Think As I Think

Nipper never said a word, but he made my point to a “T”. Meet Nipper. How often do you get this look from Mate or children?

I hear you talking…

Whether you have a prepared statement or are improvising, Mate should be able to understand the words coming out of your mouth. What is it making Mate wonder where your voice is coming from?

Left Hand Logic

The left side of the brain is for reason and logic, order, stuffy things, like grammar. The right brain controls creative thinking, art and daydreaming. Are you talking to someone who thinks like you?

Stripes on the Highway

  • If your idea of painting is Monet and Mate’s is 30-year exterior, you may have a problem.
  • If your idea of order is alphabetized and Mate’s is indoor/outdoor, you may have work to do.
  • If you think in words and Mate thinks in pictures, you need to talk… but differently.

Somewhere in the Middle

Logic and creativity can co-exist. Compromise is the order of the day. Until you can speak to Mate in understandable terms, compromise is impossible. How do you get there from here?


What was the question?

Always with the questions.

  1. Ask questions.
  2. Actively listen.
  3. Watch for butterflies.
  4. Try on shoes.

Ask questions.

This is the easy part. Simple questions, like What did I just say? (sans sarcasm please), go a long way to thinking like Mate and understanding Mate’s position.

Actively listen.

Stop assuming you know what Mate is going to say. Just stop. Use both ears. Let the words seep into your dominant brain. Then, let them spill over to the other side and soak into the synapses.

Butterflies at the Butterfly House at the Miss...

Watch for butterflies.

Read body language. Is Mate watching invisible butterflies in the room? Mate is in the other half of the brain. Go back to the first step. After listening, decide if you should approach the subject from a different angle.

Try on shoes.

I would like the red, platform, peep-toe pump, please. Wait, no shopping. Mate’s shoes! Try on Mate’s shoes. Even if they would fit over yours or crush your feet, try them on long enough to understand why Mate does not understand.

Love’s Translator

As much as we may want to believe Love Conquers All, the stark reality is it does not. Just because you and Mate love one another does not mean you think or perceive the same way. In many respects, this is a good thing. On the occasions when it is not, be certain you and Mate are in the right mind to understand one another.

Which brained are you, left or right?
Which is/was Mate?

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© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. bear

     /  December 15, 2011

    WEEE me first! Although my mind runs rampant most of the time I do try to understand what my mate is saying, Being techno-challenged lends to me asking “What’s that do?” Secret to guys: That’s how she knows I’m paying attention…….Squirrel…….. I am always interested in what my fiance has to say…always and we do disagree on some things. But she in turn listens to me. I am marrying the best listener, writer in my opinion in the world . Bear

    • *Blushes* You are biased, Bear. In the interest of full disclosure, I do actively listen. I compartmentalize as well. It helps when we disagree 😉 Red.

  2. I have paranoid schizophrenia so I have access to both sides of my brain and occasional arguments between the two are inevitable, but the medication helps control this.

    In cases where the left and right lobes are surgically separated the left side can become violent and physically attack the body – weird, but VERY true!!!

    Merry Christmas my friend! 🙂


    • I know about the separation surgery…and the risks. Accessing both halves of the brain is essential in being well-rounded, Pren. Although, you have some difficulty controlling it, being blessed with the power to use both is a gift. It allows you to organize and create simultaneously 😉

      And a very Happy Christmas to you as well, my friend! Do stay warm in the gusts,

  3. @ Bear, congratulations, you’re also marrying an intensely intelligent lady who clearly reads people and society like a book with large print. No squinting necessary on Red’s part!

    @ Red, what do you do if you’re both left and right-brained? –as in ” both individuals are ‘balanced ” that is? Creative is easy. Just allow the butterflies to intermingle?

    That works fine for the right+right combination, creativity actually stimulates activity in another creative brain, but equal status does not work as well for the left +left combo, with logic and reasoning in individuals not necessarily being a constant or equatable value.
    Perhaps the biggest problem in communicating is the ‘instantaneous subconscious” forming of a response (retort’) while listening–even actively. The subconscious aggressor or protector cuts in, evaluating the shoes–often dismissing them as a bad fit?. Wear work boots instead, they are far more comfortable and leave big tracks to follow….. “:)

    • Without revealing where this series is headed, left-left is the toughest. You have touched on some of the issues, but there are a plethora besides.

      Double balanced is good, but leaves an inherent inequity, as no two people access both halves equally. One is still dominant. With training, patience and some other skills we will discuss, harmony can be had in the double balanced couple.

      Meanwhile, look for Mate’s butterflies. Perhaps, it will stimulate your own right brain enough to see on which platform Mate truly stands.


      PS Love boots.

  4. I would say my daughter is balanced as far as left/right goes because she is a math wiz and excels at psychology, but is artistic as well. Plays instruments and draws, writes. But, they say she is bipolar, which is one of the biggest im-balancers there is. I use both sides as well, but am lost at math and my drawing sucks.

    • It seems a theme the most gifted balanced brains are classed as mentally ill. I often wondered if the chemicals which support each side are not at war. Perhaps the weight of balancing the access is too tough to handle…Red.

  5. I’m pretty well balanced and actually crave both a good challenge like solving differential equations, and then switching conversation over to Opera. I’m really geeky that way. It’s a bit troubling to hear that some might consider that a mental illness. My two brains function in reasonably good harmony with each other. Maybe it was all the drugs I did when I was a wee lad in college… 😀

    • Better living through pharmacology is a fact of life. Some by prescription, some otherwise. That said, many balanced brains touch many surfaces without being obsessed over one in particular. It is healthy, my friend. Red.

  6. awarewriter

     /  December 15, 2011

    I wonder which side of the brain is dominant during the assembly of not one, but two Barbie Tough Trikes. The second one was easier and both are parked in the spare bedroom awaiting their decorations.

    Seriously, I think both sides were involved because you need logic and the ability to visualize at the same time. Left brain reads the directions, knows how screwdrivers work, right brain pictures how parts go together, etc.

    My brain is becoming more and more balanced. I credit this to daily meditation and exercising both halves frequently. Lately when typing quickly, I’ll transpose letters in a word and that never happened to me in the past.

    he two sides of our brains are designed to co-operate with each other as each has a distinct job to do. The sum is greater than the parts.

    Trouble is, our society is biased toward the logical left-brain in a big way. In fact, “in virtually all people, the two hemispheres are unbalanced, a state called brain lateralization.” — Bill Harris, Thresholds of the Mind

    Tracy and I don’t have any serious left-right brain disconnects, at least none that I’m aware of.


    • Truly the cooperation of both is the goal. We have a dear friend who leans to the right, and there is absolutely nothing political in that statement. Lateralization is what we strive to overcome. And I think your transposition may merely be a sign of motor skill loss, rather than subconscious thinking. I had to learn how to type at all two years ago. I recognize the motor skills easily.

      So, do you credit your brain chemistry for this long to compatibility, working at it or Tracy tolerating it? 😉 Red.

      • awarewriter

         /  December 15, 2011

        Hmm. Motor skill loss? Interesting. I know the right brain cannot work with words and thought transposing letters might be caused by my right brain tripping my left? Who knows. I wonder if dyslexia is another one of those disorders that modern medicine finds in all the wrong places?

        I think my brain chemistry has been ok all along but my upbringing was so very left-brained. Catholic school in the 1950’s was a real trip. It’s taken me all these years to finally learn how to let my right brain come out to play.

        I think Tracy and I have both learned tolerance for each other. Then again, I’m not sure tolerance is the right word here. Not trying to control each other sounds better to me. I don’t think control freaks make good mates. LOL


        • Amen to the control freaks! Interesting you bring up upbringing (pun intended). *Idly wonders the influence of a Catholic school nun with a ruler.* Making me think again! Red.

  7. awarewriter

     /  December 15, 2011

    BTW, I didn’t take your poll because I didn’t see a category for people who are retired and living on fixed incomes and savings. When the fixed income isn’t enough then you must dip into savings. The question is how much and how long will the savings last? Fortunately, Tracy’s pension and social security both kick in early in 2012.


  8. bear

     /  December 15, 2011

    I have been in law enforcement for a good many years. And have dealt with many types of mentally ill people from many walks of life. I do belive we all are in cases touched by mental illness from depression to all out get the net out. Make no mistake, I do not take mental illness lightly. If you think I do, read on.

    I was handed a case in which there was stalking involved. The lady that was being stalked was married with children and had a very protective husband. It had started over a smile. There was a group of people who went to lunch, stalker and victim were there, but not with each other. Soon after, the victim recieved notes on paper and on line about the love they shared.

    Much to the victim’s dismay, she told this officer that all she had done was smile at him. She noticed she saw him almost everywhere she went which of couse scared her. She told her husband, and he confronted the stalker, who launched into a rant about how much she loved him and was going to run away with him. The husband told the stalker to leave them alone. Of course the stalker was eventually arrested and sentenced to 5 years and a psych evaluation.

    According to the staff, he was a model prisoner and was released on shock probation after 13 months. During his time in jail, the love letters continued to be recieved by the victim who sent them to the court. Nothing was done by the court and in a weird turn of events I wasn’t notified of his release. For a few months things seemed to be settled, then it started all over again.

    I was notified and went to the stalker’s home to investigate. He went on about their love and all the sex they had and she was going to leave her husband for him . I warned him to stay away from the victim. He just stared at me. Approximately 3 more weeks went by without an incident. It was mid Sept the victim had gone shopping and was coming to her car when the stalker came at her with a knife ranting about if he couldn’t have her no one could.

    Because of the nature of the crime we had been watching her to ensure her saftey. I pulled my sevice weapon and shot the assailant twice killing him on the spot. There is a lot more to this story. I will tell you that I took a life to save someone else’s. That has caused me many sleepless nights, but I would do it again in a second. So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

    Mental Illness comes in many forms from delusional to paranoia. I suffer from PTSD. No, I’m not crazy. I’m still in law enforcement and very happy. If you have a loved one who has mental issues, don’t look down on them. Help them. Make sure they get and take their meds. If I have offended anyone with this story, I’m sorry but it is one of the hundreds that I can tell and most of the arrests I made were someone in mental distress. Thanks, Bear

    • Thank you for sharing this. What an utterly sad situation for everyone involved. Even you, Bear. Red.

    • Hi Bear! 🙂

      As a paranoid schizophrenic I have to say I understand why you had to do what you did – the guy was dangerous and you had to take a life to save a life.

      Right now I have a problem with my neighbour Doug who is a gutless coward when sober and an Uber gangster when drunk.

      He is also bisexual and has made several attempts to make a pass at me and is becoming increasingly unstable.

      As long as he doesn’t drink he’s OK, but he drinks as much as he can as often as he can.

      He’s now reached the point of making death threats against staff at the local job centre and goes from drunken rage to miserable self pity and threats of suicide.

      Apparently I am now his only audience, so I am waiting for him to either try to kill me or himself…

      Here in the UK there is little I can do because the system is somewhat different to the set-up in the USA, so all I can do is keep the door locked and watch my back as trying to help him has just made the situation worse…

      God Bless!


      • Oh, Pren. The best advice I can render given your circumstances is document every interaction with him. At the very least you may be able to have him cited for public drunkenness or breach of the peace. Meanwhile, do keep the door locked. {HUGZ} Red.

        • Thanks hun, I’m WAY ahead of you on this one! 🙂

          My blog also doubles as mail and a diary, so I have everything written down.

          He posted two letters through my door today (he prefers notes to talking to me directly) asking me to help him to the shop so he can buy more booze as his legs are causing him constant pain thanks to his drinking which is destroying his liver and slowly poisoning his system.

          He knows this, but refuses to stop drinking although he has ‘quit’ many times since he moved in, so I ignored them and washed my hair instead.

          I have looked after alcoholics in the past and it ALWAYS ends badly, so this time I’m refusing to get involved – besides which his behaviour towards me is getting increasingly repugnant…

          Love and hugs!


          • Good on you! You needn’t the stress of a dependent. I have often enjoyed those who would not face me but chose to write to me instead. The paper trail is a grand thing! Keep writing, Pren. The catharsis is good for the soul. {HUGZ} Red.
            PS Check out the new entry to the Green Room. She is rather nice.

  9. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything, but Bear is a keeper:)

    It’s interesting how giftedness and mental issues come together. I am definately a left-brain gal – creativity out the pores – but I am also a grammar whiz. Ouch – I feel the fight! Can do high-end math, but can’t balance a checkbook…. lol. Always more to see as we disect these topics. Mental illness? In recovery, but yeah. hmmmmm

    Great post, as usual:)

    • Thank you, Ang, I know he is.

      You know my ultimate job is to make you stretch those brain cells. And you like higher math because it is more abstract and appeals both logically and visually (left and right). Hope I gave you more food for thought! Red.

  10. Me, I’m all over the board, sometimes overboard or over bored. I swear sometimes i can hear little arguments going on inside my head (my brain hurts!), with one side acting like a bully and calling the other side weak. That must be my creative side, because I can’t draw, play musical instruments or hold a thought long enough to put it to paper. But one side keeps telling me that i have to tell everyone what is wrong with everyone else, even though I have no idea what I’m talking about… am I crazy? Do they have meds for me? I wonder if Einstein would be an overly medicated loony in a state hospital if he were alive today…

    • Chances are good he would. He is another example of genius occupying what society considers an ill mind.

      The ability to see what is wrong is not a curse, until your fault-filled audience rebels and shoots the messenger. Red.


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