The Practice of Attaining Optimal Quality of Life
by means of Just and Honest Interpersonal Relationships.
Productive Non-aggressive Interpersonal Relating
The Self-Sovereign Individual Project, a program to achieve freedom from government coercion for those who understand and want it and are responsible enough to live it. Improved 2/27/12
Books by authors using the cognitive model of a person's thoughts, environment and behavior can be especially helpful in improving interpersonal relationships, even when the reader considers hirself to have no mood problems. I (Kitty Antonik Wakfer) will add new items as I read them myself:
- Burns, D.D. (1999) Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated - Good grounding for the novice in the cognitive model or someone who has used the later workbook and wants more detailed explanations. Chapter 6, "Verbal Judo: Learn to Talk Back When You're Under the Fire of Criticism" is very helpful for the reader in identifying hir own reactions to criticism. The included number of excellent ways to realistically handle criticism are especially worthwhile for improving how a person perceives hirself when criticism does occur, and can be effective for reducing the occurences/severity of the criticism itself. (Also available in Spanish: Sentirse Bien.)
- Burns, D.D. (1999) The Feeling Good Handbook - An extension of the original Feeling Good, including blank worksheets and exercises for reader fill-in. Part IV of the book, "Feeling Good Together: How to Strengthen Relationships Through Better Communication" contains 5 chapters that address the subject from various aspects. (Also available in Spanish: El Manual De Ejercicios De Sentirse Bien.)
- Greenberger, D & Pedasky, C. (1995). Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think - The cognitive model is described and used for 4 patients with differing situations and degrees of unhappiness, as a general description. Several basic written tools are demonstrated with the example clients; reader fill-in tables for hir own situation(s) are part of every chapter. While there is no chapter or section devoted to communication, this aspect of human behavior is included throughout the book. (Also available in Spanish: El control de tu estado de animo: Manual de tratamiento de terapia cognitiva para usuarios.)
Communication between people who care greatly about each other can often be improved in quality and completeness. While Kitty and Paul relatively quickly "talk out" the misunderstandings that do occur between them, recently an email exchange was a method of bringing a particular issue into the open. Kitty, who has often used writing as a tool for "thinking aloud", shares this in a "Kitty Reflects on MoreLife" entry.
Some methods for improving one's vocabulary and thinking for effective communication are of benefit with interpersonal relationships as well as for one's own outlook on life.
Friends Don't Let Healthy Friends Commit Suicide. Friendship is more than knowing someone for a long time, sharing tastes in productive or recreational interests, or even being the sexual/marital partner of a person. Kitty responds to a commentary by J. Neil Shulman highly upset by the suicide of someone he thought of as a friend, done by making use of Method #22 in the book, Final Exit (Third Edition): The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying.
A discussion of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as it applies to a romantic relationship is the subject of a thread at MoreLife Yahoo.
Numerous posts to MoreLife Yahoo are directly about or relate to the interactions of humans as they could be in a free society, specifically that for which the Social Meta-Needs essay and Natural Social Contract were written. Some of these posts, all of which contain comments by Paul (and sometimes Kitty):
- Critique of Social Meta-Needs Within this MoreLife Yahoo message Paul rebuts a criticism of "The Purpose of Life" section in the Social Meta-Needs essay based on the author's contention that Paul has falsely leaped from "ought" to "is". David D Friedman's position against Ayn Rand's argument, referred to by the message author is critiqued by Paul whose writings do not have the same basis as Rand's.
- SelfSIP: The Pissing Incident This is an actual occurrence and the author of this MoreLife Yahoo post demonstrates how many principles from the writings at Self-Sovereign Individual Project can be utilized *now* and increase the maximum life-time happiness of the individuals involved. It also has the side benefit of being humorously written ;>)
- Force in a Free Society? Originally entitled "Why is a peonage enjoinder not just a valid contract?", this entire thread at MoreLife Yahoo is a true seminar on why and how restitution in a Freeman Society is ensured when the Violator can not or will not meet the restitution requirements of the Victim.
- Simple Self-Identification as a new (7/25/05) requirement for posting to MoreLife Yahoo has aroused a fair amount of discussion both by those who refuse to provide Kitty and Paul Wakfer (owners of the MoreLife Yahoo group) with a copy of a photo ID (to be purged upon viewing by them), sign their posted messages with their full name, and provide any aliases used for public posting elsewhere on the Internet (also encouragement to use a photo with their Yahoo ID, on their own website or at MoreLife Yahoo) - and by a few who have already done so but do not fully understand the fundamental value for all. The linked thread and its offshoots contain virtual seminars on the logical reasons for personal identification in Internet discourse just as is routinely expected in other areas of interpersonal exchange.
Dealing with personal problems, which most often relate in part to others, sometimes requires the assistance of an "outsider" - someone who can assist a person in helping to stay focused on the problem(s) in the search for true solutions. Michael Hurd, PhD, practicing cognitive therapist psychologist, writer, and talk-show host has in the past had numerous Internet accessible short pieces covering subjects such as considering the use of "therapy", current lack of common kindness, how to be a "soulmate", and objective criteria for judging people. He has changed his website considerably so that all archived material must now be either directly purchased (when available) or obtained as a subscribed premium access group member. Most likely there is much of value in regards to interpersonal relations to be gained from reading many of the items available only in this manner from Michael Hurd's website.
Important Note: Since the World Trade Center disaster of 9/11/2001, Hurd has inconsistently, and completely unrelatedly to his main area of expertise, been espousing views on the causes of and solutions for such terrorism, both of which are very collectivist based. We strongly disagree with his views on this subject, as is clear from the fundamental principles developed in the Self-Sovereign Individual Project.
Nathaniel Branden, PhD, a well-known writer and practicing psycho-therapist with a very strong background in philosophy, provides applications of his successful self-esteem principles to the problems of modern business, and romantic and other relationships in several essays on his website.
- assertiveness - how to develop a healthy level of self-assertiveness without offending other people...
- valuing love - by its very nature it entails a process of selection
- children - helping them to develop self-esteem, the confidence that they are competent to deal with the basic challenges of life -- and also the feeling that they are worthy of happiness.
While Kitty had read several of Branden's earlier books in years past, it was only in December 2007 that she started and soon completed Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life. In it Branden makes it very clear that the ideas that individuals have regarding responsibility directly effects their individual lives, not only in their view of themselves and the quality of the various relationships they form, but on the very society in which they live. Branden's clear reasoning on self-responsibility, self-reliance and individualism is a breath of fresh air from the many psychology writers who excuse and even promote the idea that others are to blame for whatever distress a person makes complaint.
Aggressive Interpersonal Relationships - Achieving Harmony and Justice
An example from a TV program of when killing someone not in self defense can be an allowable moral action.
Dialogues and Critiques of the Fundamental Viewpoints of Others - Aids Adequate and Correct Understanding
- Randy Barnett
- David D. Friedman
- George H. Smith
- Miscellaneous Internet Discourse on Social Order
Focus on Freedom
Harm - Responsibility and Restitution. An examination of often disregarded aspects of harm.
Anonymity - Hazard, Not Protection; Limitation, not Enhancement. And the type of information valuable to learn and provide.
Personal Characteristics as Market Commodities. Information pertaining to the personal characteristics of a person (except what governments can use to harm people) should be accessible for the assessment of each by every other, thereby increasing the likelihood that his/her decisions will maximize his/her own lifetime happiness. Comment section added 2/27/12
Social Preferencing - Evaluation and Choice of Association; A Method for Influence. Evaluating the actions of particular others and deciding to associate or not associate with them on the basis of whether those actions are in the evaluator's own widest viewing and longest range thinking best interest is a practice everyone should be doing on a regular basis, if they wish to have any major reducing effect on those negative actions.
Communication Fluidity and the Obstacle of Privacy Claims. Those who claim that emails and other forms of communication are by default private, unless permission has been granted to use them, are denying certain basic facts of reality.
Harm Resulting from Boredom; Causes and Solutions. "We were bored" is the reason given by local teenagers for vandalizing a restaurant; a deeper look is provided at what this really means and how to eliminate it as a reason for destructive actions.
Replacing Those in Power is not "The" Answer. Increasing numbers of voices (verbal and in print) are calling for the removal or resignation of George W Bush as the list of his (and associates') errors in judgment become apparent. But few if any address the real causes for the problems or suggest any fundamental solution.
Improved Effectivity Prescription for Those Against War. Members of the military who freely acknowledge the damage they have done (and in some cases still are doing) as enforcers of government-directed harm, or in direct support of those enforcers, can be most effective in their messages to others towards their objective of stopping war (the one in Iraq being the most currently flagrant) if they are no longer employed by government.
Working Within or Violence Against The System - An Alternative. Many libertarian writers present their readers with the alternatives of trying to change the government from within or using violence against it, albeit maybe not quite yet for the latter. Very few have presented a non-violent alternative to these, both of which are doomed to either fail or lead back to the same or an even worse condition, and none have presented a non-violent alternative to these which is based on sound principles, practical reasoning and can be used right now by those who understand and want it and are responsible enough to live it.
Government Distortion vs. Market Realism in Space - or - Is the GPS Worth It? Who Knows?. The US government initiated, controlled, financed (with taxes of course) space service program - Global Positioning System - is contrasted with the Iridium communications system using Kitty's insider information, obtained from having been the mechanical engineering task leader for a portion of the GPS program, and her analysis, learned later from studying the problems with government coercion and the values of liberty.
The Beginning of a Start? Maybe. The public debates over the first US military officer, Army First Lt. Ehren Watada, to refuse deployment to Iraq, based on that action's illegality could begin the start towards the decline of government.
More Than Reflection. Simply remembering what took place on September 11, 2001 is insufficient. Understanding the underlying reasons for the tragedy and comprehending a fundamental lasting solution require more, but are within the capabilities of anyone truly desirous of a society of individuals interacting to mutual benefit.
Incremental Approach - A Better Method for Effecting Change. Accepting paradigm shifting ideas may require an initial approach consisting of small steps, something Kitty did not keep in mind in September 2005 when she communicated with her nephew about his position as a US Air Force pilot.
The Incompleteness of Free Market Economic Arguments; as illustrated by "How to Bureaucratize the Corporate World". Paul Wakfer was prompted to write a lengthy comment after reading one of the daily articles at Mises.org, which Kitty gets as a regular email every day and this time sent him the link. While the original article is very good in its defense of the free market (which doesn't actually exist), it still misses some essential points.
Government Created Tragedies -
An Inevitability of the System. Tragedy - "an unfortunate, sad, or discouraging occurrence or situation", per the dictionary, but even more so when it is the result of government.
Health Care Provision Responsibility and Social Preferencing - A Personal Example. Here's Paul's and my response to an outrageous health care charge and its wider implications. We are two people who work at staying in excellent health and reserve assets for emergencies, rather than pay insurance premiums.
Note Who is Paying the Bills. When the call arises from someone for government to "pay for it" or claims are made that it did, there is a BIG gap in reality. Pointing this out to people is something anyone can, and if forthright, will do.
Getting to the Bottom of the US Economic Woes. Disgust with the current economic situation in the US, and the rest of the industrialized world, is understandable and warranted. But an understanding of the actual factors present and how they came about is necessary before any real resolution of the problem can even begin.
Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order. Numerous Internet news sources and commentaries have carried an increased number of reports for many months [2008/2009] about various group in-person protests and email/petition actions in the US (and elsewhere) in regard to high government taxes and/or various regulations. I contend that public complaining and even protesting in public is of little real meaning unless those protesting withdraw their sanction/approval from and usage of the things that government does, all paid for by taxes or from borrowed money with principal and interest then
repaid from taxes.
Self-Responsibility - The Cure for Healthcare 'Crisis' and More. The recently passed legislation (Obamacare) requiring all citizens to purchase government approved health "insurance" (actually prepaid health services) is the latest in a very long progression from individual self-responsibility for all aspects of one's personal life to government mandated and/or provided life-long "protection" and "maintenance".
WikiLeaks: What can one person do to help?. Signing petitions is one way. But getting support money to WikiLeaks has become very awkward for those able to donate only small amounts. PayPal, MasterCard and Visa all appear to be currying favor with the US government, if not actually kowtowing to direct political pressure, by agreeing that WikiLeaks is engaged in "illegal" activities thereby justifying their removal of services. Here is a plan to circumvent this artificial obstacle. Updated 7/21/11
Libertarians Need less Strategy -- and more Principle! Paul examines the illogical writing and the lack of principle displayed by several prominent libertarian writers in regard to support measures for WikiLeaks; and presents a reality based, unifying approach to decision making.
Are Principles Unaffordable? "We can't afford to do that", was the answer Kitty received from one online editor when she suggested that his website use alternatives to PayPal, MasterCard and Visa because of their harmful actions towards WikiLeaks, which took place without those corporations being legally compelled to act as they did. She sets out to demonstrate that this editor and others like him are wrong, showing the field of existing and promising alternatives. Updated 7/21/11
How Real Estate Will Work in the Freeman Society. Alton Lindsay Jr provides a brief but clear explanation of how Real Estate will be established and exchanged in a society based on the principles of Social Meta-Needs.
Abandoning a Fundamental Principle of Liberty to Justify Mortgage Default. Kitty exposes the philosophical errors in noted libertarian writer and Mises Institute President Doug French's defense of mortgage default on a house that has lost market value. New 7/21/11
Just Another State In The Making? Alton Lindsay Jr points out some shortcomings of non-statists' replacements for government compared to a society based on the principles of Social Meta-Needs. New 7/22/11
Voting - Now and For a New Social System? Kitty responds to several questions put on her Facebook Wall regarding political voting, boycotting it and its use to bring about a new system. Updated 2/27/12
Social Networks - Freedom Enhancers or Internet Ghettos? Kitty and Paul look at the practice of self-isolation within social network niches and its consequences for moving from the current top-down rules enforced society to one based on the principles of Social Meta-Needs. New 2/27/12