Many people are now asking “How did we get into this mess?” The responses by various people revolve around blame: the Government, Wall St, financial institutions, lenders, brokers and of course, individual buyers and investors.
I would like to explore one element of the equation: the psychology of the financial trouble. It may be argued that the primary emotion behind the mess was greed, followed by instant gratification and fear. In other words, some people got caught up in the emotion that drives the thought of “we must buy now to flip and resell at a profit, while we can and before it is too late.”
I have found that almost all of our dysfunction and pain in life is derived from losing balance and being trapped in a time zone: the past, the present or the future. For example, the woman that refuses to love again because she still loves someone from the past or fears being hurt again; the man that gets so caught up in the present moment of temptation that he steals or cheats on his wife and; the man that hoards and refuses to spend any money because he fears there won’t be enough in the future.
All of us do and will again make mistakes some of which hurt not only ourselves but others around us. The key is to learn from those mistakes.
When we take a sincere look into our heart we can discover what it is that drove us to the actions we took. Taking stock is being accountable. I recall about eighteen months ago a discussion with a friend who told me that she was buying her third home -as a first home buyer – and she was not planning to live in any of them. This was obviously a lie and fraudulent. When I questioned her and openly told her that this was wrong, she replied that the lender told her that “everyone does it.” But the fact that everyone is breaking the law or acting out of greed does not justify a wrong action. She did not listen to me and I guess that now she is paying the price. One might argue that to a certain extent she was a victim of the added greed and lies of others who supported and promoted her actions; she said, “If I knew how easy it is to buy houses, I would have done it years ago.”
But greed, instant gratification and even selfishness are never limited to finances.
Just this past week, I issued a press release in response to a new book, “The Truth about Cheating” by Gary Neuman who says the top reason men cheat is because they feel underappreciated by their woman. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I feel that this is an outrage because again men are trying to let themselves off the hook by laying the blame on women, trying to make women feel guilty because they aren’t doing enough for their man.
Marriage counselor and author, Gary Neuman says women are to blame when men cheat. He says the no. 1 reason men cheat is “feeling underappreciated – a lack of thoughtful gestures” by the woman. He says cheaters are not the bad, rotten guys; “they can also be nice guys that get lost and do the wrong thing.” Just like the lady who tried to remove personal responsibility by saying “everyone does it”, here is another person, Gary Neuman who removes the responsibility of infidelity from the man who cheated and places it right in the lap of the woman by claiming that it is women’s responsibility to build up the man and make him feel valued because Neuman claims that is what men are searching for and expecting from women.
The dictionary defines “responsible” as: 1. Answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management; 2. Chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something. I view responsibility as being the creator or cause of something. In an interview last week, on ABC’s “20/20” with Barbara Walters, Peter Cook former husband of supermodel Christie Brinkley, blamed Brinkley for his affair: “I wanted a little acknowledgement, a little attention, a little thank-you every now and then for my efforts, for the amount of time I took to care for her and my family, for the wealth I was building.”
The key point here is to understand that no matter how someone leaves you feeling or ‘makes’ you feel, the way you respond to that feeling is your choice. Peter Cook refused to accept that he was the creator of the outcome, of his own actions. Peter Cook could have communicated with his wife instead of sleeping with another woman, particularly an eighteen year-old girl. In his book, Gary Neuman even cites a case where the husband had regular sex and the emotional connection with his wife but still had an affair. The bottom line is we all have choices in every moment and the real man has power over himself he exerts self-control, discipline and knows how to say no or walk away from the temptation. The real man doesn’t expect a woman or anyone else to validate him; he validates himself. The real man doesn’t blame someone else for his actions.
Ultimately, we all need be accountable by looking at our own situations and determining how we created our outcome and results via our choices and actions so that we can make better choices in the future.
I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”