesn’t matter what they do or not. What matters here is YOU and YOUR FUTURE.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Adams, A. E., Sullivan, C. M., Bybee, D., & Greeson, M. R. (2008). Development of the scale of economic abuse. Violence Against Women, 14, 563–588. doi:10.1177/1077801208315529

Braaf, R., & Barrett Meyering, I. (2010). Seeking security: Promot- ing women’s economic wellbeing following domestic violence (pp. 1–131). Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, Aus- tralia Dept. of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indi- genous Affairs.

Breckenridge, J., Walden, I., & Flax, G. (2014). Staying home leaving violence evaluation: Final report (pp. 1–149). Sydney, Australia: Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW.

Postmus, J. L., Plummer, S. B., & Stylianou, A. M. (2016). Measuring economic abuse in the lives of survivors: Revising the Scale of Economic Abuse. Violence Against Women, 22, 692–703. doi:10. 1177/1077801215610012

Valentine, K., & Breckenridge, J. (2016). Responses to family and domestic violence: Supporting women? Griffith Law Review, 1–15. doi:10.1080/10383441.2016.1204684

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The Art of Oral Sex: Beyond Excitement an Opportunity to Bond.

As Diamond (1998) described, humans are a highly sexed species compared to other mammals, and perhaps, for this reason, oral sex might be a product of just having pleasure. However, it is well known that in our era, giving and receiving oral sex gives not only a special touch to intimate relationships but also can be an adaptative function. And here is something interesting to share and to know, the “recurrent risk of sperm competition“.

The “recurrent risk of sperm competition” means that the more a man finds his woman attractive, and therefore other men can try to lure her away from the relationship, the more he will want to give her cunnilingus.

Also, when a man is away from his partner for a long period, he tends to ejaculate great amounts of sperm to prevent the risk of raising children from somebody else. Men have always been concerned about making sure that the offspring were theirs because looking at our species evolution and knowing that women have one limited number of eggs to fertilize. For evolutionary and survival reasons, we, women, tend to seek the best partner possible to assure that our offspring will survive with the best possible genes.

Humans are animals. So, Pham and Schackelford (2013) gave us great insight that some human behaviors have an evolutionary function be they conscious or not. However, and as a woman, I can talk. We connect with men throughout our minds and conversations. Sex is what I describe as the strawberry we give to them if they fulfill our intimacy needs.

Sexuality and the act of sex itself are present in our lives since a very early stage. In reality, all of us are the fruits of a sexual act between two people. So why we still have shame talking about sex in an educative and propose way? Why do we try to ridicule the benefits of being able to talk about sex?

Oral sex is more than perform sex out of the standard norm, as cunnilingus or fellatio preludes more than the simply vagina or penis stimulation with the mouth. It requires trust and the understanding of your partner’s body. It implies to be present at the moment, knowing that the clitoris is made with the same tissue of the penis gland but with more than twice of the pleasurable nerve endings that the penis possesses. So do you know how it feels when you left out women’s clitoris from the equation? Can you imagine yourself having sex without your penis? Well, we can’t have sex with you without our clitoris.

How many movies or television series can you remember out of the bat presenting scenes of cunnilingus or fellatio performances?

And do you know why those movies featuring cunnilingus scenes rate NC-17 (NC-17 No children under 17 admitted)and fellatio only NC-13 (No children under 13 admitted)? 

Because male sexuality is the norm, female sexuality is the extreme. Interestingly, this leads me to another dimension. The dimension of how ashamed women can be about sex when encountering a partner, having afraid to tell them preferences and tastes in bed.

Oral sex and sex itself is an art, the art of knowing your partner and embrace him or her as your person. To provide oral sex requires from you the ability to know yourself, the capacity to soothe the anxiety of which sexual encounter involves. It is the anticipation of something greater, the anticipation of your climax and surrender of the idyllic mundane pleasures. “Let’s fuck” should never be understood as a detrimental invitation but as a normal reaction from the person who loves you and wants to lavish you in his or her’s love. Dirty talk in the bedroom or outside of it is the pure environment for flourishing love. The ultimate betrayal isn’t that you shared your body with other people, but you involved your life in secrecy, leaving outside the person you shouldn’t.

The purpose of this article, like many others before, is to provide education and emotional freedom. As a woman and human, I love sex, and I do talk openly about it, but I don’t engage in sexual filtration or whatsoever if I don’t like the person. Or I don’t reveal my intimate bedroom matters because what involves another person should remain in the realms of couplehood privacy.

Allow yourself to experience the best sex and life possible, and make sure that you choose the right person to do that with you. More than chasing dangerous excitement or amazing bodies, look for someone who can mirror your necessities by assisting. And “wear your shoes” in times of need.

The art of oral sex is the same as having a fulfilling relationship with your partner. It requires the whole of you to make it work. But also the skill sets to put aside the whimsical industry of self-love because you just know what and who you are when dealing with others. Always remember this.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Diamond, J. (1998). Why Is Sex Fun? : Basic Books.

Pham, M. N., & Shackelford, T. K. (2013). Oral sex as infidelity-detection. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(6), 792-795. dos: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.11.034

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Brain Functioning and Healing Connection: The Subconscious Mind

Grief is the acute pain that accompanies loss. For days, weeks, months, or even years, after losing someone. We may wake up in the morning with a heavy sensation of sadness. In reality, this is your conscious mind receiving information from the subconscious parts of your brain that you need to heal from the traumatic experience you have endured.

However, it is important to clarify what is the conscious and the subconscious mind.

When we talk about the conscious mind, we referring to all of the thoughts, feelings, and wishes of which we are aware. But also about our mental processing, the ability to talk and think rationally.

Relatively to the subconscious mind, we are talking about a different animal. And a new whole dimension of our mental processes. Which can give us rich information on how and why we are the way we are.

Think about your subconscious mind as a huge memory bank account with unlimited capacity to store information. Let’s say that by the age of 30, you have saved in your brain more than one hundred times the content of one entire encyclopedia. With this said, the subconscious mind exists to make sure that we will act or talk always the same way, using the same programmatic, be it good or bad. That’s why hypnosis can be so effective as a treatment to heal emotional injuries or detrimental behaviors which affect our happiness and satisfaction with life.

In reality, love it or not, some subconscious parts of our brains are dangerously animalistic, leading people to make decisions that they will regret later. Did you ever love someone who said “I love you” one day, and in the very next day, broke up with you? I can tell you that the majority of times, it has nothing to do with you. But with subconscious strategies and programming that he or she use to cope with romantic relationships. We call it attachment style injury. Or in other words, at the conscious level, you are a good fit, but their’s subconscious mind signalized you as a threat to their safety.

Everything we do is physiological because our subconscious fears and desires drive our motivations and actions through emotions. (Think about it!)

Your conscience knows what you should do and can guide you. But the subconscious mind, without rewiring will sabotage your conscious efforts.

I have done hypnosis therapy in the last two decades. Yes, I did an impressive and solid work of self-knowledge because I always wanted to be as healthy (emotionally) as possible and deal with others properly. People these days end relationships because THEY DON’T KNOW THEMSELVES! They don’t know how to navigate the different stages of one relationship and don’t understand or want to accept that frustration is part of it, seeking “one notch on the bedpost of life after another.” To avoid frustration, loneliness, and emotional pain, like they are avoiding the plague.

Now, returning to grief and loss, like many other feelings we might experience in our lives, knowing and understanding that our subconscious messages can help us enhance our lives. Avoiding the mental construct imposed by the rules of society is the first step to make everything clear to your mental and emotional needs. Remember that our social environment doesn’t need our brain needs. Here is something of what you can do:

  1. Allow your feelings to wash over you, and “sit” them for a while to start the healing process. 

  2. Honor and replace what you have lost. Replacing loss requires awareness of your needs and willingness to reach out and enrich your life with a brand new environment.

     
  3. Learn how to value life. When we lose someone, something very important to us, this experience will also vanish away whatever is false and not serving us anymore.
    Throughout the pain, we might become more authentic. And we will be able to honor the feeling and person we lost by living our best possible life. 

  4. Avoid fast recipes and common pieces of advice. Instead, educate yourself, and remember that everyone and every brain is different. When someone says you have to move on, this should be a red flag for you because this inoffensive advice carries a lack of empathy and awareness to look at you. 

I will share in the future more material about the subconscious mind. But for now, I want you to think about this:

“Many of us may feel baffled as to why our relationships seem to start so strong but then quickly fall apart. Out of sheer frustration, we may even end up eschewing relationships altogether, thinking perhaps we are just not “lucky in love.”
What we likely don’t realize is that we may be subconsciously sabotaging our relationships through a pattern of unhealthy attractions and behaviors that we aren’t even aware of.”

References:

Pileggi Pawelski, S & Pawelski, J. (2018). Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. New York: TarcherPerigee.

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The Nightmare Maybe

We can translate the “maybe” into intermittent reinforcement. Intermittent reinforcement can be described as you receive a cookie one day and then something sour. In this way, people will be inside a loop where their’s brains will try to rescue the feeling of receiving the cookie. That’s women and men sometimes remain so long in the maybe box, waiting and hoping for that feeling, in the beginning, to come back. 

I know the alluring beginning of what can be a future relationship is very seductive. But sometimes, the butterflies you feel in your stomach are more about terror than excitement. Maybe there is something aloof about him or her, an attractive mystery. Perhaps they talk with you about a brilliant future together, but then they disappear for a couple of days and never respond to your messages or phone calls. Or what was a brilliant future is now a massive MAYBE in your face. 

We shouldn’t wait for the MAYBE to become a YES because of four fundamental things: 

1. Wait for someone who isn’t sure it is equivalent to buy a shining house on the outside but with structural problems that will be hard to fix. 
When you want to buy a house, a car, do you settle for the “maybe” and “I’m not sure?” I don’t think so. 

2. If someone isn’t sure about you, you should be the one who is ready to acknowledge that not only you deserve better. But also, you have the power to walk away from something that will be painful. 

3. Avoid the silence cult. When you silent yourself, you allow bad behavior to happen. Stringing someone along or giving false hopes that something else might happen in the future is bad and unacceptable behavior. It doesn’t matter if we are living in the digital social era. We are still human beings. Human beings need to connect, attach or bond, so normalizing toxic behavior is against our biology. 

4. The more we educate ourselves. The less we will tolerate bullshit (sorry for the expression) from others. 
Western culture in the last two, three decades feeds the sense that everyone should tolerate everything from others. Like everything is ok, and no punishment should be in place. The law system doesn’t protect citizens properly. More and more cases of corruption occur every day. And finally, Intimate relationships are also the reflection of the chaotic atmosphere where a person is discarded whimsically like never before. You don’t fulfill the game, the perfect image. You are out of the league. Simple as that. 
So to avoid this altogether, educate yourself for real, not with random self-help books, but with scientific literature about human psychology, brain functioning, and finally, be yourself! 

Between grey or sunny days, always be sure to choose what is correct for your stability and emotional well-being.  

With Love,

Alexandra

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Why Can’t You Get Over Them? Let’s talk!

As I wrote in the past, breakups are difficult. I’ve been there. You have been there too. But if to some getting over someone or the end of an intimate relationship is relatively easy. For others, it may take years or never fully recover from it.

When a relationship ends, one of the most tumultuous aspects of the loss is that you think you are doing fine, but then, out of a sudden, feelings of confusion, disgust, fear, anger, and pain start to daunt your mind. It doesn’t matter if you were in a turbulent relationship or not. When the breakup occurs and if you didn’t have the necessary closure of that chapter. If you didn’t give yourself the real explanation you needed, sooner or later, all the unresolved feelings will resurface.

Why? Because something, someone, or your subconscious scripts (from past experiences and childhood) are triggering your brain to ask for resolution. And this is why I am a true advocate that women and even men should ask for professional guidance if the loss was heavy and impactful to emotional well-being.

Every relationship is impactful to our brains and neurons’ functioning. Now, imagine that you were in a relationship where your needs aren’t being met. Do you have an idea of how this is detrimental to your brain? How addictive can it be because you were there all the time trying to get “oxygen” to save the relationship and to be seen? Even if the relationship ended because it had to end. It is incredibly disorienting to go from a state where you have the stimulus of having someone to not having it anymore.

Now that everything is over, and even if you had enough time to recognize that you are better without that relationship. Your brain is still figuring out how to decrease all the stimulation it had become used to like you were weaning from psychotropic substances.

Everything that you experienced or are still experiencing is normal and ok to feel, instead of blaming yourself and try to rescue the blissful moments portraiting your ex as the one. Remember who you are and where you want to be. Remember that you have control over your emotions, and your worthiness doesn’t depend on how your ex feels about you. I’m also talking about self-knowledge and self-compassion.

Just know that you’re not alone. And here are some things to avoid in the future: 

  1. Be careful with things such as “the one” or “soul mates”;
  2. It doesn’t matter if you are 32 or 52. Give yourself the peace you deserve because your person is somewhere. But first, you have to be your person.
  3. Unfortunately, relationships can end because they can’t love you as you deserve or respond to it at your level.
  4. Take charge of your emotions, and don’t afraid to be upfront about your needs and desires. 
  5. Feeling alone is okay.
  6. Be gentle with yourself and remember that time isn’t a good indicator in your grieving process, but how you feel is. 
  7. Take responsibility for your healing process because the onus is on you to revolve remaining anxiety, frustration, and fear. 

Remember, WE HAVE TO FEEL TO HEAL! And your brain can be your best friend or your worst enemy!

With love,

Alexandra

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For Women Who Love Men With a Narcissistic Parent.

There is plenty of information and disinformation about narcissism, but when it comes to information about how it affects others, scarcity is relevant. Narcissistic people use others as objects, and their children, sons or daughters, are no exception.

As I explained in the previous article, sons, and daughters of narcissistic parents were never seen. They were tools used for validation and taught that love is conditional, no matter what they provide. So to feel, at least safe, they should rely only on themselves facing a lifetime of self-doubt and anxieties, struggling to feel loved.

Educators, parents, and society should understand that no children deserve to experience the burden of being the receiving ending of frustration and emotional demands from adults. In reality, children are born free, which down the road, requires parents and an educational system in tune with their emotional – developmental needs.

Can narcissistic or emotionally unavailable parents provide it? No! Cases of depression, chronic anxiety, substance abuse, and emotional instability (development of attachment issues such as avoidant, fearful-avoidant, and anxious) among men and women are related to difficult upbringing, even though they tend to describe it as idyllic.

When reaching adulthood, and need to bond with other people. Men who have narcissistic mothers or fathers will face great difficulties with emotional intimacies even if the wounds are likely layered and not always easy to spot. It will affect the quality and prosperity of intimate relationships. Sexual dysfunctioning, womanizing behavior, or eroticized rage is very common.

A narcissistic relationship is equal to a psychological possession, and women who love men with narcissistic mothers should know that at some level, the man they love belongs to his mother.

If you are a woman who loves a man with a narcissistic parent, here’s what you should expect:

  1. Your boyfriend or husband might feel guilty and obligated because he has to choose between you and his mother all the time. 
  2. You might feel like you are the other woman, mostly when he doesn’t protect you or stand by your side.
  3. He is overly insecure, struggles with self-esteem, and is extremely sensitive to invalidation or criticism.
  4. He Suffers from toxic loyalty binds towards his mother and family of origin, which is detrimental to the new forging bonds. 
  5. Overly concerned about appearances and impression management.
  6. Because he was manipulated and emotionally abandoned by his mother or other narcissistic parent, he fears being engulfed and controlled by you. This engulfment and controlling fear may make him decline your sexual advances or have sex just when he wants and needs. 
  7. He might see or perceive oral sex as the swallow of the self. Losing an erection or not wanting it at all. 
  8. He is a high-achiever person, self-sabotager, or both. 
  9. You might feel that you are walking on eggshells and constantly editing how you think/talk because he might not fully understand your feelings.
  10. You see and sense that your boyfriend or partner has no clear boundaries letting others cross the line more often than not, resulting if you call it out, you are the one who is wrong and the one to blame. 
  11. There is in the air the feeling that, sooner or later, you will be discarded for no apparent reasonable reason. Your body might notice and give you all the signs such as digestive issues and hormonal changes, trouble with memories and speech, muscle tightness, and gut reactions. 
  12. The existence of a hidden agenda is always on the table, and you will notice it. The hidden agenda can be getting married. Or have a child as a form to please the family and receive their validation.
  13. Your love will never be enough looking unfamiliar, and your kindness seems unnatural to your boyfriend, partner, or husband.
  14. It will be noticeable that the man you love can’t relax, always trying to find something else to make him or you busy.

More than look at the signs. Every woman in this sort of situation should ask herself if her’s emotional needs are being met and if the man she loves is aware of the whole situation willing to seek therapy to heal. Learn how to build healthy boundaries with other people. Learn how to say no or rebuilt a new versus stronger image of himself as a whole individual.

Some sons of narcissistic parents become narcissists themselves, and for this reason, they tend to feel good with the abusive dynamic, never seeking professional help to heal. But the price they pay is higher than any achievement because the inner loneliness and emotional void will always be present.

Sadly, the validation and perpetuation of this scenario leave a trail of emotionally broken individuals who are constantly searching for the “perfect one” or “the one” as a way to fulfill one void. When, in truth, diving deep into hidden traumatic events with the guidance of a good therapist or trained professional in narcissistic abuse. Would solve, heal, and set free these men from pain while reprogramming their subconscious paradigms and old painful stories around intimacy, women, and love.

Never remain in situations if it can damage your core values and worthiness. Love is a school where you have to be brutally honest ready to give and receive lessons because only this way will growth happen.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Adams, K.A. (2011). Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners.Deerfield, Fl: Health Communications Inc.

Adams, K.M. (2007) When He’s Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment. New York: Fireside.

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Son’s of Narcissistic Mothers: What Should You Know about it?

Today’s article is about one of the most controversial topics in our society, the relationship between a narcissistic mother and her son, how it will affect a boy’s emotional development and ability to maintain healthy relationships with other people, including future female partners. This article will also be part, partially, of my Master’s thesis next year because the scientific work that I am already writing is about emotional abuse and how it impacts our daily lives.

I hope the knowledge that I will expose here can help as many men as possible. To get out of toxic relationships and also breaks bonds that prevent them from experience life truly. And freely.

As I mentioned in previous articles, I don’t want you to use this information to call people out. But for self-protection and education, instrumentalizing yourself with the necessary tools to navigate and set free from toxic drama finding peace with you and others. Narcissism is real, one real form of abuse, which can leave you scars for the rest of your life. Also, once again should be mentioned that just because someone is a narcissist. That doesn’t mean he or she has NPD (Narcissistic personality disorder).

Now, think about this quote:

A Healthy World would Start with a Healthy Mother.

then,

What is the role of a healthy mother?

Parenting behaviors have been identified as one of the key mechanisms through which parents directly influence children’s development and wellbeing. For this reason, a healthy mother will teach and raise us to face the world. She is warm, nurturing, but will also set the necessary boundaries for our development, letting us know what is ok to accept or not from others. She might not be perfect at times, but she intuitively knows that a child is not her property but rather an independent individual.

However, when we are talking about a narcissistic mother, the situation is different. Talking about narcissistic mothers is the synonym of neglect, enmeshment, idealization, and criticism. Triangulation, seduction, envy, control, shame, because she wants to be the center of her’s son life, using him as a source of validation to fulfill her’s unrealistic needs for high regard and admiration.

What is the damage a narcissistic mother can do to her son?

Be you the son of a narcissistic father or mother. You never felt loved for who you are but instead for everything you could provide to your parents, but talking about men who are sons of narcissistic mothers. You learned to silence your needs, feelings and wants by accommodating only the wishes of your mother. Whose handicap (silence) became a nightmare in your adulthood relationships. Perhaps you self-sacrificed your boundaries feeling now resentful towards every woman, thinking they will use you as your mother did.

In reality, perhaps you heard from your mother that women are out there to use you. Or they only want your money. Like it or not, this constant talking is now print in the subconscious/unconscious mind leading you to self-prophecies by sabotaging even healthy relationships or pushing away women who love you as you deserve.

Son’s of narcissistic mothers feel unsafe to express their feelings. Therefore having been manipulated, emotionally abandoned will avoid intimacy (something that he wants the most), prompting his partner to demand more closeness which will escalate his apprehension and emotional barriers.

Some sons of narcissistic mothers may develop or become narcissists themselves. Others might become people pleasers. Or repeat their maternal relationship with women who are demanding, controlling, and abusive. He might partner with older women, addicts, or narcissists because this way will be able to feel the same intoxicating familiarity of his mother’s bond, ending relationships with a healthy woman out of nowhere just because his mother is unhappy with his choice. A healthy woman will be a threat to his mother and a competition source that she wants to avoid.

How can a man who is the son of a narcissistic mother heal?

  1. Recognizing that he is worthy of love.
  2. Learning how to set boundaries and protect his intimate relationships from external attacks and nosy people. 
  3. Learning how to prioritize his partner and protect her.
  4. Protecting his mind and rewrite a new paradigm about intimacy and relationships.
  5. Accepting that narcissism exists and now that he is an adult, he has the power to say no and decline what goes against his core values. 
  6. Rebuilding his self-esteem by also accepting that there are in the world good women who will love him for who he is. 
  7. Knowing that if his mother doesn’t accept his partner, that’s her problem. 
  8. Love is giving and receiving.
  9. He is an individual and deserves to feel safe.
  10. Seeking professional help without feeling shame. Because at the end of the day, he is a human needing help. 

Now, to conclude, I am leaving some words of love for these men. As a woman and teacher, I understand how much society and roles teach us not to express ourselves adequately. This reality is harsh for men being our duty to change this reality as soon as possible.

Men are also targets of abusive environments, more than we know. And today, I brought to the table one of the reasons and one of the situations that we should be aware of as the more we teach, the more reality will change.

You don’t need to suffer in silence. You can trust people, but you have to pay attention to people’s red flags by setting boundaries. Real boundaries. Allow yourself to heal by seeking professional help with a psychologist trained in narcissistic abuse because, with time, someone healthy and stable will appear in your life.

It will be hard but will be worthy as you deserve it!

With love,

Alexandra

DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL CARE. PLEASE CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR GUIDANCE SPECIFIC TO YOUR CASE.

References:

Adams, K.A. (2011). Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners.Deerfield, Fl: Health Communications Inc.

Adams, K.M. (2007) When He’s Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment. New York: Fireside.

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Forgiveness? Think Twice Before You Decide to Forgive

It was my prerequisite since the beginning of this site to bring education and knowledge to my readers. I don’t care about how many followers I have. I do care that those who are here reading my writing receive the best possible information, and with it, they will be able to choose better while enriching their lives.

As a teacher and woman, it is easy to understand that we face a moment in our lives that everything seems confusing, and almost everyone is throwing away words such as forgiveness. Or the typical sentence, “You have to forgive and love yourself to move on!”.

I admit that forgiveness possesses a powerful force of healing and reconciliation. But before deciding to forgive or not, I invite and challenge you to think about something very important.
Forgiveness has been treated as a panacea or key solution for moving on towards the happy ending. Suggesting that if we can’t forgive, there is something wrong with us, or it is vindictive self-protection and victimhood. These assumptions only dismiss people’s feelings, the pain and trauma they might feel, and to be honest, it is a shaming attitude.

There is nothing wrong with you if you can’t forgive. In reality, taking the time to process all the information is not only healthy. But also intelligent and empowering. Forgiveness isn’t the best remedy in some situations and can make you literally sick. Be wary of people, articles, and books who talk about forgiveness as the key to everything.

Here’s something to think about forgiveness: 

  1. Urging forgiveness might ignore the fact that you were hurt, and for this reason, before thinking about it, let other emotions such as anger and sadness arise. You are a human being, not a machine. Keep this in your mind. 

  2. Encouraging someone to let go or forgive before the natural process of processing human emotions is hurtful and can be damaging. Suppressing your feelings can lead to depression and physical disturbances long term. 

  3. Advising people to forgive or “move on” when they experienced a recent injury. It is dismissive and minimizes the pain felt. Promoting forgiveness without understanding and shim the other person’s shoes is hurtful and harmful. 

  4. Don’t advise forgiveness or letting go if someone has suffered any kind of injustice profoundly because it will be ignorant, suspect, and disrespectful. Forgiveness ignores some of the most profound injuries of our time and, in these specific cases, comes from people who don’t mirror their actions. Should we forgive an abuser or someone who destroyed through their actions an entire family? 

  5. Did you know that advising forgiveness can ignore the power of confronting an offender? Calling someone out means that you will stop, in most cases, the perpetuation of injustices. And this is one of the biggest problems of our current social culture, the culture of harmful silence. 

Forgiveness is powerful but before advising it to anyone or even you decide to forgive someone, think about the diversity of injuries and how you or the other person you are counseling is feeling. We need to call people out and stop being a society of conniving where in the blink of a blind eye, people are hurt constantly. The only way development and social equality will happen by starting to call people out because of their bad actions. But also by stepping into the role of being an active citizen. And this can’t happen by silent your voice. 

With love,

Alexandra

DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL CARE. PLEASE CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR GUIDANCE SPECIFIC TO YOUR CASE.

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Movie: The Girl On The Train – How Narcissistic Abuse Change Our Reality

In the past, as long as I can remember, I wrote three articles about narcissism. From them, I could understand how easily misunderstood and used in vain is the word narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder these days. To clarify,

Not all people who have evident and harmful traits of narcissism carry necessarily narcissistic personality disorder. Also, the idea that narcissists are in love with themselves and looking at the mirror all the time, nothing could be farther from the truth.

In reality, behind the charming independent facade, they perceive themselves as weak, not good enough, profoundly insecure, empty, which leads them to abuse/use other people as sources of narcissistic supply, seeking validation from the outside world.

Even though narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder can overlap by sharing common traits, someone with higher narcissistic traits may be mildly self-centered at times, feeling regret for their actions, seeking power, money, and prestige. But one individual with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) possesses a much more ingrained, pervasive pattern of toxicity that affects their’s and other’s lives. However, at the end of the day, both can be very damaging. Your role should be not pathologizing them but educate and protect yourself from these dynamics. Everyone these days claims to have a narcissist in their lives, which is pretty much the truth. Even so, shifting your attention to what really matters, YOU, Is the key to heal altogether, all affected spheres in your life.

Narcissistic abuse is real and rising. Like psychologists and psychiatrist’s community claims it is the twenty-one-century pandemic. Narcissists and people with NPD are also responsible for more work-related lawsuits because they have trouble taking criticism. The same happens when it comes to intimate relationships. They aren’t good at it at all, choosing their partners based on what they have to offer rather than what the person represents as a whole individual.

Many reported cases of “difficult” divorces with financial losses, mind games, gaslighting, cognitive dissonance, and many other aspects are part of these deadly toxic relationships, which can kill you literally!

No one is born a narcissist. Narcissism is built by traumatic and damaging events during upbringing. Existence of narcissistic parents that use their children as a supply fountain, excessive praise from a young age, etc. Supporting this evidence, studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging could identify that the Insular cortex (anterior insula responsible for emotions regulation) and cerebral cortex (thinking and reasoning part of the brain) of narcissists had abnormalities.

The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train is a 2016 American mystery psychological thriller film that explains how relationships with narcissists or even sociopaths can be detrimental to mental health and life in general. Victims are lead to believe that they are defective and not good enough. The psychological and financial abuse over the years is the usual trap to maintain them inside captivity. Emily Blunt did a great job in this movie by portraying faithfully what happens in extreme cases and how the victims are discreditable before society and close people. Yet, Justin Theroux, on the other hand, gives all the signals we should be aware of when dealing with people close to us. How the lack of empathy, entitlement. And an over-inflated sense of greatness and importance can prejudice the lives of everyone around.

To conclude, I would like to emphasize the importance of correct education for children (not exploitation), watch out for your actions on social media (now the favorite place for narcissism). Be careful and aware of influencers. Because there is a clear distinction between someone who has studied, trained, worked to know what they know from someone full of bullshits who want praise, followers and are authentic toxic minefields for those who watch them.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Gu, X., Hof, P. R., Friston, K. J., & Fan, J. (2013). Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 521(15), 3371-3388.

Hagmann, P., Cammoun, L., Gigandet, X., Meuli, R., Honey, C. J., Wedeen, V. J., & Sporns, O. (2008). Mapping the structural core of human cerebral cortex. PLoS biology, 6(7).

Hotchkiss, S. (2008). Why is it always about you?: the seven deadly sins of narcissism. Simon and Schuster.

Lerner JS, Li Y, Valdesolo P, Kassam KS. Emotion and decision making. Annu Rev Psychol. 2015; 66:799–823.

Uddin, L. Q., Nomi, J. S., Hebert-Seropian, B., Ghaziri, J., & Boucher, O. (2017). Structure and function of the human insula. Journal of clinical neurophysiology: official publication of the American Electroencephalographic Society, 34(4), 300.

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Head Games and Yo-Yo Relationships: Spotting and Avoiding Toxicity

Although the word toxic is becoming a usual label everywhere and for everyone, we should be careful not only to use it. But also correctly identify what is toxic by running away from it or avoiding altogether in the first place.

Head games or yo-yo relationships are a typical example of toxicity in the dating/intimate universe.

Head games: Are emotional tactics to make the other person hooked on the relationship. Emotional confusion but also to build up affection and dependency towards the individual who is playing those games. It can be breadcrumbing, gaslighting, etc. While stringing you along without the intention of fully commit with you.

Yo-Yo Relationships: It seems that you are in a committed relationship, but the other person is holding back at the same time the fundamental requirements of what creates a meaningful connection, giving occasional rewards to keep you hooked and then reject. Whenever rejections come up, you will remember the good times immediately and try to pursue those moments again as a form to rescue the relationship. (Intermittent reinforcement)

Important Note:

Intermittent reinforcement is addictive and dangerous, defined as an addiction to seeking rewards in unhealthy situations that can occur at work or in love relationships. And this is the reason why gambling, for example, can be so problematic. Sometimes you win, and other times you lose, intermittent reinforcement, leading to another try in hopes that winning will be there. Victims of intermittent reinforcement are always hoping that they will be seen and receive the love they deserve from their partners because, in the past, they were. At least it is what they think.

Now, as you can comprehend, head games, yo-yo relationships, intermittent reinforcement interconnects with each other being part of the same dynamic/environment. Knowing that young people’s brains are developing up until the age of 25, parents should be more attentive and look after the example of intimate relationships they are giving. But also possess enough emotional literacy to guide and warn their children that early dating is a fertile ground for head games, which can leave deep emotional tolls and profound scars, creating the perfect ambiance for future chaotic adult bonds.

Women and men who grew up with intermittent reinforcement from parents are more vulnerable to get involved with men or women who are inconsistent. Or with men and women who have schizoid personalities. Because the alternation between intense involvement and cold distance strikes the familiar subconscious programming where the rule is: if I give just a little more of my love, attention, and presence, they will wake up and love me as I deserve.

What can you do to avoid the scenarios above: 

  1. It doesn’t matter why he or she is avoiding or acting ambivalent towards you. Ambivalence and avoidance in intimate relationships is a form of control not only to you but also to how the dynamic should be. 
  2. He or she is what he or she does, not the words they might say. Don’t try to read between the lines, remembering that the yo-yo effect between caring and rejecting is crazy-making. Do you need that?
  3. Get out of your head and into your body. Our bodies always have the answer we need even when our minds are playing or trying to find all the crazy unsustainable pieces of evidence. To remain in what is more than over. Bodies carry emotions that may not have registered in our minds. Dismiss the old saying: “It’s all in your head!”. Wrong! Everything or almost everything you need to know is in your body.
  4. You can take charge, and by doing it remember your worth. Everything was fantastic at the beginning of your relationship. I know, at least it was the impression, but at the same time, something was quite off. Shift your attention from “I want this relationship to work” to “I want a real relationship where I can be myself and will work over the test of time because we are both into it, committed”.
  5.  Educate yourself emotionally. Believe it or not, emotional literacy can be a great tool to avoid unnecessary situations and healthily deal with them, understanding how your brain works when triggered and how to self-soothe. 
  6. Remember who you are and what legacy you want to leave behind after your departure. Do you want to LIVE or JUST SURVIVE

Games are games. It doesn’t matter if they are thrilling or not, if they are acceptable or not by society and part of the dating/intimate relationships atmosphere. One of the issues related to the modern culture is the lack of substantial and effective rules that offer guidance and assistance/support by normalizing what is normal and healthy, excluding at the same time what is unacceptable and has contours of emotional predatism.

The power to change resides within our hands and the power of our actions. Through consistent educative examples, we are changing today what will be the environment of our future generations. Living requires actions, not words full of laziness.

With Love,

Alexandra

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What I Think About Marriage And Why Our Expectations Should Change?

Marriages and relationships involve a certain degree of heartbreak and disillusionment. Because in order to really love someone, we must give up the idea that our relationship and partner are the answer to all unmet needs that we possess. However, at the same time, we should never remain too long in unfulfilling dynamics which erode our self-esteem, where we feel constantly rejected, nor accepted, or seen.

Human beings aren’t static creatures that always stay the same in the course of life. Nothing could be more further from the truth. As we change as individuals, what we need from a partner also changes. Perhaps, years ago, we were attracted to the sense of security they provided to us or the distance emotionally and physically because we needed to feel less connected. But now, what was primarily attractive in them no longer is and perhaps, it is even repulsive.

We cannot blame our partner and cannot be blamed for becoming someone else as we go through life. I am sorry, we can’t. But as a woman, I believe we are much more proactive in cutting the ties or calling it quits of one relationship or marriage that doesn’t work any more than men. It is not a betrayal not being the same person. The betrayal happens when we don’t communicate our new self, our new needs, and wantings, no matter how difficult they are.

Although this may sound like heresy, what I will say. The reality is that we should give up on the idea that marriages or relationships are idealistic places where promises of love for one another will last forever it may indeed. But it does require work and commitment from both parties because we can not remove the human part out of the equation, as the fundamental purpose of marriage or relationship is to support and provide encouragement for each of our journeys.

The question should be:

What is true intimacy, and do I know my own truth?

I was never married, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand how a real marriage should be. In reality, because I am very aware of this reality and my own truth, I will only get married to someone who can dance with me the truth of life. It may seem like the 007 secret mission, but I won’t give up, and I don’t advise anyone to give up their own truth to please somebody else.

My relationships taught me the precious lesson that when we change, the other person might not be able to walk by our side any longer. And this is completely ok. Today, I am not the same woman I used to be last year or two years ago. Nor for sure ten years ago. This reality should be taken into consideration when the topic is expectations in marriage and relationships. We change, we grow!

I don’t care about the party, the princess dress, or the perfect love like in the movies. All this idea of perfect whatsoever and the endless fairytale is dangerous for your mental health, emotional safety, and bank account. I care about what the man I chose to be with will bring to the table. What is his character? His values? What does he want from life, but most importantly, does he want it with me? I saw people wasting years dating somebody else, and after getting married, filed for divorce. Multiple reasons can explain this, which some of I already wrote about in previous articles. 

Here are some:

  1. Mismatched communication styles
  2. Different attachment styles and not being aware of the emotional triggers around it
  3. Feeling uncomfortable in talking and listen to each other no matter what the topic is
  4. Not spending time together or dismissing the required spiced attitudes to enhance intimacy/closeness
  5. Not being each other’s cheerleader 
  6. Taking for granted the positive aspects of the relationship/marriage
  7. Not surprising one another with random acts of love, vulnerability, and kindness.
  8. etc…

Like all living organisms and animal kingdom, love in a relationship or marriage needs to be nourished to thrive. More often than not, individuals tend to remain longer in relationships, which are unhealthy. Unhealthy, not because the other person is toxic. But because the relationship itself completed the entire cycle of living. And this leads us to the final question of the present article:

Why can it be so hard to leave a failing relationship?

  1. Subconscious comfort zone. We are attracted to what seems familiar because it means safety. For this reason, if someone is dismissing you, how are you dismissing yourself? Why are you making excuses to justify what is wrong at the conscious level?
  2. Core wounds that are still unresolved and afraid to face them. Let’s say that because of past relationships and other traumatic events, your unresolved core wound is rejection or abandonment. Your priority will be to avoid feeling these core wounds. For this reason, men and women tend to remain in unhappy relationships besides the social shame and economic impact that a separation/divorce can create. 

Are love and relationships an easy equation? Yes and no! It all depends on you and the other person to make it work or not. But I would love to enhance this as a conclusion to my article:

If somebody else has chosen to spend their lives with you, no matter the length of time: It’s an honor!

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Bachand, L. & Caron, S. (2001). Ties that bind: A qualitative study of happy long-term marriages. Contemporary Family Therapy, 23(1), 105-121. DOI:10.1023/A:1007828317271

Sprecher, S. (1999). “I love you more today than yesterday”: Romantic partners’ perceptions of changes in love and related affect over time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(1), 46-53. doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.76.1.46

Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93(2), 119-135). doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.93.2.119

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Be human, be the woman – March 8th

It Doesn’t matter to proclaim or claim that March 8th is a special day when beyond the ferocity of living, the meaning of humanity and womanhood has lost the power over the shadows of shame and spirit poverty. Be a woman is more than a social concept, more than an article of Vanity Fair magazine. It is an artistic quality itself that demands the ability to embrace sensuality. Dazzle another human being, creating warmth/welcoming atmospheres. Being a woman is powerful, sexy, and the ultimate goal of humanity, the sacred space where feminity meets masculinity. Yes, we love and need men, not the kind of men living outside of their central energy, but the kind of men who knows how to be the man standing next to us in the demands of life. The key point is to choose based on character and not physical traits, even though, without hypocrisy, the last parameter counts. 

Of course, in some aspects, we need more equality. However, we must acknowledge and recognize that women always had an important role in social dynamics. If not, why the need to institute monogamy 10.000 years ago after the agricultural revolution? Men only surpass women in the three-dimensional vision and some cases, in physical strength. 

But no. It isn’t the moment, space or time, to talk about who surpasses who. In reality, and this is my philosophy. Women and men are the blissful forces that together can create and transform the world. Everything beneath that, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of abuse, including emotional abuse, are far from the real meaning of togetherness and communion, which congregates and praise being a man or woman. 

We, as women, should enjoy ourselves more. Take care of our sexuality, our bodies, our lives, our sexual partners, and everything in general because life is short. Choose a good night of sex over gossip about someone else. Call your friends, family, or your partner in times of need. Learn how to say no. Educate yourself not only in a cognitive way but also emotionally. Be the leader, the teacher, your unique voice matters. And finally, remember: 

It’s not enough to be born as a woman. It is necessary to know how to be a woman.

With love,

Alexandra 

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Dating Life: Why Activation Energy Matters?

According to Oxford Lexico:

Activation Energy is “the minimum quantity of energy which the reacting species must possess in order to undergo a specified reaction.

Why Activation Energy matters in dating and relationships?

The answer is simple, without energy, relationships don’t move forward, don’t involve or survive through the test of time. Nowadays, people are becoming lazier and lazier because new technology provides a safety net for laziness. And online environments created this marketing idea that someone better is waiting somewhere else, feeding low brain functioning, lazy behavior, and murdering at the same time the fundamental reasons why we need to connect with others in the first place.

What are dating apps (OkCupid, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) other than just human shopping windows? Windows of voyeurism, superficiality, and commonality?

Do you get to know someone through edition/filters or by knowing the real facts of their lives? When was the last time you dared to approach someone in the bar and offer to pay for a drink or to have a chat? When was the last time you put yourself in uncomfortable situations which could lead to rejection, but you did it anyway?

Behaviors such as Ghosting, zombieing, breadcrumbing, orbiting, slow fading, unfriending, blocking, and many more are the fruit and reflection of low activation energy. Is it normal? No! Is it detrimental to your mental health? Yes!

Jumping from one relationship to another is nothing more than a synonym of fear and low activation energy. Date multiple partners at the same time is also part of low activation energy. Not only because the human brain can’t deal with multiple choices, but as long as it serves as ego entertainment, there is no reason to decide or chose just one option.

Someone who dismisses you without a sustainable reason is a visible sign of who they are, setting you free from unnecessary pain or traumatic emotional experiences. Even if the “reason” is plausible and your brain tries to dismiss it, accept the reality, heal yourself, and move forward at your pace.

Relationships these days tend to end easily, and this reality is well-documented. Due to superficial arguments, passive-aggressive behavior, attachment style dynamics, low activation energy, poor communication skills, maturity mismatch, fears, the necessity of control, couples don’t remain together. Sadly, what they don’t realize is the lost opportunity to grow and heal that life may in some circumstances never present to them again.

If you are someone who actively spends energy to build flourishing relationships, remember that as long as you are focused on what you want and need, sooner or later, the correct person will appear in your life. Don’t close yourself down in online environments. Go out and meet new people by allowing yourself to experience the real feeling of frustration and perhaps rejection. In reality, you are building and bringing value to your character, your life through resilience and persistence.

Mind you that we are in the middle of a pandemic scene, but it allowed us to look after ourselves, even before thinking about someone. Think about it, and throw through your window human laziness and shallow behavior.

With love,

Alexandra

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How To Let Them Go Gracefully?

My belief, understanding, and dispositional core is that when you are a teacher, psychologist, or at least, a professional working with another human being on a deeper level. It is our responsibility to be emotionally educated and educate others.

We all know that breakups for biological and chemical reasons are a harsh experience to go through. But remain in unhappy and sometimes sexless relationships or marriages is detrimental for our mental health.
The fear of being alone and not finding someone, breadcrumbing adaptation, children’s existence, financial impact, and unpredictable future are reasons that make men and women remain in unhappy relationships.

I want, and it is important, to warn of the effects of breadcrumbing. Breadcrumbing is the act of keeping you hooked as a way of receiving attention, knowing that the relationship will never develop into something more. It is also a way of keeping a date on “hold” and a form of social dynamics in which breadcrumbers are not really attracted to the other person. But are interested in remaining relevant/attractive to others (Navarro et al., 2020)

Be smart, and run away or evacuate yourself from unnecessary painful situations or stories.

Enjoy Susan’s video:

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Navarro, R.; Yubero, S.; Larrañaga, E.; Víllora, B. Ghosting and breadcrumbing: Prevalence and relationships with online dating behaviors among young adults. Cyberpsychol. J. Psychol. Res. Cybers 2020. under review. 

LeFebvre, L.E. Phantom lovers: Ghosting as a relationship dissolution strategy in the technological age. In The Impact of Social Media in Modern Romantic Relationships; Punyanunt-Carter, N.M., Wrench, J.S., Eds.; Lexington Books: New York, NY, USA, 2017; pp. 219–235.

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How To Mend a Broken Heart?

The loss and the end of one intimate relationship can be traumatic and open severe emotional wounds, which will take time to heal. It doesn’t matter how intelligent, beautiful, or emotionally healthy. All of us will experience at some point in life a breakup, the departure of someone we love, and that decision/situation might have nothing to do with us. They might not feel the same as we do, found someone new, or it isn’t the right timing, and that’s completely ok.

The intention of this article isn’t to talk about their reasons for breaking up with you. But to provide you the right tools for healing and move forward.

In the early stages after the breakup, you will experience the pain of a broken heart

What will happen in this period?

  1. The same brain circuits responsible for identifying physical pain are activated. The pain is real, and the pain felt is equivalent to having both legs broken. 

  2. The withdrawal period. Your brain will have the same characteristics as a drug or an alcohol addict who does not consume. 

  3. Emotional Fissure. You feel the need to reaching out to your ex-partner. Or you may adopt stalking and other forms of behavior to keep tabs on them as a way to fulfill the emotional fissure. 

  4. Emotional haze and denial. Because the breakup pain is intense, real, and dramatic, your brain will sabotage and distort the reality by making you think that the breakup reasons are also dramatic, intense, and not simple as it seems, leading to emotional rumination. 

But, what can you do to heal yourself?

  1. Understand that Passion is a state of temporary dementia. Many relationships end when the cocktail hormonal responsible for this phase starts to wears off. You may walk into the next level, but your partner doesn’t. When people are experiencing the passion phase, the Mesolimbic Dopaminergic pathways are active. And this is why it is necessary to take things slowly because this period of excitement won’t last forever. 

  2. Re-write (With a pen and paper) the end of your relationship by highlighting the reasons why the other person wasn’t the right person for you. What didn’t work, and keep that list always with you. It will help you in the withdrawal period to stay sane and in the present moment.  

  3. Take care of your body and emotional well-being by sleeping well, exercising, and choosing healthy food. When you exercise, you produce endorphins, which are responsible for maintaining and protecting your emotional states. 

  4. Learn how to say goodbye, and don’t look for crumbs. The relationship is over. Accept it and let the other person also experience the loss. If they unfriend you on social media platforms, it is ok. Don’t message them, don’t ask why. Save the good memories and everything they gave to you. The relationship was real. He or she was with you, at least, as long as they could.  

  5. Surround yourself with people who love and support you no matter what. In the following stages after a breakup, you will need as much support as you can. Don’t isolate yourself or try to do everything on your own. 

Some personality traits, well documented, explain why some individuals recover faster from breakups than others. That doesn’t mean it will happen healthily. As we know, some individuals who have an avoidant attachment style recover easily from relationships, at least in the superficial level. Because unconsciously, they are still hurt and will seek the same situations.

If you have a friend or someone in your family living a separation or a breakup, don’t give them unnecessary advice such as: “You have to move on!”; “You will find somebody new soon!”; “Let’s create a dating app profile for you!” or “Let’s get you drunk!”.
Be their shoulder and allow your friend or family member to heal at their own pace. As I mentioned before, our brains aren’t prepared to live faster. And process emotions as modern society demands.

With Love,

Alexandra

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Let’s Rethink Valentine’s Day Using Gaugin.

Paul Gaugin, the most impressive painter of the nineteenth century, was avant-garde. And the father of the symbolist movement. However, like many other important artists, his work was only recognized after his death in 1903.
All his paintings have an introspective motive behind them, something to dive deep into the essence of human nature.
Today it’s Valentine’s day, and I chose one of his paintings from 1898 called: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

Aren’t Valentine’s day, like many other days, an invitation to think about, feel, and act from the most self-possessed power of human nature called love? What are we? And from where do we come from, most of us, if not from the act of love and dignity?

More than roses, chocolates, jewels, or whatever you want. The gift should be: How much do I love him or her? What back in the years made me chose him or her? And today, how do I feel? How does he or she feel towards me?

I could spend the whole evening writing about how much mechanical relationships are these days, but that’s the surface or superficial aspect of the issue. The issue is how distracted or how much we want to distract ourselves from reality, pain, internal wounds, bad choices, and the truth. The truth that we take others for granted and that we are sometimes lazy partners. Lazy till the point of killing eroticism and romance.

Aging changes us, and aging can be more terrible for women than for men. Our kids should be the reminders that we were, maybe a long time ago, romantic and erotic creatures, and that’s the fundamental reason why we have them now, the ultimate fruit of love.

Many individuals assume these days that discarding partners (more often than not, good partners) or having relationships through fingers tips on their cell phones with the possibility to unfollow or unfriend their partners is the answer to solve what they perceive as problematic. When in reality, it is this behavior of not taking self-responsibility or seeking solutions that destroy relationships.

Returning to Gauging painting, where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? We are the dust of the dust, with the intelligence to chose healthily and one hundred percent responsible for the correction of our subconscious programming by gaining self-awareness and recalibrating emotional/physical homeostasis.

Our hearts are the stronger muscle of our bodies. Remember this and enjoy your day alone or with the one you love.

With love,

Alexandra

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Why Shouldn’t You Care About What People Think About You?


To think about relationships, we have to also think about attachment and the necessity to bond and be close to other people. But should we care and hear what everyone has to say or think about us? The answer is no! I’m not saying that we should isolate ourselves, but we are living times where even though some individuals call themselves independent, they live their experiences and life based on what others will think or say. 

Let’s look back in human evolution and history. Before the agricultural revolution, people used to live in small communities as a survival mechanism, and for a matter of fact, what others would do or say, would matter. They would grow up surrounded by the same tribe, same people, and of course, the necessity to maintain a good relationship with them was pivotal. 

But now, in the twenty-one century, do we need that? Aren’t we freer to choose what or not to accept from others and life in general?  

The reality is our brain still has the same characteristics as our ancestors and isn’t adapted to live in this modern world. For this reason:

  • We give the same importance to virtual relationships as we give to real-life relationships.
  • We seek approbation, reputation, and applauds on social media from others. 
  • Rejection ignites the same brain circuits responsible for identifying physical pain.
  • We can pause a youtube video but not one emotion.
  • All this involves an emotional and unconscious process, so we can’t control it, but we can always change how we experience it through the gain of awareness.

All the scenarios above send children, young adults, and even adults to therapy offices because of anxiety, depression, and emotional rumination.

What can we do to change the situation? Remember, we can’t control emotions, but we can, and we should choose how to act on them.

  1. Think about life as being in one arena, and you are the principal actor or actress of your story.
  2. Ask yourself, does it really matter what other people think or say about me? My life will change or end because of what they might say or do?
  3. Understand that vulnerability means you carefully chose who you let to know your shameful stories, but also your inner self. Trust should be earned and not giving away like feathers.
  4. In time, it will be hard for you to remember who criticized you because what counts aren’t your critics, but your actions and if you are living your life purpose.

In your life journey, people will try to sabotage your path. Criticize your words, but mostly your actions. Chose wisely your tribe because your tribe will never feel or see your strength and kindness as a threat. Be proud of your achievements, celebrate who you are, and don’t let somebody else lack of resiliency and frustration dictate how (YOUR) life and human experience should be.

With Love,

Alexandra

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The “Maybe Box” and “The Flaky Behavior”: What Should You Do?

Now that we are approaching another valentine’s day, it is urgent and critical to say that our society is losing touch with the real art of dating.

Text messages and date someone through the screen of our phones has become the norm. But is this dating?

Besides the possibilities to meet new people through dating apps and social media, the reality is that nothing is a substitute for human contact, only that way you build a relationship and intimate connection. Of course, for individuals who have avoidant or fearful-avoidant attachment styles, online connections offer the safety of not having someone around to take care of or meet their needs. More often than not, you might see someone with an avoidant attachment style experiencing high levels of infatuation and arousal over someone who lives away or in another country because of the distance. They need to experience difficulties or obstacles to feed their internal programming that relationships might never work out for them. And it is hard to trust someone.

The way we date today is detrimental to our mental health by constantly igniting the flight and fight response or by feeding mixed messages and dynamics. Consistency and kindness are perceived as boring traits, but the rapid and magic romance model is seen as the golden diamond of the dating crown.

Today, I would like to call your attention to two situations that you should recognize, never ignore and avoid: “The Maybe Box” and “The Flaky Behavior“.

“The maybe box”: Happens when someone isn’t sure about you, is seeing other people, but don’t want to lose you in his or her’s life. They like you but not enough to have a relationship with you. In such a situation, you should evacuate yourself from the dynamic and move on by cleaning the space and allowing someone new to come in.

“The flaky behavior”: They make plans with you and cancel last minute, more than once? It is a pattern that you will see him or her repeating, giving you the right to end the interactions or relational dynamics.

Both situations aren’t for you. Because if you want to connect for real with others, you know what you want, your standards versus boundaries. Allowing these behaviors to happen and giving them justifications, you are only abandoning and disrespecting yourself.

What I want you to do?

I want you to have and cultivate within yourself DISCERNMENT.

Discernment isn’t only a critical skill these days. But it is also the tool that you need to navigate in peace the modern dating (confusing) world and find your tribe, your match.

Never allow anyone to call you: Too Sensitive, too dramatic, resentful, sour because you expressed your discomfort and needs. It is your duty to use your voice, find your place by never allowing toxic behavior to disturb your brain, your values, and beliefs.

Use your discernment to find and chose someone who will never see or feel your goodness and strength as a threat.

Runaway from individuals who define themselves as “picky” because, in other words, what they are telling you is that they don’t possess the necessary skills to build a relationship with time and pace.

Permit yourself to get to know someone with time, without rushing into the idea of “I found my soulmate.”. Remember that trust is something that people should earn.

Remember that discernment is equal or synonym of holding out for quality.

To conclude the article, I would love to invite you to reflect on this: Who am I, and with whom do I want to connect? Is shallowness for me? Do I fear being alone?

We don’t need games, we need real connections!

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Alexandra

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The Dangerous Thing About “Manifestating”

We all want to have a perfect life, relationship, house, children, man or woman. But why can it be so dangerous for us? The “manifesting” term? Why in reality does it pose us in a position of not only vulnerability but also passivity?

At least there are two things that I can tell you:

1. To change a habit takes longer than the famous 21 days rule.

2. The doing verb, the resilience, and persistency are what you need to rebuild and change your life.

Remember, you are the owner and creator of your life. And if there is someone or something toxic and hurting you, please, don’t waste your time wishing and hoping that things will be different.

Dr. Ramani explains how and why we shouldn’t fall into the manifestation trap.

Act on it and be happy!

With love,

Alexandra

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What If You Would Let The Butterflies Fly?

What if you would let the butterflies fly? What if you would allow yourself to experience love and have a rewarding intimate relationship? 

Many are the reasons that can lead people to avoid love, intimacy, connection. Reasons that won’t be exhausted in this short article, but one thing I know for sure, nothing in life is a repetition of what we experienced in the past. When humans believe in this theory that everything will be the same, they are sabotaging new possibilities and new relation dynamics because no one is equal. 

The phobia to live enchantment, passion, and love. The real phobia of living a loving commitment with another person is in the order of the day, but more than that carries psychological and emotional consequences. It is a conscious decision, most of the time, with unconscious reasons rooted in intermittent childhood relationships, traumatic past separations, or divorces, the idealization of someone perfect as a way to avoid and cope with a real prospective partner. 

Stop for a while, and observe not only your behaviors from an external point of view. But also your mental barriers and schemes around intimacy, commitment, loss, disappointment, enmeshment, betrayal, not being seen, and finally, self-worth. 

What if you would let the butterflies fly? What if you would allow yourself to experience love and have a rewarding intimate relationship? 

Many people are choosing not to love. But they shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t forget that all your past experiences happen not to erase love and intimacy from your life, but for you to grow in love. 

It is time to say I trust you. Time to say I care and I do love you, time to build, to embrace. Because time is like sand, don’t let it go through the middle of your fingers. And don’t let anything to say or to do. 

Wishing you a lovely week!

Alexandra

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2021: Get Your Brain To Focus

Let’s begin the 2021 year with a different psychological and emotional approach. Rather than think about many dreams and goals to achieve, let’s narrow our possibilities and options to at least two. Why? Because the human brain was designed to spend and focus on only one task at a time. So if you are worried about the quality of your intimate relationship and what you can do to improve the quality of time you spend with your partner, always remember this rule.

Our brains are designed to spent energy and focus on only one thing.

Put aside your technological devices. Leave social media alone and allow yourself and your brain to produce dopamine and other hormones by experiencing the company of your loved ones and activities with them. Believe it or not, you will forge a strong bond over time, but also you will feel more fulfilled and happy. We should avoid as much as we can, not people who care and love us, but the avoidant society where we live.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy your year!

Alexandra

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Erotic Dawn

My fingers moving on his naked ribcage 
waiting for the sun to rise 
saying goodbye to the moon and the starry night in his arms. 
The blow hot breath 
Your tongue as a snake liking my strawberry lips 
our fiery desires, our scandalous thoughts. 
I can not stop myself from feeling this way 
as I watch your hips moving like waves on the ocean 
vigorous movements which help your sword to penetrate my avid fortress. 
Too many servants of love looking for instant gratification 
Master of love I want you to be while tasting on your mouth my wet fingers from self-pleasure. 
You are the key, the perfect masculine shape 
that while the sun rises, I see your magnitude as a reflection of my own soul. 

©2020 Alexandra Santos. All rights reserved.

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2020 Last Article: My Real Life Personal Reflection and Growth

My readers, the present article will be the last I will write this year. For that reason, it will be my personal review of the year 2020, which was for many a confusing year, but for me, a rebirth from the ashes.

I start with a Tedeschi & Calhoun reference:

Post-traumatic growth refers to deriving meaning from highly stressful experiences that lead to positive changes in views of self, the world, and/or relationships (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).

The Professional Field: The power of letting go and accept that we can only change or fix what’s under our control.

For ten years of my life, I worked in the agriculture field. Firstly as a raspberry producer, and then the last five years as an agricultural manager of my family’s business. As a young woman and with a different way of thinking, because I believe farming is a thriving business in the right hands, I changed production methods betting on low-cost production with high yield crops. Redirected the company to produce winter seed crops such as barley and wheat. But I had a serious problem in my hands to resolve: 1. Stop capital flight and 2. keep my father out the business.

Needless to say, I found diverse obstacles as a way of sabotaging my work, denigrating my image, and also pass me a certificate of incompetence. Here I want to emphasize that sabotaging someone’s work, be it a woman or a man, isn’t an illusion or a movie scene. In reality, malicious envy is a destructive interpersonal emotion that motivates others to harm the person they envy by sabotaging them and pulling them down. And such a feeling can come from members of your family, friends, and co-workers.

Envy being poisonous is axiomatic in most cultures and is present in many movie scripts or stories that we tell our children before they go to sleep. Kant described very well envy, as the tendency to perceive with displeasure the good of others, promoting not only the acquisition of the possession of another but also a pleasure response from seeing that person torn down.

The constant judicial demands to fix other mistakes, the hard work on the fields, and the higher levels of stress all the time started to undermine my health conditions. And stress is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalances in women, having a profound effect on your body and brain. I never felt anxiety in my entire life, and I was so, so anxious and hyperactive all the time as a way to respond to stressful events.

I decided to leave the business at the end of 2019 and look and take care of myself, delegating responsibility to the root of this whole situation, my father. It was time for him to stop running away and assume the consequences of his acts, which he practiced for over 20 years.

I didn’t give up on anything. I just decided to use my oxygen and stop giving it to other people or situations who aren’t at my vibrational and belief level. It’s what I call self-respect, discipline, and self-prioritizing my needs above anything or anyone.

But there was one thing left to be done, rescue my tractor after delivered it in May of this year to pay a bill, which I was never allowed to negotiate. They wanted the tractor, my father was talking with them all the time, and I was the weakest figure, they thought!

In October, my birthday month, Alexandra, in her red high heels, demanded the return of the tractor because the bill was paid. And in high heels, I drove the tractor back home.

The experience that I take from these ten years is that I did my best. I was alone all the time, only with the help of my brother. But through my intelligence and emotional resilience, I could, and I will always bounce back from adversity.

The Power of Attachment: Personal Growth and Love.

As many of you know, I’m not the kind of woman who runs away from hardships or shies away from intimacy. I had a healthy childhood, and yes, I had a traumatic experience in teenagerhood when I discovered that I wouldn’t be able to conceive a child naturally. And the need to have surgery to unblock my vaginal channel (Müllerian agenesis). However, I think that was the first momentum where life taught me of what material am I made. I came from a very long journey of self-discovering, emotional awareness, empowerment, and attunement. I perceive intimacy as a gift, and no, we don’t need to try many people to decide who is the right person for us because the right person is the one who will work with you and hold your hands no matter what.

And just a few people are worthy of knowing intimate details of your life. You share your story with people who earn the right to hear your story. And they respond to you with empathy, not sympathy. Leading to the question, am I in a relationship with someone who can bear the story? 

Typical responses of sympathy: “Oh, your poor thing!”; “God bless your heart!”. Stay away from these people as much as you can for your emotional safety.

For two years, I had a relationship with a man from another country. And the very first time I saw him in Lisbon everyone, and everything faded away. It was just him and me. The first holding hands, the first hug, it was a pure moment in gold embroidery that I will save forever in my heart.

Aren’t real relationships made of memories, also?

Now that I look back and after our breakup, the main problem of our relationship wasn’t our dynamic itself, but the interference of other people that constantly reaffirmed his internal fears and subconscious programming.
The fear of abandonment, the fear of not being good enough for me, or that I had something wrong and wanted to use him for personal reasons. How would he feel as a man and my boyfriend if my family and friends would keep telling him that I was only infatuated, confused, and didn’t love him? What kind of woman or girlfriend would I be to let this happen and let others bother him with bullshit?

I saw him, and I understood where he was coming. He is someone who needs emotional security, nurturance, and consistency, even if he has afraid of it. He hates being exposed because it can allow other people to shame him. His emotional defenses and old relating paradigms inhibit his authentic self from flourish. When he is safe, he expresses his nurturing side, which is special and genuine. But he is also a multi-talented and creative guy. He was building a guitar, which I hope he finishes.

We were equals, no pedestal for anyone, and that’s sexy, as it is sexy to wear beautiful and blowing away dresses because I have the body, the height, and the confidence to do so. Never try to control or put a bird in the cage. That sort of action will only backfire, at least with me.

When the breakup occurred, I knew for him to be the one doing the abandoning/ending things was important as a way to control the situation, feel safe, and be protected, releasing himself from the uncomfortable anxiety that he was feeling at the moment. The non-verbal communication was: The emotions it brings with it are too much to deal with, and I have no idea how to stay present with them because I think they can or might hurt very badly. So, I am going to avoid them and leave you.”

The pain I felt was the same when my grandfather passed away because both will be forever two important men in my life. And this is the reason why I gave him the gold heart that my grandfather gave me when I was a baby.

I didn’t fail as a woman or girlfriend. But yes, unsolicited behaviors and opinions overtime started to upset me in real ways, making me feel that my privacy and intimacy were being violated. As I explained to him many times, we should put people in their places when they cross the lines, even if it seems inoffensive or funny. So I accepted his decision to end the relationship without agreeing to it, and I decided to disappear not to play stupid games, but to heal my wounds and find emotional balance.

Attachment teaches us in real ways that when someone tells you that you should move on after a breakup. 1. They don’t understand that the detachment process takes time, involves your endocrine system, your brain, and grieving. 2. They don’t respect or acknowledge that your pain is real, and you feel it in your body.

After all this, I finished my master’s degree, which was on pause since 2008. I am taking a second master’s degree right now in a field that I am passionate about and which will give me direct access to the Ph.D. because I deserve and the timing is right. Yes, I am physically and emotionally different.

Am I dating? – The question that I hear over and over again. The answer is no, and I don’t want to. I’m too happy and busy being wild and free (hahaha). So dear men, please, at the moment, I’m not accepting CVs from candidates for the boyfriend/partner role. 

When you had a serious relationship with another person (attachment), including meeting and staying in his/her parent’s house or thinking about having a family, build a home and life together with that person. The process of letting go takes time (detachment), and the more you are in contact with your real self and real emotions. The more you understand that love in healthy adult relationships is conditional, and for that reason, after a loss, recalibration and emotional rebirth is necessary.

Seeking to leave as a way to relieve discomfort is seen by many individuals and couples as the only option, but stay and work through the terrible pain, patterns, and unconscious programming is the best rewarding experience.

Although no one tells us that, sometimes, a relationship has to die in the form that it is in to be born into a brand new structure. We shouldn’t be defeat by hardships but allow ourselves to grow with them. We shouldn’t allow other voices to blind us emotionally to our partner’s needs, and we should avoid the need to escape but instead go inwards the relationship and compromise to find a solution. And please, don’t lose good people in your life because of fear. Toxicity should be erased from our lives even if it seems a familiar dynamic. Good people should be preserved because they will teach how to grow and will look within you without judgment or second intentions.

To conclude, the only thing that will be left after a nuclear holocaust is Alexandra and cockroaches. So now, give me a break because I have been an incredible Diva for thirty-six freaking years.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a delicious new year 2021.

Alexandra

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The Tantric Heart Girl

No excuses, no forgiveness
No heaven, no hell
Just us in the middle of this emotional lake
Where lies aren’t allowed, and you are mine

My breasts waiting for your erotic kiss
Are like blossoms waiting for Hummingbirds on a beautiful morning spring.
Touching your birdy young flesh
while I listen to your whispering masculine voice.
Pure madness so close, so sad, with scents of goodbye.

No excuses, no forgiveness
No heaven, no hell
Just us in the middle of this emotional lake
Where lies aren’t allowed, and you are mine

Sensual and soothing.
Tantric heart beats with the luxurious touch of silking gloves.
Tomorrow? What is tomorrow when today I have you naked ready for our unity?

No excuses, no forgiveness
No heaven, no hell
Just us in the middle of this emotional lake
Where lies aren’t allowed, and you are mine.

Exotic feelings, exotic sex.
Exotic you, exotic me.
Echoes of the world with unseen shattered dreams.
The war against emotional unavailability
My untouched veil covering my precious tantric heart

Time to say goodbye, set sail for freedom flying high in the sky as the eagles fly.
The unremarkable memories, the scent of my perfume, the softness of my skin,
One day lover, one day
you will remember my name
The tantric heart Girl.

©2020 Alexandra Santos. All rights reserved.

Wishing you a great week!

Alexandra

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Are You Ready To Love? – Article requested by Reilly

Reilly writes: I enjoy learning about relationships on your blog! I have two questions that I would be interested in seeing a post about: How do you know you are ready for dating? (Is there a checklist or guide), and Why would someone want to date at all, when you’ve never had any positive experiences with dating and have little romantic relationship history? I’m okay being single, but not for the rest of my life! I feel I’ve really missed out.

Have you or not many experiences in the dating atmosphere. The reality is, we all know when it’s time to allow love to let in. However, I have to say also that nowadays seems to exists an invisible pressure that everyone should be a couple, and it is a curse to be single.

Love has no guarantees. And this has to be obvious to everyone. Because you don’t know if he or she is going to leave, die, reject, or whatever other reason which is out of your control. The only thing you can do is to be the best version of yourself and possess a good heart intention as a romantic partner.
Dating and love isn’t a billboard game or a Hollywood show. But for many of us, it has become a game of numbers. A game of fallacious pieces of advice and the emergence of bad behavior.

Before I go further, let me ask you this: How do you feel about your single life and being single? Are you using this time to fulfill your emotional needs and also discovering new parts of yourself? Or are you ruminating about how in the future it will be having another person by your side?

What singlehood can teach you:

  1. Being single doesn’t mean waiting for love entrance, which is the wrong move. When you wait, you slow down your movement towards what is waiting for you. 
  2. When you are single, it doesn’t mean that you are emotionally broken, unlovable, incomplete, or missing out on life. In reality, this is your opportunity to glow and master your tools as a future partner by educating yourself. 
  3. Confidence. When you embrace your singlehood and stop think when and how love will materialize in your life. You build your confidence but also peace of mind. 
  4. Singlehood offers the opportunity to explore what you want to explore without being a doormat of somebody else whimsical demands because we tend to choose bad partners or reject good ones when we don’t feel great about ourselves.  
  5. Being single isn’t a synonym for death, but a great period to evolve and understand that love and partnership is the merging of two souls, not as a Hollywood portrait, but as how real-life demands. 

Not all relationships will survive, but I see, and research has shown that around 90% of intimate relationships fail because people don’t have mental clarity about what they want, don’t know themselves. And don’t explain how they want to be loved by their partner or think there is someone always better waiting for them. And this takes us to another important point: the necessity to acknowledge their’s and our’s romantic dynamics history. How many serious relationships they had? They were the ones who ended it? At what stage, the relationship ended? What about us? Do we need to chase people? Do we need to prove ourselves and our worth, and so we tend to chose unavailable partners?

Love is a verb, but also a language. And for this reason, we need to know what we are speaking. And what signals are we sending through our actions.

Like it or not, John Bowlby did an impressive work when he constructed the attachment style theory. Like Freud, Erickson, and Jung with the Theory of the Unconscious mind. We tend to love in our adult relationships how we saw it in our childhood through our role models. For example, individuals with avoidant or fearful-avoidant attachment style tend to have an internal scale. On one plate resides the love they feel for the other person. On the other plate of the scale, their subconscious fears of being trapped and lose their autonomy. If the plate of fears gains more weight than the plate of feelings for their partner, they end the relationship because their subconscious programming taught them that intimate relationships require too much and will trap them.

What they don’t realize, and the same is also true for individuals who have an anxious attachment style, is that these fears and anxieties come from past experiences and not from the present or the person who is with them. Some professionals in the area advise that a secure attachment person can help insecure individuals to move toward a secure attachment. But from my personal experience, it requires a lot of self-awareness, self-esteem, and a willingness to, at certain times, act against your intuitions.

Reilly, I heard many things about my ex from other people. I heard that he didn’t love me, that he just wanted to have some fun, and was confused because he finished a degree and needed to experience life without me. I heard it from others, people close to him, over and over again, not from him. A man who rebuilt his old bike for his girlfriend doesn’t love her? A man who flights across the world to see a woman doesn’t love her? Of course, he does. But it is also true that when other people give too many opinions, it will only lead to disaster, mostly when we are talking about a man or a woman who has insecurities and fears. I released myself in peace, and I knew and still know that I did and gave what a real woman and girlfriend/partner should. What others think about me that’s their problem, because memories and the dream still mine.

For you and for everyone who will read this, my advice is: If you found someone who cares about you, don’t let them go. Someone who cares about you and wants you will be consistent and present in your life. Don’t let other voices and opinions blur the image of your partner. And please, if you are single, embrace that season of your life and live it to the fullest.

Some references for future readings:

Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness by Marsha Lucas, PhD

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller

Relational Intelligence: The people skills you need for the life of purpose you want by Dr. Dharius Daniel

Wishing you a great weekend,

Alexandra

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Blissful Were Your Kisses.

Blissful were your kisses. 
The flavor of your skin in my mouth 
Our tongues and the Spittle 
like snakes in the disguise of golden’s barley color. 

I love you dearly 
there is no reason to leave 
Beyond the sex and the intense sensuality 
togetherness to calm my heart. 

The spiral, my love, the spiral 
Of emotions between nothing 
Nothing was the world when we were together 
Although somewhere I know, the boat was waiting 

No princes, no white horses 
My divine spirit, your incredible fortitude 
The journey of tomorrow, the hopes and dreams 
beyond the surface, the wind of a lifetime. 

Blissful were your kisses. 
The flavor of your skin in my mouth 
Our tongues and the Spittle 
like snakes in the disguise of golden’s barley color. 

©2020 Alexandra Santos. All rights reserved.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Men: 25 November

Lot’s has been written and said about violence against women, be it physical or emotional. However, today, twenty-five of November, International Day for the elimination of violence against women. I don’t want, and we can’t exclude men who, surprisingly a large percentage, are also victims of any form of abuse.

International days should be a moment to not only educate society but also to address the root causes and possible solutions to create a new structure where everyone can feel safe.

In an era where technology usage is so prevalent in our professional, intimate, and social lives, it is urgent the understanding that nowadays the violence is amplified and more significant in the sphere and emotional context. Of course, physical abuse is a reality that requires specific measures as a form of combat. But it is also true that the law and victim protection system is too slow, providing the safety and emotional needs of the citizens.

Why should we be more aware of what is emotional abuse and why technology plays a role in it?

With the emergence of social media platforms, dating apps, instant messages systems, women and men are losing not only their ability to embrace and create enrichment connections. But also lacking in awareness to perceive red flags and toxic behaviors from others in different daily life contexts.
Emotional abuse may be hard to recognize because it can be subtle. And because abusers often blame their victims, acting like they have no idea why you are upset. Also, victims in the past, perhaps in romantic, familial, or professional relationships, were treated this way, so it can be harder to recognize the pattern and trust perceptions/intuition.

When we talk about abuse, be it physical or emotional, we are talking about the necessity to control or dominate. Here I present you some forms of emotional abuse:

Ghosting: the act of disappearing and not responding to your text messages or phone calls. It is a way of saying: I don’t want to deal with you.

Haunting: Someone who ghost and ended a relationship with you but keeps watching what you are doing on social media.

The Slow Fade: The tactic of fading away from your life without giving any explanation or giving superficial excuses.

Phubbing: Ignoring someone in favor of a phone.

Stashing: To keep options open, the person you are dating, don’t post anything related to your relationship or photos of you.

Zombieing: Someone who ghosted you comes back and says “hi”.

Gaslighting: Distortion of past events making the victim doubt her or his memory, perception, and sanity.

Left on read: Someone reads your message but doesn’t reply.

Love Bombing: Someone overwhelms you with loving words, actions, and behaviors to win your trust/affection.

Twisting: The act of giving you a compliment, for example, but after that, they blame you for their actions.

Smear campaigns and Stalking: A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name, so you will lose your networking support while they are hiding their abusive behavior.

Triangulation: The act of validating abusive behavior by bringing a third party in the equation, which will invalidate the victim’s reaction to abuse.

Preemptive defense: They want to be seen as a nice guy or girl. Therefore you can trust them because they may perform a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of the relationship to allure you.

Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes: Making malicious remarks at your expense. They might say it’s just a joke, and you are too sensitive, too dramatic, or not having a good sense of humor, which is, in reality, verbal abuse.

The hot and Cold dynamic: One day, they are loving and adorable to you. The very next day, they disappear and shut down emotionally.

I know that our brains are wired to connect with others. We need to feel a bond with other people. But we are losing touch with our capacity to love one another genuinely by pursuing impossible dynamics based on surreal romantic ideals and eroticizing rejection as a way to escape real love and real connections. Now, and to conclude this article, I leave for reflection a short text:

“People who are attracted to partners who hurt them often confuse chemistry and compatibility. In fact, these are both essential to a long-lasting healthy intimate relationship. Whereas chemistry (how interesting and stimulating you to find the person) is essential to keeping couples interested, compatibility (sharing common values, goals, having fun together and being able to provide for each other’s needs, support each other and work through things) will help a couple get through tough times. We might find it more exciting to be caught up in a push-pull dynamic with someone than to say yes to love that is readily available and healthy for us. The excitement comes from eroticizing rejection – it feeds that part of us that still feels like have something to prove.

Prove we are lovable or worthy. That we are so special that we can change someone’s mind or behavior, but that excitement also drains your energy, purpose, and connection to yourself. Any time we waste chasing someone to give us love, there is an unmet internal need for love and nurturance toward our inner-child. You don’t need someone else to reflect back on your wounds if they’re not willing to heal with you. You don’t need someone to trigger all of your insecurities by treating you like an after-thought or avoiding intimacy. Accept yourself and you can let healthy love in.”

Wishing you love,

Alexandra

References:

Wu, K., Chen, C., Greenberger, E., Wang, Y., Xiu, D., Liu, B., … & Dong, Q. (2020). No need for pedestals: Idealization does not predict better relationships among Asians. Personal Relationships, 27, 336-365. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12317

Gottman, J., Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1995). Why marriages succeed or fail: And how you can make yours last. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Seidman, G. (2012). Positive and negative: Partner derogation and enhancement differentially related to relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 19, 51–71. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01337

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Are You Over-Focusing on “Connection?”

Unfortunately and without joking, people desperately want to feel chemistry and connection. But, in reality, like anything in life, deeper relationships develop over time with consistency and realness, surprisingly without fireworks. 

Like cognitive neuroscience teach us, when it comes to intimate relationships, we should choose “boring” and not “over the top” candidates. Not because we are picky or mean, but because “the spark” isn’t necessarily a good thing or a reliable source of information if someone will be the right partner for you. “Chemistry” is a cocktail of lust and danger that wrings the dopamine out of your neurotransmitters. 

In the video below from School of Life, they explain why we tend not to feel that spark and attraction for individuals who check all the boxes we want in a partner. Sadly, we tend to chose what seems to be familiar because unfamiliarity scares us and can hurt our subconscious mind. We can indeed live incredible love stories with many people and only build a life with a few, but aren’t we losing stable, adorable, and amazing women and men in our lives because of fear? That we are losing our ability to concentrate on what is substantial and fundamental? Aren’t we most of the time following the same dramatic narrative, which only creates more tension and anxiety and block us from real connections? Think about this.

Never confuse anxiety for attraction and never prioritize chemistry over character. 

Wishing you a lovely week!

Alexandra

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Let’s Talk About Sex And The Woman’s Role to Liberate Men.

Much is said and written about love, relationships, and women’s empowerment. However, it seems convenient to disregard sex and make it a profanity, but also hide the biological role that both women and men assume in society.

A long time ago, back to our paleolithic and neolithic ancestors, we can find clear evidence that women never had a passive familiar and domestic role, quite the opposite. Women were responsible for feeding the family, and in Australia, for example, paintings, handicrafts, and manufacturing weapons were found with female authorship. This scenario for centuries was hidden, with the proposal to keep women in a submission role. But also enhance the idea that women needed men to survive.

Now, talking about sex, it wasn’t a taboo at the time. Cave paintings and rock-art show us that masturbation and also the existence of practicing sex in different positions was normal and recurrent without forgetting that it was women who used to chose their sexual partners. Like it happens in the animal kingdom with other species.

So what changed? Until the agriculture discovery, not all males were able to mate and breed. Thus, after the agriculture discovery and the need to settle in a certain area to survive. The man of that time realized the need to ensure that his descendants belonged to him exclusively. How he did it? With the introduction of monogamy. In fact, if we think about it without hypocrisy, we, women, having a limited number of eggs, want to have children with the man who presents us with the better genes. Hence I mention that not all men at the time were able to mate and procreate, and monogamy was a way of ensuring offspring.

Women throughout history have always played an important role within society, even though that role was considered passive. And never be considered the weaker gender.

I love men! I love how amazing friends and lovers they can be and how much input they can insert into our lives. The moment we show appreciation and respect towards a man is the moment the door open to another relational dynamic, the dynamic of you and me are equal, and we need each other to balance the world.

Human sexuality, rich and beautiful, should never be camouflaged by the control of theories and religions that deny the importance of sex for an individual’s mental and physical health. Labels or categories won’t bring freedom. Instead, bring more emotional slavery, comparison, and unhappiness. For example, Polyamory is the most artificial concept created and not the solution for a floundering relationship. And this is the reason why we should not only understand our biology but also create our style of loving and communicate it properly. We have a richer relationship with someone when we focus our attention, and we are consistent. Our brains aren’t wired to deal with multiple choices all the time. I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Sexual freedom goes hand in hand with erotic intelligence. And we have an important role in liberating our male partners from the pressure of being God’s in bed. We shouldn’t compare our orgasm ability to our female friends. We should accept that we might love someone and perhaps have sexual desire for another. It is ok to talk about our sexual needs and how to express them.
Sexual freedom is when you talk not only open about sex but also the way you can connect and explore your body. Erotic intelligence is the key, I would say, to a more fullied relationship with yourself and the ones you love. It is the key to build oxytocin with your partner after the five-year relationship mark because oxytocin tends to disappear and testosterone to increase (the need to seek unboring pleasure).

In times of so much online interactions and technology trance, we need emotional educators, people who are emotionally free from lobbies and patriarchal ideas. We need to educate our children and set them free from intoxicating ideologies and behaviors. We need people who are real people and women who can lead and show the way. Forgetting unnecessary and outdated feminism by rescuing the art of sensuality, and embrace the power that they can choose who they want, when, where, and how. And the lives they want to live also by stop being the Instagram shelf women. 

As Ashley Montagu said: “It is the function of women to teach men how to be human”. Men needs words of encouragement as we need water to survive, think about it.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

MCGLONE, M. S., A.). ANDERSON, AND R. N. HOLDAWAY
1994 An ecological approach to the Polynesian settlement of New Zealand, in The Origins of the First New Zealanders: 136-163, ed. D. G. Sutton. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press.

Marazziti D., Canale D. Hormonal changes when falling in love. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004;29:931–936. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2003.08.006.

Laurent H., Powers S. Emotion regulation in emerging adult couples: Temperament, attachment, and HPA response to conflict. Boil. Psychol. 2007;76:61–71. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.06.002.

De Boer A., Van Buel E.M., Ter Horst G.J. Love is more than just a kiss: A neurobiological perspective on love and affection. Neuroscience. 2012;201:114–124. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.11.017.

Bräuer G, Mellars P, Stringer C (1989) The Human Revolution: Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans (Princeton Univ Press, Princeton, NJ), pp 123–154

Larnach SL, Macintosh NWG (1970) The Craniology of the Aborigines of Queensland (University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia). 

Graphic by Jasmine Pomierski

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SPS, Attachment Styles, Relationships and Breakups

Today’s article is an invitation for self-reflection but also the clear understanding that to comprehend other human beings, we have to look at them beyond the surface.
A few days ago, I wrote an article where I explained who is and how it feels to be a highly sensitive person. Unfortunately, exists around the internet so much misconception about personality traits that it is necessary to give real and scientific definitions of these topics.

As we all know has been fiercely defended the necessity to create an enlightened society where citizens can be who they are. But how can this happen when visibility is often given to people who don’t know or know very little about the topics they are talking about? How can we demand equality if we don’t interpret the power of being different correctly?

In reality, we live in a society that warms up with patchwork and loose information. Why? Because it is a way to keep people controlled and satisfied with sporadical crumbs of oxygen to survive.

When you possess SPS or sensory processing sensitivity, you perceive information and the world more deeply. Usually, these individuals were called all their lives too sensitive and overly dramatic. In fact, we are talking about men and women who have rich inner worlds and people who have developed over time a different way of being and acting throughout their lives with themselves and others.

Besides the fact that I had to deal with many things over my life, I knew from a young age that I was different. I was never into dolls playing. My childhood was all about climbing trees, play with chickens, pigs, lambs, explore the world around me, read scientific books, and write. I write poetry and prose since my six/seven years old. So primary school and almost all my academic journey were boring for me.
As a child, teenager, and even now, as an adult woman, I do need to be alone to recharge. I swim in the river, be it in the summer or winter. Intuitively I can understand what’s going on with people around me, who they are, and from where they are coming. However, not everything was rosy, and I had to deal with a health problem, which makes it impossible to get pregnant, although I can have biological children.But I am here, alive and thriving.

Now talking about attachment styles, our environment, and specific events in life shapes and creates our attachment style over the years. Attachment theory provides us the lens to see the effects of childhood treatment on our development, specifically on what is called our mental models of relationships, as well as our ability to manage emotions.
Based on my childhood and personality traits, I am a woman with a secure attachment style but, and here is the tricky part, when I’m under stress, in a hostile environment. Or if people I love hurt me, my secondary attachment style comes to the top, which is the avoidant attachment style. Translating into a simple language, I become emotionally cold, and people can feel it in their bones. I withdraw myself from any interaction as a form of self-protection and self-preservation. The hearty and loving Alexandra disappears, giving place to another Alexandra, the one who will never allow anyone or anything to affect her integrity.

Now let’s put all this information together and talk about relationships and breakups:

When highly sensitive people are with the right partner, they thrive and bloom like no one. But the reality is we have to be careful and learn how to say no without regretting it later. Some people will come into your life because they want you to rescue them. Others won’t want your love or help, just your energy. So in easy math, the better you know yourself and your needs, the better people will come into your life. The more self-awareness and consciousness you gain about your life and choices, the better and easier it will be.

My last breakup was a huge emotional turmoil for me. As I explained here, when I left social media, I did it for myself, but also because I started seeing emotional vultures around my ex as if he was a piece of fresh meat. Do you know the kind of people who never interact in your posts while you are in a committed relationship, but the moment you become single, they show up? I didn’t want to see that circus, because I knew that sooner or later I would say something, and it would be terrible.

I felt the energy of jealousy, the energy of “oh, she is too good to be true”. I felt, and I saw people feeding his fears talking about money all the time, how I dress, and that he was just infatuated with the image he had about me. I also heard that when he came to Portugal, he just came here to have a nice holiday, not to build a relationship with me.
After hearing all this and so much more, I did what I will always do, protect him. Protect this man for me was equivalent to let him go and respect his decision to go separate ways. I couldn’t handle more hearing many voices saying bullshit and see him with no reaction.

Now, I want to ask: Do people know or understand that they can hurt others by giving too many unnecessary opinions? Do they realize what happiness is? Because when we are happy with our lives and choices, we don’t behave this way. Instead, we have the curiosity to understand who is the other person and be happy for the fact that our son, daughter, or friend is being genuinely loved.

As with any other challenges in life, understanding and acceptance are critical to overcoming the obstacles.” 

Today, the main message I want to give you is, regardless of who we are, our culture, and ancestry, we must love ourselves and teach others how to love us because love is a class that we should practice every day in our lives. Life, relationships, and breakups are more intense for highly sensitive people. However, I will leave this challenge: When you call someone a cry baby, too sensitive or dramatic. Stop and try to see the world and emotions through their eyes. I am sure you will be surprised and learn a lot.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Elham Assary, Helena M. S. Zavos, Eva Krapohl, Robert Keers, Michael Pluess. “Genetic Architecture of Environmental Sensitivity Reflects Multiple Heritable Components: A Twin Study With Adolescents.” Molecular Psychiatry (First published: June 03, 2020) DOI: 10.1038/s41380-020-0783-8

Michael Pluess, Elham Assary, Francesca Lionetti, Elham Lester, Eva Krapohl, Elaine N. Aron, Arthur Aron. “Environmental Sensitivity in Children: Development of the Highly Sensitive Child Scale and Identification of Sensitivity Groups.” Developmental Psychology (First published: January 2018) DOI: 10.1037/dev0000406

Aron, Elaine N. (2000). The Highly Sensitive Person In Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Falkenstein, Tom (2019). The Highly Sensitive Man: Finding Strength in Sensitivity. New York, NY: Kensington Publishers.

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Being a Highly Sensitive Person, It Isn’t What You Think!

Being a highly sensitive person means that you were born with many challenges, and evidence suggests that early childhood experiences may have epigenetic effects on genes associated with sensitivity, but also mirror neurons. 
Some people might call you over-sensitive, overdramatic. But if they would have your brain, they could understand how you process information knowing that you feel things and others energies around differently. 

Warning: SPS (Sensory Processing Sensitivity) or HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) is a term coined by psychologist Elaine Aron in the ’90s. Contrary to what has been written in some unofficial places, HSP isn’t a mental health disorder and can’t be compared with schizophrenia, autism, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Through the years, I’ve seen people telling out loud they are highly sensitive people, empaths, and all kinds of bullshits, but they don’t know shit about what that means (it’s all about themselves). I do have SPS or Sensory Processing Sensitivity, which is an innate trait of personality, as I explained. I do process information more deeply. I need more quiet times and be in nature to rejuvenate than my average peers. But also I have to say that fortunately, I was born in one family that taught me there is nothing more beautiful or pure than to be free and embrace who we are.

I have conscious that this kind of self-disclosure can help people to understand who they are. My SPS was identified by my psychologist when I was 25 years old during a conversation where I described some symptoms. Such as intense headaches after being around some people or in some environments. The necessity to have intense conversations and deep self-reflection. The innate ability to perceive somebody else real intentions or thoughts through the interpretation of their non-verbal communication. The need to question everything, and why I heard so many times from others why I am so sensitive like it was a curse for them. Yes, it is true I can read people’s energy and feel their pain.

Sometimes I’m not the easiest person to deal with in the world, mostly when I need to be alone and inside my world to rejuvenate energetically/emotionally after being overwhelmed by so much information and stimulus. If you want to see a person with SPS flourishing and blooming, never lie to them, has their back in times of need, and be their rocks. In return, they will offer you the entrance to a rich inner world and the love you never experienced in your life. Why? Some well-conducted and recent studies have revealed that the higher sensitivity of HSPs is due to differences in the neurotransmitters such as dopamine, as well the higher activity in the mirror neurons systems. Without forgetting the difference in how the brain process information and emotions (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex).

Negative traits:

  • Prone to the stress of social comparison
  • Feeling the negative emotions of others as our own emotions
  • Feeling upset when people walk away without trying
  • Having a hard time to say no, sometimes
  • The tendency to be our own worst critics
  • Tendency for Perfectionism
  • Feeling responsible for the happiness of others
  • Distractions such as cell phones are fonts of frustrations
  • Stressful situations kill our joy
  • Hating letting people down
  • Dislike Small Talk and Bored Easily in Relationships
  • Emotional reactivity 

Positive Traits:

  • Deep understanding of people and their emotions
  • Strong intuition and empathy 
  • Creative thinker
  • Great self-awareness
  • A profound love for nature and use nature as a way to rejuvenate/heal
  • Ability to cry and be vulnerable
  • Think about subjects deeply and love connections
  • Love is a sacred word
  • Better at spotting and sidestepping errors
  • Rich and complex inner life

To conclude, if someone close to you tells you to stop being so dramatic or sensitive, let them know that you are happy being you. These people should be grateful to have you in their lives because they will receive extra love, consciousness, emotional depth, and a brand new way to perceive the world around them.
Be aware and be careful with people who might try to drain you emotionally but also manipulate your empathy, details of your life, and compassion as a way to fulfill them temporarily till they find someone new and fresh. And this is the power of saying no and walk away from unhealthy dynamics.

Wishing you love!

Alexandra

References:

Aron, Elaine N. (1996). The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Aron, Elaine N.  (2002). The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them. New York, NY: Broadway Books. 

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The Beautiful Art Of Flirting

Flirting is a social skill that everyone possesses and uses consciously or unconsciously. However, what we have seen in the last decades is that flirting has got a bad reputation. For some, it seems to be a manipulative way of getting affection and the obvious invitation for the act of sex. Such a conception couldn’t be farther from the truth! 

The task of flirting is, in essence, an act of kindness and imaginative thoughts about someone that we find agreeable. It is a gift without devilish intentions helping to remind us that the most enjoyable part of connections isn’t sex but our intimate dynamics with someone we like, the laughing, the jokes. The good flirt is a lesson that someone else won’t have sex with us not because we are repulsive, but because the frame of good flirt doesn’t involve such activity. 

Flirt in romantic literature was considered abuse, but how far do we know now how to flirt with someone? In reality, when someone is flirting with us is giving an idea of who we are, which in most cases, we don’t perceive ourselves. We tend to think that if someone else found us interesting, it’s because they are looking for something else, and not because we are attractive human beings. So, the real flirt carries one mission: to restore not only our self-perception but also that our souls have an erotic side, which is part of our essence as animals. But besides that, invite us to rethink our social roles and also how rude and judgmental we are sometimes with some individuals when they approach us with kindness and joy. 

Should we flirt with everyone? No! Just with the ones we feel are genuinely good at their hearts. Because, remember, flirting isn’t a game of emotional manipulation or second intentions.  

The beautiful art of flirting helps us to realize our insecurities towards other’s approaches, destroy emotional barriers, and believe that exists, beautiful people in this world. 

Wishing you a great week!

Alexandra

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The Neurological Effects of Cycling

Some people call cycling the new 21-century fever. If we look back at human evolution, the roots of cycling can be found two million years ago, when our ancestors had to engage in intense physical activities seeking fat proteins to survive. The environment, as you must understand back then, was inhospitable and, for that reason, occurred a phenomenon called biology adaptation, which was rewarding seeking combined with mental focus and aerobic exercise. 

Nowadays, and entering the traditional medical field, we continue to focus on treatment rather than prevention when prevention could reduce the number of degenerative brain diseases, such as Parkison and Alzheimer’s. 

But how can aerobic exercise and cycling prevent those brain diseases? The answer is simple. Every time we do aerobic exercise, we increase our level of blood flow to the entire body, including the brain. Also, we should understand and accept that to age properly look after the levels of hormones is imperative. Cycling, for example, can enhance the production of neurons but also stimulate the production of dopamine, serotonin, and ignite positively hippocampus structures, which plays an important role in memory and spatial navigation. 

Cycling is a good sport for women (I am a cyclist), and even children diagnosed with ADHD can benefit from it. I want to call your attention to the fact that with menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone (principal sex hormones in women) will drop. And while this is happening, the aging process, women might experience memory loss or other forms of mental distress (estrogen more than a sex hormone is also a neuroprotector). The reality is sex hormones have been implicated in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, dendritic branching, myelination, and other important mechanisms of neural plasticity.

To conclude, cycling or another form of aerobic exercise combined with bioidentical hormonal modulation (if needed) and nutrition education can enhance not only your well being and longevity but also reduce the impact of aging and free radicals on your body. 

Anti-aging medicine is accessible to everyone, not just to Hollywood stars or people with money. The principal value of this scientific field is to put the individual in the center of his/her own life, working together with specialists and changing what needs to be changed as a way to create better ways of living and well-being. Aging doesn’t have to be the end of the line, and society has to wake up and accept that there is no plausible reason to remain in the misinformation age.

Now, I invite you to listen carefully to the neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi Ted Talk presentation, where she talks about how menopause affects women’s brains.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Alexandra

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11.11 – Celebrating Single’s Day in Portugal

This morning I woke up with emails from my close friends (my phone died) that we are celebrating today single’s day in Portugal. Despite all commercial euphory around these days, the reality is we should celebrate all seasons of life. And accept just because you are single doesn’t mean you are a defective person, but instead, someone who truly knows what requirements are necessary to love someone and sustain a loving emotional, intimate relationship. 

I describe singlehood as an opportunity for self-discovery, self-enhancement, and emotional evolvement in terms of creating a better platform to allow another human walk through the door of intimacy and receiving him or her warmly. 

Being single can confer a desirable degree of independence and come with strong and intimate friendships and family relations (Spielmann et al., 2013). 

In sum, the fear of being single can lead people to settle for less ideal romantic partners and less ideal relationships (Spielmann et al., 2013). It is a sad paradox because the fear of being alone will set individuals with great qualities to accept breadcrumbing intimate relationships and emotionally unhappy. 

I love to have and know that I have someone by my side, my person. But also, I do enjoy being single and have time to date myself after the ending and the loss of one intimate connection. At this stage of my life, I do want, and I enjoy being single, which means taking a period of withdrawal from the dating world or sexual contact with the opposite sex.

Be happy, be you! 

Alexandra

References:

Anderson, C., & Stewart, S. (1994).  Flying solo: Single women in midlife. New York: W. W. Norton.  

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin117, 497-529.  

Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J. A., Joel, S., Peragine, D., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2013). Settling for less out of fear of being single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology105, 1049-1073.

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Breakups: He Asked Me To Be Friends, What Should I Do?

The understanding of intimate relationships and breakups has been a nightmare in the last two decades. Not because only now occur relational problems, but because the present moment is surrounded by uncertainty and discarding behaviors like never before. It seems like people are never satisfied with their options and are always looking for someone better, when, in reality, that someone better might be right in front of their eyes. Phenomena that partly we can explain with the emergence of a relationship industry where dating apps and even social media platforms earn millions at your romantic idealization expense.

Unsurpriselized, when we look at the educational system exists a profound lack of teaching people what emotions and feelings are because they are different conceptions. The much-needed self-knowledge and self-awareness isn’t part of scholarly programs. So my first question is, how can we understand others if we don’t have the tools to understand and accept ourselves?

Returning to the title of this article, he asked me to be friends what should I do? My answer is NO! You can’t be a friend of your ex, not after a breakup. Because firstly, you have to heal and close that segment of your life. And then why you accept friendship from someone who couldn’t fulfill their role as your partner? Wasn’t enough the pain of being dumped? Do you want to be their reliable shoulders where they can cry on their dating disasters? We can’t be friends with one ex towards whom we still have sexual attraction and emotional feelings.

The difference between Emotions and Feelings

In neuroscience, emotions and feelings are called affections. However, emotions and feelings are distinctive aspects of our human condition. Emotions are unconscious processes commanded by our brain, which will produce chemical alterations in our bodies and provoke action. Emotions are the real root of our healthy or unhealthy behaviors. The real reason why we dump people out of fear, why some individuals are always anxious and perceive closeness as a threat. Emotions are automatic responses ignite by mental stimulation or external stimulation of the old memories, or help you to feel safe always based in your subconscious programming. Feelings, on the other hand, are a conscious process. And the psychological vocabulary used to describe a situation. So when we say I love you or I miss you, we are talking about feelings.

Individuals with avoidant, fearful-avoidant, or anxious attachment style tendency have repressed emotions since childhood to survive, which leads them to experience high levels of anxiety, fear, fear of rejection and abandonment, and unworthy feeling of having healthy relational dynamics.

Why are breakups so excruciating?

Let’s go back to our ancestor’s time. People used to mate and bond as a survival mechanism, but also to procreate, and this way ensure the species continuity. For example, and this is important to explain. The honeymoon phase (12 to 24 months) is a temporary period of dementia in which individuals experience passionate love, occurring the activation of the caudate nucleus and the ventral segmental area, central to emotional processing. Both brain areas are rich in dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and motivation.

But why the honeymoon phase has a short life? You might ask. Remember, in human biology, the honeymoon phase happens to have a baby with the best possible genes. And then, after this period, nature reminds us that lust and passion will subside, and it is time to take care of our children and their survival.
However, if couples can deal with each other correctly, their relationship can survive after the honeymoon phase and evolve into real love making a difference together in the world.

So when and why the relationship breaks down? In the disillusionment stage, where your emotions and your past experiences will make you doubt if you choose the right person or if you were in love in the first place. Unfortunately, more often than they should, people don’t realize this stage is part of the normal progression of a romantic relationship but instead decide to give up without trying correctly to make things work. When you don’t know what’s going on within yourself, your emotions, or subconscious programming, it will be hard to work intimately with another person. You can change for another partner, but your internal emotional patterns persist.

After a Breakup your Pain is Real!

When you experience a breakup, your pain is real, and your brain will be most active in the anterior temporal cortex, insula, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortex (same areas for physical pain). You will experience deep sadness, grief, physical pain because of hormonal withdrawal from the intimate detachment. So you can’t, and you shouldn’t accept friendship with your ex after a breakup. Not because you are a mean person or you are playing games, but because your pain is real. After a breakup, it’s time to think about healing, personal growth vanishing yourself from social media platforms and not looking at your ex pictures, surrounding yourself with your family, friends, and things that you enjoy doing. It’s your moment and let your ex face the decision of not having you in his or her life.

Be sure of one thing: you are lovable, you are unforgettable, and you will find your way. And as you can see through this article, our brain explains who we are perfectly and can be our best friend or our worst enemy.

I will close this article with another Susan Winter’s video, wishing you a wonderful weekend.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Treede RD, Kenshalo DR, Gracely RH, Jones AKP. The cortical representation of pain. Pain. 79:105–111.

Peyron R, Laurent B, Garcia-Larrea L. Functional imaging of brain responses to pain. (2004). A review and meta-analysis. Neurophysiology Clin.30:263–88. (a review & meta-analysis)

Eisenberger NI, Lieberman MD, Williams KD. (2003). Does rejection hurt: An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science. 2003; 302:290–2. First ever study to look at social pain in the brain

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Exercise: Hack Your Behavior!

November, a brand new month, begins today. And because I don’t want to write a traditional article for you to read. Instead, I propose one exercise that I invite you to do and be honest with yourself and your answers. 

The knowledge journey begins today for you, and more than hearing toxic talk shows on tv, or listen to social media influencers who are pay to talk about some subjects they don’t know at all. I want you to understand that we are living in a misinformation era, which is dangerous for your self-knowledge but also to build a prosperous emotional life. Forget the commercial ideology of 21 or 66 days to change a habit (this is false, and there is no scientific evidence on it). And the superficial information pill that is sold to you every day. You are living your life, not to built straw houses or patchwork, but being who you are without magic formulas. 


Now, grab a pen and two sheets of paper. On one sheet of paper, write this question: Who I want to be?, and in the second one, write: Who Am I today? Your answer should be honest and maximum one entire page without hiding your emotions and behaviors that are prejudice to your life. In the following articles, I will explain in detail why this exercise is so important for our mindset and behavior change. 

The great things of life aren’t necessarily all pleasurable but essential to building you as an individual prepared and instructed to live better with freedom.

Wishing you a lovely week,

Alexandra

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Don’t Seek The “click”, Seek Real Lasting Love!

Eroticism and sensuality isn’t sex, but it is one of your possible inner sexual signatures. The taste of love juices can be aphrodisiacal. But you will only be able to experience real intimacy and deep connections reprogramming your subconscious mind, knowing and accepting who you are. Keep in mind that people who see life as opportunity to risk, to feel, to experience, and to love, are enticing creatures to be around and have in your life.

For as long as I can remember, I always had this ability to talk and understand human relationships on a deep and intuitive level. For serious advice, I was the one always chosen by my friends as a provider of the right word in times of need. Even though I am single at the moment, I can tell you from the button of my heart that I am living one of the best moments of my life where freedom is the ruling word.


Today, I found out that one of my articles was published yesterday on Susan Winter’s website, an internationally recognized relationship expert and bestselling author. I’ve been following Susan’s work for a while, and I can tell you that she is one of the few people I know that are out there trying to educate or reeducate women and men to find real and healthy love.

Link below:

Personally, this is the recognition of my work as a relationship writer. I want to thank all of you for being part of my “Ouso Escrever” family, and I can only hope that from articles, you will be able to drink the correct knowledge to make you find happiness and your own strength and light.

Like I said at the beginning of this article, love should be seen and understood as a tasteful juice in which you can experience the real meaning of freedom and also the ability to express your authentic self. Don’t let your old fears and pain stop you. Don’t let old memories of failed relationships detriment your bright future. Seek help if needed, and never, ever, waste your precious time emerging yourself in ruminating thoughts because you can start today changing for good the destiny of your amazing life.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Instant Romance is Just a Click Away by Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

What is Lasting love? by Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D

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Breakups: Don’t Blame Your Ex!

I know it might sound strange and counterintuitive, but unless you were dealing with one abusive or toxic individual, the reality is I don’t want you to blame your ex when the breakup happens. Here are the reasons why: 

Unfortunately, when it comes to human psychology and the depth understanding of how the human brain works, we don’t have that much access to a scientific explanation that can support us in times of need or emotional pain, such as a breakup. Unless you work in this area, or you have the curiosity to explore other subjects, the reality is a large percentage of the population doesn’t understand the internal mechanism of how people behave. Therefore, it is essential the understanding how our subconscious programming/subconscious mind and even our attachment style play a vital role in the failure or success of our relationships. How can we achieve this? Introducing emotional education in schools and creating places where the population can have free access to this knowledge. 

We perceive love, how to give and receive love, from a very young age through our caregivers. As I mentioned here more than once, during your dating life, the probability to date someone with attachment injury or with subconscious programming that makes them perceive intimate relationships as a threat is high. And this is why I don’t want you to blame your ex when a breakup occurs. Instead, I invite you to look at the situation and look at yourself and ask these questions:

  1. Was I sure that I wanted a real commitment from the very beginning?
  2. Did I communicate my needs correctly? And did I allowed myself to be who I am, instead of what they were expecting me to be?
  3. Why I stayed too long in this relationship when I already knew the other person wasn’t meeting my emotional/relationship needs? 
  4. Am I the kind of man or woman who is resilient and wants to work things out before giving up altogether?
  5. Do I see the value of the people I chose to be with, but they don’t?
  6. Do I evaluate the relationship to proceed with the necessary adjustments? 
  7. What is an intimate relationship for me? 

A lot of men and women were taught from a very young age by life and even by people around them that they could only count on themselves to self soothe and get their emotional needs met. Also, they see an intimate relationship as a trap or a way to lose autonomy. In the paper, they know what a relationship needs to progress, but exists an inherent inability to allow intimate relationships to flourish and tend to end them too soon, mostly when the inebriant honeymoon hormonal cocktail is fading away.

The habitual problems in intimate relationships that are necessary to help the couple grow are view as a clear sign that the relationship won’t work out, and it is easier to find someone new.

We aren’t talking about mean people, but about people that had to survive. We are talking about individuals that even if they claim they had a happy childhood, can’t recall specific episodes to testify it, suppressing memories to protect the self and maintain the image of perfection. Why relationships are a threat to them, even they want it so badly? Because real love is unfamiliar territory, and yes, they will leave because they love you. Because, in reality, they don’t see themselves worthy of the love you have to offer them.

So please, if you can, don’t blame your ex. Instead, allow this experience to become a necessary lesson that you will use in your dating life in the future, not only to understand right away with whom you are dealing but also to promote within yourself the light that the right soul for you wants to see.

Now I invite you to view the videos below and search for more information on this youtube channel. Thais have been doing a great job of promoting the understanding of the attachment styles and how it impacts our relationships.

Remember that when it comes to humans, we have to look beyond their actions, and even if we chose not to have them in our lives, at least we can continue our journey with a smile believing we did our best.

Wishing you love,

Alexandra

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Happy 36th Anniversary, Alexandra (Wonder Woman)!

Bonds of Love never make the wearer weaker – they give him greater Strength!”
Wonder Woman

Today, I begin a new chapter of my life, bringing the end to the amazing cycle of loss and transformation that my 35 years old self brought into my hands and heart. I don’t regret any of my experiences because down the road. I evolved so much that I’m not the same Alexandra. As Patricia Velasquez wrote: “if there is one creature that represents my essence, it’s butterflies.” Butterflies represent not only my essence but also my capacity to metamorphize my human sense after loss and emotional death. I may die, but I will always have my rebirth to life until my cycle of living is over. Resilience and having faith, but also enough emotional intelligence to call it quits when situations and people are holding me back.

My question for you:

How many ships we have to leave to allow life to flourish and move forward? How many goodbyes we have to say and feel within our hearts to cure emotional pain?

I was born on 21 st of October 1984, on the same day that forty-three years before, the Wonder Woman made her first debut in “All-star comics” issue nº8. And life revealed since my birth why I was meant to be the real Wonder Woman. More than being a super tall and athletic woman, I possess a unique personality and beauty, which is exotic and rare these days. The straight to leave behind situations and people that drain my energy and focus. But also the ability to give love and show real compassion or empathy. Like many of you, I am a human with limited force energy to spend.

Yes, human energy is limited. Many times when you hear people blaming their lives and relationships, ask them how much of their energy and focus they put into those areas. How many of them, when they wake up, instead of kissing their partners, they check their social media feeds? Focus is a priority, and we should prioritize what is important and real.

The reality is we are living an Inattention Epidemic that is eroding affection, love, consistency, and presence.

My 35 years brought profound changes into my life, the end of a two-year intimate relationship, and associated with this breakup. I still have this image of him sharing with his mother next to the fridge the conversation he had with me the night before. Which made me question where the privacy line is? I could understand why, despite the love I had towards him, I was always so renitent to share with him something so special and private about my journey as a woman.

But what could I do? Blame him? I made a conscious decision to have a relationship with this man, and I believe life and time will allow the truth to come to the surface. My last move was to accept it was over. Painful, yes. But in peace, because I did everything a conscious and healthy girlfriend should do.

I felt a profound real love for this man, and he will always have a place in my life and heart that no one can replace. When your love is real, because it resides within you, time will help you to compartmentalize that feeling in another category. For that reason, I bought a beautiful timber box where I saved everything about us and our story, Pictures, his clothes, letters and everything he gave to me. And I’m still wearing the gold heart necklace that he gave me on my 34 anniversary because love is love, and it was an offer in a time of love and intimacy.

While having an intimate relationship with a man, you grow, you change, and mistakes happen. So the snapshot that your man takes about you at the beginning of the relationship won’t be the same. A snapshot is a static image that captures a specific moment, but you are more than a moment. You are a human having experiences and challenges that will mold you long term.

My understanding is, when your boyfriend or girlfriend decides to leave, let them go. Let them experience life as they wish and without you, believe me, this is the highest gift of your love that you offer.

“I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are”

After ten years of working in the farming industry, I left for good my job as an agricultural businesswoman, which was literally killing me. And since then, I have been nurturing myself with things that I enjoy. I was able to travel to Italy and discover this fantastic country with my brother. After twelve years of pause, I finished my master’s degree and decided to go back to university to follow my dreams and aspirations. 2020 hasn’t been the Covid-19 year for me, but the sabbatical year that my soul and body were asking for a very long time.

No social media activities, no contact with people that were draining my energy/happiness, and you want to know something wonderful? People that used to cycle with me in Australia found me on Strava, and even far away, we are again cycling together. By the way, till now, I cycled more than 3000km in Portugal.

No change happens without you want it to happen. No change happens without energetical recalibration or redirecting your focus into your personal achievements. You have to leave ships that are holding you back. You have to let people you love go away if they want to leave. But you can always carry them inside your heart as long as you live.

Be resilient, have courage, but when it comes to an end, and you feel it in your veins. Like I said in this article, saying goodbye with intelligence is the key.

The present article isn’t an inspirational message, but a message of love coming from the unique place that emotional poison can’t reach, the inner self.

Happy 36th Anniversary Wonder Woman and long live to the Amazon Portuguese/Australian Queen.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Bast, T., Pezze, M., & McGarrity, S. (2017). Cognitive deficits caused by prefrontal cortical and hippocampal neural disinhibition. British journal of pharmacology, 174(19), 3211-3225.

Ma, S., Hangya, B. et al. (2018). Dual-transmitter systems regulating arousal, attention, learning and memory. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 85, 21-33.

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What’s Healthy Narcissism?

As we all know, a lot has been said and written about narcissism. Several are even the youtube channels that promote narcissistic behavior, teaching you dating bullshit behavior while others promote explanations about narcissism and offer help to heal you.

At some level, we all have some narcissistic traits, but the unhealthy line begins when you use and hurt other people to achieve your goals or to fulfill your needs.

Healthy narcissism means that you don’t worry about what others think about you. You feel safe and able to express your true self and not taking things personally when people around don’t express the same opinions as you do.
After all, you love to be around people, not waiting for validation or external appreciation. The focus of your life is you. Yes, you! Your eyes and your body is moving towards the realization of your dreams, your happiness.

Assertiveness, proactiveness, empathy, and resilience cover the intimate parts of your personality. You are free to say no and move away from people and situations that reveal to be toxic and are wasting your time. For sure, you don’t promote your life on social media, but if you do, you share the good and bad. Not as self-promotion, but to teach others how real life is.

At the end of the day, the healthy narcissism is part of good mental health, and like in humanism, you are looking and taking good care of your body and the other spheres of your human existence.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Alexandra

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Let’s Rethink Our Participation in Dating Apps: Tinder Investigation.

Today, I’m not going to write anything about this topic because I would like you to assist the ABC News’s documentary about Tinder and dating apps in general because it does happen in all dating apps. But at the same time, I would love you to think about the following questions:

  1. Are we so lazy in love that we need a dating app to find a partner for us?
  2. What are the precautions that we should take while navigating in those apps?
  3. Why do we close our eyes to evident red flags, and how can we avoid it?
  4. Are we so eager for real connections that we need the swipe technology to help us?
  5. Do we know how dating apps change our brain structures to make it harder to connect and bond with someone good and, for this reason, return to the app again?
  6. Don’t you think that we need to remove our eyes from our cell phones and experience the real world around us? 
  7. What is love for you, an action with feeling, or a business? 
  8. Is it correct to chose people based on a swipe technique?
  9. Why do we want to be fresh meat in the dating restaurant catalog?
  10. How many billions of dollars are those companies making because you are searching for love?

We hear all the time cases of success that couples meet online, get married, and have a family together. But the questions should always be, what do we want in the future: real healthy connections feeding good courtship behavior, or virtualize our emotional needs and connections?

Proceed with care.

With love,

Alexandra

References:

Are Dating Apps Damaging Our Mental Health? by Rob Whitley, Ph.D.

Can Using Online Dating Apps be Addictive by Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D.

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Let’s Talk About “Situationships”?

Before I start this new article, I would like to thank the new readers that arrived and joined my “Ouso Escrever” family on this platform.

What is a “situationship”? Considering all the possible labels that we are using now to define intimate relationships, a “situationship” is a relationship that hasn’t been define yet.
You may not like it, but the reality is that the modern dating world and also the avalanche of dating apps. Has created the phenom called the paradox of choice, in which individuals have a hard time committing to the people they have in front of them. The swipe arena helps some relationships to stay undefined, and also is altering the internal animal technology that we used in the past to select our romantic mates. Yes, I am talking about hormones because we can’t forget how our biology works.

When we are intimate with one person happens one physiological reaction or response during sex, cuddling, hugging, that we can’t override it. The release of oxytocin and this is the reason why I request women to have sex with men, only when they know them well. The moment you have sex with a man or his penis penetrates your vagina. You won’t release only oxytocin, but also your levels of estrogen will rise. And this hormonal cocktail will bond you to the man you are having sex. So be conscious, and be sure that you have a mental and heart connection with your prospective partner, understanding that men don’t bond the same way that we do. They tend to detach after sex because of prolactin release and the necessity to rebuild testosterone. For this reason, if he doesn’t have a connection with you on other levels, he will disappear and come back only to have sex.

If you don’t want to have “situationship” but a real intimate relationship, be clear about what you want, speak your truth, and take a look at these signs:

  1. You are frequently anxious.
  2. Your partner shows through ambivalent actions that they aren’t ready to assume major commitments.
  3. You don’t talk about the future, and everything seems vague.
  4. You have a sense of zilch emotional closeness.
  5. Inconsistency is the golden rule of “situationships”. 
  6. In an expression of deep emotions, they will shut down emotionally or avoid you for days.
  7. Everything is getting bored. Why? Because to keep a relationship alive, we need to stimulate the brain’s reward system responsible for dopamine and norepinephrine production. How can you do that if you are always watching Netflix? 

The propose of having a real full-time relationship it’s because we love to have that special someone who we call our person. Having an intimate relationship means that you want to have someone waiting for you when you come back home. But more than that, someone that you can lean on in the good days and bad days.
If you want a serious and committed relationship, speak your truth, and don’t allow anyone to “steal” your time or life. Because life is too short, and you have in your hands the power to give it the best usage and living.

To conclude, I wish all of you a wonderful week and enjoy Susan’s video about the Situationships.

With love,

Alexandra

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The Real Meaning of Stoicism

We settle for what we shouldn’t. We settle for less when we can have so much more. We settle for pain, and we are the kings and queens of sorrow when we could be the Emperors and Imperatrices of solutions. But why we accept suffering so easily? Why we let fear and insecurities dictate our behaviors and sabotage our future? Because, to be honest, we suffer more in our imagination than in reality. Unfortunately, our brain can identify major changes, but it is lazy to perceive microaggressions, subtle changes in our daily life, that will, in the long run, undermine our routines. 

Although we have at our disposal scientific information about how our brain works, explaining even how we can use our emotions and subconscious mind to progress as individuals. The reality is that the majority of people don’t understand how people are or why they behave in a certain way. The educational system doesn’t teach or give the necessary tools to develop self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-empathy, and empathy for others. The educational system doesn’t teach us to be the owners of our own will or destiny, but yes, be another sheep in the middle of the flock. And this why and how we settle for less, for pain and unnecessary suffering. Because since a young age, we lack self-knowledge and education for real life, emotions and people. 

The real meaning of Stoicism is to live a good life and be in the present moment. We shouldn’t hide our pain. We shouldn’t eat sugar but instead workout and eat correctly to stay healthy. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. We shouldn’t take the ones we love for granted. And finally, we should stay away from people and situations that will damage our minds and corrupt our souls, educating ourselves as much as we can. 

As a teacher I suggest these books for reading:

How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci 

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett 

Have a lovely weekend 🙂 

Alexandra

Reference: What Stoics Can Teach us About Mental Health by Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

What Babies Can Teach Us About Love and Life?

Today we are celebrating International Children’s Day. So, why not reblog one of the most beautiful posts that I wrote here last year? Enjoy this day, being happy, being you!

With love,

Alexandra

Ouso Escrever

What babies can teach us about love and life?

Babies, these inoffensive little creatures, not only can deeply love other human beings without expecting anything but also teach how vulnerability is a fundamental requisite of our existence. It is ridiculous to perceive that a long time ago, we were babies with an immense and intact capacity to love, laugh, and without too high expectations, just a hug or a kiss would be enough.

Where did we lose ourselves?

Babies don’t care about your status, your income, if you have a big car or a house with a swimming pool. The crying happens not because they are mean, but just because they are scared and perhaps hungry.

So the question also should be, what are we doing with our babies? Are we learning with them, or are we teaching them not only how not to be a baby, but also a…

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