Like negative emotions, positive emotions each come with telltale physical signs to help you recognize them. When we experience negative emotions, it's easy to feel the full impact on our bodies, minds, and behaviors. We can identify the familiar weight of sadness bearing down or the tears stinging the back of our eyes. We zero right in on intense sensations of anger and so easily tune in to thoughts of impending future threat that we can't do anything but feel anxious. Having gone through some such process of thinking with the speaker and trying to understand his intent or the meaning of his illustration, the leader might respond with something like this: Jim, if I understand you correctly, you feel fairly convinced that, because of this experience with Plan A in a pretty similar situation to our own, you don't think it will work here. And are you therefore saying that you probably prefer Plan B, is that it? This is not what Jim said, but it reflects the intent behind his anecdote. The group-centered leader is always alert to perceive such meaning and reflect it back to the speaker for verification. This is very much like what the client-centered therapist is attempting to do, in individual therapy, as indicated in an earlier article35; In a group situation, however, this function of the leader may have additional effects over and above conveying understanding to the speaker. By extracting out of a member's comments the intentional meanings, the leader also may be helping others understand what he is really saying, thus facilitating communication to a very great extent. Again, the leader is bringing to the group another function which did not previously exist there, or existed only to a limited degree. Our hypothesis is that because such responses by the leader are rewarding to the group (they facilitate communication and thereby accelerate the sharing of meanings), gradually they will be taken over by the group members themselves. Self-blame is particularly poignant in the example of rape. Most people who have been raped blame themselves in some way. Perhaps you offered a friend of a friend a ride home and blamed yourself when that person forced themselves on you in the car. However, giving a friend's friend a ride home is a perfectly reasonable, kind thing to do. The ending to the evening was not your fault. Or, perhaps you submitted to sex, not fighting back or saying no, even though you didn't want it.

Maybe you were drunk or unconscious. There are so many reasons that explain why you acted the way you did, some of which have to do with your own belief in your power or worthiness. These are definitely traits worth exploring, but the bottom line is: No one has the right to your body without your affirmative consent. What you were wearing, how drunk you were, whether you were on a date, whether you are a sex worker, and what your gender is are irrelevant to the boundaries of what constitutes rape. The opposite is true of positive emotions. When we feel happiness or pride, we're not as acutely aware of the feelings, and they can waft away if we're not consciously capturing them. We have to focus and deliberately find the thoughts that generate these positive emotions. It's important to practice the skill of focusing on our assets and create awareness of the way positive emotions feel in our bodies. You can train yourself to develop positive radars to tap into and live these good feelings fully. While we want all of the Big 6 positive emotions in our lives, choose the one that you most want to cultivate more of right now, and follow the steps below to set your radar in that direction. Stick to one, and make it a positive habit before you return for another. EMOTION HOW IT FEELS FUELING THOUGHT Happiness Breathing is deeper, slower, and more regular; Your mind may feel like it has a soothing hum or glow. It may be profitable to discuss this function of understanding meanings and intents in relation to what other writers have called interpreting by the group leader. We refer particularly to our understanding of group interpretation as it is used by such writers as Jaques (94) and Bion (27). From their writings the distinct impression is gained that it is facilitating to the group for the leader to interpret what may not be in the conscious awareness of group members. From the writer's own experience, both as leader in groups and as observer of groups where leaders have used the technique of interpreting unconscious meanings, such interpretations are usually not facilitating and are frequently disrupting. This is, however, an issue which can be settled only through research. Certainly it is not even justified to say that reflecting meanings and intents is not interpretation in a sense.

Nevertheless, there does seem to be a valid distinction between the two, at least in operational terms. Perhaps the essential difference between interpretation and reflection of meanings and intents, as it is being used by the group-centered leader, is that reflection is an attempt to perceive only what exists in the conscious awareness or the internal frame of reference of the group member at the moment. On the other hand, these other writers seem to imply that interpretations help to bring to conscious awareness what might have been for the group member quite unconscious. This difference is probably essentially the same as the one that appears to exist between interpretation as used by some psychoanalytic therapists and the method of adopting the client's frame of reference used by client-centered therapists. But they may contribute to self-blame and to whether you experience the violation as trauma. People become more vulnerable to abuse, assault, and discrimination when they are dependent upon others who hold individual or collective power over them. Kids, for example, are dependent on their adult caregivers and may not have the resources to escape their situation. Adults may depend on others for employment or basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Or, they may believe they are dependent as a result of social conditioning. This is why many people stay in abusive relationships: they lack the resources, power, or confidence to make choices to protect themselves or to pursue their own self-interest or protection. But their dependence makes them more vulnerable to inequity and exclusion, and to many other forms of violence. CHILDHOOD TRAUMA Childhood is a particularly critical time for brain development. When the process of development is disrupted by trauma, the results can be profoundly damaging. You may become more playful or want to push your limits and be more creative. All is great. Pride A flush of warmth; You experience a desire to do more or achieve more good things. I did a good job/did the right thing/behaved admirably. Interest and engagement Senses are heightened and keen;

Your thoughts are racing, not with anxiety but with a creative bounce from one idea to the next. Your eyes widen and you shift forward in your seat or stance. This task is just within my capabilities. Esteem and respect A warm glow when you're around others who think well of you; One final word about this function of the group-centered leader may be appropriate. The writer has in the past made a distinction between group-oriented and individual-oriented leader reflections. An illustration may make this distinction clear. Let us suppose a group has been discussing the advantages and disadvantages of two courses of action -- call them Plan A and Plan B. Half of the members have been arguing for one and half for the other. The leader may reflect the individuals' statements as they are made in the discussion, using reflections such as: Frank, you feel Plan A won't work and you would strongly urge us to try Plan B. Bill, as I get what you are saying, Plan B is bound to fail because of the reasons you just mentioned. On the other hand, a more group-oriented reflection may be made after several members have expressed their views, such as: It seems to me that the group is definitely divided on this issue and it doesn't seem able to reach agreement. Our brains develop over time to enhance our ability to survive. When you are raised in a traumatizing environment, your brain develops in a way to ensure your survival in that setting. The neural pathways that optimize your ability to survive in that dysfunctional environment become overdeveloped, while development of other pathways may be stunted. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can include things like physical and emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver mental illness, and household violence. A survey called the Adverse Child Experiences Study2 asked people if they had experienced any of three categories of childhood abuse before the age of eighteen: psychological (being frequently put down or sworn at, or living in fear of physical harm), physical (being beaten, slapped, burned, cut, etc), or sexual (being forced into various acts). The survey also asked about four types of household dysfunction: if someone they lived with was a problem drinker or user of street drugs, if mental illness was pervasive in their household, if a household member had attempted suicide, if there was violence or criminal behavior in the household.

The findings were dramatic: The more forms of adversity a child experienced, the more prone they were to depression and attempting suicide as adults (when compared to those who reported no adverse experience). People with four or more different types of ACEs were five times likelier, in the previous year, to have been in a depressed mood for two or more weeks, and twelve times likelier to have attempted suicide. Experiencing more types of adversity in childhood was strongly associated with alcohol and drug abuse. It was also associated with higher incidence of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and heart disease. Your mind is clear and sharp, and you feel confident to take on new challenges. People think well of me. Love A warm glow when you're around those to whom you feel connected and committed; Your mind has a gentle buzz or hum, and you feel a pull to be with this person you love or who loves you. I feel connected and committed to you. Contentment Breathing is deeper, slower, and more regular; Your mind may feel like it has a soothing hum or glow; I have everything I need. TUNE YOUR HAPPINESS RADAR Happiness is triggered by the thought that things are going wonderfully. Each of these types of reflections may have a useful function in group-centered leadership. They may, however, accomplish different results. The writer has used both types of reflections. Some group leaders seem to prefer using group-oriented reflections almost exclusively. Here is a very important problem which would be amenable to investigation through research. On the basis of the writer's limited experience, it seems doubtful that the leader can convey to group members as much attention, understanding, and acceptance through group-oriented reflections as he can through individual-oriented reflections, although it may be that once the leader has created an adequate psychological climate, group-oriented reflections may be facilitating.