Saturday, October 13, 2012

Encouraging abuse could prove harmful in the future


If your man abuses you and you keep it to yourself, you might be encouraging him to do violence on you in the future?

Do you know that?

Whatever relationship one keeps, one has to be careful. This problem does not only affect married couples – it also affects teens. While adults might report only one abusive partner, teens have been known to hide the abuse they receive from their boyfriends and partners until it becomes the second or third partner that is following the trend.

The message is clear: hiding psychological or sexual abuse because you love your boyfriend and do not want the relationship to break up could be harmful to you. Sometimes, it starts with his yelling at you or insulting you for very little or minor offenses. When such becomes frequent, particularly when the man is trying to control you through such behavior, then you have to tread cautiously. It is imperative that you start doing something about it. Why not talk with him about how you feel? If you desire to keep a relationship, communication is one of the keys to a lasting relationship. Talk with him about your feelings. Tell him what he is doing that is hurting you. Communicating your fears and feelings openly shows that you want the relationship to work. If you don’t trust him again, tell him. Do not sneak on him, reading his emails or Facebook messages behind his back. If he finds out, he could end up abusing you more. You could end up blaming yourself for the abuse when he should have realized that he has a problem.

If you want to know the signs to look out for that your boyfriend or girlfriend seeks to control you, then this article should be for you.

Does he demand for sex when both of you are not ready for it? If that is the reason for his yelling at you, calling you names, explain why both of you should stay clear of sex. Don’t make the mistake of making excuses for him whenever he hits you because you refused to give in. He could employ other means, like accusing you of talking to other men and using him as an emotional buffer. He is only looking for your weaknesses, so that he can be able to control you and get his way.

Your body is precious. Do not hurt yourself because you want to please your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you have tried to be patient and trusting but the abuse still continues, it might be time for you to move on. Sometimes, it might be appropriate to report the abuse. This will help both of you. Speak to your parents about it if you love him.

Learn to say no to an abusive relationship before you hurt yourself. You could damage your health, both emotionally and physically, trying to make up for an abusive relationships.

Take control of your life, even if you are young!


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Be careful. That joke could send you to troubled waters


How would you feel if someone joked about the victims of the January Boko Haram killings at Adamawa? If you were a southerner, you would have felt distraught, or sent the comedian a harshly worded email.

And so would I have.

Jokes were meant to expose the frailty of the human condition. Comedians who are not careful with their trade know they can land in murky waters if they approach a topic that irritates or angers the audience. So, they tend to stick to harmless subjects, which some psychologist has termed benign violations theory.

According to the benign violations theory, a wrongdoing can be placed in a humorous situation when it becomes harmless or okay to the listeners. According to Peter McGraw, who runs the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder, two criteria that can make a wrong okay or seemingly harmless are: it should have some psychological distance from the hearers and the distance it has to the listener should be equal to the severity of the wrongdoing.

I was going through my Facebook updates recently and I saw a caricature strip of our former president, Obasanjo. The strip made you wonder what sort of children he wanted to be godfather to: intelligent children or barbaric children? The message was surreptitious. I did not like it. So would I not if that strip was also a joke. Many Nigerians would have felt insulted.

A good comedian who does not want to annoy his listeners, could take the following advice while crafting his jokes:

Let us say the subject is a Nigerian president and a violation that was committed by this president.

First, instead of a Nigerian president whom we associate with and can relate to easily, like Obasanjo, he’d have made puns on that president through his butler, or a staff of his household whom we do not know or cannot easily associate with, thereby creating that psychological distance. Point number one: a good comedian respects the distance in relationship.

Secondly, instead of a president whom we all love and want to emulate, he would have targeted his jokes on the butler or driver of a president whom we have either forgotten (e.g Shagari) or do not like and want to rubbish easily (e.g Abacha). Point number two: a good comedian respects the distance in time of his subjects.

Thirdly, instead of a president whom the public have direct information about, let it be the butler or driver of a president whom the public would prefer not have direct contact with. Point number three: a good comedian creates a distance in space in his choice of subjects.

Lastly, instead of using a topic that is real to his listeners, not to irritate their sensibilities, he would use a topic that is imaginary or hypothetical. That is the last point good comedians use to achieve their aim.

Scenario: To illustrate the lasciviousness of Abacha while in office, a good comedian could create something thus: (mind you, I’m no comedian)

Abacha’s driver: Oga, this one wey your face dey ugly like this, wetin happen?

Abacha: My brother, I have killed all my enemies and there is no one to kill again. Soyinka has run away. Saro Wiwa is dead. Tinubu has escaped. Diya…Life is boring.

Abacha’s driver: Oga, you never start at all!. You don go Afghanistan? There are beautiful babes, black babes, white babes; you can kill whenever and however. After that, you fit hang the head inside your eyeglass.

Did the joke make you laugh?


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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Have you noticed how spontaneous advertising is? Would you have been enticed if they wanted you to stop and think? I doubt so.


Spend a day to watch several commercials. You’d notice that the commercials entice you with a call to action; most of them aim to draw out the spontaneous spark in you. How many commercials have you watched highlighting the pros and cons of a product? Any advertiser would be doomed if he wanted you to think, reflect and consider other competing products, before making a choice.

But that is what advertising is all about. Advertising is always designed so you have to “make” an on-the-spot decision, on the subjective value of some enticing display of graphics, sound and facial expressions, that the product was “right” for you and only that product was what you wanted. Advertisers, as some may say, depend on your acting on intuition and not on reflection.

A recent study by some scientists at Harvard, entitled spontaneous giving and calculated greed suggests that the more intuitive people are, the more cooperative they would be rather than being selfish; and vice versa if they became more reflective.

If advertisers tend to draw out the intuitive deviously, does it mean that in a sense they are factors for human cooperation?

I’ll digress a little by highlighting some of the factors that might make intuition possible.

If the time frame that you were given to make your mind about the product is very short, you’d depend on your intuition, and not your reflective aspect. The average time for an advert is about one minute thirty seconds. Advertising definitely falls into this category. An advert would be a droll if it lasted more than thirty (30) seconds. Your innate skills are also a factor for drawing out your intuitive side. If you tend to think in terms of “we” rather than “me”, then you have been hard-wired to cooperate rather than be selfish and withdraw into your greed. Advertising serves then as a buffer against greed? On the contrary. Experience has also shown that people who self-motivate themselves tend to be generally cooperative, always want to believe the good in others, than people who dwell on the negative. Finally, when we are faced with various choices on “the spur of the moment,” our reflective side is called on to act spontaneously, overshadowing the intuitive side.

Consider the above points and ask yourself: “On which does advertising hang?”

It usually hangs on the last – advertising attempts to overshadow your intuitive side and force you to make “spur of the moment” choices based on a craftily and artistically manufactured publicly consumable deliverable called adverts. It makes you to think in terms of “this” versus “that”. This is anti-intuitive and anti-cooperative. “We” versus “them” is another way of putting it. Where advertising wants to play on the “wisdom of the crowd”, the question arises: “What crowd?” A crowd or “we” that was defined by the advertiser himself.

So you better stop and think when you find yourself humming that jingle for some popular brand that you heard on the television…or whatever media.

But that is what makes advertising enticing. They have developed the art of asking you to make reflective choices (act selfishly) within the space of intuitive choices (act cooperatively). You know what – they have succeeded.

Welcome to the age of greed.


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