On Boundaries: No Is A Complete Sentence

An important safety note:  Be Cautious using the advice in “No is a complete sentence” in situations of domestic violence or other significantly unsafe situations. Always put your personal safety first.  No Is A Complete Sentence We are trained not to say no to others. Many of us are also trained not to take no for an answer. This can cause significant problems in our relationships as we leap over consent issues in our efforts to get to a yes. No is a complete sentence when you say it to someone else. It is also a complete sentence when someone …

The Shark Cage Metaphor: Spotting Potential Abusers

What is the Shark Cage Metaphor? The Shark Cage Metaphor is the brainchild of Ursula Benstead, a psychologist practicing in Melbourne, Australia.   We often find ways to blame victims for their own abuse, without taking into account the behavior of abusers. The Shark Cage metaphor puts the responsibility for abuse squarely where it belongs while providing survivors and potential victims with tools to build their “shark cages”.  She tells a story to illustrate the idea that goes as follows:  the shark enters the bar Of course, in Ms. Benstead’s example, it’s a pub, because she’s in Australia. The “shark” is …

How To Apologize When It Matters: Own, Apologize, Repair

What Do You Mean, “How to Apologize”? A lot of folks are reading this thinking “don’t I just say ‘I’m sorry’”? Actually, it’s not that simple. We were often taught how to apologize as children by being forced to apologize when we weren’t really sorry. So a lot of us default to grudging words mumbled under our breaths. Some of us default to defensive, half-yelling sarcastic words tossed in anger. But neither of those ways of apologizing serves to preserve and improve relationships. And that’s the goal, right?  “Harm” vs “offend” Offend is a judgment word, and relates to feelings …

The Four “F”s of Fear: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn

What Are the Four “F”s of Fear? Those of us who live with PTSD and other anxiety disorders live with frequent, sometimes constant, fear. “The tiger in the tent” refers to the belief, deeply held in our basal ganglia, that we are in immediate danger. We use the four “f”s of fear to help us understand what our “lizard brain” is trying to do.  The “lizard brain” lives in the basal ganglia at the base of our skull.  It holds instinct, nightmare, habit, and fear, among other things. Mostly, it holds the things we do “without thinking”. The fearful lizard …

Parenting: The Case Of The Dirty Rotten Little Milk-Spiller

The Case of the Dirty Rotten Little Milk-Spiller Once upon a time, there were three parents. Or grandparents. Or other adults in charge of a child. You decide. Each of the parents was asked to deal with the (dirty rotten) little milk-spiller, Kiddo.  setting the scene for the Little MIlk-Spiller: Parent is talking on the phone. It’s an important call, and the person on the other end of the phone is important to them.  Relaxing in a chair in the carpeted living room, Parent isn’t paying close attention to Kiddo. Kiddo is suspiciously quiet. No one else is at home.

A Ridiculously Basic Primer on Consent Culture

What is Consent Culture? At its simplest, consent culture is a culture in which asking for consent is normalized and encouraged in popular culture. This includes many parts of life, not just sexual consent. We should treat asking consent as normal in lots of activities. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Executive Function, Parenting, and Your Kid’s Messy Room

“Your Kid’s Messy Room” is part of the Executive Function Series of Videos and the first of the series that deals with parenting implications.   Your goal is to make cleaning a room a task that a child understands and can generally do and to make it far less stressful for both of you. Having a backup adult (like another parent or friend) is useful for this only if they understand the goal.  For review, go to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Also, you can use the advice on helping your child with their messy room for other things …

Marry, Shag, Kill: A Relationship Metaphor

What is Marry, Shag, Kill, Anyhow? Known under several names, including “Marry, F*ck, Kill”, “Marry, Snog, Kill”, and “Marry, Kiss, Kill”, it is a game meant to rate the relative attractiveness and/or suitability of celebrities or fictional characters. Usually, one person will list three characters (say, Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron Weasley). You would “force” choose which one you would “marry”, which you would “shag”, and which you would “kill” (or get rid of).

Microfiction: Bluetooth’d

Bluetooth’d (CN: Sexual Assault.)  Bluetooth’d Hey, baby Have you tried it? Brain to brain? Here. Let me show you. There, now you don’t have to go up the network and back. Just me and you, bluetooth’d. C’mon. It’ll be fun. Relax. Why are you resisting? Look! Your head is nodding. You smiled at me, you said yes. Dance with me. I said, dance with me. Wait. What? What is happening? Oh, shit. What’s this? I can’t move!

Executive Function Pt. 3: Forming Habits

Executive Function Pt. 3: Forming Habits For part 1 go here and part 2 go here. Now we move on to forming habits. Toward the end of this article will be links to this information in other forms.  The Parts of YOur Brain Involved in Forming habits When you form a habit, you move information from your pre-frontal cortex to other parts of your brain, especially your basal ganglia. Your pre-frontal cortex is the newest part of your brain, genetically. It is also the most vulnerable to stress and other issues. Because of this, it is important, whenever we can, …