Anita's Haven

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Jeffrey Von Glahn

on 23/04/2015

A warm welcome to my guest, Jeffrey Von Glahn, and his post on the matter of kindness. Learn more about Jeffrey and find the link to his book below his post. Thank you, Jeffrey, for your time and kindness!

The word “kindness” automatically makes me think of doing something for, or saying something to, someone that would be helpful to that person and not expecting anything more than a “Thank you.”

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Any act of kindness is a spontaneous gesture and it should never include a feeling of “What’s in for me?” Kindness is in our genes; it’s a fundamental aspect of our nature. We would not have survived as a species without it (Competition isn’t in our genes. If it was, there would only be relatively few us left).
So no, kindness is not overrated.

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Many of my acts of kindness are verbal. They’re my way of expressing appreciation for something the person did or said. They’re also for lifting a person’s spirits. In a large group of people I was with for several days, a woman had a leg in a cast.

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Many people asked her what had happened and I could hear the tiredness in her voice when she answered. Then I happened upon her sitting by herself. I immediately said, “When’s it coming off?” Her immediate response: “In two weeks!”

Jeffrey Von Glahn

Here’s Jeffrey’s biography from Amazon, used with his kind permission.

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Jeffrey Von Glahn has been a psychotherapist for 45 years, and counting. That experience has been, and continues to be, more exciting and fulfilling than he had ever imagined. On occasion, he has been known to suddenly exclaim, “If I believed in reincarnation – which I don’t – but if I did my fondest wish would be to come back as one.” What has been especially rewarding for him is when he has been able to help someone reconnect with a “lost” part of their basic humanness. That’s when he feels that he has helped to give birth to a new human being. “I don’t mean that literally, of course, but there’s no other way of explaining how I feel when I’m sitting face-to-face with someone and I see such a dramatic change.”

Beginning as far back as his days as a graduate student, Jeffrey – as he prefers to be called – has always believed that crying created the most profound change. He is quick to point out, however, that only a particular way of crying will do. That is, when it spontaneously occurs during a session rather than as a forced response to an unexpected event in everyday life. With some clients, such a change can happen with just a minute or two of deep crying; while with others it could take many months. While this degree of change is not always possible, Jeffrey has discovered that it can occur with far more people than most of his colleagues seem to think.

Jeffrey began his career at a clinic where he gained a great deal of experience with a wide variety of clients. He left after seven years to take on more challenging cases, which required more innovative methods than were welcomed at an agency that had a public image to worry about. “It was the second most important decision in my life,” he says. As if the goddess of all things psychological had been reading his thoughts, his very first client presented a problem that he had never heard of – and one that he had never imagined as ever being a problem. Many years later that pioneering adventure was told in Jessica: The autobiography of an infant. It would not have happened if he had not have immediately agreed – his most important decision – to Jessica’s bold request for multiple-hour sessions in hopes of a therapeutic breakthrough.
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Jeffrey’s book on Amazon

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2 responses to “IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Jeffrey Von Glahn

  1. […] IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Jeffrey Von Glahn. […]

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  2. Deb McEwan says:

    I enjoyed that Jeffrey but do feel that for some of us (myself included) that competition is nature as well as nurture.

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