Have you ever tried really listening to your partner?

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(319 words)

Has there been a time when your partner says you are shouting but this is only because they are not listening to a word you are saying? Listening skills are what is needed for a couple to make their relationship last. There may be times in the middle of heated discussions where the partner is taken over by emotional hijacking. An emotional hijack refers to a situation in which the amygdala part of the brain takes over. This is the emotional part of the brain and regulates the flight or fight response. This hijack prevents us from making sound, rational decisions.

The art of listening is for the partner to ignore their impulsive feelings or their want to rebut any comments made to them. The partner needs to recognise that they do not need to react like it is a full-on attack on them. If they feel it is a direct attack, in the middle of this tension, the partner then finds it difficult to acknowledge what is really being said. Thus, by missing the main point of a dispute they only hear the perceived insults and negatives. This leads to further times when the partner will interrupt and pay less attention. Therefore, non-defensive listening highlights empathy while also actually taking time to listen to the message and the feelings in what they are being told. This means being calm where the partner is able to mirror the feelings of their other half. 

Of course, the feeling of empathy will deteriorate the more the strong feelings are allowed to rise. The partner needs to allow the other to fully express their complaint without allowing it to move to an attack on them. The partner needs to see the situation from another perspective. Above all, there is room to apologise where the partner can say they are wrong because they have recognised the clear message and emotions from their disgruntled partner.

Consider the treatment in one text of one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins

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As knowledge seekers, many people will strive harder or try appropriate means to achieve their goal for further knowledge to the extent that bridges onto excessiveness that reflects one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Doctor Faustus is this seeker of knowledge who wants to find out more than is suitable and appropriate for him to know. Faustus is a disdainer who gets a scorner’s comeuppance. He commits a mortal sin and goes to hell for it.

Dr Faustus deals with the ambition of the Renaissance to cultivate an ‘aspiring mind’. The Renaissance as a time of intense, all-encompassing infinite knowledge is embodied in Faustus. However, he shows little discrimination in his pursuits. He delights, for example, in the Seven Deadly Sins, ironically remarking ‘O thus feeds my soul’.  Throughout the twenty-four years, he seeks experience of all kinds in the true Renaissance manner; however, instead of freedom, his knowledge brings him despair.

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Memoirs – All For Nothing

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I had just flown from Bangkok to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and was heading for Euro 2000: the European Football competition between neighbouring European countries. Slightly jet-lagged and a lack of sleep, I exited the airport and first went to Amsterdam Central Railway Station. I headed straight for the railway station to throw my bag in storage. It was certainly too bulky and heavy for my next experience. I was soon walking freely away from Amsterdam station, and I could now go off to the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven to see England play Portugal. Beckham and Figo et al head to head.  Despite the excitement of this, I had actually booked a ticket to see the rock group Oasis in Hamburg the following day after the match; this initially was really my only plan. I had been a fan since the early days, and they were always worth seeing live anywhere in the world. So, as I strolled around Amsterdam at least I knew now I had to get from Eindhoven to Hamburg somehow.

I spent an interesting night in Amsterdam and then the next day went off down to Landgraaf by train. Talking to someone after a few drinks the night before, I had found out about a music festival; it was the PinkPop rock festival about an hour or so from Amsterdam. To my delight, it actually had Oasis playing and was not far from Eindhoven, I thought. I always remember going to this festival as I never had a ticket. As I got there in the morning, I saw lots of music lovers in a field. Various thoughts came to mind but I spent a good 30 minutes looking at how to jump the fence to get in for free. I made my move and was soon over a fence and in. This was only to find out that it was for tents/camping and the festival was in another field through more security and barriers. Anyway, I got a ticket for a cheap price, so it was not any hassle. The festival finished (I got to see Oasis without Noel Gallagher), and my next move was to think about the football. I ended up getting the train to another town one stop down from Eindhoven as the town was full of what seemed like England football fans who had taken over every hotel. Each hotel I went into to ask for a room in Eindhoven had so many football fans milling around singing and every place had no vacancies.  I eventually spent the night in a hotel in the next town albeit it was full of Orange as the Netherlands were playing; the next night was the big match.

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Great Expectations – The Guardian’s Influence

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(627 words)

In this essay, I will show how Miss Havisham’s influence is used in her adopted daughter’s life. Since Miss Havisham was betrayed on her wedding day, she has felt contempt for men. By adopting a young girl called Estella, she has tried to install uneasy confidence in Estella about men and how to take revenge on them. Similarly, Estella grows up to be cold and cruel. However, Estella shows indifference to Miss Havisham’s destroying ways now that she is older.

Miss Havisham influences Pip, the protagonist, and narrator of Great Expectations, with a note inviting him to visit her house. Pip sets off to Miss Havisham’s house. It seems Miss Havisham’s scheming is to encourage Estella to entrap Pip and duly urge Pip to love her. Pip enters Miss Havisham’s house to dark passages where only candles light the way. Estella leads him by candlelight to the room in which Miss Havisham sits. Pip finally sees Miss Havisham in an armchair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on her hand. He comments that she is the ‘strangest lady I have ever seen’. This is where the reader gets the image of a reclusive lady living in the past. There has been no change to the decaying house thus being referred to as dark. Miss Havisham’s weathered bridal dress is still on show from the day she was jilted at the altar. The deterioration which has been there for Estella to see and live amongst characterises Miss Havisham’s relationship not only with Estella but also with humanity, especially men.

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