Friday, February 24, 2017

How Sexual Rejection Affects Men in Relationships

What happens when a woman doesn’t give a man the attention he assumes he deserves!

We all probably know that most women feel hurt when men turn down their love-making advances.  What happens when she rejects him and turn him down? On the other hand, most of us tend to think that the same rejection does not hurt men as much. This kind of thinking is mostly based on two assumptions:

The first is associated with the Masculinity Theory, which suggests that physical and surface-level reasons drive a man’s desire. In contrast, a woman’s desire is mostly driven by emotional connection. The assumption here is that men won’t hurt much once rejected because they will only miss out on the physical act.
The second assumption is associated with the $exu@l Script Theory. The suggestion is that men should initiate physical affections while women act as gatekeepers in Straight relationships. In other words, a woman should either say yes or no to a man’s advances. Men are bound to experience more rejection if they initiate physical affections more often.
These two assumptions lead to the conclusion that rejection hurts men less because they actually expect it. However, just because men are more likely to experience rejection doesn’t mean handling it is any easier. In fact, the opposite might be true. The more often a man experiences rejection, the more it can really impact his confidence, ego, and interest in physical affections.
Studies show that a man’s desire to get some and his self-esteem reduce once she rejects him. Men start to get depressed and wonder whether something is going on if every time they make a move, it is rejected. To a man, it means not being wanted by his partner, which is often offensive to them. Men rarely perceive rejection to mean their partner doesn’t want to get some at the moment.
Occasional rejection due to bad timing is bound to happen in every relationship. It might be when a partner is sick or not in the mood for a good reason. The thought that you will always be interested at the same time as your partner over several years is nice but far-fetched. There will be plenty of times when either partner faces rejection.
However, regular rejection wears men down over time and makes them question both themselves and their relationships. In addition, it ultimately has a negative effect on their self-esteem and decreases their level of interest in getting down. Staying positive or imagining physical affections is often tough for men if they get rejected regularly. For them, not thinking about it is a lot easier. Because rejection is difficult, men often start behaving in ways that can help them avoid it. The resultant behavior might include pulling back from getting down by showing less interest or reducing the quality and frequency of their advances.
Studies also show that men often under-perceive their female partners’ interest in getting down, especially when they are motivated to avoid rejection. Men are more likely to miss sexual cues from their partners if they think they will probably experience rejection. Insecurity, receiving poor feedback at work, or having a bad day are a few of the factors that can lead to such thoughts. As a result, men are less likely to initiate physical affections or even think about it. For men, misjudging their partner’s mood and experiencing rejection yet again is too risky.
It is quite understandable that your partner might not be in the mood to get down now and then. This applies in particular if they feel you are merely looking for a physical release. However, a shift might happen if men vocalize or express that their desire isn’t merely about a release. Men should instead express their desire to feel close to and connect with their partners. They should also talk about wanting to receive validation of their worth and desirability.

Your partner might reject you less often if they know it hurts you more deeply than they thought. They may also try to initiate physical affections a little bit more or become more mindful of how they reject your advances. Instead of a cold shrug, your partner might revert to saying something polite and offering an alternative.

What Would Buddha Do About the Economy?

By Jenara Nerenberg

Clair Brown suggests that the moment may be ripe for Buddhist thought to insert itself into Western economics.

The financial collapse of 2008, coupled with growing income and wealth disparity, has made many Americans question the benefits of a free market economy. Are our current economic policies really the best we can do?
According to Clair Brown, a UC Berkeley economics professor and director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society, the answer is no. An expert in economic theory and a practicing Buddhist, Brown believes we should consider integrating a Buddhist value system into economics, arguing that if we focused more on relieving suffering, on our interdependence with each other and nature, and on sustainability, our economy would work better for more people. Her thinking is explored in a newly published book, Buddhist Economics.
I talked with Brown about the promise and potential of Buddhist economics, what went wrong in our current economic framework, and how it all connects to individual well-being.
Jenara Nerenberg: How do you define “Buddhist economics”?
Clair BrownClair Brown
Clair Brown: Buddhist economics is based upon three main assumptions: People are interdependent with each other, people are interdependent with nature, and happiness requires helping others and reducing suffering, because the suffering of one person is the suffering of all people.
JN: What prompted you to write a book on this topic?
CB: Students care a lot about inequality and sustainability, but somehow both are discussed outside of economics, as though it’s separate. But that’s not satisfying. Students want something that’s much more integrated and holistic.
Economists have worked a lot on these problems, but once again by the time we’ve worked on a problem and beat it to death, it’s still separate. So we know a lot about inequality and sustainability. We also know all the reasons that free markets don’t work and that the assumptions don’t hold. But it’s very hard to find a way to integrate it all.
So for me, as a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, I thought, “How would the Buddha teach introductory economics? How would he bring it all together?” And my students loved it and really helped push my thinking along.
JN: What is some of the most compelling research you came across when working on the book?
CB: I started off with Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winner, whose work looks at how people are living to evaluate their quality of life. When Amartya Sen read my book, he thanked me for pushing along what he’d been doing, especially because sustainability wasn’t a big part of his work at the time. Ecological economics is the reason why I say humans are interdependent with nature. Our well-being is interdependent. And in looking at human suffering, I turned to the United Nations—they were working on sustainable development and basic needs, relieving suffering of extreme starvation and extreme poverty.
Then there’s the fascinating topic of how economists disagree over what is human nature. The competitive market model assumes we are selfish, as Adam Smith shows. But new research shows just how altruistic people actually are and so economists finally have proof and can no longer say that humans are just selfish. And that was a big breakthrough. Of course only economists need such proof!
JN: How has economics contributed to our current political climate and what can be done about it?
CB: You know, a lot of economists who studied inequality predicted that the enormous rise in inequality would eventually lead to social unrest. We’ve had a rise in inequality since the ‘70s and it’s gotten worse and worse. It’s well-documented. So we see how bad the inequality is—not just in income, but in wealth.
I look at the people in the cities that have been devastated in the Rust Belt of the South, and I have enormous empathy for them because they have suffered. They don’t have jobs and don’t have the ability to feel good about taking care of themselves and their families. And they’re suffering enormously, because their way of life as they’ve known it—their religion and community life—sort of died for them, and it was a large part of our inequality. So the sad thing is that they—without having enough background in history, politics, and economics—were taken in by someone like Trump who blamed current conditions on trade and immigrants, which economists know is incorrect.
Integrating sustainability into relieving suffering fits really well. Once we’re ready to let go of the idea that people are only selfish, and once we’re willing to assume interdependence among people and nature, then everything works. It all comes together and it’s also compatible with what neuroscientists are finding about people’s well-being and the way minds work.
JN: Which neuroscience research has caught your attention?
CB: Research shows that when people are shown images of people helping others, the happiness centers in their brain light up. And when the images show people behaving selfish and mean, then their brain activity moves away from it. Once again we are verifying that people are actually naturally generous and kind and that somehow society comes and puts a cloud over our Buddha nature of loving-kindness. Society tells you to go make a deal, a lot of money, be competitive, gain power…but that’s not how you become happy. But if society tells you that’s how you become happy, then we’re in a dilemma. And that’s causing us pain.
JN: Do you have other thoughts on economics and well-being?
CB: You know, the relationship between the individual and the larger economic structure is really important. What we say in Buddhist Economics is that individuals should do the best they can—live mindfully, take care of people, have a low carbon footprint, and so forth. But the other thing that they absolutely have to do is get up, go out, and when there’s an injustice being done—as today there is with immigration and the United States withdrawing from the Paris agreements—they have to go out and protest that.
We must stop injustice against people and we must stop harm to the earth. We can’t just sit at home and feel good about how nice our life is, because we live in the greater world. And right now we absolutely have to go out and push our government to behave in a way that protects people and doesn’t harm them and protects earth and doesn’t harm it.

Inspirational Quote – February 24, 2017

“Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for.”

Let’s say we put our wish out there to the Universe or Greater Power and believe it has been received and understood and that a process has begun in making it a reality for us. I believe that, perhaps in order for us to truly appreciate and value the end result, we may have lessons to learn beforehand. Now these lessons may not be easy for us and we may struggle to understand or comprehend what they could possibly teach us, but we need to trust that they are for our own good and will ensure that, when our wish is realized, we are in the right place mentally, physically and spiritually to truly appreciate it.

A Champion for Every Foster Child

"Research into foster children shows a clear correlation between their educational struggles and their chaotic home life - and how this gravely affects their future. Enter FosterEd. It is the brainchild of Jesse Hahnel, an attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, who believes that if foster children had someone advocating for their education, at least some of those dire statistics might be alleviated. At the heart of his program is a fairly straightforward idea: Provide every foster child with someone who cares deeply about his or her education."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Inspirational Quote – February 23, 2017

“I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.”

Sometimes our dreams and aspirations seem so distant that we may feel we will never see them realized. However, at least we have a purpose in having something to aim for which, let’s face it, is better than having nothing to look forward to achieving in the future. Even if it feels as though we’ll never get there and perhaps wonder if it’s worth it, remember time never stands still so every single second, minute, hour and day that passes gets us just that bit closer to where we want to be. Never give up and remember the saying “All good things come to those who wait.”


For the Traveller: By John O'Donohue

We think we travel to find adventure and a change of scenery, but there are other tiny gems that come to us along the way of the road that are not from travel brochures. It is "the compass of our soul" that is the secret guide for finding our way in this world. When we are lost in faraway lands, or "in that part of the heart that lies low at home," there is a silence within that can show us how to find our way. Awaiting us on our next journey is "a crystal of insight, you could not have known you needed." In this poem, John O'Donohue invites us to listen, taste, feel and see all that comes to us as we travel the world beyond our front door. What talisman to guide your life will you find on your next journey?