How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide


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How to hitch a ride on the hazy train. Just because you can legally drink in a car in Mississippi, doesn't mean you should. Music has pretty much existed as long as humans have walked the earth and alcohol came soon thereafter.

Ellie is 24 months old and has been to 22 breweries. There's more to the farmhouse beer family than funky saisons. It all started with an issue of Playboy, of course. How to drink like a local, according to the locals. From the lame to the super short to the agenda-setting, the big game's beer ads have given us so much over the years. The reporting on the street matches the numbers. We all have to watch the movie. Maybe we should watch it with beer.

You might get a Mr. Beer kit over the holidays.

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Then you might become a pro brewer, looks like. Some the classic breweries of the past were bought to be shut down. The classic horror flick, but with beer. Beer was once anti boring. Is there a reason to return to the simple nowadays, though? Homer's SkittleBrau never came with a recipe. We tweak it anyway. How can new breweries succeed in such a crowded market? Look back or look forward. It doesn't look good for the sports bar.

Just when you finally had your Perfect Pint and your Teku, out comes the newest properglassware. That genius Aziz Ansari's show, Master of None, plus beers. Nothing can go wrong. If you have to see the new Baywatch, see it with beers. Why are small town beers more acclaimed than ones from big cities? That beer you're drinking? Chats about light or neutral matters are helpful. Schedule times for this if you need to. Too often, when family members are in conflict with one another or are burdened by the management of severe emotional problems, they forget to take time out to talk about matters other than illness.

Such discussions are valuable for many reasons. The person with BPD often devotes all her time and energy to her illness by going to multiple therapies each week, by attending day treatment, etc. The result is that she misses opportunities to explore and utilize the variety of talents and interests she has. Her sense of self is typically weak and may be weakened further by this total focus on problems and the attention devoted to her being ill.

When the family members take time to talk about matters unrelated to illness, they encourage and acknowledge the healthier aspects of her identity and the development of new interests.


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Such discussions also lighten the tension between family members by introducing some humor and distraction. Thus, they help you to follow guideline 3. Some families never talk in this way, and to do so may seem unnatural and uncomfortable at first. There may be a hundred reasons why there is no opportunity for such communication. Families need to make the time.

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The time can be scheduled in advance and posted on the refrigerator door. For example, everyone may agree to eat dinner together a few times a week with an agreement that there will be no discussions of problems and conflict at these times.


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  7. Eventually, the discussions can become habit and scheduling will no longer be necessary. Allow yourself to be hurt. Admit to whatever is true in the criticisms. When people who love each other get angry at each other, they may hurl heavy insults in a fit of rage. This is especially true for people with BPD because they tend to feel a great deal of anger.

    The natural response to criticism that feels unfair is to defend oneself. A person who is enraged is not able to think through an alternative perspective in a cool, rational fashion. Attempts to defend oneself only fuel the fire. Given that a person who is expressing rage with words is not posing threat of physical danger to herself or others, it is wisest to simply listen without arguing. What that individual wants most is to be heard.


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    Of course, listening without arguing means getting hurt because it is very painful to recognize that someone you love could feel so wronged by you. Sometimes the accusations hurt because they seem to be so frankly false and unfair. Other times, they may hurt because they contain some kernel of truth. Remember that such anger is part of the problem for people with BPD. It may be that she was born with a very aggressive nature.

    The anger may represent one side of her feelings which can rapidly reverse. See discussion of black and white thinking. Keeping these points in mind can help you to avoid taking the anger personally. Self-destructive acts or threats require attention. Do not keep secrets about this. Talk about it openly with your family member and make sure professionals know.

    There are many ways in which the person with BPD and her family members may see trouble approaching. Threats and hints of self-destructiveness may include a variety of provocative behaviors. The person may speak of wanting to kill herself. She may become isolative. She may superficially scratch herself. Some parents have noticed that their daughters shave their head and color their hair neon at times when they are in distress.

    More commonly, what will be evident is not eating or reckless behavior. Trouble may be anticipated when separations or vacations occur. When families see the signs of trouble they may be reluctant to address them. Other times, family members dread speaking directly about a problem because the discussion may be difficult.

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    Problems are not created by asking questions. By addressing provocative behaviors and triggers in advance, family members can help to avert further trouble. People with BPD often have difficulty talking about their feelings and instead tend to act on them in destructive ways.

    Privacy is, of course, a great concern when one is dealing with an adult. However, the competing value in these situations of impending danger is safety.

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    Most people would agree that safety comes first. At the same time, there may be a temptation to overreact in ways that give the person reinforcement for her behavior. People need to have their negative feelings heard. Using words to express fear, loneliness, inadequacy, anger, or needs is good. When feelings are expressed openly, they can be painful to hear. A daughter may tell her parents that she feels abandoned or unloved by them. Listening is the best way to help an emotional person to cool off. People appreciate being heard and having their feelings acknowledged. This does not mean that you have to agree.

    One method is to remain silent while looking interested and concerned. You may ask some questions to convey your interest. With these statements, you prove that you are actually hearing what the other person is saying. Do not rush to argue with your family member about her feelings or talk her out of her feelings. As we said above, such arguing can be fruitless and frustrating to the person who wants to be heard. Remember, even when it may feel difficult to acknowledge feelings that you believe have no basis in reality, it pays to reward such expression.

    It is good for people, especially individuals with BPD, to put their feelings into words, no matter how much those feelings are based on distortions. If people find the verbal expression of their feelings to be rewarding, they are less likely to act out on feelings in destructive ways. Feelings of being lonely, different, and inadequate need to be heard. By hearing them and demonstrating that you have heard them using the methods described above, you help the individual to feel a little less lonely and isolated.

    Such feelings are a common, everyday experience for people with BPD. Parents usually do not know and often do not want to believe that their daughter feels these ways. The feelings become a bit less painful once they are shared.

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    Family members may be quick to try to talk someone out of such feelings by arguing and denying the feelings. Such arguments are quite frustrating and disappointing to the person expressing the feelings. If the feelings are denied when they are expressed verbally, the individual may need to act on them in order to get her message across. Problems are best tackled through open discussion in the family. Everyone needs to be part of the discussion.

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    People are most likely to do their part when they are asked for their participation and their views about the solution are respected. It is important to ask each family member whether he or she feels able to do the steps called for in the planned solution. By asking, you show recognition of how difficult the task may be for the other person. This goes hand in hand with acknowledging the difficulty of changing.

    You may feel a powerful urge to step in and help another family member. Your help may be appreciated or may be an unwanted intrusion. By asking if your help is wanted before you step in, your assistance is much less likely to be resented. Family members need to act in concert with one another.

    Parental inconsistencies fuel severe family conflicts. Develop strategies that everyone can stick to. Family members may have sharply contrasting views about how to handle any given problem behavior in their relative with BPD. The typical result is increasing tension and resentment between family members as well as lack of progress in overcoming the problem.

    An example will illustrate the point. A daughter frequently calls home asking for financial bail outs. She has developed a large credit card debt. She wants new clothing. She has been unable to save enough money to pay her rent. Despite her constant desire for funds, she is unable to take financial responsibility by holding down a job or living by a budget. Her father expresses a stem attitude, refusing to provide the funds, and with each request and insisting that she take responsibility for working out the problem herself.

    The mother meanwhile softens easily with each request and gives her the funds she wants. The daughter will adhere to the plan only after both parents adhere to it. If you have financial responsibility, you have the right to address your concerns to the therapist or doctor. They may wonder whether the psychiatrist is aware of the side effects the patient is experiencing. Can the psychiatrist see how sedated or obese the individual has become? Is he or she subjecting the patient to danger by prescribing too many medications? When family members have such concerns, they often feel that they should not interfere, or are told by the patient not to interfere.

    They can play that role by contacting the doctor or therapist directly themselves to express their concerns. Set limits by stating the limits of your tolerance. Let your expectations be known in clear, simple language. Everyone needs to know what is expected of them. Expectations need to be set forth in a clear manner. Too often, people assume that the members of their family should know their expectations automatically.

    It is often useful to give up such assumptions. The best way to express an expectation is to avoid attaching any threats. Often, in these situations, family members are tempted to enforce an expectation by attaching threats. The threat becomes an empty expression of hostility. Of course, there may come a point at which family members feel compelled to give an ultimatum with the true intention to act on it. We will discuss this situation later. Do not protect family members from the natural consequences of their actions. Allow them to learn about reality.

    Bumping into a few walls is usually necessary. People with BPD can engage in dangerous, harmful, and costly behaviors. The emotional and financial toll to the individual and the family can be tremendous. The results of these protective ways are complex. First and foremost, the troublesome behavior is likely to persist because it has cost no price or has brought the individual some kind of reward. Second, the family members are likely to become enraged because they resent having sacrificed integrity, money, and good will in their efforts to be protective.

    In this case, tensions in the home mount even though the hope of the protective measures was to prevent tension. Meanwhile, the anger may be rewarding on some level to the individual because it makes her the focus of attention, even if that attention is negative. Third, the individual may begin to show these behaviors outside of the family and face greater harm and loss in the real world than she would have faced in the family setting.

    Thus, the attempt to protect leaves the individual unprepared for the real world. Some examples will illustrate the point. It is reasonable to prevent medical harm in this way. The mother then considers calling an ambulance because she can see that the daughter is suicidal and at risk of harming herself. However, this option would have some very negative consequences. The daughter and the family would face the embarrassment of having an ambulance in front of the house. The daughter does not wish to go to the hospital and would become enraged and out of control if the mother called the ambulance.

    She might rationalize the decision by convincing herself that the daughter is not in fact in immediate danger. The primary problem with that choice is that it keeps the daughter from attaining much needed help at a point when she has been and could still be suicidal. The mother would be aiding the daughter in denial of the problem.

    Medical expertise is needed to determine whether the daughter is at risk of harming herself. As she escalates, she may make an even more dramatic gesture and face greater physical harm. Furthermore, if an ambulance were not called for fear of incurring her wrath, she would receive the message that she can control others by threatening to become enraged. A year old woman steals money from her family members while she is living with them. The family members express great anger at her and sometimes threaten to ask her to move out, but they never take any real action.

    When she asks to borrow money, they give the loan despite the fact that she never pays back such loans.

    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide
    How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide

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