People and Dogs: Doing Some Reading

I’m very thankful that I have some brilliant people among my Facebook friends and that many of them share what they’ve been reading. In the past couple of days, I’ve read and shared a few articles that I want to talk about today. You might like them, too.

Dogs

One article was on how we treat dogs we don’t know. Debby McMullen wrote this article on the Positively dog training blog. It’s called Consent: Not Just for People, and I really like how the author puts us in a dog’s position to see how the way we treat dogs might appear to them.

Maybe I want to approach you on MY terms!

Nowadays, the topic of consenting to be touched or approached is popular when talking about people. But, hey, a lot dogs aren’t just sitting around hoping to be bopped on the head by random strangers, either.

So many of us dog lovers want to pet and coo over every dog we see, but McMullen makes a good point that we might want to be sure it’s okay with both the owner AND the dog before doing that. There are handy illustrations of signals of irritation on dogs’ part in the article, too.

If you’re a dog lover, I can’t stress how much I want you to click that link above. It can lead to happier dogs and much safer experiences with them.

People

Saying the Right Thing

I’ve read a couple of helpful things about people this week. This article, on how to not say the wrong thing, was in the LA Times in 2013 and is by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman. It is just as true now as it was then. I notice many people sharing it from my post, so I think it’s struck a chord.

“Let me help you out! I know it’s a hard time.”

The idea is that when a friend or family member suffers from some catastrophic event or illness, it is all about THEM, not YOU. So, it’s not a great idea to tell a sick person how upset their appearance makes you feel. No, tell someone less attached to the situation that!

You’re encouraged to visit your sick or injured friends and say kind things to them. People need us the most when they are helpless, but it’s even better if you can be help-FUL to them. There’s a lot more in here, so please click that link!

Emotional Maturity

Next is an article on 26 traits that show emotional maturity. It’s from The Book of Life, whatever that is. I shared it on Facebook, but I don’t think many people actually bothered to look at it, which is too bad. It was quite eye-opening to learn what kind of attitudes show you’ve matured emotionally. A lot of them have to do with not blaming other people for things, accepting that nothing’s perfect or black-and white, and living with ambiguity.

Trait 4 was one of my favorites:

You learn to be confident not by realising that you’re great, but by learning that everyone else is just as stupid, scared and lost as you are. We’re all making it up as we go along, and that’s fine.

Chapter 3 of The Book of Life
Awards, I deserve one.

I found the article quite comforting, as I saw many of the attitudes listed as part of myself. I also easily identified some areas where I can do a bit of more work toward emotional maturity.

Also, the article gave me an AHA moment when I realized THAT is what I’ve been aiming for all my life: emotional maturity. That’s a good goal, to me. Better than riches or fame, and more permanent, I hope.

Emotional Intensity

Finally, I read an article from Psychology Today, which I may have read when it originally appeared in 2018, but sunk in deeply after I read it a couple of days ago. Imi Lo wrote Feeling Intensely: The Wounds of Being “Too Much” and I know her article will bring nods to the heads of many of my friends.

She started out by saying some people feel more than others:

They are often told—spoken and unspoken—that they are ‘too much,’ ‘too intense,’ ‘too sensitive,’ ‘too emotional,’ and that their behaviors are either ‘too dramatic’ or ‘too timid.’

I’ve written about this concept before, but she goes into more detail than a lot of articles about the ways in which feeling intensely can be an asset or a pain in the butt. She also lists useful signs to tell if you or someone you know is wired this way, which she notes is just another area of the range of neurodiversity we are now discovering in people.

Emotional intensiveness is okay with me.

Please give this article a read if you know someone or are someone who’s sensitive, highly empathetic, or highly imaginative.


I’m really grateful to the people who originally brought this information to my attention. You’ve made my life better! I hope some of you are drawn to check out these articles. Let me know what you think!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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