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Christmas: a perfect time to ask questions

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remember tonight Christmas where your sister scattered her piece of wood on Marina’s forehead, the youngest, “the favourite, the perfect woman”, she shouted… Where had the spirit of Christmas gone, the happiness, the gifts, the Laughter, the family so happy to be together? Many psychiatrists testify to this: the days before and after Christmas are a great period of anxiety on the couch. Without going to these extremes, it is rare that the prospect of vacations does not arouse in us an apprehension as diffuse as it is difficult to define.

Why ? Because fantasy doesn’t always cross the ramp of reality. Away from. “At Christmas, everything should be beautiful,” says psychologist and family therapist Juliette Allais, author of Psychogenealogy, how to heal from your family (Eyrolles, 2011). Everyone should love each other, give each other gifts, be happy. The family must embody an ideal island. We are in the register of the myth, of the collective unconscious obligation. That’s not true. The family It is also, and above all, the place of frustration, shortcomings, resentments. which induces a terrifying pressure in each. We cannot express our discomfort, we feel oppressed. We are suffocating. Hence these inexplicable outages and other disputes that arise for no apparent “valid” reason.

End our conflicting loyalties

There is, in fact, a big gap between the image of Épinal and what happens inside us. We are happy to see our loved ones again, and at the same time our psyche reactivates all badly settled accounts. “This is how family mathematics works, explains the philosopher and family therapist Nicole Prior. Our psyche only remembers failures. our unconscious maintain our shortcomings, what we did not have. And, during the big parties, the injuries, not cured but thought from our different family positions, reappear. An incredible inner riot develops. We are overwhelmed by our clashing identities: “I am the daughter of…”, “the sister of…”, “the niece of…”. Anne, 40 years old, was very anguished when thinking about facing her mother, her uncles, the absence of her aunts, her dead father, the gaze of her brothers for on top of the turkey and possible uncontrolled slides. “I tried to run away into the sun, she confesses, but my mother grabbed me by the bottom of her pants: ‘You can’t do this to us!’ I canceled my stay in the tropics. »

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Why is it so hard to escape from this? ritual when it weighs us down or drives us crazy? Because we are caught in inextricable conflicts of loyalties, because we are afraid of not being more the perfect child. “Without going so far as to boycott Christmas, we must learn to bear being the wrong object of our father or mother, being able to sometimes become a traitor, but a happy traitor”, explains Nicole Prieur. Assuming not to be part of the party without feeling too guilty…

Where are we with our jealousy, our reproaches, our frustrations? Do we really evacuate them or do we slide the crumbs under the family rug? Namely do inventory in our legitimate expectations and in our excessive resentment that we have elaborated, with specialists, this “family report”. Neither dogmatic nor normative, it does not give a general answer to the unique beings that we are. But self-questioning, self-evaluation allow us to move forward, to better understand who we are today, at the crossroads of our childhood and our adult life. And to contemplate this dear family from a new angle, freer and more distant, whether or not we were ready to meet under the tree.

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patch by Hélène Lenoir (Les Éditions de Minuit, 2011). The writer masterfully narrates a woman’s journey towards her disalienation. Immersing ourselves in the mind of a tormented mother, she explores the difficulty of finding a place, her place. A viaticum to devour a few days before (or after) the holidays.

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Family / Couple

Separation: the signs that can predict the breakup three months in advance

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A study published in February 2021, in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, made it possible to identify certain elements of idiom what would allow predict a breakup three months before it happens. To achieve this, researchers from the University of Texas analyzed more than a million posts on romantic relationships on the Reddit site. They discovered that the vocabulary used by users changed three months before the split and didn’t return to normal until about six months later. “It would seem that even before the people involved are aware of the breakup, it starts to affect their lives,” said Sarah Seraj, one of the study’s author psychologists.

Different “language markers”

According to the researchers, we do not pay a particular attention the expressions, pronouns and prepositions that we use daily. Now, these function words say a lot about our life situation, so they change perceptibly when our the psychological and emotional state deteriorates. “Whether the person leaves their partner or vice versa, the language markers changed up to three months before the breakup,” adds the psychologist.

The language used becomes more personal and informal, indicating a decline in analytical thinking. According to the expert, these people use pronouns like “I” Where “to meto the detriment of “we” or “we”, more attached to the notion of a couple. This indicator would be a signal of a heavy mental load, illustrating going through an intense period of internal reflection and rumination, making us more centered in ourselves Furthermore, the frequent use of the pronoun “I” would be associated with sadness and depressiondetails Sarah Seraj. When we are depressed, we focus more on ourselves and are less and less able to relate to others.

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Those significant changes they reached their climax at the time of the breakup and lasted up to six months later, even though those concerned discussed topics other than their separation or love life.

Our language, responsible for our traumas?

Scientists have also discovered that it is our idiom which would be largely responsible our ability or not to heal and overcome the trauma of a breakup. The people who kept the same way of speaking until a year later separation, by continually evoking and remembering this painful episode, took the longest to recover and move on. And this, regardless of the trauma experienced: divorce, loss of a loved one or other emotional upset, according to the researchers. “Thanks to this study, we can better understand the different challenges of life, being more attentive to our way of speaking,” concludes Kate Blackburn, psychologist.

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Family / Couple

Separation: the signs that can predict the breakup three months in advance

Published

on

A study published in February 2021, in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, made it possible to identify certain elements of idiom what would allow predict a breakup three months before it happens. To achieve this, researchers from the University of Texas analyzed more than a million posts on romantic relationships on the Reddit site. They discovered that the vocabulary used by users changed three months before the split and didn’t return to normal until about six months later. “It would seem that even before the people involved are aware of the breakup, it starts to affect their lives,” said Sarah Seraj, one of the study’s author psychologists.

Different “language markers”

According to the researchers, we do not pay a particular attention the expressions, pronouns and prepositions that we use daily. Now, these function words say a lot about our life situation, so they change perceptibly when our the psychological and emotional state deteriorates. “Whether the person leaves their partner or vice versa, the language markers changed up to three months before the breakup,” adds the psychologist.

The language used becomes more personal and informal, indicating a decline in analytical thinking. According to the expert, these people use pronouns like “I” Where “to meto the detriment of “we” or “we”, more attached to the notion of a couple. This indicator would be a signal of a heavy mental load, illustrating going through an intense period of internal reflection and rumination, making us more centered in ourselves Furthermore, the frequent use of the pronoun “I” would be associated with sadness and depressiondetails Sarah Seraj. When we are depressed, we focus more on ourselves and are less and less able to relate to others.

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Those significant changes they reached their climax at the time of the breakup and lasted up to six months later, even though those concerned discussed topics other than their separation or love life.

Our language, responsible for our traumas?

Scientists have also discovered that it is our idiom which would be largely responsible our ability or not to heal and overcome the trauma of a breakup. The people who kept the same way of speaking until a year later separation, by continually evoking and remembering this painful episode, took the longest to recover and move on. And this, regardless of the trauma experienced: divorce, loss of a loved one or other emotional upset, according to the researchers. “Thanks to this study, we can better understand the different challenges of life, being more attentive to our way of speaking,” concludes Kate Blackburn, psychologist.

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Family / Couple

‘Sex Debt’: Why Women Sometimes Feel Pressured to Have Unwanted Sex

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The conversation

Faced with such attention, many of them have sometimes agreed to engage in sexual experiences (kissing, caressing, oral sex, sexual relations) with men without necessarily wanting to, but out of a feeling of responsibility. This sense of responsibility was also expressed by some young men in same-sex relationships.

In this article, however, we choose to focus on heterosexual relationships, where this logic has emerged most markedly.

Les jeunes femmes rencontrées explicant que, si elles ont acepté, ce n’est pas parce qu’elles n’arrivent pas à dire non, mais parce qu’elles auraient dû se douter qu’en acceptant ces faveurs, elles créeraient des attentes sexualles in his house.

Always willing men and always sexually available women?

Sexuality, like other social practices, can be understood as a space where sexual relations materialize.

If the young women interviewed feel more indebted to sex than the young men, it is because they are subject to behavioral expectations linked to a system of binary representations of sexuality called “heteronormativity”.

In this system, sex corresponds to gender and heterosexuality is the norm.

In this logic, the sexual roles of men and women are understood as different and complementary: male sexuality is characterized by assertiveness, sexual performance, virility, and sexual desire associated with physiological needs. Female sexuality, of a relational nature, is linked to affectivity and conjugality.

Various studies show that these representations are still the majority in our societies today.

according to one French survey, 73% of French women and 59% of men adhere to the belief that “by nature, men have more sexual needs than women”. Also according to this survey, this belief has an impact on the sexual practices of women who recognize that they are more willing to have sex without wanting to.

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An investigation carried out in Switzerland among young people aged 26 on average reveals that 53% of the women surveyed have agreed to have sexual relations. without desire.

Sex “debts”

The results of our study point in the same direction and highlight that the heteronormative order engenders what can be called “sex debts”. We are interested in sexual transactions, that is, sexual experiences associated with an economic, material and/or symbolic exchange.

As for young women, our analyzes show that if they are found more often than young men accepting unwanted sexual transactionsit is due to the fact that in the “gender order”, female sexuality is posed as a “sexual debt” that leads them to feel indebted to the sexual expectations of men.

However, by consenting to sexual transactions without necessarily wanting it, women confirm their own “sexual debt” to men, which is to ensure an assertive, determined and desiring sexuality, and which sometimes leads them to show (apparent) detachment from women. demands.

Thus, women and men come together in the complementarity of their “sexual debts”, but in a hierarchical relationship: women think that they have no choice but to offer their sexuality in response to the supposed expectations of men, to whom they affirm that they do not they have no choice but to be willing, sexually available, and successful.

Consequently, they reproduce, without necessarily wanting it, “gender order”.

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Consent: A Negotiation Process

Sexual experiences are part of a reciprocal bargaining relationship where, depending on the situation, not everything is arranged in advance. In the case we are analyzing, the young people retain a certain freedom, which allows them to negotiate the rest of the transaction, despite the feeling of responsibility that may arise.

In particular, some young women have stated that they find some advantages in these unwanted sexual relations, which can be material (housing, food, etc.) and/or symbolic (feeling of recognition, protection, etc.). Other young women refuse to conform to the expectations linked to their gender and adopt behaviors more associated with the masculine gender, for example being assertive both verbally and in attitude or clearly expressing their limits and leaving little room for what is implicit and misunderstandings.

However, these strategies often have a limited effect, since they consist of changing the behavior of women, without questioning the heterosexual order within which these behaviors occur.

These results show that sexual consent is a complex process that cannot be reduced to saying “yes” or “no” and that “accepting” does not necessarily mean “wanting”.

Thus, the feeling of responsibility reveals the logic associated with a “gender order” based on heteronormativity. However, sexual consent is not the sole responsibility of individuals, especially women, to assert their rights. Our conclusions invite us to understand sexual consent as a negotiation process, between conformity to gender norms and the bargaining power of individuals.

An article published in The conversation through Mirian CarbajalProfessor, University of Social Work, Western Swiss University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO) and Anamaria ColomboProfessor, Friborg University of Social Work, Western Swiss University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO).

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