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coaching, counselling and training in Worthing (UK) and online with Pat Spink

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Introverts – time to re-engage – or not?

For any introverts out there who might not have hated lockdown quite as much as their extravert friends and colleagues.

Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the reduced social interaction, invitations and demands and welcomed the opportunity for some (permitted/unchallenged) solitude.

Maybe lockdown has given you the time and space to find some calm within the storm, reconnect with yourself, draw breath, re-centre, adjust your pace of life.

In my experience, not everyone appreciates the difference between loneliness and solitude – and that solitude is something that a lot of us need from time to time and that we value.

So you might be feeling a little guilty or embarrassed – or fear being labelled by friends and family as rather unsociable, depressed or lazy if you’re not rushing to meet up again in person…

You’re not alone in this (even if you’d prefer be – ha ha!) and you might appreciate hearing from a couple of other people who feel similarly. Continue reading “Introverts – time to re-engage – or not?”

Hello! Will we ever shake hands again?

When we went into lockdown we all stopped doing this – some of us had stopped even before that.

It’s something we have tended to do here in the UK – in business and socially.

Maybe it’s a generational thing (I’m in my 60s) and perhaps it’s also more prevalent amongst men than women – although, in my experience, lots of women (in a work context, at least) used to shake hands, too.

A handshake seems like a small gesture, but maybe it represents quite a lot? Continue reading “Hello! Will we ever shake hands again?”

Today is World Introvert Day

This is from an internet search I did yesterday:

It’s my experience that the (Western) world has been shaped mostly by extraverts and that, consequently, those of us who identify more with the traits of introversion, or are on the cusp between the two (ambiverts), can find it a tough place to navigate at times.

In her book ‘Quiet‘ (which I love), Susan Cain talks about the different levels of stimulation required, and able to be tolerated, by introverts and extraverts and the ‘extrovert ideal’. She quotes William White:

“Society is itself an education in the extrovert values,

and rarely has there been a society that has preached them so hard.

No man is an island, but how John Donne would writhe to hear how often, 

and for what reasons,

the thought is so tiresomely repeated.” Continue reading “Today is World Introvert Day”

Success – on whose terms?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately.

The stories we tell ourselves about our own lives….

What we say, how we ‘report’ our lives, when we speak to people we haven’t seen for a while and they ask us what we’re up to these days…

Does it feel like we have to ‘put on a show’ and that we’re in a competition that we’re losing more often than not..?

For example, what do we say when someone asks “What did you get up to this weekend?” Have you ever been tempted to ‘guild the lily’ a little to appear more active and interesting than you think the truth might sound? I know I have… face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602

And what does success in one area of our life cost us in another?

Hence some of my recent Instagram posts:

success - what did you have to give upstrengths presupposes energy channeled from other areas

Continue reading “Success – on whose terms?”

Inspirational Introverts

First ManThis week I went to see ‘First Man’ – the film about Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon.

I really enjoyed it.

By all accounts Armstrong was most definitely an introvert – and this was certainly how Ryan Gosling portrayed him.

I’d like to think this was close to the truth of the man because I liked what I saw – someone who was thoughtful, humble and gentle and who didn’t waste words, speaking only when he had something to say. Continue reading “Inspirational Introverts”

CLANGERS for all…!!!

CLANGERS

I saw Dr Phil Hammond (doctor and comedian) on TV recently. I love this concept of his – simple and memorable.

As he says:

“The daily habits of healthy, happy people are easy to say but harder to do. Try to do your daily CLANGERS, and help others to do theirs. Changes in lifestyle are far more powerful than any drug we have to offer.” Continue reading “CLANGERS for all…!!!”

Alone or Lonely?

alone or lonely

On one of my seafront walks recently I noticed someone sitting by themselves on the beach, gazing out to sea – much like the person in the photo here.

Given my particular interest in suicide prevention I needed to make a judgement call as to whether this person seemed in distress and, if so, whether I would approach them. In this case they seemed just fine.

But it started me thinking – they were there alone, perhaps by choice, but maybe not.

Continue reading “Alone or Lonely?”

Everybody Hurts

It’s that time of year again – my ‘guilty pleasure’ Britain’s Got Talent is back on ITV in the UK. winking-face_1f609

I caught up on the audition stages last week and was incredibly touched by Father Ray Kelly’s rendition of the R.E.M. classic (a 7 minute clip including his introduction to the panel before he sings):

We all love a good gossip – don’t we?

gossip.png

And what’s the harm – really?

If I only tell one person, then that’s OK isn’t it…?

Or should I try and be ‘good’ and not indulge at all?

And when does talking about someone else become gossip, anyway?

One of my counselling tutors used to quote an old Yiddish proverb:

“Gossip hurts 3 people:

  • The one who gossips
  • The one talked about
  • The who listens and now has ‘guilty knowledge’ “

Continue reading “We all love a good gossip – don’t we?”

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