Saturday, February 23, 2013


A spectrum is any entity that has common elements, but vary in their features.  Light waves exist on a spectrum, as do sound waves.

Some social features also exist on spectrums.  Autism is one of these. People with Autism have similar characteristics, but vary in how these features present themselves. For example, they all have difficulty communicating, but one person can have verbal skills that look like any other person's verbal skills, but they have difficulty expressing themselves when they are frustrated, angry or confused. Another person may have no verbal skills at all.

Many skills or social issues present themselves along spectrums. Sexuality for many people is thought of as a black and white issue, but for scientists, it is along a spectrum. People may fantasize about the opposite sex, or be bi-sexual, gay, androgynous, or an Aphrodite. Healthy spectrums include a variety of sexual origins and not just two.

Attachment is another issue along the spectrum.  When we are children, we are very attached to our parents and family of origin, but a healthy child will grow up and detach from them. If a healthy detachment is made, there will still be a connection there (provided that the family of origin is not too dysfunctional) but the adult will be able to forge their own way in life without the family of origin continuing to control finances, relationships, emotions or other similar issues.

The adult child should make decisions on their own, free of interference. If advice is needed, the adult child should feel comfortable seeking advice, but if the advice is rejected a healthy family of origin will not feel rejected.  If an adult child is too detached,  it is often due being shunned because they chose a different religion, a different career or other choices the family of origin didn't agree with or because the family of origin was dysfunctional and the adult child is distancing themselves in order to make healthier choices. If the family of origin attempts to control the adult child through money, emotions or relationships, then a healthy detachment is more difficult to make.

When in relationships, spending time together is also along a spectrum.  Before being in a relationship, people have their own friends. Many couples are able to maintain those friendships, but some couples enmesh so completely, they lose the connection they have with their former friends. Having separate activities and friendships outside of being a couple is also along a continuum. It is often healthier for the relationship to maintain other interests and friendships. It gives the couple something to talk about when they are together, it helps build trust when they trust each other to spend time with others. Too much time with others may lead to neglecting the relationship and the one or both of the couple may feel neglected.

People will often learn throughout their lifetimes. Some people are not open to new ideas. Some people put up defenses to new experiences, new ideas. Some people are open to change, others are rigid and resist change.

Emotions are neutral, they are neither good or bad. Emotions tell help us interpret experiences and aid us in bonding with people and animals. The emotions of guilt and shame help us to know when we have done something to hurt another person or animal, for instance. When we have brought harm to someone, we feel guilt or shame.  These emotions can be manipulated by others, however, and taken to the extreme where we feel guilty or shame for minor things, such as kissing, holding hands, or saying silly things. On the other end of the spectrum, someone who doesn't feel any guilt or shame when they hurt someone is known as a sociopath.

How about you? Where are you along the spectrums?

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