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Posts Tagged ‘Asia

30 revealing ideas from social psychology that can help us to appreciate people and our lives

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Below are interesting points (sometimes with some of personal thoughts & reflections) that I have learned from a course on social psychology taught by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan College.

@~@ Know yourself. Seach inside yourself.
LaoZi : "He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is enlightened."
Benjamin Franklin : "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self"
Daniel Gilbert : "We seem to know less about the worlds inside our heads that about the world our heads are inside."

@~@ People often MISWANT.
Blueroselady :
How to overcome the challenge that we are remarkably bad at predicting of what will make us happy?
This question is very important because many of life’s big decisions involve predicting our future feelings.
Examples of life’s big decisions : marriage, career / profession, migration, vacation.
Funny real-life example : a friend J told me that her husband fluctuates between praising-in-the-form of question and complaining:
(1) "why a such a smart woman like you wanted to marry a jerk and stayed on?"
(2) "It’s a nightmare to be with you for the rest of your life, I was enticed by your physical attractions"

@~@ Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to notice our shortcomings (e.g. your pimple, your spiky hair because of having no time to comb your hair because of waking up late).

@~@ "Research has found that audiences can’t pick up on your anxiety as well as you might expect …
Other people are noticing less than you might suppose."
Blueroselady: The next time you have to deliver a public talk / give a company presentation / make a sales pitch, do not worry. Just do it!

@~@ Susan Andersen & Serena Chen, 2002: In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

@~@ Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but automatic and unself-conscious.
Blueroselady: Be mindful. We can choose to practice mindfulness.
Mindful breathing… Mindful eating… Mindful doing…

@~@ self-schema vs possible selves
self-schema = beliefs about self that organize & guide the procession of self-relevant information.
possible selves = images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
self-schema strongly affect how we see / perceive, remember, evaluate other people & ourselves.

@~@ major negative events vs minor irritations
major negative events activate our psychological defense.
minor irritations do not activate our psychological immunity.

@~@ Role playing becomes reality.
As we enact a new role, e.g. college student, parent. salesperson, we initially feel self-conscious.
Progressively, the role playing becomes reality.
This reminds me on the message that Amy Cuddy wants us to remember in her TED talk on body language.
Fake it till you make it.
Fake it till you become it.

@~@ How do we decide if we are rich, smart, or tall?
The answer is social comparison (Festinger, 1954) in affluence, status, achievement.
Blueroselady: Many things in life (that I know of) are relative, particularly those that are measurable.
A reader’s question: "I have made a living comparing data in my job / career. Comparing has become my second nature. How can I stop comparing in life?"
Blueroselady suggestions:
# Gratitude exercises.
# Detachment exercises : Detach your emotions from the outcome of your comparisons. I hear you, it is easy to say, but challenging to do, that is why detachment is an art; for the sake of our happiness, we must practice the art of detachment.
# Mindfulness exercises : Remember that (1) social comparisons can decrease our life satisfaction. (2) 人比人气死人 (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."
# Kindness exercises : Be kind & compassionate to yourself, leave behind comparisons with others.
# Affirmations e.g. It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else.

@~@ Children whom other people label as as gifted, hardworking or helpful tend to incorporate such ideas into their self-concepts & behavior.

@~@ Self-reliance
Self-reliant individual is celebrated in Western literature, e.g. The Iliad, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

@~@ Classifying / pigeonholing / labeling cultures as solely individualist or collectivist oversimplifies.
The oversimplification is because within any culture, individualism varies from person to person (Oyserman et al, 2002).
Blueroselady: Remember not to do hasty generalization.

@~@ Interdependent self
# has a greater sense of belonging.
# is defined by social connections with family, colleagues, loyal friends.
# has many selves: self-with-parents, self-at-work, self-with-friends.
# disapproves egotism, whereas independent self disapproves conformity.
# e.g. collectivistic Asian & Third World cultures.
# persists more on tasks when they are failing because wants to meet others’ expectations (e.g Japanese)
# prioritizes WE over ME

@~@ "So far, most of psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class White American settings studying middle-class White American respondents."
However, there are ways of life beyond the one that each of us knows best.
Blueroselady: In other space & time context (e.g. sociocultural context), there can be different ideas & practices about how to live a meaningful life.

@~@ Tips: eat before shopping.
Gilbert & Wilson (2000) showed that hungry shoppers do more impulse buying

@~@ Why is your friend’s success can be more threatening that that of strangers?
According to Zuckerman & Jost (2001), you feel that your self-esteem is threatened.
How do people react to self-esteem threat?
High self-esteem people blame others or try harder next time.
Low self-esteem people blame themselves or give up.
According to Roy Baumeister, folks with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, & to talk at people rather than to talk with people.
Bonus: It is useful for parents to know that
# among sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greates for an older chld with a highly capable younger brother / sister.
# many people could not escape their tough childhoods, which is a cause of low self-esteem.

@~@ Secure self-esteem
# is rooted more in feeling good about who one is than in grades, looks, affluence / money, others’ approval.
# is essential for long-term well-being.
# Blueroselady views secure self-esteem neither as high nor low self-esteem, but self-esteem in equilibrium / in balance.

@~@ self-esteem vs self-efficacy
self-esteem = if you like yourself overall
Self-efficacy = if you believe you can do something

@~@ How to be less intimated (by others) & less gullible?
# remember that personal testimonies are powerfully persuasive but they may also be wrong.

@~@ Self-serving bias?
# attribute positive outcomes to oneself (e.g. own managerial skill)
# attribute negative outcomes to other factors (e.g. a down economy)

@~@ Examples of self-serving bias
# Group members’ estimates of how much they contribute to a join task typically sum to more than 100%. For instance, husband & wife are members of a group.
# most business people see themselves as more ethical than the average business people.
# Pronin & Ross (2006) reported that we see ourselves as objective & everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight!

@~@ Feedback is best when it is TRUE & SPECIFIC.
Specific feedback e.g. You are good at maths.
General feedback e.g. You are great.
To encourage someone (e.g. children, mentees, students, subordinates), remember that specific feedback is more effective than general feedback.

@~@ To improve performance, give self-efficacy feedback instead of self-esteem feedback.
e.g. of self-efficacy feedback : You tried really hard.
e.g. of self-esteem feedback : You are really smart.

@~@ When to listen to criticism & not to listen?
David Dunning’s gentle rule: "if two people independently give you the same piece of negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that it might be true"

@~@ Terror management theory by Jeff Greenberg: the reality of our own death motivates us to gain recognition from our work & values, but not everyone can achieve such recognition.

@~@ Competence + perseverance = success

@~@ Success requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to motivate concern.

@~@ According to Jule Norem (2000), defensive pessimism can sometimes save us from the perils of unrealistic optimism.
Blueroselady: Negative emotions such as anger and pessimism are not entirely bad, we just need healthy ways to deal with them.
Tips: Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself.

@~@ Tyranny of freedom? too many choices can lead to paralysis.
According to Barry Schwartz, individualistic modern cultures have an excess of freedom which leads to the tyranny of freedom.
# Choice may enhance regret.
# People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices. This is because when people can undo their decisions they tend to consider both the positive & negative features of the decisions they had made. When they could not undo their decisions, people tend to concentrate on the positive features & ignore the negative features. For example, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriages several decades ago when marriage was more irrevocable.

@~@ Love causes marriage, but marriage would also causes love.
Blueroselady: This hypothesis may explain why arranged marriages (in some cultures) have successfully worked and survived.

@~@ The 5:1 ratio of positive:negative activities
To sustain important relationships such as marriage and parental relationships, ensure that you strive to increase the ratio of positive to negative activities by at least 5 fold.
e.g. of positive activities : holding hands, giving a hug, lending a listening ear.
e.g. of negative activities : arguing, complaining.

More
# Book: Social Psychology. Chapter 2. DG Myers. 2012.
# Notes at the end of email

Written by blueroselady

December 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

How to survive in-laws and not end up out-laws? 8 strategies for Asian in-laws

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Based on sharing of a few friends & acquaintances,
some parents in Asia cannot let go of their grown children.
Friction with in-laws can be a primary cause of stress in the early years of marriage.

Depending on each individual’s perception,
a word / sentence can be
well intentioned advice or
interfering / insensitive comment.

How to survive in-laws and not end up out-laws (in the context of Asian in-laws) ?
# If parents need to be confronted, agree that their own biological child, and not the son-in-law or daughter-in-law, do the talking.
# If in-laws are controlling, you can be PLEASANT, APPROPRIATE & FACTUAL.
# Invite in-laws to share a part in your parenting journey.
# DEFINE family friendly policies : holiday plans, home rules & boundaries with grandchildren.

# DO NOT SNUB / IGNORE your in-laws.
# DO NOT TRY TO WIN A BATTLE (e.g. via outwitting / out-talking your in-laws in a conflict) but you may end up losing the war (you risk losing the love and respect they have for you).
# DO NOT ERECT INVISIBLE FENCES to shut out your in-laws because this act only creates greater hostility.
# DO NOT MANIPULATE / POWER PLAY.

Written by blueroselady

March 14, 2013 at 3:05 am

Posted in family, love

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A journey to Yunnan

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This is a backlog travel note.

@~@
What to bring?
see 2bring4travel.txt in my folder of China2012.

@~@
I make a marking for every (large in amount) RMB note that we bring to China.
Why?
The money changer staff told us that her son was cheated.

Her son gave the shop assistant a large note.
The shop assistant went to look for change.
She came back and told him that there was no change and returned him a fake note!

@~@
Our tour guide to Shi Lin was Mr Wang.

He told us that to travel by yourselves will cost more than joining tour.
Mr Wang said his salary is RMB 1600. A month expenditure is RMB 1000. Therefore, we have to shop, the more we shop, the more commission he will receive.

If one earns RMB 2500 per month, he or she is considered high earner.
The main sources of income for travel company in Yunnan:
1. tourist attractions.
2. air tickets.
3. hotel (we were promised 4* hotel-room but we got a RMB 80 / night 2* motel-room).

4. food (Wang told us to expect the food to be not delicious).

China has 56 tribes.
Yunnan has 52 tribes.
Mr Wang said that fast and dark female are desirable.
女孩十八岁像老太太
老太太像老妖怪

To leave the mountain, the minority people have 2 paths:

1. study well
2. join the army
In his village (Shi Lin), the eldest woman in the tribe is the head. If a man run away to leave the mountain, all family members will be punished.

According to Wang, silver can remove ‘wind’.

To me, A Shi Ma (Yunnan) to greet female sounds similar to Ajuma (Korea).
A Shi Ma 阿诗玛 means diligent and beautiful.
To greet male, A Hei Ge 阿黑哥 / A Bai Ge 阿白哥 / Hei Bai Ge 黑白哥 aka A Hua Ge 阿花哥.

Lake is called Sea.
River 河 is called Jiang.

FOOD that we tried:
@~@ flower pastry. We love it (JiaHua brand).
@~@ over-the-bridge rice noodle.
@~@ The eight treasures of Yunnan. Too sour for me.
@~@ Wild mushroom banquet. Thank you to our tour guide Wang for driving us there (for free), he said he stayed near there. The waitress was also honest to return a forgotten phone.

@~@ Hui cuisine. The wild vegetable was unique, my first time eating such kind of vegetable.
@~@ 青稞饼 (barley bread).

FAUNA
@~@ grazing yaks (black, white, brown) : Zhongdian / 中甸, Blue Moon Valley
@~@ sheep
@~@ horse riding, LaShiHai / 拉市海*. It costs us RMB 350 / person, latter someone told us that you can have the ride for RMB 100. My travel partner was happy for the first time riding horse.

* When I prepared for the trip to Yunnan, 拉市海 seems so tranquil like Lake Bohinj, but when we visited 拉市海, it was hot and crowded (especially at the horse riding sites). The tranquil site was frequently visited by couples taking pre wedding photos.

Be careful of:
pickpockets / bag slashings.
Avoid barber shops, massage centers (con involvement).
police num: 110

Black Dragon Pool / 云南黑龙潭
The front cover of my favorite travel book: DK Eyewitness of China features the Black Dragon Pool with Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and its reflection.

When we were there, the pool was dried that we could see the cracking soil and smell the unpleasant fishy odor.

Sometimes, virtual travel (through travel books / documentaries / videos) seems, sounds and smells more relaxing. Personally, this is possible if only we have experienced similar things before, so that we can imagine and re-feel. If not, we have to travel our lives!
Many times, we have to travel indeed.

Lijiang 丽江 to Zhongdian 中甸:
terraced fields (reminded me on the journey to Sapa in Vietnam).
the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

@~@
See also:
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/dream-of-love-in-the-spring-2012/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/plan-for-our-love-photos-china/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/travel-china-sichuan/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/asia-regional-travel-ideas-2012-2014/
Blueroselady’s travel

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Written by blueroselady

March 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

Different expectations from children to parents

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As a new Mom,
naturally …
I strengthen my friendships with friends who are Moms,
I make new friends with other Moms.

A good friend of mine,
J shared with me on the different expectations from children to parents.

J’s husband has a sister who lives with the parents of J’s husband,
and the parents of J’s husband are taking care of the children of J’s sister (the nieces-in-law of J).
it seems that J’s family have the expectation that "grandparents must take care of the grandchildren."

A conversation between J & J’s husband
(well, I do not know what their exact words, so I just share based on my memory talking to J).

J : Honey, let say in a hypothetical scenario, if Daddy & Mommy (refers to J’s husband’s parents) want to take time off to go holidays seeing the world for e.g. 3 months, do you think my sister-in-law will allow?

J’s husband : I don’t know. May be not because nobody will take care of her children.

J shared that when his parents went overseas for J’s wedding,
his parents could only come for 3 days,
because they must take care of J’s nieces-in-law.

J’s husband grew up in a family in which parents are taking care of their children a lot,
for example,
his parents wash his clothes,
cook his herbal medicine,
cleans his room,
irons his office attire,
bath the grandchildren,
instead of letting J’s sister-in-law to do it,
while his parents give a lot of comfort to their children,
they may somehow deprive some opportunities to be independent from their children.

J does not think that this is wrong,
it is just different way of parents expressing their love.

J’s husband once remarked : Your parents seem to love their children less than mine.
J gently replied : Honey, our parents love their children differently in their own ways.
Your parents give you comfortable lives,
help with a lot of little things and house chore.
My parents teach me how to survive in the world on my own,
simply because they cannot take care of me forever,
so they gave me an early training.
(Note : like me, J has led an independence life away from her parents since her teenager days.)

Of course, as a woman and a friend of J,
I side J more than J’s husband,
this is human nature.

Personally (in the opinion of Blueroselady),
parents are responsible of taking care of their children until the children turn 18 or 21 years old.
children are responsible of taking care of their parents (till the end of the parents’ lives) once children start earning an income.

As an adult, we should not expect our parents to take care of our children.
Of course,
if our parents want to do so,
they are welcome,
but we must not insist it.

My opinion is influenced by Asian concept of filial piety,
yet is modern enough by taking account the freedom concept of the West
(For example,
have no expectation for our parents to take care of their grandchildren).

Written by blueroselady

February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Recipe: Kimchi fried rice (Bokumbap)

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My lover loves kimchi fried rice with a lot of garlic, he is simply Mad for Garlic.

In my 2nd trip to Korea, we enjoyed a BBQ meat with kimchi that is also BBQ-ed at Jonggak. Personally, I love hot kimchi than the cold kimchi.

In the 3rd weekend of September 2012, I cooked kimchi fried rice. The saying that “today’s leftover rice is tomorrow’s fried rice” is true and totally applies to many Asian restaurants, so it is better to have home cooked kimchi fried rice. To maintain freshness, I cook the rice the night before and put it in the refrigerator.

Serves 2 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
kimchi
rice (I cooked it with dried silver fish, remember to break up the lumpy overnight rice with the back of the spoon)
egg (2)
garlic (3 small pieces)
minced pork meat (can use beef, bakwa, bacon)
pepper to taste
olive oil
sesame oil
soy sauce (1tbsp)

STEPS:
1. cook your sunny side up egg, garnish with sesame seed OR use spatula to break the eggs into small pieces. Put aside the egg.
2. hot wash and season minced pork with soy sauce, minced garlic, powdered pepper.
3. sautee the minced pork with olive oil.
4. when the meat is cooked, add kimchi (plus its liquid), minced garlic, cook for 5 min, turn off heat.
5. add rice, small pieces egg (if not sunny side up), mix all ingredients well.
6. add 1-2 tbsp sesame oil, re-heat.

PS:
1. You can also add spring onion leaves (cut into small pieces), I forgot to buy it.
2. I also have a recipe for kimchi hotpot.
3. A previous version of my home cooked kimchi fried rice. Honestly, I could not recall how I cooked it. Lesson: it is important to make notes.
4. I am craving for the Korean pancake that we had in Suwon.

Written by blueroselady

September 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

Posted in food

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How do you perceive money and wealth?

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The media (TV, movies, magazines, newspapers) often portray the wealthy as those who wear designer clothes, eat fine dining, drive luxurious cars, and fly first class. Growing up and being fed by such information make many of us believe that is how the wealthy live their lives. In reality, this is only true for those who inherit their wealth, strike lotteries, or those super talented artists and sportsmen, but they risk losing their wealth without proper wealth management.

Examples:
Doris Day, a famous 60s Hollywood singer-actress, lost her fortune when her husband-manager cheater her and ran off.
Mike Tyson, a heavyweight champion who earned over $500 million, filed for bankruptcy because of his lavish lifestyle of luxury cars, huge mansions, and Bengal tigers.
Michael Jackson, earned over $700 million in his career, but he spent $20-$30 million more than he earns every year.

On the other hand, many people stay poor because of common negative beliefs about money and wealth. For example, when one sees one’s parents work so hard, being cheated, and still remain poor, they may adopt the common negative beliefs.
Here, I list the common negative beliefs and debunk why they are not true.

Myth: Having a lot of money will change you (into a bad person)
Myth: Money will make you less spiritual.
Myth: Money is the ‘root of all evil’
Fact: Money is a personality magnifier, it is neutral on its own, it is just a tool.
If one is selfish, having money will make him even more selfish.
Majority of causes of murder, cheating, stealing, lying are poverty (lack of money) and greed.
If one is kind and generous, money will enables him to give more to others, do God’s work.
When you no need to worry about money anymore, you can focus on more important things in life.
Some wealthy people believe that they do not own their money, they are merely custodians of God’s wealth.

Myth: We do not have a lot of money / time to make money because we love our children.
Fact: People who believe in this myth are giving themselves excuses. If they love their children, they will provide their best for their children, and not use their children as an excuse / justification for their lack of money.

Myth: Money will not buy you happiness.
Myth: Money is not that important.
Myth: Money is not everything.
Fact: It is true that money is not everything but everything is money. Without money, you cannot buy food / clothes and provide shelter for your family, you cannot buy presents for you friends, you cannot send your children to schools. Money can enhance the things that matter: family, friends, health, spirituality, career, education. Note that when someone says "money is not that important", he is just consoling himself. Analyze carefully before believing what others say.

Myth: The wealthy are materialistic.
Myth: The wealthy worship money.
Myth: Rich people are greedy and selfish.
Fact: Not all wealthy people work for money, some of them work for their passion / personal mission. People who lack money can also be materialistic, they constantly worry about money or are envious of their richer neighbors / relatives / friends.
If you resent rich people and think that they are bad, then your subconscious mind will never allow you to become rich.
It is important to find role models (rich people with integrity and kindness) whom you admire and are keen to learn from, instead of making hasty generalization.

Myth: If I am wealthy, my friends / family / relatives will look at me differently.
Myth: If I became wealth, I will lose all my friends.
Fact: If you lose some of your friends, then you realize that they are your false friends. True friends will be happy for your success and wealth. When you become wealthy, you will make new friends with wealthy mindset.

Myth: To have more money, I will be depriving others of it.
Myth: There is no enough money for everyone to be rich.
Myth: There are less opportunities to make money nowadays.
Fact: There is abundance in the universe. There are always enough / new resources for people who pursue wealth with integrity. In your process to make money (ethically, legally), you will create new / better products / services and jobs for others.

Myth: Having a lot of money will give you worries / problems.
Myth: The wealthy have a lot to manage.
Fact: Most problems in life (relationships, health, career) are the results of the lack of money.
Blueroselady’s reflection: I used to follow the myth in my early 20s, until a mentor VB told me that if I have no money, I will have more things to manage.

Myth: If God wanted us to have money, he would give it to us.
Fact: God helps those who help themselves. There is no free lunch in this world. Be self-sustainable. You have to ask (through prayer), believe that you deserve prosperity, and take action (work hard and smart).
Blueroselady’s reflection: Spending a larger proportion of my life seeking knowledge (as a student) than seeking wealth, the same principle applies. If we do not put in efforts in our study, we will not get good results, we will not gain wisdom, no matter how hard we pray, we need to take action. Now, in my chapter of life in seeking wealth to nurture the next generation, I will put my best efforts together with prayer to God.

Written by blueroselady

September 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Recipe: Porridge / congee

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A loved one is suffering from diarrhea, so we are having congee for lunch.

Serves 2 | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
rice + water. Thick ratio of rice : water = 1 : 8, medium = 1 : 10, thin = 1 : 13

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
red dates
wolfberries
dried scallops
dried silver fish
dried shrimp
mushrooms
pandan leaves

After the water boil, half close the lid.
Important: Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking together or to the bottom of the pot, especially the last 15 minutes.

To be environmental friendly:
Do not throw the murky rice water away but use it to water your plants.
For my case, I only have pandan, and I can use the pandan leaves for cooking.

Written by blueroselady

September 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

Posted in food

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