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Fri, 28 Jul 2017
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5 insidious phrases sociopaths and narcissists use to undermine your confidence

© Men's Health
Have you ever wondered if someone you know is a narcissist or sociopath? How do you tell the difference? First let me say that all sociopaths are narcissists, but not all narcissists are sociopaths. Confused? Let me try to explain. While there are definite similarities between the two personality types, the motives behind what they do and say are different. The sociopath wants to control every facet of your life, while the narcissist wants you to devote all of your time and attention to them.

However, both personality types will say similar things to get you where they want you. Below are 5 sentences that both narcissists and sociopaths use that make you feel like you're crazy.

1. I hate drama

They will tell you that they hate drama, but you'll soon learn that there's more drama surrounding them than anyone you've ever known. At first, they idolize you above everyone else, praising you for your perfect easy-going nature.

Family

Overscheduling kids prevents self-discovery

Are children scheduled to the max these days? Are there any waking moments that give children the freedom to express themselves in unstructured environments? Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative, an education expert says.

Deschoolers maintain that a child's learning should be curiosity-driven rather than dictated by teachers and textbooks, and that forcing kids to adhere to curricula quashes their natural inclination to explore and ask questions because children think differently.

Dr Teresa Belton says cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination.

The senior researcher at the University of East Anglia's School of Education and Lifelong Learning interviewed a number of authors, artists and scientists in her exploration of the effects of boredom.

There are activities and summer camps galore to fill children's time and supply much needed childcare when kids are out of school. But psychologists and child development experts suggest that over-scheduling children during the summer is unnecessary and could ultimately keep kids from from discovering what truly interests them.

Comment:


Chalkboard

Does living with less actually make one happier?

Will having more wealth actually make you happier? According to a number of studies an addition to your income isn't only unlikely to make you happier, but it can make those around you less happy, and you for the fear of losing it.

To explain, we must first look at a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Two economists, David Blanchflower of Dartmouth and Andrew Oswald of Warwick, set out to document the relation that age has to overall happiness. What they found was that as income tends to increase steadily over time, happiness follows a U-shape pattern, dipping to its lowest point at around age 45, then quickly climbing up thereafter.

A large-scale survey from the General Social Survey, which included around 20,000 men and 25,000 women of 16 years and older supports these findings. After asking Americans to rank their happiness on a 3 point scale ranging from "very happy" to "pretty happy" to "not too happy", they found a resulting average of 2.2, or just over "pretty happy". The Eurobaromoter, after conducting a similar survey on close to 400,000 men and women in 11 European countries from 1975 to 1998 found that the average self-assessed happiness score across Europe is 3 out of 4.

Bulb

7 signs that you are probably smarter than average, no IQ test required

No IQ test required, here are some hints that your intelligence might be above average.

Other studies now suggest a link between intelligence and mental illness that may go back into our evolutionary past.

The increased intelligence of Homo sapiens was originally a result of gene mutations.

The cost of these gene mutations, however, may have been an increase in mental illness (Nithianantharajah et al., 2012).

Comment: Not included in this list is the benefits of cigarette smoking. See also: Secret health benefits of Nicotine


Bulb

To understand others, know thyself

© saramarchessault.com
Through targeted training, people can be guided to develop a better inner awareness about their own mental states, and to have a better understanding of the mental states of others. In fact, the better people understand themselves, the more easily they can put themselves in other people's shoes.

Such training therefore ultimately helps us deal with current global challenges, says Anne Böckler of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science and Julius Maximilians University Würzburg in Germany. She, together with Tania Singer and Lukas Hermann, is an author of a study in Springer's Journal of Cognitive Enhancement which looked at the influence of a three-month contemplative training course in a group of adults.

During the three months, various methods were used to teach two groups of 80 and 81 participants, aged between 20 and 55 years, how to develop their perspective-taking skills . The training was inspired by the Internal Family Systems model which views the self as being composed of different complex inner parts or subpersonalities, each with their own defining set of behaviours, thoughts and emotions. Participants were taught to identify and classify their own inner parts. They explored how being identified with different inner parts such as their caring, managing or pleasure parts affects their everyday experiences.

Info

40 more 'intelligence' genes found

© abide/iStockphoto
SMART GENES A large genetic study turns up more genes that may help build intelligence into the brain.
Smarty-pants have 40 new reasons to thank their parents for their powerful brains. By sifting through the genetics of nearly 80,000 people, researchers have uncovered 40 genes that may make certain people smarter. That brings the total number of suspected "intelligence genes" to 52.

Combined, these genetic attributes explain only a very small amount of overall smarts, or lack thereof, researchers write online May 22 in Nature Genetics. But studying these genes, many of which play roles in brain cell development, may ultimately help scientists understand how intelligence is built into brains.

Historically, intelligence research has been mired in controversy, says neuroscientist Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine. Scientists disagreed on whether intelligence could actually be measured and if so, whether genes had anything at all to do with the trait, as opposed to education and other life experiences. But now "we are so many light-years beyond that, as you can see from studies like this," says Haier. "This is very exciting and very positive news."

The results were possible only because of the gigantic number of people studied, says study coauthor Danielle Posthuma, a geneticist at VU University Amsterdam. She and colleagues combined data from 13 earlier studies on intelligence, some published and some unpublished. Posthuma and her team looked for links between intelligence scores, measured in different ways in the studies, and variations held in the genetic instruction books of 78,308 children and adults. Called a genome-wide association study or GWAS, the method looks for signs that certain quirks in people's genomes are related to a trait.

Eye 2

When your child is a psychopath

© Lola Dupre
This is a good day, Samantha tells me: 10 on a scale of 10. We're sitting in a conference room at the San Marcos Treatment Center, just south of Austin, Texas, a space that has witnessed countless difficult conversations between troubled children, their worried parents, and clinical therapists. But today promises unalloyed joy. Samantha's mother is visiting from Idaho, as she does every six weeks, which means lunch off campus and an excursion to Target. The girl needs supplies: new jeans, yoga pants, nail polish.

At 11, Samantha is just over 5 feet tall and has wavy black hair and a steady gaze. She flashes a smile when I ask about her favorite subject (history), and grimaces when I ask about her least favorite (math). She seems poised and cheerful, a normal preteen. But when we steer into uncomfortable territory—the events that led her to this juvenile-treatment facility nearly 2,000 miles from her family—Samantha hesitates and looks down at her hands. "I wanted the whole world to myself," she says. "So I made a whole entire book about how to hurt people."

Starting at age 6, Samantha began drawing pictures of murder weapons: a knife, a bow and arrow, chemicals for poisoning, a plastic bag for suffocating. She tells me that she pretended to kill her stuffed animals.

"You were practicing on your stuffed animals?," I ask her.

She nods.

"How did you feel when you were doing that to your stuffed animals?"

"Happy."

"Why did it make you feel happy?"

"Because I thought that someday I was going to end up doing it on somebody."

"Did you ever try?"

Silence.

"I choked my little brother."

Bulb

The virtues of boredom

© Hulton Deutsch / Getty
Prince Charles with his Aunt, Princess Margaret (right), and his Grandmother, Elizabeth the Queen Mother, at the 1953 coronation of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
What's going on under the surface when people feel bored?

Boredom is in many ways an emotion of absence. The absence of stimulation, of interest, of excitement. But as Mary Mann reveals in her new book, Yawn: Adventures in Boredom, what's lacking when we feel bored is often something much deeper than entertainment. She writes about her "fear that there was no overarching purpose for my time," how boredom can paper over feelings of powerlessness or meaninglessness. It's easier to label that itchy sensation "boredom" than it is to consider the feeling one gets sometimes that the train of life is stopped on its tracks, that the narrative is going nowhere.

Feeling bored "doing work that didn't mean anything to me in San Diego, a place I'd never meant to live," Mann writes, "felt as if I'd slipped out of the role of protagonist in my own life, just fallen right out of the story altogether."

Comment: 'I'm bored!' - Research on attention sheds light on the unengaged mind


Candle

Lament singing: An ancient tradition that helps people cope with trauma in the modern world


Lament teacher Prikko Fihlman at her home in Helsinki
In Finland, lament singing is experiencing a revival, one sad song at a time.

Riitta Excell wore a pair of homemade wool socks: white with red floral patterns and rounded blue toes. Around her were women sipping tea and enjoying plum pastries and chicken feta pie. They wore homemade wool socks, as well.

It was nearly 3 o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon, and Pirkko Fihlman's living room on the outskirts of Helsinki was filled with black-and-white family photos, porcelain figurines of angels and birds, and embroidered rococo chairs. The clink of tea cups fell silent, and then Excell squeezed her eyes closed, clenched her fists, and began to sing a lament in Finnish.

Comment: The magic of music is a balm for the body and soul


Heart - Black

Meditation and the dark recesses of the mind

© Cameron Gray
Aaron Alexis was in search of something. He started attending a Buddhist temple and learned to meditate; he hoped it would bring him wisdom and peace. "I want to be a Buddhist monk," he once told a friend from the temple. His friend advised him to keep studying. Aaron did. He learned Thai and kept going to the temple, chanting, and meditating. But then other things got in the way.

On 16 September 2013, Aaron drove into Washington's Navy Yard. It was eight o'clock in the morning. He'd been working there not long before, and security let him in. He walked out of the car with a large bag and briefly disappeared into a toilet. Minutes later the security cameras caught him holding a shotgun. Aaron walked briskly and hid behind a wall for a few seconds before advancing through the building. Within 30 minutes twelve people were dead. He killed randomly, first using his shotgun and then, after running out of ammunition, using the handgun belonging to a guard he'd just killed. He died after an exchange of gunfire with the police.

It took only 24 hours for a journalist to notice that Aaron had been a Buddhist, prompting her to write an article that asked, 'Can there be a less positive side to meditation?' Western Buddhists immediately reacted. One wrote, "This man represented the Dharma teachings no more than 9/11 terrorists represented the teachings of Islam."