“Comportamentul prosocial, ochiul ascuns al psihologiei”

Guest Post #2

By Ruxandra Popa ( @ruxandra_author on Instagram)

„A-ți cunoaște neștiința este partea cea mai bună a cunoașterii.” (Confucius)

Așa cum susținea și marele Confucius, știința joacă un rol crucial în viața noastră. Psihologia (din limba greacă,  psyche – suflet, logos – știință) era o ramură a filosofiei și a fost numită știință abia în secolul XIX, iar în urmă cu două-trei decenii s-a ridicat problema comportamentului prosocial.

Comportamentul prosocial este definit în multiple moduri: „comportament caracterizat prin orientarea spre valorile sociale”, „comportament care constă în ajutarea semenilor fără a aștepta recompense exterioare”, „comportament care aduce beneficii doar celui care este ajutat” și multe alte definiții. Toate au în comun însă, două condiții (specificate în mod clar de către Hans Werner Bierhoff în 1987): intenția de a ajuta alte persoane și de a avea libertatea alegerii, adică ajutorul să fie voluntar. Mai târziu, a fost adăugată o a treia condiție: ajutorul acordat să nu fie acordat pentru a primi o recompensă exterioară.

Circumstanțele sunt esențiale în cadrul comportamentului prosocial. Un om fericit este mai sensibil la nevoile celuilalt și are o predispoziție de a ajuta mult mai ridicată decât o persoană care este sugrumată de lanțul greu al suferinței. O astfel de persoană este mult prea preocupată de problemele sale pentru a mai fi sensibilizată de necazurile altora. Un om fericit, în schimb, își dorește să împrăștie lumină pretutindeni.

Important este, totodată, modul în care cineva cere ajutorul și relația cost-beneficiu pe care o presupune acordarea acestuia. Cu cât cerem mai insistent ajutorul, cu atât scad șansele de a fi ajutați. Aici intervine reactanța psihică, care presupune că insistența agresivă ne limitează libertatea de a alege și de aceea tindem să ne autoprotejăm. Mână în mână cu reactanța psihică este relația cost-beneficiu. Adesea, îi vom ajuta pe ceilalți atâta timp cât nu suntem siliți să ieșim din zona de confort. Mult mai repede vom răspunde cuiva cât e ceasul, decât dacă ne cere să-l ghidăm pentru a găsi o adresă, care implică un efort mult mai ridicat.

În piesa de teatru Eu, Moștenitorul, de Eduardo de Filippo, comportamentul prosocial ia forma unui act de manipulare. Louis, fiul lui Prospero, încearcă să obțină cu forța beneficiile pe care tatăl său le-a primit de la familia Selciano, susținând că unica moștenire pe care i-a lăsat-o părintele său este protecția familiei Selciano, ceea ce ar fi presupus ca familia să aibă grijă de Louis așa cum a avut și de Prospero. Camil Petrescu, de asemenea, aduce în discuție în Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război ideea de pseudobunătate, și anume că ajutăm doar pentru a spulbera senzația tulburătoare ce o simțim când vedem pe cineva suferind sau îi ajutăm doar pe cei de care depindem/ ne pasă. Când comportamentului prosocial îi este smulsă aureola, acesta se transformă într-un comportament antisocial în care se încadrează violul, vandalismul, hărțuirea, abuzul verbal și multe alte astfel de acte.

Leagănul comportamentului prosocial este situația de criză. Criza este o stare de dezechilibru intern declanșată în urma unor evenimente neașteptate care au un puternic efect negativ asupra noastră, distrugându-ne mecanismele de coping (autoapărare). Crizele se clasifică în crize maturațională (de dezvoltare), situațională (de situație) și catastrofală( dezastrele). În 1964, Caplan a descris modelul crizei în trei stadii: răspunsul imediat, reacția propriu-zisă și rezoluția. În primul stadiu, se declanșează starea de uluire care poate conduce la negarea realității. În cea de a doua etapă, odată cu acceptarea realității, intervin emoțiile( furie, anxietate, depresie). În ultimă instanță, individul încearcă să-și înăbușe emoțiile și să găsească o soluție. Toate acestea conduc la comportamentul prosocial, deoarece nimeni nu are nevoie de o umbrelă când afară e soare. Odată cu sufocarea cerului de către norii negri, persoana se uită disperată după un adăpost- după comportamentul prosocial.

În viziunea mea, comportamentul prosocial este însăși definiția bunătății. Prin bunătate, se înțelege o gamă vastă de calități: dorința de a ajuta, de a sprijini, de a fi umărul pe care se plânge. Cum un om bun nu îi ajută pe alții pentru a primi o recompensă exterioară, se pune problema recompensei interioare/spirituale: fericire lăuntrică și daruri de la Dumnezeu care vor fi adunate în cer, conducând astfel la îndeplinirea scopului sacru pentru care ne naștem: mântuirea sufletului.

În concluzie, comportamentul prosocial este definiția științifică a bunătății, respectând totodată perfect legea Yin Yang: în orice întuneric (criză) există o fărâmă de lumină( comportamentul prosocial).

Bibliografie:

Psihologie socială: aspecte contemporane, volum coordonat de Adrian Neculau, POLIROM 1996, capitolul intitulat Comportamentul prosocial;

Manual de psihologie socială, volum coordonat de Adrian Neculau, POLIROM, 2010, capitolul intitulat Comportamentul prosocial;

Psihologie medicală- Doina Cosman, POLIROM, 2010

Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război, Camil Petrescu, Jurnalul Național, 2009;

https://www.psih.uaic.ro/organizare/deppsih/boncu-stefan/curs-psih-soc/

Getting away clean

Her freshly manicured, colourful nails were full of dirt. But that did not seem to bother her. She kept on digging into the ground, not caring about her designer clothes getting dirty. Not caring that her perfect hair, wrapped up in a bun, was beginning to loosen up and a few strands were messily falling onto her face.

‘Hell! Who would have thought that my happily ever after was going to be like this?’, she asked herself out loud, with an ironical voice, laughing hysterically.

However she didn’t allow herself the luxury of wasting precious seconds by laughing. Breathing heavily, she kept on digging, wishing she had some tools. Of course, that would have required time to ho shopping for them. So her hands were working totally fine: it was a time saving method.

Unable to continue anymore, as her body was drained of all its energy, she was forced to stop and take a little break. She tried to keep her breath even and under control, but failed. Her lungs didn’t seem to be very willing in listening to her brain. Speaking of which… that precious organ had to help her. And she needed it to be fully functioning. So she had to let it recover a little, not push it farther than its limits.

Standing on her knees, she turned her head to look at her husband. Well… at what used to be her husband. Because right now it was a mess of splintered flesh, blood, bones and occasional protuberances. Then she moved her calm gaze to the hole she was digging into the ground.

‘Big enough to hide him until I get to leave’, she thought. And she got up, shook the dirt off her elegant dress and dragged the whole pile of chopped flesh and bones into the hole. Then she used her hands again, to put the dirt back, in order to cover the grotesque pile as best as she could. Then she ran home.

She got undressed in a split second, threw her hands into the washing machine and filled her bathtub with a lot of differently scented bath bombs.

She let herself relax as the warm water was surrounding her body, thinking about how one second could change the course of her entire life… whatever was now left of her life.

She knew it from the start. He married her just to get her inherited money from her mother. After his mother in law had passed away and the money was legally his wife’s, the hell emerged. She was watching out for every step she took– inside her own house– knowing that he was constantly trying to kill her. And getting bored of ducking death traps and never eating or drinking anything he brought her, she started her own game.

She simply plunged a knife into his Adam’s apple and slashed his throat, all around the neck, without even blinking as showers of blood escaped his body and covered hers, and the grass in their yard, near the pool. He dropped to his knees, making disturbing, gushing sounds and while he was dying, she hurried to chop off as much as she could of his body, knowing her stomach wouldn’t allow her to finish her job if he was dead and cold. She started with his heart: cut his chest open and removed it (he was a heartless fucker anyway) then threw it into the pool. Went on to his penis: he was no man anyway, he never had any balls, or sex appeal whatsoever. Continued with his lungs– he did nothing but spoil her breathable air while they were living underneath the same roof. His liver came out next– no significant reason for this one except her wild enjoyment.

All of his other organs followed his heart into the pool. She enjoyed seeing them float– slowly sinking under the water or simply floating above it. Then she dragged the dead but still warm body into the garden. And she started as hurriedly to dig the hole in which the bastard was now resting in peace.

She’s been in a rush, yes. But not out of fear of getting caught. Rather out of fear of not dying until the job was done. Yes, he managed it after all. He had ordered a Pizza from his best friend’s restaurant. And arranged that it got poisoned. And it had been. So she was dying now, too.

The difference is, she would die because a coward has ordered her death. She had more balls than that idiot. She killed him with her own hands. She was feeling proud of herself. Now she only had to await for her own end.

And when it came, she was still in the bathtub, the water around her becoming red and dirty, due to the blood and mud she had on herself. And she was smiling.

She was smiling, yes… because her last thought was ‘Funny how I get away with it clean.’ And chuckled…while choking.

“The Green Mile” Movie Review by Edgar de Leon

Guest post #1

Before I get into Ed’s review, let me explain to you what’s going on here. So. Every Saturday I am planning to have guest posts here on my nlog and hopefully guest post on other blogs. The articles will be in Romanian or English, depending on the language in which the blogger decides to write. The guest posts will be reviews of any book or movie. If you want to have a guest post on my blog, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Now, without any further introductions, let’s see what my friend from Mexico, Edgar de Leon, has to say about “The Green Mile” movie.

“The Green Mile”- movie review

This is my review of the movie “The Green Mile”, based on the 1996 novel with the same name written by the well known Stephen King. The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film.

Personally, I love this movie. I’m not a person that watches a movie over and over again. When I watch a movie twice I get bored and can’t watch it again but this movie is so good that I could watch it over and over again without any problem.

At first when I noticed the movie was 3 hours long I was having second thoughts about watching it. I mean, who’s got 3 hours to watch a movie? You actually have to plan this out. A two hour movie sometimes seems long, let alone three!

The Green Mile turns out to be worth watching for 3 hours; even after it’s over, you can’t help wanting to keep watching it. There are so many things going on that you wouldn’t even feel like time has passed by you on fast forward. You just don’t notice how it flies away.

It has really good actors; Tom Hanks, Davis Morse, Micheal Jeter, Sam Rockwell, just to name a few. Sadly, Michael Clarke Duncan passed away. I couldn’t believe it when I found out through social media. 

But let me tell you a little bit about this great movie. Don’t be expecting me to tell you everything because I don’t wanna give yu spoilers, though.

It all starts when John is sentenced to death by the electrical chair, after being found guilty of raping and murdering two little girls. He joins two other convicts on the block.

The block is a facility where they keep all the convicts that are sentenced to death row. Paul supervises the block along with other guards. 

While being there, the guards notice John has some type of powers and even though he looks scary, he has a big heart and he is humble.

Amazing things happen in the block where Paul is convinced that John could heal somebody else outside the facility. But it will be challenging. 

Finally realizing that John is innocent, Paul is distraught at the thought of executing him, and offers to let him go free. John, however, tells Paul that he wishes to die, as he views the world as a cruel place, and is in constant pain from the suffering people inflict upon each other.

This is my review of the Green Mile. I hope you will enjoy this movie and come back and tell us what you think about this incredible story by Stephen King.

Thank you for reading!

Edgar De Leon
https://www.sharemystoryed.com

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Psychology tricks that will prove to be pretty damn helpful

Off-topic discussion #2

Today, my dear Bookaholics, we will run with all our speed, head-first, into the tip of the “Psychology tricks” iceberg, whose depths are still unknown to human kind.

A little disclaimer first: I’m not trying to teach you how to manipulate someone but just how to convince them with less effort to do what you want them to. 😉 Please note that these terms are not exactly synonymous.

And let me give you a little explanation first. Manipulation means making someone do anything you want them to, however forcing them into it. Convincing someone to do anything you want, means that you have their full consent to help you.

Why did I say that today we are going to explore nothing but the tip of the iceberg and that its depths are not completely known? Well, there are almost 8 billion people residing on this planet. Obviously, each one of us has their own, personal and signature way of convincing other people. Ever since Psychology started being thought of as a Science, people took into consideration the fact that other people were trying (and mostly succeeding) in manipulating them, or convincing them. So the scientists have started to analyse the methods that they used. Just as animals are constantly improving their methods of hunting, humans are constantly improving their methods of becoming more and more persuasive. Therefore it’s pretty hard keeping up with a good couple decades of evolution, even for scientists. Which means all they could find and record were a few methods that were used by most psychopaths, directors of huge companies, lawyers, cops etc (notice how much these guys actually do have in common).

Now that we got these things clarified, let’s dive straight into it.

I am going to mention here 10 such tricks of how to make someone do what you wish them to (without them feeling attacked by your proposal).

1. Reward

The best example that I can come up with, is training a dog. You have to reward it, in order to make it do the tricks you want. The same is available for people. If you want to convince them easily, reward them. If the financial reward is out of question – due to a thousand different reasons – then you can reward them emotionally. Make them feel appreciated for their help. Let them know how much it would mean to you if they did you a favour, how much it would definitely change positively the course of your life, how you’ll always remember their help and so on and so forth. In a few, simple words, just use your vast vocabulary of terms related to gratefulness and compliments of any kind.

2. From small to big

One of the methods that has scientifically proven to be working, but to be honest, it didn’t quite prove too helpful for me, personally: asking someone to do you a small favour. If you’re lucky enough to come across a people’s pleaser and they’ll agree to do that, then go ahead and ask them for the real, big favour you needed. They’ll feel bound to you and also feel like it’s their responsibility to help you again. So they will.

3. From big to small

There are higher chances of success if you apply this method, rather than the second. Ask someone for a big favour. If they say yes, then tell them you actually wanted something smaller but don’t forget to thank them for their help. If they say no, it’s all the better. Because you can go ahead and ask them for the real, small one. No doubt they’ll say something along the lines of ‘Oh, of course I can lend you $200. But Jesus, $1000? Where do you think money grows?’

4. Reverse psychology

Yeah, I know, a classic one. But I think it’s worth mentioning. Just tell someone (preferably someone ambitious) that they can’t get a thing done. They’ll do it right away just to make you learn your lesson and never underestimate them again. If your challenge is nothing but a pain in the ass for them (since they may not be so determined) then you should try to change your technique.

5. Make them laugh

No, but seriously. Research has shown that a proposal made to someone who just had a fit of laughter because of you is going to be up to 90% more successful than a proposal made in a serious, tight, stressful environment. The next time you need to borrow money from a friend make sure you crack a damn good joke about how broke you are. They might be more willing to help you out.

6. Positive body language

Body language plays an extremely important part in the process of convincing people. I’ll give dogs as an example again. You know how they’ll come to you, all puppy-eyed, tail swinging, looking at you expectedly. Well, it’s the same with humans. You have to maintain eye contact with the person while you tell them what you need and why you need it. Make sure that your voice tone matches the request. And while asking the definitive question, nod your head (but subtly). And also, make sure that you at least seem steady and confident, don’t use negative sentences, only positive ones. Depending on the greatness of the request, this little trick can definitely make your person to subconsciously need to be as positive as you about the matter at hand.

7. People love talking about themselves

Always keep this in your mind, no matter if you’re trying to convince someone of something, meeting a new person, wanting to get someone’s attention. Before you ask a classmate to give you their homework to copy, try to ask them a couple of random questions first, such as “How was your day?” Or, something funnier, such as “Have you ever forgotten /didn’t have enough time to do all your homework? Yeah? Well, me too. Can you give an example? Oh, you want my example? Umm… today’s Maths homework is a good enough example?” And you’ll get the damned homework. Believe me. It works even with the biggest nerds out there.

8. Say “Thank you!” and “because”

You didn’t expect that to be of such a big importance, right? But studies have shown that thanking someone (sincerely) for their help or behaviour, they are very likely to act like that towards you in the future as well, even if they were too nice. While giving a strong, well-defined reason why you should be needing something from someone doesn’t appear so radical regarding their response… well, it looks like it is. It gives them the feeling that you are in serious need of their help, so your request, no matter how realistically big, will certainly not pass unnoticed.

9. Pause throughout your reasoning

Okay, you just used the word “because”, now what? Now, you are just very careful about the way you are talking. You have to leave a pause at the right time, to increase the chances of the other person to understand and empathise with you. Of course, pauses alone aren’t enough. If your proposal is made to your boss, or in a serious environment, it’s pretty obvious you can’t expect them to help you if you insert humour in your speech. Instead, use a confident, calm and even tone. But not tense. Just naturally calm. Save the wide body-language gestures and smiles for your friends and use small gestures. I also recommend mirroring your interlocutor’s body-language, with a delay of 30 to 60 seconds. Then, they will more than certain help you with whatever you need.

10. Be the first or the last

Psychology says we tend to remember more clearly the beginning and ending of an event. So, if you want your request to be remembered, you have to be the first or the last one to ask for something from a speflcific person. They are more likely to keep your proposal in mind and come back later with a favourable response.

I hope you found this article useful and took some notes. If you know any other method that works for you, let me know in the comments. If you are consciously using one or more of these methods, also let me know. Let’s chat a little about how different people have different ways of convincing others.

LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡Patry

Mission accomplished

‘Anthony…’, she whispered his name in the dark. It startled him to hear her say his name like that. It’s been seven years since his wife last called his name so sweetly, so gently… and so husky.

He smiled while turning around in bed, being more asleep than awake, to face her side of the bed. After a moment, he managed to convince his arms to move in her direction. But he wasn’t able to hug her, as his arms would not move. He then tried to shift his body closer to her, only he found it impossible to even twitch a muscle. Something was wrong, and he could tell it by the chillness in the air, even though the windows were closed.

‘Anthony…’, his wife whispered his name again, only this time he heard it clearer and coming closer. What happened after this was too hard for him to comprehend. So he classified it as a dream and let it stay that way. Of course, in reality, it was more than just a dream.

Out of the blue, five nails as long and sharp as knife blades have made their way through his flesh, penetrating his throat. He gasped for air, but couldn’t feel it surrounding him. His vision faded into a blur, and right there, above his face, was his wife’s one. His dead wife’s face. Whiter than snow; and the blood still wet around her neck. That’s just how she looked when he burried her, seven years ago, after he had stabbed her three times in the throat.

He was afraid for his life, true enough. But he was frightened for his son’s life. The face above him was making visible efforts to speak, given both the limited strength spirits usually have and her torn neck.

‘I’ll… kill… him’, she said to him, although the high blood pressure in his body was preventing his ears from hearing anything. He wanted to scream and shout at her, in spite of his paralysis, so he was trying his hardest to move, or open his mouth.

As suddenly as it all began, everything ended and went back to normal. Anthony got off his bed, not caring about his bleeding neck. He ran to his son’s room and checked up on the kid. Dominic was safe and sound, sleeping in his peaceful, blue crib. The man swooped the little one into his arms and took him to his bedroom, to protect him. Little did Anthony know that he was indeed going to die from the wound that Dominique had left on him as her form of revenge. The man was crying in regret for the mistake that he committed 7 years before, meaning the murdering of his ex-wife, Dominique. He thought that she would find her peace after he named his first child after her and re-married a woman who looked similar to her. But apparently this has only enraged her enough to gain the necessary power to come and kill them herself.

He was waiting silently for his death, when the bleeding suddenly stopped. So Dominique has forgotten something. Something that she needed Anthony to see before he oh-so-peacefully passed away. And suddenly, the child stopped breathing.

‘I was easy on him’, he heard Dominique cackle. ‘Oh, so gentle I was. The little one didn’t feel a thing. But wait, please wait, for the bigger show.’

Already feeling dreadful, Anthony felt that he did not even have enough tears to shed for his dead baby. Dead because of his mistake that came haunting him after 7 years…

It was 2:30 a.m. which meant his actual wife, Diana, was about to come home from her night shift at the hospital. Anthony tried to go pick up his phone and tell her not to come home. But out of the blue, the phone caught fire. And just after that, the apartment’s front door opened. A bushy haired, brunette woman entered rapidly in the bedroom where the party was going on, holding her hands tight around her bleeding throat.

‘Impossible’, Anthony thought while his wife was dying right in front of him. He shrieked, yelling that he was never again going to regret killing Dominique. He heard a high-pitched laughter and then complete darkness surrounded him.

By the morning, all three dead bodies have miraculously vanished, all the blood and mess in the bedroom included. So the whole Jonas family had simply disappeared with no trace.

Just a few moments after Anthony’s death, a hole opened happily in a deserted hill’s ground, allowing a beautiful, bushy-haired woman to step out of it into the clear moonlight; as a form of reward for keeping the deal she had made with the Devil, or rather for accomplishing the mission He had given her.

Burial

Six months of hard work had finally paid off. She held back her smirk, even though it required much effort. The rain was falling around her and everybody else at the ceremony, as if the sky was crying instead of her for her lost lover.

People who were making visible efforts to hold back their tears in front of her were patting her on the shoulder, or hugging her and telling her how sorry they felt for her boyfriend, how much of a nice guy he was and so on and so forth. It was so pathetic in her view, that she started spilling her own tears, but not out of the need to seem in pain.

The priest came to her after the burial ceremony had ended.

‘I’m sure he’s in a better place right now, child. I’m so sorry for your loss!’

‘Thank you, father!’, she said, softly and innocently.

‘I heard you two were going to get married, is it true?’

‘Yes, father!’ “But he was a goddamned cheater, father!”, crawled to the tip of her tongue, but was held inside by whatever holy power stops all the free criminals from confessing in public to what they have done.

‘I’m sorry that it had to be this way. All that I can say is that it was God’s will.’

“For all I care right now, father, God himself can marry him!”, she thought and a little smile made its way to her face, without her being aware of this. The priest believed that he was the one who made her smile, by talking about God and his will, so he returned her the smile and then simply walked away, leaving her all alone in the graveyard.

She looked towards her ex-boyfriend’a tombstone, with loathe shining in her eyes. As images of the explosion at his workplace were flashing behind her now closed eyes, she started feeling more and more content and proud of her great plan. It didn’t even have one single leak, to make anyone point at her.

With a last glare thrown his way, she touched her pocket. There it was. The last step she had to take in order to live her own happily-ever-after. A one-way plane ticket to Milan, Italy, bought with the deceased’s ID documents.

‘I told you I don’t like sharing’, she shrugged and then left for the airport, feeling no remorse or regret for what she did.

Lying Love

“He is completely innocent. Like, what can he do to me through a screen? Besides, he loves me, so he wouldn’t want to do anything bad to me. Come on now, do it already!”, Alana was encouraging herself while standing half-naked in front of her bathroom mirror, holding her phone in slightly trembling hands. This was her first time ever taking such a kind of pictures and especially sending those pictures to someone. She was going to become a real woman, as her boyfriend told her. And this is what women do for their boyfriends. Most of them had sex with their boyfriends, but that is also due to the fact that they met each other face to face. Since Alana’s boyfriend was at hundreds of miles away, the least she could do to prove her love for him were these pictures. For a brief moment, she wondered if everything she felt for him really needed a proof, as he said they did. All those nights she had spent talking to him, instead of sleeping even though she knew that the next day she would have claases to attend to… all the words she said to him and that she meant with her whole heart… all the secrets that she shared with him, the drama, the gossip, and every tiny injustice that can be done to a 12 year old girl, such as strict parents not letting her out at night and her father not letting her wear short skirts, tight jeans or crop tops… did those things really mean nothing to her boyfriend?

However, she pushed that thought aside and opened her phone’s camera. She snapped a lot of shots, with different filters, lights, expressions. She wasn’t quite keen on any of those, though. She was uncomfortable taking this kind of pictures and adding up her lower-than-ground-level self-confidence…

All of a sudden, she heard a loud banging on the bathroom door.

‘GET OUT ALREADY, ALANA! YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO’S GOTTA USE THIS BATHROOM’, her father shouted angrily at her through the door. She told him she’d be out right away. So she snapped one last photo and pressed the “send” button before looking at it again. She knew she would hate it, just like the others, if she did. So she quickly got dressed up and got out, a strong blush plastered on her face. Her father looked at her questioningly but didn’t ask her anything. He thought she might have gotten her first period or something like that, so it wasn’t a man’s job to ask his daughter stuff like this.

Alana’s boyfriend, called James, seemed very proud of “his girl” after receiving her photo. He took a half of that night to compliment her on her body and write dirty “poetry” to her, shamelessly letting her know all of his sexual fantasies… but in an “artistic” way.

A little while later, she got the same request from him. And she sent him a half-nude picture once again. As their virtual relationship went on, James wanted more and more pornographic material with “his girl”, asking her to try different positions, to wear lingerie or nothing at all, or other such things.

She was feeling good to know that someone appreciated her body, but she was beginning to realize that this boy whom she never met face to face was actually beginning to appreciate her body more than herself. And now this looked like a problem. A problem that she heard her bigger sister (aged 20) complaining to have with her boyfriend. Therefore, if Amanda didn’t break up with Jonathan, why would she, Alana, break up with James? She supposed it was a little problem that girls had to go through, like giving birth, being cat-called, having periods. So she dismissed this, accepted her fate and kept on giving James whatever he wanted.

One particular night changed it all, though. Not being able to “hold his love in a cage any longer”, James happily announced Alana that he was visiting some relatives of his in her town, so he asked her to go out with him. As a continuing wave of happiness was washing over her, she put on her best dress (one of those her dad wouldn’t let her go out with) and after everyone in the house has fallen asleep, she quietly got out, using the kitchen window.

All the streets were desert and suddenly, she was afraid that a man could kidnap, kill, or rape her. A chill went down her spine, even though the June night was warm. She tried to walk as fast as she could on her mother’s high heels, knowing that once she would reach the little park on her block she would meet her sweetheart and she would be safe, especially that James was 16 years old, and tall, and strong… and so the thought of him seemed to comfort her.

After what felt like an eternity, she reached the park and started looking around for the blonde-haired tall boy she knew from Instagram. But no one was in the park… except for a brown-haired man looking in his early 30’s. She took out her phone and, for the first time, she video-called James. The man’s phone started ringing the instant she pressed the video-call button. Something was wrong and she knew it. “But it might have been just a coincidence”, the woman-who-knows-her-place’s voice rang in her head. So she waited.

The stranger took out his phone and pressed something on it. James had rejected the call. She got a text from him, asking her if she had arrived. Taking advantage of the fact that the man didn’t notice her, she tried to back away and go home. But her heels made a powerful sound when she started running. A sound which attracted the man’s attention. And he immediately started chasing her.

However, the chase didn’t last long and Alana fell on her knees. The man got right next to her.

‘That’s how I like my women, thank you very much sweetheart.’

‘I’m not a woman, so leave me alone ‘, Alana found the courage to yell at him, hoping that someone would hear her.

‘There, there, let me help you get up. And stop making so much noise, Alana, you don’t wanna wake up the whole neighbourhood, now do you? Oh, you don’t. You better believe me you don’t.’

Strongly shaking, she let him help her to her feet.

‘How do you know my name?’, she whispered.

‘Oh, that’s right baby, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is James. I’m 16. You are Alana, 12, my girlfriend. It’s so nice to finally meet you!’

She was terrified already and wondering what this mad man in front of her was planning.

‘I brought you a gift for our first date’, he said in a low, husky voice that gave her chills. He produced a little box out of his pocket. ‘Open it!’, he ordered her on the same tone. She obeyed, too scared to say anything. It was a silver necklace, with the initials A and J attached to it. ‘Do you like it?’

She was having a panic attack though, and she was crying uncontrollably. She was barely able to breathe, let alone talk.

‘Calm down, baby, I didn’t mean to scare you… Look, love has no age, baby. 16 or 32… same shit. I still love you, okay? I’m the same James you spent 7 months talking to. I love your pretty little eyes, and your pretty little face, and your pretty little breasts… or maybe I wasn’t supposed to say that aloud… my bad. Anyways, like I said, I’m still your lover. So hush now and listen. Would you be so kind as to come home with me? I would love to see that body in real life. What if we recreate the pictures?’

‘N-n-never!’, came her stuttered but determined answer.

“Oh, so maybe you’d want me to send those works of art starring your naked body to all your friends and school-mates? Because this is what is going to happen if you don’t want to come with me.’

‘Please leave me alone…’, she muttered hopelessly under her breath.

‘Look, I know this might be a little bit too much, maybe it will look like I’m rushing you or something…’, he said while taking his hand away from her arm, where it had been until that moment. That’s all that Alana needed. She dropped the necklace and started running for her life again. She hadn’t enough time to take her shoes off, so they were slowing her down. James was behind her, getting closer by the second, trying to hold back a maniacal smile but not quite managing. She could already see her house and she was screaming her lungs out, hoping that her dad would hear her and he would come and beat up that monster. But her father didn’t show up and James caught hold of her again, covering her mouth with his hand, pressing her body tight onto his own.

While she was struggling out of his grip, he placed the silver necklace – that he picked up off the ground where she dropped it – around her neck and fastened it, so that Alana was left with no voice to scream anymore. Now angry as hell, James caught hold of the necklace with both his hands and pulled at it as hard as he could, muttering something like ‘That’s what happens to the bad women like you, who disobey’.

When Alana dropped dead on the ground, the killer didn’t even bother to take another look at her. He simply flew away.

After some time of investigation, Alana’s case was declared cold, since the Police found not even one single lead to a suspect, due to the fact that she was always deleting her conversations with James, out of fear that her mother would have found out about her relationship.

Afterwards, everyone in her family blamed it on some sort of paranormal activity, a monster haunting the streets of their little city, so they moved away. The only problem is, they didn’t know that the type of monster who killed their daughter was everywhere on this planet, leaving you ni place to hide or move away from them.

1 An De Blogging

Bună, dragii mei iubitori de lectură! Am apărut și eu pe aici doar pentru a sărbători cu voi primul meu an de blogger de carte în această comunitate uimitoare, surprinzător de prietenoasă și pozitivă!

Nu fac nicio recenzie astăzi și nici nu vă spun vreo poveste, însă vă ofer câteva vești bune și vibe-uri pozitive. Cu toate acestea, pentru a păstra puțin suspansul, voi începe cu vibe-urile pozitive și voi lăsa aici câteva lucruri emoționale, penteu că pur și simplu am nevoie.

Acesta a fost cel mai bun an din viața mea de până acum, chiar și considerând întreaga situație pandemică. Și în loc să mă plâng de lucrurile negative cu care pandemia ne-a hrănit pe toți, am decis să vă spun de ce cred că anul acesta a fost cel mai bun până în acest moment. Iată o mică listă:

  • M-am ales cu acest “job”. Nu cred că am muncit vreodată mai mult pentru ceva care nu mi-a adus bani imediat. Cu excepția acestui blog. Știam de la bun început că nu mă va aduce la sute de mii de dolari într-un an. Sau doi. Sau trei. Sau poate chiar zece. Deoarece majoritatea oamenilor sunt mult prea ocupați să-și trăiască viața monotonă, să meargă la locul lor de muncă monoton, să-și petreacă timpul liber în cele mai plictisitoare și monotone moduri posibile (cum ar fi scroll-ul infinit pe rețelele de socializare, vizionarea videoclipurilor inutile pe YouTube, vizionarea emisiunilor TV inutile care nu ajutăcu nimic, decât să mănânce timpul aiurea), pentru a acorda atenție la – ceea ce ei numesc – „pierzători” ca mine, care își petrec timpul liber citind, scriind și împărtășind aceste lucruri lumii, chiar dacă lumea nu este deloc interesată. Dar mi-am luat acest angajament oricum, pentru că nici nu aveam nimic mai bun de făcut cu timpul meu liber. Și chiar și după ce mi-am dat seama că până la urmă, am ceva mai bun de făcut cu timpul meu, nu am renunțat la acest “copilaș”. Pentru că, în acel moment, cândam observat că deja am pus bazele unei mici comunități, mi-am dat seama că oamenii sunt de fapt interesați de ceea ce am de spus. Așa că am crezut că nu am motive să mă opresc. Acesta este motivul pentru care am început să-mi eliberez programul doar pentru a-mi face timp și a scrie în mod constant aici. Și, deși nici măcar nu m-am apropiat de o sută de dolari, tot nu renunț la asta. Pentru că am ajuns la un punct în care banii nu mă mai motivează (cel puțin când vorbesc despre blogul meu) și o fac numai din pură pasiune.
  • M-am dezvoltat și perfecționat în toate modurile posibile. Vechea Patry nici măcar nu ar fi fost aici acum, pentru că ar fi fost undeva „trăindu-și viața la maxim”, blocată în dramele dragostei adolescentine, plângând după vreun tip mediocru – de care era îndrăgostită pentru perioade de timp variind de la 10-15 minute la 3 ani – și având nevoie de un terapeut după ultimul ei eșec la acest capitol. Pentru că simțea că are nevoie ca altcineva să o facă fericită. Și asta este cea mai mare diferență. Noua eu a ajuns să-și dea seama (în sfârșit) că eu sunt singura care măpoate face fericită. Fericirea mea depinde doar de mine și de nimeni altcineva. Și această mică realizare a condus la următorul pas necesar: construirea încrederii mele în… mine. Mai înainte eram atât de nesigură pe mine. Mereu simțeam că ceva nu e în regulă cu felul în care arătam, mă îmbrăcam, mă comportam sau vorbeam. Dar singurul lucru greșit la asta erau toți cei care mă judecau pentru aceste lucruri. După ce am fost lovită de cât de triste și de plictisitoare erau viețile lor, am înțeles că simt și ei nevoia să vorbească despre lucruri ceva mai “picante”, precum persoana mea. 🙂 Și atunci am început “să strălucesc” doar pentru a le oferi lor un spectacol bun. :)) De asemenea, mi-am dezvoltat inteligența, cunoștințele generale, am acumulat noi abilități, am început să studiez mai mult și am început să mă concentrez mai mult pe mine. Pentru că știam că o merit și dacă nu mi-o ofer eu, atunci nimeni nu o va face vreodată. Vă sfătuiesc să gândiți la fel. :)) În plus, am început să fiu foarte interesată de modalitățile de creștere a productivității, învățarea eficientă și gestionarea timpului. Vechea eu ar fi stat pe Instagram ore în șir. Noul eu nu-și mai permite acest „lux”, deoarece fiecare minut din viața mea este acum programat. Bine, fiecare minut, cu excepția weekend-urilor și a petrecerilor / excursiilor. 🙂 În weekend, sunt un copil „normal”, mă culc la 2-3 dimineața în loc de 21:30-22:00 pm, mă trezesc la 10 dimineața în loc de 4:30-5:00 dimineața (așa cum fac de obicei) și bag la greu seriale sau filme thriller/horror deștepte, sau citesc sau pur și simplu mă bucur de noapte și de liniște.
  • Am reușit să termin romanul la care lucram și urmează să-l public foarte curând. Ah, da, nenorocita de carantină, când cu toții se plictiseau, iar prin urmare își făceau conturi pe Tik-Tok, sperând că le va fi mai ușor să facă față izolării. Cu toate acestea, mie mi s-a părut ușor să fac față de la bun început. Lucrul amuzant este că sunt o persoană cu adevărat extrovertită. Dar am descoperit că mă pot bucura de propria mea prezență mai mult decât de cea a anumitor persoane. Așa că am profitat de carantină și am reușit să-mi scriu romanul, am prins din urmă lucruri pe care le-am ratat la școală, m-am înscris la o mulțime de webinare pe tema dezvoltării personale și a scrisului, chiar am și oferit un mic curs de scriere creativă, în care am vorbit despre ceea ce am învățat de la „Băieții mari” din literatura de azi. A fost foarte distractiv pentru mine și chiar n-am reușit să văd cum te poți plictisi în halul în care să îți petreci jumătate din zi pe Tik-Tok, când poți petrece timp cu tine însuți și să înveți cum să fii fericit în propria ta companie.
  • Am citit mai multe cărți decât aș fi citit într-un an normal. 35 de cărți în timpul carantinei și alte 23 după ea. Un record personal :))

Și, înainte să termin, trebuie să spun ceva despre vestile bune, nu? 🙂 Ei bine, este vorba despre romanul meu. Va fi lansat în mai puțin de 2 săptămâni și sunt extreeeem de fericită și abia aștept până va fi OUUUUTTTT !!! YEEE-HAAAW =)))

LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡Patry

1 Year of Blogging

Hello, my dear Bookaholics! I just popped in to celebrate with you my first year as a book-blogger in this amazing, supportive, friendly and positive community!

I am not doing any review today, or telling you guys any story, but I’m just giving you some good news and vibes. However, in order to keep the suspense a little bit, I’ll start with the good vibes and I’ll spill here some emotional stuff, simply because I need to.

So this has been the best year of my life so far, even with the whole pandemic situation considered. And instead of looking at the negative things that the pandemic has fed all of us with, I decided to tell you why I think that this year was my best one yet. Here’s a small list:

  • I have made myself this little job. I don’t think I ever worked harder for something that didn’t get me much money right away. Except of this blog. I knew from the very start that it wasn’t going to get me to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year. Or two. Or three. Or maybe even ten. Because most people are way too busy living their monotonous life, going to their monotonous job, spending their free time in the most boring and monotonous ways possible (like scrolling through social media, watching useless videos on YouTube, watching useless TV Shows that will never teach them anything but they just help eating time away) to pay attention to – what they call – “losers” like me, who spend their free time reading, writing, and sharing this stuff with the world, even though the world is less than interested. But I took this engagement anyways, because at that time I had nothing better to do with my spare time anyway. And even after I realised that I had something better to do with my time, I didn’t give up on this baby. Because by that point, I started getting some following, I realised that people actually are interested in what I have to say. So I thought I had no reason to stop. Which is why I started clearing my schedule just to make time and write consistently here. And even though I didn’t even get close to a hundred dollars, I’m still not giving up on this. Because I reached a level where money doesn’t motivate me (at least when I’m talking about my blog, that is) and I am simply doing it out of pure passion.
  • I have developed myself in every possible way. The old Patry wouldn’t even have been here now, because she would be somewhere “living la vida loca”, getting stuck in teenage love dramas, crying over ugly and/or stupid boys – on whom she’s had crushes for periods of time ranging from 10-15 minutes to 3 years– and needing a therapist after her latest failure at this chapter. ‘Cause she felt that she needed someone else to make her happy. And that’s the biggest difference. The new me has come to realise (finally) that I am the only one who can make me happy. My happiness depends only on myself, and not on anybody else. And this little realisation lead to the next necessary step: building my confidence. I was so goddamn insecure about myself before. I always felt that something was wrong with the way I looked, dressed, acted, talked. But the only thing that was wrong with that was everyone who kept judging me for these things. After being hit by how sad and boring their lives were, I understood that they needed to talk about spicy stuff, like me. And that’s when I began to rise, shine and glow just to give them a good show. :)) I also developed my intelligence, general knowledge, picked up new skills, started studying harder and started focusing on myself more. Because I knew I deserved it and if I didn’t offer it to myself, then no-one ever will. I advise you to do the same. It’ll make you so much happier. :)) Besides, I got really interested in ways of increasing productivity, effective learning and time management. The old me would have scrolled through Instagram for hours on end. The new me doesn’t afford that “luxury” anymore, since every minute in my life is now scheduled. Well, every minute except weekends and parties/excursions. 🙂 On weekends, I am a “normal” teenager, I go to sleep at 2-3 a.m. instead of 21:30-22:00 p.m., wake up at 10 a.m. instead of 4:30-5:00 a.m. (as it would be usual for me) and I’m binge-watching crime/ horror/ smart TV Shows/movies, or reading, or simply enjoying the night, the silence and myself.
  • I got to finish my novel and it will soon be published. Ah, yes, the damned quarantine, when everyone was getting bored and therefore making Tik-Tok accounts, hoping it would make it easier for them to cope with the isolation. However, I found it easy to cope with it from the very start. Funny thing is, I am a really extroverted person. But I found I can enjoy my own presence more than I enjoy some certain people’s. So I took advantage of the quarantine and finsihed writing my novel, I also caught up with things I missed in school, enrolled in lots of webinars on the subject of personal development and writing, I even offered a small Creative Writing course, in which I talked about what I learned from the “Big Guys” of today’s literature. It was really fun for me and I never saw how you could get bored and spend half of your day on Tik-Tok, when you can spend time with yourself and learn how to be content with it.
  • I’ve read more books than I would normally have in one year. 35 books during the quarantine, and 23 others after it. A record even for me :))

And, before I finish, I have to say something about the good news, right? 🙂 Well, it’s about my novel. I’m going to launch in less than 2 weeks and I am extreeeemely happy and I can’t wait until it’s OUUUUTTTT!!! YEEE-HAAAW =)))

LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡Patry

“Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” ~ book review

Hello, Bookaholics! I have finally reached the end of the “Harry Potter” series of reviews ( I was planning to do a review for the 8th one as well, but I don’t have that much to say about it, so I’m going to stop here).

Being the 7th book of the series (and the last one, for a long while), this book is the most emotional, twisted, colourful yet depressing, heroic, impressive – and to contain all of this is one single word, the richest – of the whole series. It’s got a very special place in my heart, even though I said that my favourite is the 5th book.

“HP and the Deathly Hallows” is the only book in which most of the action does not take place at Hogwarts, the castle becoming just near the end the most important place, because that is where the last civil war between wizards happens. However, the sweetest part of the book is its epilogue, where you get to see the teen wizards’ own families and children. ( I don’t usually cry while reading, but when I do, I can’t stop for like 2 hours and this is what happened when I finished this novel.)

Synopsis:

The book follows mostly Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort through their journey to their final confrontation. The threads of this journey are, of course, Harry, Ron and Hermione’s mission to find and destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes so that he could be killed once and for good; the terrible and hideous things happening at Hogwarts whith Snape as a headmaster; and how the current situation affects the lives of everyone who is important for the plot.

1. A Reader’s POV on this book:

You feel it. Everything. At maximum intensity. As if you’d be right there with the characters and you’d be living all that tension for real. It just gets inside of you and it kills your emotions, gets them torn all over the place and then it expects you to be fine and mentally re-established, so that it can just come at you again some time later and slaughter your sanity, harder than before. Yeah, this is how crazy it gets. And I don’t want to tell you more, since it would mean to give you major spoilers.

2. A Writer’s POV on this book:

You’ll be amazed, once again, by this woman’s capacity of creating a world that seems so real, that it makes you start looking for clues that it exists. Sure enough, if you get paranoid about it, you can discover such clues ( as scientists have stated), but it would benefit you to not get to that point.

As a writer, you have a new opportunity to learn how to make great plot twists, how to get your readers 100% involved in the story, and how to make them feel at extremely high levels whatever your characters are feeling. J.K. Rowling has proven many times how talented she is at doing this so you can definitely learn a thing or two from her!🙃

And I’m done with this series, finally, you may think. Thank you for sticking with me until here!

LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡Patry